Africa forum to discuss place of tech in health transformation


ICT plays an important role in supporting, enhancing, and accelerating the achievement of health targets. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Health and technology stakeholders will be converging in Nairobi for this year's East Africa Edition of the Africa Healthcare Supply Chain Dialogue.

Ministers of Health from five East African countries, the EAC secretariat, tech leaders, multilateral agencies, financial sector and donor organisations will discuss ways technology can be used to leverage healthcare delivery through partnerships between private sector and public institutions.

“Healthcare is one of the sectors hardest hit by supply chain challenges during the Covid pandemic. Stakeholders in health service provision including governments and industry players can leverage technology to mitigate against risk, build efficiencies and resilience moving forward, and this forms the core objective of this event,” Xetova chief executive officer Bramuel Mwalo said.

The summit, which will start on February 22, 2022, is organised by the Pan-African tech firm Xetova, the Ministry of Health, Safaricom #ticker:SCOM , among others.

Mr Mwalo said the pandemic accelerated adoption of data and AI in the health sector in order to address issues to do with access, efficiency and inform investments, not only in Africa but across the globe.

“Technology continues to make a positive impact in the provision of healthcare and Safaricom continues to invest in a systems strengthening approach as part of our contribution towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of achieving good health and well-being,” Safaricom chief enterprise business officer Kris Senanu said.

Alongside networking sessions, there will be the ministerial roundtable on re-imagining healthcare supply chains post Covid-19 for health security and resilience.

There will also be plenary sessions on shaping and leading healthcare supply chains and redefining the pathway to better well-resourced healthcare systems that work for Africa.

“Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has become a policy priority for our government, aiming to ensure that every citizen has access to quality healthcare services that they need without getting into financial difficulties or poverty,” Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi noted.

“To progress towards UHC, we are working with partners to support a strong, reliable and efficient management of healthcare supply chains which is crucial in enhancing health security, ensuring optimised resource utilisation and the proper implementation of Universal Healthcare Coverage programmes in the country and we hope these successes can be adopted by sister African governments.”