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Research Paper | Public Health | Congo (DRC) | Volume 13 Issue 1, January 2024
The Impact of Telemedicine on Maternal Health and Equity Outcomes in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Kalala Elisee Kabuya
Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO) defines telehealth as the "delivery of healthcare services in which patients and providers are separated by distance." Telehealth is the use of technology to achieve remote care. Access to maternal healthcare facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa present significant challenges, despite the concerted efforts outlined in the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs) aimed at eradicating poverty and leaving no one behind. Recognizing that prioritising maternal, neonatal, and child health is crucial in eliminating poverty and disparities in low- and middle-income countries, telehealth emerges as a promising solution to enhance maternal health outcomes; By circumventing inefficiencies and inequities inherent in traditional healthcare systems, telehealth addresses barriers such as limited access to in-person medical consultations, a shortage of skilled birth attendants, and inadequate health promotion activities. However, it is essential to acknowledge the potential exclusionary nature of telehealth. In this study, we conducted an extensive literature review of technology-based maternal health programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo to illustrate the limited practices of telehealth programs. We specifically examine how wealth disparities, educational attainment, and geographic location (urban/rural) contribute to unequal access to maternal healthcare, rendering women particularly vulnerable. It is imperative to address these limitations and challenges in digital health to ensure equitable access to maternal healthcare for all women and girls, leaving no one behind.
Keywords: Telehealth, Maternal health, Health inequity, DRC
Edition: Volume 13 Issue 1, January 2024,
Pages: 26 - 31