The Plateau State government has announced a ‘Developers Challenge’ programme to support software developers to find solutions to a variety of problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recorded over 785,897 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus, worldwide and 37,826 deaths. In Nigeria, there are over 131 cases as at the time of this report and the country expects the figure to spike as is the rest of the continent with more than 10, 000 cases already recorded.
While the medical community is rushing to search for solutions to the spread of the disease with a big push for vaccine and medicine research, big ICT companies and the tech communities are also upping their game to save humanity from the dreaded virus.
“Tech has a history of helping the medical industry track and treat viruses. Among more recent examples is flu tracking. In 2018 the US experienced a particularly severe flu season. During this time aggregated user data collected through Kinsa’s smart connected thermometers indicated illness spikes across the country” noted one report.
Plateau State has no record of COVID-19 case but surrounding states of Kaduna, Bauchi, Benue and even the FCT (Abuja) have laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus.
The Plateau State government believes that policy, technology, the medical industry and communities must be fully mobilised to halt the spread of the disease, said Director General of Plateau State Information and Communication Development Agency (PICTDA), Mr. Daser David in Jos, the state capital.
He added: “Governor Simon Lalong is a firm believer in the power of technology and is totally committed to getting all stakeholders including the medical and technology communities to find solutions that will not only raise awareness on COVID-19, but offer new approaches and quick actions to addressing crisis situations, like the current one related to the coronavirus.”
The ‘Plateau COVID-19 Developers Challenge’ is open for participation to all developers in the provision of solutions for saving lives, communities, and businesses. The COVID Challenge is seeking to get Nigeria’s tech community offer solutions round defeating COVID-19 on three focus areas that capture the global challenge of: Saving lives; Saving communities; and Saving businesses.
Like the rest of world, Plateau State, and indeed, all of Nigeria, is not silent on finding a solution, David stressed.
As one report noted, “n terms of COVID-19, we are seeing another rise in digital epidemiology tools, chatbot helpers, EHR guidance tools and rapid-response test kits.
“Apple launched a COVID-19 website and corresponding app. The new site [an Apple health check], which serves as both a screening tool and information platform, was born out of collaboration with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA. Users are able to go onto the site and answer a list of questions including symptoms, risk factors and exposure. At the end of the survey users are given a directive about possible next steps.”
With COVID-19 pandemic not abetting, the digital health community has released “a slew of new tools aiming to monitor the spread of the disease and facilitate better treatment.” Tech giants Facebook, Amazon and Google are already talking with the WHO to help combat the spread of disease, as well as address misinformation.
“We strongly believe that through the ‘Plateau COVID-19 Developers Challenge,’ we can stir our young people’s resourcefulness and sense of innovation to provide solutions that raise awareness on the pandemic, help to manage misinformation, and provide real-time answers to medical personnel in kicking out the coronavirus including reducing their exposures to the disease” said Daser.
Follow the link below to sign up for the challenge: