A Mobile Application for Health Information Dissemination: a Namibian Context
Mobile devices have become the most powerful tool to disseminate information across communities in today’s world. The current method of disseminating health-related information to the communities in Namibia is a manual system which is not efficient and effective. This study sought to identify an efficient and effective way to disseminate health information. The first phase of the study was qualitative, applying an interpretive approach and a qualitative multi-case study research design. Two hospitals, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and members of the community participated in this study. Face-to-face interviews, focus group interviews, questionnaires and document sampling were used as data collection methods to identify the requirements for a mobile application. Through laboratory experimentation, the second phase of the study led to the development of a prototype mobile application that will enable anyone to install the application on their phones in order to access general diseases information from the CDC.The first phase of the research concluded that a large number of Namibians own cellphones hence a mobile application would suffice. The most prevalent diseases from the research are malaria, diabetes, cancer and HIV, hence the initial application should concentrate on information dissemination for such. The mobile application content covers the 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.In the research conducted, 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 both even those who visit clinics and hospitals as well provided they have smartphone.