World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that in 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, according to healthline. Malaria is a life-threatening disease causing 445,000 deaths, it exists in tropical climates where parasites can live. Malaria is a disease that can be contacted through the bite of an infected mosquito.
How Malaria Infection Occurs
Infected mosquitos carry the plasmodium parasite which is transferred into the human bloodstream after a bite. However, when this parasite gets into the human body, they travel to the liver where they grow into maturity. Which later develops to infest the red blood cell that is liable to burst within 48 to 72 hours. When a person is infected there are symptoms that occur which keeps an individual at alert. Although one has to go for a blood test to show the exact cause of his illness. However, today there is an invention replacing the Malaria blood test.
There Are Various Symptoms Of Malaria Such As
Just like other diseases malaria also have symptoms that are associated with it. These symptoms can develop within 10 days or 4 weeks after a person is infected. Although in some individuals symptoms can persist for months before it manifests.
Some Malaria symptoms include;
- Muscle Pain
- Chills; that cause a person to shake mildly or severely
- High fever
- Profuse Sweating
- Abdominal Pain in some patients.
Engineering Device Replacing Malaria Blood Test
Blood test failed to diagnose Brian Gitta with malaria hence he took it as a responsibility to find new ways of testing for the disease. However, he discovered that he doesn’t need to draw blood for a malaria test. But that a test can be done by simply shinning a beam of light on someone’s finger using a tool. This engineering invention is called “Matibabu” (treatment in Swahili) and its aimed at replacing malaria blood test. Also with a focus on ensuring a bloodless test in Uganda and Africa.
How The Matibuna Device Functions
The device functions in such an amazing way that, it could indicate infected blood after being clipped onto a patient’s finger. Then the light beam identifies if there are changes in color, shape, and concentration in a person’s red blood cells. Thereafter the device determines its diagnosis within a minute and sends the results to a cell phone, according to BBC.
Success Of Matibuna Device
Brian Gitta is the brain behind the invention of this malaria test device. However, the team is now reporting its finding and executing field trials since it has been approached by international researchers. More so, this tool has helped Gitta win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. According to the Royal Academy of Engineers; This is an award to would provide financial, mentoring support, and training to the winners.
Africa as a continent is affected by malaria carried by mosquitos across the region. However, Uganda is mostly affected by the disease “Malaria” because it is one of the tropical countries in Africa. And according to the World Health Organization which has reported that there are approximately 10 million cases in Uganda, making it the highest incidence in the world. Hence the invention of Matibabu is a positive step to handling the issue of malaria in Uganda.
According to Gitta, he said that; the recognition will help them open up partnership opportunities, which is what they need most.