By Chioma Obinna
The Lagos state government has launched ‘EKO TELEMED’ for residents, as part of concerted efforts aimed at protecting citizens and reducing their risk of contracting the COVID19.
The General Manager of the Lagos State Health Management Agency, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba who disclosed this during the online launch of the project, said residents would have access to highly-trained & experienced physicians for non-emergency primary care consultation via voice or video call from today, Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
She said residents who develop any non-COVID-19 health issues during the lockdown period should dial 08000EKOMED = 08000356633 toll-free line for consultation.
She added the toll-free line would enable residents to converse with doctors in any of the four major languages in Lagos State – English, Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo.
The General Manager said that Doctors and Case Managers would be available 24/7 on ‘EKO TELEMED’ to provide medical services to residents for a period of eight weeks as the State continues to roll out its strategies for containing the COVID19 pandemic.
“If further medical treatment is needed after due consultation with the medical doctors, non-coronavirus cases would be referred to designated Healthcare Providers under the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) or preferred Healthcare Providers”, Zamba noted.
She, however, said that patients with high COVID-19 suspicion will be directed to designated testing sites and isolation centres in Lagos State through the toll-free 08000CORONA hotline.
While commending Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for approving the project, Zamba said that ‘EKO TELEMED’ was designed by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) as part of its COVID-19 response.
“The project would increase access to care, reduce the challenge of going to hospitals during this period of restricted movements, except for emergencies”.
“It would also create an entry point for the quicker evacuation of confirmed & severely ill COVID-19 cases to the designated treatment facility. This is aimed at ensuring better health outcomes for affected citizens & reducing morbidity & mortality associated with the pandemic”.
She hinted that ‘EKO TELEMED’ marks a new beginning in the provision of medical consultation and services for the Lagos State Health Scheme, encouraging all residents to tap into the opportunity for prompt attention and further protection of lives as well as contain the spread of the virus.
Zamba said that discussions are ongoing to ensure that this novel service would continue to be provided under the Lagos State Health Scheme.
She reminded the residents in the State to at all times wash their hands, ensure social distancing and obey the lockdown order to the letter so that collectively, we can contain the virus.