Africa-Press – Rwanda. Medical students from eight African countries are set to explore and leverage available digital technologies to improve medical services and promote public health.
More than 100 students are meeting for a programme dubbed “Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) Africa Summer School 2022”, in Kigali from September 18 to 25.
This programme is the third initiative organised by the Medical Student’s Association of Rwanda (MEDSAR) in partnership with VIEBERG Medical Ltd to push for awareness of digital health system sustainability in the post-pandemic era.
The students are from Cameroon, Burundi Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Germany and Zimbabwe.
Eric Niyongira, president of MEDSAR, said digital health holds the potential to improve the efficiency, accessibility, and quality of health care when it is fully utilized.
“We should build strategies that retain digital health and its added value and emphasize the role of medical students in creating awareness to the public. It should be advocated for as an important tool to improve medical education, health care, health research and health systems,” he added.
Prof. Stephen Rulisa, Chief Consultant at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), said it is very key for future doctors to understand that technology is a big component of health.
He noted that learners should understand its role and use it to find solutions to improve the health sector and their professionalism in the future.
In line with the program, students have been doing activities such as public screening for eyes and dental care in different districts of Kigali, as well as awareness of various non-communicable diseases and the use of digital health.
Didier Niyonkuru, a participant and an initiator of the programme said: “As we move in the digital era, the health sector should not be left behind. The conference will provide essential skills to medical students making them better future healthcare providers.”
Karren Yossa Yemeguela, one of the participants from the University of Buea, Cameroon, believes that the program will equip participants with basic knowledge and skills to improve the health sector in their respective countries.
“Just like we were not prepared for Covid-19, we should always find solutions that will deliver proper healthcare services at all times and it is more effective with technology, as it is here to stay.”
Christian Tunga, a student at the University of Rwanda, said he expects the conference to provide essential skills for awareness and communication to the public, hence providing greater opportunities for the public to prevent diseases and have access to proper healthcare services through digital ways.
During the meeting, learners are set to explore the status of digital health tools in Africa before the pandemic, evolution of digital health and its potential, the challenges involved, as well as solutions to build on the use of digital health tools.