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UGANDAN SCIENTIST WINS SH673M AWARD FOR RESEARCH ON MATERNAL HEALTH

KAMPALA-- A Ugandan scientist has won the first German-African Innovation Incentive Award worth sh673m.

This followed her outstanding research on technology-assisted interventions for improving the health of Ugandans.

Dr. Angela Musiimenta, a senior lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology received the prize at a ceremony held in Germany.

Germany's Federal Minister for Research, Anja Karliczek, presided over the event noted that the award was part of her country's Africa Strategy to support science, research and development in Africa.

"I am delighted that today we are able to bestow the awards on such promising talents and projects.

"The winners are courageously making inroads with their joint projects that create innovative solutions for Africa and offer her people new prospects. We are gathered here today in recognition of their scientific achievements and to help promote sustainable development on the African continent.

"Because we feel it is important, and this is a core objective of our Africa Strategy, to support scientists of both genders in their research.

"This is why we will be bestowing the awards in coming years, too, as we wish to continue to provide important stimuli for German-African cooperation and innovations in Africa."

Dr. Musiimenta's award-winning project was about using a novel multimedia application for mobile phones to improve health-related information for pregnant women in rural areas, including illiterate women in Uganda.

According to an advisory from Uganda's embassy in Berlin, her project aimed to develop a conceptual model for supporting maternal health using mobiles.

It also focuses on developing a mobile application composed of videos and audios for maternal health, available both for the literate and illiterate benefiting from the audio segment,

Musimenta's innovation further sought to determine the impact of the application on the maternal health knowledge, their attitudes and practices, especially by women and to study accessibility, feasibility and effectiveness.

The multimedia innovation of using visual and audio platforms will avail women information about healthy eating, advantages of breast feeding, and the necessity of having antenatal check-ups.

Three other scientists from Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria received the award in recognition of their outstanding research achievements.

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Ihne, President of the Hochschule Bonn-Sieg (University of Applied Sciences) thanked the award winners for their dedication to innovative projects.

The other winners were: Dr. Isah Muchilwa from Moi University in Kenya; Dr. Tarek Kalil from German University, Cairo in Egypt and Dr. Kolawole Olonade from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.

Each prize was worth Euros 150,000 (sh673m) and the award was in the form of project funding for collaborative German-African projects.

Dr Musimenta was initially recognized for innovative mobile health applications to support maternal health interventions.

She was previously involved in the development of a secure maternal health mobile app composed of video and audio messages tailored to the needs of rural illiterate pregnant women in Uganda.

Uganda has a high but declining maternal mortality rate. About 17 women die every day due to preventable maternal related hitches, according to the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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