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#BP > GENESIS TELECARE & Access to Quality HealthCare for All via Telemedicine

By in World Forum Lille on October 19, 2012

Background:

Shortages of skilled health personnel in remote areas, deficient infrastructures and equipment as well as the limited purchasing power of a large proportion of the population are factors that threaten the health of many in Cameroon. Because of this, people in rural and remote areas have great difficulty in accessing basic health care and appropriate treatment. Telemedicine (care and health services, social services, preventive or curative, done remotely via technology and communication) has the potential to reduce inequality on health care quality between urban and rural areas. It also reinforces health care workers isolated in rural areas by giving access to a sound medical knowledge base. Genesis Telecare SA is the first telemedicine company in Cameroon, created on April 21, 2009 by Jacques Bonjawo, also CEO of the group which Genesis Telecare lies under: Genesis Futuristic Technologies Inc., a U.S. software firm which has the bulk of its operations based in India.

Objective (s):

- Bring the patient's physician closer, reducing wait times and maximize the effectiveness of medical consultations;
- Enabling rural access to examinations and specialized services such as medical support for cardiovascular disease, or monitoring of difficult pregnancies or other treatments during early childhood.

Approach:

Genesis Telecare opened the first telemedicine center in Cameroon in April 2009.

The project is composed of a team of general practitioners, nurses, engineers and skilled technicians in advanced technology. Their collaboration provides a real-time interaction between physicians and patients through a highly secure computer system where each patient has a complete electronic medical record.

To date, there are six telemedicine sites in several localities in Cameroon: Yaounde (where the technical platform is found), the regional hospital of Abong Mbang(in the East), Regional Hospital Yagoua (in the Far North), the health center at the SOSUCAM Nkoteng (in the central region) and the medical Center in Akonolinga of the Endom district (in the central region). For each center, nurses are trained specifically to the technologies used. Medical specialists remotely perform interpretations of tests either in real time or delayed, and if required, other physicians, based in India, France and the United States are asked to analyze some complex cases corresponding to their specialty.

To overcome the problem of frequent power outages in rural areas in Cameroon, generators have been installed in each telemedicine center and some instruments are being developed to run on solar energy.

Following the success in Cameroon, telemedicine centers are being created in Gabon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Factor(s) keys to success:

The signing of several partnership agreements with several structures such as the Department of Public Health of Cameroon, which ensures the availability of public hospital facilities, including structures, equipment and human resources, as well as with African Synergy, Camtel, SARCONETS, MTN, UNFM, SOMDIAA / SOSUCAM, IAI Cameroon, Ministry of Empowerment of Women and the Family.

Contribution to company performance:

- Getting the TIGA Award 2011 awarded by the United Nations in partnership with the Government of Finland on May 12, 2011, which recognizes the innovative use of technology in the service of populations

Social and / or environmental benefits:

- Easy access to medical specialists without having to travel long distances + electronic medical records
- Low care costs which are affordable for the poor
- More than 15,000 patients consulted since April 2009 ;2000 electrocardiograms and 1500 ultrasounds performed

Source: http://www.reseau-alliances.org/en/bonnes-pratiques/search-engine/access-to-quality-health-care-for-all-via-telemedicine-with-genesis-telecare.html

Find out other best practices on the World Forum Lille's website: http://www.reseau-alliances.org/en/bonnes-pratiques

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