7 Things You Should Know About Telemedicine Services Offered in Samburu County Courtesy of M-Pesa and Gertrude Hospital Foundations.

 7 Things You Should Know About Telemedicine Services Offered in Samburu County Courtesy of M-Pesa and Gertrude Hospital Foundations.

According to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, the doctor to patient ratio in the country currently stands at about one doctor for every 6,355 people, which makes it difficult to access a qualified medical professional.

This ratio increases, even more, when it comes to specialists. As a solutions provider and as part of its corporate social responsibility, M-PESA Foundation has partnered with Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation to launch their telemedicine initiative, Daktari Smart, in Samburu County seeking to help more children access quality medical care.

Here are 10 facts about the initiative:

  1. It targets over 32,000 children in Lamu, Samburu, Homabay and Baringo counties. The counties participating in the programme either have one or no paediatrician at all to treat children.
  2. It aims to reduce the number of referrals of sick children by allowing county health facilities to have access to specialists.
  3. It will enable doctors in Samburu County to connect with their counterparts at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital for specialist medical advice. This will reduce patient referrals, save on costs and make treatments more prompt.
  4. It will also enable over 300 community health volunteers, 360 social workers and health workers in the county to benefit from training via video conferencing to build their skillset and capacity.
  5. It allows a healthcare worker at a local partner health facility to place electronic medical devices such as a stethoscope or vital signs monitor on the patient. The specialist at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital is then able to see the patient and hear their vitals in real-time without interpretation from the health worker at the local facility.
  6. It also has a kit with electronic medical devices such as the Electronic Stethoscope, Vital Signs Monitor, Derma scope Camera, Ultrasound Machine, Otoscope (used to examine the condition of the ear canal and eardrum) and the electrocardiogram (ECG) used to check the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity.
  7. The bandwidth requirement for the equipment is low, ranging from 512Kbps to 2Mbps. This means that the platform can be installed in rural and underserved areas that do not have fiber connectivity.

Important to note, M-PESA Foundation has committed over KES.168 million towards the initiative while Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation will invest over KES.35 million in the next 3 years.

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