Khama Rogo

Lead Health Sector Specialist with the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Group’s Health in Africa Initiative
Dr. Khama Rogo, presenting at TEDx Amsterdam 2016

Dr. Khama Rogo has been an activist in Africa on issues of health and human reproduction for three decades. He is Lead Health Sector Specialist with the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Group’s Health in Africa Initiative.

Dr. Khama Rogo has been an activist in Africa on issues of health and human reproduction for three decades. He is Lead Health Sector Specialist with the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Group’s Health in Africa Initiative. He is a Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a prominent advocate and global authority on reproductive health issues and visiting professor at several universities and author of over 100 papers and book chapters. He served on the Gender Advisory Panel of WHO, the Advisory Committee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the board of the Center for African Family Studies. He is currently on the board of INTRAHEALTH, among other responsibilities.

What is according to Dr. Rogo the biggest health issues today?

“Nowadays it’s hard to believe that just ten or fifteen years ago intelligent people, professors of medicine and public health, were arguing that it was not possible to get anti-retroviral to Africans because they did not own a watch, they won’t know how to give that medicine. That they wouldn’t be able to take the medicine because they didn’t have enough doctors, there’d be nobody to prescribe it. Can you imagine that? It was happening. People were dying, the medicine was there and people were arguing. And People like Joep Lange said: No, this is wrong. It is possible for it to happenand it happened. The same is happening today. If we say, women are dying in numbers and we don’t even know the numbers.  Here on earth, but we can communicate with the moon, with the satellites and we know everything. Are we really serious? There has to be a seriousness of disruptive thinking. “

According to Dr. Rogo Africa is at a crossroads. Mobile technology is disrupting every layer of society at an unprecedented pace. Almost everyone has access to a mobile phone, even people living in the slums or in remote villages. “The mobile phone in the manner in which it has spread in Africa gives us, for the first time, an opportunity to give identity to an individual. Locate that individual in terms of where they are and most interestingly provide you with an activity record of what that individual does,” Dr Rogo explains.

As so many remain excluded from basic services, we can leverage on digital technologies to improve access to healthcare. This can drive exponential change for millions of people, helping them realize their Great Escape.

“If we are willing, all of us, to be like Joep Lange. Challenge the status quo. Ask why it is not happening, and not happening fast enough. Then we have enough resources to make a difference,” says Dr. Rogo.

Watch his TEDTalk 

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Thinkers are many. But it’s thinkers who turn their thinking into action who make social justice happen.
Dr. Khama Rogo