Botswana: Orange Roll Out Telemedicine

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Orange Botswana and the Ministry of Health (MoH) have signed a three- year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to roll out M-health services to more than 19 villages across the country.
In February 2009, Orange embarked on a pilot project with Botswana-UPenn Partnership, to provide a mobile health and telemedicine solution for Botswana.  The pilot study was a success and as a result, the ministry has now taken over the project and is incorporating it into the country’s long-term health strategy.  When it was initiated, it focused only on mobile oral telemedicine but now the project includes mobile tele-dermatology, tele-radiology, and mobile cervical cancer screening. 
“As its corporate social responsibility, which is at the heart of our business, it was natural for Orange to extend our involvement in this project and have committed to grow our contribution in line with the up scaling of the project.  Our role as Orange Botswana is to provide telecommunication services (internet connectivity),” a communique from the company stated.
*How does Telemedicine work?His is a data platform that facilitates quick diagnosis of patients through exchange of digital images of patients.
*Benefits of Telemedicine In addition to a reduction of patient hospital stay and clinic congestion, the platform is cost effective in that it saves costs for travel and accommodation for both government and patients.The use of telemedicine also improves treatment outcome and enhances skills development for the clinicians.The fact that it is digitally driven ensures data efficiency and reduces loss of data, as compared to when data is stored as hardcopies.

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