Tanzania urges east African countries to invest in digital health technology
technology stood a better chance of
strengthening regional healthcare services and addressing all aspects of
Tanzanian Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday
urged the East African Community (EAC) member countries to invest in digital
technology to accelerate implementation of the UN Sustainable Development
"We can no longer ignore the direct correlation of
poverty and social vulnerability in aggravating poor health," she said
when opening the 7th East African Health and Scientific Conference at the
Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in the business capital Dar es
She said Tanzania has already embarked on digitizing its
healthcare system through the Ministry of Health and several other agencies to
help track medicine consignment from purchase point to delivery point and
online reporting of the adverse effects of the use of medicine and cosmetics.
"We have recorded positive impact of our healthcare
sector since we embarked on digitizing our systems," she told the
conference that has attracted researchers and scientists from the east African
region, Africa and beyond the continent.
However, the Vice-President said challenges still remained
in having adequate manpower to support these initiatives and funds to train new
manpower and come up with new initiatives.
Gibson Kibiki, the Executive Secretary of the East African
Health Research Commission, said digital health technology could improve health
governance as well as access to quality and effective delivery of health
"The rapid increase to mobile technology in Africa has
fostered a conducive environment for the use of information and communication
technology in health," he told the conference themed Technology for Health
Systems Transformation and Attainment of the UN-Sustainable Development Goals
in East Africa.
Kibiki added that over the last 15 years, east Africa has
witnessed an expansion of digital health across the entire health sector.
Alongside the three-day conference, an international health
exhibition held by research institutions, health care facilities,
medical/health academic institutions, medical and pharmaceutical industries,
EAC organs and institutions, international organizations and UN agencies was
showcasing their services and products.
The exhibition allowed participants to showcase products
from research, academia, healthcare services and the health sector in general