E-Health at Outpatient Clinics in Uganda
Abstract: Health Care in developing countries faces many issues, ranging from overburden to lack of funding and poor infrastructure. The use of information and communications technology (ICT) in health care, eHealth, has been seen by many as the remedy to the ills befalling health care in developing countries. Uganda has been the host of a large number of eHealth projects the last couple of years. However, few seem to have taken the infrastructural issues plaguing Ugandan health care into consideration. This report presents the result of an ethnographically inspired field study and considers how the lack of infrastructure and computer training of the local medical staff impact the use of eHealth applications at three different clinics, two public and one private. The lack of Internet, secure storage locations and electricity severely impacts the sustainability of eHealth at the public institution, as does medical personnel’s’ lack of computer proficiency. However, these problems can be overcome with training and the right equipment. Due to the multitude of non-compatible eHealth projects in Uganda, the report calls for a consolidation of efforts and sharing of information amongst the eHealth application developers of Uganda. Also, it might be time to reconsider if the public sector is the best partner for eHealth application developers, maybe the private sector could have more use of and help develop more usable eHealth applications.
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