Elizabeth Mkhabela, John Dunn House - TAFTA. File Picture
Elizabeth Mkhabela, John Dunn House - TAFTA. File Picture

Tafta commemorates International Day of Older Persons with the launch of a pilot digital health monitoring system

By Karen Singh Time of article published Sep 29, 2021

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DURBAN - The Association for the Aged (Tafta) will commemorate the week of Older Persons this week, observed annually, and leading into the UN Day of Older Persons on October 1, with the launch of a pilot telemedicine platform to its residents.

This year’s theme for the International Day of Older Persons is ‘Digital Equity for All Ages’.

Tafta will collaborate with health monitoring digital application DocLine and LionPride Investment Holdings, which is the investment company launching the DocLine platform in South Africa, to launch the digital health-care solution pilot to Tafta elders, both in its homes and in the communities it serves.

Tafta chief executive Femada Shamam said she is a firm believer that healthy minds lead to healthy bodies, which lead to healthy societies.

“The opportunity to launch a health-care system that uses artificial intelligence ties in with our commitment to a decade of healthy ageing that aims to use technology to assist our elders to connect, have fun and be well. It is these empowering acts that will result in holistic well-being, and make the greatest impact toward a decade of healthy ageing,” she said.

Tafta said following the launch of the internal pilot it will assess the success of the virtual platform before sharing their telemedicine experience.

Using this telemedicine platform, elders will have access to a virtual symptom checker that collects relevant patient information prior to consultation and simplifies the documentation process, before having the opportunity to attend a video consultation with a health-care provider or to connect through medical chat. The platform also allows for electronic prescriptions to be issued if needed.

Deven Govender, the chief executive of LionPride Investment Holdings, shared his excitement over this project.

“Older persons are the cornerstone of any community where traditions are passed down as well as the institutional memory of that community. We believe that it is imperative that they have access to health and care services currently provided by Tafta, which technology will enhance, making waiting times shorter, using artificial intelligence to assist nurses and video consultation with doctors,” he said.

Govender said historically, South Africa had marginalised certain communities, thereby depriving them from accessing key services.

This will change with the explosion of technology, allowing many to access these services with a few clicks on a smartphone or computer, he said.

“LionPride and DocLine are extremely proud to work with Tafta offering these health-care services both at their residence or remotely.

“This pilot launch is critical in supporting older persons to easily consult with a nurse or doctor from remote locations, and will assist us to learn and understand how to better serve older persons,” he said.

Govender added that LionPride Investment Holdings mission is to invest in companies and projects that not only exceed stakeholders’ expectations but also result in social upliftment in the markets they serve.

During the week of September 27 to October 3, Shamam said South Africans are encouraged to honour and pay tribute to the elders, and raise awareness on issues that affect and impact senior members in our society.

“This seven-day commemoration also serves as a prelude to active ageing week that begins on October 4. During active ageing week, people aged 50 and above are encouraged to take advantage of all life has to offer,” she said.

Tafta is dedicating the entire month of October to providing their elders with a line-up of mentally and physically stimulating activities by hosting sports days, laughter therapy sessions, fancy dress socials and informative talks on issues affecting older people.

For more information on how you can honour the elderly during the month, contact Kemmy-Leigh Moodley on 031 332 3721 or email [email protected]

THE MERCURY

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