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Millennium Health Microscope

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This page has been archived, and will not be updated. The Millennium Health Microscope Foundation is still listed as a UK charity, but its website no longer exists. We have not been able to find evidence that the microscope is still available.

Pageant's main focus in The Gambia is education; helping students with their school fees, providing teaching resources and undertaking construction projects in schools. Sickness and poor living conditions also have a detrimental effect on a child's education, so Pageant involves itself with health and self sufficiency projects in village communities. Malaria is endemic in The Gambia, so Pageant has provided mosquito nets for villagers - one of the many 'gifts' available under Pageant's Ethical Gift Scheme. Pageant is also supporting a treatment for Malaria using the plant Artemisia Anamed.

On this page

Background Diagnosis and microscopes in developing countries
Millennium Health Microscope Outline of the new design
Fundraising How the microscope is being paid for
Updates Aug 2007 Oct 2007    
Further information Find out more about the MHM
Contact or Donate Contact the MHM Foundation or Donate Online


A vital part of the effective management of Malaria and other diseases is being able to precisely diagnose the disease so that appropriate treatment can be given. Diagnosis can be made by microscopic examinations of blood or other samples. In countries such as The Gambia there can be a significant delay while samples are sent to central laboratories, so there is a pressing need for a microscope that can be used in-situ for rapid diagnosis. Conventional microscopes are unsuited to use in field conditions, and are too expensive.

The McArthur microscope was launched in 1990. This is a fully functional microscope, with 'folded optics' to make it ultra-compact and readily portable. However, it is still a laboratory instrument and too expensive, even in its lower cost plastic version. The Meade Readiview pocket microscope was based on McArthur's work. It was designed in Cambridge and then manufactured in the USA. It is cheaper and more suited to field use, with magnifications up to 160x, but it is now only available second hand. The Trekker microscope is a further development, which is small, inexpensive, and very robust. Its low magnification (35x) makes it unsuitable for diagnostic work, though it is ideal for educational use, and is one of Pageant's Ethical Gifts.

The Millennium Health Microscope

the Millennium Health Microscope

The Millennium Health Microscope (MHM) has been conceived by much the same team responsible for the Readiview and Trekker, and a non-profit organisation, the Millennium Health Microscope Foundation, has been formed to handle its development and production.

The MHM will be as compact and rugged as the Trekker, but will have interchangeable objectives up to 100:1, standard RMS eyepieces, integral lighting and an indexing stage.

The target price in quantity production is 40.


The trustees of the MHM Foundation are currently trying to arrange funding. The immediate objective is to raise 12K, which should trigger 'matched funding' of 36K from an East of England Development Agency grant. The total of 48K will be sufficient to implement Stage 1, which aims to produce two or three 'Alpha' prototypes. These will be supplied to the WHO Schistosomiasis Centre in Africa for trials. On successful completion of these trials, approaches will be made to the Gates Foundation and others to raise much larger sums needed to put the microscope into full production with a view to donating them to developing countries.

So far the MHM Foundation has received pledges of 4000. This includes a donation of 1000 from Pageant. In return, the MHM Foundation will give Pageant between 10 and 20 microscopes, when they are in production. Pageant will distribute these in the up-country areas of The Gambia. A further 8000 is now required for Stage 1 to commence. The MHM Foundation are approaching businesses, local chambers of commerce etc. Individuals are asked to donate whatever they can afford, and an online donation link will be on this page shortly.

Latest News - 25 August 2007

We have just heard that the MHM Foundation has been awarded a 15,000 grant from the East of England Development Agency. With donations this brings the total raised so far to nearly 20,000.

Latest News - 3 October 2007

The MHM Foundation has made a start on developing the new microscope. They have raised another $10K from US donations, bringing the total raised so far to 23K. 15K funding has been guaranteed by the East of England Development Agency. This is based on the development of the microscope starting next month, with staged payments over nine months. This could result in the timeline becoming somewhat stretched. However, they have a meeting with the Wellcome Trust later this month where they hope to get a donation of 15K. If successful this will accelerate the development time.

Further Information

The Millennium Health Microscope Foundation have their own website, which gives a fuller description of the MHM Foundation, the microscope and the tropical diseases it will be used to diagnose.

There is a full but concise article "From the McArthur to the Millennium Health Microscope (MHM): Future Developments in Microscope Miniaturization for International Health", by Keith Dunning & J Russell Stothard, published in the March 2007 edition of Microscopy Today. The Editor of Microscopy Today has generously given us permission to make this available in PDF format. click this link 


Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963

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