COVID-19 USSD-code health literacy campaign

20 April 2020 | Story Supplied. Photo Pexels. Read time 1 min.
The information platform by UCT’s Global Surgery division is accessible to people without a smartphone or data.
The information platform by UCT’s Global Surgery division is accessible to people without a smartphone or data.

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Global Surgery division in the Faculty of Health Sciences has developed a platform of reliable and accessible information dissemination on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for communities without access to smart technology or data.

COVID-19 has affected more than a million people globally, and South Africa now has the highest number of people in Africa infected with the virus. South Africa is the most unequal country in the world with the widest gap between the rich and the poor.

There is a lot of information available electronically, but most of it can only be accessed if the reader has access to data. With a lot of false information being spread about COVID-19 and the urgent need to prevent the spread of the disease to less resourced communities, UCT’s Global Surgery division decided to create a more widely accessible electronic platform to educate the community on the disease.

In the first two days of launching this platform, we reached over 1 000 households,” said Salome Maswime, head of Global Surgery. “The simplicity, accuracy of the information and translations into different languages have been highly commended by users.”

The platform uses a USSD code and is accessible without data – even for users without a smartphone.

Dial *120*1341*100#.


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