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Africa

— Medical

Smartphone microscope scans blood for parasitic worms in minutes

By - May 7, 2015 3 Pictures

In Africa, the spread of parasitic worms known as Loa loa is seriously hindering the efforts of health care workers to cure particular rampant diseases. Though there are drugs available to treat both river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, if they are administered to a patient who also happens to also be infected with Loa loa the consequences can be lethal. This is complicated further by the inherent difficulties in screening for the worms, but a newly developed mobile phone microscope needing only a drop of blood to automatically detect the parasite promises to make things a whole lot simpler.

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New study shows Peek eye test app works like a pro

Peek, the smartphone eye test app designed to improve eyecare in remote areas, has been found to be as accurate as traditional methods. According to a study published last week, tests with the app carried out between December 2013 and March 2014 produced levels of accuracy that were on a par with paper-based charts and expensive illuminated vision boxes found in clinics.

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— Environment

Air Shepherd drones keep a watchful eye over endangered species

By - March 23, 2015 11 Pictures
For under-resourced park rangers patrolling the porous, poacher-friendly borders of Africa's national parks, conserving the ailing rhino and elephant populations is certainly a tall order. With tusks and horns only yielding more and more cash on black markets all across Asia, poaching numbers are on the rise and the future of local species hangs in the balance. But equipped with drones, big data and high-tech infrared cameras, one organization says it has the capabilities to start stemming the tide. Read More
— Environment

NASA takes climate change study to the air

By - January 8, 2015 1 Picture
With the goal of shedding more light on a number of Earth system processes whose effect on our climate is incompletely understood, NASA will this year launch five new airborne field campaigns. These studies will look at long-range air pollution, warming ocean waters, melting Greenland glaciers, greenhouse gas sources, fires in Africa and clouds over the Atlantic, with the captured data to complement satellite- and surface-based observations to help provide a better understanding of the interconnected systems that affect our climate and how it is changing. Read More
— Environment

Ethiopia’s Agriculture ministry rolls out specialized phone service for farmers

By - December 14, 2014 1 Picture
The Ethiopian government has rolled out a new phone service that farmers can call to get information on crops in their native languages. The 8028 service also “pushes” targeted information to people in certain areas. A press release from the government says that three million people have used the pilot project service since its inception in July. Read More
— Good Thinking

Off-grid kiosk brings education and internet to Nigeria

By - November 26, 2014 18 Pictures
In many parts of Africa, a lack of adequate infrastructure means that it's simply not practical to build a school and employ a teacher to give kids an education – but there are alternatives. The Hello Hub is a solar-powered kiosk that features two touchscreen computers loaded with educational software and an internet connection to help kids and adults learn and get online. The first Hello Hub kiosk was recently installed in Nigeria, and there are more planned for next year. Read More
— Computers

UNICEF updating Uganda's Digital Kiosk computing platform

By - August 26, 2014 2 Pictures
For the past couple of years, UNICEF Uganda and partners have been designing, developing, prototyping and rolling out youth-focused community computers that can operate on mains power where available, or solar-power in remote rural areas. Work has just finished on the design of the second generation Digital Kiosk, and the UK's fanless computer specialist Aleutia is now working on a new open source, low power computer system to squeeze into the table-topped repurposed oil drum that will become the Digital Drum. Read More
— Aircraft

AHRLAC: The first multi-platform military aircraft designed and built in Africa

By - August 14, 2014 15 Pictures
Claimed to be Africa’s first home-grown military aircraft, the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC), is designed to integrate a range of military and civilian support technologies in one multi-role package. Aimed at performing duties similar to both attack helicopters and reconnaissance planes, the AHRLAC is designed to carry surveillance equipment, weapons, radar and electronic warfare systems. Read More
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