Nº 10 2012 > ITU Telecom World 2012 | Special report
ITU and WHO launch m-Health initiative
A new partnership between ITU and the World Health Organization (WHO) to use mobile technology to combat non-communicable diseases was launched during a session described as “serious-minded people in a small room making big things happen”.
Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases contribute to an estimated 36 million deaths every year. Using mobile telephone technology, m-health practices can help save lives, reduce illness and disability, and reduce healthcare costs significantly.
The m-Health initiative, as described by Yuri Grin, Deputy to the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, will provide evidence-based and operational guidance to encourage partners worldwide, especially governments, to implement m-health interventions to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases and their common risk factors — tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol.
Daisy María Morales Díaz, Costa Rica’s Minister for Health, urged the “establishment of multi-sector strategic alliances to prevent and control the spread of these diseases”.
Embracing the “transformative power ICT bring into daily lives” in the healthcare sector is vital, according to WHO’s Assistant Director-General Oleg Chestnov.
ITU launches m-Powering Development and Smart Sustainable Development Model
ITU launched two new initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable development by harnessing smart ICT, in particular mobile broadband: m-Powering Development (where mobile devices are seen both as empowering users and powering development and economic activity) and Smart Sustainable Development Model.
Rwanda launches “Transform Africa” initiative
Rwanda will host a conference and exhibition for young digital innovators from around the world, announced the Minister for Youth and Information Technology, Jean Philbert Nsengimana.
Transform Africa will invite young innovators to Kigali on 18–22 March 2013. Established in partnership with ITU, Transform Africa will offer training, development and workshops to young entrepreneurs, plus high-level ministerial round-table discussions and connections with investors in Rwanda and beyond.
Over to Bangkok for ITU Telecom World 2013
The Chairman of the ITU Telecom Board, Reza Jafari, announced that ITU Telecom World 2013 will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 18–21 November, continuing ITU Telecom’s commitment to annual events based on the principle of geographic rotation.
Nattapong Seetavorarat, Adviser to Thailand’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology, welcomed the announcement. “For Thailand, this event will be an important platform to demonstrate the country’s progress and high potential in the field of information and communication technology, and to promote opportunities for business matching and knowledge sharing at global level.”