The NAHSAG was formed to galvanize and harness the potentials of its members to contribute effectively to national development.
Speaking at 14th Annual Congress, the President of National health student’s association of Ghana (NAHSAG), Moses Nminkuma Bondong, reiterated to the fact the umbrella body for all health students and new graduates from all health institutions across the length and breadth of the country and diaspora at large.
The theme for this 14th annual NAHSAG congress is “Exploring telehealth to build a resilient health sector amidst covid-19; the proactive step against any future pandemic.”
As potential and practicing professionals in the field of health, we have witnessed or experienced some of the challenges within this sector and as citizens but not spectators, we look to explore areas of extreme benefits for the better delivery of healthcare.
He noted that access to healthcare for people in low- and middle-income countries is challenging.
According to him, patients in remote areas of Ghana face geographical barriers to health services – including poor transport networks, limited access to healthcare providers, and inadequately resourced health facilities – and experience high mortality and morbidity rates for diseases that may be easily treated.
“For patients in the Bonsaaso cluster in the Amansie-West District of the Ashanti Region, traveling to access medical services and consultation could be as far as 40 kilometers” he lamented.
Furthermore, this situation, we strongly believe can be salvaged by adopting and aggressively implementing telehealth more particularly in this pandemic situation we find ourselves.
According to him, telemedicine model is developed around the frontline health worker, with digital technology allowing for the centralization of healthcare expertise.
The doctors, experienced nurses and midwives, who are staffing the teleconsultation center at the referral hospital 24/7, are coaching and guiding less-skilled community health workers in their patient care.
“This not only empowers community health workers, it also improves quality of care with a direct impact on patient health outcomes” he assured.
In 2016 for example, more than half of all teleconsultations could be resolved directly by phone, including 31% that avoided referrals according to global health progress. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has proven to be a life-saving solution, and its integration into health systems is accelerating rapidly in other countries and Ghana should not be left out.
Government in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health should adopt a roadmap to scale-up any existing telehealth infrastructure, set up and adequately staff teleconsultation centers across the country to support the objective of reaching national coverage.
According to him, telemedicine in Ghana would be one of many examples that demonstrate the value of digital health in improving healthcare systems in developing countries. ICTs have the potential to address several of the health challenges facing developing countries by providing cost-effective solutions.
The Digital health Solutions will help to better connect people around the world – be they health workers in remote areas that need to consult with their peers and doctors, or patients that need to connect with medical specialists for advice.
“NAHSAG wishes to see in full force the implementation of telehealth” he mentioned.
He hinted that people in rural communities or even in the cities should not become mortality or morbidity statistics because they could not have access to medical personnel or services. Let’s maximize the use of digitization in healthcare delivery. There must be a paradigm shift.
By Joseph Nana Yaw Cobbina/ghananewsprime.com