Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mobile assistance for AIDS patients in South Africa

10.01.2012
The first mobile safety laboratory to operate under Biosafety Level 3 has been in use in South Africa since May 2011. As development of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering in St. Ingbert, this special truck is used for testing and advising patients with AIDS and tuberculosis. The mobile laboratory can save patients' lives in remote areas because it cuts the waiting time between diagnosis and the start of treatment to just one day.

30 years ago, in June 1981, two doctors, Michael Gottlieb and Wayne Sandera of the University of California in Los Angeles, described the very first AIDS cases – and yet they had no idea that this newly described disease was caused by a virus and how this virus would spread and the impact it would have.

According to estimates by UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), at the end of 2010, 34 million people in the world were living with HIV; some 5.6 million of these live in South Africa (2009). This makes South Africa the country with the fastest rate of spreading.

Given this fact, a mobile lab may seem like a drop in the ocean, but in fact it is closing a wide gap in patient care. In Africa, the distances are often very far and arduous and the poverty so severe that people quite simply cannot afford to miss two days' of work to take an HIV test. Up until now, ordinarily a patient would have a blood sample taken at the nearest hospital. From there, the sample would be transported to a central laboratory.

To obtain the results - some 14 days later – the patient would then have to return to the hospital.. "For many people, this is nearly impossible to accomplish organizationally," observes Professor Hagen von Briesen, research director for the Mobile-Lab project. "It also costs people valuable time during which treatment could have begun. An increasing viral load means that the need for action is acute."

The team at IBMT spent five years developing the AIDS truck. Working with a company for special vehicle design, the approval was obtained for this safety laboratory on wheels, which was finally brought to South Africa's West Cape region.

The samples are tested in the rear section of the mobile lab, so the vehicle had to satisfy the requirements for Biosafety Level S3. Anyone wishing to access the testing area must first pass through an isolation sluice. Here, air intake and exhaust passes through filters to protect staff, patients and the environment. The team has also provided a way to grow cell cultures if need be – a process that can take up to three weeks.

The vessels filled with fluid are placed in a device attached to the ceiling of the mobile lab. This keeps the vessels in a horizontal position even when the lab is cornering and climbing, braking or moving off. The lab has even been fitted with an autoclave that can sterilize objects using a self-contained water-circulation system.

Prof. Dr. Hagen Briesen | Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2011/november/mobile-assistance-for-aids-patients-in-south-africa.html

Further reports about: Africa Aids Biosafety HIV Mobile assistance mobile safety laboratory

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>