20 November 2012

Ethiopia: Health Centres Call for Support to Apply Telemedicine

Addis Ababa — Telemedicine service aimed at delivering health services using Information Communication Technology (ICT), launched in three health centres of Addis Ababa, proved failure mainly due to problem of getting Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA).

Bole Health Centre Health Officer Meti Dawit said that since the launch of telemedicine service at the centre, an on-line medical consultation given from Yekatit 12 Hospital has played a pivotal role in reducing referral of patients in cardiac and diabetic diseases among others.

According to Meti, six Out Patient Department (OPD) are found in the centre. Though four of them started to deliver service using telemedicine,it was interrupted before two months due to incapability of getting the CDMA card .

She also indicated that though the centre was given the chance to launch the service using the support of the Ministry of Health lack of digital cameras problem of uploading and slow downloading hindered the service, he added.

Arada Sub-City Health Centre Senior Public Disease Prevention and Promotion Process Owner Gelana Lulu said that telemedicine has an indispensable role in linking Primary Health Care Centres with Specialized Hospitals, which would reduce suffering of patients in getting the service. In addition, it enhanced workers skills working in the Health Centre.

Public Health Infrastructure Directorate Director with the Ministry of Health Esubalew Sebsibe said that the pilot project implemented in Addis Ketema,Arada and Bole Sub-Cities Health Centres over the past three months, have been provided assistance in charging CDMA. Thus, health centres are expected to implement the programme.

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