A new smartphone app called MediCapt created by the New York based non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is being made accessible to doctors of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officially in 2016.
The DRC has long been an area where the amount of rape victims are in shocking numbers. In 2011, the American Journal of Public Health found that more than 400,000 Congolese women ages 15-49 had been raped between the years 2006 and 2007. That’s about 4 women raped every 5 minutes and around 48 women raped every hour.
While the statistics are heartbreaking, the MediCapt app has been created to bring some justice to the women who’ve been raped. According to TakePart the app was “designed to store forensic medical evidence from a sexual assault.” It will give doctors a form that shows them the info needed to be collected. It also provides them with a sheet of questions to ask the patient, which include: Was the victim pregnant? Has she tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease?
Doctors can also take pictures of the injuries their patients have so they can examine them and use for evidence. The app will store the information within a database which is also accessible to forensic teams and social workers as well as the doctors at the same time. This will make it much easier for victims to prove they have been violated and be able to prosecute their rapists, bringing more justice not only to their nation but other developing nations as well.
Huffington Post said that the app “has the potential to protect women around the world in the coming years,” and PHR seconded that by saying, “MediCapt will be an important tool that could help officials prosecute violators through the justice system.”
Currently the obstacle is the lack of technology in the Congo but a trial run was conducted in 2014 where doctors in Bukavu, a town in the eastern portion of DRC, were given android phones, training and instructions. Only time will tell how effective these actions will be though for the women of the Congo time has not been on their side.
Image via fastcoexist.com