Connect with us

Health

Mak Unveils C-19: COVID-19 Mobile Contact Tracing App

Published

on

By Joseph Odoi

As government strives to reduce community spread of the novel coronavirus, Makerere University researchers have developed a mobile application that digitizes the investigation, case, and contact tracing for COVID-19 in communities.

With Funding from Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (MakRIF) and Partnership from Child and Family Foundation Uganda and Ministry of Health, the application is designed to investigate case and contact tracing for COVID-19, timely reporting and decision making to improve the efficiency of COVID-19 response and capture community feedback.

While launching  the application under project titled ‘’C-19’’, Dr. Harriet Babikako  the Project lead  said her team was inspired by the need to  address the existing challenges of trekking long distances for hours to ascertain information in regards to suspected or even confirmed cases of COVID-19, delayed communication and  responses, loss of contact lists and transcription errors .

“Currently, Community surveillance teams have to trek distances for hours to go and find information from suspected or even confirmed cases. Therefore, challenges such as incomplete identification of contacts, delays in communication, and response, loss of contact lists, inadequate data collection, and transcription errors exist, making the system slow, and inefficient. Thus information exchange between involved parties is too slow and expensive because, by the time a response is generated, the disease is spreading. This means the spreading of COVID-19 is not solved efficiently” she explained in a zoom session on Tuesday 30th March 2021.

Dr. Harriet Babikako-the Project lead delivers her remarks at the Application launch.

As part of the features, the application has various COVID-19 self-assessment components on its Epi -COVID Tracer Dashboard. This enables the app user to undergo self-screening or screen others using different prompts.

The application also boasts of support services that include COVID-19 Laboratories and hospitals all authorized by Ministry of Health. One can consult Private Doctors and Counsellors on the App through WhatsApp or other call options.

In terms of reservation, the application system enables one to book for a COVID-19 test from the nearest authorized laboratories .This is done by filling a lab booking form which locates the test center near you.    Additionally, it also enables different user’s right from Community, VHTs District Task Force DTF and National Task Force NFT by filling the contact tracing form.

An interface of the C-19 Mobile Contact Tracing App

On the relevance of the app to School going students, Haron Gichuhi a health informant and Co-Investigator of the project; said this mobile application empowers health workers within schools to appropriately screen students and allows them to manage/refer probable cases of COVID-19.

“Now that schools are open, School nurses can use the application to carry out tests and refer students to nearest laboratories with in their proximity.

“The application also gives the students their COVID-19 status and advises them on preventive methods like self-isolation” noted Dr. Gichuhi of the ambitious innovation which took 6 months to create

On cost effectiveness, the researchers say the app addresses the concept of high costs to government. This is because the application is available to communities like market vendors, schools, individuals.

On uniqueness of the mobile innovation, the researchers cited decision making, quick scanning of information, case management and peer checking for other colleagues as special qualities ingrained in the application.

With this app, one can  book a COVID-19 test with MOH authorized Laboratories and hospitals on the application and also  consult a private doctor or a private counsellor. This can be done within any citizen’s comfort with just a click on their phone.

Mr. Ezekiel Musasizi from Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University, (Co-investigator) says the team is in the process of translating the app to different languages to cater for all classes of society

In her final remarks, Dr. Harriet Babikako thanked Ministry of Health, Partnership from Child and Family Foundation Uganda and the Government of Uganda efforts towards supporting research and innovation through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (MakRIF). The launch attracted virtual participants from academia, non-government organizations, students, development partners, the media and Ministry of Health.

MORE ABOUT PROJECT TEAM

The C-19 Project was implemented by researchers and innovators from Makerere University with funding from Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (MakRIF).

The Project /innovation team includes; Dr. Harriet Babikako from Makerere University School of Public Health (Principal Investigator), Dr. Vincent Michael Kiberu (Co-Pi) and Dr. Ezekiel Mupere (Co-Pi) from Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and Mr. Haron Gichuhi (Co-PI and Health Informant).

Health

Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa RFAs

Published

on

Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa (DHPI-R) Open Call for Request For Applications (RFAs). Deadline: 16th September 2022.

The Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa (DHPI-R), a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project that is implemented in Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) Senegal is thrilled to announce an OPEN CALL FOR REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS. This will foster widespread, sustainable adoption and application of Digital Financial Service innovations within the health sector of low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) in sub-Saharan Africa.

