IntraHealth CEO Champions Role of Informatics in Strengthening Health Workers

Pape Gaye, IntraHealth’s president and CEO, discussed the challenges of building sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity in health care and information communication technology (ICT) at the Public Health Informatics conference in Seattle, Washington, on September 19. Gaye spoke as part of the plenary session “Decision Support for Public Health and Policy Development: Building Capacity and Sustainability.”

Gaye explained how IntraHealth’s Human Resources Information System (HRIS) development follows a systems strengthening approach. Gaye highlighted IntraHealth’s role in creating the Capacity Project’s Human Resources for Health Global Resource Center as well as the organization’s growing leadership in Health Workforce Informatics. Gaye suggested several areas for future development, including:

  • Strengthening linkages between technical schools and health institutions
  • Developing policy and advocacy strategies, with key stakeholder and decision-maker involvement
  • Fostering Centers of Excellence and “twinning” of educational institutions focused on south to south, south to north collaborations
  • Developing new cadres of health workers by attracting and engaging talent early.

Gaye concluded with the following points:

  • People working in ICT for health do not need to reinvent the wheel.
  • ICT development and capacity building should be done within the context of overall human resources for health capacity building, not outside of it.
  • There are exciting opportunities in eHealth for building capacity in ICT but also for using ICT to help build the capacity of health workers and better prepare them for their jobs.