The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in Zimbabwe (POTRAZ ) and International Telecommunications Union ( ITU) have partnered for a project to expand the Pan African e-network telemedicine from the hub, Parirenyatwa General Hospital, in Harare, to Provincial, District and Rural Health Centers/Clinics in order to improve access and delivery of medical services to remote and rural areas.
This mega deal which will initially cost $400 000 to launch was recently singed in Geneva, during the month long ITU`s session which was presided by Potraz Acting Director General Mr Baxton Sirewu and ITU`s Development Bureau (BDT) Mr. Brahima Sanou .
The driving force for this giant step was the need for these two esteemed organizations to make ICTs relevant to all citizens of this world and in this particular case to the most disadvantaged communities of Zimbabwe.
The telemedicine project will kick off in the Manicaland province with 12 selected clinics which are going to be interconnected to the e-health project which was already pioneered by Dr Admore Jokwiro from Nyanga.
This project is set to improve the processes of consultation, diagnosis, treatment, distant learning in medical updates, prevention of epidemics, and delivery of medical services remotely including delivery of e-health services where distance is a critical factor.
It will certainly demonstrate that ICTS can play a central role in accelerating the universalization of healthcare service in Zimbabwe.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the acgting director General with Potraz, Mr Baxton Sirewu said,
“On behalf of the people of Zimbabwe and on behalf of my organisation POTRAZ, I am greatly honoured to put pen on paper to append my signature signifying the beginning of a new phase in the relationship between our two esteemed organisations as we take a giant step in our quest to make ICTs relevant to all citizens of this world and in this particular case to the most disadvantaged communities of my beloved country Zimbabwe.”
“Your support in this project and other areas will help us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as stated in relation to health (e.g. Goal 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”) and those of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS),’’ added Sirewu.
Some of the goals set at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) are that by 2030, countries should have reduced the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births, By 2030, countries should end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births.
By that same year once again countries are supposed to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.