Electronic COVID-19 Point of Entry Screening and Travel Pass DHIS2 implementation at Ugandan Borders

Uganda confirmed its first COVID-19 case on 21st March 2020. This was after Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania had already registered their first cases, leaving only Burundi and South Sudan with no cases in the East African Region. Additional cases were soon confirmed barely a week later, making it necessary for Uganda to take drastic measures to control importation and community spread of the disease. The international airport was closed on 26th March 2020 and a partial lockdown (only essential movement of COVID-19 response and food and agriculture vehicles) was also introduced. As of 20th April 2020 Uganda has a cumulative number of 55 positive confirmed cases, 38 cases recovered and no death due to COVID-19.

As a landlocked country, Uganda depends on trade routes via Kenya-Mombasa and Tanzania-Dar es Salaam for most of its international imports, including petroleum products. Uganda also serves as a gateway for imports into Rwanda, DRC and South Sudan. Due to COVID-19, these routes were closed to entering and departing passengers, and activity at the country’s 60 borders crossings were strictly limited, allowing only truck drivers of essential Ugandan products and commodities plus those destined to neighbouring countries to enter and exit.

Since 2013, Uganda has been working closely with DHIS2 tracker developers to configure and test tracker to support case investigation and lab linkage of notifiable diseases. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 case investigation data needs were added in the eIDSR system. To help prevent the import of new cases of the disease, there was need to strengthen border screening and tracking of truck drivers who were still allowed to enter and exit through Ugandan borders. HISP Uganda supported the configuration of DHIS2 tracker and Android Capture App for real-time data capture and printing of traveller’s passes for drivers and truck occupants who were cleared to travel. A DHIS2 traveller’s pass printing app was also added to facilitate the process of printing approval and tracking passes.

Implementation Process

  1. Point of Entry Screening, Traveler’s pass printing and Traveller Locator app

With the surveillance shifting more to Points of Entry (POE), an additional module to support screening and clearance for travel was also added to eIDSR. An additional mobile app fully integrated with POE data capture in eIDSR was added to track travellers at different checkpoints within the country after clearance at point of entry.

  • On arrival at the port of entry, truck drivers and occupants are all subjected to a mandatory COVID-19 screening and specimen collection before they are screened and cleared to enter the country.

  • Using the DHIS2 android app, traveler details (Bio data, Identification, Photo ID, country of departures and travels in the last 14 days, destination and address in Uganda, information on whether samples were collected or the driver was put in isolation, and clearance for travel among other data points).

Disclaimer: All data in screenshots are made up and does not represent real people nor real details

  • A color paper pass is printed for the travelers bearing their photo, QR code and some of the details above, to be presented at different checkpoints for QR scanning and updating POE systems on their location at a given date and time.

Disclaimer: All data in screenshots are made up and does not represent real people nor real details

  • If cleared to travel, the traveller carries their travel pass with them and is required to present it at the different checkpoints within the country. At these checkpoints, we capture the date, time, and GPS location, so if COVID-19 test results for that traveller are returned as positive, Ugandan health authorities can identify the traveller’s last checkpoint and intended destination, and either locate the traveller or alert the next checkpoint to stop him/her.

Disclaimer: All data in screenshots are made up and does not represent real people nor real details

DHIS2 Implementers (Dr. Prosper Behumbiize, Immaculate Ayebazibwe (Emma) and Patrick Omiel)


This is very interesting. Thanks Prosper for the detailed write up explaining the use case and the solution!

Nice Job.

Great Innovation, Thanks Prosper and team.

Excellent story about adaptation and use. Thank you very much for sharing!

Please can you get me introduced to any of the Implementer?

Dear @aadepoju

Sorry for the delayed response, i can be reached on prosper@hispuganda.org