Date: 11th October, 2023
Time: 03:00-04:00pm (Central African Time)
Venue: Online via the Zoom Platform (Register now)
The use of digital technologies to increase access to health is gaining momentum in developing countries, including those in sub-Sahara Africa, due to increasing penetration of mobile technology and the quest for innovative strategies to support the implementation of health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to attain the Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In 2022, out of the about 1.4 billion people living in Africa 30% had access to internet, 83% had mobile cellular subscriptions out of which smartphones account for about 39% of all SIM connections, and this could surpass 66% by 2025. Nowadays, the mobile money market in sub-Saharan Africa has become an epicentre, accounting for almost half of all mobile money registered accounts globally. Despite these promising figures, many people in the region today deal with several real-life barriers to digital health access due to limited connectivity and electricity, including urban-rural divide, gender inequity and low digital literacy. Digital Health Interventions (DHIs) include using digital and mobile technology such as eHealth, mHealth, self-tracking wearable devices and artificial intelligence to support individual health care and health systems in service delivery. It improves health by addressing health system challenges, enhancing coverage, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages while maintaining the quality of service.
Successful digital health initiatives require a strategic delivery framework to coordinate implementation and monitor progress. Since 2005, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted various resolutions to encourage member States to develop and implement digital health strategies at regional and national levels to contribute to the achievement of health related SDGs and UHC. In line with this, the Regional Committee for Africa further adopted a resolution to advance digital solutions in Africa. Today, about 41 African countries have developed a national digital health strategic framework, although most are still in the pilot stage.
Several challenges have been identified as drawbacks to scaling up digital health in Africa, including limited resources, issues with data protection and system security regulations, limited digital health leadership capacity, inconsistent adoption of standards and interoperability frameworks, and the low level of health worker involvement in digital health. Furthermore, low cross-border sharing of evidence limits the development of best practices.
This webinar seeks to explore what needs to be done in order to realize the potential of digital health in Africa.
Thematic areas for discussion will include but not limited to
- Exploring the potential resources available for the advancement of digital health in Africa and the actors involved.
- Understanding the issues with data protection and security regulations
- Exploring why there is inconsistent adoption of standards and interoperability
- Understanding why there is low level of health worker involvement in digital health
- International community
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Ministries of Health
- Health Informatics
- Public health experts
- Communication Specialist
- Digital technology experts
Senior Health Policy Analyst, Nkafu Policy Institute,
Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation
Simbock Yaounde, Cameroon
Participants will be invited by email and or WhatsApp.