Govt to launch five-year digital health strategy

13Nov 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Govt to launch five-year digital health strategy

THE government will tomorrow launch the national non-communicable diseases prevention and control prgramme as well as the  digital health strategy (2019-2024) and the national non communication diseases control programme, it has been stated.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa is expected to be the chief guest at the event to initiate strategies aimed at shaping the health sector.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, the Director Curative Services, Grace Magembe said the aim is to see how to control communicable diseases that had become another serious cause of deaths in the country.

She said the event is part of the week-long free testing for the diseases and public education currently taking place at the Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma. "The aim is to help create awareness of such diseases and end new infections" she said, adding that the diseases are caused mainly by lifestyle.

On the five year digital health strategy, she said it will help the country accelerate its progress and leadership in digital health, ensuring that the country continues to digitalize health care and improve health outcome.

"The strategy establishes the government of Tanzania as a global leader in digital health and paving way for better patient outcomes" said the director.

One of the critical components of the strategy is the governance, which adds teeth and rigor to the government's new digital health strategy.

Two governing bodies that will be primarily responsible for implementing the strategies are the National Digital Health Steering Committees (NDHSC) and the National Digital Health Secretariat (NDHS).

In order to ensure effective implementation of the strategy, she said the government will also launch the Technical working group, online platform that will digitalize all workings of health sector technical working groups.

To avoid duplication of efforts, the government will also launch the digital health initiative and digital library to ensure there is transparency and stakeholders have access to information on existing health initiatives and all documents.

The new strategic plan aligns with the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, the Health Sector Strategic Plan (2015-2020) and other key policies  advancing the country's efforts to build an end , interoperable digital health system.

The Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Haji Bamisi while speaking about the strategy noted that it builds on and directly responds to learning from previous strategies (2013-2018).

He said to inform the design of the new strategy, the government consulted the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union National e-Health Strategy Toolkit.

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