Ayushi Chandaria with Moi Forces Academy boys when she visited to show them how to make flopscope worthy shs.200. ON 29/07/15 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Ayushi Chandaria with Moi Forces Academy boys when she visited to show them how to make flopscope worthy shs.200. ON 29/07/15 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

The microscope (foldscope) which costs less than Sh100 was launched by Manu Chandaria?s granddaughter, Ayushi Chandaria.

Foldscope has been described as a print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper.

It was developed by Manu Prakash, a Stanford University professor, and is applicable in health and science education.

Ayushi, 17, was selected to spearhead implementation of the diagnostic microscope across schools in Kenya under a mentorship prgramme, with Kariobangi North Girls Secondary School being the first beneficiary of the project.

Speaking at Kariobangi North Secondary School, Ayushi said the mentorship programme that currently targets secondary schools would soon be rolled out in universities.

?Students at Kariobangi North Girls and Moi Forces Academy schools are the first to be taught how to make and use the foldscope but I will also be visiting other schools,? she said.

According to her father, Neal Chandaria, the foldscope is portable and affordable and can be configured to diagnose diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis and Chagas ? all for under a dollar.

Remote villages

In a statement to newsrooms, Prakash said he came up with the idea for a foldscope during trips to India, Thailand, Uganda and Nigeria where he noticed that many of the remote villages had no access to conventional microscopes.

?I realised that to make a real impact, we needed to deliver a disease-detection instrument that could be distributed almost for free,? Prakash said.

Kariobangi Girls Secondary Principal Rhodah Ogaro lauded the initiative, saying it would aid the girls in their studies.

By Josphat Thiong?o, The Standard

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