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Digital Information and Consultation Platform in Zimbabwe

09.02.2021

SolidarMed Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) developped a Digital Information and Consultation Platform for the use of the population to get to get any information about Covid-19. It is currently being utilised by Health Care Workers in Masvingo.

Digital contact centre provides health information for the population

In view of the outlook of a potentially catastrophic impact of Covid-19 – as signalled by the WHO – on the already weak health system of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean government requested partners to suggest digital health solutions as part of the response, and to consider the potential for national reproducibility and sustainability beyond the global pandemic.

SolidarMed and its cooperating partners, the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) (among others) proposed to establish a provincial contact centre that provides health information to the population, consultation and counselling to patients and health care workers while also having the ability to contribute to the much-needed data collection, disease mapping and surveillance. The need had been triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic where patients could be encouraged to stay at home and health professionals to use the digital health tools. The contact-centre utilizes phone access for medical advice and guidance.

Following this initial set up, a Zimbabwean electronic Triage (eTriage) system was developed to structure referrals according to ‘good practice’ and avoid unnecessary visits to overburdened health facilities.

Health Care Workers are trained to receive calls in the contact centre as agents

In addition, remotely stationed healthcare workers are being trained to answer Covid-19-related inquiries over the phone and to continue to provide patients with medical advice. In addition, community health workers sensitise the community about the Digital Information and Consultation Platform that is being used in Masvingo to respond to COVID-19 related inquiries.

Following this initial set up, a Zimbabwean electronic Triage (eTriage) system was developed to structure referrals and avoid unnecessary visits to overburdened health facilities.