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Flavor of the Month of June: Telecentres and e-health/telemedicine

Access to health services is still a major challenge to many across the world today, governments, non-profit organizations and corporates are all trying various means to ensure that citizens have access to affordable health care/services. eHealth is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health. Examples include treating patients, conducting research, educating the health workforce, tracking diseases and monitoring public health. eHealth thrives because of various technologies that exist today like Internet, computers and mobile phones; telecentres have and use all or most or of these technologies hence a great place to have local dispensaries or hospitals effect e-health or mhealth.

One telecentre based in Western Kenya, UCRC uses commcare to manage and facilitate community health workers work in terms of data collection and management, counseling, hospital referrals, access to videos and audio files, patient feedback among others. Community Health Workers (CHW) are essential for providing much needed care to their communities; however, CHW programs have been hampered by inadequate training, supervision, and job support. CommCare seeks to overcome these challenges through an innovative, cost-effective, scalable mobile health platform.The project is rigorously evaluating several innovations embedded in CommCare. These include client-side innovations in service delivery such as videos that CHWs will be able to show to new mothers to sensitize and educate them on positive newborn care practices and provider-side innovations in supervision and mentoring such as performance reports that provide CHWs with real-time feedback on their activities. The impact of these interventions will be measured against key CHW performance metrics, such as the quantity and quality of home visits. This project will not only guide the further development of CommCare, but it will also generate fundamental insights into how community health workers can be empowered to provide maternal, newborn, and child health services more effectively, especially in areas of greatest need.

Feel free to share your thoughts and best practices from your telecentres while responding to the following;

What examples of eHealth or mHealth projects are you running at your telecentres?

What possibilities are there for telecentres in promotion of eHealth?

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I believe that this is an excellent initiative and observing the E-health Diagram mentioned in the suggestion I feel that this is a complete solution and encompass the required ingredients for E-health.

We in E-village Pakistan have taken this initiative in coordination with a implementation partner who has a complete infrastructure to implement E-health and m-health. As a pilot we are working with one unit and would scale it up after some experience. I believe the biggest constraint is the mind set that who I Doctor can examine a patient remotely and at some stage we face this criticism even from senior doctors who feel these services a serious threat to their medical business.

I think we need to create awareness among al segment of society and provide technology based solutions in ever increasing health needs, our existing human based infrastructures can never cope up with increase population specially in developing countries.

I would request all engaged in such activities to share their experiences and specially success stories.

Ammar

As

Thanks Ammar for sharing about E-village project in Pakistan, despite skeptics e/mHealth is a reality today supported and endorsed by the likes of World Health Organization among others.

I agree with you that there needs to be more awareness created and perhaps this is where telecentres need to participate. Lets see what other community members have to share.

Nice article , Thanks to author.

Dear All,

My names are Mr. Albert Edmund Oluchukwu Thomas-Ewendu. I am a Project Development Consultant, President / Founder of The Digital Africa Project, a foremost Information and Communication Technology-driven Non Governmental Organization based in Owerri Imo State, Nigeria.

I wish to invite all members who are positively disposed to offering tips, suggestions and collaborating with us to establish Telecentres in Nigeria, especially eHealth services in Nigeria. We welcome manufacturers and providers of eHealth products and services that desire to introduce their products and services to Nigeria.

Contact us on telephone number: +2348136230275 E-mail: digitalafricaproject@gmail.com

Dear Albert,

Great reading your input here and quite exited you have interest in establishing telecentres in Nigeria. There are a lot of experiences from the telecentre community here and you are in the right place. we can exchange emails and discuss more, will drop you an email.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your e-mail. I am delighted to learn that you have all that I will need to embark on this project in Nigeria.

I would like to receive some updates.

Sincerely,

Albert Thomas-Ewendu.

I came across some interesting blogs on mHealth here. Looking forward to reading more experiences from community members.

Launched late November 2012, Wazazi Nipendeni, (Swahili for parents love me) a text messaging service sending out timely free healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood information has already registered 100,000 active users with over 4 million text messages sent. - See more at: http://techmoran.com/2013/04/04/tanzanias-free-healthy-pregnancy-te....

Read more here 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this discussion, your input has been very informative and I believe quite helpful to the members of this community. Even though this flavor of the month of June has come to an end, the discussion continues and hope to read more from the rest. 

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