Written by SOLISTER MOGHA
LILONGWE--Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe will in January next year start offering Tele-medicine and Tele-consultations services, according to Malawi News Agency.
It said Pratamnu Majumder, Assistant Manager for Tixt Pap Ticil , a company from India installing electronic network confirmed on Thursday saying, all required equipment have been installed in the key departments and that what remains is to connect the hospital through Government Wide Area Network (GWAN) to Pan Africa electronic network.
He said once completed, Kamuzu Central Hospital would be linked with super hospitals in India and offer Tele-medicine and Tele-consultation services.
“What will happen is that doctors in Malawi would be connected live with doctors in super hospitals in India and discuss on how they should treat different diseases for different patients. Doctors will also discuss the type of medication they should administer to patients.
“Further to this, doctors in Malawi would be able to conduct operations with guidance from professional doctors in India,” Majumder explained.
He said despite inexistence of the GWAN network at the hospital, doctors could still be linked to their counterparts in India and share notes on different topics focusing on diseases.
“Doctors who need help from fellow doctors in India can still be connected through our tele-center and be assisted; this is what we call doctor to doctor consultations,” he explained.
Majumder described the initiative as important as it will in the long run help government control its expenditures especially on referral cases.
“Government will save a lot of money as serious cases that were in the past referred to hospitals abroad would be handled and treated right at KCH. These professional doctors will also make recommendations on what patient should be taken to hospitals outside the Malawi,” he said.
Haward Namuku, ICT Officer for KCH said the hospital is at the meantime utilizing the telemedicine center which was established some two years ago.
He said doctors at the hospital can only attend sessions taking place in India and as a result improve their skills.
“As we await connectivity on the telemedicine and the tele-consultation, doctors from the hospital still come here and attend sessions taking place in India.
“Apart from the doctors, students from Kamuzu College of Nursing and Malawi College of Health Sciences also come and utilize the facility,” Namuku said.
He said that in future the hospital would be connected with its district hospitals and treat patients while in the district.
“We have plans of extending the same services to district hospitals so that before referring patients to KCH, doctors would work on them right there in the district,” Namuku explained.
Davis Mtotha, Deputy Director for KCH said the hospital is going through a number of technological innovations.
“He said they are planning to transform the hospital and make it the best of all the hospitals in the country.
“This is just one of the many things that we have planned to do at the hospital,” Mtotha said.
Majumder said a total sum of about U$125million has been invested to carry all the three activities as designed in the project proposal.