The Minister of Health and Population Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda on Wednesday launched the 2020-2025 Digital Health Strategy, with a commitment t improve the flow and use of information in support of the delivery and management of healthcare services.
Chiponda said the government realizes that increasing demands on healthcare systems call for a change in the organization and management of health services, including the integration of digital solutions that support timely and accurate decisions, as it has been demonstrated during the Covid-19pandemic.
In2005, the World Health Assembly, through its resolution WHA58.28, urged Member States “to consider drawing up a long-term strategic plan for; developing and implementing eHealth services, developing the infrastructure for information and communication technologies for health, promoting equitable, affordable and universal access to their benefits.
The resolution tasked the countries and stakeholders to direct their efforts towards creating a consistent eHealth vision in line with a country’s health priorities and resources, developing an action plan to deliver the proposed vision, and creating a framework for monitoring and evaluating eHealth implementation and progress.
More than120 Member States– including low-and middle-income countries such as Malawi – have developed such strategies and policies.
Chiponda disclosed that Malawi also developed the eHealth strategy in 2015.
“The vision of the global strategy is to improve health for everyone, everywhere by accelerating the development and adoption of appropriate, accessible, affordable, scalable and sustainable person-centric digital health solutions to prevent, detect and respond to epidemics and pandemics, developing infrastructure and applications that enable countries to use health data to promote health and well-being, and to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and the triple billion targets of WHO’s Thirteenth General ProgrammeofWork,2019–2023,” she said.
The minister stated that through the Digital Health Strategy 2020- 2025, the Malawi Government shall ensure that Malawians have access to information and clarity in relation to decisions and decision-making processes as well as the implementation of public policies and results.
She said this will enable citizens to effectively follow and contribute to transformative process, thus advancing “our inclusiveness agenda.”
“Further, this will promote and enhance the demand for accountability and contribute to the curbing and eradication of corrupt practices because the use of new technologies, including the use of digital platforms will ensure that information is readily available and costs associated with provision of public services are reduced.
“The reduction and cost savings are expected to trickle down to individual access to healthcare. If we implement this Digital Health Strategy well, we will bring openness and transparency to our health service and further promote better health in the long run,” narrated Chiponda.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has designated the Directorate of Planning and Policy Development to lead and coordinate the implementation of Digital Health in the health sector.
At national level, the government designated the Ministry of Information with representation at the Cabinet level to champion digital governance.
Chiponda said through this commitment, the government has embarked on a drive to create a conducive environment for e-government by improving the digital infrastructure, inclusive digital policies and legislation, tax reduction on digital products and a drive to extend access to digital services to rural communities.
However, the minister noted that harmonization of investments remains key to ensuring that finances, time and efforts are not duplicated through parallel initiatives and to ensuring that digital health solutions respond to the needs of service providers through adopting a human cantered approach by emphasizing adoption of the principles for digital development in any digital health initiative.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :