Gambian girl working on device that could detect diseases including malaria

A Gambian civil engineering student in Canada is working on a 3-D printed device that can transform a smartphone into a microscope for disease detection.

Fatou Secka, a student at Dalhousie University, disclosed she is developing the clip-on device to save lives in The Gambia, where many are still dying from curable diseases.

“It’s easy for someone to use this microscope. All you have to do is train them. So someone that did not have the privilege to go to school can acquire a skill by just being trained,” she said in a YouTube video.

The budding civil engineer has already tested her inexpensive and accessible device in the country, and she is excited about how it would help Gambians as the technology becomes more refined.

Fatou was recently invited at a Canadian event in Halifax, Nova Scotia to present her research to a crowd of over 700.

One Graham Gagnon from Dalhouse University was among the first to congratulate her on Twitter. He wrote: “So proud of Fatou!! Remarkable student that is making a difference.”

Tara Wickwire of National Atlantic also commented: “Excited to see our guest presenter Fatou Secka rock the stage and share her research.”

The young Gambia said she wants to inspire more young women to enter the STEM field.


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