SORA Malaria Control, the World’s First Solution Using Fixed-wing Drone Aerial Photography and AI, Selected by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and JTB for “Subsidy for J-Partnership Product/Service Development Support Project”.
SORA Technology, Inc. has announced its new solution “SORA Malaria Control” for combating mosquito-borne infectious diseases, especially malaria, that the development and demonstration project for this solution has been selected by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the JTB for the fiscal 2022 “J-Partnership Product and Service Development Support Project Subsidy” (hereafter referred to as the “J-Partnership Project”), on July 19, 2022.
In Sierra Leone, where SORA Technology is expanding its business, the infant and maternal mortality rate in the health sector is a pressing issue. Malaria, an endemic disease, is the leading cause of mortality among infants under the age of five and accounts for 50% of all outpatient visits for all ages, putting strong pressure on the country’s fragile healthcare system and financial base.
SORA Malaria Control” is a service that combines aerial imagery from SORA Technology’s proprietary fixed-wing drones with multiple AI technologies to find and control puddles that are high-risk and potential breeding grounds for malaria vector mosquito larvae in an ultra-efficient manner.
The malaria control method, which involves identifying water bodies where mosquito larvae are likely to breed and then spraying them with insecticides before they become adults, is known as Larval Source Management (LSM).
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the high effectiveness of LSM, along with Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITN) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), the labor-intensive nature of the process from puddle detection to insecticide spraying, as well as the high cost of insecticide consumption, have led to the need for more effective control methods. In contrast, aerial photography technology using fixed-wing drones, which can cover a wide area, greatly reduces the labor required to find puddles, while insecticide application limited to puddles with a high risk of larval reproduction makes it possible to implement LSM in a highly cost-effective manner.
The solution has already undergone field surveys and aerial photography tests using a multicopter, and development and verification will begin in earnest this summer based on the J-Partnership project. In addition, collaboration with several institutions is under consideration, including the University of N’Djarra in Sierra Leone and Institut Pasteur in France, with which MoUs have already been concluded.
SORA Technology aims to save the lives of the estimated 3.2 billion people at risk of malaria infection, not only in Sierra Leone but around the world, and thereby make a significant contribution to SDG 3.3 “Malaria elimination by 2030.
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