Matibabu Malaria testing kit from Makerere University wins at international technology innovations contest as this year’s higher education solutions network (HESN) contest. This contest was during the TechCon conference that took place in Williamsburg, Virginia, US. This is the second time this team of developers wins at such contests. Earlier this year, they won at the Microsoft imagine cup finals in Russia.
The international technology innovations contest, launched in 2012 and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), saw a group of young university innovators from seven universities from around the world compete in the contest.
Those that took part in the contest were the University of California, Barkley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University and The College of William and Mary’s AidData Centre for Development Policy. The others were Texas A&M University and the Michigan State University.
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Makerere under Matibabu was the only African university selected to participate in the innovations contest and won after showcasing the digital diagnoses malaria kit without having to prick the patient for their blood sample.
Matibabu and Water4lyf, a mobile-based water-testing kit that assesses water quality, maps visualisation of clean and safe water as well as assessing water infrastructure after disasters, were the only two which were submitted by the university.
The Matibabu application qualified for round two, facing competition from entries from The College of William and Mary’s AidData Centre for Development Policy, University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University, which were also shortlisted after round one. Round two involved an international panel of judges grilling the four teams after which Makerere University emerged winner.
Makerere won, followed by the College of William and Mary’s AidData Centre for Development Policy, University of California, Barkley and then Duke University.
The team behind the winning Matibabu innovation comprised Brian Gitta, Josiah Kavuma and Joseph Businge, all second-year students from the College of Computing and Information Sciences. The others were Simon Lubambo and Alvin Kabwama from the college of engineering, design, art and technology.