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A Point-of-Care Test for Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)

Jesse Gitaka of Mount Kenya University in Kenya will develop a diagnostic device for iron deficiency anemia that is suitable for resource-limited settings. Iron deficiency anemia can cause maternal death, prematurity and stunting. Current diagnostic tests require expensive equipment or are not specific enough to distinguish between the different causes of anemia. They will develop a device that detects the low levels of hemoglobin found in immature red blood cells, called reticulocytes. The device will use magnetic beads and microfluidics to physically separate reticulocytes from whole blood, and then absorbance to measure the red color of hemoglobin and thereby determine levels. They will use samples from healthy donors to develop algorithms that can calculate the amount of hemoglobin per reticulocyte to provide an accurate diagnosis.

More information about 2020 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting Call-to-Action

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.