Sunday, September 02, 2007

Primary health care | In the land of the blind |

Primary health care | In the land of the blind | "In the land of the blind Aug 30th 2007 | KISANGANI, CONGO From The Economist print edition The commonsense case for “amateur” medicine SELF-SUFFICIENCY is a way of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo's rural expanses. It has to be. Even the most accessible of the many villages that dot the dense rainforest—the ones connected to regional towns by spindly tracks that pass as main roads—get little government support. Yet in these unpromising conditions, one of Africa's more successful public-health programmes is not only surviving but thriving. The idea is to harness people's existing culture of self-help and get subsistence farmers to carry out simple medical tasks which are beyond the capacity of a pathetically inadequate health system."

Patients ( and their family members) are the largest untapped healthcare resource - and this is as true in the US as it is in Africa. We need to give them the tools they need so that can learn to manage their own medical problems - in partnership with their doctor. Clever use of the web and mobile can allow us to do so - and there's lots of innovation happening in this field !

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