Magazine article New Internationalist

Reasons to Be Cheerful

Magazine article New Internationalist

Reasons to Be Cheerful

Article excerpt

A hand-held ultrasound

Ugandan students have devised a gadget that can scan women's wombs and detect problems such as ectopic pregnancy or abnormal foetal heartbeats. The ultrasound is carried out via a smartphone wired up to a funnel-shaped pinard horn (left), which is pressed against the abdomen. The WinSenga phone app then interprets the sounds and display data on the baby's age, weight and position. It's hoped that this invention will significantly cut maternal deaths. And with equipment costs at just $6 (plus a smartphone) it's far cheaper - and more mobile - than standard ultrasound machines, which come in at a whopping $13,000. allafrica.com

Speedier action on malaria

Researchers say that the process of turning malarial research into practical prevention is moving faster than a mosquito in a nudist camp. It used to take up to a decade before malaria research would be turned into results on the ground, as interventions need the World Health Organization's (WHO) seal of approval before governments will implement them - a notoriously slow process. For instance, it took years of medical tests on insecticide-treated bed nets before they finally gained the WHO's endorsement in 2007. …

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