Use of Mobile Cellphone Apps to Deliver a One Health Service.

Monday, 16 January 2017 - 9:51am
OHCEA Network Country: 
Mobile Cellphone Apps to Deliver  One Health Service

Three multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate students at Makerere University implemented competitively selected research innovations in the community, that were adapted towards the use of the smart mobile cellphone to deliver one health service.

These One Health Undergraduate Research Innovations were part of 24 competitively selected concepts that were awarded a OHCEA grant of USD 600.

1. Farmers Mobile Phone Application

The project ‘Farmers’ Mobile Phone Application’ was implemented among farmers in Nabweru division, Nansana Municipality Wakiso district. Farmers need information within easy reach to help them get solutions to common farming challenges which may range from how to prevent diseases to ideas on good housing and other farming practices. The multidisciplinary team of OH innovators delivered this using an App called “Farmers Mobile Phone App.”

The students’ multidisciplinary team led by Mr. Masengere Paineto (B. Environmental Health), consisted of other team members Kimuli Emmanuel (BVM); Kasumba Robert (B.Sc. Software Engineering); Muwangula Ngobi Stuart (BSc Biomedical Engineering); Lugwala Ngobi Stim (BSc Telecom Engineering) and Cherukut Martha Cheptoek( BSc Agric)

This innovation commenced with focus group discussions in the communities a total of 30 farmers, in Nabweru division, Nansana Municipality Wakiso district were engaged in order to identify the common symptoms of diseases and symptoms affecting their livestock and crops.

Masengere Paineto (Team leader) addressing the farmers during the farmers forum meeting and Right; An interactive discussion between innovators, Masengere Paineto (B.EH), Kimuli Emmanuel (BVM) and Mrs. Nalubwama Janet a poultry farmer)

To assist the discussion were the Nabweru divisional production officer, Dr. Solome Mukisa (veterinary background), and the extension worker working with Nabweru division, Dr. Joel Mukasa (agricultural background). There were follow up visits by the innovators to the farms to get more information on the common diseases and symptoms for the variety of domestic farm animals being reared in Wakiso.

The veterinarian and agricultural students in the multidisciplinary innovation team linked these symptoms given to specific diseases with the help of professional staff i.e. the veterinarian or agriculturalist. Thus a database of the challenges these urban farmers in Nabweru face like the common pests and diseases affecting their animals and plants was established. This information was used to design a mobile phone application whereby information on common diseases, best farming practices like feeds, housing and biosecurity were availed.

This Android Application was the demonstrated to the farmers.

2.  Bulamu (Health) mobile application

Bulamu mobile application is another android innovative technology that provides quality and timely health information to the public. This is achieved through a number of features in this application, which include the following; (i) HIV Clinics, (ii) Nurses and Counselors, (iii) Ambulances and (iv) Health tips.  This smart phone application among the undergraduate innovations was implemented by Mr Isa Adam (B. Biomedical Lab Technology) together with team members Mr. Mubiru Jessy (B.Sc. Software engineering); Dr. Kakande Mudasir (MB.ChB), Mr. Mukasa Derrick (B.Sc. Education), Mr. Kawuki Ibrahim (B.Sc. Electronic Engineering).

HIV clinics feature, gives services offered by those clinics, their contacts and addresses. In future, the feature will also provide a platform where persons living with HIV and medical specialists will chat about their life experiences, living with and managing the condition. While on the Nurses and councilors corner, Bulamu mobile application will provide names of nurses and councilors who can offer palliative care to patients. The names will be accompanied by their respective area of specialization, addresses and their contacts. Lastly, the Ambulance call list, will provide the nearest ambulance service in that area and their contacts aiding in quick transportation of those in need.

These android smart phone apps can be harnessed in cases of disease outbreaks – (human or animal) to deliver information on the location of the nearest service provider for purposes of diagnosis, information on basic facts about the infectious disease, common symptoms, how to prevent its spread, what to do with the infected subjects etc., This will demystifying many infectious pathogens and diseases among the general public. Currently the innovators are awaiting the third instalment of funds to host the “Mobile Farmers App” and “Bulamu Mobile App” on the web or cloud so that it can be downloaded and availed to this group of farmers or the community.