EDCTP side event at UNGA78 Science Summit

14 Sep 2023 15:00 CEST - 14 Sep 2023 17:30 CEST
New York, United States and virtual (hybrid)
Type of event EDCTP meeting

Investing in research and development of innovative digital health solutions for Africa

14 September 2023 – 09:00-11:30 EDT/15:00-17:30 CEST 
In New York, United States and virtual (hybrid)

As part of the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78), and on the occasion of EDCTP’s 20th anniversary, EDCTP will organise a side event to illustrate the value of investing in research and development of innovative digital health solutions for addressing unmet medical needs in Africa through a global partnership such as EDCTP. The objectives of the session will be:

  • Promoting awareness about EDCTP and its role and contribution towards attaining the SDGs
  • Showcasing practical examples of how EDCTP and its partners are supporting clinical research using smart, highly innovative health technologies or concepts to prevent, treat or diagnose PRDs in sub-Saharan Africa, and the development of solutions that are easily integrated or linked to existing electronic or digital systems used in the implementation of clinical research and health systems’ patient management
  • Demonstrating how the use of digital technology in public health interventions can serve as a driver for the development of African health systems, improving access to health data and research evidence to better develop and implement informed health policies and improved clinical guidelines for healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Discussing the role of digital health solutions in addressing Africa’s health challenges and opportunities, including lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic response, and the enabling research, policy, regulatory and financial environments that are needed.

This side event will take place in New York, United States, and virtually.

Access the agenda and register to attend the virtual event.

Access the agenda and register to attend the in-person event.

Please note: pre-registration is required to attend this session in person.

Download the session brochure (PDF).



  • Harleen Grewal, Professor of Microbiology and Global Health, University of Bergen, Norway; Chairperson of the EDCTP Scientific Advisory Committee
  • John Gyapong, Adjunct Professor of Global Health, Georgetown University, USA; Chairperson of the Scientific Committee of Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking



Welcome and introduction from the co-Chairs

Unleashing the role of medical technologies in combatting the unmet medical challenges attributed to PRDs in sub-Saharan Africa towards attaining the SDGs and UHC
Michael Makanga, Executive Director; EDCTP (Netherlands)

Case study 1 – Blockchain high coverage rabies post-exposure prophylaxis to achieve zero human rabies deaths in Africa (BlockRabies)
Jakob Zinsstag, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH, Switzerland)

Case study 2 – Improving access to SARS-CoV-2 screening and testing through community-based COVID-19 case-finding and the use of digital solutions in Lesotho and Zambia (TREATS-COVID & Mitral)
Kwame Shanaube, Zambart (Zambia)

Case study 3 – Dual diagnosis by Spectral Artificial Visual Examination for Female Genital Schistosomiasis and cervical cancer. Digital, new, low-cost, and simple diagnosis and training (DUALSAVE-FGS)
Santiago Martinez, University of Agder (Norway) 

Case study 4 – Expanding digital data capacities of African clinical trial centres through a cloud-based global health research platform
Gadi Lachman, TriNetX (United Kingdom)

Audience Q&A

Panel discussion: The role of digital technology in addressing Africa’s health challenges

  • Irene Norstedt, Director, People Directorate, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission; Vice-Chair of the Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking
  • Roseanne Rotondo, Head of Global Health Access,Novartis, USA
  • Gadi Lachman, CEO and President, TriNetX LLC, USA
  • Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Chief Digital Advisor, African Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC)
  • Lindiwe Makubalo, Assistant Regional Director, WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO)

Audience Q&A and discussion

Closing remarks
Marcel Tanner, EDCTP High Representative (Europe)