Conference abstract

Basic ultrasound training of national staff for telemedicine specialist image interpretation and clinical guidance in patient-care in Nduta refugee camp, Tanzania

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:9(33).27 Dec 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.9.33.760

Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Telemedicine, basic ultrasound, POCUS, resources limited settings
Poster

Basic ultrasound training of national staff for telemedicine specialist image interpretation and clinical guidance in patient-care in Nduta refugee camp, Tanzania

Kovach Colleen1,&, Kindo Jumaa1, Singh Saschveen1, Desai Sachin1

1Nduta Refugee Camp, Tanzania, Operational Center Geneva (OCG), Geneva

&Corresponding author
Kovach Colleen, Nduta Refugee Camp, Tanzania, Operational Center Geneva (OCG), Geneva

Abstract

Introduction: radiology services play an integral role in the provision of comprehensive medical services. However, access to these services in remote settings is often limited in both equipment availability and image interpretation. In Nduta refugee camp, Tanzania, a lack of imaging interpretation services restricted the utilization of available ultrasound equipment. This review aims to discuss the feasibility of training national staff (clinical officers and physicians) on basic ultrasound imaging with subsequent specialist consultation through image uploading into MSFs Telemedicine portal.

Methods: this is a review of telemedicine consults (using ultrasound images) conducted in Nduta refugee camp, Tanzania, from March - July 2017. Expatriate physicians with experience in bedside ultrasound instructed national staff providers on basic ultrasound imaging including standard abdominal and cardiac views and free fluid/effusion identification. Clinical images obtained by trained staff were then uploaded to MSFs telemedicine portal for consultant interpretation and guidance.

Results: national providers were successfully trained in basic ultrasound skills and effectively utilized telemedicine consultation for diagnostic and clinical management purposes. Cases reviewed include: 5 year-old male with facial fullness and edema; telemedicine interpretation of cardiac ultrasound - cardiac decompensation, 3 year-old male with edema; telemedicine interpretation of cardiac ultrasound - biventricular failure, 2 year-old female with palpable abdominal mass; telemedicine interpretation of abdominal ultrasound - hydrops of gallbladder, 18 month-old female with murmur and clubbing; telemedicine interpretation of cardiac ultrasound - suspect tetralogy of fallot with AVSD, 14 year-old male with murmur and dyspnea; telemedicine interpretation of cardiac ultrasound - enlarged LV/LA, pericardial effusion, suspected mitral valve insufficiency.

Conclusion: training on basic ultrasound skills in resource-limited settings with the subsequent use of telemedicine consultation for image interpretation and clinical guidance is both feasible and positively impactful on patient management. Further development of this model could significantly improve the quality of medical services in remote locations.