Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Computerizing medicalized health; Lessons for Africa


It all depends. What gaps do we need to close ? It is like pointing out the real purpose of having  a car which does 350 MPH. In very rare occasions does one need to get the gauge to 350 MPH! The same applies to the internet! It will be very useful when it increases on the critical number of Africans who can be categorized as "informed patients." There is the disease and illness side to any ailment. The internet will help get many people in Africa aware of diseases. With interactive facilities, these people will add their own experiences of the "disease." This experience is called illness. Africa needs technologies that create interactive patient forms. It needs to make her health care workers savvy enough. It needs to make her care facilities computerized.  Most health workers are trained to diagnose diseases. Salaries are attached to disease groups. This explains the gap between what the health care workers prescribe and how patients make sense of things. If this disparity can be closed by the internet, Africa will begin to post quality care reports in large numbers. However, on the illness side, it is upon the skills and competence of the patient to break through the communication competence barriers that tend to arise in a doctor-patient relation. When patients become "informed patients" and are able to write or talk about their illnesses competently, we shall see a rise in the number of those who voluntarily seek quality life and wellness practices. All this is possible when Africa rises as one and invests in technologies that create interactive patient forms. It needs to make her health care workers savvy enough. It needs to make her care facilities computerized.

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