Across much of Africa, healthcare provision faces a number of barriers to improving services. Health clinics are few and far between. Where they do exist, they lack specialist doctors and access to vital services such as lab tests. Attrition is high as doctors feel overburdened, isolated from their peers and see no opportunities for training and development and in many countries, the majority leave for better opportunities in cities.
One aspect of Computer Aid’s work involves sending computers as well as e-health equipment such as scanners, digital cameras and printers to rural healthcare practices to facilitate knowledge sharing sessions between healthcare professionals. For example, having scanners enables doctors to send images of patient cases to specialists in urban centres and seek advice as to how best treat them.
Another way in which ICT can help doctors is by providing a way for them to document cases and, this is important for doctors treating cleft lips since this is required by the reconstructive surgery sponsor Smile train to fund projects.