The college kids who reinvented the ultrasound
Expectant mothers line the maternity ward corridor, wearily waiting for medical attention. In rooms off to the side, undersized cots hold several women but those without beds must wait at the doors. The midwives and nurses at Uganda’s largest hospital dart from patient to patient, doing what they can to help.
“Imagine Cup affirmed to me that I am part of a new breed of African youth: the kind that have the skills, ability and passion to make things that will change the course of Africa and the world.”
Working at the Mulago Hospital in the Ugandan capital of Kampala during a break before university, Aaron Tushabe is struck by the crowds and the suffering. He thinks not only about those who are waiting in the long lines but the 80 percent of Ugandans who live in rural areas and can’t make the trek to the capitol for medical care. Aaron leaves the hospital determined to find a way to help.
Months later, attending a hackathon with fellow university freshman Josh Okello, the two meet Joseph Kaizzi, an IT expert and Imagine Cup participant who encourages them to create a team for the upcoming competition. Imagine Cup is a global student technology program and competition that provides opportunities for students to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrated solutions that can change the way we live, work, and play. One competition asked technologists to address the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) —including improving maternal health and infant mortality. Aaron and Josh, who spent some time in medical school before pursuing IT degrees, both thought of the Mulago Hospital. Their collective experience with maternal health and maternity wards led them to seek a solution for women in their community.