In the city of Vishakhpatnam, one can find beautiful coastlines, wildlife sanctuaries and a serene natural harbour. Known as a very clean city, it embraces rich layers of historical significance and has been labeled “the jewel of the East coast”.

However, the district at large still suffers from several areas that are classified as malaria endemic zones. Patients can be misdiagnosed, resulting in unrelated prescriptions, unnecessarily prolonged distress and sometimes fatality.

There is a project that has begun to resolve this, saving many lives and expanding with the intention of someday covering all of the endemic zones of India. For example, the xRapid Malaria Project has been implemented in rural regions of Visakhapatnam, such as Andhra Pradesh, with the aid of our partners, Mani Amma Chaitanya Shrivanthi (MACS) health centre. They are now testing hundreds of new patients each month.

xRapid was developed to be progressive, effective and user-friendly in both laboratory and field examinations for detecting patients who are afflicted with malaria. It delivers on this intention by being the fastest and most accurate detection method that is currently accessible.

It is also the first commercially available app system that diagnoses a major disease, supported by Apple. The app, in turn, enables concise predictions on future outbreaks, which is crucial in reducing case numbers as diagnosed counts have often been miscalculated in the past for a number of reasons.

The accuracy rates are at a minimum of 98%, and the app system can read both thick and thin blood slides at the touch of a button in just minutes. Equipment, which is sophisticated but minimal, easily copes with harsh climates and hot temperatures. Most importantly, xRapid is the most cost-effective detection method available on the global market.

In one case study, Kavadam Nagamani of Paderu Village tested negative for malaria by the government hospital. Her symptoms showed no signs of improvement for days. She was then tested instead with xRapid’s diagnostic tool, which detected malaria. She was cured in just three days after this, being dispensed the proper medicine.

Villages are gradually gaining access to reliable power sources such as solar microgrids, that are necessary for xRapid equipment use. Trained paramedics are then hired to conduct good quality smears that save many lives. The success rate builds the trust of communities and increases awareness in a positive manner.

Predictions calculate that India suffers from as many as 200000 deaths annually from malaria. Equipped with these modern, efficient technologies, however, these numbers continue to fall. Faster, more accurate diagnoses are giving rural villages a fighting chance against this deadly disease.

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