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Telegraph Examines Upcoming African Mobile Health Summit

The Telegraph looks at the upcoming Mobile Health Africa Summit, the “first event of its kind where stakeholders across Africa and the world will come together to debate the implementation of m-health across the continent.”

The two-day summit – which will be held in Accra, Ghana in December – “will feature case studies from African countries where there has been deployment of m-health and will cover a range of potential applications of mobile technology to health care such as information, diagnosis, monitoring, education and training,” the Telegraph writes.

U.N. data shows that “mobile [phone] subscriptions in Africa rose from 54 million to almost 350 million between 2003 and 2008 … the present figure is approaching 400 million,” the newspaper writes, noting that growth has slowed as some countries, such as South Africa, reach 100 percent penetration.

The article highlights the success mobile technology has had in Africa, pointing to a popular platform in Kenya that allows people to use their mobile phones to transfer a small amount of money. “Launched only three years ago, it now has 11.9 million customers in Kenya,” and Seema Desai, director of mobile money for the unbanked at trade association GSMA, said, “more than 50 percent of the adult population subscribes to the service.”

The newspaper notes that “in countries such as Malawi, where [there] are just two doctors and 26 nurses for every 100,000 people, any similar form of innovation from Africa’s mobile entrepreneurs in the health sector will be welcome” (Munford, 11/3).