In a country such as Mongolia, doctors are, due to the geographical situation (huge country, sparsely populated, hardly any roads), very isolated and left all by themselves with difficult patient cases.
In 2008, some members of One World Medical Network in collaboration with the Swiss Surgical Teams supported by the SDC built up a telemedicine network that supports Mongolian doctors with diagnoses and clinical decisions. In the meantime, all of the 21 aimak hospitals are connected to hospitals in the capital city Ulaanbaatar via internet and the telemedicine platform CampusMedicus.
More than 30,000 patient cases have been diagnosed so far. Patients suffering from tumours, babies suspected of having hip dysplasia and women being screened for cervical cancer – each of them can get correct diagnoses from experts.
Some members are also involved in advising projects in Mongolia executed by UNFPA, the Lux Dev Project and the Millennium Challenge Account.
Due to the earthquake in 1988, Armenia has been weakened significantly. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. This has had a negative impact on the country’s economy. The government invests less than 2 percent of the GDP in health care for the population.
Medical care and training of doctors in Armenia are mostly poor which is reflected in inadequate medical equipment. Hospitals in Yerewan but even more Vanadzor and Gumry as well as the rural regions are affected. Many Armenians do not have enough money to pay a doctor’s bill and private health insurance is not affordable for many of them.
In 2010, some members of One World Medical Network collaborated with the pathologist Prof. Dr. med. Martin Oberholzer building up a telemedicine network in Armenia which helps doctors making diagnoses and clinical decisions. The Arabkir hospital in Yerewan as well as the hospitals in Vanadzor and Gumry have been equipped with computers, microscopes, light tables and cameras for digitizing radiographs. The telemedicine platform CampusMedicus and this equipment enables doctors to be connected to each other in Armenia as well as to international radiologists and pathologists.
Paediatric neurology (neurology for children) is a complex interdisciplinary field which is barely represented in underserved developing countries. Paediatric neurology is clinically and scientifically concentrated on acute and chronic neurological diseases in childhood. This includes diagnostics and therapy of children.
The main focus is on the following diseases:
- infectious diseases concerning the brain such as bacterial or viral meningitis/encephalitis
- cerebral malaria
- tuberculosis meningitis
- HIV / AIDS
- epilepsy (which occurs in Africa more often than it does in our country)
- cerebral pareses (= spastic movement disorders after damages in early childhood)
Within this project, the children’s hospital in Beira is equipped with devices for teleneurology, telepathology and teleteaching. By using those devices, digital pictures can be taken. With the help of a telemedicine platform, doctors from Beira can interchange difficult patient cases with German doctors. Diagnoses are available within a short period of time for further treatment. Doctors from Mozambique will take part in lectures with expert doctors via the telemedicine platform and the integrated teleteaching module. Difficult patient cases will be discussed live via telemedicine platform. This procedure enables doctors from Mozambique to gain experience discussing patient cases and learning-by-doing. Doctors from LMU (Munich University Hospital) will travel to Beira repeatedly in order to work with doctors and train them locally.
Partners of OWMN for this project are
- LMU Munich (Munich University Hospital), paediatric neurology
- University of Beira, UCM, Mozambique
- Children’s hospital of Beira, Mozambique
Telepathology and Telezytology
Cervical cancer — a preventable condition that usually results from a viral infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is generally sexually transmitted - is the leading cause of premature death and ill health among women in Ghana.
The situation as it is currently in Ghana is due to minimal cervical cancer screening services, resulting in a significant number of patients diagnosed with advanced-stage disease. It is compounded by the high prevalence of HIV (HIV-positive women are 4-5 times more likely to develop cervical cancer).
According to a WHO study there is a shortage of health workers in countries with the poorest health indicators. Training of mid-level health worker is one solution to overcome the shortage of physicians in rural areas of developing countries.
Main part of the project work in Ghana will be teaching mid-level health workers and physicians, especially in rural areas, how to recognize cervical cancer. As in the rural areas there is hardly any laboratory equipment available, our physicians will teach and work with equipment available in that area. It is our goal to train show the medical health workers how to work with what they have available. We will not produce any dependence on products from western countries. This will guarantee the sustainability of the project.
Within the project hospitals will receive equipment for telepathology and teleteaching. These devices allow capturing images with a microscope as well as project images for teaching purposes. Using a telemedicine platform, medical health workers and doctors from Ghana can exchange difficult patient cases with doctors from OWMN. Diagnoses will be available within short time. Doctors from Ghana will participate to live lectures with expert physicians. Difficult patient cases will be discussed live. This procedure allows the doctors from Ghana to collect experience by problem-based learning. Doctors of OWMN will go to Ghana for training health workers and doctors at the hospitals.
Partners of the project
Physicians of OWMN (histopathologists, cytologists, gynaecologists)
Physicians from Ghana from
- Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (Accra)
- Central Regional Hospital (Cape Coast)
- Volta Regional Hospital (Ho)
- Catholic Hospitals (Battor, Volta Region)
Photo by Terrie Schweitzer