In the conclusions of the first meeting of the Telemedicine Task Force (TTF) for sub-Saharan Africa was held in Brussels, the potential of satellite telecommunication technology was demonstrated as a tool for supporting healthcare systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
It was declared that a complete picture of the telemedicine opportunities offered by feasible and affordable applications in sub-Saharan Africa is very much needed. To achieve this goal, a task force, named In the conclusions of the (TTF) for sub-Saharan Africa, composing African Organisations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Commission (EC) and ESA has been set up to define a framework of appropriate actions for a telemedicine programme in the sub-Saharan African region and to support the definition of a cost-benefit study to evaluate the relevance of a pan-African network for telemedicine. The TTF for sub-Saharan Africa has decided to carry out some major tasks like to draw upon WHO and country assessments of the status of the existing health infrastructures in the sub-Saharan African region and identify areas where telemedicine development could add value to assess the status of the existing telecommunications infrastructure in the sub-Saharan African region and describe its potential and geographical scope to support health system development, particularly focusing on increasing access to services for poor, rural or remote communities. The next two meetings of the TTF for sub-Saharan Africa are scheduled for 22 September 2006.