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Use of Technologies in COVID-19 Containment in Rwanda

Musanabaganwa Clarisse1,*, Semakula Muhamed1, Mazarati Jean Baptiste1, Nyamusore Jose1, Uwimana Aline1, Kayumba Malick1, Umutesi Francine1, Uwizihiwe Jean Paul1, Muhire Andrew2, Nyatanyi Thierry2, Harvey Thom3, Hitimana Nadia5, Byiringiro Fidele6, Mutesa Leon2,4 , Nsanzimana Sabin1

1Medical Research Center (MRC), Joint Task Force, Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), Kigali, Rwanda
2Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), Joint Task Force,  Rwanda Ministry of Health (MOH), Kigali, Rwanda
3Tony Blair Institute for Global Change,   
4Center for Human Genetics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
5Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Kigali, Rwanda
6Rwanda Military Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda


The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged from Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019 and was thought to be an unknown pneumonia that was causing acute severe respiratory distress and respiratory failure in some patients as well as other complications [1]. Later on, the disease showed high virulence and rapid transmission from person to person. WHO declared the disease a pandemic as the spread was affecting most countries. 

Different modes of technologies have helped to tackle and contain this disease [1]. COVID-19's rapid mode of transmission triggered the use of technologies on another level for control and surveillance within the health system. For instance, to strengthen community awareness about prevention measures such as maintaining social distancing, public health messages are disseminated using SMS or via the internet. 

Most people worldwide are benefiting from technology as one of the efficient tools applied to gain knowledge about this pandemic [2]. Technology is key in streamlining the workflows in healthcare and in public health settings. Artificial Intelligence and data science are seen as influential tools for control and surveillance of COVID-19 worldwide, currently used in fast-tracking diagnosis, containing, analyzing and predicting COVID-19 in a fast, scalable and efficient manner [3]. The COVID-19 pandemic stimulated the need to develop and position various applications such as health maps that present the worldwide pandemic outbreak situation in real-time [4]. Robotics utilization in healthcare management for COVID-19 has been deployed and is so far assisting healthcare practitioners as well as the epidemiologists [5]. The prime use of such robots is to lessen contact from person to person, to engage in hospital sterilization along with cleaning and to assist in patient monitoring with the overall goal to minimize viral spreading to doctors and medical staff actively engaged in COVID-19 management. Robots not only facilitate healthcare professionals but also improve overall healthcare facility efficiency by decreasing their workload in managing the pandemic [6]. The robots used in healthcare facilities are primarily categorized based on their design and applications. There are now 12 category of robots used in healthcare facilities, which are hospital nurse robots, receptionist robots, ambulance robots, hospital serving robots, cleaning robots, radiologist robots, disinfection/ spraying robots, telemedicine robots, surgical robots, food robots, outdoor delivery robots and rehabilitation robots [7].


By: Dr. Clarisse Musanabaganwa

Category: Outbreak report

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