Orange Botswana this week celebrated more than four years of its involvement in the provision of m-health services at Consumer Fair 2012. Since February 2009 Orange has embarked on a project with Botswana-UPenn Partnership to provide a mobile health and telemedicine solution for Botswana.
The decision to enter into this partnership came after it had been noted that Botswana has a serious shortage of specialists in the public health system. There is currently only one Maxillofacial Surgeon and two Dermatologists in the public sector in Botswana.
When it was initiated it focused only on mobile oral telemedicine but now the project includes mobile tele-dermatology, mobile tele-radiology and mobile cervical cancer screening, along with access to medical resources involving tele-mentoring which is done with the University of Botswana School of Medicine residents.
Speaking about the achievement, Tumie Ramsden, the Orange Public Relations Manager said: “We are committed to addressing the challenges of health and dependency. At Orange, we are convinced that the doctor of tomorrow will be a network doctor for whom managing information is vital and for whom communication solutions will be key to bringing about real improvements and favourable outcomes for in patients lives”.
Currently the Orange UPENN project has been implemented in nine villages across the country and it will be expanded in 2012 to include nine more villages and other health centres in the bigger towns. So far there have been 377 successful cases and 22 health workers have been trained since the inception of the programme. Orange Botswana’s support and commitment has been in the form of telecommunications donations of devices, sim cards and data to facilitate the process of mobile telemedicine.
In Africa, telemedicine solutions are making a real difference in places where there is a lack of hospital and healthcare infrastructure. The Orange Healthcare division has launched telediagnosis solutions in a number of African countries such as tele-dermatology via mobiles in Botswana and Egypt, screening gynaecological cancers in Madagascar, real-time health monitoring of 200 children in Mali. Other pilot schemes are on-going notably in the framework of our partnership with mHealth Alliance, which aims to deploy mobile telephone health solutions in West Africa.
”Orange identified the potential of telemedicine early on and has been at the forefront of its development ever since.
Telemedicine has the power to transform the way that healthcare is delivered, and we recognize that partnerships with best-in-class solutions providers are essential to our goals to establish Orange as a global leader in the innovation, development and deployment of eHealth solutions,“ said Thierry Zylberberg, executive vice president of Orange Healthcare. “We are proud to work in the development of telemedicine solutions that can have a positive impact on care quality for chronic disease patients and care delivery for healthcare providers.”