Malaria is still the most dangerous diseases in the world, killing as twice as many people as AIDS, with an estimated four million deaths a year. Not only does malaria kill a child every 60 seconds, it causes miscarriages and also reduces the ability of people’s producivity, but it seems its being by relative indifference.
Four Makerere University students Brian Gitta, Joshua Businge Mulessi, Josiah Kavuma and Simon Fred Lubambo were among the masses that treated Malaria with indifference until they suffered it and experienced the pain of those infected.
“Each of us have personally suffered from malaria multiple times. In Brian’s last experience with malaria, the disease progressed so far Brian was bed-ridden and the invasive sampling inspired Matibabu, for early non-invasive early detection,” Gitta, a co-founder told TechMoran.
Matibabu, Swahili for treatment is a Windows Phone Application for early, non-invasive malaria diagnosis with a phone and a custom piece of hardware (Matiscope). Matibabu diagnoses for malaria without pricking the body. Connected with a custom piece of hardware, malaria status can be known in a minute the team says.
“We also obtain statistics for malaria in the world, this helps us run a prediction model on the occurrences and effects of malaria. Such data sets are available for subscription. We also do from the sales from the hardware as well as partnership from malaria initiatives,” said Gitta.
According to the team, human health is a very intricate field, more so when using technology. You don’t want to have a number of people die due to imperfection. So the hardest part comes from the hardware building and production to ensure high accuracy. They says there only competition in the local market are used invasive techniques which they aim to disrupt anyway.
While all the traditional diagnosis methods for Malaria diagnosis require a blood sample to be observed under a microscope or molecular diagnostic methods, the Matibabu team says Microscopes cannot do early detection because of under sampling, while molecular diagnostics don’t give a count of plasmodium. Matibabu excels compared with molecular diagnostics because of increased speed and no blood sampling required, and can detect malaria early compared with microscope.
Matitabu has received a $12,000 UN women Empowerment Award and another grant of $1,500 from TechCON HESN. They four are looking forward to launch officially at DEMO Africa in Lagos Nigeria and learn from their peers and investors as well and unveil the product for the public soon after DEMO Africa.