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Malaria kit wins top innovation award in South Africa

Author: Afrique Jet
Published Date: 5 November 2012

Cape Town, South Africa - An innovative and potentially life-saving malaria test kit developed by two young South Africans has won the top prize of 1 million Rand (US$115,000) in the South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation Social Innovation Awards. The award was presented to Ashley Uys and Lyndon Munger by business tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night. Uys and Munger's Malaria pf/PAN (pLDH) Test Kit is an innovative rapid medical diagnostic test kit that detects all strains of malaria while also indicating, within 30 minutes, whether the malaria treatment provided is effective.

The kit is one of only nine developed globally and the only one that is fully African-owned.

It costs just four Rand (US$0.4) per test, which makes reliable diagnosis feasible in low-income and poor rural areas.

The SAB Foundation's investment in the product will be used to up-scale the project and ensure it is distributed where it is needed, particularly in areas and countries where malaria diagnosis and treatment is a problem.

The second prize (500,000 Rand or US$57,000) went to the Funda organisation for its digital education platform that distributes curriculum specific matric resources to teachers and students in high schools on their mobile phones and computers.

The organisation is run by Kennedy Kitheka and Kumbirai Gundani from Cape Town.

In third-place, receiving a grant of 400 000 Rand (US$46,000), is iDes, an interactive Driver Education System owned by Thivash Moodley and Neo Kgaje.

iDes is a simulated driver training solution for learner and professional drivers that is affordable and ensures people pass their driving tests first time around.

The system is comprised of an e-learning application that immerses the learner into the theoretical content, bringing the subject matter to life.

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