Millennia2015 International Conference – Women and eHealth

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Last week UNESCO hosted the Millennia2015 2nd International Conference, during which there was a special session on Women and eHealth. This session was led by Dr. Véronique Thouvenot, head of the Millennia2015 Women & eHealth Working Group (WeHealth), and featured presentations by: Dr. Kristie Holmes; Coumba Touré, head of Advanced Development for Africa; Mrs. Sylvie Coumel, head of Connecting Nurses, SANOFI Corporate; our Dr. Jordi Serrano Pons, head of UniversalDoctor ; and others. (Full agenda)

Many interesting projects and research results were presented during this session. The WeHealth Working Group, launched in August 2010, established four dimensions of Women in the intersection of ICTs and Health: women as beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, ICT professionals, and leaders. The members of the WeHealth Working Group presented their findings from a two-year global study on Women, ICTs and Health. Below are some of the key findings of this research:

  • The main global issues that need to addressed include coordination of initiatives, gender and digital gaps, and access to health information.
  • The biggest barriers to uptake for women are: (1) cost, e.g. airtime is still too expensive making eHealth inaccessible to many; (2) more education is needed on the use, utility and benefits; and (3) adapting ICT solutions for the many languages and dialects present in our world today.
  • ICT solutions include TV and radio, mobiles and voice messaging, telemedicine, and free call lines, which can all be adapted for illiterate populations.

For more info, view the full presentation by Dr. Kristie Holmes.

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Coumba Touré presented the projects of Advanced Development for Africa (ADA) focused on cultivating women as leaders. One of ADA’s key initiatives is the Women Leaders Forum, which brings together First Ladies of several African countries, government officials and representatives from international and civil society organizations working on development and women’s issues each September in New York City. The 2012 Women Leaders Forum was attended by UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, who focused on the importance of partnerships and women leadership by introducing two UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassadors, Ms. Naomi Watts and Ms. Aishwarya Rai Bachan. The event also focused on advances in technology and health, whereby participants discussed how mobile technologies could help scale up access to health for women and youth in low and middle-income countries.

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Another project that was presented at the session was the Connecting Nurses global program, a partnership between four international nursing associations, supported by Sanofi, which aims to connect nurses to a dedicated online worldwide collaborative network to share ideas, advice and innovations. The Connecting Nurses forum will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources, championing nursing accomplishments and advancing nursing practice worldwide. Live testimonials of the success of the program were given during the session. Find out more through this video.

UniversalDoctor also presented 2 brand new projects in partnership with Millennia2015 focused on women and eHealth: UniversalNurses (video), which will tackle language barriers between nurses and patients, and UniversalWomen (video), which will focus on maternal health and other issues between healthcare professionals and pregnant women.

To get updates on the projects mentioned in this post, you can find them on Twitter:

Connecting Nurses: @ConnectingNurse

Advanced Development for Africa: @ADA_org

Millennia2015: @Millennia2015

UniversalDoctor Project: @UniversalDoctor

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