Mercy International Telemedicine Services
Development of Healthcare delivery in many of small towns and villages in rural Ekiti state is known to be fraught with a challenge. Some of these include interrupted and non-functional electricity, water and sanitation problems, maintenance of adequate supply of pharmaceuticals and lab equipment, and transportation (poor roads), and human safety.
Mercy International Mission (MIM) has addressed many of these challenges through the various projects our organization has taken on since our inception in 2007. We have served this area using a 3-pronged approach including 1) stationary clinic, 2) mobile health van, and 3) annual large-scale healthcare events. The mobile clinic operates in Ekiti-stage and has provided healthcare services in over 20 different towns and villages. The mobile clinic is able to provide basic health screening for common chronic and infectious diseases (such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension/high blood pressure, and malaria) and simple common treatments and common medications. The mobile clinic seeks to bring medical care to the doorsteps of people would normally not be able to access such care due to cost or availability.
The newest opportunity that we are desirous of pursuing is telemedicine. We have engaged the services of a telemedicine company that provides telehealth services in various countries in Africa as well as in the United States. Additionally, we have enlisted several physicians who have agreed to serve as part of our telehealth staff. It is our strong belief that the addition of telehealth will help expand the volume of patients seen and provide access to a greater breadth of medical specialties. However, barriers currently exist to providing regular access to this service including lack of access to steady internet services.
At this point, we are looking for individuals or organizations that can partner with us by assisting us with internet access. We hope to find people/organizations with the mission that aligns well with Mercy International’s desire to utilize technologies to connect people across towns and across the world in order to increasing healthcare access.
We know that implementing a system like this in our part of the world require dedication and determination. We intend to address our current challenges creatively, with careful planning, working in collaboration with the local communities, liaison with local government entities and by building the community capacity.