Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Telemedicine initiative for sub-Saharan Africa: pilot projects proposed

20.03.2007
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 100 inhabitants 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.

Giorgio Parentela | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaTE/SEM4CVQ08ZE_index_0.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

nachricht Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss
18.05.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>