Published On: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017

Digital health access enhanced across East Africa

Digital health

From HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala, Uganda
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – MEDICAL players in East Africa have welcomed efforts to boost health services access through technological solutions.
The commendation came at the East African Integrated Digital Health Roadmap Conference in Kampala, Uganda, where delegates identified the opportunity for telemedicine as an important priority for the region.
Among such digital health initiatives innovations is the solution developed by Huawei Technologies, in conjunction with Safaricom Limited, United Nations Population Fund and the Ministry of Health, is ready for testing in remote Lamu County and the Coastal region once striking nurses return to work.
Speaking at the conference organized by the East Africa Health Research Commission, Huawei Technologies Public Affairs Director, Adam Lane, said the telemedicine solution could allow for remote specialized consultations and medical education at Lamu County Hospital and other facilities.
Doctors and nurses will be able to utilize video conferencing facilities for consultations which, Lane explained, which could provide for a more efficient health system in the remote coastal region.
In Huawei’s social economic estimates, the deployment of telemedicine solutions can afford the economy significant cost savings from reducing travel time by up to 12 hours and travel costs by $20 per patient.
“These costs are per person and often a patient needs to go with accompanying family members and even stay overnight incurring greater costs; in fact frequently the time and financial costs are so high that half of patients who need referrals for non-emergencies are put off and do not go for their referrals,” Lane explained.
The East African Digital Health conference brought together government officials, development partners, donors, private sector partners, and national, regional and international experts to discuss the eco-system, policies, regulations, infrastructure and costs necessary for the successful scaling up of digital technology in the EAC region.
CAJ News

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