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Uganda uses telemedicine to improve health service delivery

29 December 2008

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The Ugandan Government has launched an ambitious project to provide telemedicine facilities in different health centers across the country, enabling patients to receive remote diagnosis and prescription from doctors even outside the country.

The government of Uganda has launched a project in which health centres will have technology laboratories that will facilitate diagnosis and prescription of treatment for patients without them having to come to a particular health center.

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The project under the Uganda Communication Development Fund of the Uganda Communications Commission will see health centres across the country fitted with computers, digital cameras, scanners and other gadgets. This will allow doctors to diagnose and prescribe treatment to patients in other health centers.

Bob Lyazi, the manager of the UCDF project stated that the project will help to improve health service delivery in the country by allowing the effective utilisation of available health specialists with online diagnosis and prescription. He says the government is planning to install the telemedicine facility in different health centers across the country.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Dr. Ham Mulira who launched the telemedicine project said that the government will continue to use information and communication technologies to better the lives of Ugandans. Dr. Mulira says that with the telemedicine facility available in many health centers across the country, Ugandan patients with ailments for which treatment was not possible locally will be able to receive diagnosis and treatment prescription from Indian doctors.

The government has partnered with different India based hospitals and doctors to make telemedicine a reality in Uganda by facilitating first class medical services to be given to Ugandans by doctors abroad.

The minister says the project will apart from improving communication between patients and consultant doctors also help reduce referrals where patients are asked to go and see a doctor at a superior hospital, and thus save money and time for patients.

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