Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Telemedicine in Nigeria: How it Works, Benefits - By Olatuja Gabriel-Wealth


By Olatuja Gabriel-Wealth 

I remember sometimes ago when I had an idea about telemedicine also know as telehealth. Knowing fully well that its a Mega and capital intensive project I couldn't afford only. I contacted some individuals and medical practitioners. None seemed to be interested.

That was the question to provide healthcare go those in both urban and rural areas as well as the under-served and unserved.

As we talk now, telehealth is one of the trending industries in Nigeria. 

On telehealth  websites or app, you can have access to medical doctors live in a video call or chat. You pay a fee ranging from 1-5k per month. 

Now that covid19 has made hospital inaccessible to the people, telehealth is the best choice for medical care. 

Right from the comfort of your home or office, you can have access to pools of medical doctors who specialise in different areas in medicine. 

Right on the platform, your doctor can run diagnosis and examination on you and give adequate prescriptions. If on the other hand you need to be attended to in a health facility, you can visit any of the partnering health facilities nearest to you. 

Telehealth is a way to bring healthcare to under served in both urban and rural areas who don't have access to medical expects in their location. 

A patient in Kano can consult a doctor in Abuja. A patient in Ondo State can consult a doctor in another State, say Rivers, Lagos... 

Telemedicine is an alternative to queuing and spending hours of your time in a hospital ward on a minor issue. 

You will ask me that some Nigerian are illiterate and some don't have access to smartphone or internet. This is a downside to tech solutions in Nigeria. 

Some of the operators have been able to identify the problems and found a way to mitigate them. 

Some of the operators of the telehealth platforms have gone further to provide toll-free-lines to users who don't have access to smartphones, data, internet or even the non-tech savvy, who can't use an app. This solution is where you easily make free call and you get queued and attended to by doctors like when you call Telecom customer service centers. 

Now the question is:

can you use telemedicine? 

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