The Joep Lange Institute is proud to present its documentary ‘The Great Escape’ at the first Dutch Global Health Film Festival that is taking place in Utrecht on Saturday October 28th. The London based initiative introduces the festival for the first time in the Netherlands to bring together people with interest in global health to think, discuss and debate about global health related issues. The Great Escape is a short documentary how to reach social equity in healthcare in Africa by using mobile technology.
The documentary shows an Africa that is at a crossroads. Mobile technology is disrupting every layer of society at an unprecedented pace. ‘The biggest social equalizer now in this part of the world, I believe is a cell phone’, explains Dr. Khama Rogo in the documentary. 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.’ Dr. Rogo continues.
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. In Kenya, this technology is already in use, transforming how people are paying for and accessing healthcare. It is called M-TIBA. M-TIBA enables people to save, send, receive and pay money for medical treatment through a mobile health wallet on their phone.
At the Joep Lange Institute, we promote a digital agenda to democratize global health. We believe that ultimately, the question isn’t whether or not inclusive healthcare is possible. It’s whether there is enough political will to make it happen. Where the existing system fails the people, digital technology offers the opportunity to democratize healthcare. It can happen today.
The Dutch Global Health Film Festival is organized by The Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (NVTG), TROIE – vereniging voor Arts IGT in opleiding, and Uniting Streams.