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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: March 02 2007 »

The introduction of tele-medicine facilities in two of Uganda?s rural hospitals will close the distance between patients and doctors.

Uganda has entered into a partnership with Portugal, Germany and Kazakhstan among other European countries to introduce a telemedicine project for rural hospitals.

The project referred to as the TeleInViVo project involves the establishment of integrated workstations which use techniques like Internet, ISDN, phone lines, and GSM mobile systems to allow one physician to collect three-dimensional ultra-sound data of a patient and to send this data to another physician who is a specialist in the particular disease that a patient is suffering from.

Telemedicine is the use of Informationand Communication Technologies (ICTs) for medical diagnosis and patient care when the provider and client are separated by distance.

Data transmission can occur online, that is, while both doctors are connected, or offline, for instance, overnight, through narrowband channels.

In the latter case, waiting times are minimized, and whereas in the former case additional scans may be requested by the remote expert during the tele-consultation to hone in on the diagnosis. It includes pathology, radiology, and patient consultation from the distance.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georgios Sakas of the European Union (EU), told Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) that in Uganda the devices, to be used initially for the project will be at Nakaseke Hospital, a hospital in an isolated, rural area of Uganda and another Mulago Hospital, the biggest hospital in Uganda located in the capital Kampala.

Sakas said this is intended to foster communication between physicians who specialize in certain diseases and physicians who work in isolated areas such as islands, rural areas, and crisis situation areas in Uganda.

"The purpose of this program is to improve general health services in Nakaseke Hospital as well as to garner access for health workers to medical support from colleagues across the country. A larger goal is to reduce referral from Nakaseke to Mulago Hospital," he said.

Currently, the Nakaseke Hospital has no telephone lines and is completely isolated by both distance and communication channels from other health centers.

Doctors from the Mulago Medical School have been trained to spear head this project - they have in turn trained a number of doctors from Nakaseke and Mulago Hospital.

According to the partners who include, the Portuguese Hospitais da Universidade de Coimbra , the Hospital de Ponta Delgada of Portugal, UNESCO Paris, France and Computer Graphics Center (ZGDV) in Darmstadt, Germany, this project will be built and tested in other African countries with similar socio-economic conditions like Uganda.

It will be later be adjusted to meet the needs of developing countries and countries in transition. It currently comes in two versions: a fully portable, self-contained device, and a workstation version (a PC attached to an ultrasound scanner for internal hospital use).

A fixed station for expert diagnosis support will be situated at the Coimbra University Hospital in Portugal. The field test sites include Azores and Canary Islands; UNESCO will evaluate EU-TeleInViVo in Uganda and Kazakhstan at two different sites for each country.

By the time of the project's completion, it is hoped that a medical tele-conference emergency workstation will be available in Europe as well as in other regions of the world that provide health care services to underserved areas like ecological disaster areas, remote rural areas, and isolated islands.

Ends
source: http://hana.ru.ac.za/article.cfm?articleID=1302
General, HANA Staff
By: David Kezio-Musoke

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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 on: March 03 2007 »

Uganda: New IT system to boost Uganda's rural finance

2007-03-02

Uganda has just launched a government project to fight poverty. The project is locally referred to as "Bonna Bagaggawale" which literally means "let's all get rich." And to boost this rural financial scheme, government has also introduced a software system known as Loan Performer to ease the rural accounting system.
Highway Africa News Agency

Uganda has just launched a government project to fight poverty. The project is locally referred to as "Bonna Bagaggawale" which literally means "let's all get rich." And to boost this rural financial scheme, government has also introduced a software system known as Loan Performer to ease the rural accounting system.

According to the developers, Crystal Clear Software, which has been working on management information system since 1998, the software, provides the right vehicle to drive financial service to rural Uganda.

Hans Verkoijen the Executive director of Crystal Clear Software says the software has been introduced in the sub-Saharan countries particularly Uganda to boost the recently launched Bonna Bagaggawale government project.

Bonna Bagaggawale was introduced last week and is being implemented by Uganda's ministry of Micro-finance. It gives low-interest loans to sub-country based Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies, popularly known as SACCOs.

The Micro-finance Ministry in Uganda, provides governence and regulates financial services, such as micro-credit, micro-savings or micro-insurance to poor people, by helping them to accumulate usably large sums of money - this expands their choices and reduces the risks they face.

Verkoijen said the software Loan Performer was designed and developed for rural financial institutions that perform those duties including rural banks, savings and credit co-operatives and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

"Loan performer has modules for client?s shares, savings, loans and accounting. They are tightly integrated so that one can pay or sell shares from or to the savings account and disburse loans to savings account and repay automatically from it," Verkoijen says.

"Everything is automatically booked into the ledger and at the end of the day you can just print the trial balance or income and expense statement," says Verkojjen.

He explains that among the Micro finance software programmes, Loan Performer is the most prominent in Africa.

"It is now a leading product in the micro finance industry both locally and internationally with a client base of about 170 organizations in East Africa," Verkoijen says.

He says loan Performer has been reviewed many times by the consultative Group to Assist the Poor, (CGAP) a World Bank institution and has come out as the best value for money given its many features and low costs.

As a way of promoting the micro finance sector, he says the Crystal Clear Software offers free use of the Loan Performer software for small organizations having up to 500 clients or loans.

"This is meant to be a stimulus to increase the growth of micro-finance institutions to serve more and more clients and to reach the targets of efficiency and self-sustainability faster", according to Mr. Verkoijen.

There is no case of fraud and people can?t mess up the data. It has a tight system with passwords for all users and limited access to menu items.

But it is not enough. One has to make sure that at the end of the day all financial data that has been punched in, printed out and signed or authorized by the right people, for that is the only way to build a reliable system.

Clear Software Ltd has emerged a winner of the African SMME Awards 2005 and received a Silver award in the fifth President's Export Awards for being the biggest exporter in the ICT category.

The company also received the Investor of the Year award 2003 for the best software developments by Uganda Investment Authority.

source: http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/internet/40098
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