GCRF_NF151 COVID19:Determining trustworthiness and safety of REmote Consulting in primary healthcare (REaCH) for chronic disease populations in Africa

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: Nursing

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face healthcare appointments puts Africa's health workers and their patients at risk. Patients are afraid to attend clinics, e.g to collect medicines, and this may harm their health. Remote healthcare, by phone or internet, is advised by the World Health Organisation. Because this is difficult in Africa due to limited digital infrastructure, we have developed a training programme for health workers called REaCH. REaCH enables health workers to deliver trusted and safe care using the phone and limited internet availability.

REaCH training aims to increase the number of appointments held by phone for patients with long-term conditions. We want to test whether these remote appointments are as acceptable, safe and trustworthy as face-to-face appointments.

We will undertake trials in Nigeria and Tanzania. In each country we involve 20 health clinics and train 8-10 health workers in two clinics every month for 12 months. We collect monthly information on appointment type and the number of prescriptions and investigations given out. Twenty patients in each clinic per month will complete questionnaires on 1) how trustworthy they found their health worker to be and 2) how confident they are in managing their own health. Patients, clinic health workers and managers will be interviewed.

We will produce a) Strengthened health care across Africa following REaCH training b) health workers and patients protected from coronavirus/COVID-19 c) stronger scientific research teams in Nigeria and Tanzania.

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