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Ministry roots for digital reporting on epidemics

By Pascal Kwesiga

Added 17th April 2018 07:24 AM

The ministry has brought together health workers, including epidemiologists and developers of digital apps to enhance reporting and response on epidemics and pandemics.

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The ministry has brought together health workers, including epidemiologists and developers of digital apps to enhance reporting and response on epidemics and pandemics.

PIC: Uganda Aids Commission chairman Eddie Mukoojo (right) talks to Ministry of  Health head of emergency operation Issa Makumbi during the openning of the EpiHack International Conference aimed at providing a soluition software for tracking infectious diseases at Serena Kigo Hotel on April 16, 2018. (Credit: Kennedy Oryema)

HEALTH

                             
KAMPALA - As the use of technology in service delivery increasingly becomes inevitable, the health ministry has thrown its weight behind interventions aimed at developing the Internet-powered digital platforms to report and respond to epidemics.

With funding from US-based development partners, the ministry has brought together health workers, including epidemiologists and developers of digital apps to enhance reporting and response on epidemics and pandemics.

For five days, starting Monday, the health workers and representatives of development partners will be discussing public health threats in the country and the glitches encountered in reporting and responding to them at Lake Victoria Serena Hotel in Kigo, a Kampala suburb.

By Friday, the ICT specialists, who will sit through the deliberations by public health experts and development partners’ representatives, will be expected to have developed prototypes of apps that should be developed to address the challenges the health workers grapple with in preventing, detecting and responding to disease outbreaks.

According to the head of public emergence operation centre at the health ministry, Dr Issa Makumbi, the ICT and public health specialists will agree on the most ideal digital apps in delivering medical services.

The apps will be developed under EpiHack, a global intervention that brings together health professionals and technologists to develop digital solutions to enhance disease surveillance. 
 
“The porotypes that will be agreed upon will be developed further so that we can come up with apps to be used in preventing, detecting, reporting and responding to epidemics and pandemics. The development partners have agreed to support development of the prototypes (of apps) that we shall have approved,” he added.

Timely reporting and response to epidemics, he noted, is instrumental in combating diseases and saving lives as well as insulating economies from possible collapse.

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