KAMPALA: Ministry of Health along with Apollo Hospitals is to set up a telemedicine centre in Uganda where patients will have easy access to specialised healthcare services.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities.
Currently, Uganda spends about Shs204b (US$76m) with at least Shs5.8b (US $2.2m) spent on treatment of mostly public servants abroad.
The partnership was revealed during a meeting between health minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye and the founder chairman of Apollo Hospitals, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy aimed at developing a strong healthcare model in the country.
“The partnership will not only make Uganda self-sustainable but will also make it the preferred treatment destination for patients from neighboring African nations,” Dr Tumwesigye said. Apollo Hospitals already has partnerships with governments of Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and Ghana.
The hospital has been receiving patients from many African nations including Uganda over the last few years for treatment of various complex diseases, especially in the areas of Cancer, Brain tumors, Spinal problems, Orthopedics and Kidney transplant.
While in India, Dr Tumwesigye also participated in the Apollo Cancer Conclave themed “Cancer- A global Threat” where it was resolved that an aggressive joint approach is required to overcome the Cancer threat globally.
Cancer remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the World with 15 million cases diagnosed across the world and eight million cancer related deaths registered annually.
In Uganda, breast and cervical cancers are some of the leading causes of death among women.