Drones future of E-Health Services

Albert Chavhunduka

Government has been urged to emulate Rwanda and ensure it partners with private companies in order to establish a drone company for E-Health Services which was noted as an enabler to improving the health delivery system during the Covid-19 era.

Parliament last week recommended the Ministry of Health and Child Care to collaborate with the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to have done this by 31 December 2022.

The recommendation was put forward in a report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT, Postal and Courier Services following its benchmarking visit to the East-Central African country which was held between 10 and 15 October 2021.

The delegation, led by Hurungwe North MP Ability Gandawa, presented a report of their visit to Rwanda before the National Assembly and recommended government to adopt the use of ICTs with the intention of adopting the best practices that would enhance the country’s health delivery system just like in Rwanda.

“We also learnt of the use of drones for transportation of medicines. These medicines are stored at a warehouse and because the medicines are stored in one place, it has reduced the cost of having storage place everywhere,” said Gandawa.

“Drones help with ease of transportation of medicines to places of need. For example, if there is an accident on the highway, a drone can actually transport the needed medicines at the accident scene in no time, thus saving people’s lives. We are very thankful of the lessons we learnt in Rwanda.

“I’m in full support of the recommendations that have been submitted in this House by the Committee. It is my desire that our Government will adopt the recommendations so that we also develop technologically as a country,” he said

The portfolio committee further observed that the use of ICTs by Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and its Ministry of Health helped to increase efficiency of the health delivery system in that country.

“The republic of Rwanda Health System is efficient and ensures the delivery of medicine on time. This was enabled by the use of smart E-Health Services in the country with the use of drones,” said Gandawa.

“This was done through the Ministry of ICT and Innovation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. In Zimbabwe, we have telemedicine, which is the use of telephones to inquire about health services.”

The parliamentary committee further urged the Ministry of ICT to make innovation key in its activities as this will bring out the innovative part of using technology as an ongoing process and digitalise the economy which is one of the major thrust of the National Development Strategy (NDS1).

As part of its development goals, Rwanda has made one of its major successes in the health sector with its focus on technology and the government has worked with its partners in Health to develop electronic health records for patients living with HIV, which was also extended to include all clinical records.

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