Malaria is expected to be eliminated by 2040

World health experts consider that a malaria free world is possible within a generation. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report “Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030”, by 2020, six countries in Africa are already expected to be malaria-free: Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, South Africa and Swaziland.

Since 2000 great progress has been made around the globe, driven by the technological progress made by eliminating countries, donors, partners and the private sector. The WHO report states that the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, regular bug spraying inside houses and rapid diagnostic testing, such as RDT and xRapid-Malaria, have led to a rapid decline of the infection rates.

Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, the retired assistant director-general for malaria at WHO said it was crucial that the African continent took advantage of the technological opportunities now present to fight and eradicate the disease. Doctor Pedro Alonso, director of Global Malaria Programme at WHO added: “New technologies must go hand with strong political and financial commitment”.

Malaria is a preventable disease. Technological tools such as the automated diagnostic app helps people find it, track it and eliminate it.

 

Source: http://www.shrinkingthemalariamap.org/

Click on the picture to see the evolution over time, from 1900 to 2040.

A look back at 9 months of xRapid in Papua Indonesia

For the past nine months, xRapid has been assisting two health workers in their daily work life in Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia. Due to the hot humid climate, the island is endemic to malaria. The whole population has been affected by the Plasmodiumparasite, mainly vivax and few falciparum.

In order to fight this deadly disease, these health workers have reached us through our Indiegogo campaign “End Malaria on Bangka Island, Indonesia” back in 2015. Shortly after, in November, they received a protocol training in Jakarta with xRapid’s CTO Professor David Mendels and started diagnosing patients two months later.

Early diagnosis is the gateway for effective malaria treatment, and thanks to xRapid the nurse was able to save a three days old baby. The newborn wasn’t feeling well, could not eat and had a fever. Even though it is unlikely that babies are born with malaria, the nurse still decided to test her with the automated diagnostic app and the result was positive. Without xRapid, the little girl wouldn’t be alive today.

Being able to use xRapid to know if malaria is involved helps relieve some of my stress when trying to treat patients with limited diagnostic resources, plus appropriate treatment can be given.” – Nurse

As early adopters these health workers helped us adapt our protocol to harsh conditions. “The nurse doesn’t have access to many medical consumables, thanks to her we discovered that we can make the hemolysis with just water instead of the Saponin solution. The slides are less clear of course, but the app can still run and identify the parasites.” – Pr David Mendels, xRapid’s CTO.

We hope that these health workers keep saving many other lives.

xRapid-Lab: A revolution in automated slides counting

Imagine counting 1.000 RBCs, all the young rings, the trophozoites and the schizonts in less than a minute.

Several researchers have requested a system similar to xRapid to characterise their cultures of Plasmodium – a tedious, cumbersome and repetitive task. We are happy to bring them xRapid-Lab, a natural extension of our app xRapid-Malaria, tuned to their needs.

Using a system of pattern recognition, xRapid-Lab can count all the red blood cells and parasites of all stages faster than a human eye. The xRapid automated counter captures and analyses images from thin blood slides giving, in less than 2 minutes, a detail report for each of the samples tested. xRapid-Lab offers an easy way to track a synchronous or an asynchronous cultures.

« Specifically, we had to go back to our AI engine and improve it for the detection of stages of development of the Plasmodium parasite rarely seen in patients blood (schizonts of p. Falciparum come to mind). I find it very exciting, as we are learning a lot from those special cases, and will be able to feedback that expertise at counting to better our diagnostic tool in the near future. » – Pr Mendels, xRapid’s CTO.

 

Contact the sales team for your free trial of xRapid-Lab: sales@xrapid.com

 

Hopes for a malaria vaccine are still up

New weapons are arriving to aid the fight against malaria, among them a vaccine that could eventually protect millions from infection.

After 30 years of development by GlaxoSmithKline, the Mosquirix vaccine, also known as RTS,S, was endorsed last year by the European drugs regulator and the World Health Organization (WHO). The data from the clinical trial show that malaria cases were reduced by between a third and a half in children aged 5 to 17 months which is lower than other vaccines.

Even if the first generation vaccine did not reach its full potential, WHO stays positive. The organization insures that the vaccine could prevent up to 700 deaths per 100,000 vaccinations amounting to a “significant health impact”. In order to test RTS,S in real life conditions, WHO has ordered 5 pilot programs to take place in Sub-saharan Africa.

xRapid, the mHealth App, has followed with interest the development of this vaccine. Jean Viry-Babel, xRapid’s CEO is “thrilled by the progress of RTS,S. Our fast, accurate and inexpensive diagnostic app is the perfect companion for the deployment of this first parasitic vaccine as we can provide blanket diagnostic at very low cost and very high accuracy virtually everywhere ».

More so because the xRapid malaria diagnostic has geolocation capability, and « we have always seen it as an enabler for targeted vaccination campaigns.Current vaccines have a peak efficiency of 6 months. Combining RTS,S with first hand knowledge of the seasonality and type of malaria could really optimize its effects » – Professor David Mendels, xRapid’s CTO.