Leveraging Technology to Improve Africa’s Healthcare Infrastructure | Infrastructure Conference 2018
Health infrastructure is an important building block for inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa and its access continues to be a major challenge in Africa. Due to the inefficiencies in the way that health data is utilized, the equivalent of billions of dollars is lost every year. Better access to state-of the-art facilities, medical equipment, secure health data and data analytics will empower health providers, lower costs and improve outcomes.
Additionally, as a result of the severe shortage of healthcare workers, Africa is forced to be radically creative with fewer resources. Healthcare workers can no longer spend 9-12 months to access data on the populations that they serve, the epidemiology of their diseases and where to deploy much needed equipment. They must have access to current information so that they can answer key questions in almost real time. Dr. Ernest Darkoh Ampem outlined how Broadreach technology could make this possible.
Not only does data need to be supplied in real time but the practice of procuring the equipment also needs scrutiny. 80% of products that are sourced are 20-40% more expensive than they should be - making medical care inefficient. Medical facilities do not have data that aggregates the type and numbers of equipment that are being sold. Kountable has created a system that does just that – giving the procurement personnel more power to source affordably, more power to organize their procurement which will allow them to use their additional resources on other products.
Moreover, according to Peter Mehlape, there is a shortage of specialists in Africa with the training to run the equipment. Companies like Medtronics are unable to deploy equipment without doctors and technicians able to operate them. If we solve the problem of closing the healthcare gap with real time data for healthcare providers and procurement personnel, then additional funds could be reallocated for the training of physicians.