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Nagaland launches Naga Telehealth to reach out online services to interior areas


Kohima, September 9: Amidst the novel Coronavirus pandemic, Nagaland Health and Family Welfare Department (HFW) Wednesday launched the ‘Naga Telehealth’, a telemedicine platform to reach out to the general public with health care services.
Virtually launching the initiative, Minister for Health & Family Welfare, S Pangnyu Phom said, “It is an important initiative which will benefit all of us, especially given the current pandemic situation we are in”.
In such times, telemedicine has emerged as an innovative technology-based solution for service delivery to people in need, especially to those families and communities living in remote areas, he said.
The Nagaland Government in partnership with US Agency for International Development (USAID) NISHTHA-Jhpiego launched the telemedicine platform to help people living in the remote areas to have access to qualified doctors for general and specialist consultations, he said.
This platform will be established across all Health and Wellness Centers in the State through a hub and spoke model to reach the catchment population, said Phom.
Phom expressed confidence that through this important initiative the government will be able to ensure that quality, affordable healthcare services reach everyone in Nagaland, irrespective of where they live.
The Minister thanked USAID NISHTHA-Jhpiego for supporting the Nagaland government in this important initiative.
Mission Director of National Health Mission Nagaland, Dr Kevichusa Medikhru expressed hope that the telemedicine platform would bring health and wellness closer to the community.
He said COVID-19 pandemic has brought in unprecedented challenges to the health system including disruption of essential healthcare services on a daily basis while people are restricted to travel and fear of getting infection is also stopping people to visit health facilities for their routine health check-ups.
Telemedicine has emerged as an innovative solution for service delivery to people in need, he said.
The technology platform will also be beneficial for triaging COVID-19 patients, service delivery to non-critical COVID cases as well as to manage essential health care services at primary level, he said.
Naga Telehealth will be launched in a phased manner and currently it is rolled out in 82 Sub Health Centres (SHCs) connected to Medical Officers at PHCs and the 11 District Hospitals for general tele-consultation.
There is also a provision of referral and teleconsultation with specialist doctors with support from Christian Institute of Health Sciences & Research, Dimapur, informed Dr Medikhru.
With this extended support from USAID NISHTHA Jhpiego, Nagaland will be able to fulfill the conditionality criteria laid out by Government of India for Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres, he said.
Nagaland government Secretary for HFW, Wezope Kenye said, “Telemedicine has provided an enabling tool to maintain patient continuity, management of patients and also ensure continuity of essential health services during COVID-19”.
The Naga TeleHealth telemedicine platform will be able to bring quality health and wellness closer to the communities, he said while urging all the Community Health Officers and Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery to make use of this platform to ensure that people living in remote communities are able to avail the services of trained and qualified doctors within their communities. (Page News Service)