At eHealth4everyone, we are passionate about moving health forward in Africa through digital health innovation so when we saw the call for applications for the WHO innovation challenge online, we knew we had to give it a shot.
The WHO African Health Forum wasn’t new to us as we had closely followed online reports of the first edition in 2017 and we decided to take a bold step to submit two of our innovations:
The Multi-Source Data Analytics and Triangulation (MSDAT) Dashboard which is a resource that provides a single transparent view of key health indicators across multiple data sources. Decision-makers (the government and stakeholders alike), need appropriate information to ensure that they make valid healthcare decisions and policies. With the dashboard’s interactive features that allows comparison, it raises the visibility of the quality of data within the health system.
The second innovation was the Digital Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS); a web-based platform for the collection and management of health data generated through regular supervision and survey. Digital ISS is designed to get rid of limitations associated with traditional supervisory processes as well as the traditional method of data collection which is done using paper forms.
We successfully submitted our applications and were pleasantly surprised to hear that we were selected from thousands of applications in Africa. Particularly, we were excited that not one but both innovations submitted were considered notable to be showcased globally by the WHO, making us the only team with two innovations recognized at the event. The entire team really feels honored.
I was selected to represent the organization at the forum and we proceeded to make travel plans as the forum was in a few weeks’ time from when we were notified.
I had heard stories and seen photos of the beautiful country of Cape Verde and was delighted to see that these reports and pictures were not far-fetched. The hospitality of the people was top notch and I never once experienced the jitters that are known to accompany visits to new location.
I got to the booth allocated to us and set up our banners and videos. Our volunteers: Lucy and Leticia, and the facilitators from Enterpriseroom were great and incredibly helpful. One lesson that stuck with me from engaging with participants at our booth during the forum is that innovations really matter and the world is expectant and this was really motivating. I also learnt the importance of fine-tuning pitches to fit the various categories of audiences.
We had over 50 visitors at our booth including the President of Cape Verde, Jorgen Carlos Foncesca who was delighted with our innovations and the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti who shared insights about her experience with ISS and how our innovation could help.
At our booth, we talked about experiences with Integrated Supportive Supervision and how our innovation could help transcend limitations associated with traditional supervisory processes. Many were interested in the impact eHealth4everyone could make with the MSDAT dashboard, because integrating data is quite tedious and time consuming.
Summarily, it was a very amazing and insightful experience and we are grateful to the World Health Organization for the opportunity to showcase what eHealth4everyone and Africa has to offer when it comes to innovation in the field of healthcare.