J. R. Posner
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Mr Jaco Venter has vast experience in the software development field and he is currently seconded to the NDoH as the Technical Advisor to the Chief Director Policy Coordination and Integrated Planning. During the last 15 years he was directly involved in various public health projects, he was mainly involved in Data Administration and Analyses through software development and project management to providing custom solutions to the Department of Health. This journey took him from being a consultant to the Italian Cooperation, Italian Embassy, MRC and WHO to being permanently employed by HISP and where he is now seconded to the NDOH.
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Banda Health Operations Manager
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Dr Julius Awakame is the Founder and President of the West African Health Informatics Fellowship Program (WAHIFP). He is also the Director of the West African Centre for Health Informatics (WACHI) at the Health Information Management Department of the Anglican University College of Technology in Ghana where Dr Awakame is also a lecturer and Head of Department. He has a medical degree and worked in the area of mental health for many years in the UK until recently when he discontinued frontline clinical work to focus exclusively on a health informatics career.
Dr Julius Awakame was born in Ghana where he obtained his basic medical degree from the University of Ghana Medical School in 1993. He worked as a medical officer in Ghana for a few years before leaving to the UK. In the UK, he worked as a clinician in mental health while studying part-time towards a gradual change of career into health informatics. He qualified as Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Database Administrator (MCSE & MCDBA) between 2000 and 2001. Soon after, he obtained a scholarship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), to study for a Masters Degree at the Centre for Health informatics and Multi-professional Education, at the University College of London. He obtained his MSc in Health Informatics in 2005. For his MSc project, he explored the challenges associated with the implementation of encryption technologies and Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs) in clinical settings in the UK National Health Service. He also passed the Foundation Stage of the PRINCE II Project Management Examination.
In September 2009, soon after the commencement of his PhD studies at the Yorkshire Centre for Health Informatics (YCHI), University of Leeds, he obtained a Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Sponsorship Award for a 6-week sabbatical to the Public Health Informatics Department of the University of Washington, Seattle, as part of the Research Mobility Program of WUN where he had the inspiration to set up the West African Health Informatics Fellowship Program. During the sabbatical, Dr Awakame attended a 4-week training on “Mobile and Cloud Computing for Developing Regions” at the School of Computing and Engineering. In September 2010, he participated as a Fellow in the AMIA Health Informatics Building Blocks (HIBBS) Project in developing open educational materials for health informatics training in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the UK, he was a member of the Africa-UK Diaspora Telemedicine Working Group. He also has a permanently valid certification status with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) from the USA, after passing the Step I & II of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examinations. He worked in various hospitals in the UK National Health Service from1997 to 2014 in the field of Psychiatry.
Dr Awakame has now given up active medical practice in order to focus on health informatics. He is a member of and provides informatics support to the Mental Health Educators in the Diaspora (MHED), a UK-based mental health charity involved in mental health pre-service training in medical and nursing colleges in Ghana. He belongs to the global community of OpenMRS Implementers. He also does basic programming of Visual Basic, HTML, XML/XForms, Java, J2ME, and Android.
Dr Awakame is a 6th year (part-time) PhD student in (Mental) Health Informatics, at the Yorkshire Centre University of Leeds, UK. His PhD project examines the challenges and opportunities related to the use of mobile computing platforms for community mental healthcare delivery in resource-constrained settings of sub-Saharan Africa, with focus on Ghana. The infrastructure for the project is a mobile tele-psychiatry platform consisting of cloud-based OpenMRS backend, coupled to an open-source Android-based mobile application. This platform can support mobile-based tele-psychiatry in resource-constrained settings such as Africa. In 2011 the PhD tele-psychiatry software platform, was a runner-up in the ‘Top 11 In 2011 Innovators Challenge’ by the mHealth Alliance and The Rockefeller Foundation. HIs PhD project is one of forty-two selected by the EU PF7 eInfrastructures for Africa Project as a demonstration projects for Africa to show the use of high-speed computing in solving some of the problems Africa faces. The other WAHIFP project selected as a demo project is a collaborative cloud-based mobile EEGs/SANA tele-psychiatry project developed with the Department of Health Informatics University of San Francisco.
In 2009, from his base in the United Kingdom, he founded and incubated the West African Health Informatics Fellowship Program (WAHIFP) as a non-profit spinoff organisation of his PhD work with the support of his department at the University of Leeds. He is currently the Founder & President of WAHIFP - a global network of collaborating individuals and institutions, focuses on harnessing support from the international health informatics community, including Diaspora health informaticians towards capacity building for ehealth in the West African sub-region. WAHIFP now boasts over 500 individual members globally and over 24 institutional members or collaborators. Dr Awakame has recent relocated from the UK to Ghana, and is currently in the process of setting up the West African Centre for Health Informatics (WACHI) as the operational hub of WAHIFP to be hosted within the Health Information Management Department at the Nkoranza Campus of Anglican University College of Technology where he is also the Head of Department of Health Information Management and Director of WACHI. WAHIFP is now regarded as one of the Research Infrastructures Health Informatics in Africa and is to be supported for development as such. Dr Awakame is currently discussing a collaborative project between WAHIFP and the West African Research and Educational Network (WACREN) to set up einfrastructures to support mobile health across West Africa. Dr Awakame is the web-master for WAHIFP and also manages the web-hosting platform for the WAHIFP website.
