Paediatric radiology seen from Africa. Part I: providing diagnostic imaging to a young population
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- Andronikou, S., McHugh, K., Abdurahman, N. et al. Pediatr Radiol (2011) 41: 811. doi:10.1007/s00247-011-2081-8
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Paediatric radiology requires dedicated equipment, specific precautions related to ionising radiation, and specialist knowledge. Developing countries face difficulties in providing adequate imaging services for children. In many African countries, children represent an increasing proportion of the population, and additional challenges follow from extreme living conditions, poverty, lack of parental care, and exposure to tuberculosis, HIV, pneumonia, diarrhoea and violent trauma. Imaging plays a critical role in the treatment of these children, but is expensive and difficult to provide. The World Health Organisation initiatives, of which the World Health Imaging System for Radiography (WHIS-RAD) unit is one result, needs to expand into other areas such as the provision of maintenance servicing. New initiatives by groups such as Rotary and the World Health Imaging Alliance to install WHIS-RAD units in developing countries and provide digital solutions, need support. Paediatric radiologists are needed to offer their services for reporting, consultation and quality assurance for free by way of teleradiology. Societies for paediatric radiology are needed to focus on providing a volunteer teleradiology reporting group, information on child safety for basic imaging, guidelines for investigations specific to the disease spectrum, and solutions for optimising imaging in children.