The University of Gondar’s College of Medical and Health Sciences arranged a day long research dissemination workshop entitled ‘Innovating Mhealth in Africa through Grassroots Initiatives and Network (IMAGINE) on February 20, 2020 at Zobel Resort in Gondar. The workshop event has been arranged to disseminate the key findings and moving forward in translating major discoveries into practice. IMAGINE is a research project undertaken in Ghana, Malawi, and Ethiopia.
At the workshop event, Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn, UoG President, gave an opening remark and spoke out the importance of technology (mobile) in improving individuals’ health especially for those countries who wish to realize better health services to the larger population which is frankly becoming harder by the day.
Dr. Kassahun Alemu, a principal investigator of the project, presented a research project entitled ‘Building an evidence base to support and enhance community health workers’ (informal) use of mobile phones in Ghana, Malawi and Ethiopia’. Dr. Gashaw Andargie and Dr. Tadese Awoke facilitated the discussion.
It is reported that the use of informal mhealth was seminal in facilitating the participants’ work. The report also indicates that informal mhealth use by Health Extension Workers (HEWs) is becoming an increasingly important aspect of their practices in improving the health services delivery, patient health outcomes and better communication. However, the report also showed that cost of airtime, problems with battery charging, network coverage, costs of data bundles, and accessing internet services were the major challenges faced by HEWs. Hence, priority should be given to developing free calls and SMS packages, provision of monthly airtime stipends, good-quality solar phone chargers and training for HEWs on how to use their mobile phones effectively for health care.
Participants who came from Amhara and Oromia regional state health bureau and Ethio-telecommunication and staff of the college attended the workshop.
Public and International Relations Directorate