WHO Africa uses data analytics to combat disease epidemics
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have increased collaboration on the use of data analytics in the fight against illnesses in Africa.
This pledge was made last week during a technical visit by WHO Africa office officials in Brazzaville, a BMGF delegation led by Jennifer Gardy, deputy director of surveillance, data, and epidemiology.
The tour provided an opportunity for the delegation to learn about how the WHO Regional Office for Africa's Precision Public Health Metrics (PPHM) programme is improving health and disease models across the continent.
The PPHM unit was established as a cross-cutting team within WHO Africa's Universal Health Coverage Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases cluster to provide data analytics support to programme areas aimed at disease control, eradication, and elimination across the continent.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, stated that through precision public health, the health agency was ready to use analytics to drive evidence and investments in public health treatments.
"We welcome the opportunity to build synergies with BMFG and other partners in this effort to leverage data in the fight against diseases," she went on to say.
Gardy commented on the importance of using statistics to inform public health decisions.
"We are looking forward to building synergies with the WHO Africa Regional Office to support countries in the region in their efforts to use data-informed solutions to fight disease," said Gardy.
PPH was formed as a unique strategic initiative to enhance the Precision Public Health for Africa strategic initiative, which aims to advance the use of analytics for health system strengthening and responsiveness.