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Africa’s Digital Health Systems Must Have Right ‘Infostructure’ To Support Region’s Health Systems Strengthening

Devex: How can Africa prepare for post-2015 digital health investments?
Richard Gakuba, international digital health/e-health consultant

“…[I]f developing African countries are to truly harness future digital health investments to strengthen health systems, they will need to ensure that the right ‘infostructure’ and institutional capacity are in place first. … While many African countries have not yet invested heavily in digital health, some of the best digital health implementations have occurred in Africa. … Global health commitments to invest in digital health can and certainly should aim at leveraging efforts and commitments readily available in Africa … African countries can position themselves well to contribute to the architecture of future global digital health by: Putting the right digital health policies and governance structures in place … Developing digital health strategic plans and corresponding resources … Building an ‘infostructure’ that can support existing and future digital health systems … Implementing information systems that are cost-effective and scalable … Evaluating and documenting achievements in digital health…” (4/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.