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The fuss about telemedicine

OK…I confess….I do not think that this is the solution to Africa’s health care problems…but I stand to be convinced.

Recently…experts from various parts of the country on Monday converged the College of Medicine of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan to evaluate the success of the Telemedicine Pilot Project and design the way forward to advance the healthcare delivery. more in the Champion

recently reported on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the governments of India and Nigeria enabling partnership for providing services in telemedicine and tele-education between both countries.

Now University World News reports that telemedicine has finally arrived in Nigeria via a pilot project recently launched at Lagos University. This interactive electronic mode of teaching, research and provision of medical services has been embraced by lecturers, students and patients.

These are all great projects and will inevitably get good press. But we must come down to earth and face the challenges of our people. In the car park of the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja – you will find a big bus with the emblem of Telemedicine – a project of our FMOH in collaboration with our National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)!

In a country barely able to provide electricity for its people, unable to provide the most basic health care services, in which our own president cannot be managed; telemedicine seems like one of those big ideas that we love to shout about. We need to get real and face our problems – the maternity units where women die from the most basic of problems, our neonatal units without mosquitoe screens, without clean water, without a functional blood bank, without power! without power!

Lets get real and face our problems…telemedicine is not the solution, will not be in a long time to come.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

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