April 01, 2009

Tele-medicine facilities to help combat vector-borne diseases

To combat vector-borne diseases like malaria in Jharkhand, it was necessary to connect some of the best hospitals across the country with patients in Jharkhand through tele-medicine facilities.

With Jharkhand accounting for seven percent of the total malarial cases in the country, telemedicine facilities should be made available to rural doctors and patients, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), G Madhavan Nair, said in his convocation address at the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, yesterday.

"It is an effective solution for providing speciality healthcare in the form of improved access and reduced cost to the rural patients and also reducing professional isolation of the rural doctors," he said.

"Of the vector-borne diseases prevalent in the state like filariasis, kala-azar and dengue there is very scanty information on the transmission dynamics of various vector-borne diseases and health seeking behaviour of the tribal poulation is very poor", Nair said.

The use of tele-medicine facilities, he said, calls for participation of engineers, administrators,medical professionals, para medical staff and technicians.

Stating that telemedicine networks had been set up using satellite based facilities in the country, he said it facilitiates the provision of medical aid from a distance.

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