Indian High Commissioner to Zambia Visits UTH Tele- Medicine Centre

By Sepo Mwikisa

Technological advancements have made major contributions to the health industry and one good example of this is tele- medicine and through the efforts of the Indian government, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has been a beneficiary of this initiative for the last five years.

Recently, the Indian High Commissioner to Zambia Mr. Gaddam Dharmendra paid a visit to the hospitals tele- medicine facility in order inspect the site and needs to be addressed so as to enhance the success of this initiative which is fully funded by the Indian government.

University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Head Clinical Care Dr. Robert Zulu, Mr. Victor Kulukulu a Senior System Analyst the Zambia Ministry of Communication and the Zambia National tele- medicine coordinator Dr. Sydney Shampile were on hand to receive the commissioner.

During his visit, the high commissioner was able to interact with doctors and staff at the telemedicine centre. He expressed his satisfaction at the success of the program in Zambia and congratulated staff at the centre on their well-organized site maintenance and support.

Indian High Commissioner to Zambia Mr. Gaddam Dharmendra and UTH Head Clinical Care Dr. Robert Zulu interact with medical students at the UTH Tele- medicine centre.

 

Among the benefits of telemedicine is the elimination of distance barriers and improved access to quality health services, facilitation of patient and rural practitioner access to specialist health services and support, the avoidance of moving patients in emergency or critical situations, reduced cost and inconvenience of patient transfer including reduced travel time for health practitioners.

Plans are underway to include other areas in Zambia so as to exploit the full potential of tele- medicine and Mansa is to be one of the first towns to be integrated. UTH will serve as a hub and facilitator for these areas.

Dr. Zulu thanked the commissioner for his visit and encouraged UTH staff to utilize this service. He also explained that the hospital will also do its part in ensuring that the centre is made conducive for staff and other people that utilize the facility. It is hoped that a large number of medical staff can take advantage of this opportunity and maximize its full potential.

With the high number of patients flocking to UTH from all parts of the country, this initiative if used effectively will not only be a platform for the exchange of knowledge but will help decongest the hospital and save resources that can be channeled to other critical areas.

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