Malaria is a sickness that has claimed far too many lives in Africa, in fact- more than 80% of children under the age 5 die as a result of the sickness. Without prompt and effective diagnosis and treatment, it unfortunately leads to death. In an effort to save lives, biotechnology firm Fyodor, is set to launch the world’s first urine malaria test (UMT) that diagnoses in a matter of 20 minutes.
Founded by Nigerian Eddy Agbo, Fyodor announced that the test would be available in pharmacies across Nigeria before the end of 2015. As a reward for contributing to saving lives and improving society, the innovation recently received the 2015 Health Innovation Challenge Awards- which saw the company walk away with a $100, 000 grant and enrollment in the Nigerian Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM) programme.
The UMT uses the same dipstick technology as manual pregnancy tests, making it easy to use in the comfort of your own home.
According to the World Health Organization, reducing the malaria burden contributes in particular to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal 4 target of reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015 but also to MDGs related to poverty reduction, education, and maternal health. A speedy diagnosis is crucial in the fight against malaria, as it prevents the disease from carrying further, incurable risks if left undiscovered during the early stages.
Once dropped into a clean container with just 5 drops of urine, the test strip is to be kept for 1 to 2 minutes in the container and once pulled out, it is to be incubated at room temperature for 20 minutes. Two visible line on the strip mean positive, one line indicates that it is negative.
The team behind the UMT have outdone themselves in contributing to social good and thanks to this rapid test, Africa is now one step ahead in the fight against malaria.