Wellness

EAC urged on e-health and Telemedicines

BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

KIGALI, Rwanda–East African Community (EAC) States have been urged to corporate in developing relevant Policies and regulations which will support the six block member states in adopting new technologies to enhance health care delivery through the use of information technologies.   

The call was made by Uganda’s   Second Deputy Prime minister and also the Minister for East African Affairs Rt Hon Ali Kirunda Kivenjinja during the recent 2nd EAC Regional e-Health and Telemedicine Ministerial Conference and International Trade Exhibition that took in Kigali Rwanda.

Kivenjinja who’s also the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers observed that the adaptation of e-Health and Medicines in the region can save millions of dollars that the East African Community states have been spending on travel abroad for specialized medical treatment.

“In order to lower the cost of medical services in the region, the member states should embrace e-health and medicine which has been embraced by he developed countries especially in Asia and Europe   with the development of science and technology which most east African Community Countries have adopted it makes easier for the partners state to adopt e-health and Medicines”Kivenjija said.

The 2nd EAC Regional e-Health and Telemedicine Ministerial Conference and International Trade Exhibition was organized by the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) in collaboration with the East African Regional Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Engineering and e-Health at the University of Rwanda, the EAC Secretariat and Partner States convened the 2nd EAC Regional e-Health and Telemedicine

It was attended by Ministers responsible for health, Medical researchers, and policy makers from the East African Community and Development partners working in the East African Community. During the Meeting the participant came up with various recommendations which can foster the application of e-health and Medicines in the region.

Among the recommendations, the participants directed the EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Engineering and e-Health to conduct a study in the application of eLearning systems for training Health Professionals in the Region and Interuniversity Council of East Africa to develop a regional framework to enhance regional and south-south collaboration in capacity building for e-Health by Jan 2020.

Other recommendations from the Kigali Meeting it was the directing of the East African Science and Technology Commission {EASTECO} to promote incubation of local digital health solutions in collaboration with the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States’ Ministries and Agencies responsible for ICT, Science, Technology and Innovation and submit progress reports to relevant Sectorial Councils and the Council of Ministers every two years;

And lastly the meeting also resolved that east African Community  Member’s  states should   have a National e-Health Strategy develop it in line with the World Health Organization  and International Telecommunication Union   National e-Health Strategy Toolkit by 2020;

Among the key officials that attended the Kigali Meeting  are the Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali H. Kirunda Kivejinja, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs, Uganda and Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers; Hon. Sarah Achieng Opendi, Minister of State for Health, Uganda; Hon. Dr. Patrick Ndimubandi, the State Minister for Public and Primary Health, Rwanda. Kenya was represented by Hon. Dr. Rashid Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health, and Hon. Ken Obura, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of EAC and Northern Corridor Development among others