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Telemedicine and Human Resources for Health Crisis Management in the North West Region of Cameroon

  • Open or ClosePromise Aseh Munteh1*, Wilfred Mbacham2 and Walter Swoboda3

    1Department of Health Economics, Policy and Implementation, Cameroon

    2Professor of Public Health Biotechnology, Cameroon

    3Professor of Health Management Information Systems, Germany

    *Corresponding author: Promise Aseh Munteh, Department of Health Economics, Policy and Implementation, Bamenda, Cameroon

Submission: July 16, 2019;Published: August 21, 2019


Background: Shortages in personnel have been observed repeatedly in hospital settings thus resulting in Undue delay in rendering service, Neglect in patient care, Rough behavior of lower category of staff and poor information and guidance system. The aim was to assess the distribution of human resources for health per cadre and to provide evidence for the possibility of uptake of telemedicine in the Region as one of the solutions to bridge the gap on the shortage and uneven distribution of health workers.

Method: This was a Hospital-based cross-sectional study. The instrument used for data collection were structured questionnaires of 33 items. The four main hospitals in the Region were identified and included in the study and the rest of the health facilities were selected randomly.

Result: The study has shown a situation analysis of the health workforce in the Region indicating a total of 2,576 health workers out of which 127 are doctors with 55 general practitioners inclusive, 902 nurses/ midwifes and 1,547 constitute other categories of health workers such as, technicians, administrative and support staff. The results also revealed that Telemedicine is not a new idea to many of the health administrators in the Region and thus could be expanded to save lives. Also, the issues of privacy and confidentiality which is one of the principal drawbacks to the rapid advancement of telemedicine in most developed countries was not highlighted as a challenge by the respondents in this study giving telemedicine a good place in the Region. However, the main challenges were infrastructural related with lack of internet services and regular power cuts predominant and in this researchers’ opinion, these drawbacks could easily be managed, thus, giving telemedicine a great chance in this fight. The region with a population of 1,876,356 persons only has 2 orthopedic surgeons and 4 pediatrician specialists.

Conclusion: Telemedicine is not new to most health care providers in the health facilities in the NWR of Cameroon and should be expanded to save lives.

Keywords: Telemedicine; Health; Human resources for health; Crises; E-health; Gap; Bridge

Abbreviation: NWR: North West Region; HRH: Human Resources for Health; ICTs: Information and Communication Technologies

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