Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH), the Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives (ideSHi) and Mugda Medical College Hospital (MuMCH) have jointly launched the first one-stop digital booths for COVID-19 screening and testing in Bangladesh.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, and Chairman of Mugda General Hospital Management Committee, inaugurated the booth at the hospital through a videoconference, said a press release.
The initiative under a multi-partner consortium, led by Concern Worldwide, which is implementing the Essential Healthcare for the Disadvantaged (EHD) in Bangladesh Programme, funded with UK Aid from the UK government.
The EHD programme is being implemented under the guidance of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The service will be available from morning to evening except Friday, and the service is free of cost. Patients will get the test result and additional advice, within 48 hours.
In order to ensure quality and safety, this booth will collect 150 samples daily, on a first come first serve basis.
This model will provide lessons which could potentially help the programme expand the initiative in other parts of the country, including more rural areas where there is shortage of doctors and medical facilities.
Mugda Medical College Hospital is providing operational support, and ideSHi will provide full laboratory testing of the COVID-19 samples.
DH has followed design guidelines developed by the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB), who have adapted successful designs from Korea and other countries for the Bangladesh context.
The IAB designs aim at providing highest safety standards for patients, and protect sample collectors from risk of infection, through a completely airtight negative pressure system.
After a tele-consultation with a doctor, patients with strong symptoms of COVID-19 will proceed to the nearby DH sample collection booth.
Based on the success of the booth at MuMCH, Concern Worldwide will support DH and other members of the EHD Consortium to set up non-stop booths in other parts of the country.
Focus will be on helping the disadvantaged populations in hard to reach rural areas of Khulna and Barishal divisions.
Saber Chowdhury said this venture is a solid example of multi-sectoral engagement and partnership wherein the government, development partners, private sector and foundations have all come together in responding to COVID19.
Dr Firdausi Qadri, emeritus scientist, icddr,b said that the ideSHi's mission and vision is to help Bangladesh with finding solutions to health problems in Bangladesh.
Sajid Rahman, CEO of DH, said this innovation can help protect essential test resources – and ensure only those who truly need a test on medical grounds will receive one.
Jalal Ahmed, president of Institute of Architects Bangladesh, thanked Digital Healthcare Solutions for its very timely initiative to implement the design.
Fahmida Shabnam, human development team leader, DFID Bangladesh, said this initiative could rapidly scale up testing, particularly among disadvantaged populations in rural areas.
Hasina Rahman, country director, Concern Worldwide, said the response is totally aligned with the COVID-19 Bangladesh National Preparedness and Response Plan (NPRP).