Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, on Wednesday, inaugurated the State telemedicine hub as part of efforts to address the healthcare gap created by the shortage of personnel in the state healthcare system.
The Telemedicine Centre it was gathered, was built and donated to the state government by a community group, Adinma Awkuzu Association.
The pilot Telemedicine Hub which is located at Comprehensive Medical Centre, Awkuzu in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra, will be connected to 10 other health centres in different communities.
Performing the inauguration, Governor Soludo revealed that the hub will be used as a case study in 10 community healthcare centres within Oyi local government area of the state to experiment its effectiveness before linking it to other healthcare centres across the 179 communities.
The governor explained that the hub was part of his plans to boost the healthcare system in Anambra State, adding that the new medical approach was to make up for the deficit in healthcare professionals in the state.
Noting that the Telemedicine Centre is first of its kind to be launched in Nigeria, Soludo appealed to Awkuzu community to ensure adequate protection of the facility.
“Telemedicine is simply the use of telecommunication gadgets to remotely consult, diagnose and treat patients irrespective of their locations.
“With the gap created with the rate of brain drain in the country, this technology will improve and increase access to healthcare delivery in the state.
“If this pilot hub works as expected, we will replicate it in the other 179 communities in the state.
“I commend the Awkwuzu community for erecting the infrastructure in this medical centre and we urge other communities to emulate this gesture and partner with government,” he said.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, in his address, said the initiative would increase access and improve healthcare delivery in the state.
According to him, the initiative can be driven through telephone conversation, e-mail or instant messaging conversation.
He said, “It is an innovative way of getting access and delivering healthcare through digital devices such as mobile devices and computers.
“Telemedicine means that you can be in the comfort of your home and book an appointment to see a doctor that is working anywhere in the world.
“The hub would enable Ndi-Anambra to get medical attention globally.”
Obidike said that it would be beneficial to residents in the state with the use of google diagnostics to consult with doctors in America and Abuja.
“Diagnostic google would be used at the healthcare facilities to get the doctors attend to patients from any location.
“We have ensured that there will be minimal challenges as regards network and power supply as we have installed solar energy to drive 24 hours services.
“This Telemedicine improves the health and well-being of people by reducing delays in accessing healthcare due to time, distance and location,” he said.
In his remark, the Oyi Local Government Area Transition Committee Chiarman, Chief Emmanuel Nweke, while appreciating the governor for the project, promised to ensure adequate security in and around the hub.