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ISODEC pilots Tele medicine in Ghana



A technology portal has been introduced in Ghana by the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), to ease the difficulties medical practitioners are grappling.

The Technology was developed by an Indian based IT firm, the PeopleLink India.

The demonstration of the PeopleLink video conferencing technology at TTH was led by Mr  Avinash Keita of the PeopleLink.

Briefing the media at the Tamale Teaching Hospital about the pilot project, the Northern Sector Program Coordinator of ISODEC, Madam Agnes Ganda, said the project was to enable the vulnerable benefit from certain health benefits that hitherto would have come to them.

The Project connect medical experts, medical students, and health workers as well as experts both in Ghana and abroad to the theater while surgical operations are going on.
Madam Ganda explain that SADA was involved because the pilot project is being carried out within the SADA ecological zone.

ISODEC, Madam Ganda said, was optimistic that government will embrace the initiative to help facilitate healthcare delivery among health professionals in the country.
The director of medical affairs at TTH, Dr Abass Adam who is the first in Ghana to have acknowledged the usefulness of the technology said it will promote healthcare in the north and the country as a whole.

“Resident medical doctors can relieve tutorials through the technology at the comfort in their homes,” Dr Abass added. According to him, it will also expose medical officers to the surgery life before they come to hospital facility.

He was impressed that he performed surgery with hundreds of stakeholders watching him through the Internet at TTH theater room, adding that the technology when given the necessary support by government will help to cater for cases to be referred to TTH to be managed at the facilities.

The technology, Dr Abass said, has come at the right time because most of the districts still have bad road network and video directions on cases at the district level will save many lives. He suggested that, all the district hospitals in the country be connected to the technology. In the mean time, he said it can be restricted to 3 regional hospitals so that in future the district hospitals can be hooked on to the technology.

The Germany trained neurologist said, over hundred medical students from the University for Development Studies Medical School including workers at TTH, health experts at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra, telecast in Cape Coast and also in Indian watched him performing surgery on a child who was suffering from brain tumor which caused the child to have seizures. A whole group of medical students had the opportunity to watch the surgery, Dr Abass said.

According to the specialist, the commentary along side the surgery will give residents (doctors on specialized training) the confidence and maximum concentration while at the theater, he added.

Solution to overseas health problems
The neurologist specialist believes it will solve a lot of health problems, especially in overseas areas in the north. If it set up, it will help medical officers in inaccessible areas in the region to deal with cases at their level, Dr Abass emphasized. The number of patients to be transported from district hospitals to TTH will be reduce, he observed.

Internet connectivity in Ghana
The government of Ghana over years invested a huge sum of money in the fiber optic to enable citizens have easy access to information through the Internet. However, Internet access has been a major challenge to many Ghanaians who use it on daily basis. Dr Abass said the project’s success will largely depend on the reliability of the Internet and commitment by all stakeholders.

Ghanaians seeking medical care abroad

When asked if it can stop transfer of certain medical conditions outside Ghana for treatment, Dr Abass said it is possible because experts can provide advice during surgery in Ghana.


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