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AFRO-NETS> The Internet and Telemedicine in African Health Care and Education

  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> The Internet and Telemedicine in African Health Care and Education
  • From: Debbie Petersen <petersen@med.und.ac.za>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 16:24:56 -0500 (EST)

The Internet and Telemedicine in African Health Care and Education

Conference / Workshops Announcement
July 19th - 25th, 1999

(Conference 19th-21st / Workshops 22nd-25th)
University of Natal School of Medicine
Durban, South Africa

The New England Medical Center-Tufts University International Training
Program in Medical Informatics (ITMI) is pleased to announce the first
of a series of annual conferences and workshops covering medical infor-
matics topics of relevance to Africa. The ITMI program is a new four-
year program funded by the National Institutes of Health (Fogarty In-
ternational Center) in the USA involving co-operation between seven in-
stitutions in the USA, South Africa and Zambia. Training is open to all
Africans. The program's aim is to increase the medical informatics ca-
pacity of sub-Saharan Africa. A fundamental part of this program will
be the annual conferences and workshops held in Africa. These events
will address different informatics topics of importance and practical
use to Africans health professionals and educators.

Why the Internet and Telemedicine? In developing the ITMI program it
has become apparent that the Internet is an area of tremendous poten-
tial for African medical education and health care. Although Internet
access varies considerably throughout Africa, the future will undoubt-
edly bring increasing Internet connectivity.

Medical professionals and educators can see a day in which many of the
problems they face, such as access to up-to-date information, providing
services to remote clinics and hospitals, and providing education to
community-based medical students might be lessened by the Internet.

Similarly any of the problems of providing health care to remote popu-
lations may be lessened through the suitable adaptation of telemedicine
technologies. Therefore this first such ITMI sponsored conference and
workshops will focus on introducing the concepts, demonstrating the
practicalities, and discussing the problems of adapting these two re-
lated technological frontiers to interested African professionals and

Co-sponsors and Speakers This event is being co-sponsored with several
African, US and international institutions interested in furthering Af-
rican health care and education through technology. A multi-national
faculty has been recruited to address the conference and instruct in
the workshops. There will be two afternoons dedicated to telemedicine

Who should attend? The 3-days of conference followed by 3 days of work-
shop aims to introduce African participants to how the Internet and
telemedicine can be used to meet some of the demands of African medical
education and public health. The following themes have been identified
for this meeting:

1) telemedicine,
2) medical education using computerized materials / Internet technolo-
gies, and
3) the utilization of existing Internet based medical information serv-

People who should attend include:
a) health care professionals interested in developing telemedicine
services in their countries,
b) African Medical School faculty, particularly those with an interest
in the role of computers in curriculum development and digital edu-
cational materials and,
c) medical school / hospital librarians. The organizers are particu-
larly interested in hearing from librarians as they represent high-
impact personnel / providers of information within medical and edu-
cational institutions.


I. "Using Existing Internet Medical Information Services and GetWeb"

This workshop is aimed at librarians and faculty who are interested in
learning how to efficiently access useful medical information on the
Internet. The workshop will focus on the systems developed by SatelLife
and HealthLink, two organizations to the forefront of medical informa-
tion dissemination. This workshop is ideal for participants from insti-
tutions where computer availability and Internet access is either in
its infancy, or only available in a limited, even store-and-forward
format. A subset of librarians / faculty from the least "connected"
medical institutions will be able to collect donated computers to bring
to their home institutions. It is of one-day duration.

II. "Developing materials for computer-based learning and computerized
curricula "

This workshop is aimed at medical faculty / librarians who are inter-
ested in developing computer-based learning programs. The specific con-
tent of these workshops will depend on the ITMI faculty's assessment of
the participants based on the pre-workshop surveys. It will last 3

Registration for Conference only:
All conference participants must register. This can be done on the
World Wide Web (http://www.nemc.org/itmi), or by e-mail, fax or mail.

For Conference and Workshops:
All participants must complete a pre-workshop survey that acts as a
registration form and will assist the organizers in developing the
workshop content. These surveys can be completed online
(http://www.nemc.org/itmi) or by e-mail, fax and mail.

Further Information

Further details on all aspects of this event are available on the
Internet at:

If you do not have Internet access you can request registration forms,
surveys, and further information (e.g. housing, financial assistance)
be faxed, mailed or e-mailed to you by contacting:

ITMI Conference Office
Debbie Petersen
University of Natal, Faculty of Medicine
Private Bag 7
Congella, 4013
Tel: +27-31-260-4327
Fax: +27-31-260-4401

Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `afro-nets@usa.healthnet.org'.
Mail administrative requests to `majordomo@usa.healthnet.org'.
For additional assistance, send mail to: `owner-afro-nets@usa.healthnet.org'.