Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Inventor develops anti-malaria wristwatch

A South African inventor has developed an anti-malaria wristwatch to help combat one of Africa's biggest killers by monitoring the blood of those who wear it and sounding an alarm when the parasite is detected.

Gervan Lubbe said his "Malaria Monitor" wristwatch, due to launch next month, could save lives and keep millions out of hospital by heading off the disease before patients even feel ill.

"It picks up the parasite and destroys it so early that the possibility of dying is absolutely zero and you don't even feel the early cold symptoms," Lubbe told Reuters in a telephone interview this week.

Malaria, caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes, kills more than a million people every year and makes 300 million seriously ill, according to the
World Health Organization. Ninety percent of deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa.

The sturdy digital timepiece pricks the wrist with a tiny needle four times a day and tests the blood for malaria parasites.


No comments: