ICT Solutions to some of Zimbabwe’s Healthcare problems
Although people telling us that the world is evolving sounds like a broken record(records which also don’t exist anymore!), it is an undeniable fact. Developing countries are having to catch up and keep up with the transformation that has gripped Planet Earth. Technological advancements have improved service delivery and access for people from all walks of life. It is no secret that the healthcare system in Zimbabwe is in extreme distress and although health practitioners are well-trained, constant changes in the global scheme of things make it important for them to keep up with medical trends and training in order to maintain standards. The Zimbabwe Telemedicine Network has created MyCPDzw, a product that, among other things, assists health practitioners with their continuous Professional Development.
MyCPDzw is a digital e-health learning platform that enables health practitioners to study and renew their practicing licenses and certificates through their mobile app or web platform. The platform also offers clinical decision support tools that serve as guidelines on how to manage certain conditions. To understand the importance of MYCPDzw, meet Chipo. Chipo is a Nurse in Binga, a district that is 548.7km away from Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. For Chipo to gain enough points to renew her practicing license, she needs to physically attend training workshops and conferences, which are usually held in Harare. The time and costs incurred to travel and stay in Harare are incredibly high, making it difficult for Chipo to afford it. To add to that, the certificate renewal process is done manually and requires Chipo to stand in long queues, sometimes for more than a day, to get her practicing license renewed. But to save Chipo the trouble, she can download the MyCPDzw mobile app, study for her professional development in the comfort of her home and request for her practicing certificate or license online. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of the Internet of Things. Needless to say, the fraternity’s reception to the platform has been really positive and the platform has registered over 11,000 users to date.
We live in a world where disease outbreaks have become too frequent and more medical conditions are coming to the fore. In order to tackle some of these illnesses, it is important to have clinical decision support. The MyCPDzw platform also comes with clinical decision support tools such as EDLIZ, an essential medicines list with standard treatment guidelines for the most common health conditions in Zimbabwe. MyCPDzw’s Key Performance Indicators go beyond increasing their database but also factors in the improvement of patient care which is based on key data collected through the mobile app. The tremendous effort that has resulted in the creation of the platform is truly commendable. The CEO of the Zimbabwe Telemedicine Network, Tapiwa Muhamba, says that their aim is to identify challenges in the health care system and come up with sound ICT solutions to solve them. This is a truly honorable feat! Listen to my chat with Tapiwa for more information!