Ugandan Innovator Shines in Nairobi Engineering Challenge

Brian Gitta, a Ugandan inventor must be head over heels after scooping a prize in the recently held ASME’s Innovation Showcase (ISHOW).

The show, in case you didn’t know, is a show designed by American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to help the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges.

It was also created to help entrepreneurs focused on hardware-led social innovations scale their solution to markets in need

Brian scooped one of the three grand gongs in Nairobi last week for his “Matibabu” device used to test for Malaria.

Of the ten finalists, three African inventors –from Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya – took home the Grand Prize in the second of three regional showcase events.

Brian’s noninvasive device uses custom-made hardware connected to a smartphone to aid easy diagnosis within households.

While death rates have fallen steadily over the past 15 years, malaria remains a significant life-threatening disease, and nearly half of the world’s population continues to be at risk, according to the World Health Organization.

By offering a cost-effective, early detection, non-invasive hardware solution, Brian’s innovation has managed to reduce the number of people affected and mitigates the severity of their symptoms, while cutting down the length of treatment and amount of medication needed.


ASME’s panel of judges was vastly impressed by Matibabu, for enhancing quality of life for populations in need.

“The unique solutions of our three African winners will radically transform and elevate the way their beneficiaries live, allowing them to thrive in ways that were previously impossible,” said K. Keith Roe, president of ASME.

“Their display of creativity and ingenuity, and that of their peers, fully embodies the spirit of the ISHOW and exemplifies the potential of tomorrow’s engineering problem-solvers and business leaders.”

Brian Gitta, and the other two winners will share $500,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, along with three other winners in Bangalore, India last April, and three more in Washington, DC over the coming weeks.

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