Kampala — Makerere University College of Health Sciences on behalf of the East African Community is to receive a grant of $500,000(Shs1.2b) for three years from Grand Challenges Canada and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide information for the development of diagnostic devices and a Geographical Information System (GIS).
Dr Achilles Katamba, the project lead researcher at the college, said the project aims at ensuring that scientists and engineers develop medical devices according to the needs of East Africa. They will also create a GIS tool to help public health leaders in the region decide where new medical devices can be placed to have the most impact.
Initially, diagnostic devices were first availed to national hospitals and referrals while health centres were considered last. Ms Milly Nattimba, the communication officer of College of Health Sciences, said the machines are manufactured in countries such as China, US, India and South Africa.
However, some of them are not suitable for the African whether condition as was the case with the CD4 count machines which required cold and dust free areas. They broke down after a short time. The machine and devices are expected in the country by the end of 2014.