Telemedicine program launched in Kenya to extend healthcare to remote areas

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Specialists at Kenyatta hospital will now be in a position to expand healthcare services in remote areas through the power of IP and video conferencing to interact with patients and healthcare providers.

This is following the launch of the e- diagnostic and consultation clinics at both Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi and Machakos Level 5 Hospital by Merk, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare in collaboration with Kenya Ministry of health as part of their e-health initiative in Africa in a ksh 10.2 million investment.

National telemedicine program will enable patient consultations with specialists in referral hospitals to help earlier diagnosis, quicker and better care. “Video conferencing technology takes into consideration the reality of Africa in which majority of poor population live in rural set-up with inadequate health facilities and less developed road infrastructure which are barriers to better healthcare” said James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Health.

Merck has previously partnered with African Ministries of Health, Universities and Patient Diabetes Association to carry out nationwide diabetes awareness (SMS) text messages to healthcare providers and community members in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.

The next phase of the initiative will involve expansion to other county hospitals and looping in of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to provide e-consultation services. The phase will also include upgrading of the telemedicine progam to facilitate the sub-specialists examine the patient at the county hospital in real time by availing digital patient examination equipment.

Merck’s E-health initiative, which will contribute to bringing healthcare to underserved populations, improving the quality and reducing the cost of healthcare delivery; improving the effectiveness of public health programmes and research in order to promote prevention and better managing of non- communicable diseases, especially cancer,diabetes and cardiac diseases.

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Merck will actively engage in dialogue with governments and local stakeholders in Africa to inform the expansion of their E-Health initiative and other health initiatives across Africa.

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