KAMPALA – Languishing with fever and frustrated by delays in diagnosing his illness, Brian Gitta came up with a bright idea: a malaria test that would not need blood samples or specialized laboratory technicians.That inspiration has won the 25-year-old Ugandan computer scientist a prestigious engineering prize for a non-invasive malaria test kit that he hopes will be widely used across Africa.For developing the reusable test kit known as Matibabu, Gitta this month was awarded the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The award by the Royal Academy of Engineering in Britain comes with £25,000 ($32,940).Malaria is the biggest killer in Africa, and the sub-Saharan region accounts for about 80 percent of the world’s malaria cases and deaths. Cases rose to 216 million in 2016, up from 211 million cases in 2015, according to the latest World Malaria Report, released late last year. Malaria deaths fell by 1,000, to 445,000.The mosquito-borne disease is a challenge to prevent, with increasing resistance reported to both drugs and insecticides.The new malaria test kit works by shining a red beam of light onto a finger to detect changes in the shape, color and concentration of red blood cells, all of which are affected by malaria. The… Read full this story
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