FROM WASTE BOTTLE TO EFFECTIVE HEALTH CARE: MANUFACTURING LOW COST MICROSCOPES FOR THE TELE-MICROSCOPY DIAGNOSIS
Rongo University is part of a multi-university team that has been awarded a three-year grant from the National Research Fund to investigate and pilot a Waste to Healthcare Value Chain. Led by University of Nairobi’s Dr. Richard Ayah (Director of the Science and Technology Park and a member of the School of Public Health)
The project manufacturing value chain shall be based at the Science and Technology Park as per the figure below. Waste plastic bottles are collection, cleaning and shredding to standard size chips that are will then be passed into an extruder to produce a constant diameter plastic filament. This will form the input raw material for the 3-dimensional rapid-prototyping printer used to manufacture the core microscope components. The plastic microscope casings shall be integrated with purchased lens and supporting electronics to produce low cost, high resolution digital microscopes that shall be distributed to medical facilities in malarial prone areas.
Leveraging ICT in health provision is a cornerstone of the Kenya National eHealth Strategy Policy Paper 2012-2017, that seeks to “identify solutions that will effectively improve health delivery through execution of strategies that can close the health delivery gaps.” Digitally magnified images of blood sample slides shall be collected for remote diagnosis, overcoming current barriers to accurate routine malaria diagnosis. Different approaches shall be explored using software-based algorithms to automatically detect the malarial parasites. The low cost of the microscopes shall make them readily available across the country. The ability to electronically transmit the images to and from remote technicians will significantly contribute to providing universal healthcare in the country, which is a key priority of the Government.
Other members of the research team are Prof. Madara Ogot and Dr. Thomas Ochuku from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Florence Muindi from the School of Business, University of Nairobi, collaborating with Prof. George Mark Onyango from Maseno University, Dr. Esther Mungai from the Technical University of Kenya, and Nixon Amuomo from Rongo University.
WASTE BOTTLE MICROSCOPE TELE-MICROSCOPY DIAGNOSIS HEALTH CARE