Growing up in a Digital World
Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION) partnered with PharmAccess, Nigeria Health Watch and Epic Africa to organise a one- day digital Health Technology Consultative Forum on the 12th of March 2020 in Lagos, Nigeria.
The event which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos, is part of the global intervention by The Lancet & Financial Times commission ‘Growing up in a digital world: Governing health futures 2030’. This intervention aims to harness solutions that will increase the use of technology to address equity challenges in youth access to health care.
The forum discussed innovative ideas and opportunities in the use of artificial intelligence and digital health technologies to achieve Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria. Participants identified barriers to healthcare access particularly for young people and proffered solutions that use digital technology to enable access to quality and affordable Healthcare.
Speaking at the event, MSION’s Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Ogechi Onuoha addressed the topic "Leveraging Technology for Increased Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information and Service Uptake. She highlighted sexual and reproductive health as a major health concern for young people in Nigeria. Noting that access to contraceptives and other sexual health information and services is constrained for a lot of youths especially adolescent girls. She explained that "demand for family planning among the married female population in Nigeria is just at 35%, while for the unmarried and sexually active female population it is 85%, but over half of the sexually active females do not have their needs met.”
Ogechi made clear that MSION is a champion in data protection and goes the extra mile to protect the client’s confidentiality. MSION understands that data privacy and data quality are important to protect the rights of the client and promote access to quality, non-judgemental Care. She stated that MSION piloted the use of mobile technology for collection, collation, and computation of internal quality technical assistance (QTA) data in 2019 across two channels. This technology makes real-time viewing of QTA results accessible at regional, states, LGA & facility level. She reiterated MSION’s commitment to using technology to expand access to sexual health information and services in Nigeria.
Participants at the event were young health and technology experts, political and health leaders, and policymakers drawn from across the country.