In line with the Declaration of the
Alma-Ata in 1978 which highlights health as the most important
“world-wide social good” and the United Nations 2000 Declaration
of the Millennium Development Goals, Nigeria has been striving to
harness its resources to achieve efficient and functional healthcare
for its people.
Specifically, the National Primary
Healthcare Development Agency, an agency under the Health Ministry in
Nigeria responsible for development and strengthening of primary
healthcare nationwide, was formed to support the promotion and
sustainability of high quality primary healthcare system and achieve
the Millennium Development Goals relating to the health sector.
Alongside efforts by the World Health
Organization and the various UN agencies that deal with
health-related issues to improve the healthcare delivery system,
concerted efforts are being made to reduce the differential access to
technology of the developed and the developing world.
It is at the convergence of health and
technology that eHealth initiatives evolved, creating an
unprecedented opportunity to improve access to services and
innovations. So what is the way out? Enter the mobile health
Stakeholders at a recent mobile health
(mHealth) workshop put together by MTN Nigeria, voted in favor of
adoption of the mobile healthcare system. Already, a United Nations
report notes that this system has capacity to help meet four of the
eight Millennium Development Goals, MDGs. Basically, mHealth broadly
encompasses the use of mobile telecommunications devices and
multimedia technologies as they are integrated within increasingly
mobile and wireless healthcare delivery system.
In order words, it is the practice of
medical and public healthcare supported by a mobile device, including
the use of voice, data and SMS. By adopting mHealth in the healthcare
delivery system, many more people, will potentially be reached and
the health of the people and communities will be greatly enhanced.
This approach is particularly important
due to the rapid adoption of mobile phone technology in developing
countries. While mHealth has matured in industrialised nations, the
field is still evolving in a developing country such as Nigeria. But
argument for it is strong. As mobile technology grows, more and more
people acquire mobile phones and other mobile devices, making them
part of their everyday lives.
It then becomes easier for medical
personnel to interact with them and provide health services, obtain
health information to aid their researches and make it easy for them
to provide the right medical solutions to health challenges in remote
(Source: Vanguard NewsPaper)