Around 80% of global blindness is preventable or curable. The biggest problem is available not treatment options, but not being able to see a specialist. Dr William Mapham saw the potential for technology to improve referral networks while working in rural Swaziland. Back in South Africa he developed Vula (which means ‘open’ in Swati) with Dylan Edwards.
The app allows healthcare workers to look up eye conditions through an in app library, capture and share patient information, and carry out eye tests on the phone. The app also has a chat function that allows the health care worker to instantly share photographs and speak in real time with a remote medical specialist. The app is currently being used to make referrals to five major hospitals across South Africa, opening eyes to its global potential.
Claire is an international producer/ director based in London. The South African spends most of her time making content in sub-Saharan Africa about tech, healthcare and gender.
William Mapham, Ophthalmology Registrar
South Africa (Cape Town)