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Aga Khan Health Services and Aga Khan University launch COVID-19 self-screening app in Tanzania

20 May 2020, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Aga Khan Health Services and Aga Khan University have launched CoronaCheck, a new mobile app for android and iPhone that will help Tanzanians easily and safely evaluate symptoms with an in-home screening tool and understand the next steps to looking after themselves. This app can be downloaded free of cost.

The app which has been developed by the Digital Health Resource Centre of the Aga Khan Development Network is an effort to support government efforts to reduce the spread of the disease.

Sisawo Konteh, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam said: “The biggest part of COVID-19 pandemic challenges is changing the way we think about the disease! With this app, you can quickly detect your symptoms for self-reporting for medical attention and testing to overcome the fear, anxiety, myths and stigma through the innovative digital app platform which will help re-envision and drive change on how we can take control over our health and lives during the pandemic.”  

The app uses an interactive chatbot, driven by Artificial Intelligence, which allows users to understand their symptoms, recognise whether they may have contracted COVID-19 and seek help in a timely manner. It also aims to identify potential coronavirus carriers and limit their risk of transmission. The app also lists the national helplines available for easy reference.

The tool has been adopted from the Alberta Health Services and modified to meet the local context and the evolving epidemiology of the disease. The technological expertise for developing the app has been provided by AKU’s Technology Innovation Support Centre, TISC.

Saleem Sayani, Director, Technology Innovation Support Centre at AKU said: “CoronaCheck provides an opportunity to reduce burden on health systems. Our initial findings suggest that only 19% of users required immediate testing and medical assistance. This leads to a considerable decrease in number of visits to health facilities, thereby ensuring critical resources such as testing kits and health workers’ time are allocated toward those most in need.”

CoronaCheck also seeks to tackle myths and misconceptions by featuring educational videos, to combat the increasing amount of unverified information circulating on social media platforms. It also includes authentic information on best practices to protect oneself from infection, advice on self-assessment, and precautions and guidance on physical distancing recommended by World Health Organization and National Health Ministries.

CoronaCheck can be downloaded from the Google or Apple Play Store.

For media inquiries contact:

Aga Khan Health Services
Olayce S. Lotha
Senior Manager Marketing
olayce.lotha@akhst.org
Tel: +255 717 516 650

Aga Khan University
Maria Kisanko
Communications Officer, Tanzania
maria.kisanko@aku.edu
Tel: +255 753 042906
Website: www.aku.edu