AfroPHC Workshop 16th Nov “Digital Health in African PHC”

AfroPHC is partnering this month with WONCA eHealth – the Working Party on Digital Health “Rural WONCA” and Jhpiego. We invite you to a joint eWorkshop 1-4 pm Central Africa Time on Tuesday 16th November on “Exploring Digital Health for PHC / UHC in Africa”. Check for your local time here.

Dr Radha Karnad, Executive Board member of AfroPHC will introduce the session and panellists/topics. See detailed profiles of speakers below. It will be very much a conversation rather than a series of presentations.

  • Dr. Steven van den Vijver “Global view on digital health”
  • Ms. Erica Troncoso “How best can we use digital health to support primary health care for universal health coverage in Africa?”
  • Dr. Kobus Herbst “Demographic and Health Surveillance Systems: their relevance for universal health coverage and digital health research
  • Dr Andrew Boulle “Electronic Health Records in Africa”
  • Mr Gugu Newman “Blockchain use in African PHC”

We will then break up into small groups with specific facilitators/language groups. for 45 minutes to discuss the following questions.

  1. What digital health technologies do you use in primary health care and how do you use these digital health technologies in primary health care?
    1. Prompt – Brainstorm
  2. What are the benefits of these digital health technologies in primary health care?
    1. Prompt – Is it in clinical service or education
  3. What are the challenges in using digital health for primary health care?
    1. Prompt – Is is capacity or systems?
  4. (How can digital health technologies support universal health coverage in Africa?)

We will close the meeting with feedback and summarising key issues.

We are hoping that the full meeting will have French translations. We will have four English Discussion Groups but also one in French and one in Portuguese. We hope to publish the findings as research after your oral consent is recorded. Data will be totally anonymised.

Register below. We will send link before the meeting.

Dr. Radha S. Karnad, BA BM MPH, has over a decade of experience developing innovative approaches to clinical medicine in hospital and community settings, healthcare program management, quality improvement, and human resource for health capacity building across the US, UK, and East Africa. A registered public health clinician, she is passionate about maternal and reproductive health, and believes that it is only by improving health systems that we will find solutions to global public health problems and improve access to health. Dr Karnad provides clinical oversight and governance to a team of clinicians and care coordinators at HealthX Africa, a population health management organization providing access to affordable and high quality primary health care across Kenya through digital health solutions. She ensures essential service delivery for preventive, promotive, and curative services at the community and primary health care level, strengthening health systems that are client-centered, coordinated, and comprehensive. Dr. Karnad works with stakeholders across all levels of the health system to institutionalize healthcare innovations in maternal, newborn, and adolescent health. She is an Acumen East Africa Regional Fellow 2016 and an Afya Bora Consortium Global Health Leadership Fellow 2016-2017, and an ISQUA Fellow.

Steven van de Vijver (1977) is working as a family doctor and director of the Family Medicine Department at the OLVG hospital in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In addition he works as a Senior Advisor at the Amsterdam Health & Technology Institute ( where he is guiding several innovative projects in the field of primary care.

In the past he received his PhD during his three year stay at the African Population and Health Research Center ( on the design, implementation and evaluation of cardiovascular prevention for the urban poor in Nairobi, Kenya.

Currently his specific interest is innovations in digital health within various projects. This ranges from the implementation of a home based management tool for hypertension until the development and implementation of a mobile medical health records for migrants.

His aim is to support the implementation and research of innovations in primary care due to technology and digitization in order to increase access and quality of care for the most vulnerable.

Erica currently leads Jhpiego’s initiative on emerging technology and frontier solutions as a digital health and innovations advisor for global programs, specializing in implementing the appropriate use of cutting-edge technology at the facility level and with the health workforce. Working across the spectrum of emerging technologies, Erica focuses on implementing innovations in low-resource health care settings, particularly within areas of family planning, maternal health, and HIV treatment/prevention.

Kobus Herbst is the Director of the DSI-funded South African Population Research Infrastructure Network (SAPRIN). SAPRIN is hosted by the South African Medical Research Council and funds the population and health surveillance at five nodes (Agincourt, Mpumalanga; DIMAMO Limpopo, AHRI KZN, GRT-INSPIRED Gauteng, and C-SHARP WC.

He is a Faculty member and the Director Population Science at the Africa Health Research Institute and the principal investigator of its Population Intervention Programme (PIP). He is honorary professor at the University of Limpopo. Kobus graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Pretoria in 1979, did a masters in Bioengineering at the University of Cape Town and registered as a public health physician in 1994 following a registrarship at MEDUNSA.

Kobus’s passion is information and how information management contributes to the scientific process. In particular the establishment of data repositories to curate datasets and promote the secondary use of research study data. To this end Kobus established the INDEPTH data repository in 2013 containing longitudinal demographic and cause-specific mortality data of more than 3 million individuals from 25 demographic surveillance sites in lower and middle-income countries. This work is extended in a collaborative project with researchers at LSHTM to establish a repository of longitudinal population-based HIV sero-surveillance data from 10 sites in Africa (the Alpha network). His research goals are: the use of large longitudinal population studies in resource limited settings to explore causes of mortality and obstacles to access care and support through the linkage of population data with service utilisation data; and how to fairly and responsibly improve access by data users to such population data resources. A list of his research publications can be found at: ResearchGate

Gugu Newman Nyathi is Co-Founder and COO of Ribbon Blockchain Pty Ltd, a for profit social enterprise that utilizes Blockchain Technology to integrate and automate public health systems towards efficiency and data driven insights for improved health outcomes. 
Gugu is an Entrepreneur with a passion for innovation and emerging technologies and how they intersect with the real and virtual world across global and public health.

Professor Andrew Boulle is from the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town. He is an accomplished researcher. See his Google Scholar Profile.

One thought on “AfroPHC Workshop 16th Nov “Digital Health in African PHC”

Leave a Reply