A revolution in digital healthcare is underway in the African continent, bringing with it a renewed focus on accessibility to care, improved emergency responses and AI integration.
Taking these conversations to greater heights is the Africa Health Exhibition at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, which opened its doors to the public today. Africa’s largest medical trade event, organised by Informa Markets, marked its 10th edition with free-to-attend CPD conferences that welcomed thousands of attendees from various segments of the medical profession, including healthcare investors, distributors and delegates.
Notable dignitaries such as Honorary Esther Utjiua Muinjangue, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia, as well as Julieta Kavetuna, Mental Health Specialist at the Public Health Institute of Namibia and member of the Parliament of Namibia, were also present on site.
“This is my first time at Africa Health Exhibition, and I came in with a very open mind. I expect to see and learn more about equipment and solutions that can potentially help us strengthen our healthcare facilities in Namibia,” said Muinjangue.
Honorary Esther Utjiua Muinjangue, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia
Namibia is en route to creating access to care and improved patient outcomes via the National eHealth Strategy for 2012-2025 and Muinjangue explained that the programme aims to establish state-of-the-art electronic health records systems as well as facilitate the training of the nation’s health workforce. The strategy further aims to improve the operations and financial efficiency of healthcare systems.
In this case, she said that Africa Health serves as an ideal opportunity to network and gain inspiration from key players across Africa and the rest of the globe.
Kavetuna, who is a frequent visitor at Africa Health since its 2015 edition, said: “I find Africa Health to be a very important platform, especially now that I am ready to pass on the reins to my successor. This event gives us all a chance the opportunity to understand the layers and set-up of medical suppliers across the world, especially in pharmaceuticals.”
She added that her interest this year lies in understanding the infrastructure of healthcare suppliers as she embarks on holistic approaches to mental health among patients and practitioners in Namibia.
Julieta Kavetuna, Mental Health Specialist at the Public Health Institute of Namibia and member of the Parliament of Namibia
“When we started with HIV, it was a taboo subject. But now everybody's talking about it because we swallowed the bitter pill that was stigma and discrimination. It is also high time for our leaders in Africa to start looking at ways to work together with external international organisations to create accessibility and affordability of medical care and supplies, especially for mental health,” she added.
The show noted a genuine interest for healthcare transformation in Africa, marked by a notable attendance of practitioners and changemakers at its back-to-back conferences. Imaging and Diagnostics, Quality and Management and Patient Safety, Decontamination and Sterilisation and Emergency Medicine each recorded 100 per cent capacity per session.
“We are trying to change the context of healthcare in emergency medicine in South Africa by introducing compassion as one of the important streams of providing best care in practice,” said Mande Toubkin, who is an Executive Member of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa (EMSSA) as well as the lead for Emergency Trauma, Transplant, Corporate Social Investment & Disaster Management at Netcare Limited, Johannesburg. She led a session titled, Designing Systems to Enhance Empathy and Compassion in the Emergency Department.
“This is EMSSA’s third conference at Africa Health and we find the event very successful, thanks to Informa’s great organising team. We have had such great support and one of our sessions alone saw around 400 people in there, all willing to connect and learn from some of the young and upcoming emergency medicine practitioners in South Africa that understand the essence of good healthcare.”
Africa Health Exhibition runs until October 28 between 9am and 5pm. Plan your visit by downloading the conference schedule here.