COVID-19 Pandemic Galvanized Development Of Health Technology Innovations – WHO

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By: Babagana Bukar Wakil, Maiduguri

World Health Organisation (WHO) analysis said that COVID-19 pandemic has galvanized the development of more than 120 health technology innovations that had been piloted or adopted in Africa by World Health Organisation.

WHO Regional Office for Africa located in Brazzavill Congo stated this in a statement posted on its website.

According to the global body the study of 1,000 new or modifications of existing technologies that have been developed worldwide to target different areas of the COVID-19 response and find out that Africa accounts for 12.8 per cent of the innovations.

WHO said that the response areas include surveillance, contact tracing, community engagement, treatment, laboratory systems and infection, prevention and control.

And also in Africa, 57.8 per cent of the technologies were ICT-driven, 25 per cent were based on 3D printing and 10.9 per cent were robotics.

The ICT-based innovations include: WhatsApp Chatbots in South Africa, self-diagnostic tools in Angola, contact tracing apps in Ghana and mobile health information tools in Nigeria.

The countries with the most innovations are: South Africa (13 per cent), Kenya (10 per cent), Nigeria (8 per cent) and Rwanda (6 per cent),” the statement read in part.

It also quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti WHO Regional Director for Africa said that COVID-19 is one of the most serious health challenges in a generation. But, it is also an opportunity to drive forward innovation, ingenuity and entrepreneurship in life-saving health technologies.

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