24-year-old Ugandan software engineer, Brian Gitta, recently won the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation for his innovation Matibabu, a swift bloodless malaria testing device. Having missed school several times due to falling ill with malaria, Gitta and his team decided to create Matibabu.
To use, the device is simply clipped onto a patient’s finger, and a red beam of light shone through the finger detects the shape, colour and concentration of red blood cells of the user, all of which are affected by malaria. Within a minute, the results are available on a mobile phone that is linked to the device.
The first Ugandan and youngest winner of the Africa Prize ever, Gitta was awarded the sum of £25,000, an equivalent 124 million Ugandan shillings for his invention. The 24-year-old said the recognition will help his team manage production better and open up much-needed partnership opportunities. “We are incredibly honoured to win the Africa Prize. It’s such a big achievement for us because it means that we can better manage production in order to scale clinical trials and prove ourselves to regulators,” he said.