Tele-Medicine is officially defined as the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. With an ever-increasing access to information technology, it has never been easier than today to provide remote health monitoring services using simple computers with just an internet connection to anybody around the world.
Nepal is a country where 24% of the total population makes less than a dollar a day. The doctor to patient ratio in Nepal is 1:10,000- one of the lowest in the world. 80 % of our population live in mountainous region. Many Nepalese spend their entire lives without ever getting access to decent medical care due to many reasons such as lack of access to medical facilities or their inability to pay for one. Still in the villages, the number one killers have been malnutrition in children, pregnancy related complications in women and respiratory problems/COPD in elderly, and all of these problems can be soundly addressed by health education, nutrition education and early diagnosis through the use of Telemedicine.
To make the situation worse, Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015 at 11:56 a.m. (Nepal time). Over 8,000 people lost their lives and more than 21,000 were injured. We believe that providing basic healthcare service -aided by the use of Telemedicine – will make a huge impact on the lives of people in those rural Nepal where there is virtually no access to any type of medical services in their villages. Also, using a simple computer with internet connection, we can remotely connect volunteers of all types such as doctors, engineers, computer technicians, health care technicians, to the patients in rural Nepal who would otherwise never have access to basic medical diagnosis or first-aid care.
At present, ASK Foundation, with the help of its volunteer doctors and medical workers, has been operating Telemedicine clinics at Kalikot and Dhading. The clinics open once a week on Saturday and roughly 4000 people have been provided basic medical diagnosis or healthcare advice since 2066 BS. The project has been a huge success in providing basic medical care and health advice in the village where patients would have to travel or walk for days to get to the nearest medical facility. And very soon, we are going to set up Teleclinics in remote area of Dolpa, Humla and the earthquake hit areas of Dhading and Rasuwa.
The following video gives a brief overview of our project.
- We plan to extend our outreach to remote parts of Nepal and also the earthquake hit areas
- We are looking forward to setting up Electronic Medical Record System as soon as we get more clinics
- We want to network with volunteer doctors/engineers from Nepal and abroad to share ideas and projects
- We want to venture in the field of education, agriculture & livestock, development of infrastructure, communication, etc in the remote parts of Nepal using the same Telemedicine clinics as hub stations