COVID-19: Developing apps for more health

Frontline health response – especially in these times airports have become the most famous places in the fight against COVID-19. As a part of imposed travel restrictions it’s the most important challenge to detect travelers that might be infected with the virus, to protect the population.

Together with the Ministry of Health and Population in Nepal, our fellow Josh Nesbit and his team from Medic Mobile launched a port of entry surveillance app powered by the Community Health Toolkit (CHT), to enroll all incoming travelers entering Nepal through Kathmandu Airport, facilitating more effective screening of Covid-19 as well as follow up for travelers advised to 14 days self-quarantine.

The benefit of the app is a simple system that starts capturing data from paper-based forms implemented by the Ministry to record travel history, contact details, and monitors symptoms of arriving passengers. The system was deployed in the last weeks at the Ministry’s Airport health desk, where the staff has already begun to enter data into the system. When a passenger was detected to have a fever, his symptoms, travel history, and contact details were entered into the app for future follow-up. So, after the 14 days of self-quarantine, the passenger can be contacted again to make sure, that he or she is allowed to travel again. 

Support for Community Health Workers in Kenya

"We are working with our partners to mitigate the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 at the last mile. Community health workers are being asked to serve in critical roles and we must support them. This work requires urgent, coordinated action in support of government plans to prevent the spread of disease; to protect those who are most vulnerable; and to provide care for those affected by COVID-19. In parallel, we recognize that routine care provision must continue and we are working to adapt primary health care systems to maintain coverage, quality, and speed of essential services throughout the pandemic." (Josh Nesbit, CEO Medic Mobile)

To facilitate coordination and to slow the spread of the virus, Medic Mobile and their local partners released a CHT-powered COVID-19 tracking app, which enables disease surveillance teams to register contacts, report suspected COVID-19 cases to the national surveillance system, and conduct investigations for suspected cases. The app has recently been deployed in Kenya.

Health Workers around the world play a special role in the fight against Covid-19, because they are working on the front line and get in contact with a lot of people, so they are more likely to be infected than the general population onsite. Besides medical equipment like masks and gloves to protect themselves, prevention and testing are key to early detection and containment of the pandemic. To meet the demand for testing capabilities Medic Mobile is also working on a new Rapid Diagnostic Test App for Community Health Workers.

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