Global health: a strategy to Enhance patient care. Blantyre, Malawi. November 17 -21, 2014.
Cardiology, neurology, angiology, surgery, hepatology, radiology, infectious diseases, with particular attention to the epidemic of Ebola, but also common chronic diseases that are also increasing in sub-Saharan Africa and which are often ignored, undiagnosed and therefore untreated. All this was discussed in Blantyre, Malawi, thanks to a multi specialist course attended by doctors from Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, organized by the Program Dream of the Community of Sant’Egidio in collaboration with GHT-Onlus (Global Health Telemedicine). DREAM, which is present in 10 African countries, treats 250,000 people with HIV / AIDS and has allowed to date about 26,000 children born healthy to HIV positive mothers. In Malawi there are 13 treatment centers, 3 laboratories and DREAM supports 24 maternity wards of the ministry of health with the vertical prevention program for HIV. In the tribune, a small group of Italian specialists: cardiologists, neurologists, infectious disease specialists, internists, hepatologists, dermatologists, angiologists and radiologists who have brought their knowledge and experience to 50 colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa. The inauguration was attended by the Mayor of Blantyre and by leaders of the Malawian Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Commission.
Thanks to the partnership between DREAM and GHT in this last year it was possible to install 8 Telemedicine Centers in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique; from these countries requests of teleconsultations come via web as well as reporting of ECG. The answers are quick and mostly simulate a diagnostic and treatment center in Europe.
From the Telemedicine Centers is sent a brief description of the patient’s medical history and his physical examination, electrocardiogram, the values of pressure, heart rate and blood oxygenation and, if necessary and possible, of his blood tests. The specialist on duty imagine a real patient before him and provides the required responses, taking into account the local limitations on the availability of diagnostic tools and drugs.
From the Telemedicine Centers the requests of teleconsultations were over 1200 in just a few months, creating a network that took “our” everyday knowledge and therapeutic habits very far.
At the end of the course, carried out also thanks to funds from GHT and CIS, two new Centers of Telemedicine will be inaugurated, one of which in Blantyre, funded by the non-profit organization “Nico the fruits of the grain” and the second in Balaka, always in Malawi, demonstrating that a new model of cooperation is possible, one of high-impact and low costs. A North/ South alliance, which opens the future to a better health system for Africa.