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zambia


We work in 20 rural health centres and 2 district hospitals

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zambia


We work in 20 rural health centres and 2 district hospitals

primary healthcare in Zambia

too few doctors

There are far too few doctors in Zambia – only 1600 for a population of over 14 million.

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poor treatment 

This means patients are often not properly treated, so their condition deteriorates

doctors in the wrong place 

Two thirds of doctors live in urban areas; two thirds of the population live in rural Zambia.

distant referrals

They then have to walk or cycle for many hours, or even days, to reach a district hospital.  

Under-equipped rural health centres 

Consequently, most rural health centres are under-staffed and under-equipped.

 

The result:

1 in 9 children will not reach the age of 5*

13.5% of the adult population are HIV+*

 

 

* World Health Organisation 2013

telemedicine helps solve these problems

The Zambian Ministry of Health's e-Health Strategy 2013-2016 included telemedicine in its strategic priorities. It accepted the “need to embrace and promote telemedicine… by developing a comprehensive framework, guidelines and operational model on its use.” 

There is also growing academic research into telemedicine. Salatian et al (1) note 'benefits at federal, state and community level...across all political parties, religious dogmas, village councils and tribal and ethnic groups."

Research to prove the value of telemedicine to healthcare workers in rural Kenya compared face to face consultations with submitted telemedicine case files for the same sample of patients. Medical feedback was consistent between the two methods in 78% of cases; and treatment advice was consistent between the two methods in 89% of cases (2).    

1. Salatian, A., Zivkovic, J. and Ademoh, F. (2012) Telemedicine for Rural Sub-Saharan Africa - Benefits and Drawbacks. Allied Academies International Conference, Academy of Health Care Management 9(1), pp. 9-13

2. Qin, R., Dzombak, R., Amin, R. and Mehta, K. (2013) Reliability of a Telemedicine System Designed for Rural Kenya. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 177- 181

 

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The Clinical Officers


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The Clinical Officers


mercy, makeni RHC (below)

“The Virtual Doctors has changed the way I work.

I can treat patients here in the clinic saving them time, transport costs and the stress of being away from their family.”

 

 

jonathan, chongwe hospital

“The Virtual Doctors ask everything and their responses are packed with a lot of information.

Now I can invite questions from anyone and so the local doctors trust me to treat patients the same way they would treat them.”

 

eleazar, kanakantapa RHC

"My name is Eleazar and I am the Clinical Officer at Kanakantapa Rural Health Centre, in the eastern half of Lusaka Province. Before I was posted to Kanakantapa, I worked as a circumcision practitioner at an NGO in Lusaka.

I live within the clinic compound, just a minute’s walk from the office. My working day begins at 8am with a ward round in the in-patient, and sometimes also the postnatal, wards. When I am done on the wards I head over to the screening room to see my outpatients.

Our eight members of staff look after about 14,000 people and on average I see between 50 and 80 patients a day. The clinic is open 24 hours a day and all our patients come on a drop-in basis. I am on duty at least six days a week and often, if need be, the whole week. Patient numbers typically increase during the rainy season because of a rise in malaria and respiratory tract infections.

 

Kanakantapa is an integrated outpatient and anti-retroviral clinic, which means all patients are seen, without any distinction, by the same team of healthcare providers. Typically my day involves screening, requesting the necessary lab investigations, providing the appropriate treatment and referring my patients if necessary to the next level of care – usually a district hospital.

With only a short break at lunch, the day progresses into the afternoon with more of the same duties. I then hand over the clinical activities to the night nurse.

However, I am on call through the night for any complications, or cases requiring referrals to the next level of care. And when morning comes, the cycle begins again..."

Watch Huw interviewing Eleazar

Common conditions clinical officers treat: malaria, TB, HIV/Aids, maternity complications, animal and snake bites, malnutrition and anaemia.

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The clinics


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The clinics


chilanga district

  • Kazimva Rural Health Centre (RHC)
  • Makeni RHC
  • Mount Makulu RHC

 

chongwe district

  • Chongwe District Hospital (DH)
  • Kanakantapa RHC
  • Ngwerere RHC

kafue district

  • Chanyanya RHC 
  • Chiawa RHC
  • Chikupi RHC
  • Chipapa RHC
  • Chisankane RHC
  • Kafue Mission RHC
  • Kafue DH
  • Kambale RHC

 

 

 

kazungula district

  • Kauwe RHC 
  • Kazunghula RHC 1, RHC 2, RHC 3
  • Mambova RHC
  • Nanyati RHC
  • Nyawa RHC
  • Simango RHC