" ITREALMS: Galaxy, NPHDA sign MoU on connectivity

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Galaxy, NPHDA sign MoU on connectivity

Galaxy Backbone Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) of the Ministry of Health.

Announcing this at the weekend, the Manager, Corporate Communications at Galaxy Backbone Plc, Mr. Franklyn Ekeh quoted the Managing Director, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe as saying that the MoU was concluded last Wednesday at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

Ilukwe explained that under the terms of the MOU, Galaxy will provide Internet connectivity, data, Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), Virtual Private Network (VPN) and video conferencing solution to improve health care delivery system through live training via video conferencing to midwives in 40 concurrent locations.

He also said that his company will deploy Movable Community Communication Centre (Portacabin) fully equipped for training and ready to be moved anywhere in the country.

“This can also be used to support the slightest report of any disease outbreak, for training in underserved areas and also for other services as may be deemed necessary,” he said.

Equally, Ilukwe said, the network has been designed to provide NPHCDA with its own VPN thereby enabling modernization and automation of its operations for ease of file sharing and effective means of emailing with the head office.

Further, he said that the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) solution would automatically reduce time and dependence on hard copies for communications between the NPHCDA head office in Abuja and its six zonal offices, the strategic Central Store, 40 selected model MSS clusters and 160 primary healthcare facilities linked to 40 General Hospitals where the midwives scheme is being implemented in the 36 states and FCT.

This, he pointed out would result in more efficiency since trainings would be conducted at each midwives location rather than travelling to the head office and cost savings in terms of amount of money spent on voice calls through the provision of voice over internet protocol (VOIP).

“There is also availability of content before or after training sessions for the midwives and others who should benefit from the content for safe motherhood,” he asserted.

The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Mohammed Pate, in his comment noted that effective communication has contributed greatly in the level of development and successes recorded in the implementation of healthcare services nationwide. “ICT connectivity is today recognized as a potential strategy that will enhance the effective implementation and management of the Midwives Services Scheme (MSS) and primary healthcare in general” he said.

Additionally, Dr. Pate said there are many success stories of ICT application in healthcare delivery in different countries in and outside Africa, stressing that it’s gratifying that after extensive exploration of potential partners, the agency discovered Galaxy Backbone Plc and found it worthy to facilitate ICT-led health development in the country.

“It is our belief that the new drive will assist to address some of the challenges faced over the years by healthcare providers and programme managers on how best to ensure effective communication between the centre, States, LGAs, health facilities, healthcare providers and indeed, the communities,” he declared.

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