Mobile health technology for enhancing the COVID-19 response in Africa : a potential game changer?
CITATION: Nachega, J. B. et al. 2020. Mobile health technology for enhancing the COVID-19 response in Africa : a potential game changer? American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, doi:10.4269/ajtmh.20-0506.
The original publication is available at https://www.ajtmh.org
The WHO Africa Region is experiencing an increase in the number of novel COVID-19 cases. As of May 20, 2020, 63,521 cases with 1,796 deaths (2.8% case fatality) have been reported from 45 countries.1 Although these numbers are small compared with those in United States or Europe, the WHO recently estimated that up to 190,000 people could die of COVID-19 in Africa if the pandemic is not controlled.2 These projections are threatening the already overstretched health services in Africa, where governments have been implementing mitigating strategies to flatten epidemic curves at manageable levels. These include education, personal hygiene practices, social distancing, travel bans, and partial or total lockdowns.3 However, as lockdowns and social distancing measures are currently being lifted in stages by most African countries, governments will need to ensure that public health infrastructure and needed resources are put in place for community surveillance to identify cases and clusters of new infections through active case finding, large-scale testing, and contact tracing.