EAC seeks funds for digital health plan

Monday December 17 2018


By Zephania Ubwani @ubwanizg3 news@tz.nationmedia.com

Arusha. The East African Community (EAC) has appealed for funds from the development partners to roll out its digital health plan.

The ambitious Digital Health Strategic Plan aims to strengthen health research and development in the region.

The secretary general Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko says resources have to be mobilized to implement the strategy.

"In this context we are calling on the development partners to support the Community on this", he said during the official launch of the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC) in Bujumbura.

The Commission, an institution of the EAC, has been tasked to develop a costed Digital Regional East African Community Health (Digital REACH) strategic plan 2019-2028.

The initiative is a coordinated mechanism that brings together stakeholders from the EAC region, development partners and other key players to improve health outcomes.

Ultimately, the strategy intends to transform the health service delivery and health outcomes in EA through scaled uptake and ICT utilization.

Digital health technology is one of the health sector priorities approved recently by the EAC Heads of States Summit for implementation in the next 10 years.

Gracing the official launch of the facility, Burundi first vice president Gaston Sindimwo pledged the host country's support to the institution.

He said the government would soon avail land for the construction of the permanent headquarters of the organization in Bujumbura.

The VP said the process to secure land for the purpose would be fast-tracked as per the headquarter agreements between the EAC and the host country.

EAHRC, one of nearly a dozen institutions of the Community, was operationalized in July 2015 and relocated to the Burundi capital in January this year.

Mr Sindimwo commended the Commission for achieving several milestones since its operationalization and urged he staff to keep the  speed and the committment high.

On his part, EAHRC executive secretary Prof Gibson Kibiki said the vision of the Commission will be built on evidence-driven policy and practice and high quality research.

"The mission is to improve health and well being of the citizens of the Community by generating, accessing, capturing, assessing, synthesizing, sharing, disseminating and utilizing health research", he said.

He added that the Commission had carried out baseline assessments and needs ethics review frameworks that revealed many gaps and challenges.