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L3R 8G6

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Malaria breath test on the horizon

American researchers are hopeful about the success of a future breathalyzer test for malaria

ST. LOUIS — Breath tests for malaria may soon replace expensive blood tests.

“A malaria breathalyzer, in a rural context, would be tremendous. Especially [in] places where HIV is common, and there's a lot of fear surrounding blood and needles,” Indi Trehan, a Washington University pediatrician who led the breath-collection portion of a study about the tool, is quoted as saying in Iowa-based Wired magazine.

The breathalyzer in development would be a cheaper diagnostic tool than a blood test, and it would not require trained professionals to administer. It would help to determine which children really need malaria treatment, saving anti-malaria prescriptions.

Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria, which killed an estimated 429,000 people in 2015, reports the World Health Organization, noting that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 92 percent of malaria deaths.

While the test is still in development, and beyond, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada recognizes the importance of mosquito nets to help prevent the spread of mosquito-born illnesses, like malaria. To learn more, visit ccfcanada.ca.

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About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:

Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 55 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, donors and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members.