MJZ: Need for image reporting by radiographers in Zambia

24 January, 2020

Dear HIFA-Zambia colleagues,

This paper proposes and example of taskshifting whereby radiographers can help to mitigate the shortage of radiologists in Zambia. It's worth noting that image assessment is one of the areas where, eventually, artificial intelligence is likely to make a big contribution.

CITATION: Need for image reporting by radiographers in Zambia

Osward Bwanga, Joseph Mulenga, Ernest Chanda

Medical Journal of Zambia, Vol. 46 (3): 215 - 220 (2019)


There is a critical shortage of radiologists in Zambia, with only 5 serving the entire population of approximately 17 million. For this reason, most hospitals, especially in rural areas have no radiologist services. This leaves most diagnostic imaging examinations unreported. In order to bring imaging services closer to the families who stand as a point of care, this article addresses the ways and possibilities of having reporting radiographers assisting radiologists in reporting on plain film radiographs. It has further evaluated evidence and research on how this undertaking has worked well in other countries. The article ends by recognising that with postgraduate training in image interpretation and reporting, radiographers (both diploma and degree holders) in Zambia can effectively report on plain film radiographs; thereby improving access to this service for the majority of patients.

Best wishes, neil

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HIFA-Zambia profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of HIFA-Zambia and the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org