An Assessment of e-Health Projects and Initiatives in Africa
These initiatives include the Telemedicine Task Force and the Pan African e-Network
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been spearheading the development of health in member countries. In 2005 member countries signed the WHA 58 Resolution which encourages member countries to implement e-Health as a tool of fostering healthcare service delivery for their populations. The WHO has therefore been partnering with the African Union, as well as other developmental bodies, to realize the goal of implementing e-Health in African countries. There have been a number of continental initiatives aimed at harnessing e-Health programmes in Africa. These initiatives include the Telemedicine Task Force, the Pan African e-Network and many other initiatives with developmental partners who are keen to fund e-Health programmes in Africa. The major challenges have been ensuring that these programmes will be sustainable and making sure that they can be harmonized. Most African countries do not have e-Health policies, e-Health strategies and so most require guidelines for implementation. Also almost all African countries have no e-Health budget in their fiscus. However there are over three hundred e-Health pilot projects underway or planned in Africa and most of them are neither scalable nor sustainable. The majority of projects examined for this report are funded by external donor agencies or were started as research projects. They mostly (and especially the latter) cease when the donor funding is exhausted. In contrast there are very few projects funded by the Ministries of Health from inception by African Countries.
Molefi, M. An Assessment of e-Health Projects and Initiatives in Africa. WHO, Geneva, Switzerland (2010) 35 pp.