The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 exposed global healthcare disparities and ushered in new opportunities for innovations.
The pandemic revealed that the world could adapt without traditional means of conducting business like in-person meetings, shifting many sectors to digital platforms.
During the pandemic, various digital innovations emerged to tackle pandemic-related challenges.
In the healthcare sector, digital tools for public health, including health surveillance systems, remote care provision, health communication, data-driven decision-making, and supply chain optimization, played a crucial role in fighting COVID-19.
The rise of public health crises like pandemics underscores the need for modern solutions, such as digital innovations, to combat contemporary challenges.
As the Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2023), organized by the African Union and the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approaches in Lusaka Zambia, stakeholders are gearing up to share insights on digital policies, programmes, and technologies.
One of the key topics at the conference will be how digital innovations can transform Africa’s health systems. Insights from the conference are expected to drive positive changes in Africa’s healthcare systems.
Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Chief Digital Advisor at CDC and one of the CPHIA 2023 event organizers, emphasises the potential of digital innovation in healthcare.
“Digital healthcare solutions like telemedicine, mobile health applications, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and many others have the potential to transform Africa’s healthcare systems. These tools can address healthcare gaps if implementation challenges are overcome,” said Nsengimana.
However, Nsengimana pointed out that Africa is facing challenges in adopting and scaling up digital health solutions, including infrastructure gaps, limited funding, lack of technical expertise, and regulatory barriers.
He disclosed that this year’s CPHIA conference will provide a platform for stakeholders to align efforts, and resources, and work together to digitally transform health systems.
“In addition to panel discussions, the conference will include workshops, exhibitions, and ample networking sessions dedicated to enabling attendees to forge partnerships, share knowledge and best practices, and identify opportunities for collaboration to drive the implementation of digital health in their respective countries and organizations,” added Nsengimana.
“This year’s conference marks the third international CPHIA. The conference will provide a platform for leaders across Africa to reflect on lessons learned in health and science and align the continent to create more resilient health systems.
This year’s conference will be held from November 27 to 30 under the theme “Breaking the Barriers: Repositioning Africa in the global health architecture.”
Reported Bernard Kankhono.