Coordinated Care Management

September 13, 2012

Telemedicine Units to be Set Up in Africa to Provide Remote Care to Population

The Apollo Hospitals group will set up 30 telemedicine units in Africa under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it has signed with AfroIndia Medical services.

The first three units will be located at Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja in Nigeria, according to the press release.

AfroIndia Medical Services is an Africa-based integrated medical service provider which offers accessible and affordable medical care to patients from Africa at its network of over 1,500 hospitals in India, Israel and Europe.

"Apollo's MOU with AfroIndia Medical services will pave the way for the availability of tertiary and quaternary health care to a large number of patients resulting in cost, effort and time benefit," said, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group.Doctors in several African countries will now be able to work with specialists at the telemedicine units.

In Africa, few people have access to medicine and life expectancy is only 47 years, mostly due to this fact but also because of poor sanitation and malnutrition. Where in this country we spent 15.2 percent of our GDP on healthcare in 2008, in Africa it was 8.7 percent of a much smaller GDP. Our healthcare expenditures are predicted to reach one-fifth of the GDP by 2021.

Malaria, yellow fever and cholera are diseases we never hear about in this country, but in Africa they kill many people.  The “death profile” has changed over the years and now mortality is mostly caused by infectious and parasitic disease, and respiratory infections. HIV-AIDS is another illness that many die from.

But with the advent of the telemedicine units, physicians will now be able to get in touch with patients and specialists, remotely, through such telecommunications technology as video conferencing, transmission of still images, and remote monitoring of vital signs.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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