Mama ope founder recognized as a world pneumonia fighter
Ms. Olivia Koburongo, the founder of Mama Ope has been named a 2018 Pneumonia Champion by Just Actions. Through their innovative pneumonia screening jacket they aim to equip health workers in low resource areas to effectively screen children under the age of 5 for pneumonia symptoms.
“The problem we’re trying to solve is diagnosing pneumonia at an early stage before it gets severe and we’re also trying to solve the problem of not enough manpower in hospitals because currently we have a doctor to patient ratio which is one to 24,000 in the country,” said Koburongo
Sub-saharan Africa accounts for half of pnuemonia deaths among children under the age of five world wide, According to the UN children’s agency UNICEF, the severe lung infection kills up to 24,000 Ugandan children under the age of five per year.
It is normally misdiagnosed with malaria, asthma and tuberculosis. These diseases have many 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 especially antibiotics which creates resistance.
Screening of the patient using the Mama Ope innovation will help reduce resistance to antibiotics and the number of deaths that occur from pneumonia.