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Submitted by Meera on
Thanks everyone, for your thoughtful comments. I’d like to address a few of these individually: Juan -- We are not suggesting a one-size fits all approach or a common platform for all countries --what we are proposing is an ICT platform for each country that would be developed in-country, tailored to the country needs and epidemiology, owned by the country and be common across the health system of that particular country. As you are probably aware, most countries have limited management (and ICT) capacities in the Ministries of health. Ministries of Health generally try to make the most efficient use of their own management (and ICT) capacities. If they have to manage different ICT applications and separate systems for supply chain management (for example) for malaria drugs, and then again for TB drugs or nutrition supplies, their capacities are stretched to the limit and there are inherent inefficiencies in this approach. If we can support each country to develop a common ICT solution/platform that works for its needs and then encourage/support them to build applications for these different health problems that can plug in to this common platform, we would be helping to build something that was scalable and that could significantly reform the health system and reduce inefficiencies in the health system. Does that seem reasonable? Imagine if Mpesa in Kenya did not have a common platform. Would it have been able to scale-up as it did so rapidly? And, would it have been as transformative as it had been? Charles -- Yes --we agree with you and we are looking for ways to do this systematically and at scale. Thank you for the feedback. Caroline -- The Bank is engaging with ICT providers through existing forums such as the mHealth alliance and meetings such as those organised by anadach group in Kenya in April. We will continue to do this, and to engage with individual private sector partners in-country as relevant. Meera