He has recently co-authored an article in the latest edition of the Ghana Medical Journal, titled ‘Implementing the Mental Health Act in Ghana: Any Challenges ahead?’ enumerating the various challenges to overcome in the implementation of the recently passed Mental Health Act in Ghana. Dr Awakame will be presenting a paper co-authored with Prof Bill Bosl of the Department of Health Informatics, University f San Francisco on using e-infrastructures to support mobile health in West Africa at the impending WACREN 2015 Conference in Abuja.
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Kamogelo Motlhomi is a Wits University graduate that studied a Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice for 3 years and graduated in 2016. During her studies she had first-hand experience of how big a problem the health care system faces as well as the problems that the patients face regarding health care and health information. This then sparked an interest in her to find out how people can become better informed about their own health issues as well as how to better the way in which health care is delivered to patients. She is currently working at the Transplant Unit at Wits Donald Gordon Medical centre. Working there has been a blessing to her as it has encouraged her to find ways to help patients better understand their diseases as well as provide health care that is satisfactory to the patients.
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Prof. Keith Househam has been active in many aspects of the health sector and has mide a substantial contribution to its development in South Africa through wide ranging experience and expertise.
Prof. Househam has special interest and experience in public health and public health management.
He managed transformation and restructuring of health and social services through effective change management strategies in the Free State province. Managed the Department of Health through a provincial acute cash flow crisis during 1998/9 and subsequently achieved financial stability and unqualified audits. Successfully built a diverse management team in the Free State that was able to integrate and effectively manage the provincial health department under difficult circumstances. The result was an improved health care system and a management team that initially remained effective under my successor, but unfortunately due to the failure to retain key managers has in recent years declined resulting in poor service delivery with highly publicised consequences.
Prof. Househam lead the development of the plan for a new strategic direction for the Western Cape Department of Health, Healthcare 2010 as approved by the Western Cape Provincial Cabinet during March 2003 and the Comprehensive Service Plan for the implementation of Healthcare 2010 approved in May 2007. The implementation of this change management strategy to transform health care services on a wide front in the province has resulted in service improvements although much still requires to be done. It has also developed and maintained effective management structures that have ensured that (i) service delivery targets have largely been met, (ii) the department has largely remained within the allocated budget and (iii) achieved unqualified audits to date (2015). Lead the development of the Healthcare 2030 health strategy in the Western Cape as approved by the Western Cape Government and contributed to the Western Cape Provincial Strategic Plan Strategic Objective Increasing Wellness.
He developed an academic interest in management and management strategies, particularly related to the health sector. The only person in South Africa country to have headed two provincial health departments since 1994 and the sole head of a provincial department of health to remain from those initially appointed in 1995, thus have unique South African experience in this area. The sole remaining provincial Head of Health remaining from those who occupied these positions initially post 1994. Awarded the African Access National Business Awards Top Performing Government Leader Award in 2011.
Prof Househam initiated and lead the process of community participation developed for the University of the University of the Free State Community Partnership Programme, in Bloemfontein, which commenced in 1991 with a unique process of joint decision-making between the health services, the community of Mangaung and the University of the Free State to address provision of effective primary level care, promote community development, develop community-based medical curriculum and promote affirmative action in the university. This project realized over R20 million from foreign donors. It also lead to the development of a community-based facility in a custom-built community health centre (opened during 2001) for the community-based training of health professionals. Founder, Acting Director and Faculty co-ordinator for this project from 1991 until July 1994.This programme continues to provide service, promote development, and garner donor support for the Mangaung community of greater Bloemfontein. This experience has equipped me to work with and in the diverse communities of South Africa.
Prof. Househam has an in-depth understanding of health service provision at the level of a health provider arising from experience as a specialist clinician working in the State health services and also an understanding of the issues related to health professions education and the functioning of the higher educational institutions (universities).
He has been an active acadmic serving as Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State served on the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Senate and Council of the University of the Free State.
Prof. Househam is author of 26 publications in various journals, of which 13 are in refereed scientific journals. He has authored six chapters in four medical textbooks and was the principal author and editor of an undergraduate paediatric textbook.
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Kesandu is a highly analytical and ethical individual driven to learn new concepts while implementing and gaining valuable experience in the ever-evolving world of computer technology. While being a student at Oral Roberts University, she was a recipient of the President's Scholarship award and other scholarships. She bagged semesters on the Provost's Honor Roll amongst other accomplishments. She also participated in medical and missions outreaches,when she was back home in Nigeria and from her university, respectively.
After she graduated in May of 2015, with a major in Computer Information Technology and a minor in Mathematics, she moved to the East Coast of the United States and partook in several IT training development programs to improve her skillset. During the course of the training, while keeping in contact with her homeland, she connected with some public health specialists to find out how she could contribute her quota to eHealth in Africa and Cradlecount was born. CradleCount is an app that helps to calculate estimated time of delivery for pregnant mothers as well as provide regular tips for positive pregnancy outcome. CradleCount was released in October and was welcomed with positive feedback. While Kesandu is not working at her daytime job, she is looking for her next contribution to eHealth and other sectors. You can find her on her website at www.kesnovation.com
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Rome Business School eHealth Masters
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