June 4, 2012
Soda Cooler Helps Fight Tuberculosis?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) - An estimated 5,000 people die from tuberculosis every day. That´s 1.8 million people annually. Even though TB is largely controlled in the industrialized world, it remains a persistent killer in most of Africa, as well as parts of Asia and South America.
Unfortunately, the fight against TB has been slowed down due to multi-drug resistant strains of the disease. There are two main reasons for this. First, the drugs used to treat the disease must be kept at a controlled low temperature - in places where electricity is unreliable. Second, the drugs must be taken regularly, requiring constant monitoring by health care workers.
At present, since many of the patients entering treatment lack access to refrigerators, they are instead provided with coolers requiring daily deliveries of ice; their compliance with the dosage regime is checked regularly by visiting health workers. Those constraints severely limit the number of patients who can be treated, lab instructor; Jose GÃ³mez-MÃ¡rquez was quoted as saying. The daily ice deliveries cost $600 a year – about double the cost of the CoolComply system.
The CoolComply team won a $100,000 award last fall as a Vodaphone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project, as well as a $50,000 grant from the Harvard Catalyst. The awards will see the project through initial development and testing.
Source: MIT's D-Lab May 2012