Mobile connectivity to be harnessed in fight against disease in Africa

17th March 2023 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The GSMA and the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have partnered to support the continent’s most significant healthcare challenges through mobile connectivity.

The parties, which signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in February, aim to bring a more developed communications infrastructure to African health centres, leveraging mobile data capabilities to reduce the spread of disease.

Through the MoU, the partners aim to establish a framework on a range of priorities, including collaboration in the design, development and promotion of technology policies, initiatives and investments, as well as digital strategy and governance frameworks, to drive the adoption of mobile technologies and strengthen health systems.

This will accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in support of the public health objectives of the African Union (AU) member States, including the enablement of continuity of care across borders.

This follows Africa CDC’s recently announced new Public Health Order, which outlines priorities for strengthening African institutions for public health and the public health workforce, as well as promoting action-orientated and respectful partnerships, besides others.

The partnership between GSMA and Africa CDC is expected to contribute to realising this vision.

“While mobile growth across the region has been phenomenal over the past two decades, more needs to be done to harness the power of the technology across Africa’s healthcare sector,” says GSMA head of sub-Saharan Africa Angela Wamola.

“Bringing together expertise and resources will help establish a powerful new infrastructure providing African healthcare workers access to the information they need in a timely fashion and the intelligence necessary to help prevent the spread of disease across international borders.”

The GSMA will work with the Africa CDC on the latter’s new HealthConnekt Africa initiative to connect all health facilities and workforce across the continent to the Internet by 2030.