The Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in north Kenya is now using an NEC thermography camera to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The camera was delivered in February through NEC’s NEC XON subsidiary, in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Peace Winds Japan (PWJ).
The Settlement itself is located in Kenya’s Turkana County, and has a population of roughly 35,000 refugees from South Sudan and other countries. The project is intended to provide those refugees with a more stable residential environment, and to facilitate communication and commerce between those refugees and the local residents. In that regard, the Kalobeyei Settlement is supposed to feel more like a community than a more traditional refugee camp.
The thermography camera will help support those goals by allowing the Settlement to resume public services that were suspended during the pandemic. In the past, Kalobeyei would provide people with vocational training and host events to help build relationships between refugees and locals, but it was forced to shut down its community centers after the Government of Kenya banned such gatherings and closed schools for the lockdown.
With the thermography camera, Kalobeyei administrators will be able to conduct surface body temperature scans to determine whether or not someone is running a fever. Doing so will make it safer to host in-person events, and help the Settlement get back to regular operations.
UN-Habitat focuses on sustainable urbanization, while PWJ is an NGO that provides emergency humanitarian and reconstruction services. The Kalobeyei project was launched in 2016, with the support of the Turkana County Government, the Government of Japan and the UNHCR.
NEC previously provided face and fingerprint technology for a Nagasaki University study that looked at the impact of biometric authentication on Kenya’s healthcare system. The company added thermal screening technology to its access control portfolio early in the pandemic, and has since made it a key feature of its contactless Front Desk Assistant.
April 27, 2021 – by Eric Weiss