Impact and Challenges of M-health Application. A Study in Rural Nepal.
Background: Telemedicine is the use of information and communication technologies to provide healthcare services when the participants- the healthcare professional and patients are in different locations. It does not denote a separate medical method, rather it represents the tools that can be applied by health professionals to extend their services to the people living in distance. The present study has critically examined Medic Mobiles’ m-health program on health of pregnant women in Baglung. It has specifically highlighted how m-health program operated by Medic Mobile in rural municipalities have reduced maternal and child mortality, and how Community Health Workers (CHWs) involvement on m-health programs have contributed to improve obstetric care. Methodology: This study is based on qualitative research method. Sixteen semi-structure interviews, two focus group discussions and field observation were conducted in Baglung. Socio-technical theory and infrastructural theory have been applied as theoretical lens to understand the impact of mobile health on obstetric care. Results: The findings of the study articulate that implementation of Medic Mobile program has positively impacted on women and neonatal health in rural municipalities of Baglung. CHWs frequent visit has encouraged women to discuss about their health issues. Moreover, instead of visiting traditional healers, more and more women in Baglung have started consulting health professionals. Women’s status at house has been improved as they have started participating in household and community decision making. Men are more concerned about the health of wife and children. However, implementation of Medic Mobile program is still facing many challenges such as lack of good infrastructure, patriarchal socio-cultural values, lack of human resources and budget. Conclusion: In Nepali medical sector, telemedicine has played an important role to bridge the gap between cities and rural areas. More specifically, it has been proved as a beneficial tool to support for a wider section of the people living in rural areas, who are suffering from inadequate infrastructure and lack of specialist healthcare.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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