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Ugandan Engineers Develop a Digital Foetal Monitoring Tool

With the Wekebere device, a mother can personally tell whether the baby is in distress, as she sees the signals of its heartbeat and rhythm transmitted on her phone. As the name of the system suggests, Wekebere means check yourself. It is more effective in the last trimester. The innovation was birthed when software engineer Stephen Tashobya lost his sister to pregnancy complications. Statistics show that in Uganda 40 babies out of 1000 die due to complications during pregnancy and the maternal mortality ratio is estimated at 336 deaths per 100,000 live births. Dr. Sam Ononge has led the Wekebere clinical trial with 15 mothers at Kawampe National Referral Hospital in the capital, Kampala. The intervention means they can handle more mothers even remotely. Wekebere is rented out at $10 or can be purchased at $200. But the majority of mothers, who need it, can’t afford this price. It is a gap the developers are working to bridge.