World Bank Day @ mHealth Summit – Opening session

Notes from the eDevelopment Thematic Group event World Bank Day @ mHealth Summit – mHealth from policy to implementation.


Part 1 : Global Policy Dialogue on mHealth

Welcome & Site introductions

    Deepak Bhatia, Lead e-Government specialist, Global ICT, World Bank
    Oleg Petrov, eDevelopment TG coordinator, Global ICT, World Bank
    David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance

    mHealth as catalyst for measurable health impacts

    Especially World Bank mHealth projects are being looked at

    There are a lot of opportunities for synergies

    How can we work together more effective to deliver more efficient health care?

    It’s extremely exciting, there’s a lot to be done – we have an important mission

    Introduction of country offices – a lot of participants and discussions there


    Session 1: Opening & Keynote

    • Introduction

    Yaw Ansu, Human Development Director, Africa Region, World Bank

    Africa is facing great challenges

    mHealth and eHealth in general has great potential for the continent to help

    We are working closely with a lot of partners in several projects


    Philippe Dongier, Sector Manager, Global ICT, World Bank

    It’s not just about technology but also about other issues – about which we will discuss today as well

    We didn’t see the boom in mobile phones coming, now we have a tremendous opportunity to reach people and do things differently – in many fields

    The future of the internet is mobile or wireless – as well in the health sector

    Challenges are about regulations – telecom operators and about the business model

    What’s the role of developers, public sector, private sector, …

    Where will the innovation come from? Actually from all the sectors


    • Opening Remarks

    Rakesh Nangia, Operations Director, Human Development Network, World Bank

    There will be challenges and innovations – we will only be limited by our creative thinking, not by technology

    There are shocking statistics on health in developing countries

    Mobile technology has already achieved quite some things – e.g. empowering women in Bangladesh

    “Leapfrogging” is discussed often – maybe too often

    We need to to think of how technology can bring healthcare to the people when the physical proximity is hard to overcome

    Example: Uganda

    • quiz to increase knowledge about HIV/AIDS
    • increased testing of HIV of 40%

    Example: South Africa

    • only 5% of people get tested for HIV
    • government sent out phone numbers of places where people can be tested

    Example: Rwanda

    • SMS to remind people to take their pills

    Lots of interesting uses

    Similarly – health workers are trained to look at epidemics

    mHealth is an innovative way to get health care closer to the people

    But it’s not about technology, as Phillipe already said


    Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Regional Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank

    In many ways we haven’t pushed the frontiers of technology yet

    We have to realize the potentials of ICTs, we can’t just let that pass by us

    We do well with tackling poverty if we focus of the asset of the poor

    • they assume the ownership of a mobile as one of the biggest thing in their life
    • we have to focus on that

    Innovation can push us to look at solutions – which is reflected in this kind of summit the World Bank is hosting

    Mobile phones are omnipresent in Africa – the mobile revolution, an important progress

    seven years ago Nigeria had just about 250 000 fixed line phones

    • which brought with itself various forms of corruption
    • the regulations which came improved the whole situation
    • the World Bank was involved in that, which is a great benefit
    • now: 250 million mobile phones

    Knowledge is power – telephones in Africa are not just a tool for communications

    • it’s a social, political, knowledge tool
    • we have the opportunity to use it a health delivery tool as well

    Lack of access to health infrastructure prevent us from reaching our goals

    ICTs presents us a lot of opportunities

    The patient the primary focus, the results must focus on the patient

    With only seven years left to the MDGs we need to be really bold and embrace new ways of getting things done – tradition can sometimes kill, we need to rethink our ways

    It’s not just politics which is the answer to all problems, there’s also technology which can achieve things


    • Keynote Address

    Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health (via Videoconference from Kigali)

    When we in Rwanda look at the agenda we are happy, because it focuses on the use of health in the development countries and countries facing the greatest health problems

    We need to combine health with effective communication

    Communication technologies have become effective tools to fight diseases

    Technology is making health care more possible and more precise

    Helahtcare is being turned into a ICT industry

    Rwanda has adopted the use of technology in all sectors – health included

    • technology in hospitals
    • building manpower by education
    • adopting national and international standards

    Use of mobile phone is dependent on other indicators

    • coverage 98%
    • penetration 21%
    • we try to increase the penetration

    TRACNet – mobile phone & internet based tool which we use

    • significantly improved the way AIDS is treated in Rwanda
    • people are well monitored

    Also more application – mobile based – are being developed

    Rwanda: 45 000 community health workers all around the country, several projects to realize their potential – AIDS and maternal health

    Trying to foster exchange between grass roots initiatives and hospitals

    mHealth is an indispensable tool to deliver helathcare today and a key priority in Rwanda

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    World Bank Day @ mHealth Summit – Opening session
    was published on 28.10.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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