Last week, DICE welcomed over 120 participants to its first Digital Health: Planning National Systems course, supported by Digital Square and TechChange. Health specialists from UNICEF and WHO country offices, Ministries of Health and Ministries of Information and Communication Technologies from over 22 countries joined the workshop to acquire a range of technical skills related to digital health systems strengthening.
As countries have responded to COVID-19 - and move from pandemic to endemic status - there is an increasing reliance on and need for digital systems to efficiently and equitably provide vaccination. This ranges from microplanning to reach communities and avoiding stock-outs, to getting shots into arms and capturing quality data.
To equip countries with the skills necessary to manage digital health interventions, DICE invited participants from around the globe to its online Digital Health course. The goal of the course is for participants to develop a better understanding of digital health systems strengthening measures, such as landscaping the enabling environment and creating a digital health strategy, with an overarching enterprise planning approach. In the context of COVID-19, the course also empowers learners, working through the class in country teams, with the skills necessary to plan and implement health systems for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and service delivery use cases. This includes learning about how to scale systems beyond COVID-19 response for broader health systems strengthening.
“In operationalizing COVID-19 pandemic response plans, Ministries of Health and partners have an opportunity to identify areas where digital health interventions can amplify vaccination efforts, while improving service delivery, producing actionable data, and strengthening routine health systems broadly and sustainably,” says Sean Blaschke, DICE Coordinator and Senior Health Specialist at UNICEF.
The course will culminate in an applicable capstone project to give country teams an opportunity to apply course concepts to their own context and area of focus. It will also provide participants an opportunity to apply knowledge gained during the course to their country's digital health needs, such as digitizing COVID-19 response initiatives, adapting existing digital tools for COVID-19 use cases and making investments to support the broader health ecosystem.
More deliveries of the course are being planned for 2023 as DICE continues to strengthen capacity at the country and regional levels. For more updates and information, send us an email at email@example.com.