Affordable Access

deepdyve-link deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

A telemedicine network to support paediatric care in small hospitals in rural Tanzania.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare
1758-1109
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Volume
18
Issue
1
Pages
59–62
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1258/jtt.2011.110312
PMID: 21968000
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We reviewed our experience with the Tanzanian Telemedicine Network in supporting paediatric care at 40 small, rural hospitals in the country. The network began operating in 2008. Store and forward telemedicine was provided via the open source software iPath. The 33 volunteer consultants were based in several countries, although most of them had practical experience in Tanzania. During the first three years of network operation there were 533 referrals. There were 159 paediatric cases (median age five years). Three paediatric specialists provided most consultations (64%), but other specialists provided recommendations when required. The response time was usually less than two days (median 6 h; inter-quartile range 2-24 h). A precise recommendation was not always provided, but since all consultants had an intimate knowledge of the state of health services in Tanzania, their advice was usually well adapted to the local circumstances of the hospitals. Referral to a higher level of care was recommended in 26 cases (16%). A simple web-based telemedicine system combined with email alerts is feasible in remote locations in Tanzania, even where fast Internet connections are not available.

Statistics

Seen <100 times