Three computer science students at Laikipia University have developed a website containing the latest global data on Covid-19.
The website: www.tsconect.com records over 50,000 visitors a day, up from 400 when it was launched in the first week of April.
The traffic on the website is huge, as it has attracted visitors from across the globe.
John Mumo, Brian Mutiso and Francis Kinyoru, who came up with the innovation, are final year students.
The trio heeded the call not to travel upcountry and instead channelled their skills to update the world on the most sought information.
They are now the co-directors of their software development company — tsconect.com.
The data on the website is generated from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as John Hopkins University and Amref Health Africa.
“When the pandemic was first recorded in the country and learning was disrupted, we decided to stay around and look for something to do. That is when we thought of coming up with a website to generally update the world on so much sought figures,” Mumo says.
The website, which was launched on April 4, relays country-specific data with cases of Covid-19. The information includes statistics on infections, deaths and recoveries. It also displays graphs and charts on how the virus is spreading as well as breaking down terminologies for easier understanding.
“We wanted to make it as easy and interactive as possible for users. A user can key in a specific country they want to check on and get all the information in real time because data is sourced from credible sources,” says Mumo.
The website also poses questions to help visitors test if they are high or low risk.
“At the end of the questions, the user is given recommendations on what next to do,” says Mumo.
When the results indicate that a user is high risk, the website recommends that they seek medical attention and when low risk, they are advised to keep safe and wash their hands, sanitise, wear masks and avoid contact with people who have tested positive for the virus.
Besides data and statistics, the website displays news related to Covid-19 from different countries to keep users informed of developments in their locales.
“Anyone across the world can check the website for information. We wanted to help not just Kenyans to access useful information. The world is a village and we wanted to make something bigger that will bring the world together,” says Mutiso.
He says they thought of applying their knowledge in software development to bridge information gap.
“The system can also be accessed on phone for those who do not have access to laptops and computers,” Mutiso says.
The system, Kinyoru says, requires a lot of time to monitor to make sure it keeps on running.
“We are only three of us and we do all the work to keep the system running. This requires dedication and passion and sometimes we only sleep for two or even one hour a night. Although we do not benefit commercially, we want the world to access information and keep safe so we can all contain the pandemic,” says Kanyoru.
But even as the trio burns the midnight oil in their single room trying to inform the world, they face monumental financial challenges.
“Keeping the system running means we require full time Internet and we use over Sh1,500 a day. Times are hard, especially since we do not have a source of income and all of us have mobile app loans we have taken to keep the system running,” says Mumo.
“Students have the skills but most times they lack the necessary resources to start such life-changing projects,” he adds.