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Kisumu to host continental digital health conference

Health experts and investors from the African continent are set to convene in Kisumu next week for a two-day conference on digital health.

The Africa Digital Health Conference to be held at Mama Grace Onyango Social Centre on October 17 and 18, 2022 has attracted over 200 participants from all over the continent.

The event will coincide with the official launch of the Grace Onyango Foundation for Digital Health in Africa who are the organisers.

According to the planning team chairman Prof Khama Rogo, the conference aims at celebrating Mama Grace Onyango and other female trailblazers.

Mama Grace Onyango, 98 had an illustrious political career that can be described as groundbreaking for women in Africa.

She was the ­first female Mayor of Kisumu, the ­first female Member of Parliament (MP) in post-independence Kenya, and the ­first woman to act as speaker of the National Assembly.

“The occasion will be graced by family, eminent people, philanthropic organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), foreign dignitaries, and universities,” said Prof Rogo.

Several other guests from Europe and the United States of America (USA), he added, are expected to attend the conference virtually.

The participants will discuss the importance of homegrown digital health technology innovation in Africa, the role of universities, research institutions, start-ups, governments, incubators, investors, digital network providers, regulators and big health.

Other topics include connecting investors and incubators to African start-ups in digital health, a start-up story, as told by a digital health start-up that made it to the big league, and creating a Kisumu digital health start-up hub.

There will also be sessions and presentations by various digital health entrepreneurs, speakers and presenters.

Prof Rogo said the event will usher in a number of thought leaders in the digital health space as well as iconic women across the globe who will speak on women’s leadership as well as the important inspiration by Mama Grace Onyango as a forerunner in politics and education.

Grace Onyango Foundation for Digital Health in Africa, he added targets to promote digital health innovations in Africa by African scientists, doctors and engineers.

“At the heart of the Foundation’s mission is to have African professionals lead the development of digital health interventions, which should be the next quantum leap in health care on the continent,” he said.

The Foundation’s founding members which include Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Maseno University, Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (Kenyan), and North-West University, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Central University of Technology (all from South Africa) have all confirmed participation.

Prof Rogo who doubles up as the foundation’s chairman said plans were underway to onboard more institutions from additional countries to create a collaborative Pan-African platform.

By Chris Mahandara

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