Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Galaxy facilitates online surgery

Galaxy Backbone (GBB) Plc, last week, facilitated the participation of Nigerian surgeons in a Gall Bladder surgery in the United States through video conference at the National Hospital Abuja.

ITRealms Online recalls that recent report of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000, which scored the Nigerian healthcare system 187th out of 191 countries, a group of physicians, surgeons and Information and Communications Technologists came together between July 13 through 15, 2009, at the National Hospital, Abuja for the first round of the tele-surgery demonstration using Galaxy Backbone platform.

The three-day workshop was organized to address the knowledge and skills deficit in the healthcare sector in the country.

Leading the team of United States-based surgeons, Dr. Fiemu Nwariaku, who said the training involved a live surgical procedure was performed in Dallas, Texas to train a group of over 70 Nigerian surgeons.

During the surgical procedure, he said the patient underwent cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) and Nigerian surgeons in Abuja were able to directly interact as well as question the surgeon in Dallas and get tips on how to best perform the procedure, which lasted for about one and half hours.

While the workshop was hosted by the National Hospital, Abuja, the ICT infrastructure was provided by Galaxy Backbone Plc and Compufix Intercom Nigeria Ltd, hence demonstrating GBB’s commitment to the development of e-health in the country. 

The course participants rated the content of the course highly and noted that this method could greatly assist in building capacity in healthcare in Nigeria.

Commenting on the workshop, President, West African College of Surgeons, Professor O. O. Mbonu, said the demonstration showed the possibilities achievable with modern ICT in the healthcare sector and provides a framework for building a robust telemedicine and e-health component to improve healthcare in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

The USA based faculty was made up of members of the Association for Academic Surgery, while the course was presided over by two U.S-based pediatric surgeons, namely Dr. Ben Nwomeh and Dr. Evan Nadler.

While the course was also supported by Ethicon Endosurgery, EES (a Johnson & Johnson Company) and Trigen Healthcare Ltd. 
Speaking at the session a representative of the Ministry of Defence, Ahmed Safeed noted that the ministry shared in the excitement of the participants on the demonstration of Galaxy’s video conference capacity and described it as a surprising realization and appreciation of the fact that GBB could facilitate real-time interaction between a team of American surgeons conducting a 2-hour surgery procedure in a theatre in Dallas, Texas, USA and their Nigerian counterparts in Abuja.

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