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Principal Investigator: Kelli O’Laughlin, MD, MPH (University of Washington)


The purpose of this research, and of the Dial-COVID interactive voice response (IVR) telephone surveillance and mitigation tool, is to help provide data to health-implementing partners and to the Ugandan Ministry of Health regarding clusters of people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 disease. It also aims to help link individuals to information and services.

The outcomes of this research will enable more effective interventions. If effective, Dial-COVID can easily be deployed in other settings for surveillance of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and could help with response to other highly transmissible infections (e.g., Ebola, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus). Further, this research will help to identify barriers and facilitators to adoption of public health interventions in support of implementing partners.

Dr. Timothy R. Muwonge

Site Principal Investigator

With the diversity of health programing and the need to survey as well as mitigate infectious diseases among refugee populations, the Dial-COVID tool comes in handy for surveillance and messaging on COVID-19 to individuals living in hard-to-reach areas within this setting. The Dial-COVID tool can be replicated to address other public health concerns in the future.

Kelli O’Laughlin, MD, MPH

University of Washington

We anticipate that the Dial-COVID interactive voice response platform will serve as an effective symptom tracker and information dissemination tool. Dial-COVID could help with characterizing the burden of COVID-19 among refugee populations in Uganda and may assist with mitigation of disease through timely and focused public health messaging.

Expected Outcomes

The study aims to implement a mobile telephone interactive voice response (IVR) symptom tracker/information dissemination tool (“Dial-COVID”) and assess uptake and population coverage.

The study will iteratively test and validate a screening algorithm for COVID-19 using symptoms and risk factors reported in Dial-COVID to predict infection. It will assess COVID-19 risk perceptions and knowledge and seek to understand barriers and facilitators to adoption of COVID-19 prevention/control measures among refugee populations living in Uganda.

Related Resources

Briefing Note COVID-19

Study update: Dial COVID – July 2021

Briefing Note COVID-19

Study update: Dial COVID – March 2021

A refugee family in southwestern Uganda. Photographer: Daniel Portal.
A medical tent in West Nile Uganda. Photographer: Daniel Portal
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