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 Friday, October 21, 2011
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 (mHealth) initiative.

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 locations.

(Source: Vanguard NewsPaper)
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