About the company
PAIN: Last year, Malaria killed 20, 691 persons in Kenya alone. Because malaria's symptoms often mimic other diseases, it is often under-diagnosed in areas where incidence is rare. Conversely, in endemic areas many people diagnosed with malaria may have the indicative parasite loads, but are in fact suffering from a different disease or condition. The presence of parasites doesn't necessarily indicate disease and many people in high-transmission areas learn to tolerate parasitemia.
Current Gold standards have their own limitation. Microscopy is labor intensive and the detection threshold is limited to good quality blood films, highly trained microscopists & high powered m’scopes. On the other hand, RDTs cannot provide a quantitative measure of parasitemia
OPPORTUNITY: Matibabu is a pocket-sized hardware device that uses combination of a beam of red-light and magnetism to detect malaria parasites in tissues. The technology has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of malaria because it is simple to use, non-invasive, low cost and highly sensitive way for rapidly screening hundreds of people per day. There is an opportunity to bring more partners on board who can help to further refine the product to a “market ready” state.
BUSINESS STRATEGY: Matibabu will target government as the main anchor customer segment. Based out of Makerere University, they have access to malaria geared donor community like Global Fund, USAID, Gates Foundation and PMI (President Malaria Initiative). Since 2008, PMI has procured and distributed over 300 microscopes, almost 12.6 million RDTs, and supported strengthening of diagnostics by training over 4,700 healthcare workers.
GLOBAL HEALTH IMPACT: In addition the fact that it does not require blood drawing devices means it can be used in primary care settings in very hard to reach and understaffed areas.