UGMC, PharmAcess join forces to fight Covid-19

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The University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and PharmAccess Foundation, has introduced a new care coordination service app, to efficiently provide healthcare services for people with Covid-19. The app, CovidConnect, will offer individuals a range of services including care management and monitoring, to patients.

CovidConnect will ensure the sharing of trusted and credible information on Covid-19, early detection of suspected cases for testing and containment, screening using symptoms so that only those who require hospital care actually go to hospitals, freeing up healthcare capacity for high risk patients, and sharing of data insights with the Ministry of Health to complement and boost the overall national Covid-19 response.

The app allows users to enter symptoms onto it, and those considered to be at high or moderate risk will be called by a team of officers who will remotely offer the needed help and recommend COVID-19 testing for them. The app is now available and can be accessed through the Luscii application on playstore and app store.

The Chief Executive Officer of UGMC, Dr. Darious Osei, said the service will be a game-changer in the battle against the pandemic which is sweeping across nations. He observed that, with the facility already designated to manage and treat people with Covid-19, the newly launched app will assist health workers to provide adequate care for their patients.

Country Director for PharmAccess Foundation, Dr. Maxwell Antwi, highlighted the importance of the digital service.

“Through this digital service, you are directly connected to a dedicated medical team, including medical specialists and consultants, who will remotely monitor your symptoms and provide medical support and advice. And if need be, seamlessly connect you to expert psychological counseling and testing for Covid-19 and if need be, Hospital Management,” he stated.

Dr. Antwi further noted that the app has been introduced to support and provide additional service to Ghana’s health system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Covid Connect which is provided by UGMC comes at no cost to users to the digital service. By signing on and recording your symptoms such as cough, breathing rate [and] sore throat, our team of doctors at UGMC will evaluate the symptoms and provide you with the required guidance and care in relation to your medical condition.”

With the service currently available to only residents in the Greater Accra Region, he promised that citizens in other regions, particularly epicenters, will have access to the service in the coming weeks.

Dr. Antwi further noted that the app has been introduced to support and provide additional service to Ghana’s health system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“CovidConnect which is provided by UGMC comes at no cost to users to the digital service. By signing on and recording your symptoms such as cough, breathing rate [and] sore throat, our team of doctors at UGMC will evaluate the symptoms and provide you with the required guidance and care in relation to your medical condition.”

Meanwhile, PharmAccess has launched an initiative which aims to address the barriers of access, affordability and quality of essential medicines in Ghana through a regulated digital supply chain platform, has been launched in Accra.

Entrepreneurial not-for-profit organisation, PharmAccess Ghana’s digital platform, MED4ALL, is expected to link health service providers with certified and authentic medicines.

According to the Country Director of PharmAccess, Dr Maxwell Akwasi Antwi, the project will also cut down turnaround time in acquiring medicines for healthcare delivery.

With an estimated 30% of medicines in Ghana being reported fake or substandard, leading to failure to treat illnesses and unnecessary deaths, the foundation says the time has come to reduce these incidents.

“The platform connects trusted medicines to healthcare providers. By trusted we mean medicines approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the suppliers themselves having approval by the authority,’’ Dr Antwi told pressmen at the launch of the platform.

He said the platform will also ensure affordability of medicines for providers, so that “prices are within the purchasing power of the consumers.”

Another issue the innovation is expected to tackle is drug shortages.

With the platform, he said, “patients will be able to access drugs at hospitals, clinics and pharmacies at any given time.”

Regarding how the platform will work, Dr Antwi said, “A provider would be required to get onto the MED4ALL platform and log in, and then a dropdown of all essential medicines in Ghana would pop up.”

All the prices of the drugs on the platform would have been negotiated and the supplies determined. The provider would then key in the quantum of tablets of medicines required – after which the supply is automatically notified.

 

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