A trio of researchers from Oxford University want to help African scientists in the quest to eradicate malaria. This is a project that needs people, time, equipment, and a vehicle to get all of that into the places where malaria is prevalent. This means areas such as Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. Land Rover have stepped up to assist with the sort of machine that can get folks in and out of the remote corners of these nations.
This is the Land Rover Discovery that’s been outfitted to become a major asset for the Mobile Malaria Project. A team led by Dr George Busby will use this Discovery to aid local scientists as they unlock the potential of genetic sequencing as it pertains to mosquito and parasite populations. Altering the genes of the billions of problem causers will one day allow antimalarial drugs to become highly effective in their role of controlling the disease.
Turning to SVO for help
Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations team haven’t simply fitted this Disco for mild overlanding, mind you. The main optional extra fitted here is a mobile genetic sequencing laboratory. There’s a fridge and freezer unit for storing samples. A bespoke frame system allows for clean storage of the myriad other cases and equipment also along for the journey.
What’s on board?
Here’s the full rundown of everything that SVO has tossed at this Discovery:
- Comms and Nav
- Satellite Phone
- Roof antenna w/ cutoff switch
- Cupholder dock for iPhone
- Garmin GPS
- Tracks4Africa Maps
- iPad and accessory mounts for machine controllers
- Integrated fridge/freezer
- Straps for extra security
- Pelican-style cases for computers and other equipment
- Off-road bits
- Land Rover coil suspension jacking kit
- Maxtrax recovery boards
- Inflatable bag for soft-surface recovery
- Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires
- Wire rope hoist recovery kit
- Roof rack with waterproof USB charging outlets
- Powder fire extinguisher
- Safety film on the glass
- Fuel and water jerry cans
- Spotlights at each corner
- Light bar
- Side awnings
- Fire suppression system
This Discovery is loaded to the gills, and ready to take on anything that Africa can throw its way. Hopefully some of the off-road items find their way on standard Land Rover order forms. No, not the mobile DNA sequencing lab… that’s more of a Rolls-Royce Cullinan owner sort of thing .
Good luck to all of the scientists involved on this research trip. Props to Land Rover for supporting it. Hopefully, this is a strong step forward in fighting the terrible scourge that is malaria. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015 there were 214 million new cases of malaria. It can be beaten though, as Paraguay did back in 2018. It’s possible to eradicate this disease and lots of people are joining in the fight.
This plucky Land Rover Discovery now part of battle.