Implementation of the Téléder Togo teledermatology programme

— Togo —


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.


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.


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.




Type of involvement


  • Train health officers in how to treat the most common skin conditions in 50 more remotely located health structures in four regions of Togo
  • Provide the technical capabilities (image capture and transfer tools) needed to send the most difficult cases for analysis by a specialist in Lomé.


Start of scaling up
After a pilot phase launched in 2018 (20 health structures), the general scaling up phase will be completed in 2023.

Reinforcing expertise
Participation in a workshop run by the eHealth community in Senegal and presence of SOTODERM, the learned society specialised in dermatology and project partner, at the African Dermatology Conference.

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


Key pilot data – June 2019 / October 2020:

health workers trained

patients seen for dermatological consultation

of consultations performed autonomously by the health worker

cases posted on the remote transmission platform


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

See also

Teledermatology implemented in Mauritania

Mauritania has 15 dermatologists, 14 of whom work in the capital of Nouakchott, serving four million inhabitants spread across a vast area of more than one million square kilometres, making it difficult for people in outlying towns and villages to access dermatological care. In challenging contexts like these, innovative solutions, such as teledermatology, can make it easier for populations to access health care.


See also

Implementing teledermatology – E-Dermato Niger

Following the projects rolled out in Mali, Mauritania and Togo, E-Dermato Niger intends to promote access to dermatological treatment for rural populations living far from major urban centres where most specialists are located.


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