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COVID-19: Motlhala app offers alternatives



A young Motswana Golebileone Bosa Setlamelo has built a tracking application dubbed Motlhala. The application offers interventions to the COVID-19 negative aftermaths. Setlamelo is a computer systems engineer by profession. He tells that he does not only consider himself as a guy behind technology but an all-rounder that innovates. He has made innovative creations on solutions, agriculture and marketing among other areas he has penetrated over the years.

Recently in an interview with Parrot News, Setlamelo tells that the application was designed to offer simple and easy to use technicalities for all Batswana. “It is a fairly simple app, we have an option on somebody who has a QR code, or a barcode of some sort that identifies users. The barcode can be printed, stored on your device or you can generate a barcode from your ID card. It would then be dependent on how you want to use the app, it could be for personal registration or business,” tells Setlamelo.

According to the innovative Setlamelo, persons that have downloaded the app can take it to store entrances where their devices could be scanned with their Motlhala business app. The app is fast and respond with adeptness, in less than 23 seconds the scanned device will provide details of the person that has entered the store.

Furthermore, it prompts for temperature at whatever place the user may visit. “If a persons’ temperature is above 37.4 it would request a second scanning, and if the user’s temperature surpasses the stipulated temperature it would then notify the Ministry of Health and Wellness through its in-built module and thus making it very rapid in notifying the relevant ministry that there might be a symptomatic individual,” said Setlamelo.

He said that the different demographics who do not have smart phones and ID’s have been catered for. According to Setlamelo, elderly people who go to post offices who do not have internet connection to download the app, they could use the card, or printed QR Code or barcode. “The Motlhala name was inspired from within in that we owe it as innovators and producers to our country, I could have named it COVID-19 tracker but there is an Africanism spirit that lives within me and I had to localize it and make it a people’s software. It is widely known that even in our homes when we are looking for our beasts we track it using after their Motlhala and that is the idea behind the name,” said Setlamelo.

The application is inclusive of sectors and departments that are working hand in hand to beat the spread of COVID-19. “When I created the application I thought about the elderly and the school kids, I thought about the interventions that could help us as a nation to easily track our persons. We need that more than ever, I did not believe that the systems in place were capable to fully include everyone in the whole registration and also tracing them should the need arise, and I learnt that there was no instant notification plan to the relevant ministry,” he explained.

The application also allows an opportunity for government to be able to identify the places that are currently being visited the most and therefore will know what plans to put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19.