AHAIC2023 – Reimagining Primary Healthcare

The AHAIC 2023 congress is underway in Kigali, Rwanda, attended by top African healthcare dignitaries from across the continent.



Post the opening plenary session which outlined in no uncertain terms the challenges and goals that lay ahead, delegates had their choice of parallel sessions to attend.

Reimagining Primary Healthcare was the chosen session for AxessHealth, where various primary care solutions were outlined by representatives from each company prior to a high-level panel discussion featuring Dr Danny Mutembe (Cofounder and President of the Rwandan Healthcare Federation), Mr Assegid Samual (head of professional development in the Ethiopian health ministry), Biruk Abate Halallo (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ethiopia) and Dr Paul Musila (Executive for Health, Makueni County, Kenya).

The featured innovators were:

WAJA – An app supporting field workers in Tanzania through assistance in appointment scheduling, process automation and real-time supervision. By using this app Tanzania has been able to document over 100 000 households, each containing an average of five people. Healthcare workers' time is prioritised through route planning and triage assistance, with full automation of data.

WelTel – SMS-based HCP to patient communication. With less than 50% of patients having smartphones, the use of SMS has been successful in keeping patients supported in their healthcare journey and ensuring medication compliance. The system is currently being run across Rwanda to great effect.

Zipline – Drone-delivered healthcare whether it is pharmaceutical, equipment or even blood. This capability is strengthening primary healthcare in countries across the globe but has a very specific need in Africa where point of care is often remote. Zipline is widely used in Rwanda in association with the ministry of health.

The panel discussion can only be summarised as an advocacy session for the strengthening and support of the healthcare workforce. Mr Assegid Samuel, backed by the other panellists, reiterated the importance of provider competency, continued professional development (CPD), capacity building and career path advancement for all in the healthcare workforce.

Key items raised by Dr Mutembe included the linking of healthcare workers to the community, automation of tasks, ensuring real-time availability of information, training, access to the appropriate software, and data to guide appropriate areas of investment. It seems to this writer that Dr Mutembe has seen the AxessHealth strategy document, and we could not agree more.


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