Battling Pneumonia in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Early diagnosis is key when fighting disease. This fact is especially true in developing countries like Uganda where pneumonia kills up to 27 000 children every year. According to The Guardian ,an innovation by 24-year-old Ugandan graduate Brian Turyabagye could play a key role in changing the way we approach pneumonia treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Problem: Pneumonia kills 27,000 Ugandan children under the age of five every year. Most of these cases are due to pneumonia being misdiagnosed as malaria.
Uganda’s MamaOpe, a biomedical application for diagnosis and continuous monitoring of pneumonia patients has been declared winner of the 2017 Pitch@Palace competitions beating Kenya’s Kuza Automotive and Nigeria’s Tuteria. Established by the Duke of York less than three years ago, Pitch@Palace helps entrepreneurs to take their businesses to a global audience of influencers who can catapult it to the next level.Pitch@Palace has helped over 247 businesses grow, with some now enjoying huge global success.
Last week, Turyabagye Brian’s innovation, MamaOpe – a Pneumonia diagnosis kit, won the pitch@palace competition in the UK. This was on the back of the startup being named among five African inventions to look out for in 2017 by BBC. We thought it wise to get in touch with Brian to get a better understanding of MamaOpe, his team, future plans and his views about the Ugandan startup ecosystem. Brian is quite an interesting and informed fellow. The Guardian ,an innovation by 24-year-old Ugandan graduate Brian Turyabagye could play a key role in changing the way we approach pneumonia treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A team of Ugandan innovators have developed a smart kit called MamaOpe that can detect pneumonia early in children. It consists of a wearable and a mobile phone application both of which help in the diagnosis. The team comprises of Besufekad Shifferaw who is the lead technical developer, Brian Turyabagye, a telecoms engineer, Olivia Koburongo who is the project manager.
According to UNICEF, in Sub-Saharan Africa, pneumonia kills half a million children aged five and below every year; this accounts for half of all global deaths of children under five from pneumonia. But unlike HIV/AIDS and measles, pneumonia does not get the attention it needs to be prevented, managed, and treated. This despondent fact inspired a young Ugandan boy to become a beam of hope to thousands of kids who are left at the mercy of this disease, through the invention of a biochemical smart jacket, which detects pneumonia 3 to 4 times faster than the orthodox doctors’ detection. This life jacket, that will save thousands of children yearly, is called “Mamaope” or “Mother’s hope”, in tribute to the 27,000 Ugandan kids that lose their fight to Pneumonia yearly in Uganda.
Pneumonia is a common illness that affects millions of people each year.Pneumonia is usually diagnosed by looking at the patient's symptoms and past records.
It is commonly misdiagnosed with malaria, asthma and tuberculosis. These diseases have vital signs in common and there is need to clearly differentiate them. Lack of a clear differentiation between viral and bacterial pneumonia during diagnosis leads to wrong administration of drugs which creates resistance. Research shows that most lives are lost when the disease is under-estimated i.e. when its severity is not known.
MAMA-OPE is a biomedical application for early diagnosis and continuous monitoring of pneumonia patients. It derives its name from Olivia’s (team member) grandmother who lost the battle to pneumonia in June 2014. MAMA stands for mother and OPE denotes hope. The MAMA-OPE thus symbolizes “Hope for the Mother”. The vest specifically designed for children 0 to 5 years who are most prone to the disease.
MamaOpe is a kit that can aid health workers and practitioners to easily diagnose Pnemonia at a faster rate with increased accuracy.
The diagnosis process is standardised by the which displays a result hence making the kit user-friendly.
MamaOpe measures all the vital signs at once which potentially reduces the average diagnosis time.
It provides an option for patient data storage that can be used for tracking and monitoring of patient records.
Medical records can easily and safely be stored and shared using the power of the cloud.
They cheer us all the way and together we have a dream, a dream for Uganda, Africa and the whole world. At MamaOpe, team work is everything.
It's always good to get your feedback . Please drop us a message for more information.