Africa CDC, Smart Africa unite to advance digital health in the continent

ETHIOPIA – The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and Smart Africa have entered into a strategic partnership deal aimed at accelerating the use of digital technologies to improve healthcare across the African continent.

The agency announced that the signed agreement will focus on connecting all of African health facilities and workforce by 2030 as well as advancing health data protection, portability, interoperability, and governance in the continent.

The agreement provides a platform for the two organizations to collaborate on a range of initiatives, including connecting all African Health Facilities and workers by 2030.

Under the deal, the two parties will work together in the organization of digital health convenings to be hosted by African Union Member States.

It also paves the way for the co-hosting by the Africa HealthTech Summit that will happen on the sidelines of the upcoming International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA22).

The agreement was witnessed by H.E. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, Digital Economy Ministers from the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of Togo, the Republic of Sierra Leone, and top executives from various organizations.

President Lazarus Chakwera said in Malawi, the Digital Impact Alliance has supported country-level efforts to use data for decision making in the health sector.

He pointed out that the alliance has supported Malawi in the allocation and deployment of the 900 health facilities as well as in building risk and epidemiological models to predict and understand the likely impact of the pandemic on the population.

Now, we have a Data for Development Technical working group to apply these data models to sectors beyond health,” the Malawian President highlighted.

He revealed that there are ongoing government efforts to make Malawi part of the digital revolution underway around the world.

The President further disclosed that Malawi is in the process of constructing a fibre backbone that runs across the country while confirming the recent establishment of a national data center to streamline the management of public information.

But the application of these things to the health sector is worthy of a special mention tonight, because tonight we are witnessing history, as Africa CDC and Smart Africa sign a Memorandum of Understanding to digitalize the health sector in Africa by the year 2030,” he concluded.

At the same time, Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Director General of the Africa CDC reaffirmed that the agency is committed to leveraging the full potential of technology in advancing Africa’s New Public Health Order.

 He observed that digital health innovation holds great potential to expand access, increase quality and reduce the cost of health services across the continent.

The digital tools not only improve the public health response but also generate vast amounts of data which, when harnessed within national health information systems, open avenues for advanced analytics, disease modelling, and forecasting,” Dr. Ahmed Ogwell said.

In addition, leveraging the power of digital technologies reinforces the capacity of health authorities and policymakers to quickly detect, notify and effectively respond to public health threats.

Mr. Lacina Koné, Director General and CEO of Smart Africa commented: “The future of healthcare in Africa is digital-first, powered by mobility and a growing population of digital natives who demand to play a more proactive role in their health and care.

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