'eHealth For Africa' To Debut In Nigeria, Fight Battle Against Malaria
Africa will soon be experiencing an increase in electronic technology, benefitting the current health system, thanks to a newly introduced initiative.
According to The Guardian, the pharmaceutical company Novartis has introduced “eHealth For Africa” and will be making its debut in Nigeria. An updated version of the Short Message Service (SMS) for Life system in public facilities, the program is aimed towards strengthening the healthcare system.
Approved by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, “eHealth For Africa” is a computer-based solution to support medical stock visibility and reporting, disease surveillance and health workers’ training, the site reported.
Rainer Boehm, president of Novartis, stated at a recent forum in Lagos that Africa was still disproportionately affected by infectious diseases that put a significant burden on developing economies. According to Boehm, the life expectancy is 15 years less than the global average.
“In supporting the implementation of ‘eHealth For Africa’ in Nigeria, Novartis remains committed to fighting the battle against malaria and other infectious diseases and improving the lives of patients in other countries across Africa as well,” Boehm said.
The program will provide information to the Lagos State Ministry of Health on topics such as malaria, HIV, measles, yellow fever and cholera.
Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said using technology to track and secure the availability of vital medicines, with respect to a health system that serves a 21 million population, is an exciting development, it was reported.
“Through ‘eHealth For Africa’, we look forward to improving access to quality medicines for all patients in Lagos and by extension Nigeria; as well as helping our own healthcare teams to learn more about the management of deadly infectious diseases,” said Idris.
During the pilot phase between July 2014 and March 2015, “eHealth For Africa” will be implemented in all public primary healthcare facilities in the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Lagos State.
Microsoft launches Tech for Social Impact for elderly care
Microsoft Tech for Social Impact, the tech giant's division offering tools for non profit organisations, has announced it is expanding to include aged care non profits around the world.
This means that non profit organisations helping elderly residents in nursing homes or with other daily support will now be eligible for technology grants and discounts of up to 75%, as well as training and capacity building to help with digital transformation.
The care home sector has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for some of the most vulnerable people in society. As a result organisations around the world have been deploying innovative technologies, such as IoT to create monitoring solutions that enable independent living, through to AI-driven robots that provide companionship as well as alert the user's care team if there are any changes to their symptoms.
The German Red Cross (DRK) is an early adopter that is already benefitting from this programme expansion as part of Microsoft Tech for Social's pilot scheme. DRK provides services and assistance to over 40,000 people at more than 500 aged care facilities in Germany, with a further 90,000 receiving care in their own homes.
Thanks to Microsoft 365 cloud technologies such as SharePoint and OneDrive, along with Teams for communication, DRK was able to continue its daily work even at the height of the pandemic crisis. Residents of DRK facilities used Teams to keep in touch with relatives despite restrictions to visits, and there are plans to continue using these channels in the future to prevent isolation among residents.
Following the pilot’s success, the programme will offer discounts and grants to eligible organisations for its Microsoft cloud stack including Business Applications, Azure and Modern Work, leveraging the firm's sector-specific tools with Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit which will be generally available in the second half of 2021.
Microsoft estimate that around 75,000 new non profit organisations around the world will be eligible for the programme.