This tech company is tracking coronavirus symptoms and hotspots in Ghana

A city worker disinfects a market as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus in Accra, Ghana, on March 23.

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(CNN)Africa has more than 30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization. And while these numbers are relatively small compared to the rest of the world, the continent is not taking any chances in its fight against the virus.

Residents are creating local solutions to help curb the spread of the virus. In Nigeria, tailors are handmaking protective gear like face masks and medical overalls. And in Kenya, even though schools are closed, one woman is providing food for schoolchildren from poor families.
Now, in Ghana, a software engineering company, Cognate Systems, is using technology to track coronavirus symptoms and hotspots in the West African country.
    Using a platform called Opine Health Assistant, the company is able to record and track the frequency of coronavirus symptoms like a cough and high temperature in different parts of the country.

    Opine Health Assistant

    The Opine Health Assistant platform, launched March 26, collects information from residents about their possible coronavirus symptoms and location through a USSD short code, says Kwabena Nuamah, co-founder of Cognate Systems.
    USSD is a short code used mostly by mobile telecommunications networks and mobile money service providers like banks for transactions.
    When you dial a number that starts with * and ends with # to top up your phone credit or make a bank transfer, you are using USSD.
    "To use the platform, they have to dial the short code *920*222# or *714*444# on their mobile phones and then follow the prompts to answer questions about symptoms and other risk factors," Nuamah told CNN.
    Opine Health Assistant map showing the coronavirus reported cough symptoms in Ghana
    "It is free to use and users can make use of it on any type of mobile device they have, even without credit," he added.
    Dialing the USSD code allows residents to fill a form with questions about their symptoms, who they have been in contact with, age-range, and travel history.