Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Telemedicine Initiative For Sub-Saharan Africa: Pilot Projects Proposed

Date:
March 29, 2007
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
Satellite solutions delivering information and communication technologies can help improve health in sub-Saharan Africa; this was the main conclusion of a dedicated telemedicine task force which met recently in Botswana. To make these solutions a reality, some short-term, concrete actions have been suggested in a pilot projects proposal.

Satellite solutions delivering information and communication technologies can help improve health in sub-Saharan Africa; this was the main conclusion of a dedicated telemedicine task force which met recently in Botswana. To make these solutions a reality, some short-term, concrete actions have been suggested in a pilot projects proposal.

Three activities are proposed: one focussing on the health workforce (scaling-up numbers, improving performance, increasing quality); a second on clinical services (increasing health service coverage, reaching isolated areas) and a third aimed at strengthening the intelligence gathering capacity of health systems and their ability to use information for decision making.

These demonstration projects will be used to inform and to help develop a framework for extending eHealth, which should be considered as part of the European Union Strategy for Africa commitment to utilise Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to enhance interconnectivity in Africa. The potential of this greater interconnectivity, which will be supported under the tenth European Development Fund (EDF), to extend the reach of health and health services will be tested and demonstrated through these proposed projects.

Held in Gaborone, Botswana on 1 March 2007, it was the third meeting of the Telemedicine Task Force, which is composed of the main relevant African organisations, the World Health Organization, the European Commission and the European Space Agency. It was set up after a workshop held in Brussels in January 2006 that highlighted the potential of satellite telecommunication technology to support health systems in Africa. One of the key tasks of its mandate was to develop a complete picture of telemedicine opportunities in the sub-Saharan region and to formulate recommendations for future action.

In a report the Telemedicine Task Force stresses that among the world’s regions, sub-Saharan Africa, with its 47 countries and 750 million inhabitants (2005 figures), is the one with the highest burden of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The average life expectancy at birth in sub-Saharan Africa was 46 in 2004. Health service coverage is low, as for example figures for immunisation coverage and the numbers of births attended by skilled personnel show. The region faces a serious health workforce crisis, due to the migration of doctors and nurses to more developed countries, and also due to the death of skilled personnel from disease.

The Telemedicine Task Force has since reviewed the health policies and strategies for African development of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, of the World Health Organization and of the European Union. The strategies recognise ICT as an important enabler for progress towards these goals in the African region. The review revealed however, that overall ICT penetration in most African countries is low. For, example, despite the rapid growth of mobile phone subscribers in the last few years, the total penetration rate for the sub-Saharan region, excluding South Africa, was as low as three subscribers per 100inhabitants for a population coverage of 48% in 2003 [ITU 2004]. Availability of computers and in particular Internet access was extremely low. Africa remains the most disenfranchised region in the world as regards Internet access. However, by complementing terrestrial infrastructure with satellite communications, complete coverage of the sub-Saharan region can be achieved, according to the Telemedicine Task Force. The proposed pilot projects should concretely demonstrate the feasibility of this approach.

In the long-term, a programmatic framework should outline actions in the step-wise development of sustainable eHealth infrastructure and services, based on the open standards and the needs of African countries in the priority areas approved by the World Health Organisation Executive Board in January 2006. These plans, short-term and long term should help bring the power of information and communication technologies to bear positively on health sector challenges in sub-Saharan Africa and thereby ensure improved health for its citizens.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Telemedicine Initiative For Sub-Saharan Africa: Pilot Projects Proposed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319175628.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2007, March 29). Telemedicine Initiative For Sub-Saharan Africa: Pilot Projects Proposed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319175628.htm
European Space Agency. "Telemedicine Initiative For Sub-Saharan Africa: Pilot Projects Proposed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319175628.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins