Kenyan student, Dahabo Abdi Galgalo is the winner of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science Award for her innovation geared towards lowering maternal mortality rates. She was awarded for designing a device that uses GPS to track expectant mothers in Marsabit county and ensure that they receive proper medical care.
The small device is about the size of a coin, is solar powered and is meant to be won around a bracelet.
A 2014 UNFPA report ranks Marsabit among the counties with the highest maternal mortality rates. Galgalo’s innovation will go a long way in lowering these deaths, most of which are preventable.
While she was researching for the project in 2015, Galgalo discovered that only 40% of expectant mothers have access to ante-natal care and they often often have to walk long distances to get to the clinics. These are some of the factors that contribute to the high maternal mortality rates in the county.
The AESA Award comes with US$ 100,000 (approximately Ksh.10M) in seed grant funding to implement the project over a period of two years.