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Lagos introduces video call, toll free healthcare system as lockdown continues

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

In a bid to protect Lagos residents and prevent community transmission of coronavirus pandemic, the State Government has launched a telemedical platform to treat non-COVID-19 patients in the state beginning from tomorrow.
Lagos telehealth platform tagged ‘EKO TELEMED’, according to the government, would afford residents the opportunity to have access to highly trained and experienced medical Doctors for remote diagnosis and treatment of non-emergency primary care via voice call or video call from the comfort of their homes.
The General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, disclosed that residents who develop any non-COVID-19 health issues during the lockdown period would only need to dial 08000EKOMED (08000356633) toll-free line.
Speaking after the launch on Tuesday in Lagos, Zamba  explained that the toll-free line would enable residents confronted with non-emergency health issues to have access to trained medical doctors in any of four major languages, English Language, Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo, in the state”.
The General Manager said that Doctors and Case Managers on EKO TELEMED would be available every minute to provide medical services to the residents of Lagos State for a period of eight weeks as the state government rolls out other strategies to flatten COVID-19 pandemic curve.
She added that if further medical treatment is needed by a non-COVID-19 patient after due consultation with medical doctors would be referred to designated Healthcare Providers under the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) or where applicable.
“But patients with a high index of COVID-19 suspicion would be referred to designated testing sites and isolation centers in Lagos State through the COVID-19 hotline: 08000CORONA”.
Zamba, who commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for approving the project, said that EKO TELEMED provided by LASHMA was part of COVID-19 response, added that the project would increase access to care and reduce the challenge of travel to hospitals during the lockdown imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to curtail further spread of the pandemic.
While stressing that except for emergency cases, she stated that the strategy would also create an entry point for the quicker evacuation of confirmed and severely ill suspected COVID-19 cases to the designated treatment facility.
According to her, EKO TELEMED has been designed by the government to ensure better health outcomes for affected citizens thereby reducing morbidity and mortality associated with the pandemic globally.
The general manager, after arguing that EKO TELEMED marked a new beginning in the provision of medical consultation and services for Lagos State Health Scheme, appealed to Lagosians to tap into the window of opportunity in order for the Lagos State Government to protect their lives, as well as, contain the spread of the virus.
She said that discussions are ongoing to ensure that this novel service would continue to be provided under the  Lagos State Health Scheme.

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