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ECOWAS to promote m-health in sub-region

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’s Commissioner for Telecommunications and Technology (ICT), Mr Isaias Barreto da Rosa, has assured that the body can improve health services in the sub-region through the use of mobile devices.
Barreto da Rosa who made the statement in an interview in Abuja, said that the strategy would involve the use of mobile devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, in collecting community and clinical health data, delivery of healthcare information to practitioners, researchers and patients.
The commissioner said the use of information and communication technology (ICT) would, in turn, improve information and sensitisation to promote health services in the sub-region.
“Short Message Service (SMS) can be used to assist people in the remote area as the mobile devices are used to bring information and sensitisation to the people in the rural areas.
“It can be used among health professionals like the doctors and nurses to develop solutions by diagnosing and prescribing drugs for patients, ‘’ the commissioner said.
He said that the initiative became necessary as more than 80 per cent of the region’s population lived in the rural areas and had problems in assessing health services.
Da Rosa said the commission was working with Groupe Spécial Mobile Association (GSMA) by taking advantage of the potential of mobile devices to help improve the health services in the region.
It explained the reason why ECOWAS signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with GSMA on March 3 at margins of the last Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, he added.

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