Science

‘Smart Jacket’ To Protect Ugandans Against Pneumonia

By Jose Paolo Calcetas , Jan 23, 2017 12:00 PM EST

A group of Ugandan engineers have created a new type of wardrobe that not only helps local citizens dress up. It can also diagnose pneumonia faster than a doctor. A 26-year-old woman named Olivia Koburongo came up with the idea.Korubongo shared that thought of making the smart jacket during one of the most challenging times of her life. Her grandmother has been admitted to a hospital after falling ill. It took time before she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Pneumonia is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. It is known as a severe lung infection which has already killed thousands of Ugandan children below five annually. UN Children's Agency UNICEF said that most of these children have been misdiagnosed for malaria and other similar diseases. They also pointed out that a smart jacket is necessary because the misdiagnosis in their local communities occur because there is a lack of proper medical facilities and equipment to cure pneumonia.

In a statement published in Rappler, Korubongo expressed her regret that she invented the smart jacket after he grandmother became ill. She admitted that it was already “too late” to save her grandmother. She also said that it is harder for doctors to keep track of her grandmother’s overall health.

According to The Hindu , Koburongo asked help from her friend Brian Turyabagye. Both of them are telecommunications engineers. They worked with a team of doctors and created the “Mama-Ope,” the Ugandan term for Mother’s Hope. The smart jacket also consists of a mobile phone application which conducts the diagnosis.

Aside from children,  iTech Post  reported that pneumonia often victimizes people who are already past 60 years old. On January 14, it can be recalled that former US president George H. W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush were hospitalized due to pneumonia. This happened days before the inauguration of newly-elected US president, Donald Trump.

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