Setting up a Telemedicine Post in Zambia: Episode 3
by John Bennett MD
This is the third installment of our open, tranparent attempts to aid Jones, the Zambian nurse, to set up a Telemedicine Post in deep, dark Livingstone ( of “Dr.Livingstone, I presume” fame!”) Zambia. Our thoughts are that you don’t just go to organizations that aid this type of projects with your hands out, begging.
See, from the Gates Foundation, the methodical “How We Make Grants“. And to think Mr Gates did not even finish Harvard!
Organizations, like the Gates Foundation, seem more likely to listen if you go to them with a plan, and show them exactly where the money is going, and have put work into relevant issues, and the money just does not go to lining our pockets. Unfortunately, that happens with a lot of funds that are given to Third World countries for things like healthcare, but it seems like The Gates Foundation fully realizes this, and deals with it the best they can.
At any rate, Jones has continued to be a trooper, and here follows his answer to relevant questions about the clinic, so we have an idea of the clinic that is presently running in Livingstone, Zambia. Here is a copy of the email I sent to him, and his responses:
You are communicationg well, and be proud of what you are doing:’
Ok, quick questions:
1) Please give drawings of the clinic
(To see rest of 6 drawings by Jones, go HERE)
2) How man people per day?
ON AVERAGE 65 PATIENTS ARE SEEN EVERY DAY. MONDAY TO FRIDAY FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES ARE OFFERED IN THE AFTERNOON. UNDERFIVE CLINIC ARE DONE ON TWO (2) WEEK DAYS AND ANTENATAL CARE/BOOKING ARE CONDUCTED DURING THE WEEK DAYS.
3) Breakdown in percentage, the medical problems
MALARIA 48 % SEEN EVERY DAY AND 14 % CONFIRMED TEST EVERYDAY
HIV/AIDS RELATED COMPLEX- 22 % (DOMINATES RE-ATTENDANCIES)
DIARRHOEAL DISEASES- 25 % (DYSENTRY, SALMONELA TYPHI, etc )
OTHERS- 15 % (BILHAZIA,RING WORMS,MIGRAINE, MUSCULO SKELETAL,DENTAL CARRIES, EYE PROBLEMS, DIABETIS M,HYPERTENSION..)
4) How do patients get medicines?
PATIENTS GET MEDICINES AS THEY GET SCREENED AND PRESCRITIONS ARE NOT GIVEN EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT PATIENT’S RECORD IS IN A SMALL BOOK THEY HAVE TO BUY FOR THEMSEVES AND KEEP. THERE IS NO COTINUUM OF CARE AS PATIENS USUALLY LOOSE THESE RECORDS.
5) Any labs, x-ray available–
THE CLINIC HAS NO LABORATORY FACILITIES BUT RAPID DIAGNOSTIC TEST (RDT) IS DONE TO RULE OUT MALARIA. TUBERCULOSIS IS NOTORIUS IN THE AREA WITH THREE MULTI DRUG RESISTANCE TUBERCULOSIS RECORDED IN A SPACEOF LESS THAN TWO YEARS. (2012-2014)
6) is there a broadband internet there? where is the closest?-
THE CLINIC IS LOCATED IN AN AREA WHERE THERE IS GOOD INTERNET NETWORK THOUGH USAGE IS QUITE LOW IN THE AREA HENCE ONE HAS TO TRAVEL 25KM TO MONGU TO ACCESS AN INTERNET CAFÉ.
7) Who staffs it now?
– THE CLINIC IS STAFFED BY SEVEN HEALTH TRAINED STAFFS ONE OF WHICH IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH TECHNICIAN. THERE ARE FURHTER FOUR (4) CLASSIFIED DAILY EMPLOYES WHICH MAKES A TOTAL OF ELEVEN HUMAN RESOURCE AT THE CENTRE.
8) Who funds it?
– THE GOVERNMENT FUND THE CLINIC 100% AND THERE IS POOR CORPORATE RESPONSILITY IN THE AREA.PATIENTS TOO ACCESS ALL MEDICAL SERVICES WITHOUT ANY CHARGEABLE FEES.
9) Who pays you?
THE GOVERNMENT CATERS FOR OUR SALARIES 100% AND ALL THE ALLOWANCES FOR MONTHLY UNDERFIVE AND ANTENATAL OUTREACHES. MONTHLY OUTREACHES ARE CONDUCTED TO SCREEN PATIENTS FOR ANY CONDITIONS THAT NEED ADVANCED TREATMENT AT THE HOSPITAL AND PATIENTS ARE REFERRED TO THE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL SPECIALISTS
We are now aiming to have a Google Hangout with Jones, so that we speak to him LIVE from Africa, and panelists will be invited to meet Jones and ask him questions. As with any Google Hangouts, there can be an unlimited audience, who have the ability to Tweet LIVE
If anyone wants to be a part of this effort, or has input, please email me at
desertedbeach at hotmail dot com
No contributions are being accepted. However, sweat and any skills or contribution of services that would aid in successful completion of this project will be appreciated!