giovedì 23 aprile 2015

The national scientific conference of the Kenya medial association

I am attending the 43rd National Scientific Conference of the Kenya Medical Association. At the conference we are very many (I believe more than 200): most of the doctors are actually from Kenya, but we have representatives from Uganda, Ethiopia, Somaliland and Somalia.
The conference is held in Eldoret, in Western Kenya, and it is the first time for me to be in this town. It was an extremely long journey by matatu, but I finally managed after a 12 our adventure on 3 different minivans.
From KMA (Kenya Medical Association) Meru Division we are 4: apart from me, we have here Prof Micheni and Dr Ndede from KEMU, and Dr Wangai from Woodlands Hospital.
On top of many interesting lectures on different topics ranging from unsafe abortion practices, to non communicable diseases, to mental health, we have also experts talking to us about the advantages of e-medicine: from tele-consultations, to sharing information with other doctors and consultants, up to the future task of reaching computerized data for each patient in order to generate good data management.
I know that Chaaria is not a vanguard in those areas, because we are still quite at the beginning with the computerization of our data. 
On the other hand it is also true that slowly we have started such programs long time ago, even though our scaling up has been slow, partly due to lack of human resources and partly because many of our staff members are at the moment computer illiterate: so a robust computerization of our hospital would also mean loosing jobs for many.
Nevertheless the journey of e-medicine and electronic collection of data is a reality already also for Chaaria.

For nearly 10 years we have been part of the "Alliance of the Italian Hospitals in the World" and, through the Italian Ministry for Health, we have got a tele-consultation platform. 
Now the platform is closed because the service has been terminated by the Italian Ministry.
Nevertheless, through that past experience, we have got the mindset for tele-consultation, which actually continues in a smaller scale with consultants willing to help us from Europe: the way we now work is simple but effective. 
If I have an orthopedic case I am not able to solve, I contact Dr Cara in Italy through email; I send him pictures of the X-Ray films and and he gives me his opinion through email. For the dermatological cases I send photos to a dermatologist friend of mine in Italy, and she replies very quickly. 
The same applies for difficult surgical cases and sometimes also for reporting of difficult ECG. Even skype has become a way in which a consultant from abroad can be present in my decision making for difficult cases.
Another area in which our e-medicine has become a reality is the CCC (comprehensive care clinic), where, through the DREAM project, we have now an internet connection and a personal e-file for each patient.
That allows our partners from DREAM project, to check on our data even though they are in Rome. For the CCC we have also an intranet connection from the laboratory to the clinic: in such a way the clinician of the CCC can see the lab results directly on the client's
file without physically collecting them from the laboratory.
On the area of data collection we are very much at the beginning, but we keep an excell soft copy of the operation book, of the gastroscopies and of the histopathology reports. We plan to scale up also this area in order to make better use of the hip of interesting data we have from Chaaria and we run the risk of loosing.
Surely other important areas where we must scale up our electronic management of health is the storage of drugs and the control of the flow in and out the pharmacy; later we must think of the cashier as well... but also there we are slowly reaching.
Globally, we are told in the congress, medicine is going to change rapidly to e-medicine: the choice is ours if we want to catch this train (which is not going to stop or to reverse direction) or if we want to lag behind and become irrelevant.
I think that in Chaaria, with all our limitations and slow pace, we are ready to catch up even with these new challenges.

Bro Dr Gaido

Nessun commento:

Chaaria è un sogno da realizzare giorno per giorno.

Un luogo in cui vorrei che tutti i poveri e gli ammalati venissero accolti e curati.

Vorrei poter fare di più per questa gente, che non ha nulla e soffre per malattie facilmente curabili, se solo ci fossero i mezzi.

Vorrei smetterla di dire “vai altrove, perché non possiamo curarti”.

Anche perché andare altrove, qui, vuol dire aggiungere altra fatica, altro sudore, altro dolore, per uomini, donne e bambini che hanno già camminato per giorni interi.

E poi, andare dove?

Gli ospedali pubblici hanno poche medicine, quelli privati sono troppo costosi.

Ecco perché penso, ostinatamente, che il nostro ospedale sia un segno di speranza per questa gente. Non ci sarà tutto, ma facciamo il possibile. Anzi, l’impossibile.

Quello che mi muove, che ci muove, è la carità verso l’altro, verso tutti. Nessuno escluso.

Gesù ci ha detto di essere presenti nel più piccolo e nel più diseredato.

Questo è quello che facciamo, ogni giorno.

Fratel Beppe Gaido

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