Danbatta Harps on Importance of Global e-Health System

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta

Emma Okonji

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has expressed optimism that Nigeria will, in the near future, join the league of nations where e-health thrives.

While speaking on the importance of global e-Health care for Nigeria, Danbatta stressed the need for the connection of all data centres in the country to a central data centre domiciled at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

He spoke while receiving a delegation of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, led by its Board Chairman, Dr. Sam Jaja, and the Chief Medical Director, Prof Bisallah Ahmed Ekele, who paid a courtesy call at the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja recently.

According to Danbatta, “We are moving gradually towards what I call, the digital transformation of the country, and this, you can do stage by stage. A time will come when everything will be online. If you want the record of a patient referred to you from a different hospital. You just do it with a press of a button and you have the patient’s history.

“And a patient travelling abroad for medical reason may not have the need to carry the hard copy of his medical history with him.  These are all parts of the global e-health architecture that we hope to put in place in the not- too -distant future.”

He further observed that the ICT could be leveraged upon to ensure computerisation of records and fast-tracking diagnosis and treatment in the nation’s hospitals.

“Our intervention in university intercampus connectivity project has made distance a non-issue by providing you with high speed and reliable high-speed connectivity that will facilitate communication between your campuses.

“And we see the university teaching hospital as an important component of this project. And then there’s a data centre and facility that will enable you to capture the data of the most important things you are doing, including serving as a repository of student records, academic records, medical records and all kinds of records, which will be difficult to keep in hard copy form.

“We decided that universities like Unibuja will require data centres that will ensure a reliable source of keeping data, which is retrievable at a press of a button, he said.

Jaja commended the EVC and the NCC for the significant interventions in the hospital.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof Ekele, told the EVC that the NCC’s intervention was the first major assistance the medical institution received in its 25-year history.