NAIROBI CONFERENCE ON EHEALTH SEES HIGH-LEVEL PARTICIPANTS DISCUSS RAPIDLY GROWING AFRICAN E -HEALTH
PLATFORMS AND SAY NO TO “PILOTITIS”
Close to 200 participants from more than 15 countries gathered at the recently 2012 e-Health Africa Conference-Integrating m-Health into e-Health Strategy Implementation in Nairobi, Kenya on the 18th and 19th of April. Their goal was to exchange ideas, discuss innovative solutions and create collaborations in e-Health.The conference was co-hosted by Anadach Group, TeleHealth Society of Kenya and the Government of Kenya. It was one of the first multi-stakeholder events focusing on e-Health in Africa
that took place on the continent. The conference was sponsored by the World Bank Group/IFC, the African Development Bank, ICME/Magellan, FVC/Polycom, JSI, Safaricom Business and Pfizer.
The conference was opened by Ms Mary Ngari, Permanent Secretary, and Ministry of Medical Services on behalf of Hon. Prof. Peter Anyang Nyong'o, Minister of Medical Services. This was followed by a series of eight panel discussions led by leaders from
several African Governments, academia, private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations and International throughout the course of the two days.
The conference was a huge success with lively debate and exchanges of new ideas on topics ranging from global perspectives on e-Health/m-Health Issues to m-Health applications across several countries to Health Information Systems. Dr. Ogara from the Ministry of Medical Services gave an interesting presentation on the State of play on e-health in Kenya while introducing a new word "pilotitis" into the e-health vocabulary. This hybrid term describes the phenomenon of an overcrowding of numerous pilot studies for the same or similar projects or tools in the same country or area.
Mr. Sam Quarshie, of Ghana Health Services shared his presentation on Ghana’s leading role in national eHealth strategy/action on the continent. In addition, respected members of the government as well as distinguished healthcare
Prof Charles Agba (Hon Minister of Health for Togo), Dr Katherine Getao (ICT secretary, e-Government Secretariat, Office of the President), Dr Khama Rogo (IFC), Prof Wole Sobeyejo (African University of Science and Technology) and many others presented at the conference describing the state of e-health and m-health across the continent while identifying opportunities and challenges for governments, private sector, donors and others in this rapidly evolving space. The conference was closed by Mr. Emmanuel Nzai, Executive Officer, Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat.
At the end of the conference an “Innovative eHealth Solutions for Africa Award” sponsored by the African Development Bank was launched. The award will be given to the top idea that uses ICT to increase a) access to or b) the utilization of health services,
or c) improve efficiency in the delivery of health services, or a combination of each.
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