Over the next few months, we are going to profile current and former FSE students who are using their knowledge and skills to do great things. Full Stack Embedded has been around for 5 years, has held dozens of workshops in West and Central Africa, and has fostered hundreds of students in learning robotics and related technologies. In this series, we will take a look at what some of our strongest students have been up to.

For this Member Profile, we are going to take a look at two FSE members, Afefa Akoumany (also known as Marvelous) and Emmanuel Bissafi, and their project: the automatic labor detector for pregnant women. Afefa and Emmanuel have both been part of FSE at the Accra Institue of Technology since our first workshops there in 2016, and both are set to graduate this summer with degrees in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Their project, the Automatic Woman Labor Detector, was developed to address a very serious problem: In Ghana and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the rate of maternal mortality is much higher than in other parts of the world, and progress to reduce mortality has been slow. One major factor that contributes to a safe, successful birth for both mother and child is birth preparedness, according to an article in the Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health. The Labor Detector developed by Emmanuel and Afefa contributes to birth preparedness by monitoring the woman’s body.

received_2098823077081077~2Sensors determine the frequency and intensity of contractions, which can be monitored via a mobile phone app.  The app also determines the mother’s location and sends that information to a chosen set of contacts, such as her partner or doctor, once labor has begun. With this information, women in labor can receive care faster. This can save women’s and infants’ lives.

In an interview, Afefa credited FSE with inspiring the idea for the Labor Detector. She says that when she and Emmanuel were introduced to ultrasonic sensors during FSE workshops in 2016 and 2017, it made them wonder what other kinds of sensors they could program, and what practical applications they might have. They were also able to use the skills they learned in the workshops to program the microcontroller which runs the system, and the app which provides the information.

Afefa and Emmanuel are driven and talented students who are using their knowledge and skills to make a better world for themselves and their communities. We are proud to have them on our team, and we wish them all the best for their graduations this summer!

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