[health-vn] UN FORUM DISCUSSES USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY TO FIGHT POVERTY, IMPROVE HEALT
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Wed May 27 09:25:32 EST 2009
Subject: UN FORUM DISCUSSES USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY TO FIGHT POVERTY, IMPROVE HEALTH
Date: Tue, 26 May 2009 13:01:51 -0400
From: UNNews <UNNews at un.org>
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UN FORUM DISCUSSES USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY TO FIGHT POVERTY, IMPROVE HEALTH
New York, May 26 2009 1:01PM
Experts on information and communications technology (ICT) from the United
Nations, private industry, non-governmental organizations and government
agencies are meeting today in Geneva to look at ways to use the latest digital
innovations to fight poverty and improve public health.
“The objective is to introduce cutting-edge, innovative knowledge, experiences,
expertise and best practices” to the work of the UN, and the UN Commission on
Science & Technology for Development in particular, according to the UN Global
Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), which organized the one-day meeting.
“New technologies can boost education through distance learning, content
creation and delivery, and teacher training,” GAID noted in a news release.
“They can help create new job opportunities for people living in poverty. These
technologies can also empower women and the disadvantaged to increase their
access to information and participate in the economy.”
The Alliance also noted that advances in health information systems based on
ICTs are improving patients care and healthcare providers’ productivity
worldwide. However, developing countries lag behind in employing ICTs to these ends.
“While diseases in developing countries account for over 90 per cent of the
global disease burden, it is estimated that only 10 per cent of the more than
$100 billion spent annually on health research is allocated for health problems
prevalent in these countries,” it stated.
Today’s meeting will discuss how this divide can be bridged, using digital
approaches and opportunities. It will also address new opportunities created by
the technological innovations and rapid advances in mobile access for fighting
poverty and promoting development.
Other UN agencies participating in the meeting include the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
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