Accra, 21 October 2021- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Japan, have signed an agreement on a new project to upscale the deployment of digital technologies to strengthen health systems and improve health service delivery in Ghana.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP), emphasized the importance of using technology to facilitate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that the promotion of digital health will accelerate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 on Good Health and Well-Being.
‘’The use of digital tools to strengthen and improve health outcomes has become even more critical in this COVID-19 pandemic, especially for the underserved population. This project is a giant step towards making health services accessible to all and an indication of our collective resolve to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs through partnerships, noted Ms Eziakonwa.
The “Project for Digital Solutions for Health, Nutrition and Medical Services” will adopt multi-stakeholder partnerships approach, mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technology, and resources. This is in line with the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between Ghana and Japan to advance the concept of African Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AfHWIN) advocated at the seventh Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD7). The project will co-create solutions and strengthen capacity to ensure ownership and sustainability. It seeks to enhance the nationwide deployment of tablet-based electronic trackers (eTracker) at national and sub-national levels, facilitate co-creation of innovative solutions for improved analysis and use of health data in Ghana’s District Health Information Management System (DHIMS2) with digital tools such as multi-dashboard, data-driven insights, and AI. It will also strengthen human resource information systems.
H.E. Mr HIMENO Tsutomu, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana mentioned that health support is crucial as it leads to empowerment of people and is the focus of the Government of Japan in supporting Africa through the TICAD process. He further emphasized the importance of the preventive side of health.
“The government and the people of Japan are confident with the project because of the commitment of the Government of Ghana, strong and track-record relationship with UNDP, and the involvement of Japanese private sector as per our Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between Ghana and Japan”.
Through the use of tablet-based app and state-of-the-art health technologies, an integrated mechanism to address Ghana’s complex disease burden will be established. This is to enhance health promotion, early detection, and diagnosis of non-communicable diseases, malaria, malnutrition, and anaemia within beneficiary communities in Ghana.
On his part, the Minister of Health, Hon. Kweku Agyeman-Manu thanked the Government of Japan and UNDP for their continued support to strengthen health systems in Ghana.
“We are grateful to the Government of Japan for their support for this project and indeed their continued support for health system strengthening and Universal Health Coverage in Ghana. Sincere gratitude to UNDP for their continuous support, partnership, and efforts in mobilizing resources and stakeholders around this very important initiative”, he stated.
The project will be implemented with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and a private sector consortium comprising NEC, Sysmex and The Ajinomoto Foundation.
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