The State of mHealth in Senegal

Topics: Health care, Health, Public health Pages: 1 (347 words) Published: October 14, 2014

 
Title: The State of mHealth in Senegal
Author: Thomas T. Barry (thomasbarry@me.com)
Affiliation: Undergraduate, Class of 2015, Elliott School of International Affairs Faculty Advisor: Dr. Amira A. Roess, PhD, MPH
Faculty Affiliation: Assistant Professor of Global Health, School of Public Health & Health Services
Objectives & Background:
Senegal was one of the first countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to embrace the use of mobile health technologies (mHealth) to support the achievement of national health objectives. No literature review to date has focused on the opportunities and challenges facing mHealth in Senegal. This is the first review of how mHealth fairs within Senegal’s challenging environment. Methods:

Documents for this review were identified through: 1) an Internet keyword search via PubMed, LexisNexis, MEDLINE, SIT eLibrary database, and GoogleScholar using keywords, including, but not limited to: mHealth Senegal, mHealth SSA, mobile phone Senegal; 2) a manual search of websites of organizations working on mHealth in SSA; and 3) a Google keyword search to identify relevant blog posts, news articles, and initiative websites. Eligibility criteria included that the initiative used mHealth to support the achievement of health objectives, was active >6 months within the past five years, and completed its pilot phase. Initiatives were also classified in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines.

Results to Date:
Of the six initiatives reviewed most faced challenges that threatened to undermine the viability of mHealth in Senegal. The review identified 15 opportunities for initiatives to improve healthcare in Senegal, including the ability to lower healthcare costs, process data faster, and reduce time prior to care. The review also identified 8 challenges that stymie mHealth in Senegal, such as fragmentation of information, resources, and services, and reliance of short-term funding. While all initiatives reviewed made a...
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