eHealth – leveraging IT to strengthen country health systems

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eHealth can play a significant role in strengthening national health systems and services, reducing costs addition in providing information and evidence for policy and decision making.

In recent years, the field of eHealth has emerged in the Region, thanks to the rapid rise in technology use , including mobile phones. Africa is now projected to have more mobile phones in the next few years than its current population.

Challenges

Key challenges to wide-scale implementation of eHealth solutions in the region include:
•    lack of ICT infrastructure on which to build the national health information infrastructure;
•    attracting private sector investment;
•    developing appropriate governance structures and mechanisms to ensure that accountability, transparency and effective leadership are in place;
•    encouraging the development and use of high-priority eHealth solutions;
•    developing the requisite human resources; and supporting secure electronic information exchange across a country’s geographical and health-sector boundaries.

WHO's work

WHO supports the leveraging of information technologies (IT) to strengthen health systems. This is done through supporting:
•    Country review of eHealth situation and regulatory frameworks;
•    Development and implementation of national policies and strategies on eHealth;
•    Development of norms and standards on interoperability;
•    Supporting countries to leverage IT to improve the availability and use of information.

Related links

WHO Regional Committee for Africa reports and resolutions: