University Students Create A Health App To Prevent Blindess In Uganda

Growing up in Uganda, Moses Rurangwa saw countless cases of preventable blindness in his village in Kyankwanzi District. Many cases of Uganda’s blindness stem from trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eye. If left untreated, trachoma can cause blindness, a risk for nearly 8 million (almost one-fifth of) Ugandans. Rurangwa, a computer science student at Makerere University, developed a mobile phone app to help diagnose and prevent the condition.

Rurangwa and two of his Makerere University classmates — Anatoli Kirigwajjo, a computer science student, and Kiruyi Samuel, a medicine and surgery student — created E-liiso, an app to help Ugandans, many of whom cannot afford regular eye exams, check their own eyes. The app photographs the eye to help detect and prevent trachoma.