NAIROBI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenya should invest in broadband infrastructure in a bid to revolutionize healthcare system against a backdrop of rising burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases, a senior Huawei executive said on Tuesday.
Adam Lane, the Director of Public Affairs at Huawei Technologies, said in a commentary published in the Business Daily that high speed internet connection is key to enhance diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
"Kenya is acclaimed as a major technology hub and it is an obvious advantage that sits in plain sight which if taken up, can leapfrog the dream to achieve universal healthcare for all," said Lane.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has identified universal health care as part of his Big Four agenda that will be implemented in his second and final term in office.
Lane said that investments in modern technologies and innovations could unlock the potential of Kenya's health care system and ensure it meets the needs of the bulging youthful population.
"With so much of the young population, Kenya can use a systematic and nationwide approach to health promotion campaigns using digital platforms - from SMS campaigns to apps to chat-based helplines to seed out self-help information on healthcare," said Lane.
He acknowledged that non-communicable diseases are straining Kenya's health care infrastructure but stressed that digital tools could enable elderly patients access information on how to manage these ailments.
"Digital information is a low cost way of providing information on how to keep healthy as well as manage existing health issues," said Lane.
Kenya has one of the highest populations that have access to internet in sub-Saharan Africa thanks to friendly policies and regulations as well as robust investments in supportive infrastructure.
Government statistics indicate that 75 percent of Kenya's population can access internet through their mobile phones while broadband coverage in rural counties is expanding rapidly.
Lane emphasized that digital technology can be harnessed to enhance training of health workers and streamline provision of care at all levels.
"Digital technology is also crucial in collecting and analyzing timely data to improve the efficiency and quality of care provided," Lane said.
The Huawei Executive hailed state funded broadband infrastructure projects saying they could be harnessed to transform Kenya's healthcare system.