Kenyans will now be able to access remote diagnosis and treatment following the rollout of a telemedicine project in more than 20 facilities. The government is set to host a health digital platform with a Sh600 million funding from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)
The project will extend remote health services to Kenyans in rural areas to boost service delivery and accountability in health services.
“If we cannot provide enough skilled staff in all our health facilities, we can surely take the skilled staff to the rural areas through telemedicine,” Joseph Sitienei, head of the Health Service Management department, Ministry of Health said.
The platform will allow for real-time patient data collection and integration with other critical databases. Sitienei added that the counties are currently being clustered so that remote care can be provided by national referral facilities.
According to the Kenya National eHealth Strategy 2011 —2017, 80 percent of health practitioners serve only 20 per cent of the population, highlighting health-care infrastructure and access disparities between urban and rural Kenya
“It is time that we have teleconsultations and tele referrals. There is no other opportune time than now,” said Dr Sitienei.
Kenya is considered a regional leader in broadband connectivity, ICT infrastructure, value-added services, and mobile money. The ministry of health is capitalizing on the fact that millions of Kenyans use their phones multiple times per day to communicate, access financial services, work from home, shop online, study, and socialize.