Health information is a fundamental concept that has a significant impact on health outcomes hence lack of it is a significant barrier to the receipt of health care services and generally negatively impacts the quality of health.
In Uganda, the doctor to patient ratio is 1:15,000 and this cannot give ample time for the doctors to offer adequate health information to the clients and in most cases, doctor to population contact is usually limited to the time of sickness hence there is almost no opportunity to sit with a health personnel to discuss general health issues.
Therefore, devising ways of transfer of knowledge from health professionals to the population will help individuals maintain and improve their health.
How is health Information offered
There are a number of systems of communication available i.e. telephones, radio and television broadcasts, internet, mail, and several newspapers but the use of phones and internet is on rise.
The Internet is the second source of information after physicians (DOCTORS), and it is more likely to be used due to its accessibility and easiness though there is need to segregate the accuracy by none other than committed medical professionals.
Mobile phones also have moved from being a status symbol to being an ever-present technology that facilitates almost every interaction in our daily lives. The number of mobile phone subscribers in Uganda is estimated at 14 million as of 2011 (Uganda Communications Commission)
Therefore, the most urgent task before us is to get health information to those most in need of it.
We are doing this through
Running a 24 hour call centre where anyone with a mobile phone can:
- Dial 0902000091 to listen to health information or speak to a live health professional.
- Send an SMS of any health concern and send to 7444
- Subscribe to receive health information by typing any of the words below to 7444
- FIRST AID
- Emails & social networks: face book and twitter