Health professionals have underlined the role of technology in promoting better service delivery in the sector.
This was echoed during the seventh World Health Students’ Symposium that opened in Kigali yesterday.
The symposium brings together over 1,200 delegates, including healthcare students, professionals, members of civil society, government institutions and private sectors, from 32 countries worldwide.
Hosted by University of Rwanda’s Pharmaceutical Students Association (RPSA), the meeting will help the participants discuss and learn new ideas with an aim to seek solutions to complex health challenges.
Presiding over the opening ceremony, yesterday, Education minister Papias Malimba Musafiri acknowledged the step made in using technology to provide service in health sector such as initiatives that enable the public to get all health-related information, including online sexual and reproductive health platforms.
Musafiri underscored the role of the symposium, adding that it gives the participants enough time to share experience, discuss burning challenges in the health sector as well as inspiring health students who are the next generation healthcare professionals and leaders in global health.
He commended the efforts the nation together with health stakeholders has invested in achieving health related goals, such reducing maternal and child mortality, and eradicating HIV and malaria, among others.
The use of drones in delivering blood in different health centres and Babyl health centres, which enables mobile consultation between a patient and doctor were cited among the milestones Rwanda has made in the areas of technology in health.
Joseph Ndagijimana, who works with Rwanda Implementation Team at Zipline, a company that operates drones that delivers blood, said that using drones in delivering medical supplies has improved services at hospitals they work with.
He said they want to expand their operation in the country such that they cover more hospitals and also deliver other medical supplies other than just blood.
Josua Okello, the chief executive of Winsega, a mobile app, said by using the app they make every pregnancy and childbirth safe and magical in Uganda.
The integrated mobile technology empowers medical personnel to deliver standardised prenatal care and labor management to expectant mothers, Okello added.
Prof. Philip Cotton, the university vice-chancellor, shared the efforts that the institution invests in building the capacity of the students.
Cotton said the university has been investing a lot of money to organise training and workshops from where they learn a lot and to be able to develop the system of reinforcement in the consolidation of learning and follow up.
“University of Rwanda is always supportive to students’ initiatives, especially those that bring the positive change to the lives of people locally and globally,” he added.
Annet Mwizerwa, a nursing student at Mount Kenya University, expects the meeting to give health students an overview of what they are supposed to do outside the hospitals, and encourage them to be more innovative by embracing the use of technology in serving the community.
Tibyan Elsheikh Mustafa, from University of Khartoum in Sudan, said since the majority of the participants are the students, the deliberations at the symposium will help them to practice efficiently and productively while serving the people.