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Three Accelerators To Help Health Services Respond Faster To Coronavirus

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The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world: dominating our mindscape, international discourse, national budgets and overwhelming global health systems. COVID-19 has challenged every industry – especially healthcare – to think differently, rely on data, target action and rapidly trial new models of care and technology in the race to save lives and preserve health.

BroadReach, a group of social impact businesses, hosted an online meeting with industry leaders to explore how data and technology have helped to speed up the time for health services to respond to COVID-19. Through the discussion, three major themes emerged highlighting how technology, data and human action can make a lasting positive impact.

Access to real-time data is essential
Intervention without real-time data is like driving blind in a storm, a steady flow of information on the cloud enables targeted, intelligent, swift action. For example, the Department of Health in Mpumalanga in South Africa slowed the spread of COVID-19 and were able to direct health resources rapidly using live data to identify potential hotspots and coordinate a response.

The health department focused on presumptive screening results (where someone is presumed to have COVID-19 but has not yet tested positive) and used BroadReach’s Vantage cloud platform, with advanced geo-mapping technology, to identify potential clusters or hotspots. They used this ‘presumptive approach’ as an early warning signal, saving vital time while waiting for positive test results to be confirmed up to two weeks later. This enabled them to ensure facilities in potential hotspot areas were ready to care for patients, identify areas that required field hospitals, customise educational health programmes and direct interventions using data on comorbidities (including HIV, TB and hypertension).

“We used presumptive screening data, collected via a mobile application so that we could ensure the data was available in real-time,” explained Bheki Mdlovu, Acting Chief Director: Integrated Health in the Mpumalanga Department of Health in South Africa. “Normally, a test can take between four to 12 days so we used the presumptive suspect data collected during screenings ahead COVID-positive data being available. While we waited for results, we were able to act quickly to deploy resources to affected areas as velocity and agility are very important. By the time the test results were received, we were already working to contain the spread.”

Augmented intelligence enables rapid and informed action plans
COVID-19 has forced digital transformation, accelerating how we create, harness and use data, processes and technology. Human intelligence, combined with artificial intelligence (AI), has helped health professionals to make better decisions faster. According to Mohammed Saleh, Health Industry Leader at Microsoft Middle East Africa, “a crisis is an opportunity to reinvent a successful future”.

BroadReach’s Vantage cloud platform, used by the Department of Health in Mpumalanga, is enabled by AI to help healthcare professionals and other decision-makers upload, access, integrate and analyse data in real-time. Crucially, the population health management system provides prescriptive recommended actions and workflows, which includes data and directions for managing comorbidities, maintaining a healthy workforce, contact tracing, as well as stock and facility management.

Collaboration and leadership is needed to achieve common goals
Dimagi Director of Partnerships in Southern & East Africa, Carlos Yerena, highlighted the importance of healthcare professionals, government departments and corporates working together to overcome the barriers. Dimagi has transferred much of its learning from responding to Ebola to the current situation. “Collaboration is very important and, sometimes, it takes a pandemic for us to really unlock these meaningful collaborations,” said Yerena. “In some instances, you would believe they have competing interests but establishing these strategic partnerships really supported governments and partners, and helped them utilise the different platforms in the best interests of a common goal.”

Saleh adds that with digital transformation, healthcare can change from a reactive, disconnected and cyclical process to a more intelligent, continuous collaboration process where data is collected from multiple sources then pieced together. Mdlovu concurred, advocating for a connected data approach where the patient has their own personal data, linked to the health provider, health insurer and policymaker to promote a proactive wellness plan.

Chris LeGrand, Group CEO at BroadReach, highlighted the importance of leadership and sustainability through a pandemic. “By harnessing the power of collaboration and leadership in combating this pandemic, we are better placed to extend access to basic healthcare, thus getting closer to the United Nations goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for every human. This could be a positive legacy for COVID-19.”

