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Africa progresses into the COVID-19 Health Passport domain

By , Zimbabwe correspondent
Africa , 03 Jul 2020

Econet Group subsidiary Cassava Fintech international (CFI) has launched the SASAI Health Status Report (SHSR), a secure blockchain technology-supported solution designed to fully digitise the COVID-19 testing process.

CFI’s CEO Darlington Mandivenga said: “The SASAI Health Status Report will, at the point of testing, capture a person’s COVID-19 health status which can confidentially share, at the user’s discretion, with those who need to know - such as one’s family members and their employers- in a manner that respects personal data privacy and using secure blockchain technology. “

Blockchain technology uses a digital ledger that, among other things, stores information in a secure way that makes it possible to hack or alter the record. The use of the technology in the design of this solution is expected to serve as a crucial firewall embedded in the platform against counterfeit tests and fake tests kits.

SASAI COO Tapwera Mushoriwa said CFI developed an app to provide the platform, available via Google Play Store and Apple App Store. “The Health Status Report feature is already available on SASAI under the SASAI ‘explore’ menu. Users simply need to do a once-off registration to activate the service.”

Mushoriwa added that the SHSR feature on SASAI carries a wide range of functionalities, including test reports and the capability to share test reports.

He said: “A test report can be securely shared through three ways, with another user within the application, by SMS or by QR code.”

A user can also verify a report received by means of averification code which will be authenticated by blockchain technology.

“We are working with reputable manufacturers and suppliers whose test kits we pre-load onto the platform ahead of any testing programme,” Mushoriwa added.

Tatenda Gotora, a lecturer at Zimbabwe’s Midlands State University, said,“It’s a good initiative as the same approach to COVID-19 status update will be more secure, transparent and won' have one controlling entity if implemented well. A similar app has been deployed in some countries including Singapore, France, Switzerland, Germany and USA being coined COVID-19 Health Passports which is receiving good response”.

Gotora did raise some questions: “Will the current telecommunications infrastructure provide the needed high computation processing? … and what mechanism are they using to reach a consensus on client status?”

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