Highlights Of The Vodafone Health Debate in Cape Town

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The Cape Town Health Debate 2012


On May 31st this year, a Health Debate was hosted in Cape Town (SA), to establish the barriers to implementing mHealth in a sustainable and scalable way across Sub-Saharan Africa. The session took place on the third day of the GSMA mHealth Summit.

This article summarises the key messages from the Health Debate and includes some references to previous sessions held at the mHealth Summit.

Dr. Breitenbach opened the debate by outlining some of the issues raised at the mHealth Summit, one of the key challenges being that of scale. He said that all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) were of course greatly interested in scaling up solutions to offer the best coverage and results across any given area. This is especially true in Africa with vast distances and little infrastructure. Mobile phones have enabled delivery of several small pilot projects in the healthcare sector, especially in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, largely due to government inclusion and backing.

"Scale is not easy to achieve," he said, "as the pilot projects on the ground are by their nature small. Vodafone is experiencing good growth in the developed markets but to achieve scale on emerging markets is more difficult. This debate will look at what we, as stakeholders, can do to drive uptake and ultimately scale in the African mHealth market."