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Trop Med Infect Dis. 2018 Aug 17;3(3). pii: E88. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed3030088.

A Teledermatology Pilot Programme for the Management of Skin Diseases in Primary Health Care Centres: Experiences from a Resource-Limited Country (Mali, West Africa).

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. faye_o@yahoo.fr.
2
CERTES, Bamako, Mali. cob281@yahoo.fr.
3
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. adadicko@yahoo.fr.
4
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. lamissa05@gmail.com.
5
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. siritio_b@yahoo.fr.
6
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. b_traore@ymail.com.
7
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. youssouffofana346@yahoo.fr.
8
CERTES, Bamako, Mali. mniang@certesmali.org.
9
CERTES, Bamako, Mali. trawore@keneya.net.
10
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. ykarabinta@yahoo.com.
11
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. gasdiaby@yahoo.fr.
12
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. binta.guindo@yahoo.fr.
13
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. alimatakeita@yahoo.fr.
14
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. koreissit@yahoo.fr.
15
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, Bamako, Mali. somitak@yahoo.fr.
16
Département de Radiologie et Informatique médicale, Université de Genève, Genaven 1211, Switzerland. antoine.Geissbuhler@hcuge.ch.
17
Service de Dermatologie, Hôpital Pasteur, Colmar 68000, France. antoine.mahe@ch-colmar.fr.

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa, in particular in rural areas, patients have limited access to doctors with specialist skills in skin diseases. To address this issue, a teledermatology pilot programme focused on primary health centres was set up in Mali. This study was aimed at investigating the feasibility of this programme and its impact on the management of skin diseases. The programme was based on the store-and-forward model. Health care providers from 10 primary centres were trained to manage common skin diseases, to capture images of skin lesions, and to use an e-platform to post all cases beyond their expertise for dermatologists in order to obtain diagnosis and treatment recommendations. After training, the cases of 180 patients were posted by trained health workers on the platform. Ninety-six per cent of these patients were properly managed via the responses given by dermatologists. The mean time to receive the expert's response was 32 h (range: 13 min to 20 days). Analysis of all diseases diagnosed via the platform revealed a wide range of skin disorders. Our initiative hugely improved the management of all skin diseases in the targeted health centres. In developing countries, Internet accessibility and connection quality represent the main challenges when conducting teledermatology programmes.

KEYWORDS:

Africa; primary health care; skin diseases; tele-expertise; teledermatology

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