Public-private partnerships crucial to improving African healthcare: Experts at World Future Health Africa

Doaa A.Moneim from Marrakech , Thursday 30 May 2024

Establishing public-private partnerships (PPPs) are crucial for improving Africa's healthcare sector, especially in developing and low-income countries. This was the key theme the World Future Health Africa event on Thursday, the second day of the second edition of GITEX AFRICA being held in Marrakech over three days.

GITAX AFRICA

 

GITEX AFRICA seeks to accelerate the digital transformation in the healthcare sector on the continent, which has 1.5 billion people by leveraging investments.

The event includes three sub-events; World Future Health Africa Investment Summit, World Future Health Africa Congress, and Digital Health Leadership Forum.

Lack of healthcare across Africa

 

During the event, it was revealed that 40 percent of Africans lack healthcare services and only 30 percent has comprehensive access to these services.

Mazen Aladdin, the general supervisor of Egypt’s Healthcare Authority, affirmed that creating partnerships with the private sector is key for the development and improvement of the healthcare ecosystem in Africa, citing Egyptian expertise.

Recently, Egypt’s House of Representatives debated a law that would allow the private sector to operate state-owned operate healthcare entities.

Egypt’s triple-eye healthcare strategy

 

“We adopt the triple-eye strategy in the Egyptian healthcare sector. This includes an eye on the innovations and technologies, an eye on the internal cooperation, and an eye on the international collaboration for the sake of uplifting the quality of the medical services,” Aladdin told Ahram Online.

He affirmed that the authority is working to empower the private sector to play a greater role in the healthcare sector in the country. He added that a new draft law will be announced regulating telemedicine and its operation in Egypt.

The announcement is expected to be made during the third edition of the Africa Health Excon Egypt will host on 3-6 June.

Healthcare budgets in Africa too low
 

Nigeria’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare Tunji Alausa noted that the budgets dedicated to healthcare in Africa are minimal, representing below 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

In this respect, he stressed that this portion has to be raised gradually to exceed 15 percent of the country’s GDP. He also affirmed that resource mobilization, establishing collaboration with the development partners, and integrating artificial intelligence (AI) tools are important ways to a more improved healthcare ecosystem in the continent.

The Honorable Commissioner of the Nigerian Ministry of Health, Akin Abayomi, emphasized that the proper management of finances secured by African nations from International Financial Institutions (IFIs) is crucial for improving the continent's healthcare sector.

He added that IFIs need to reconsider the amount of financing allocated to African countries dedicated to supporting the healthcare sector, in a way that enables these nations to advance digital transformation, accelerate telemedicine, and digitize medical services.

Adopting AI an imperative
 

Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of the GITEX AFRICA organizer KAOUN International, said during the event that leveraging AI solutions and boosting e-healthcare in Africa is crucial for the continent’s development on the level of the economy and the well-being of the people.

She added that AI solutions and data-driven healthcare are now necessities for the continent, not just a desire or a choice.

LohMirmand stressed that Africa will be a leader in e-healthcare and telemedicine within the coming few years, as the digital transformation in the continent has been accelerated over the past few years, in addition to the innovative businesses and solutions that the entrepreneurs and startups are providing for the continent.

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