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FCTA calls for adoption of electronic health records

16th Nov, 2020 | By Samuel Musa and Badaru Yakasai | ||

The FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat HHSS has called for the adoption of the Electronic Health Records (e-health) system to ease the digitalization of health records, especially among Primary Health Care (PHCs) facilities.

The Acting Secretary, FCT Health & Human Services Secretariat, Dr Muhammad Kawu, made the call during a validation meeting of the 'End Term Assessment of Electronic Health Records and Telemedicine Diagnostic Device Proof of Concept Projects'. The pilot project of the device, which recorded no fewer than 9,950 clinic visits, was conducted at the PHC facility in Kuchigoro, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Dr Kawu, who was represented by the Director, Special Duties, HHSS, Dr. Matthew Ashikeni, said that the adoption would ease the digitalization of all business processes and service points, adding that building and integrating a mobile version would ease patients' access to clinical consultations when needed. He added that over the period of pilot implementation, the telemedicine diagnostic device platform was deployed in Kuchigoro PHC located in a densely populated suburb of Abuja. It seamlessly linked to remote specialists in the Family Medicine Department of Wuse District Hospital, its linked referral facility.

The Secretary further informed that nearly one year after, the Secretariat is also looking at increasing its adoption and mobilising funding to scale up and expand the device to other facilities across the six area councils of the FCT Health facilities in line with the goals of the Administration and that of Universal Health Coverage UHC.Dr. Kawu called for the training of health workers on basic computer appreciation skills, as well as continuous training and retraining of workers in order to be abreast of global trends and practice.

The Deputy Director, E- Health, HHSS Dr Inibong Ekong, in a remark, said that the project at Kuchigoro had significantly increased access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), adding that it should be optimised and scaled up to other facilities. He noted that the usage of the device had also increased clinic attendance by 8.4 per cent, with over 25 per cent of visiting patients' resident outside the catchment area of the facility. He added that the usage also eliminated cost and time of travelling to access specialist care in the city hospital by 33 per cent of patients through the tele-consultation with the remote specialists at Wuse District Hospital.

Ekong said that the project which seeks to test and demonstrate the achievement of UHC through integration of ICT and telemedicine into health system, is a collaboration between the FCT and the Federal Ministry of Health. He, however, said that in spite of records of achievements, the project experienced some challenges and limitations largely due to the scope of the pilot focus and low ICT capacity of health workers. The Deputy Director further listed the challenges to include slow speed on the computer, resistance to change, coexisting manual paper-based processes, poor internet connectivity and inadequate bandwidth for teleconsultation, and shortage of personnel.

The Director, Primary Health Care (PHC), in Abuja Municipal Area Council,(AMAC), Dr Modupe Adeyinka commended the initiative of the project and the collaborative partners for their efforts to digitalise the primary health care system in the FCT Adeyinka said that the PHC in AMAC had benefited from the initiative, adding that it had boosted effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery. She called for the extension of the project to other PHCs in the other area councils of the FCT. The Director further stated that E-Health was a way forward, especially at the grassroots level. "We are grateful for this programme and hope for more."

News Update

Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, noted this last week when FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, presented the FCT 2021 National Priority Capital Budget to the Committee.

The UN envoy who gave the commendation when he led a team on a courtesy visit to FCTA, said his organization will continue to support FCTA in its fight to ensure that the virus is kept in check.

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners have bestowed the Envoy Extraordinary award on the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, for her meritorious service to the institute in particular and the nation at large.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has stressed the need to deploy the instrumentality of the capital market to revive the nation's economy, given the negative impact of Covid-19 and #EndSars protests on the country.


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