Land Rover is working with the Mobile Malaria Project, winners of the 2018 Land Rover Bursary in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), as it heads to sub-Saharan Africa to embark on a unique eight-week journey of Discovery.
- Land Rover Bursary awarded to the ‘Mobile Malaria Project’
- Driving a modified Land Rover Discovery, the eight-week expedition will travel through Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya
- Land Rover Bursary is awarded annually in association with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) – Land Rover’s longest standing humanitarian and conservation partner
- Oxford University researchers with portable laboratory equipment will work with African scientists to learn about the challenges facing malaria research and investigate the potential of portable DNA sequencing technology
- Project vehicle enhanced by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations in celebration of 30 years of Discovery as the most capable full-sized premium SUV
Land Rover has been engineering vehicles capable of tackling the toughest terrain around the world for more than 70 years. Now it is working with the Mobile Malaria Project, winners of the 2018 Land Rover Bursary in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), as it heads to sub-Saharan Africa to embark on a unique eight-week journey of Discovery.
Made up of three Oxford University researchers, led by Dr George Busby, the Mobile Malaria Project will travel more than 6,300km across Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. Driving a specially-modified Land Rover Discovery, they will investigate the challenges facing those on the front line of malaria control in Africa – where 90 per cent of the world’s cases occurs.
Designed and developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the Discovery is equipped with a mobile genetic sequencing laboratory that makes full use of the vehicle’s 1,137-litre load space. Not only does it feature a fridge/freezer unit to safely store scientific supplies, but there is also a bespoke load space configuration frame system with specially-designed storage equipment cases and an onboard expedition battery.
The exterior comes with bespoke additions too, including a purpose-built dual sun awning, rescue equipment, a winch, sand/mud tracks, expedition roof rack and LED night driving lamps.
These modifications will allow the team to trial portable DNA sequencing technology, in collaboration with African research centres, to better understand how the technology can be used in different locations. This will provide important information about malaria parasite and mosquito populations, including drug and insecticide resistance.
The expedition group has also teamed up with another of Land Rover’s global humanitarian partners, what3words, to accurately plan their route, navigate on the ground and document their findings in real-time.
The Mobile Malaria Project will depart the UK on 22 March to begin its eight-week expedition. More information about the journey can be found on the Mobile Malaria Project website: https://mobilemalaria.com/