Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Tech Tackling Malaria – #WorldMalariaDay

Article Image
Since 2000, there has been a dramatic 60% drop in malaria deaths worldwide, yet mosquitos still remain the most dangerous animal in the world, responsible for around 400,000 deaths annually. To mark World Malaria Day, we take a look at some of the major strides m-health and technology have made in Africa in ending malaria for good.

Drones:
In one of boldest use of drones seen to date, Microsoft has commissioned a fleet of drones to hunt down and capture mosquitos. Microsoft's Project Premonition aims to find mosquito hotspots by drone, scanning vast areas with ease, and then trapping them using bespoke robotic mosquito traps. Unlike other insect traps, these traps have the capacity to distinguish between mosquitos and other insects, using its 64 smart cells, which monitor specific wing movements. Once the insect has been identified as a mosquito, the cell door closes, trapping the mosquito inside and tagging it with key environmental informational data for pathogen research.

Satellites:
In South Africa, academics at the University of Pretoria are harnessing satellite data to predict eminent malaria outbreaks. The university is employing the use of geographic information systems and advanced satellite imaging to gauge the environmental factors that lend themselves towards a potential outbreak. This satellite data acts as an early warning system for potential malaria threats and the model has proven correct nine times out of ten in all five South African communities in which it was trialed.

Real-time data:
The Zambian Ministry of Health has vowed to eliminate Malaria entirely by 2020, with the aid of real-time data and analytics. The Visualize No Malaria campaign in conjunction with the international health organisation PATH, analytic database developer EXASOL and data experts Tableau, seeks to empower and support health workers in the field through technology. Having access to real-time data, health workers are in a stronger position to make more informed decisions when tackling malaria outbreaks. The initiative is currently leveraging complex geospatial data loaded into the EXASOL database to model geographical features in Zambia's Southern Province, with time-series models of population density and meteorological patterns.

Smartphones:
The startup and enterprise ecosystems in South Africa have combined to harness the power of the iPhone to combat malaria. SA-based Apple reseller Digiscape and London startup xRapid have developed the xRapid iPhone app and attachment that works on both compound and field microscopes. This free app uses digital imaging technology and artificial intelligence to diagnose malaria from a magnified image of microscope blood slides. The accompanying test attachment aims to be robust in design, in order to cope with harsh climates and conditions.

New diagnostic tools:
In Uganda, after multiple bouts of malaria himself, computer Science student Brian Gitta envisioned a "mobile medical center" that could swiftly diagnose malaria without the use of blood tests. Gitta and his peers developed Matibabu, a mobile app that doesn't require blood in order to diagnose malaria. The app was first developed for the Windows platform using a custom portable finger Matiscope, where a red light detects the red blood cells in the skin. This is significant as malaria-infected red blood cells have a different physical and biomedical structure to normal red blood cells. What is more is that test results take only 15 minutes to complete, with the Matibabu device costing just $20 per unit.

Many thanks to AfricaCom media partner e Health News for collaborating on this article.

If you would like to learn more about cutting edge e-health initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, engage with those at the frontline of Africa's healthcare sector face-to-face at a Connecting Africa event. Find out more below.

Upcoming events:
East Africa Com May 17-18, Nairobi
West Africa Com July 11-12, Dakar
Nigeria Com September 20-21, Lagos
AfricaCom November 6-10, Cape Town

Be part of the African tech and telco conversation here:
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Instagram

— Amy Turner, Digital Content Marketer, KNect365

Innovation hub

Video

Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up