Implementation of a Telemedicine Network in Angola: Challenges and Opportunities

Jorge César Correia, L Lapão, Rafael Fernando Mingas, Hugo Alexandre Augusto, Monteiro Bila Balo, Mélanie Raimundo Maia, Antoine Geissbühler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The Angolan Ministry of Health is prioritizing the strengthening of the national health system at
the district level. To attain this objective, the Angolan Ministry of Health decided to develop a national
telemedicine network in partnership with the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and the Portuguese Institute
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT).
Methods: Telemedicine units were created in strategic locations to enable distance education and tele-expertise
activities, using software developed by HUG adapted to local conditions. Selected participants in each site were
trained with regards to the use of the tools. A survey using questionnaires distributed to all participants was
conducted to evaluate user satisfaction and the impact of the tools. Data were analysed using a descriptive
statistical model. Additionally, two working groups were held to discuss difficulties and find appropriate
solutions.
Results: Seven telemedicine units were established, and 107 health professionals were trained. Regarding
distance education activities, over 70 courses were designed and webcast, and 95.6% of participants answered
our survey showing a high level of overall satisfaction. Uptake of tele-expertise activities was poor. Only 3
cases were discussed, and 4.7% of participants answered the survey. This was explained by low levels of
computer literacy and motivation among the participants. The lack of a legislative framework and internet
access in some places also played a role. Financial constraints halted the process of extension of the network to
additional sites.
Conclusion: More research is needed to assess the impact of the network, to understand how to scale-up to other
sites, and to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to justify the pursuit of the investments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Health Informatics in Developing Countries
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Telemedicine
  • eHealth
  • telemedicine network
  • Africa
  • low- and middle-income countries

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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