Zima Conference Roars To Life

THIS year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima) conference kicked off on Wednesday on a high note, with a symposium tackling electronic health issues.

By Kuda Pembere

Running under the theme ‘Zimbabwean Expressions in Digital Health”, the symposium showed the interest and strides made by the country.

Zima National Spokesperson Dr Sacrifice Chirisa told HealthTimes, the event showed willingness to adopt e-Health in their practice.

Today we started with the Zima Annual National Congress and we are having a symposium where we are looking at e-Health. We are saying as practitioners we want to move with the development that is going around the world where things are now being done electronically using apps.

“So we want to embrace technology. So we were showcasing and giving platforms of people who have developed e-Health solutions that we can use for the betterment of our patients and for the betterment of our practice. So that was a platform for solutions developed by Zimbabweans and for Zimbabweans. We are ready with our members to embrace that as we move forward,” he said.

As per tradition, the sitting health minister officiates the conference. Dr Chirisa also said they are launching a strategic plan for the next five years at their congress on Saturday.

“We are going to be having other deliberations starting tomorrow. First we have a scientific conference where we look at updates and researches that are being done in and around Zimbabwe and looking at how we can improve our health services.

“And on Saturday we are going to be looking at having our national congress which is a business meeting for the doctors and we come up with resolutions. We are also launching a strategic plan for 2019 for the next five years. So it is going to be an exciting time. We are having the minister coming tomorrow to officially open,” he said.

A researcher, Gertjan van Stam commended Zima for coming up with a symposium which brought together academia, entrepreneurs and government under one roof.

“The significance of e-health recognized by Zima is the integration of private practitioners, public practitioners with the ministry of health. Sometimes it is the bickering. But at this conference there is appreciation of innovative solutions of e-Health.

“What we need comes out of this day. It was mentioned that we have to a golden triangle where government, academia and private sector work together. All three have a role to play. The government provides for the regulation and legal assurance and long term view that benefits the population at large.

“Also, we need academia. The academia has to give models on which to base your policies. And I think today’s event is unique by having two academics presenting today. One couldn’t make it but he was presented in absentia.

“Academics gave a general overview of how African expressions of digital health would look like. Also today we have seen business launching platforms of whether or not to link the administrative world or the medical practitioners to provide them with platforms to communicate better or easier. “Actually today I have seen the triangle of academia, business and government starting to work. For the first time I recognise that we have spent enough time to show that all three aspects have a role to play and that has been done. And this makes me hopeful for the future,” he said.

Cassava Smart Tech also launched their application called Maisha.

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