Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mobile Health Africa Launching in Johannesburg

Johannesburg, South Africa, March 15, 2012 --( South Africa is leading the way in launching mobile health (mHealth) services with some of the most successful and best known mHealth initiatives having been developed in this country. This is according to Andrea Monteiro, director of Mobile Health Africa, which will gather the leading minds in the industry in Johannesburg in May.

“Africa suffers more than 24% of the global burden of disease,” says Andrea, “but has an average of only two doctors per 10,000 people – a shocking statistic. It means that providing the majority of people in Africa with healthcare is a major challenge.” She says the evolution of mHealth services in Africa is enabling the drastic improvement of the healthcare infrastructure: “In its most basic form it will provide access to healthcare advice and information even in the most remote parts Africa.”

South Africa ideal platform for mHealth
According to the Mobile Health Africa director, South Africa represents the ideal platform for the deployment and evolution of mHealth services. She explains: “The country has a brilliant telecoms infrastructure, both in terms of service provisioning and technology and is home to several entrepreneurial NGOs currently investing in mobile technologies. On a social level, mobile penetration rates are very high, and other mobile services such as mobile money/mobile banking are already well established and used successfully on a day-to-day basis.”

Africa is a hub for mHealth pilots says Andrea Monteiro. “With donor agencies, NGOs, governments and MNOs pioneering pilot programmes throughout the continent, the benefits that mobile technology can bring to the health care sector are evident. mHealth programmes are continuously being launched across Africa. Other countries to watch for sustainable and scalable mHealth programmes are Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda.”

Mobile Health Africa 2012
The objective is to evolve pilots to successful live mHealth deployments. Mobile Health Africa 2012 will provide the perfect platform for the establishment of the business models and partnerships needed to build sustainable and scalable mHealth services throughout Africa. The event will feature presentations from organisations and companies that are leading the development of mHealth initiatives on the continent. These include UNICEF, the Grameen Foundation, AMREF, Waha International, HIV/SA, USAID, UNFPA, Vodacom, Safaricom and HP.

Mobile Health Africa 2012 is part of the Connected Africa Forum, which will showcase the evolution of mobile lifeline services and applications in Africa, and highlight the evolving intersection between mobile money, mobile health and mobile agriculture.

Speaker highlight on the programme includes:

- Sandhya Rao, Senior Advisor for Private Sector Partnerships, USAID
- Sean Blaschke, Child Survival Systems Strengthening Specialist, UNICEF
- Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, Representative - Tanzania, UNFPA
- Diana Mukami, Project Manager, AMREF
- Rob Allen, Manager hi4life programme, HIV/SA
- Sean Krepp, Country Director, Uganda, Grameen Foundation
- Salim Madati, New products and Innovations, Airtel Tanzania
- Betty Mwangi-Thuo, Chief Officer, New Products Division, Safaricom
- Bright Simons, CEO, mPedigree
- Marius Conradie, E/M-Health Executive, Vodacom

Event dates and location:
14-17 May 2012
Johannesburg, South Africa

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