AfDB Co-Sponsors Innovative e-Health Event in Nairobi

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Some 200 participants from more than 15 countries gathered in Nairobi on 18 and 19 April for the e-Health Africa Conference- Integrating m-Health into e-Health Strategy  Implementation.

The conference was co-hosted by Anadach Group, TeleHealth Society of Kenya and the Kenyan government, and was sponsored by the World Bank Group/IFC, the African Development Bank (AfDB), ICME/Magellan, FVC/Polycom, JSI, Safaricom Business and Pfizer. It was one of the first multi-stakeholder events focusing on e-Health in Africa that took place on the continent. Their goal was to exchange ideas, discuss innovative solutions and create collaborations in e-Health.

The conference was opened by Mary Ngari, Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Medical Services on behalf of Peter Anyang Nyong'o, Minister of Medical Services. This was followed by a series of eight panel discussions throughout the course of the two days.

It was seen as a huge success with lively debate and exchanges of new ideas on various topics including global perspectives on e- and m-Health Issues, m-Health applications across several countries and Health Information Systems.

Dr Ogara from the Ministry of Medical Services gave a 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.

“It was amazing to see the commitment of such a number of important partners, from governments to development partners and the private sector who made this event a success”, said Bineta Ba, Health Economist at the AfDB , who chaired sessions related to panel  presentations and discussions “ on e-health: from formulation to implementation”.

“In particular I was excited to see the wide diversity and high level of experiences and knowledge each country brought to the conference. The innovative ideas and initiatives presented at the conference, combined with the strong commitment for partnership and implementation of initiatives show great promise for the future of ehealth and mhealth in Africa and the benefits these innovations can bring to its people".

The AfDB sponsored the afternoon and evening sessions of the second day of the conference and during a dinner ceremony launched the “Innovative eHealth Solutions for Africa Award”. This 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.