Rural E-Health Infrastructure Development

Rural E-Health Infrastructure Development

Ali Zalzala, Stanley Chia, Laura Zalzala, Subrat Sahu, Suresh Vaghasiya, Ali Karimi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2770-3.ch044
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The following sections describe the implementation of a healthcare records system in rural areas of India’s Gujarat State. The system reduces the risk of misidentification of patients and allows for accessing the records of patients in a more timely process. The electronic medical records improve clinical and diagnostic services and provide alerts on disease trends.
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2. Background

If developed countries deal nowadays with equity in health and healthcare, most developing, less developed or low-income countries face other types of difficulties regarding health services. In these countries, far too many people have to deal with inadequate nighttime lighting or inadequate communication due to lack of reliable electricity; too many healthcare providers are forced to treat patients without having access to databases of past results and new research trends and a large number of people die from easily treatable diseases because of inadequate health records.

Health has always been a central concern for individuals, groups, communities or the global society and the importance of health cuts across individual of all ages and across all societies. In the 20th century we witnessed an extraordinary progress on health, but progress in health is fragile (The Global Agenda, 2009).

Understanding the challenges of health and of the social response to health problems is difficult. Therefore, the global community tried to set a number of critical goals for development, the Millennium Development Goals. Three of these are health-related: MDG4 – reducing child mortality, MDG5- reducing maternal mortality and MDG6 – reducing major diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria). These MDGs have generated endless policy discussions and focus in many settings.

Although real progress has been made, the agenda for global health is much broader than the MDGs. Therefore there is a worldwide lack of coherence in global health governance, which leads to the impossibility of effective representation throughout the globe. The institutional efficiency, mandates, activities, authority and even resources allocated for the global health initiatives show clearly that there is no agreed plan or strategic vision to tackle the major health problems across the world. And given the diversity of the determinants that make up the healthcare worldwide, only concerted leadership on health issues within the public health sector would help solving these problems (Lee, Sridhar & Patel, 2009).

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