Connecting Remotely to Cure & Care….
Africa is the world’s second largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.38 billion people as of November 2021, it accounts for about 16.72% of the world’s human population.
According to the World Health Organization, the African continent has about 930 registered hospitals (as of November 2015), compared with 650 registered hospitals in India alone. A regular supply chain of affordable medicines and pharmaceuticals is also not in place because of limited indigenous production of drugs and scarce medical research facilities.
In terms of health care, Africa faces several challenges, including lack of funds and poor infrastructure. This is compounded by epidemics, poverty and the brain drain of homegrown doctors moving abroad, in search of higher wages and a better standard of living.
Every year, lack of access to basic health care, mostly caused by poor funding, contributes to millions of deaths, untold suffering, and harrowing health tragedies on the continent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa carries 25% of the world’s disease burden but its share of global health expenditures is less than 1%. Worse still, it manufactures only a fraction—less than 2%—of the medicines consumed on the continent. A majority of Africans, mostly the poor and those in the middle-income bracket, rely on under-funded public health facilities while a small minority has access to well-funded, quality private health care.
In 2001, African countries agreed to allocate at least 15% of their budgets to health care. Yet 19 years later, only six countries (Botswana, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda and Zambia) have met this commitment. Even in these countries, universal access to decent health care is still unrealized.
A majority of Africans, mostly the poor and those in the middle-income bracket, rely on under-funded public health facilities while a small minority has access to well-funded, quality private health care. Telereporting services play a vital role in reducing the demand vs supply gap across the globe. This becomes a necessity in countries where the radiologist shortages are huge. Likewise, teleradiology practice has become useful to many radiology departments across Africa.
In this scenario, it becomes imperative for healthcare organizations to reach out to the remotest corners and providing quality radiology reports which make a difference in patient lives. The aim would be offering affordable services in many emerging markets of Africa, where people are hoping to have better access to health care.
At Manipal Hospitals Radiology Group (MHRG), which was previously Columbia Asia Radiology Group (CARG), we intend to reduce the demand supply gap and foster technology to optimize radiology reach across some parts of the African continent. Our model is structured around leveraging technology and providing low-cost services to the clients. Radiology departments with a requirement of radiology reports can use teleradiology to send images of complex problems to us for accurate reports
The hardware requirement at the client’s end to go live with teleradiology services is very simple and can be catered to even in a remote location. The client would need as simple as a dedicated windows workstation which would enable them to have a pusher software installed. This pusher software would inturn be configured to the modalities at client’s end for the radiological images to be pushed across to our server. On receipt of images, the case assignment is streamlined in a way wherein radiology images are assigned to radiology specialists in the appropriate subspecialists. The process is fine tuned to ensure interpretations are delivered within the stipulated turnaround time. The operations team would coordinate for any additional information, be it clinical or image related and pass it onto the clinical team. The reports once interpreted are sent back to the client automatically through the same technology platform.
Our presence in Africa & Client Feedback:
The Clinic at the Mall in Uganda provides accessible, high quality and personalized healthcare services to families in Kampala and beyond. It is a unique one-stop medical care facility that promotes the health and wellbeing of the patients by not only providing accessible high-quality care, but also by engaging them under their own care as well.
Since high quality, and personalized care were at the heart of Dr. Mutema’s vision, she entrusted the responsibility of making this care accessible to her patients to Columbia Asia Radiology Group (CARG), which is now Manipal Hospitals Radiology Group (MHRG).
At MHRG, we devised a 24/7 remote radiology solution for the Clinic. A trained onsite sonologist with remote interpretation of the ultrasound studies helped them to fulfil their vision.
Dr Nandawula Kanyerezi Mutema, the Executive Director & Physician at Clinic at the Mall is happy to be associated with us for close to a decade now and says “Columbia Asia Radiology Group (CARG) which is now Manipal Hospitals, Radiology Group (MHRG) is the best partner we could have asked for. We are exposed to the whole with all its specialists who render reports in an accurate and timely manner. It is like having a radiologist onsite with all subspecialties represented!”
Columbia Africa Healthcare Limited is a privately held, Nairobi based healthcare group that aims to deliver evidence-based medicine in an efficient, effective and caring environment to the people living in Africa. There are two clinics operated by Columbia Africa, at Parklands and in Lavington
At Columbia Asia Radiology Group (CARG), which is now Manipal Hospitals Radiology Group (MHRG), we have enabled general and subspecialty reporting services for the clinics in Columbia Africa and we continue to provide accurate reports and aim to be a dedicated player for a larger group as they plan to expand their services.
Dr Sumit Prasad, the Chief Executive Officer, says Teleradiology services rendered by Columbia Asia Radiology Group (CARG) which is now Manipal Hospitals Radiology Group (MHRG), are reliable and accurate and we are glad to be associated with this group”
For more information on our capability statement and our team of radiologists, please follow the URL https://teleradiology.columbiaindiahospitals.com. Our LinkedIN page can be accessed at https://www.linkedin.com/company/manipal-hospitals-radiology-group-carg/?originalSubdomain=in
Dr Nisha Varadaraj, Business Head – Telemedicine