Computer Aid International has been providing laptops to rural doctors to aid in the diagnosis of life-threatening illnesses in some of the most remote parts of Africa.
Rural health workers are using these donated laptops to email x-ray images, medical notes and digital photographs of critically ill patients for expert clinical diagnostic support from experienced professional clinicians hundreds of miles away, therefore bringing healthcare to the most remote people. This project is one of the most compelling examples of the life-saving importance of IT to the rural poor in developing countries.
In Sub-Saharan Africa there is an average of just 12 doctors per 100,000 people – compared to the European Average of 340 for the same number of people. Few qualify due to the high cost of education and many qualified health professionals are tempted overseas where they can command far higher salaries compounding the “brain drain” suffered by many developing countries.
The African Medical Research and Education Foundation, is putting Computer Aid International PCs, together with scanners and digital cameras, into rural health clinics in some of the most isolated communities in Africa. From there, nurses and newly qualified doctors can email pictures via the internet to clinical specialists for instant expert diagnosis. By this mechanism people living in rural areas can have access to the best clinical diagnosis available and medical conditions can be treated promptly and accurately with life-saving consequences.
This is a dramatic low-cost, high-impact example of the way in which PCs donated in the UK are serving on the front-line against Africa’s biggest killers: HIV/AIDS, respiratory disease, malaria and water-borne infections.
Taking a digital photo of a wound using a Computer Aid donated camera in Moi District Hospital, a rural hospital in Voi, Kenya.