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ICT critical in achieving Universal Health Care, says CAS

Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Maureen Mbaka has reiterated government’s commitment in providing universal health care (UHC) to all citizens through the use of technology so as to achieve its development goals.

Speaking during the Kenya Medical Association’s 48th Annual Scientific Conference held at a hotel in Kisii Central Sub County, Mbaka said the government was planning to adopt the Kenya National eHealth policy in order to attain the highest standards of health.

“Further, we are fast tracking the Digital Economy Strategy which will enhance Kenya’s socio-economic development and that includes better health care,” added the CAS.

On matters of data protection, Mbaka noted the existence of the Data Protection Act, Office of Data Commissioner and Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act, all of which provide a safe space for online users including protection of sensitive personal data and health status.

She said the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs had completed connectivity to eighteen Level 4 and Level 5 hospitals under UHC countrywide and noted the urgent need for all hospitals to be connected to facilitate online and real time data management.

The President of the Kenya Medical Association, Dr. Andrew Were said there was a need to embrace technology in health care services because of the decreasing number of patients visiting the hospitals for fear of contracting Covid-19.

“This is a good opportunity for embracing telehealth technologies to ensure that even from the comfort of your home, you are able to access health services and for those with chronic diseases, we can use the same technology for follow ups,” he said.

Dr. Were said the association was committed to making necessary and long-lasting changes to the health care space through the adoption and use of technology available in the market and bigger global community.

By Mercy Osongo

 

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