Transforming African Healthcare: Digital Health Solutions Showcased at UNGA78 Science Summit

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Transforming African Healthcare: Digital Health Solutions Showcased at UNGA78 Science Summit

The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) is convening a hybrid meeting on September 14, 2023, as part of the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78). This meeting aims to showcase the power of innovative digital health solutions for addressing unmet medical needs in Africa.

Despite significant investments in product development for poverty-related infectious diseases (PRDs), progress in achieving public health gains remains slow, with sub-Saharan Africa carrying the highest burden of these diseases. To achieve rapid progress and impact, research and development integrated into health systems in Africa need to embrace the opportunities presented by digital health solutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the use of digital health and the generation of novel knowledge that could advance the prevention, treatment, or diagnosis of PRDs in sub-Saharan Africa. With rapidly growing ‘digital-hungry’ populations, primarily composed of young people with a median age of under 20 years, combining health technologies with other scientific innovations such as mobile and digital technologies, artificial intelligence, big data processing, and other emerging technologies offers the potential for the widespread transformation of health systems.

During the Science Summit at UNGA78, EDCTP invites a wide array of stakeholders, including policymakers, regulators, researchers, product developers, and innovators, to join this important session. By collectively embracing digital health solutions, there is an opportunity to advance towards a more efficient, equitable, and contextualized healthcare system in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This lays a strong foundation for the post-2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

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In a hybrid meeting entitled ‘Investing in research and development of innovative digital health solutions for Africa,’ convened by EDCTP, examples will be showcased to demonstrate how the use of digital technology in public health interventions can serve as a driver for the development of African health systems. This approach can improve access to health data and research evidence, leading to better-informed health policies and improved clinical guidelines for healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa.

EDCTP, a partnership between African and European countries with co-funding from the European Union (EU), is investing in innovative approaches to enhance research on poverty-related diseases (PRDs) in sub-Saharan Africa. Launched in 2003 and renewed in 2014 and 2021, EDCTP has been the focal point of EU support for global health research in Africa, showcasing a visible commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the second EDCTP program (EDCTP2; 2014-2024), a total investment of EUR 823 million has been made, comprising 436 grants awarded through 60 calls for proposals. The results from these clinical trials have generated pivotal evidence that has informed national and international policy and practice.

The Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) aims to develop and launch science collaborations to support the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030, and Local 2030. This platform will examine the enabling policies, regulatory frameworks, and financial environments required to implement and sustain global scientific collaborations. By leveraging data-enabled approaches to science, research, and development, the SDGs can be achieved.

In conclusion, the showcase of digital health solutions at the UNGA78 Science Summit presents a unique opportunity for transforming African healthcare. With the integration of digital technology into health systems, Africa can make substantial progress in addressing unmet medical needs and improving access to healthcare. By embracing digital health solutions, stakeholders can collectively strengthen health systems, develop informed health policies, and lay the groundwork for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage in Africa.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the purpose of the meeting convened by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)?

The purpose of the meeting is to showcase the power of innovative digital health solutions for addressing unmet medical needs in Africa.

Why is there a need for digital health solutions in Africa's healthcare system?

Despite significant investments in product development for poverty-related infectious diseases (PRDs), progress in achieving public health gains remains slow in Africa. To achieve rapid progress and impact, research and development integrated into health systems in Africa need to embrace the opportunities presented by digital health solutions.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the use of digital health in Africa?

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the use of digital health and the generation of novel knowledge that could advance the prevention, treatment, or diagnosis of PRDs in sub-Saharan Africa. With rapidly growing populations that are digitally inclined, combining health technologies with other scientific innovations offers the potential for widespread transformation of health systems.

Who is invited to join the important session at the Science Summit?

Stakeholders including policymakers, regulators, researchers, product developers, and innovators are invited to join the session at the Science Summit.

What are the potential benefits of embracing digital health solutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)?

By collectively embracing digital health solutions, there is an opportunity to advance towards a more efficient, equitable, and contextualized healthcare system in LMICs. This lays a strong foundation for the post-2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

What examples will be showcased during the meeting?

The meeting will showcase examples of how the use of digital technology in public health interventions can serve as a driver for the development of African health systems. These examples will demonstrate how digital solutions can improve access to health data and research evidence, leading to better-informed health policies and improved clinical guidelines.

What is the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)?

EDCTP is a partnership between African and European countries with co-funding from the European Union (EU). It invests in innovative approaches to enhance research on poverty-related diseases (PRDs) in sub-Saharan Africa.

What goals does the Science Summit aim to support?

The Science Summit aims to support the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030, and Local 2030. It examines the enabling policies, regulatory frameworks, and financial environments required to implement and sustain global scientific collaborations.

How can digital health solutions contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

By leveraging data-enabled approaches to science, research, and development, digital health solutions can contribute to achieving the SDGs. They can improve access to healthcare, inform health policies, and ultimately work towards Universal Health Coverage in Africa.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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