There is a dire need to invest in intermediate care bridging from the resuscitative efforts in the Emergency Departments and the supportive care offered by the intensive care units in Uganda. There is a high prevalence of missed opportunities for patients requiring advanced ventilatory support in ICUs at Emergency Units. This is due to there being only 55 Intensive Care beds with Mechanical Ventilators for a population of close to 40 million in Uganda. The Automated Ambu Bag System (AABS) is designed to provide controlled ventilatory support to patients with respiratory failure. The project is aimed at utilizing existing and relatively affordable bagging technology providing vital features of an Advanced Ventilatory Support System. The device will offer intermediate-advanced respiratory support to patients in the transition to the ICU, which usually takes up to one week in our setting.
Mathematics is vital in the development of elementary skills like creativity, problem solving, and innovation, yet many children go through school with little knowledge and skill in the subject. Understanding the subject of mathematics is necessary because it not only drives improved performance in STEM, but also improves general intelligence to solving everyday challenges. Matica is a novel, low-cost mathematics game that improves mathematical learning, critical thinking, and mental work among children in Uganda and other resource-limited countries without proper infrastructure and capital investments to use high-end technologies. Matica allows learners to have fun with mathematics, while they play and interact with their teachers, parents, and peers. It has been designed as an eccentric mathematical social learning tool for learners to improve basic skills in mathematics, arithmetic computations, competencies, and interests through social interaction and playing like other ordinary card games, employing Matica’s mission to provide every child the platform to love and succeed in Mathematics.
Youth in Uganda start business ventures with little or no knowledge of financial management or good business practices and with limited access to capital. About 50% of this population has little or no assets to put up for collateral for loans and they do not come from rich families to get capital. Without these resources, businesses are bound to fail, resulting in a vicious cycle of youth unemployment, food insecurity, and under performance of the economy. Lyzapay is a mobile application platform that gives both financial literacy and access to capital to business owners in Uganda. The application analyzes the entrepreneur’s personal data, business financial records, assets, and financial literacy to compute a credit score. This is integrated with a financial advisory platform that has a series of customized training modules and tools tailored to suit the Ugandan setting. Lyzapay will enhance the local entrepreneurs’ knowledge of financial management and good business practices.
The mortality rate for neonates in Uganda with Gastroschisis is 98% compared to high-income countries with less than 4%. Gastroschisis is a congenital anomaly birth defect in which abdominal organs protrude through a small opening right of the umbilical cord. The difference in the survival rate between low-income countries and high-income countries is largely caused by failure to keep the neonates hydrated, nourished, and infection-free while their bowel is outside the abdomen. This is because silo-bags used to put the bowel back into the baby’s abdomen cost approximately $240 which is 140% of the average monthly income in Uganda. The Gastro-Bag Project has developed and tested a low-cost silo-bag for treatment and management of Gastroschisis using locally available materials in Uganda at a cost of less than $5. The Gastro-Bag Project intends to demonstrate feasibility and improvements in quality, efficacy, operability, costs, and accessibility of Gastroschisis to improve human health.
Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing human populations. The expansion of the livestock population is necessary to address this population growth, however the output depends critically on livestock productivity, which is generally poor across the region’s various production systems. Currently, 25% of livestock in sub-Saharan Africa die due to highly contagious and viral Foot and Mouth disease and 65% of this livestock in Uganda is predominantly cattle. FootMo Kit is a hand-held device that detects Foot and Mouth Disease in livestock in hard-to-reach and under-served areas through early disease detection. The kit is simple to use and is a low-cost device that is put in the mouths of a cattle that detects the disease against the antigen content in the saliva. FootMo Kit addresses poverty, well-being, and sustainable development, as well as empowers farmers to detect diseases without relying on the veterinary doctors.
The broader access to antiretroviral drugs has led not only to considerable reductions in morbidity and mortality but, unfortunately, has increased the risk of virologic failure due to emergence and potential transmission of drug-resistant viruses. AIDS-tech will be a portable point of care diagnostic test that detects HIV drug resistance mutations in patient blood samples within 120 minutes, with an estimated sensitivity of 80-90% at an estimated cost of $50. A rechargeable battery (8-hour half-life) will be fitted to support a full day’s testing to use in field settings where access to electricity is limited. Results will be interpreted with a naked eye (observing color change on the strips), hence eliminating the need for computers and software. This will aid timely acquisition of resistance results and guide clinicians on which regime to start the patient and thus improve treatment outcome. It will also aid in the World Health Organization’s target to limit the number of patients with HIV.
Typhoid remains a major public health threat in Uganda contributing to 36% of all fever-related illnesses. It was responsible for the outbreak that affected over 1,000 individuals within Kampala city in 2015. Typhoid is a curable disease with good treatment outcomes if the diagnosis is made early. However, in Uganda there are major challenges with diagnostics. The most widely used test (Widal test) has low accuracy (5.7%) and the World Health Organization has discouraged its use, while the gold standard test (Bacterial culture) takes several days to produce results, is expensive and not readily available. This ultimately leads to delay of appropriate treatment, long waiting hours and inappropriate use of antibiotics that could potentially lead to drug resistance. The Big Idea is to develop TyphGen, a point of care diagnostic that uses DNA detection techniques to diagnose Typhoid in 90 minutes with >90% accuracy at an estimated cost of $12 per test.
Uganda does not have a dedicated emergency response number despite repeated government attempts to set up an adequate and reliable public ambulance service backed by a toll free phone number for communication. This has resulted in slow emergency response times, additional injury and an altogether diminished chance of survival. The Cloud-based Emergency Response System (CERS) enables real time matching of ambulances to patients allowing for maximum utilization of the limited resources that exist. At the same time, it provides a means to circumvent the problem of insufficient resources to setup and man a dedicated emergency call centre with which the Kampala Capital City Authority has been wrestling for some time. Through a smartphone application, users can request and automatically connect with the closest available ambulance. CERS has the potential to impact 40,000 Ugandans who do not make it to the hospital within the “golden hour” by providing a fast, safe and appropriate transport means.
Unlike other poly-tunnel solar dryers in the market that use steel frames and metallic base plates, Chap-Dyer uses moisture resistant eucalyptus poles as frames and rough stone slates as a base. These materials are readily available in all parts of Uganda and very affordable, reducing the total cost of a dryer from $1,000 to $200 for an 18 cubic meter drying space. The use of stone slates instead of steel plates allows for the dryer to perform optimally during day time and night time, drying twice as fast as the standard poly-tunnel dryer in the market. Unlike steel frames that require precise engineering and fabrication for easy assembly on site, Chap-Dryer which uses eucalyptus and stones requires simple carpentry and masonry joinery techniques which takes less labor cost and minimal electric power cost as all components can be fabricated and assembled on site.