In 2018, approximately 405,000 people died of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A life-threatening disease caused by parasites transmitted to people via infected Anopheles mosquitoes, the World Health Organization (WHO) says Africa was home to 98% of the malaria cases reported in 2018, with Nigeria accounting for 27%.

In terms of malaria treatment, tests for malaria — especially rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) — have seen an uptick in usage. In 2017, 75% of the malaria tests done were RDTs, an increase from 40% in 2010.

However, individuals who suffer recurring cases seldom get checked out before taking treatment because of how expensive tests can be and also familiarity with the symptoms —  when this happens, treatments can become ineffective.

To subsidise costs of malaria diagnosis and treatment in Nigeria, Dr Ikpeme Neto returned to the country to build a healthtech startup after years of working in Ireland and New Zealand as an internal medicine physician.

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