As the fight against coronavirus continues, Rwanda has introduced a new solution to test and treat COVID-19 patients.
According to CNN, the East African nation has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots donated by the United Nations Development Program to the Kanyinya Treatment Centre treating sick patients in the capital city, Kigali.
Today, at Kanyinya Treatment Centre, @UNDP_Rwanda handed over five (5) Smart Anti-Epidemic Robots to the Government of Rwanda, represented by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation. pic.twitter.com/PVeTMYJHQu
— Ministry of ICT and Innovation | Rwanda (@RwandaICT) May 19, 2020
The anti-epidemic robots are said to conduct mass temperature screening, monitor patient status, and keep track of medical records of COVID-19 patients, according to Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation.
“These robots will perform temperature screening in our treatment centers. The robots will detect people walking in not wearing masks so that with the voice, the command post can quickly be informed and respond,” Dr. Daniel Ngamije, Minister of Health of Rwanda, told CNN.
According to BET, Rwanda has been making an effort to identify each coronavirus case within its borders, and believe they can be a success story in regards to preventing disease.
“Rwanda, from all indications, is a success story for Africa,” said Tolbert Nyenswah to NPR, who ran the Liberian ministry of health’s response to Ebola in 2014. “No country is out of the woods yet, so what needs to be done is to follow the (prevention and containment) measures. Political leadership is very, very crucial. Rwanda should continue what it is doing now. And other countries should emulate Rwanda.”
The African country during this time has been able to mobilize community healthcare workers, police, and college students to work as contact tracers, setting up national and regional command posts to track cases, NPR states.
Although they’re not the first country to use robots to manage COVID-19 cases, the human-sized robots Rwanda is using now have been effective when coupled with their willingness to listen to their government.
“Rwanda did a few things that are quite smart,” Sema Sgaier, the head of the Surgo Foundation, told NPR. “One is they responded really early. They put some of the most stringent lockdowns in place compared to every other African country. In fact, we’ve been monitoring physical distancing data across the continent and Rwanda fares, I think, second; they’ve physical distanced the second most across Africa.”
While other countries continue using their own methods to stop the virus, Rwanda could become a model example of how to prevent an influx of cases.