For more than three years now or more, our work at Care City and Carecode Digital Health Hub has focused on exposing nurses and healthcare professionals in Nigeria, Africa, and the globe to the importance of digital technologies in healthcare delivery.
We have written articles, blog posts, and essays, held conferences and at the time of writing this article, we are holding our first “Digital Health Bootcamp” for healthcare professionals in Nigeria and Africa.
Our Digital Health Bootcamp, which is fully online has attracted Nurses, Doctors, Biochemists, and other healthcare professionals who are passionate about utilizing digital technologies to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria and Africa.
As a digital health start-up in Nigeria, we are the first to venture into this facet of digital health technologies [training and equipping healthcare professionals with the necessary technical, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills needed to operate/function effectively in Africa’s digital health tech ecosystem].
And gradually, we have started to see the results of our advocacy.
More healthcare professionals are becoming aware of the importance of digital technologies in healthcare.
This is a breakthrough because the more healthcare professionals we have in Nigeria and Africa who fully and deeply understand the usefulness of digital technologies to healthcare delivery the better the healthcare ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa will become as healthcare professionals begin to actively engage their innovative and creative sides, developing healthcare solutions using digital technologies.
Over the past two years, the pandemic has done a good job in exposing our lack of preparedness in the healthcare sector, which massively affected us, as whole healthcare ecosystems shut down and there was no way for people to receive essential care, if not for the quick intervention of digital health technologies coming to the rescue.
The pandemic revealed to us how vital it is to develop a resilient digital healthcare system.
And ever since, the attention of governments and stakeholders has been focused on investing more into digital health systems, causing several digital healthcare start-ups to spring up from all over the place, designing and building digital health platforms that are solving the healthcare problems of millions post-pandemic and forward.
Africa Is Also Making Serious Digital Progress!
Africa has not been left behind.
We have also seen a significant surge in the acceptance of digital health solutions among Africans.
More Africans are beginning to understand the importance of digital health platforms.
Recently in the Nigerian and African tech ecosystem, we have had several smart innovations in the digital health tech space.
Mainly in the area of telemedicine. Though it’s not as robust as the systems and structures observed in developed countries, it shows that there is potential in Africa’s digital health ecosystem.
There’s a gradual digital technological cultural shift going on here in Africa. More Africans are beginning to realize that they don’t always have to physically visit a hospital or clinic before they can receive healthcare.
They are realizing that most of their healthcare challenges do not necessarily need them to travel all the way to the hospital to see a Physician. With a simple, yet effective digital health platform [telemedicine platforms] they can connect with their healthcare provider[s] and get the care that they need right there in the comfort of their homes, and most times, at cheaper rates, with less stress and less risk.
Small Steps, Big Breakthroughs
A big breakthrough for Digital Transformation enthusiasts in Nigeria is the recent digitalization of the professional qualifying examinations of registered nurses in Nigeria.
To many, it might look like another ‘thing’ but to us who understand the beauty of digitalization, we understand better and know that this is a great step for Nigeria’s healthcare ecosystem into the digital future.
If one of the apex healthcare leadership & training organizations in the country has begun to understand the importance of digitalization, it wouldn’t be long before we begin to see significant improvement in the healthcare ecosystem as more healthcare professionals begin to embrace digitalization.
One of the hurdles that make digitalization slow in many communities is the inability of the professionals and people in that community to appreciate the usefulness of digital transformation.
The council is gradually invading and preparing the grounds.
This is not the first. Some time back, the council took a commendable step when it made sure that the license registration process became fully digitalized and a host of other mild [and bold] digital transformation steps here and there.
This welcomed improvement will make more nurses in Nigeria start appreciating digital transformation.
Many who were averse to anything digital, will have no other choice but to adjust and for start-ups like ours, the grounds have been watered making our work in the aspect of advocating for digital transformation in the healthcare ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa easier and enjoyable.
Do We Plan On Having Any Form Of Training?
Well, it’s an exciting idea, one we would definitely love to explore.
Though we lack vital insider information [what platforms will be used, systems, and procedures], the team is currently working on something.
Once we have adequate information and resource, organizing a form of training for nurses who are not conversant with online examination platforms will be something we will love to work on.
I am already seeing some people taking the initiative, and trying to organize training for nurses along this line. It’s commendable, let’s all keep the wheel of innovation and leadership moving.
My Little Advice…
So, before I conclude this article, I have some “pieces of advice” for nurses who will be the pioneers in making use of the council’s first-ever digital examination platform.
We don’t know what kind of software or platform they will be making use of, however, here are some tips that will help you.
- Start Getting Familiar With Your Computer. I think the council already introduced basic computer literacy courses into the general curriculum. Though we are not sure how many schools have adopted it, however, you can personally begin to get acquainted with the basic functions of a computer [that is if you don’t know already, I will assume you know; generation ‘Zzzz’ & ‘Millenials’ should not be shy of computers, right?].
- Start Learning How To Type [fast!]. In the circular released, it looks as if students will also have to answer theoretical questions online, so, this directly means you will type a whole lot. I hope you don’t type like my Grand Ma, who uses the whole day to put down two sentences. Work on your typing skills. It will help you. You don’t want to waste your time searching for where the letter ‘A’ is on the keyboard. There are online typing tools that can help you improve your typing speed.
- The Practice Starts Now, And Not When It’s Two Days To The Exam. Though I believe there should be a form of official training for students. If there’s none, then you may have to work it out yourself. And if Carecode Digital Health Hub is going to have any form of training or webinars, we will let you know.
We are excited about what the nursing council in Nigeria is doing.
The organization is taking the initiative. They may be slow, but they are doing it and making good progress no matter the natural obstacles on their way[the ones Nigeria throws at you].
I am going to write a lot on this subject/topic, so you better stick around.
I will be glad to help.
Catch you soon.
And… Happy new month…