Africa: Recognizing advances in health technologies in Africa
Vanessa Obioha reports that Mary Akangbe, a renowned specialist practitioner in minimally invasive surgery and trained robotic assistant recently hosted the Africa Healthcare Awards and Summit in Lagos, where healthcare professionals from across Africa deliberated on technological advancements. carried out in the sector and called for more multisectoral collaboration.
Recently, Mary Akangbe, President and Founder of Zenith Global Health convened the Africa Healthcare Awards and Summit (AHAS). The two-day event that took place at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos and brought together top healthcare professionals from African countries online including South Africa, Mali, Zambia and Senegal.
For its first edition, the event looked at âadvances in diabetes and cancer careâ with speeches by Stanley Okolo, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WHO ) and the West African Healthcare Federation, Clare Omatseye, on the two days respectively. The two professionals underlined the importance of multisectoral collaboration within the health space.
Kebbi State First Lady Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu also spoke virtually at the event, which highlighted finances, infrastructure and resources as the main obstacles to cancer care. .
âCancer is rapidly becoming the cause of premature death. More needs to be done to bridge the gap in cancer care between countries, economies and professions, âshe noted.
Likewise, Lagoon Hospitals CEO Dr Jimi Coker gave an overview of cancer care in Nigeria. Using statistical data, he found that there were 124,815 new cancer cases and over 78,000 deaths. Dr Mohamed El Sahili, CEO of Medland Healthcare Zambia, provided an overview of healthcare accessibility, who said that cultural biases play a role in mitigating this access to healthcare for patients.
Drug safety was a topic of discussion at the summit where one of the speakers, Dr Lolu Oju, noted that 70 percent of drugs manufactured are found outside Nigeria, with only one percent of human vaccines manufactured. This shows that the continent is lagging behind in vaccine production, especially at a time when developing countries grapple with accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines.
Akangbe is no stranger to healthcare technology. She is a practitioner specializing in minimally invasive surgery and a robotic assistant trained with an interest in AI, genomics and health technologies. As President of Zenith Global Health and Zenith Global Healthcare Professional Awards – a platform for healthcare professionals by healthcare professionals – she has been actively involved in the transformation of healthcare in Africa for over a decade.
The AHAS, she said, is an offshoot of the Zenith Global Health Awards, held in the UK for the past five years.
âWe have received input from health professionals from all over Africa. In 2020 we have decided to have the African version of the Zenith Global Health Awards because we know that the impact of advances in healthcare across Africa cannot be underestimated. We have come a long way. far from where we are and healthcare professionals, organizations and stakeholders deserve recognition on the global platform. “