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ICT can help improve health care

Technology offers opportunities to improve both care delivery and health outcomes if administered thoughtfully, according to the Health Hub Coordinator, Mr Gabolekwe Tlogelang. 

Delivering a keynote address at the second annual Health Informatics Pitso in Gaborone, Mr Tlogelang said Information Communication Technology (ICT) could enable health care workers to make good decisions and accurately carry them out.

Mr Tlogelang said ICT could also facilitate better communication between health care workers. “Using technology, we can extend specialised care to remote areas, thus saving time and the cost of travel”, he said.

He said ICT providedhe means to analyse health care system challenges, to recognise strengths and to be able to address weaknesses. It might also allow to predict needs and to act proactively to better care for all Batswana, he added.

He further said the rapid growth of mobile technology in recent years, had introduced new innovations in health informatics known as mHealth and Botswana was at forefront of this exciting field given the connectivity rate so far recorded. “We continue to scale up several health initiatives with our partners around the country”, he said.

He highlighted that patients with HIV were receiving SMSs with reminders for appointments and drugs whilst diseases such as Malaria and Tuberculosis cases were being reported and tracked using phones. 

He said the Ministry of Health had incorporated e-health as a component of corporate strategy and had taken a decision to implement systems relating to health informatics by establishing a health informatics office. This office, he said, would be responsible for coordinating ICT initiatives and activities at the Ministry of Health.

He said in today’s work environment, technology played major role in service delivery, adding that a knowledgeable and skilled workforce was necessary to making the promise of ICT a reality.

The Ministry of Health hosted the Botswana Health Informatics Pitso in collaboration with Center for Disease Control, the University of Botswana as well as the Botswana Upenn partnership.

The conference aimed at building Botswana’s capacity to take advantage of information communication technology to strengthen the health sector and bringing together all stakeholders to continue discussing health informatics and its role in the health sector in Botswana. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Segametsi Kebonang

Location : GABORONE

Event : Health Informatics Pitso

Date : Jun 16 Sun,2013

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