Implementation of the Téléder Togo teledermatology programme

— Togo —

BACKGROUND

The Téléder Togo programme funded by the Fondation Pierre Fabre provides technical and human resources to improve diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases at peripheral health structures through use of new technologies.

Téléder Togo follows the project developed in Mali (Téléder Mali project) presented at the First African Teledermatology Conference held in Bamako in 2017. The Togolese Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Infections (SOTODERM) responded favourably to the call for proposals the Foundation made at this event, open to health structures wanting to implement teledermatology in their areas.

The programme is based on two complementary priorities:

  • Training health workers in the most common skin diseases;
  • Supplying technical capacities (image-capture and -transfer tools) to submit more difficult cases to specialists, often based in the country’s larger hospitals.

The option to remotely transmit clinical photographs helps to offset the lack of dermatologists. Togo, like many other sub-Saharan African countries, is seeing an increase in severe and persistent forms of skin disease due to the absence of specialised care.

LOCAL TREATMENT

The objective of the Téléder Togo project is to establish the practice of teledermatology in at least 50 peripheral health structures in four Togo regions (the Savanes, Kara, Centrale and Plateaux Regions). These include community health centres, peripheral treatment units and district hospitals.

The pilot phase ran from June 2019 through October 2020, targeting 20 structures and 52 health workers (eight physicians and 44 paramedical staff). Training in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) was reinforced by two Malian experts who helped implement the project in their country.

USE OF TELEMEDICINE

For the most complex cases, the health centres are supplied with the equipment needed to seek a specialist’s advice remotely. The local health worker is trained in digitising the clinical profile and entering it on a secure exchange platform.

The Sylvanus Olympio Teaching Hospital of Lomé serves as a referral centre for the project: dermatologists from the Dermatology Department respond to requests for remote assessments from the local health workers at the peripheral health centres.

Some of the project’s measurable benefits seen during the pilot phase are:

  • Increased traffic to healthcare structures;
  • Patient satisfaction by virtue of rapid treatment, meaning less travel and reduced costs;
  • Fewer appointment requests for mild cases at the teaching hospital, particularly advantageous during the Covid-19 pandemic.

KEY FACTS
_____

Priority
Dermatology

Programme
2018-2023

Type of involvement
Distributor

Action
Complete funding of the programme: communications equipment, training, operating costs, etc.

The most common cases are increasingly addressed in the field and only the most critical cases are reported via the platform. This positively impacts cost, quality and time of patient treatment. It’s also an important project with respect to interactions with neighbouring countries: Malian experts have trained our health workers and we’re in discussions with our Ivorian counterparts, who are setting up a similar project. Teledermatology is an excellent opportunity for South-South collaboration and Togo intends to contribute to that effort.”

Professeur Vincent Pitché
Director of the Dermatology Department at the Sylvanus Olympio, Togo

ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERSPECTIVES

Key pilot data – June 2019 / October 2020:

52
health workers trained

4,060
patients seen for dermatological consultation

90%
of consultations performed autonomously by the health worker

738
cases posted on the remote transmission platform

PARTNERS

  • Togolese Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Infections (SOTODERM)
  • Dermatology Department at the Sylvanus Olympio Teaching Hospital of Lomé

See also

Creation of a national teledermatology service

Mali, faced with a regional dermatologist shortage, is assessing the feasibility of a telemedicine programme. Objectives: improve healthcare and create a true communications network.

31/07/2018

See also

Follow our actions

Kinshasa: a joint declaration to promote the rights of people with albinism in Africa

On 19 and 20 October 2021, the Fondation Pierre Fabre took part in the first Pan-African Albinism Colloquium. The event was held in Kinshasa and attended by key figures, such as Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Republic of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chairperson of the African Union, and one hundred representatives from 16 African countries, including Burundi, Mali, Burkina Faso, Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.

All programmes