GSMA

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The biggest tech trend in Africa, and the one that is making the biggest impact on the everyday lives of people is the rise of smartphones and feature phones.

Africa has seen the fastest uptake of mobile devices in the world and mobile subscribers are set to hit half a billion in the next five years, according to the GSMA.

This statistic supports the fact that mobile technology is and will continue to be the most powerful communications platform in Africa. Driven by cheaper mobile devices and continued innovation in the mobile space, mobile technology has the power to and will transform the delivery of healthcare service into Africa.

The obstacles we face in africa, however, are the infrastructural challenges that are hindering the adoption of consumer facing apps and limiting integration with local health systems. There is however a way to circumvent these. Read more

malaria vaccine

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For over two decades, the quest to develop a working malaria vaccine has proven largely fruitless. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 3.2 billion people worldwide are at risk of being diagnosed with malaria. Every year, nearly 198 million cases are identified. WHO says a significant number of the almost 200 million cases are from Africa. However in recent times not only is there a potential malaria vaccine in the pipeline, a new device which is capable of diagnosing Malaria in minutes has emerged.

John Lewandowski, co-founder and CEO of Disease Diagnostics Group, has invented a new way of diagnosing the deadly disease using two magnets and a laser pointer. He believes that this will eradicate malaria by strengthening the offensive against it, while curbing issues regarding delay in detection.

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Drones in Healthcare

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Drones in Healthcare

I think the world has become fascinated by drones. I know I have. I got one for Christmas and it’s really fun to play with. The one I got is really hard to fly, but in many ways that makes it more fun.

What a lot of people don’t realize is how many ways drones are going to be part of our future life. No, I’m not talking about the military drones. In fact, using the term drones is so tied to the military that it’s almost not right to use the term. However, many people have become more familiar with drones thanks to Go pro cameras that are attached and bring us some really amazing footage even from amateurs. Read more

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The new machine that could one day replace anesthesiologists sat quietly next to a hospital gurney occupied by Nancy Youssef-Ringle. She was nervous. In a few minutes, a machine — not a doctor — would sedate the 59-year-old for a colon cancer screening called a colonoscopy.

But she had done her research. She had even asked a family friend, an anesthesiologist, what he thought of the device. He was blunt: “That’s going to replace me.” Read more

President's Malaria Initiative

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Durham, NC — The latest statistics show impressive progress in the fight against malaria — a 46 percent decrease in infections among children in sub-Saharan Africa and an estimated 4.3 million deaths averted globally.

A substantial increase in international funding has contributed to those achievements. The U.S. government is among the major funders of malaria control through its President’s Malaria Initiative– one of the few international assistance programs that has garnered bipartisan support through the Bush and Obama terms. Read more

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Medical experts have hailed a malaria vaccine that will prevent millions of young children from catching the disease, which could be available in October after trial results found that it reduces number of cases by half.

Researchers say the vaccine, which has just completed the final stages of testing, could make a ‘substantial contribution’ to controlling the disease.

Drug firm, GlaxoSmithKline has applied for a licence from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the RTS,S vaccine. The news is significant because RTS,S is the first malaria vaccine to reach advanced trials. Read more

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Around 600,000 people die from malaria every year. The vast majority of these deaths occur in Africa, where female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting malaria between people.

Current mosquito control methods, which include insecticide-covered bed nets and indoor insecticide spraying, have dramatically reduced malaria transmission in many communities. But they have little impact on mosquitoes that bite outdoors.

In a world-first study, a team of international scientists has discovered a chemical called cedrol that attracts pregnant female Anopheles mosquitoes. Read more

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Dr. Marie Goreti Harakeye, Head of HIV/AIDS, TB & OID Division Under the AU Department of Social Affairs

The African Union (AU) is planning to establish a pan-African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (African CDC) by mid-2015.

First proposed by Ethiopia and approved by the AU Commission in 2013 at the 22nd ordinary session in Abuja, Nigeria, the idea of establishing the Centre has since been discussed in a series of AU summits and extraordinary sessions, says Dr. Marie Goreti Harakeye, Head of HIV/AIDS, TB & OID Division Under the AU Department of Social Affairs.

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Diagnostics company Corgenix Medical Corp said on Thursday U.S. health regulators had approved its rapid Ebola test for emergency use, in response to the world’s worst outbreak of the virus that killed more than 10,000 so far.

The company’s ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, which involves putting a drop of blood on a paper strip and waiting for at least 15 minutes for a reaction, was cleared by the World Health Organization last week. Read more

Ebola

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Searching for a new way to attack Ebola, companies and academic researchers are now racing to develop faster and easier tests for determining whether someone has the disease.

Such tests might require only a few drops of blood rather than a test tube of it, and provide the answer on the spot, without having to send the sample to a laboratory.

The tests could be essential in West Africa, where it can take days for a sample to travel to one of the relatively few testing laboratories, leaving those suspected of having the disease in dangerous limbo.

Rapid tests might also be used to screen travelers at airports, providing a more definitive answer than taking their temperatures.

“There’s a great deal of interest in a technology that can screen large numbers of people from a finger prick in only a few minutes,” said Cary Gunn, chief executive of Genalyte, a company in San Diego that says its approach can do just that. “You can imagine testing an entire planeload of passengers and screening through them cost-effectively.” Read more