BY IKHILI EBALU, BENIN CITY
She said that the program will provide quality healthcare services to Edo residents for free, adding that they have attended to over 25 persons since it began on Saturday, May 28
“They consult our doctors in the United States of America. Doctors abroad sit in their offices and we schedule patients for them to see.
“The doctors in America will be on the screen, talking to the patients in Benin, asking questions, making decisions, at the end, write prescriptions and the patients go home with their medicines which is free.
“There will be an official launch of this program on Tuesday. The launch is to tell the world that it has been tested and proven that it is possible. We have people who have benefited from it. On that Tuesday, our partners from the United States of America will be physically on ground. Last Saturday, we saw 12 patients and that has been going on like this since. This is something we intend to strengthen.
“The first phase was the proof of concept phase. We have passed that stage, it is working seamlessly. We are at the pilot phase and we need to strengthen it. The next phase is for us to scale, and it will be outside Benin so that over time, we can go outside,” Akoria said.
“Now, we are scaling, we are using this place for now. We are moving to Ugbor Primary Healthcare Centre and from there, we will gradually scale to other places. If there is a problem in Auchi or Ibillo, the same way somebody stays in America and talk to someone in Benin and sort out a problem that will be the same done in Auchi.
“As it is right now, this is being done on a purely Volunteers basis, a free services courtesy of the government of Edo State. The government is investing in the hardwares, computers, Internet and solar panels required for this job. We are volunteers. As this thing goes, it will be a whole department on its own, where we will now have to employ dedicated staff who will be troubleshooting across the state, helping us solving issues by deploying technology,” she said.