The Virtual Docters is a UK-based charity with a Zambian and Malawi operation. They use a Smartphone App to connect isolated health centres in rural Zambia and Malawi with volunteer doctors, based predominantly in the UK.
The volunteer doctors offer advice to diagnose conditions, treat patients and prescribe medicine. This assists and empowers the Zambian and Malawi health workers, and even helps saves lives. The App also reduces the number of hospital referrals that would incur long, arduous journeys and unmanageable expense.
In Zambia, they are in the process of embedding the Virtual Doctors service into the Zambian Health Care system. Then they will scale back their support, leaving the local authorities to take over the service. This strategy will initially involve expansion to 100 clinics and involve transferring medical records to a Zambian secure data bank and incorporating the service within Ministry training.
In Malawi, they have started the process to implement a trial of their service in the nine districts of Central Province at the Invitation of the Ministry of Health in 2018.
In Zambia and Malawi they have the appropriate operating Memorandum of Understanding/s and these have been agreed with their respective Ministries of Health. The Virtual Doctors governance is overseen by an active Board of Trustees in the UK. In Zambia they have in-country setting as a charitable company with local Directors/Office Bearers and two local full-time staff members.
100% of they funding currently comes via the generosity of he general public. Lack of funding can prove a barrier to working so they are continually seeking new support. They currently have a very small team, comprising one full time Executive and a part time assistant in the UK and most of there core operation is supported by volunteers.
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