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Developing Digital Apps for Ethiopia’s Healthcare

A woman makes a call on her mobile phone in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, November 9, 2015. Ethiopia's state-run telecoms monopoly will launch a tender in December or January to help the company upgrade infrastructure and expand its mobile phone coverage by about 72 percent, the company's chief executive said. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

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In Ethiopia, mobile applications are spreading fast to help health care workers and the public fight against COVID-19, which has claimed 12 lives in the country and affected about 1,100 people.  Ethiopian web developers have designed seven apps that do everything from virus tracing to sharing data and patient information among health workers. While the apps are spreading in cities, getting into remote and poor areas of Ethiopia remains a challenge. Just days after Ethiopia confirmed its first case of the coronavirus in March, 38-year-old software engineer Mike Endale, who emigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago, sent out a solitary tweet calling for help. He called on all software developers and engineers in the Ethiopian diaspora to help the health ministry by contributing open source software to respond to COVID-19. Endale became coordinator of the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team, a volunteer force of doctors, artificial intelligence specialists, software engineers and data analysts.  


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