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|Title: ||Tele-neurology in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review of the literature|
|Authors: ||Sarfo, Fred Stephen|
|Issue Date: ||2017|
|Publisher: ||Journal of the Neurological Sciences|
|Citation: ||Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 380 (2017) 196–199|
|Abstract: ||improving medical care to underserved populations. Although the greatest burden of neurological disorders is
borne by Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs) including sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), there is a profound
paucity of neurologists to serve the population. Telemedicine presents a promising avenue for effectivemobilization
and utilization of the few neurologists in Africa.
Objective: To systematically reviewthe published literature on the use of telemedicine for improved care and outcomes
for patients with neurological disorders in SSA.
Methods:We searched PubMed and Cochrane library from January 1, 1980 to April 30, 2017 using the following
keywords: “Telemedicine neurology Africa”, “Teleneurology Africa”, “Telestroke Africa”, “Telerehabilitation Africa”,
“Telemedicine for epilepsy”, “Telemedicine for Parkinson's disease Africa”, “Telemedicine for dementia Africa”,
“Telehealth neurology Africa”. Our inclusion criteriawere randomized controlled trials, or case series that reported
the utilization of telemedicine for care/education of individuals with neurological disorders in sub-Saharan
Results: This search yielded 6 abstracts. By consensus between two investigators, 1 publicationmet the criteria for
inclusion and further review. The one study identified utilized telemedicine for the purpose of improving education/
knowledge of 16 doctors and 17 allied health professionals in Parkinson's disease (PD) in Cameroon. The
study noted feasibility and satisfaction of participants with telemedicine as well as improved knowledge base
of participants after the educational course but noted access to healthcare by patients did not change. No studies
have evaluated the use of telemedicine for care of patients with neurological disorders.
Conclusion: The indication is that teleneurologymay be feasible in SSA and studies are needed to assess feasibility,
acceptability, efficacy, cost-effectiveness of this promising discipline of neurology in these resource-limited settings.
We propose the setting up of trans continental, inter-regional, intra-regional, and national networks of
neurologists to utilize teleneurology platforms to improve the reach of neurology care in SSA.|
|Description: ||An article published in Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 380 (2017) 196–199|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Health Sciences|
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