Together with the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (ITF - the instrument of the wider European and African Union’s Partnership on Infrastructure) and the Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation (LuxDev), ESA is pleased to announce the fourth Invitation to Tender (ITT) within the eHSA programme addressing sustainability, liability and business aspects in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the frame of the phase 1 activities of the “Satellite-Ehanced Telemedicine and eHealth for Sub-Saharan Africa Programme - eHSA”, this opportunity will be opened to industry from 108 states.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces a number of barriers avoiding its overall development. The serious health problems which are evident across the continent are one such barrier. The poor health situation is reflected both in high concentrations of communicable diseases and the sparse average health outcomes across the populations, especially amongst disadvantaged groups such as rural dwellers, the poor, women and children.
In many places, there are insufficient human and financial resources to apply the required levels of health care needed to address these issues. This is often exacerbated in remote areas where current physical and telecommunications infrastructure have proved insufficient to provide the health care services required therefore raising significant barriers to delivery.
The Telemedicine Task Force (TTF) was set up in 2006 with European organisations, African stakeholders and the World Health Organization to analyse the status, make recommendations and propose a way towards a sustainable, satellite-enhanced eHealth and telemedicine network for the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. In this respect, ESA, in collaboration with the Luxembourg Agency for Cooperation and Development and with the co-funding of the Government of Luxembourg and of the European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, has launched a programme (Satellite-Enhanced Telemedicine and eHealth for Sub-Saharan Africa Programme - eHSA) with the aim of enabling the development of a satellite-enhanced eHealth infrastructure for the benefit of the sub-Saharan Africa. This is a significant opportunity for the identified health needs of the region.
Satellite-based communication technologies can play a significant role especially in rural areas, where wired networks are non-existent and commercially not viable to roll out. Satellite solutions can enable a variety of services and rapidly unfold the potential of externalities, such as eLearning and eAdministration, which are of high interest for the region. The first phase of this programme is formed by four studies addressing basic issues which are critical success factors for all e-Health services development. The first three studies, addressing Governance, Regulatory and Interoperability aspects are already under way.
In the long term, newly developed eHealth and Telemedicine services will succeed only if they are able to become self-sustainable. Sustainability is strongly related to
a) developing partnerships amongst all stakeholders involved in the service provision and ensuring their endorsement;
b) building a convincing economic framework that can foster development as well as business opportunities.
These two aspects have to demonstrate not only the potential opportunities that can be generated (in terms of externalities, commercial services, etc.), but also how it will be possible to get a return on the investment done on the future satellite enhanced infrastructure.
The main objectives of the Study on Sustainability, Liability and Business Aspects are:
Bidders from EU Member States, Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific Group Member States, can download the ITT documentation through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (ITF) Portal.