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Test To Properly Diagnose Fever In Children Needed 'Desperately'

“[F]ar too many children in Kenya and other African countries continue to suffer unnecessarily each year due to the misdiagnosis of fever, which contributes to the deaths of nearly three million children of less than five years of age from malaria and pneumonia,” Willis Akhwale, head of Kenya’s Department of Disease Prevention and Control in the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, writes in a Daily Nation opinion piece, saying that health care workers “desperately need a test that can quickly and accurately identify and distinguish between fever-causing diseases.”

Akhwale discusses the BIO Ventures for Global Health Innovation Quotient Prize, or IQ Prize, a competition to develop a “low-cost, portable, and simple” test for fever diagnosis that “would enable us to provide children with proper drugs, ensure we are not wasting resources on inappropriate treatments, and, in many cases, it could be the difference between life and death.” He concludes, “Every child who suffers or dies because a doctor could not reliably detect the illness is one child too many and, at this age of technological advancement, regrettable” (9/18).