Focus Research Areas/ Research Themes

DHPI-R is seeking applications for studies that address the evidence gaps listed.

1) Campaign Effectiveness
2) Digital Financial Services’ effects on financial inclusion, safety, and security of payments
3) Health worker performance and retention
4) Payment experience and financial behavior

Funding Information

For any request made in this call, the budget goes as follows;
Large studies:12 months $200,000
Medium studies: 9 months $100,000
Small studies: 6 months $60,000

Eligibility

All Institutions within sub-Saharan Africa

Funding Restrictions and Terms

The award will be a fixed fee agreement, and the total amount of the award will be stated in the award letter. The funding is intended to support the collection, analysis, and dissemination of research. The allocation of program funds will directly correspond to the monetary figures presented in the final Budget and disbursement of funds will be initiated upon the timely receipt of invoices, financial reports, and expected deliverables.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted in English or in French.

Applications must be submitted through our website: Submit applications here.

Application deadline: 16th SEPT 2022

Award decisions: All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission by 30th October 2022.

For more information and application details, see; Call for Request for Applications

Continue Reading

Health

Call For Applications: ACHIEVE Training Program

Published

on

Students attend a lecture in the Davies Lecture Theatre, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Mulago Campus, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

ACHIEVE provides trainees with dissemination and implementation (D&I) and data science research skills and knowledge through experiential learning, mentoring, and “hands-on” immersion in global health implementation and data science research and methodologies. ACHIEVE is a consortium of ten institutions: Washington University in St. Louis, Boston College, New York University, University of Illinois Chicago, University of Makeni, University of Kwazulu-Natal, University of Rwanda, University of Ghana, Makerere University, University of Nairobi.

Program Overview

  • One-year appointment at a research site in Sub-Saharan Africa or other partner site in a low and middle income country (LMIC)
  • Up to $10,000 in research project seed funding, a monthly living stipend, travel expenses covered
  • Mentored research training in global health, dissemination & implementation, and data science

Eligibility

Interest in applying D&I and data science methodologies in a global health area, with special focus on projects related to: children, adolescents, and their caregiving families; parenting; HIV/AIDS; mental health; cancer; nutrition; and environmental health.

See flyer below for more details on eligibility

Application Information

  • Please email Laura Peer at lpeer@wustl.eduto express interest
    • Letter of Intent (LOI) due September 1, 2022
    • Full Application (2ndPhase—by invitation only) due November 1, 2022
    • For more information visit https://sites.wustl.edu/achieve/

Continue Reading

Health

CHS Annual Report 2021

Published

on

Professor Damalie Nakanjako, Principal, Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS).

I hereby present to you the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) annual report for 2021. This report provides an overview of activities at MakCHS under our mandates of teaching and learning, research, and service delivery during 2021.

The MakCHS continues to lead the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic through case management, research on advances in SARS-COV2 prevention and treatment intervention, as well as supporting faculty and students to adapt to the new learning environment of blended approaches to sustain teaching and learning activities during the COVID-19 pandemic period. I wish to congratulate MakCHS staff and students upon the resilience exhibited through the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging stronger, with various approaches to blended learning to complement the clinical/practical training approaches.

It is my pleasure to congratulate all staff who have received promotions, new research fund awards and publications during this period. You continue to raise the bar of the College of Health Sciences as we strive to lead in providing transformational education and research to improve service delivery and well-being of all the communities we serve. I extend my gratitude to all our stakeholders including but not limited to all MakCHS staff, students, alumni, collaborators, partners, funders, patients, and doctors for the exemplary multi-disciplinary teams that continue to deliver high quality education and health care programs.

Our major challenge remains to innovate, develop, produce, and sustain local solutions to emerging global health challenges including the large burden of emerging and re-emerging infections as well as the burden of non-communicable diseases.

I therefore urge all faculty and students to seek and grab all opportunities for each one to utilise their role in this space as we advance science initiatives to impact lives in Uganda, Africa and globally. On behalf of the leadership at MakCHS, I pledge our unwavering efforts to provide all relevant support to facilitate you to achieve your career dreams for 2022 at MakCHS.

Professor Damalie Nakanjako MBChB, MMED, PhD
PRINCIPAL

Continue Reading

Trending