January 31-February 2nd 2019, Chennai, India
7 February 2019: Dr Benji Pretorius, Founder and Managing Director of ERADA Technology Alliance (ERADA), presented news of a ground breaking non-invasive, saliva-based rapid diagnostic test for malaria, to a global audience of dental and medical clinicians, attending the first International Saliva Symposium of India (SALSI), hosted by Saveetha Dental College, Chennai, last week.
SALSI’s vision is to promote a holistic approach to delivering healthcare and to “explore the ‘WHY’ behind health and disease.” Dr Pretorius outlined the exciting and innovative research led by Professor Rhoel Dinglasan, at the University of Florida, Emerging Pathogens Laboratory, and recently published in Science Translational Medicine, that has resulted in the discovery of a new ‘SMAART’ saliva-based diagnostic technology and test now being developed by ERADA.
The new saliva-based test has the ability to accurately detect the malaria parasite at low levels of infection in people who show no clinical symptoms. This ground-breaking new test also has the advantage of being non-invasive and easy-to-use as it requires a simple device developed by Oasis Diagnostics Corporation for the standardized collection of salvia that can be implemented in the community, schools and at home without the need of trained clinical staff.
Malaria remains a fact of life for billions of people and globally there were 266,000 estimated deaths among children in 2017, and 30 children under 5 years die every hour. Dr Pretorius said; “Every child deserves to celebrate its 5th Birthday and ERADA’s vision is to bring to market the new SMAART diagnostic tool, as quickly as possible, to save thousands of lives in the future.”
Dr Pretorius was also honoured during a prestigious evening event hosted by Professor S.M Balaji at his Dental and Craniofacial hospital, to meet Dr. Vimala, Dean of the Government Dental Institute. The deans of all private dental schools and colleges, were also present during this evening.
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