International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Research Paper | Information Technology | Namibia | Volume 6 Issue 4, April 2017 | Rating: 7.2 / 10

Mobile Technology for Healthcare Information Dissemination to Low Resource Areas of Namibia

Nikodemus Angula [3] | Nomusa Dlodlo [10]

Abstract: The current method of disseminating health-related information to the communities in Namibia is a manual system, which is not efficient and effective. Access to general disease information is difficult due to the sparsely distributed population of Namibia, which not only makes it difficult to provide health services, but also adds additional transport costs to those who want to access general disease information from hospitals and clinics. In addition, Namibia is divided into 14 autonomous regions, which in turn makes it difficult for the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) to coordinate the dissemination of general disease information to the communities. Extension workers from the CDC and MoHSS who are usually sent to different regions across the country to educate people about common local diseases that cause deaths only visit the regions quarterly. Mobile devices have become the most powerful tool to disseminate information across communities in todays world. This study therefore sought to identify an efficient and effective way to disseminate health information to the Namibian population through mobile technologies. Two hospitals, the MoHSS, the CDC and members of the community participated in a study to identify the requirements for a mobile application that is customised to the Namibian environment. The first phase of the study was qualitative, applying an interpretive approach and a qualitative multi-case study research design. Face-to-face interviews, focus groups interviews, questionnaires and document sampling were used as data collection methods from health administrators, health personnel, technical staff and community members. Through laboratory experimentation, the second phase of the study led to the development of a prototype mobile application that would enable anyone to install the application on their cell phones in order to access general disease information. For evaluation of the application developed, expert reviews were sought. The findings of the first phase of the research concluded that a large number of Namibians own cell phones hence a mobile application would suffice. The most prevalent diseases from the research sample are malaria, diabetes, cancer and HIV/AIDS, hence the initial application concentrates on information dissemination for such. The mobile application content covers the most common diseases in Namibia, their definition, the causes of the disease, the symptoms of the disease, how to prevent the disease and whom to contact for information on the disease. From the research, the majority of the population is literate, hence the application can support text-based information in addition to graphics. The research also found that a large number of people visit clinics and hospitals hence the mobile application will benefit even those who visit clinics and hospitals as well, provided there is access in the clinics or hospitals.

Keywords: mobile systems, health information systems, community-based information systems, health information dissemination

Edition: Volume 6 Issue 4, April 2017,

Pages: 662 - 674

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