MTN Uganda, NITA-U launch a new app to track and monitor COVID19 Patients in Uganda
MTN Uganda in partnership with NITA-Uganda has today unveiled a new app that will be able to track and monitor COVId19 Patients in Uganda that are under home-based care. The new App is called E-Pass (Electronic pass) and will geo-fence and track every COVID19 patient with a Ministry of Health tag.
The E-pass app is intended to help the Ministry of Health track and geo-fence movements of COVID 19 patients under home-based care in a bid to reduce the number of non-critical patients that get admitted to Hospitals. By standard, the app helps the ministry know where a quarantined patient is moving to, their status, and avail needed health support due to limited resources in hospitals.
At the height of the pandemic, many people would be rushed to health centers including those that were not in critical conditions. With such situations, health centers were overwhelmed with high-walk in patients and also stretched the already limited resources in hospitals.
So, the Ministry of Health decided to introduce a home-based care policy in which non-critical patients would be cared for and monitored from the comfort of their homes or other safe locations outside hospitals. Now, with the E-Pass app developed by MTN Uganda in partnership with NITA-U, patients will be tracked down easily and reached out to when need be.
Speaking at the launch of the app, MTN Uganda General Manager for MTN Business Ibrahim Ssenyonga said the new app will go a long way in helping the government better manage resources as non-critical patients will be monitored remotely from their locations of isolation.
“This new app will alert the ministry of health designated officials, if in case a patient under surveillance goes outside of the planned location boundaries. That way, the ministry can minimize further spread, but also be able to locate some of the contacts in the areas where the patient might have veered off to,”Mr. Ssenyonga said.
Development of the E-Pass App cost about UGX 460 million and the contributed tracking package includes 400 smartphone handsets that come pre-installed with the app and will be used for monitoring by the Ministry of Health officials. Aside that, the App can be accessed via MTN Uganda’s designated shortcode *260# that will best allow support for COVID19 Paeitnts and health care officials alike.
The NITA-Uganda Executive Director Dr Hatwib Mugasa inked that they are pleased with the solution as it serves as a game-changer in the overall management of the COVID19 pandemic.
“We are very proud because of the local capacity we have to quickly develop an app of this kind that will change the way we manage the COVID 19 pandemic in the country. This coming at a time when the vaccine is already in the country is a big boost in government efforts to curb and minimize the spread of the pandemic,”Said Dr. Hatwib – The Executive Director NITA-U
In addition, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine thanked MTN Uganda and NITA Uganda for the new intervention saying that it takes collective effort from everyone to be able to defeat the COVID19 pandemic effects.
“It is true that management of patients was quite a nightmare for government and the health centers. We were having many people coming to hospitals that didn’t need to be there. And these were taking space for those that needed to be there the most. So this solution is very welcome and it is a win for us as a country in the management of this pandemic,”Said Diana Atwine
Statistically, MTN Uganda has stayed in the support light for the Ministry of Health’s activities to help COVID19 Patients and lives affected due to the pandemic effects by donating money, cars, and subscribing their data bundle prices to favour all audiences. By this fashion, other telcos like Airtel, Africell also followed suit by donating to the COVID19 task force, and now, a new App has risen from MTN Uganda’s engineering wing to track down patients which is a WIN-WIN for customers and the Yello telco.