Text Messaging a tool in e-Health services
Adesina, Ademola Olusola
Agbele, Kehinde K.
Nyongesa, Henry O.
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HIV/AIDS continues to be a menace to the global community, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa is not an exception. The infection rate is continues to grow, in particular, among the young adults. Cell phones have been identified as one of the tools that can be used to overcome the challenge of information dissemination regarding HIV/AIDS among young adults because of its acceptability within this age group. Access to appropriate information can be a powerful for prevention and management of many chronic illnesses, including hypertension, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Within the young adults age group information access by use of Short Messaging Services (SMS) becomes particularly appealing. In this regard, it is proposed to provide access to carefully screened information on HIV/AIDS within the context of frequently asked questions (FAQ) system. However, automating SMS-based information search and retrieval poses significant challenges because of the inherent noise in SMS communications. In the paper, a special corpus of SMS messages was collected based on a standardised question-answer collection. The SMS messages were then analysed, transcribed and classified, with the aim of building a dictionary of SMS-speak to English translations, with reference to HIV/AIDS.