By Confidente Reporter
MASTER of informatics alumna Nikodemus Angula (30) from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) through his thesis proposed for the mobile-based system that will be used to disseminate health related information to low resource areas across the country.
In an interview with Confidente, Angula who is from Ohangwena region and a part-time lecturer at NUST said mobile devices have become the most powerful tool to disseminate information across communities in today’s world. He further added that the current method of disseminating health-related information to the communities in Namibia is a manual system, which is not efficient and effective.
“Access to general disease information is difficult due to the sparsely distributed population of Namibia. This does not only make it difficult to provide health services but also leads to additional costs when it comes to accessing general information from hospitals and clinics from patients and the general public who lives in remote areas were this facilities are distant from them,” said Angula.
Angula continued saying that the country is divided into 14 autonomous regions and this always challenges the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ministry of Health and Social Services(MoHSS) when it comes coordinating the dissemination of information of outbreaks like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Ebola and cholera. He further believes that the extension workers from CDC or MoHSS who are always deployed in the regions to educate people on these outbreaks normally just visit these regions quarterly.
His laboratory experimentation and the final study led to the development of a prototype mobile application that would enable anyone to install the application on their cellphones in order to access general disease information; and since the majority of Namibia own cellphones, Angola believes that the application will suffice.
“The most prevalent diseases are malaria, diabetes, cancer and HIV/ AIDS; hence the initial application concentrates on information dissemination for these diseases rapidly. The mobile application content entails these common diseases in Namibia, their definitions, causes, symptoms, prevention measures”.
Speaking to Confidente Professor Nomusa Dlodlo, who is Angula’s supervisor from the faculty of Computing and Informatics, described Angula as one of the young scientists that are committed to finding solutions to national issues through their studies. Professor Dlodlo further called on the nation to support him in seeing this project through and achieving desired results.
At the moment Angula has submitted his thesis to the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ research unit as he awaits approval. He is further calling on the financial sector for support on the project.
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