Monday, August 15, 2011

FCT, Intel Deploy ICT Tools To Boost Healthcare Services

*Sen. Bala Mohammed, FCT Minister

Chip giants, Intel has said that the introduction of the Mailafiya Health Programme conceived to address the health services delivery needs of the remote, poor communities as well as to fast-track progress on millennium development goals 4, 5, and 6, through increased health delivery by 270 per cent to underserved communities, is showcasing the positive impact that ICT can make on improving healthcare delivery.
David McCarron, Director of Healthcare, EMEA, Intel Corporation who stated this at the Pan African Health Summit held in Abuja last Thursday, said the technological giant is working in partnership with the FCT administration to boost the rural health care services within the territory and across Nigeria.
He said that in an attempt to address some of the challenges facing the FCT healthcare, Intel Corporation, as part of its corporate social responsibility decided to take healthcare to the communities through mobile health (mHealth) and telemedicine,
which eventually, gave birth to the Mailafiya Health Programme.
McCarron observed that within the FCT, residents of over 800 villages had little or no access to primary healthcare, stressing that Health officials struggled to measure the impact of health programmes and to optimize the severely constrained healthcare worker resources available.
Minister of State Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide, had expressed determination of the administration to ensure adequate health care delivery to the rural communities in FCT through the usage of the applications of Information Communications Technology.
Akinjide observed that FCT residents’ non access to primary healthcare, informed the partnership between the Federal Government and the private sector in particular, Intel Corporation, the coordinator of Mailafiya Health Programme to use the tools of ICT to provide healthcare facilities for remote villages in the FCT.
According to her, “the Mailafiya Health Programme is a complete health delivery service using ICT that can reach the poor effectively which in the pilot phase programme has reached over 300 communities,”
While stressing the need to explore ICT in scaling up primary health care delivery in the FCT, she lamented that “we have over 800 communities which are purely rural where many of the residents never visited hospital or have access to one, a lot don’t even have rural health care.”
The Minister said the FCT is committed to pursuing improvements in Millennium Development Goals 4 (reduce child mortality), 5 (improve maternal health) and 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases).
Akinjide stressed that the administration has invested a lot in ensuring that FCT meet up with target noting that the FCT government is operating free antenatal treatment for pregnant women in the city.

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