In many health facilities, malaria is diagnosed using blood tests after a patient is suspected of having the disease. Usually, the extracted blood is carefully examined in the laboratory under a microscope to check for plasmodium parasites that cause malaria. For many years, this has been one of the effective methods of identifying malaria in patients. This is however, likely to change as a group of six young men have anything to do about it.
The group of six developed a testing device called ‘Matibabu’, which does not require blood samples in order to test for malaria.
According to Busingye, one of the team members, “Inside it (the testing device) is a compartment where an individual can place one of their fingers. With the help of magnetic and light sensors, the results will then be conveyed on one’s mobile phone showing whether one has malaria or not.” The device has power cables that must be connected to a mobile phone in order for one to see the results. “It is convenient and will enable individuals even test from home.”
The team has also made another device (with a similar appearance) suitable for clinics, hospital settings and health centers.
“It is just like the other one. The only difference is that it will require a blood sample. The device will have a small plastic container where the blood sample is put before being placed back inside the testing device.” “The power cables from the device may be connected to either a mobile phone or desktop where the results will be conveyed.”
He emphasized that the testing devices will use the same technology current malaria testing kits use with the only difference being that one will not require blood samples while testing for malaria while the other will necessitate the blood samples.
The team includes: Brian Gitta, 26, Joshua Busingye, 25, Shafik Sekitto, 25, Morris Atwine, 24, Simon Lubambo, 29, Josiah Kavuma, 27.