Africa Stories July 29, 2014

Crowd-funding project aims to use iPhone kit to “eradicate malaria from an entire Indonesian island”

A crowd-funded project aims to use an iPhone-based malaria diagnosis kit to detect and treat the disease on the Indonesian island of Bangka. The team believes that early detection and treatment can enable the complete eradication of the disease from the island, and pave the way for larger-scale roll-outs in Africa.

We want to prove that we can have a significant effect on malaria case management throughout one of these regions. The first study of this kind will take place on Bangka Island in Indonesia. With this study, we have set ourselves the goal of eradicating malaria from the entirety of Bangka Island during malaria high season.

The IanXen RAPID kit comprises an iPhone with portable microscope attachment, blood slides and lancet pen. A blood drop is placed on the slide, examined through the microscope by an app with the result available within five seconds.

By enabling diagnosis to be carried out with fully portable kit and at a much lower cost than conventional equipment, IanXen hopes that it will be deployed much more widely.

3.3 billion people live at risk of malaria across 106 malaria-endemic countries. Although the risk is widespread, cases and deaths are concentrated in Africa. In 2010, over 80% of 216 million estimated cases and over 90% of 655,000 estimated deaths occurred in Africa.

Prompt diagnosis and effective treatment are the cornerstones of malaria case management; patients recover rapidly if diagnosed and treated early.

A donation of £5 ($8.50) helps fund the project and gets you a mention in the project’s twitter feed, with higher donation levels available.

Africa Stories February 19, 2014

Square and (RED) team up for special edition card reader to fight AIDS

Mobile payments company Square is teaming up with Bono’s Product RED organization for a special edition credit card reader that benefits charity. Square has become one of the leaders in processing credit card payments on mobile devices with a small credit card reader available for iPhone and iPad as well as point-of-sale software and hardware kits for merchants. The special SQUA(RED) Reader will be available for a $10 donation with 97.25% of the amount going directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Customers swiping their cards will also get the opportunity to donate through a link on their emailed receipts:

The impact doesn’t end there. When you swipe (RED), your customers can donate right from their emailed receipts to help deliver an AIDS FREE GENERATION. Every swipe can make a difference.

Last year the official (Product) RED Twitter account revealed that Apple’s contributions to the charity had reached $65 million, making it the largest contributor out of all participating companies. Apple currently sells red versions of the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch, iPad Smart Cover, and iPhone 4S bumper under the (PRODUCT)RED branding and donates a portion of profits to the charity. Most recently, Apple design guru Jony Ive and designer friend Marc Newson teamed up to assemble a one-of-a-kind collection to auction off for the charity.

Africa Stories February 20, 2013

Report: Apple snags Rolls Royce exec to strengthen corporate communications for EMEIA

According to a report from PRWeek, Apple has strengthened its European communications team with the hiring of Rolls-Royce’s director of external comms Josh Rosenstock in a newly created executive position. The report claimed sources close to the situation said the hire was based on “Apple’s desire to grow its corporate affairs capabilities as it becomes increasingly drawn into global regulatory and political issues.” Rosenstock will reportedly join the company in the coming weeks as the Director of Corporate Comms for the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) and report to Apple Senior Director of Corporate Comms for EMEIA Alan Hely.

One source with knowledge of the move said the ‘heavyweight’ hire was a reflection of Apple’s desire to grow its corporate affairs capabilities as it becomes increasingly drawn into global regulatory and political issues… Another senior comms source added: ‘This is an acknowledgement from Apple there’s a need for wider horsepower when it comes to links with Whitehall stakeholders. ‘As Apple becomes an institution in its own right it needs to upskill in this area.’… It is thought Rosenstock will report to Alan Hely, senior director, corporate comms, EMEIA, Apple Europe.

Apple and Rolls-Royce declined to comment on the report.

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