Launch of the IAP community portal for eHealth in sub-Saharan Africa (eHSA)

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The Satellite-enhanced eHealth for sub-Saharan Africa (eHSA) Programme intends to deliver economically sustainable eHealth services in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The programme.s to federate stakeholders from various organizations along the service provision chain will shape its success. This portal serves as a tool facilitating exchange of news, contacts and discussion among the stakeholders.

 

Background

Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by its wide geographic extent, low population density, and vast rural areas. These factors, coupled with the drastic shortage in healthcare workers render eHealth an effective solution for the provision of healthcare in SSA. eHealth shows considerable potential for the delivery of significant and measurable improvements to health outcomes in the region.

Based on the outputs of the Telemedicine Task Force (TTF), which was initiated in Brussels in 2006, ESA began investigating the potential role of satellite-enhanced eHealth solutions and services in Africa. As an institution with no commercial interest, ESA has tried to realise the vision of the TTF and their recommendations. Currently, ESA.s SAHEL demonstration project is showing the capabilities of space technology to support the deployment of eHealth solutions in sub-Saharan Africa. This is being done in rural areas where the penetration of conventional ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) is scant. The development of sustainable eHealth services requires not only demonstrations, but also an understanding of the sub-Saharan African landscape. Additionally, the involvement of key African public and private organisations (stakeholders) is needed in order to create of a sense of African ownership over any proposed solution. These are the objectives of the eHSA programme.

In light of the magnitude of the required actions, and the common end goals of helping attain the United Nations. (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is to the benefit of all involved stakeholders to build upon each other.s. work, networks, events, strategies, and ideas. Since the provision eHealth services is a broader undertaking than traditional healthcare, it is important to realise that the stakeholders required for the success of the programme are not just the medical community and Health ministries, but also include others coming from many other sectors, a few examples of which include ICT, academic, financial, research, and government.

The goals set out for the eHSA programme are very ambitious. This portal intends to be used by the various stakeholders involved in eHealth in the SSA region to facilitate contacts amongst them and publish news, documentation, events, and programme outputs for the benefit of the community.

 

 
25 September 2012 - Last updated at 22 May 2014 - 17:45