Rural Healthcare Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa: An ICT-Driven Approach

Rural Healthcare Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa: An ICT-Driven Approach

Nasir Faruk (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria), N.T. Surajudeen-Bakinde (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria), Abubakar Abdulkarim (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria), Abdulkarim Ayopo Oloyede (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria), Lukman Olawoyin (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria), Olayiwola W. Bello (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria), Segun I. Popoola (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria) and Thierry O.C. Edoh (Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHISI.2020070101

Abstract

Access to quality healthcare is a major problem in Sub-Saharan Africa with a doctor-to-patient ratio as high as 1:50,000, which is far above the recommended ratio by the World Health Organization (WHO) which is 1:600. This has been aggravated by the lack of access to critical infrastructures such as the health care facilities, roads, electricity, and many other factors. Even if these infrastructures are provided, the number of medical practitioners to cater for the growing population of these countries is not sufficient. In this article, how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used to drive a sustainable health care delivery system through the introduction and promotion of Virtual Clinics and various health information systems such as mobile health and electronic health record systems into the healthcare industry in Sub-Saharan Africa is presented. Furthermore, the article suggests ways of attaining successful implementation of telemedicine applications /services and remote health care facilities in Africa.
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Overview Of Global Human Development Index (Hdi)

Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistical tool used to measure the overall achievement in a country’s social and economic dimensions such as the health of people, their level of education and standard of living (Nations, 2016); (Bray, Jemal, Grey, Ferlay, & Forman, 2012). The main indicators are life expectancy for health, expected years of schooling as well as the actual years of schooling for education, and the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita for the standard of living (Kpolovie, Ewansiha, & Esara, 2017). A household with members sheltered in a well-furnished house; balanced diet food cooked using clean cooking fuel; with access to stable electricity; clean and portable water; private toilets would be rated high in terms of HDI index. Figure 1 shows the global HDI from the UNDP 2017 Report (Programme, 2017). This figure shows that Africa has the least HDI when compared to other regions.

Figure 1.

Human development index (Programme, 2017)

IJHISI.2020070101.f01

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