Shamim Kaliisa started Chil AI Lab in 2017 after losing her mother at the age of 13 to cancer and battling breast cancer herself when she was barely into her 20s. Shamim’s mother’s dying wish was that her daughter would use her education to make a change, specifically to help improve screening services for millions of women in rural communities who succumb to cancer and die needlessly due to the inadequate education and services.
Having survived breast cancer, Shamim was inspired to make a change in her community by turning the pain she went through into something positive. She recognized that her survival was predominantly down to early detection and put her energy into setting up a mobile cancer screening lab, which later incorporated the use of artificial intelligence guided e-oncology services (to detect cervical and breast cancer). Today, her company also incorporates drone services for easier transportation of cervical cancer specimens from the rural areas to laboratories without women having to travel long distances out of the villages.
In the wake of COVID-19, she and her team developed a chatbot to automate consulting to communities in Uganda, South Sudan and DRC. This innovation will help reduce the human interaction and the monitory burden faced by governments.
Shamim says, “Many of us go through situations in life and don’t know what to do with it. I want women to look at me and say, Shamim went through this bad experience and used it to do something positive. We want to make a difference to our community, especially mothers. Mothers play such a vital role in communities and we must do all we can to give them better health education. Our mothers and aunties need to understand that early detection is key to preventing tragic losses of life, which can tear families apart and we are working hard to make that difference in providing better awareness of cancer. Thank you!”