Country Offices Contact

Data can save lives – Highlights from a public debate on learnings from the digitalization of healthcare in Kenya

With the possibilities now available through digital technology, “every excuse we’ve used for why we can’t provide good care for everybody can now be thrown out of the window.” This was the key message shared by Dr. Khama Rogo, Lead Health Sector Specialist of the World Bank, at the inspiring public debate hosted by PharmAccess, Amref Flying Doctors and the Dutch Postcode Lottery at De Balie on Friday, November 18th.

  • Nov 22, 2016
Nederland Amsterdam 18 novemeber 2016. Khama Rogo. Mobile Technology & Healthcare Innovation - The Kenyan Example. Foto: Jan Boeve / DE Balie

Dr. Khama Rogo who had joined the event straight from presenting at TEDx Amsterdam began the evening by sharing his vision on mobile technology as a social equalizer as well as a vehicle for leapfrogging solutions in healthcare. One of the examples he used was the M-TIBA mobile health platform, which was launched in Kenya in June 2016. M-TIBA allows people to send, save and receive funds for healthcare services through their mobiles.

Following Dr. Khama Rogo’s lecture he was joined on stage by Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang, Director Operations, PharmAccess, who described the challenges of pushing the status quo in healthcare. She highlighted new health innovations like Amref’s LEAP platform as well as M-TIBA, built on a partnership between Safaricom, CarePay and PharmAccess. She also explained the background behind the complementary partnership between Amref and PharmAccess and how the Dutch Postcode Lottery has funded their joint approach to improving access to care for women in Kenya, explaining that “the challenge with innovations is often that the funding isn’t there because it hasn’t been proven yet.”

Selwyn Moons, Dep. Director Sustainable Economic Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Alec Behrens, co-founder and founder of MDLinking, were invited to join the panel to provide the perspective of private and governmental partnerships in healthcare solutions. Behrens explained how MDLinking, which aims to provide knowledge-sharing tools to improve healthcare, was developed in partnership with surgeons in an effort to cross country as well as ideological borders: “99% of technology that can be used to improve healthcare wasn’t originally developed for healthcare.’’ Moons recognized that “the strength of the private sector in healthcare is that they will create supply where there is demand.”