Engaging ICTs as a “Tool” for eHealth prioritization on human development and poverty reduction in the African region
Agbele, Kehinde K.
Adesina, Ademola Olusola
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The association connecting information and communication technologies (ICTs) and well-being or poverty remains vague and research today has resulted to divergent conclusions. This paper defines ICTs as “tools” that facilitate communication and the processing and transmission of information and the sharing of knowledge by electronic means. In the African region context, we examine ICTs utilization that aims to improve the provision, access and information management in the health sector. This paper considers access to information as very important benefits that can be achieved in many areas including economic growth, education and healthcare. In healthcare, the roles that ICT plays in ensuring that health information is provided to healthcare providers and consumers to support improving the health of individuals and strengthening health systems, disease detection and prevention are crucial to development and poverty reduction as stated in the UN’s MDGs. For example, access to appropriate information can minimise visits to physicians and periods of hospitalisation for patients suffering from chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension and HIV/AIDS. This will in turn reduce the cost of healthcare provision. ICTs have the potential to impact almost every aspect of health sector. The paper then proposed how ICTs can be used to reduce poverty and ensure that health information is well administered and reaches the right people, at the right time and in the right form.