The Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), on Wednesday, inaugurated a Telemedicine Unit to enhance healthcare delivery in the north of Nigeria.
Telemedicine makes healthcare more accessible, cost-effective and increases patient engagement. Through Telemedicine, physicians and patients can share information in real-time from one computer screen to another.
They can even see and capture readings from medical devices at a faraway location.
Using telemedicine software, patients can see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment without having to wait for an appointment. Patients can also consult a physician in the comfort of their homes.
The facility is the first of its kind in the north of the country and the second in Nigeria after the first in Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The facility stands out because of its three components – Grand rounds, Teleconsult and Electronic medical records.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Edmund Banwat, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, said that the unit would enable JUTH to actualise its core mandate.
He explained that the project was funded by Global Off-site Care, an American-based organisation, with the support of Rotary Club of Jos.
“The unit will place the hospital in the world map; it will make a far-reaching impact in the health sector. There is no doubt that today marks a watershed in the history of JUTH as a tertiary health institution.
“Telemedicine will not only reduce cost, ensure access to healthcare services, but will go a long way in actualising our mandate of providing training and retraining.
“Our medical students will also benefit from this in no small measure.
“This initiative will place us in the world map by matching our medical services with the rest of the world,” he said.
Banwat thanked the funders for the gesture, saying that it would go a long way in addressing most challenges being faced in the hospital.
“Above everything, the existence of the unit will enable the hospital reach out to the poorest of the poor,” he said. He also promised to sustain the project for the benefit of society.
Dr Frances Kemelegha, Global Off-site Care Ambassador, in her remarks, said that her organisation was desirous of meeting the medical needs of the poor, hence the need for the unit.
According to her, JUTH is the first hospital in Northern Nigeria, and the second in the country, after Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, to have a Telemedicine unit.
“Global Off-site Care is passionate about reaching out to the less privileged ones and the poor in the society. It is my belief that this facility will serve its purpose,” she said.