Telcos to Aid GHS in Disseminating Emergency Information on COVID-19 to Ghanaians

The National Communication Authority (NCA) has granted permission to the telecommunications network operating in Ghana to send emergency communications from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to all their subscribers.

According to the Authority, the decision forms part of measures to educate the public on the novel virus.

Speaking in an interview, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Telecommunications, Kenneth Ashigbey, explained that the new arrangement will prevent unsolicited messages from reaching consumers.

“What this will mean is that it will prevent unsolicited messages but only messages on COVID-19 going to consumers. It will be in SMS, we are also looking into using our social media platforms to share videos and audios as well and if it gets to a point where it escalates it is not going to be an SMS but a notification on your phone,” he explained.

He added that his outfit is also considering the use of technology to help the GHS trace contacts or persons who might have come into contact with infected persons.

“We also are looking into other possibilities where we can use technology to trace contact persons to be able to help them. This will be something that the Ghana Health Service will do but we want to look at it from the point of technology, what are the things that can be done? We are trying to learn from the things that have happened in countries with advance cases, we are in touch with organizations like the GSMA and the Bureau of National Communication to work in tangent to able to support the GHS.”

Ashigbey CEO

                                                                             Kenneth Ashigbey, CEO of Chamber of Telecommunications

What other measure are the Telcos adopting to fight COVID-19?

The telecommunications network has indicated that in collaboration with the National Emergency Communication Centre together with the National Communications Authority, all calls placed to the COVID-19 emergency number will be charged at zero cost to the public.

“The ten digit numbers are difficult to remember in a crisis and so we agreed that the national emergency number 112 will be used and calls can be made even without airtime,” he said.