Lumenda

Team Members: Julius Mugaga, Sidney Perkins, Solomon Oshabaheebwa, Lizzette Delgadillo, Bryan Louie, Priya Medberry

School: Makerere University

In developing countries, the cost to diagnose meningitis remains high and therefore many neonates are denied quality healthcare. Approximately 126,000 cases of neonatal bacterial meningitis occur every year in low income countries of which 25–50% develop brain damage and about 40-58% of patients die. The gold standard for diagnosing neonatal bacterial meningitis is a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture. Lumenda provides an accurate and rapid method of diagnosing bacterial meningitis in neonates in low-resource settings. It facilitates rapid intervention and avoids wasteful prophylactic administration of antibiotics by analyzing the optical properties of the CSF to rapidly detect bacterial meningitis at each point along this pathophysiology. The rationale behind the device stems from the clinical observation that CSF turns from clear to opaque when infected with bacterial meningitis.