Brian Gitta, a 24-year-old Ugandan software engineer has won the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Gitta and his team developed Matibabu, a device which tests for malaria without drawing blood. He becomes the first Ugandan, and the youngest winner of the prestigious Africa Prize.
Uganda should be proud of Gitta. The Ugandan inventor and computer scientist invented a malaria detection device that does not require drawing blood in 2013. Matibabu is a low-cost, reusable device that clips onto a patient’s finger, detects changes in shape, color, and concentration of red blood cells, and avails results within 60 seconds on a mobile phone that is linked to the device.
Gitta and his team decided to develop the device after missing lectures due to falling ill with malaria several times. He won the first prize of £25,000 at an awards ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday.
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It was launched four years ago and encourages talented sub-Saharan African engineers, from all disciplines, to develop innovations that address crucial problems in their communities in a new, appropriate way.
On receiving the awards, Brian Gitta expressed his satisfaction of being recognized and pledged to even do better with the opportunities provided by his achievements. He said;
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. The recognition will help us open up partnership opportunities – which is what we need most at the moment.