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18 November 2017 08:24 (South Africa)

Telemedicine takes off in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is taking advantage of telemedicine, whereby a satellite link-up enables doctors to seek medical advice from colleagues in India. Now doctors in the poor West African state can send X-rays and other data for analysis in better-equipped Indian hospitals. The country’s healthcare system was devastated during an 11-year civil war that ended in 2002, with many doctors fleeing the country. The Sierra Leone initiative, funded by the Indian government, is part of a broader pan-African telemedicine plan. Officials hope to extend the system to rural areas, linking doctors and healthcare workers in other parts of the country. Advances in telemedicine also enable medical marvels such as remote assistance in surgeries, but no doubt relies on adequate bandwidth, something which is in dire short supply in most of Africa. Read more: BBC

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