E-Health Prospective (Bowman, Bell, & Ndung’u)

–       In general E-health not only characterizes a technological development but also a state of mind, an attitude and a commitment for networked, global thinking to improve health care locally, regionally and worldwide using information and communication technology (133).

–       Uganda: an early adaptor of an ICT policy and has made significant progress towards implementation by utilizing public-private partnerships as well as NGO and donor support (129)

–       African government regulators are at different levels in promoting E-health activities in Africa. Expanding ICT is a stated goal.

–       Governmental budgetary allowances in conjunction with private sector incentives are developed to create an environment that encourages fair competition and pricing for domestic development and participation. In Uganda, for instance the communications Commission (UCC) regulates and promotes developments in the communications industry. The main objective of UCC in regards to E-health programs is to improve rural communications services. The Uganda Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF) was created in 2003 as an intervention to ensure that basic communication services of acceptable quality are accessible, at affordable prices, and at reasonable distances by all people in Uganda.

–       E-learning (ICT for remote continuing medical education)

–       E-Preventive Medicine (Using ICT to provide healthcare data for the public health and preventive medicine).

–       Uganda Chartered Healthnet (UCH): Funded by SATELLIFE a US headquartered charity organization which initiated the research project in order to address health information needs and provide critical and valuable information to health workers, including medical facilities, doctors, researchers and students. Lanched in 1995 UCH main goal was to provide email and internet to the university community, specifically for health services. In 2003, another project funded by SATELIFE, Healthnet. This project allowed Uganda health workers to request information from their PDAs (a device that configures retrieved information from databases to the PDA or vice versa). This allows health workers to quickly communicate with other facilities to retrieve request information in a timely manor increasing the effectiveness and quality of health care.

–       ICT technologies involved with shortening the learning curve in both developing and developed countries and is an effective means to increase the spread of information.

–       Straight Talk Uganda: Program to enhance the understanding of adolescence, sexuality, and reproductive health by promoting safe sex and life skills. Straight talk uses radio, print and clubs to reach their target audience.  The radio show airs once a week on 14 FM nationwide in English and local languages. Straight talk also produces a magazine and newsletter where young people can write letters about their problems and receive advice from doctors and other who are well informed about sexual and reproductive health. Challenges have been identified as dealing with cultural practices and sensitivity issues. Impact is measured through listenership and through readership (139).

–        History: In September 2001 Uganda formulated a draft national science technology policy and established a national innovation fund in 2002. The fund supported eight institutions in agriculture, ehalth and industrial sectors. Prototypes of power inverters and stabilizers, digital systems and monitors were designed and developed locally. The 2005/6 budget accelerated the pace of industrialization through the advancement and application of scientific knowledge and technological innocations. In 2007/8 the Uganda government designated fields such as information and communications technologies (ICT), science, technology and industrial development as being key priority areas in research. Pg. 180. 

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