The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a mobile phone app to help contact tracers monitor cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the organization announced this week.
“We used to use paper, filling out a form each day for every contact,” Kavira Kasomo, a contract tracer, said in a WHO article announcing the app.
Walking around neighborhoods carrying folders of documents would also raise suspicions from the local community, Kasomo added, with people fearful of being taken away and quarantined if they show any signs of the disease.
“Sometimes when I was carrying papers, I would be chased away, and then I wouldn’t be able to go back for days,” added Jean-Baptiste Kahehoro, another contact tracer.
“It is particularly focused on case and contact data collection and management,” says Armand Bejtullahu, the project leader at WHO and one of the leading designers of the app.