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UHC: Government ready to embrace digital innovations

Health and digital health technology experts want the government to set up strong health network systems that can be trusted by end users.
Speaking in Kericho County during the Pre-Mashujaa day UHC conference, the experts cited sensitivity of health data and the management and protection of such information as major impediment to the adoption of innovative technologies meant to improve patient care.
This even as Information, Communication and Digital Economy Cabinet secretary, in a speech read on his behalf by State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications principal secretary Edward Kisiang’ani, expressed the government’s commitment to realize the dream through adoption of innovative strategies.
He said the Kenya Kwanza Government dialogue on digital health is crucial in conversations of revamping UHC to ensure patients across the country access quality healthcare adding that President Ruto’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) has identified healthcare as a critical enabler in national development.
Citing lack of real-time patients’ data for fast and effective diagnosis and decision-making as one of the main challenges, Owalo said slow adoption of digital health platforms, continued reliance on manual systems, fragmented and siloed systems as well as inadequate ICT infrastructure must be addressed if the country is to move to the next level of development.
As part of the government’s commitment to the provision of digital economy targeted at driving digital healthcare, he said his ministry is currently rolling out 100,000 kilometers of fiber backbone Infrastructure, targeting health facilities, schools, the Judiciary among other public institutions.
“The Government agenda is expected to fast track past health initiatives, in which all level 6 and 5 and some level 4 public hospitals have been connected to the digital superhighway. Ultimately all hospitals, including level 3 and 2 hospitals, will be connected to the digital superhighway.” He said
Further, the government intends to provide 1,450 village digital hubs, geared towards spurring e-commerce, the creative industry and the digital economy.

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