Joab Mumbere graduated with a Bachelor of Information Systems from Makerere University in 2017. He has had passion for computers since childhood and is now going places with his dream. He developed an App called “Wulira” that he says will help on reducing the rampant hearing problems among Ugandans.
He also developed ‘My Muk App’ meant to help Makerere students on accessing online services among others while still at the University.
According to Mumbere, the App is a robust hearing assessment android mobile application which is designed based on principles of Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA), the gold standard of hearing assessment and it is simple to use.
He says the App is used to identify hearing threshold levels of an individual, enabling determination of the degree, type and configuration of a hearing loss. Thus providing the basis for diagnosis and management.
“The App is free. Any anyone can download it from the play store. We are however working on a part where one can contact a doctor or a specialist one on one which will be paid for. But the rest are free,” he said.
According to Mumbere, a one Dr. Charles Batte from Mulago hospital initiated the idea and “I brought it to life.”
For the App to be feasible, Mumbere says they had to do direct interaction with people in order to meet the correct standards to use as a medical diagnostic tool. He says it took them a period of one year to have the App developed.
According to Mumbere, the App will be included on other technologies like iOS and Windows.
Mumbere also says they never got any funding to support the project. “We used the little resources that we had to push it slowly up to the testing level. It’s here that the Institute of Infectious Diseases came in shortly to facilitate the testing of our prototype and gave us some little funds.”
Mumbere notes that since they had a feasible story, they considered applying for funding to improve on their App. “We were given Shs 2.5m.”
“We applied for the funding and we presented a form to the Ministry of ICT and Ministry Of Health as we showed them the need for this App in our health system in Uganda. They were convinced about the whole idea since it’s going to affect lives positively. More so I feel it’s necessary because the number of people who are vulnerable to hearing loss is increasing in our country.”
“I was extremely happy because career wise this is a big milestone and breakthrough. I was very patient to develop something for that long and I was being paid for the great work I was doing. I had the hope that I would make it into the levels of the most needed Apps,” he notes.
Mumbere highly believes his App will be the first to be deployed in all health centers for hearing assessment across the county. And in the next five years, he projects it to be the leading group in developing medical diagnostic using mobile technologies in Uganda.
Advice to youth
Mumbere urges the youth to set goals and always be confident about it.
“Every successfully moved journey starts with a single step. Therefore youth should not try to rush to be successful. Failing is normal but it should always be used as learning opportunity so that you don’t live life as a failure.”