Phyllis Kyomuhendo, co-founder of a technology solution which seeks to lower the rate of maternal mortality in Uganda has been named the Overall Achiever in the 2018 Young Achievers Awards.
Kyomuhendo co-founded mSCAN, an ultrasonic probe and software that supports ultrasound scanning in low resource areas.
She was recognized as the Overall Young Achiever of the year at the Awards gala night held Saturday night at Kampala Serena Hotel which was attended by over 1,000 people majority of them youth.
Over 16 mothers die every day in Uganda while giving birth. Of these, 7 die due to risk factors that can be detected using ultra sound which unfortunately mothers in rural areas can neither afford nor access.
Kyomuhendo and her team developed the low cost mobile ultra sound devices to give a chance to all mothers to have safe births despite their financial status or geographical location. The device can be plugged on a laptop, mobile phone and iPad making it flexible for use in rural areas. The team carries out ultra sound camps in different remote areas in Uganda.
“We love what we are doing and we are doing it for a purpose because we are medical workers who have been put there and seen the situation as it was,” she said.
She said that the win means that more mothers get a chance to safely deliver their babies.
The other winners of the night included population musician, Eddy Kenzo who scooped the Award for Performing Arts and the national female rugby team which won the Award in the sports category.
Kenzo used the event to share his dark past growing up in a family that was destitute (mother sold vegetables and father was a gateman) and his limited chance at getting education. Despite these barriers, he said he has profoundly represented Uganda on the global stage and achieved a lot.
Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda represented President Yoweri Museveni at the event which was also attended by Kenya’s Deputy President, William Ruto. He (Ruto) received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It was touching to see young people say we have these problems but we are not going to be inhibited from innovation by issues of disability,” Prime Minister Rugunda said in his speech.
“The young man from Teso amazed me by bringing solutions for farmers – factor hire schemes. These are real problems that farmers face,” he said, adding that “what has been showed today is a demonstration that young people are going to transform Uganda and the continent for the better”.
Other winners were drawn from fields of film, photography, media and journalism, farming and agro-processing, innovations and ICT, business, fashion among others.
Humphrey Ahimbisibwe, the Team Leader at Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU), the youth-led organization that organizes the Awards said that over 400 people were nominated. However the judges zeroed down to 45 finalists whose ideas and impact stood out.
Below is the full list of winners
Lifetime Achievement Award – William Samoei Ruto (Kenyan Deputy President)
Star Hall of Fame – Betty Bigombe (former Minister)
Innovations & ICT – Brian Gitta (Matibabu)
Farming & Agro-processing – Jean Onyait (Akellobanker)
Business – Natalie Bitature (Musana Carts)
Social Entrepreneur – Andrew Mukose (Gifted Hands Network)
Fashion – Anita Beryl (Beryl Qouture)
Film & Photography – Richard Mulindwa (Movie producer, Writer and Director)
Performing Arts – Eddy Kenzo
Journalism – Raymond Mujuni
Sports – (Lady Cranes Rugby 7s Team)