Improving access to specialist dermatological care for people in Mali
Project start date : 25/10/2015
Beneficiary country : Mali
About the project
Mali’s current dermatological context is characterised by the high frequency of skin diseases, the keen lack of skin specialists and the low levels of dermatological expertise among first aid providers. All of the country’s specialists practise in the capital (Bamako), and medical referrals do not work as the sick cannot afford or cannot travel (due to distance or isolation) to access care. To overcome these problems, healthcare providers are quick to seek out specialist opinion using a mobile phone, technology which has been flourishing in Africa in recent years. If appropriate diagnosis and treatment is obtained directly or indirectly (vie sending images), we can count on these frontline staff to treat certain sufferers. Information technology also offers the advantage of enabling the patient to benefit from the attention of a specialist in a distant location, without having to travel. With mobile coverage all over the country and easy internet access, we can hope to capitalise on this opportunity to overcome difficulties. This strategy of remote advise and assistance using communication technology is in line with the support for specialist secondary training that the Malian government is seeking to encourage. This has encouraged us to run a pilot to test the feasibility and assess the impact of using ICT to treat skin disease patients in outlying clinics in Mali. The project was the natural next step in a series of initiatives from the Malian dermatological authority, that the Fondation Pierre Fabre has always supported.
Problem seeking to resolve: Treatment of skin diseases. Geographical access to dermatological care. CPD for dermatology professionals. Healthcare providers using new technology.
Proposed solution: Cheap to set up, savings for patient, fast treatment with no need to travel, sharing expertise between the outlying professional and the doctor, in both directionsCan be used as model for other fields.
3 Full-Time equivalents
3 Service providers
Number of beneficiaries since launch