TechInAfrica – South African startup Erada has received a €288,000 grant from De Beers Group, a London-based mining company, for the startup’s creation of SALVA!. Clinically referred to as Saliva-based Malaria Asymptomatic and Asexual Rapid Test (SMAART), the saliva-based malaria test is set to be commercialized and distributed two years from now, in 2020. For now, the test is still on the field trials phase and will meet the World Health Organization (WHO)’s 2030 mission on reducing the pandemic and mortality rates by 90%.
Erada has pioneered innovative and fast diagnostic solutions. With SALVA!, the startup plans to use it as a major solution on accurate diagnostic tests and surveillance of malaria, and more importantly, preventing the disease from occurring.
In Africa, the curable disease has recorded 92% malaria cases and 93% deaths resulting from it, and there were about 87 countries with reported 435000 deaths and 219 million cases in 2017. Its life-threatening effect, transmitted within a bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, views the disease as a global concern, with Africa included.
Erada Alliance’s founder released a statement, in which Dr. Benji Pretorius said the grant will help Erada complete all the preparatory work before the field/clinical launch and commercialization of the product.
Mining cooperation operational in South Africa, Botswana, Canada, and Namibia, the mining company De Beers Group had a long history of being involved with community ad health projects supports. Gerrie Nortie, the General Manager of De Beers Group’s Venetia Diamond Mine in South Africa said that the funding was in a bid to combat unique challenges encountered during the mining and exploration. The investment, as he noted, will deliver impact for the African lives, as the endemic disease is prevalent in the country.
Nortie expressed satisfaction over the pivotal part of eradicating the most pervasive and destructive disease on the planet that the company is taking.