Ihuoma Chiedozie, Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday unveiled mobile testing and treatment vehicles that are to be deployed to combat the COVID -19 pandemic in the country’s rural communities.
The mobile testing vehicles were conceptualised as part of the ‘Telemedicine Project for Rural Medical Services’ initiated by the National Space Research and Development Agency.
NASRDA, an agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is embarking on the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
A prototype of the testing vehicles, which was unveiled at NASRDA’s headquarters in Abuja, was inspected by Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, and members of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.
Speaking at the event, Onu described the vehicle, equipped with a bed, waiting room and laboratory testing facilities, as a ‘game changer’ in the campaign against COVID -19.
A medical team, comprising ear and throat experts, was also attached to the vehicle.
The minister noted that the Federal Government intended to extend the same quality of medical attention given to patients in Lagos to those in the rural areas.
Onu said, “This is a game changer – this is essentially taking the hospital to the home with the facility we have here.
“With this facility, we will be providing telemedicine, we can deliver the same medical service.
The minister added that the vehicles would be deployed in all parts of the country. He noted that smaller buses might be utilised for the scheme.
Acting Director-General of NASRDA, Jonathan Angulu, explained that the agency planned to take the telemedicine project to the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.