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Example of Satellite Mission for the Tsunami Areas

Hi all,

I've been following the prior discussion of amateur satellite usage for the
tsunami area.  Below is an example of a satellite mission to support the
tsunami victims.  This arrived in my e-mail box via the TeleHealth listserv
I belong to ...

73 de JoAnne WB9JEJ

Telemedicine and distance learning after the tsunami
by Taylor Dinerman
Monday, January 10, 2005

In the immediate aftermath of the December 26 earthquake and tsunami, relief
workers and local governments were able to use satellite communications to
coordinate their emergency responses. The peoples of the affected areas and,
above all, the children who have been so horribly struck, can be helped by
the innovative use of existing satellite communication networks. In spite of
the heroic efforts of the emergency relief workers and the military men and
women of all nations involved, no single force can include all the medical
and public health expertise required.

The first nation to deploy telemedicine systems in response to this crisis
was not the US, Australia, Japan, or a European state, but India. The Indian
Space Research Organization (ISRO) has brought three hospitals in the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands into their ISRO telemedicine network. These are
connected to medical facilities on the subcontinent, whose personnel are
trained and equipped to provide specialist services.

India has a long and successful history of using both telemedicine and
distance learning to support its national goals. They have not only decided
to handle their emergency response themselves, without any outside help, but
they have been providing significant assistance to their poorer neighbors.

As the medical infrastructure in Sumatra and Sri Lanka is rebuilt, the role
of telemedicine will have to be looked at.
The major US telemedicine systems will not reach the area until the USNS
Mercy hospital ship gets into action sometime next month. The 70.000-ton
displacement Mercy (T-AH 19) is equipped with an older, but still very
effective, “Challenge Athena” telemedicine system, capable of handling 1.54
megabits per second.
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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