Our ambition to eradicate malaria through developing SALVA!, the world’s first saliva-based rapid diagnostic test has moved a step closer after winning the 2019 Africa Challenge and a 3,000 EUR funding prize.

This has also allowed us to book a ticket to the Paris Global Summit in March 2020, where we will pitch again against 1,000 fellow start-ups from across the world in front of 300 investors and international media for the opportunity to receive 100,000 EUR.

We saw off competition from 5,000 applicants from across Africa to win the Hello Tomorrow Africa Challenge award; this announcement came at the AfricArena conference in Cape Town, which brought together tech start-ups from all over Africa.

SALVA! detects the Plasmodium parasite which causes malaria through a saliva sample, as opposed to blood tests currently being used. This is the first of its kind in the world.

The test provides results in as little as 20 minutes, removing the need to take blood, and samples to be sent for external analysis. The device can be easily transported and used at schools or other community facilities by teachers and parents alike.

Announcing the results of the Africa Challenge, the panel of judges praised our ambitions by saying our “fight to end malaria has inspired many. Huge congratulations.”

Our founder Benji Pretorius, who himself contracted malaria, said: “It is such an honour to be named the winner of the Africa Challenge, and our sincere thanks go to Hello Tomorrow and AfricArena for selecting us. As someone who has survived malaria myself, it gives me great pride to be involved in the fight to make the world malaria-free; this funding is a great stride forward and will be essential for us to take SALVA!’s development one step further.

The 3,000 EUR grant comes off the back of obtaining further funding from the Japan-based Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) fund and a significant grant from South African mining corporation, the De Beers Group; all of which is essential for taking the SALVA! test through to commercialisation.

SALVA! is a collaboration between us, clinical research work carried out by Dr Rhoel Dinglasan, Oasis Diagnostics and Fusion Antibodies.

Further information about Hello Tomorrow is available here.

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