Early last month the Department of Health launched HealthCheck, a self assessment tool that could be used by South Africans to determine whether they need to be tested for COVID-19.
Today the technical minds behind HealthCheck, Praekelt.org and Turn.io, have announced that over one million South Africans have used the service.
As a quick refresher, HealthCheck is accessible via a USSD shortcode – *134*832#. The service has been zero-rated by Telkom, Vodacom, MTN and Cell C so South Africans can access the service at anytime even without airtime.
HealthCheck asks users a series of short questions which helps determine the risk category they fall into.
Based on guidelines provided by the Department of Health, persons in higher risk categories will be guided to self-isolate, test or seek emergency care.
South Africans can also make use of COVID-19 Connect on WhatsApp (add 0600123456 as a contact and say Hi) for the same purpose.
“Importantly, all data from HealthCheck will remain private and secure and will only be used by the NDoH and NICD to map possible infections or future outbreaks and input into epidemiological models to inform decision making on the national response to COVID-19,” said Praekelt.org and Turn.io in a joint statement sent to Hypertext.
While having over one million users in a month is good, the Department of Health implores South Africans to check themselves at least once a week. Local network operators will reportedly be sending out reminders to locals to check themselves.
Given that this service is free and gives government access to vitally important data we urge our readers to heed the advice and self assess at least once a week.