A young Ugandan software engineer won the African Innovation Award for developing a device to screen for malaria without a blood test, according to the Royal British Academy of Engineering.
Brian Gitta, 24, and his team developed the device named Matibabu, which means “medical center” in Swahili, after blood tests failed to diagnose his own malaria.
By simply pinching a patient’s finger and projecting a red light beam through the finger, the device can detect changes in shape, color and concentration of red blood cells, all of which are affected by malaria. announced the Academy in a statement released Wednesday.
In addition to saving patients the hassle of taking blood, the device is reusable, cheap and requires no specialized expertise to operate, said the Academy.
“The results are available in one minute on a mobile phone connected to the device,” she added.
“Matibabu is a real revolution,” said Rebecca Enonchong, one of the judges of the award. “This is a perfect example of how engineering can advance development, in this case by improving health services.”
Brian Gitta is the youngest laureate of the African Award for Engineering Innovation, which was launched by the Academy in 2014. He has also been awarded a £ 25,000 reward ($ 33,197).
This award is the largest prize for engineering innovation in Africa, and encourages talented engineers in sub-Saharan Africa to develop local solutions to face the challenges of their communities.
Agence de presse Xinhua