The future of global health

Many challenges in our global health activities remain unspoken today such as gender inequality, colonisation and power, discrimination and racism, migration and the role of the diaspora, unequal access to essential health services and quality medicines, commercialisation of care, exclusion, climate justice and (health) equity.

Last week, Health[e]Foundation attended the 2023 Be-cause health international conference. The conference aimed to reflect on the future of global health, on the future role of development cooperations and the role that global health stakeholders could  play in this. Experiences were shared together with cases, and research results on the topic of breaking taboos in Global Health.

Be-cause health, a platform of stakeholders in global health and healthcare both in Belgium and in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), wants to go the extra mile, with  the 2023 conference focusing on breaking taboos and gather the knowledge, exchange insights and results, learn from successes and failures to rethink the future of global health.

A session of particular interest to Health[e]Foundation was the parallel session on The opportunities and limitations of digital health: between optimism and pessimism A powerful paradigm within the global health community is that digital health and its accompanying solutions have an important role to play in improving health systems to the point of considering only their advantageous side.

However, the session discussed that digital health care cannot alone be a solution for access to health care for all, especially in low-resource contexts. Digital health solutions should always consider the local contexts, including the levels of digitalization of economies and societies, which is key to ensure that they can positively contribute to the reduction of inequalities and access to health care. During the session, we heard from e-health entrepreneurs and experts who develop and support he implementation of e-health solutions in LMIC’s as well as analyzing their impact on the health system. They shared their experiences of how they have considered both the limitations and opportunities of digital technologies to facilitate access to affordable and quality health care. They also shared cases of failure and the difficulties in scaling their solutions. Health[e]Foundation always have had and is having a keen eye on what is posted here as digital challenges, aiming to positively contribute to the reduction of inequalities and access to health care, and looks forward to continue the discussion on contributing to breaking taboos!