December 14, 2021 (Mombasa, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) organized a IGAD Covid-19 - Digitalization Technical Meeting. This 3-days meeting brought together senior officials of the member states in the area of Health information system and related experts in disease surveillance. In the opening session, Dr. Ahmed Bashir, Technical lead introduced the Head of Mission Kenya Dr. Fatuma Adan who on behalf of the Executive Secretary Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and Fathia Alwan the Director of Health and social department gave opening remarks and highlighted the importance of the IGAD Regional COVID 19 digitalization disease surveillance response project in the IGAD region. In her speech, she highlighted that one of the main challenges facing in the region is the high number of Disease burden in the region. She addressed that this intervention supports in mitigating the disease burden by giving the Member states an opportunity to understand and prepare for pandemics such as the current covid-19 pandemic. She raised the need to develop a roadmap for the regional surveillance platform and finally recommended that the meeting should achieve its intended objectives. The meeting was officially opened by the Host Country Representative Mr. Jeremiah Mumo, Health Information Specialist, Ministry of Health Kenya.
This 3-days meeting will provide participates an opportunity to discuss and agree the following agenda:
- Existing COVID – 19 testing process (end to end) and the digital solution for COVID response based on the selected sites (Uganda and Kenya)
- Sharing countries experiences on digital C – 19 solutions;
- action catalogue enable better decisions based on accurate and reliable data regarding COVID-19 response;
- Infrastructure and connectivity gaps to put in place a regional disease surveillance and monitoring system to COVID – 19;
- Plans to fill existing gaps.
In the dialogue, technical experts will deeply discuss regional health data needs, the data sources including collection and reporting tools as well as adequacy and frequency of the reporting system. Thus, main outcome of the meeting includes better understanding of the country health information systems and how can integrate these systems for a regional platform as well as improving data sharing and related indicators
Acknowledgement: IGAD expresses appreciation to the EU and BMZ/GIZ for funding this activity and project.