By: Isack Hokelai Kanick Together with the Ministry of Academic Affairs TUMaSO 2020/21
In pursuit of health care delivery it inevitable to disregard major technological transformation as they are associated with conspicuous shift, mostly in improving the situation despite having a number of drawbacks. New technologies keep on being discovered to be part of upgrading the currently used ways in both disease prevention, treatment and research which are in line with global agenda of universal health coverage. As upcoming practitioners it is crucial to be conversant of these changes because they are an integral part in both training and application in the near future. Emerging technologies in health care delivery in Tanzania setting is displayed as two sided sword as it can present itself as opportunity for innovation and investment with the other side posing threat as some are designed to minimize the use of human resources which impose threat to large population of health practitioners graduating each year going back to street with unemployment unwaveringly flying up.
The Students organization through its Ministry of academic affairs organized an academic forum on 19th February 2021. It intended at exposing the students community with baseline information on the emerging technologies in Tanzania health care delivery in more realistic picture with focus on the roles they can play at present during training and/or post campus life on how they can get engaged in technological aspect connected to health.
It was indeed the moments full of thoughts evoking discussions, presentations and brainstorms that had power to make participants leave the hall doorposts challenged and ignited to do further tracking on gained lessons. The concept of ‘technology in health care’ was unheeded by most attendees at commencement as it brought a picture of sophisticated machines, computerized information management systems used in hospitals setting and like , this made them consider it only role of information technologists ,electronic devices specialists and machine engineers and never to involve health practitioners. However, questions and responses as the event was going on gave insights on changed ideology on engagement of health practitioners in health care delivery.
“Despite what is considered as threat technology is imposing to minimization human resource with time , putting the matter on the table will give us best means to deal with it opportunity eye” Isack Kaniki . This was part of an introductory talk titled Emerging technologies in health care at glance which gave the snapshot of the theme, expectations of the event to students side and shared vivid examples of health practitioners in Tanzania setting who did their part in innovation side of emerging technologies and the impact they have made. It was leapfrog for the rest of sessions.
Dr Norman Jonas (MD) with experience in different tech engagement and prominent health educator in Tanzania social media took the participants through concept of innovation which insisted on investing in basic public health concerns with resources present in our setting/ .He also focused to inculcate the spirit of team working when it comes to technological innovation in health. “We are at position to expound health concern that needs technological solution, this gives as position to take lead in process as it is multi-sectorial concern. Taking lead, not room for showing superiority rather a room to benefit from it” He also insisted on innovations.
People with chronic medical conditions mostly elderly people are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that caused COVID-19. However, these people need to regularly attend for clinic and checkups to monitor their progress which requires them to go to hospital which are high risk areas for COVID-19. The challenge involved 10 teams which discussed the challenge to give innovative health solutions which were judged based on originality, uniqueness, sustainability .practicality business value and accessibility after 20 minutes of reflection.
The winners’ team proposed the following:
- Use of mobile clinics for consultations and supply of medications where patients will be registered based on their residence locations and medical conditions
- The kiosk points shall be set with stringent COVID-19 prevention measures in place to curb the virus spread with the use artistic illustrations mostly pictures.
- There will be set days for supplies and consultation to ensure storage conditions of supplies and clinical requirements are met.
The process was named “an old fashioned way is the smarter way”
The challenge depicted the picture innovative capacity unlocked in young generation and the team working role in transforming the challenges in health setting to useful opportunities. All these needs mechanism to identify and nurture them to be useful through providing platforms to present and practice these blowing brilliant ideas.
With all of that, The Ministry of Academic Affairs would like to give its special thanks to our organizing committee ,our facilitators Dr. Norman Jonas(MD), Dr. Juliette Sebba (MD, MPH ) and all KCMUCo student who cooperated in making sure that this event become successfully , This is the beginning, we are looking forward to host more event which aims enabling the medical students to utilize the available technology in advancing the medical field.
Contact: +2557560818179 (Minister Academic Affairs)