Africa: COVID-19 HealthAlert

26 March 2020
Praekelt.org
press release

Ensuring the public has the best possible health information is crucial during an outbreak.

At best, misinformation can distract from critical health prevention support. At worst, it can lead to behaviour that amplifies disease transmission. The novelty of COVID-19 makes the challenge even greater as viral speculation can easily overwhelm the limited information we do have.

With countries experiencing a massive need for direct communication about COVID-19, Praekelt.org (using Turn.io) has developed a solution to empower citizens with the right information and support the national response of the health systems that serve them.
HealthAlert disseminates accurate, timeous information to the public via WhatsApp at population scale.

 How does it work?

  •     A WhatsApp-based helpline to support users on health queries or concerns, helping to direct them to accurate information sources when required.
  •     An automated information response that provides answers to the most frequently asked questions and relieves traffic to call centre helplines.
  •     Machine learning and natural language understanding that enable automatic triage, helping to manage conversations at scale.
  •     Real-time data insights to support effective decision-making in the national response to COVID-19.
  •     Support in multiple languages.         

Available for free for any country response, HealthAlert is critical to ensure that citizens have access to the best possible health information during this outbreak.

How is it currently being used?

HealthAlert is currently being implemented as COVID-19 Connect in South Africa by the National Department of Health.

Countries or organisations can roll out their own versions in local languages and enhance the service with country-specific information that is trusted and up to date.

How to launch in your country

  •     Please Contact info@praekelt.org
  •     Confirm support from a national health body (such as the Ministry of Health)
  •     Source localised FAQs and information (content template will be provided)
  •     Employ human operators to support the Helpdesk
  • Confirmed Implementations

COVID-19 Connect (South Africa) - Click here to view implementation.

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