- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Currently Namibia disseminates health information to the communities manually through health extension workers from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) travelling to the communities for health campaigns, distribution of pamphlets and roadshows. Dissemination is also through community radio stations and the television. Taking into consideration that Namibia is a vast and sparsely populated country, this manual system of dissemination is not efficient and effective. The use of mobile devices has become a significant part of our everyday lives. This study is centred on the development of a prototype mobile application for health information sharing and dissemination, by taking advantage of the fact that Namibia currently has a cell phone ownership rate of 110%. The study employed a qualitative approach as the first phase of the research, applying an interpretive and a qualitative multi-case study research design. Semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, questionnaires and document sampling were used as data collection methods to identify the system requirements for the prototype mobile application. Health personnel, IT experts, and health policy makers from two Windhoek hospitals, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the CDC and members of the community were participants in this research study. SPSS was used to analyse the quantitative aspects of the data, while the qualitative data was reduced, rearranged and integrated to come up with a theory. The information collected focused on the distribution of cell phone ownership, current channels of health information access, prevalence of diseases, literacy levels and frequency of visits to health facilities in the sample as a reflection of the general populace. Through laboratory experimentation, the second phase of the study led to the development of a prototype mobile application. The mobile application content covers the common diseases in Namibia, their definition, the causes of the diseases, the symptoms of the diseases, how to prevent the diseases and whom to contact for information on the diseases. An expert review of the developed prototype was undertaken. The evaluations were in the areas of usability, efficiency, user satisfaction, accessibility, speed and adaptability and set the direction for future work.
The challenge of access to health information by the under-resourced communities is not only a Namibian problem but cuts across the whole of sub-Saharan Africa and most developing countries of the world as well. A health information divide exists also between the public and private health institutions in Namibia. Most under-resourced areas of Namibia are supported by public institutions, taking into consideration that private healthcare is pretty expensive. With 343 hospitals and health centres spread across Namibia the current centralisation of health information dissemination through the CDC is overwhelming for this institution. No wonder access to health information by the remote, sparsely populated communities is a huge challenge for Namibia.
The mobile application developed in this research will allow these sparsely populated remote communities access to health-related information from anywhere at any time without physically visiting the hospitals, clinics and health centres which are in themselves far apart from one another. Communities have to travel long distances to get to these health institutions. With disease outbreaks occurring any time and in any part of the country, it is of profound importance that the population is made aware in real-time so as to take preventative measures. The current manual system of health information dissemination is unable to cover that gap, which the cell phone can. The mobile application developed targets the most prevalent diseases in Namibia currently. The advantage of this technology is that it is low-cost, locally-developed and customised to the Namibian environment.
The experts who reviewed the prototype concur that it would be of significant benefit to Namibia once commercialised as long as it integrates with all forms of health-related institutions including pharmacies, ambulances, fire brigade, etc. Integration in the health sector is one area that requires special attention and research. It includes integration of the hardware, software and business processes. Further research should also put into consideration the varied range of user profiles of the prototype including language differences and literacy levels to name but a few.