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  India, in a joint initiative with the African Union, has launched the Pan-African e-network project, which will support tele-education, telemedicine, e-commerce, e-governance, infotainment, resource-mapping and meteorological services *

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Tele-medicine Setup at Sri Ramchandra Medical Center, Chennai inaugurated
Source : TCIL

Tele-medicine setup at the Sri Ramchandra Medical Center, Sri Ramchandra University (SRU), Chennai, which is one of the 12 Indian Super Specialty Hospitals participating in the Pan-African e-Network Project, was inaugurated on 7th October 2009. Mr. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, he Hindu one of leading English Dailies of India inaugurated the Center in the presence of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Dean and Head of the Tele-Medicine, and other senior faculty members of the SRU, press and the electronic Media. Mr. V. R. Venkatachalam, Chancellor, SRU, felicitated Mr. Ram on this occasion.

While addressing the gathering on this occasion, Mr. Ram said that Pan-African e-Network was an excellent idea. India had rich experience in meeting the challenges in education and health care within the country and the quality and integrity of our professionals was an enviable resource. He added that it would not be a one-way communication channel, but that India could also learn a great deal from Africa on addressing the challenges of mass deprivation. Mr. Ram said there was tension between the need to enhance access and to provide quality services (both in the practice and teaching of medicine). It was necessary to reconcile these two challenges. Telemedicine was a powerful tool for that. It was no surprise that the SRU had been in the forefront of the project, as its commitment to quality and promoting access had contributed largely to its success over the last 25 years, he added.

Mr. J.S.Chhabra, Executive Director, TCIL who give special address through video-conferencing from the Data Center at TCIL Head office Building said the network aimed at capacity building in Africa. Part of this would be providing education to 10,000 students over five years, online medical consultation for about 79,000 hours; offline advice to five patients per day in each country for five years; and CME programmes for doctors and nurses. A total of 44 African countries have already joined the project.

      Prof. K. Selvakumar, Professor of Neurosurgery, and Chairman, Telemedicine, SRU said the varsity & telemedicine project got a major fillip after the tie-up with ISRO in 2001. Currently, links have been established with 165 centres in India, including 35 major hospitals. Regular interaction was also on with reputed medical centers across the world. Last year, the mobile telemedicine programme was launched and connections were established with rural areas.

      Mr. S. Rangaswami, Vice-Chancellor, SRU said the institution, which was now entering its 25th year, was among the first few to start telemedicine, way back in 1997.

      Later the first CME lecture on the Pan-African e-Network project for Tele-medicine on cardiac care was delivered by Prof. S. Thanikachalam, Director and Chairman, Cardiac Care Centre, SRU.

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