24 year old Brian Gitta, has become the first Ugandan to win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize, after he invented a device which detects signs of malaria without using blood. He invented the device after three blood tests failed to diagnose his own malaria.
The device, called Matibabu, means “treatment” in Swahili. It examines the red blood cells of a person when clipped onto the finger without any blood being drawn or any medical knowledge needed. Malaria is detected by the device using a red beam of light that shines through the finger. The red beam detects red blood cell concentration as well as changes in the shape and colour of the cells.
The device uses a low-cost clip together with a mobile phone application. Results are given within 60 seconds.
“The recognition will help us open up partnership opportunities – which is what we need most at the moment,” Mr Gitta said in a statement.
Gitta is not only the first Ugandan but also the youngest to date to have been awarded the $33 000 Africa Prize of Engineering Innovation.