A new mobile application called ‘GEPP’ has been launched in Accra, for use by the public, to aid the early detection and prevention of infectious diseases.

The app developed under the Global Epidemic Prevention Platform (GEPP), a collaborative initiative between the Korean Telecom (KT) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), seeks to prevent the transmission of infectious disease in all parts of the country.

This follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in November last year between the KT and the GHS to strengthen capacity on disease surveillance.

The app, which can be downloaded for use on android and IOS smart phones, has been programmed to alert users to be aware of potential infections, to encourage users to report their symptoms to health authorities and provide them with nearest hospital information.

Dr Ebenezer Odame, Director of Policy Planning and Evaluation (PPME) at the Ministry of Health (MOH), who launched the app, said the health sector would leverage on the technology to detect, prevent and quickly respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases with epidemic and pandemic potential

“According to the United Nations Development Group, the West African sub-region lost over USD 3.6 billion annually between 2014 and 2017 due to an increase in trade, closing of boarders, flight cancellation and reduced foreign direct investments,” he said.

Dr Odame stated that though there has been an improvement in Ghana’s level of emergency preparedness, the threat of highly infectious pathogens being transmitted across the country truly existed.

Dr Dongmyun Lee, President, Future Platform Business Group of Korean Telecom, said the app can simultaneously be operated by GHS, informing them of nationals who have travelled to epidemic countries or even local areas.

The app according to him, sends messages on disease information, and prevention measures to users for pre-response during their stay in connected areas.

“It would rapidly investigate reports, assess public health risk, share information to allow the implementation of public health control measures control measures at national level and also warn citizens of local and seasonal diseases,” he said.

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General of the GHS urged the public to download and make use of the app, to help Ghana improve public health and minimise socio-economic loses.

Source: GNA