Digitization of Health Declaration Forms of the Ghana Health Service and the Manufacture of the AI Binocular Thermometer Reader at the Kotoka International Airport
The emergence of COVID-19 in Ghana brought strict measures at the ports especially at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to prevent the spread. The President of the Republic of Ghana insisted on adhering to COVID-19 preventive protocols including banning public gatherings, shutting down public places and ports
Before the ports were opened, a comprehensive system was put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by reducing material, object, or human contacts and contact tracing of travelers. The Port Health Unit of Ghana Health Service (GHS) has been mandated to ensure travelers adhere to the COVID19 protocols including taking of temperature of travelers and filling out the Health Declaration Form (HDF) to get their health status and travel history of travelers.
The paper-based HDF was identified as potential material that would enhance the spread of COVID-19 because of the possibility of its many contacts. Also, data collation for analysis to identify areas and persons for contact tracing was time-consuming, a situation which is unacceptable during outbreaks where time is of the essence in bringing the same under control.
HDF is a mobile and web application that is used to collect bio, health, and travel history data of travelers arriving at KIA. The application is used by the KIA Port Health Service and Covid-19 testing laboratory to screen travelers for covid-19 and potential infectious/communicable diseases.
In view of the advances in Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for health, HDPI partnered with the GHS to convert the paper-based HDF to electronic to eliminate paper contacts, speed up the arrival processes at the port and make it easy to identify travelers with COVID-19 for contact tracing.
In September 2020, a fully functional electronic platform was developed to replace the paper HDF. Currently, the Kotoka International Airport boasts of a fully digitized, paperless HDF for arrivals with plans underway to do the same for departures.
The digitization of the Health Declaration Form was undertaken at a critical moment as a further boost to Ghana’s role in the COVID-19 response. The strategic partnership between the Ghana Health Service and HDPi made this possible in record time. Going forward, it is our expectation that follow-up discussions will lead to a smooth transition of the system to the Port Health Unit.
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