Vodafone has launched the first ever doctor directory to enhance transfer of medical knowledge, emergency response and discussion of difficult patient cases to improve health care delivery in the West African country, Ghana.
Almost 2,000 doctors information has been compiled in the two main sections of the directory- one lists their names, specialty, place of work and their Vodafone numbers whiles the other lists their names in alphabetical order.
The Vodafone initiative makes it possible for doctors listed in the directory to make free calls to their colleagues only, meaning that calls made to people whose names are not included would be paid for.
Addressing the media at the launch, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) President, Dr Emmanuel Adom Winful, said the association had succeeded in implementing two out of the four pillars of the original agreement reached between the partners.
The pillars are Free doctor-to-doctor call, Free doctor-to-doctor SMS, Bulk messaging and Doctor Directory.
The GMA president lauded the initiative and recalled that the original design was to have a free doctor-to-doctor SMS service and a bulk messaging service that could be utilized to deliver bulk message to all doctors announcing upcoming events and during emergencies when a number of doctors may have to be summoned to deliver essential services.
He said challenges, such as deactivation of many doctors at will and the difficulty of many of them in sending paid text message to their friends plagued the initiative.
“With our partners from Africa Aid, preliminary discussions have been held with the Medical and Dental Council and officials of Ghana Health Service to determine how a solid reliable data base of all doctors can be generated.
“Additionally, there has been consideration to create a platform where policies and programmes of the Ministry can be regularly communicated to doctors while feedback on the realities associated with the implementation of same can be received from the frontline workers.”
To maximize its effect, Dr Winful said it might be worth looking at spreading the service to other health workers particularly nurses adding that the GMA is willing to lead in that direction.
The GMA acknowledged the contribution of the Philips, Pharmanova, Danadams, JM Addo and Sons Ltd and New Professionals Audio System for their contributions to the success of the directory.
Mr. Isaac Abraham, Corporate Communication Manager of Vodafone, said the company was delighted to be helping doctors to achieve more with access to affordable mobile services.
According to him discussions to offer free Inter-Doctor Close Group Mobile Telephone Services started in 2007 with Mr Brian A. Levine of the New York University School of Medicine, GMA and Vodafone to improve health care delivery.
The initiative, he said, was part of Vodafone corporate responsibility and would ensure its sustainability to better the health needs of Ghanaians.
Source: Africa News