Telemedicine brings digital treatment to Rwanda Village
A telemedicine initiative launched last year, the advances in ‘over the air,’ remote digital treatment in Ololosokwan comes one year ahead of the forthcoming ‘Second East African Community Regional E-Health and Telemedicine Workshop, Ministerial Conference and Trade Exhibition,’ to take place next May in Rwanda.
The remote Loliondo division of Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region, Ololosokwan Village stands out as the first rural hamlet in East Africa to establish a novel initiative doctors call ‘tele-medical’ services.
The concept of telemedicine uses modern and digital technology, and its operationalisation was meant to provide a model for improved use of the 21st technologies in the advancement of health provision in the country and continent. In a similar approach, the EAC is now seeking to improve its healthcare delivery systems using these newfound e-health and informatics initiatives.
The expansion and integration of e-health systems throughout the EAC will offer substantial and growing opportunities with internal and external collaborators that specialise in e-health solutions and ICT infrastructure.
On the other hand, an event is being organised in partnership with the EAC Regional Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering and e-Health (CEBE), University of Rwanda, and the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO).
Running from May 15 to 18, 2018, the conference is the first in seven years, a follow- up to a three-day maiden event which was again held in Kigali, Rwanda, from November 8, 2010, the EAC says in a statement to the media.
The workshop aims at assessing both policy and technical elements that could support an enabling environment for e-healthcare solutions, as well as e-health areas such as telemedicine, electronic medical records and healthcare information systems.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health, the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) are jointly designing a pioneering concept for telemedicine delivery system at the remote Ololosokwan Village. The move has effectively brought quality specialist health care to rural and remote populations often excluded from quality health care.
During the workshop, the delegates will address, among other possibilities, the creation of an EAC Regional e-Health Working Group; establishment of National Inter-Agency e-Health Working Groups and the Development of legal and regulatory frameworks.
The meeting will also discuss the implementation of the EAC Regional Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Programme; Technology and Infrastructure Improvements for e-Health Systems; and the Consideration of the Proposed Financing Models for e-Health Implementation at national and regional levels in the East African Community region. The workshop will also introduce EAC public and private sector decision-makers to solutions that will enable the improvement of healthcare infrastructure and delivery through the use of ICTs.
They will also discuss appropriate enabling environment for e-healthcare, including policies, governance mechanisms and institutional capacity regionally and on national level in general, and in particular, the standardisation of e-health systems and data protection and privacy regime for e-health; and Deliberate on sustainable financing of e-healthcare projects and Implementing Self-sustaining Telehealth Services.
The next May Conference will gather participants including policymakers from Governments and public organisations, e-Health and Telemedicine experts and professionals, Technology and ICT solutions providers, Research and Development institutions, Development Partners, International and non-profit organisations