Nigerian Space Agency Launches TeleMedicine Facility To Support Covid-19 Testing In Nigeria

In order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology through its agency, the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Health for the use of telemedicine facility for mobile testing of the virus.

Telemedicine was one of the target applications of the Nigerian Communications Satellite which carries Hughes VSAT equipment, Polycom video equipment and AMD telemedicine
(NOC). The pilot project was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, while the sub-networks integration commenced in March 2007 with the Network Operation Centre. The initial plan was for the integration of the sub-network to include Eight Remote Terminals and One Mobile Unit commissioned in January 2008.

The remote terminals are in Bayelsa, Bernin Kebbi, Ibadan, Gombe, Maiduguri, Makurdi, Owerri, and Owo, spread across the geopolitical zones in the country. The remote terminals and mobile bus are equipped with basic diagnosis equipment such as Cameras (General Examination Camera, Image & Illumination System) and Diagnostic Scopes (Electronic Stethoscope –Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Scope, Ophthalmoscope and Dermascope)

While speaking in Abuja, the Minister announced the Ministry of Science and Technology will make use of this facility to support the work of the Ministry of Health in curbing COVID-19 across the country. According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as at 09:00 pm on 8th April, there are 276 confirmed cases in Nigeria, 44 have been discharged and 6 deaths have been recorded.