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A team of five students of Makerere University have come up with an app, Mama-Ope, that will help diagnose Pneumonia earlier in young children.

Born out of the Big Ideas Innovations global online competition, the team was part of two groups from Makerere University that were representatives from Africa, competing against more than 2,000 teams.

The competition was organised by University of California, Berkeley with support from USAID, Charles Schwab Foundation and Blum Centre for Innovations.

The group, which developed Mama-Ope, emerged runner-up in the Health category and won a cash prize of $6,500 (Shs21m) to further develop their prototype.

The team is made up of, Olivia Koburongo, Brian Turyabagye (Telecommunication Engineering), Besufekad Shifferaw (Computer Engineering), Viola Akangumya (Social Sciences) and Angella Namwase (Nursing and Midwifery).

The Mama-Ope kit uses mobile phones for interpreting results faster than an ordinary stethoscope.

It will be used to diagnose pneumonia at its early or screening stage, and is also expected to help in continuous monitoring of patients.

The kit contains a thermometer for checking body temperature and a flex-sensor to check breathing rates.

It works by collecting information from the patient and sending it to the smartphone for interpretation within two minutes.

A red light indicates that an individual is likely to have pneumonia.

They are working with Resilient Africa Network (RAN) and expect to have a prototype for testing in January 2016.

Via The Daily Monitor & Berkeley