Samburu County government has partnered with the M-Pesa foundation and Gertrude’s Hospital to establish a Sh 50 million telemedicine centre at the Samburu Teaching and Referral Hospital.
The telemedicine centre dubbed ‘Daktari Smart’ aims at reducing the number of referral of sick children by enabling nurses at the Samburu Teaching and Referral Hospital (STRH) to have access to specialists through virtual sessions.
Speaking Monday during the launch of the facility, the chairman of Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation Les Bailey said that clinical officers at the STRH will be using the advanced equipment at the telemedicine centre to send real-time results to pediatricians at the Gertrude’s hospital in Nairobi.
“As the clinician monitors the patients’ vitals, real-time results are sent to a specialist at the Gertrude’s hospital in Nairobi via a virtual session. The specialist is able to get the right diagnosis to the patient in the process reducing patients referrals, save cost and make treatment more prompt,” he said.
Bailey added that Daktari smart has a kit with electronic medical devices such as an electronic stethoscope, vital signs monitor, derma scope camera, ultrasound machine, an electrocardiogram which is used to check the hearts rhythm and electrical activity and a monitor which enables the specialist to see the patient and hear their vitals without interpretation from the health worker.
He further noted that patients in the County have to deal with issues of poor infrastructure leading to late arrivals and sometimes they pass away on their way to hospital.
“This is what Daktari smart seeks to address. It also seeks to optimise the capacity and reach of healthcare delivery system by easing access to healthcare services especially for children,” he said.
Samburu County Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation CEC Vincent Learaman welcomed the Daktari smart initiative saying that attracting and retaining medical specialists in Samburu County is challenging since most of them want to be based in the city.
Learaman said that since the daktari smart started operating in November 2021, a total of 42 children have been attended to by specialists and only two cases have been referred to Nairobi for further treatment.
By Robert Githu