Africa’s Digital Health Program

Since Africa is currently undergoing a digital revolution, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa www.afro.who.int and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) www.itu.int have signed a Cooperative Agreement to use digital technology to strengthen public health services in Africa over the 2018-2030 period.

The partnership will build platforms to scale digital health at the national level, build the workforce capabilities to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and address the need for multi-stakeholders partnerships to sustain the adoption of digital health especially in rural and remote areas. The partnership brings together financial institutions, telecommunications operators, and ICT companies with the goal to strengthen public-private partnerships.

The partnership will tap into smart, cost-effective solutions by harnessing Africa’s digital revolution to strengthen health systems providing health service delivery, medical information, and education for communities.

“The two organizations are going to expand the use of ICTs in health to achieve Sustainable Development Goals particularly universal health coverage in Africa,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa.

Another partnership to further the development of technology in Africa was signed between ITU and the Association of Communications and Telecommunications Regulators of the Community or Portuguese Speaking Counties (ARCTEL-CPLP) www.arctel-cplp.org  to focus on implementing projects in Portuguese-speaking African counties.

According to Filipe Batista, Secretary-General of ARCTEL-CPLP, “The partnership is very timely as we are working on a common digital agenda in a number of projects in member countries. These projects hope to promote digital inclusion, innovation, and serve as a role model within the next ten years.”

Under this partnership, ITU will support ARCTEL-CPLP’s project “Sustainable Villages for Development” (SV4D) which is being implemented in Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Sao Tome and Principe. The goal is to promote connectivity and broadband access as well as the universal use of ICT especially in remote areas.

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