The vital ingredient to pandemic response is leadership. “Ultimately, leaders cause things to happen that would not happen otherwise. For this reason, leadership is essential to drive the wheels of change,” concludes LeGrand.

You can watch the COVID-19 Rapid Response: How data and technology can drive better decisions faster webinar on demand here.

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Lionel Messi Blasts Barcelona For ‘Throwing’ Luis Suárez Out Of The Club

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Lionel Messi has launched a fresh attack on Barcelona’s hierarchy for the way the club treated his close friend Luis Suárez after the striker left for rival club, Atlético Madrid.

The Argentine playmaker, who threatened to leave Barça last month and recently hit out at the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s leadership, said Suárez was harshly treated and ‘thrown out’ of the club.

In an emotional goodbye post dedicated to Suarez, the club’s third-highest scorer of all time, Messi wrote: “I had already begun to imagine it but today I went into the dressing room and it truly dawned on me. It’s going to be so difficult to not continue to share every day with you both on the pitches and away from them.

“We’re going to miss you so much. We spent many years together, many mates, many lunches and many dinners. So many things we will never forget, all the time we spent together.

“It will be strange to see you in another shirt and much more to come up against you on the pitch. You deserved a farewell that fit with who you are: one of the most important players in the history of the club. Someone who achieved great things for the team and on an individual level.

“You did not deserve for them to throw you out as they did. But the truth is that at this stage nothing surprises me anymore.”

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Ya me venía haciendo la idea pero hoy entré al vestuario y me cayó la ficha de verdad. Que difícil va a ser no seguir compartiendo el día a día con vos, tanto en las canchas como afuera. Los vamos a extrañar muchísimo. Fueron muchos años, muchos mates, comidas, cenas… Muchas cosas que nunca se van a olvidar, todos los días juntos. Va a ser raro verte con otra camiseta y mucho más enfrentarte. Te merecías que te despidan como lo que sos: uno de los jugadores más importantes de la historia del club, consiguiendo cosas importantes tanto en lo grupal como individualmente. Y no que te echen como lo hicieron. Pero la verdad que a esta altura ya no me sorprende nada. Te deseo todo lo mejor en este nuevo desafío. Te quiero mucho, los quiero mucho. Hasta pronto, amigo.

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On Thursday, an emotional Suarez said goodbye to Barcelona and paid tribute to Messi after sealing a switch to Atletico Madrid. The Uruguay international had previously made it clear that he wanted to stay and see out his contract but was told by Barca’s new coach Ronald Koeman that his playing days were over at the club.

Suarez helped the club win four LaLiga titles, four Copa del Rey crowns, and the Champions League in 2015. He scored 195 goals and provided 113 assists in 283 outings for the club before his exit.

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Western Togoland ‘Military’ Group Block Major Roads To The Volta Region

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Reports reaching KUBILIVE reveal there is chaos on Kpong-Akosombo road as young men believed to be members of the Western Togoland have mounted roadblock at Akrade preventing vehicular movement.

The group said to be wielding implements and sticks chanting war songs mounted the roadblock around 3: 00 am Friday turning away vehicles as they claim ownership of the area.

Armed Police and Military officers have been deployed to the scene.

The Western Togolanders also used heaps of sands to block the Mepe-Sege road and the Accra-Ho road at Juapong preventing the flow of traffic.

As a result of the blocks, most passengers traveling to areas in the Volta Region including Tefle, Tsopoli, and Juapong have all been left stranded

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15-Year-Old Girl Smoking Sparks Outrage On Twitter | WATCH

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A video of a 15-year-old girl smoking was uploaded to Twitter and it has sparked outrage.

The number 1 trending topic at the moment amongst Nigerians on Twitter is “She’s 15” as people debate the girl’s action.

15-year-old girl smoking, sparks outrage on Twitter (video)

A number of people have been condemning the girl, while some made a case for her, saying we all did silly things at 15 but didn’t film it.

Watch below.

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