Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 August 2019:
KT Corporation has today announced that its Global Epidemic Prevention Platform (GEPP) started service in Ghana on 14 August 2019 – the first such endeavour outside of Korea.
KT, the leading Korean telecommunication provider, said that the landmark platform, GEPP Ghana, was officially launched after a ceremony held at Accra City Hotel in the Ghanaian capital. The project, in conjunction with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), is the first public-private partnership between Korea and the West African country.
KT said GEPP would enable the GHS to improve its ability to fight diseases in a more systematic manner. The platform is the result of a joint effort by KT and the Ghanaian government to advance Ghana’s health information system, using information and communications technology (ICT). They signed an agreement last November to start the endeavour.
GEPP Ghana has three functions: GEPP Public warns Ghanaians who are visiting epidemic-prone areas; GEPP Clinic enables the public to make real-time reports to health offices if an epidemic erupts; and GEPP Gov. enables the government to gauge and monitor a public health crisis based on data collected from GEPP Public and GEPP Clinic.
Photo: From left: Dr. Chastity Walker of CDC, Okoe Boye Bernard, parliamentary of health committee, Lee Dong-Myun, the president, Future Platform Business Group of KT, H.E. Sungsoo Kim, Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Dr Ebenezer Odame, Director of Policy Planning and Evaluation (PPME) at the Ministry of Health (MOH), and DR. Ekua Essumanma Houphouet, Disease Control Prevention Officer at the GEPP launch ceremony.
Data is also collected from newly digitized airport immigration information, which until now has been manually compiled. The platform will help the Ghanaian public quickly respond to the current Ebola virus disease outbreak in Africa.
As it will be much easier to report to health authorities during an outbreak, there will be a drastic improvement in early detection of the disease and response.
At the GEPP Ghana launch ceremony, KT gave a briefing on the platform produced by the Korean-Ghanaian public-private partnership, the big data-based quality health information service to benefit Ghanaians and the Ghanaian government’s enhanced capacity for epidemic preparedness.
Ghanaian attendees at the ceremony included Okoe Boye Bernard, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health; Dr. Ebenezer Odame, Director of Policy Planning and Evaluation, Minister of Health; Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, director-general of the Ghana Health Service; and other representatives of the country’s health community and the ministries of information, interior, national security, and communications.
Among other participants were Korean Ambassador to Ghana Kim Sung-Soo, and officials from international agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank Group.
“We are pleased that the Ghanaian people will receive high-quality health services provided by big data on health and communications technologies,” said Lee Dong-Myun, the president of KT’s Future Platform Business Group.
Lee also said that KT would continue to explore new ways to use its varied technologies and capabilities in international collaborative projects that address global human welfare.