• Speedy result

    Speedy result

    A Ugandan engineer has developed a way of diagnosing malaria in under two minutes – without requiring a blood sample.

    As reported by SciDev.Net, the test, Matibabu, was created by Shafik Sekitto together with colleagues from Makerere University in Uganda. As Africa accounts for 90% of malaria cases and deaths globally, the technology aims to make the diagnosis of Malaria simpler – and as it does not involve blood samples, patients could potentially test for the disease on their own, at home.

    Matibabu uses light and magnetism to differentiate between the blood of an infected and a healthy person. Unlike other tests that work by identifying molecules produced by the malaria parasite, it deploys polarised light to detect hemozoin crystals, which are by-products of the parasite. The results are sent from the device, which clips onto a patient’s finger, to a mobile phone. ‘We’re trying to bridge the gap between local communities and effective diagnosis,’ says Sekitto.

    The innovation was recently recognised at the [email protected] Africa 2.0 awards (an event, hosted by the UK’s Prince Andrew, showcasing entrepreneurs), and is yet to undergo clinical trials.

    27 March 2018
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images