Table 1

Use of technology in Uganda’S COVID-19 response

Aspect of COVID-19 responseApplication of technology
Testing
  • Instant access to COVID-19 laboratory results, their dispatch and management to support quick action.

  • Communication of results and follow-up of COVID-19-positive clients.

  • Registration and payment of testing fees such as at the airport.

  • Verification of results and traceability to the laboratory test centre.

  • Reporting of testing data by facilities.

  • A mobile phone application supported the issuance of COVID-19 digital certificates.

Contact tracing and surveillance
  • Tracing of contacts.

  • Transmission/sharing of data such as daily situational reports from the lower levels to the centre or within the same levels.

  • Conduct surveillance such as using the Electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System.

  • Screening, clearance and tracking of travellers at border districts.

  • Website with dashboard providing updates on surveillance.

Risk communication and community mobilisation
  • Develop multilingual information and communication campaigns.

  • Share COVID-19 information and messages through mobile phones and social media.

  • Citizen engagement for feedback and data collection on important COVID-19 impacts.

  • Obtain and monitor incidents, beliefs and opinions about the pandemic.

Supportive supervision and training
  • Supportive supervision and mentorship of health workers.

  • Training health workers on COVID-19 prevention and management and other services.

  • Communicate guidance on the maintenance of health services and other guidelines.

  • Mobile applications facilitated adherence to the MOH COVID-19 guidance by community health workers.

  • Phones supported improved communication between community health workers and health facilities.

Maintenance of essential health services
  • Communication campaigns about adjustments to critical services delivery and encourage continued access to health services.

  • Provision of information about services, conduct triage and appropriately refer clients.

  • Reach out to clients with scheduled clinic visits such as through phone calls.

  • Electronic logistics management information system facilitated the procurement process for COVID-19 commodities.

  • Provision of health services including health information remotely including consultations, mental health and psychosocial support, and laboratory testing.

  • Ordering and delivery of health products and commodities.

  • Providing instructions such as through videos and follow-up of clients to ensure medication adherence and reduce lost to follow-up.

  • Reach out to district or health authorities to avail transport for critical services such as delivery.

  • Establishment of toll-free telephone numbers for victims of gender-based violence to access services.

  • Training youths to use social media platforms to advocate for services utilisation, such as contraceptives

  • MOH, Ministry of Health.