Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10321/3675
Title: Using ICT for diarrhoea intervention in resource constrained environments : a case study of Narok County in Kenya
Authors: Mutua, Abraham Matheka 
Keywords: Information Communication Technology;Diarrhoea intervention;Resource constrained environments;Information dissemination;Mobile phone-based system;Diarrhoea intervention framework
Issue Date: 10-Nov-2019
Abstract: 
Diseases are the major causes of mortality worldwide with developing countries
having the highest disease prevalence. Diarrhoea is one of the major diseases
worldwide and especially in poor countries with its victims being mostly children
below the age of five years. Diarrhoea is most prevalent in rural areas of poor
countries which is due to poor awareness about the disease. Effective use of ICTs
can greatly enhance health information dessimination and consequently improve
disease awareness. The aim of this study was to reduce diarrhoea prevalence by
raising awareness using suitable technologies in the context environment. The
study was based in Narok County, one of the counties in Kenya with most of the
people living in the rural areas. The county has high diarrhoea prevalence due to
low levels of awareness which is attributed to use of ineffective strategies and
technologies in dissemination of health information. A control and an experimental group from two similar sub-locations were
identified for the study. Purpose sampling technique was used in data collection.
The study was quantitative conducted in three parts concurrently. Part one was a
retrospective chart review of dispensary records of children under the age of five
years who suffered from diarrhoea. Part two consisted of a pre-test post-test
experimental study of 175 mothers with children below the age of five years from
each group.The experimental study was a diarrhoea intervention through
awareness on children below the age of five years through their mothers who are
the caregivers. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data during this
phase. Part three conducted concurrently with parts one and two was a cross
sectional survey on community health volunteers.
The study established that the previously used strategies and technologies had
failed because they were not suitable for the area. Mobile phones were identified as the most pervasive and preferred technology in the area for diarrhoea
information dissemination.
A mobile phone-based system was developed and used in diarrhoea intervention
through awareness. Diarrhoea education voice messages were sent through the
system to the mothers in the experimental group for three months but not to the
control group. The system was unique in that it used mobile phones, which is the
most pervasive technology in the area, the messages were in voice and in the
Maasai language which is the local language. This allowed the illiterate to
benefit from the intervention. The system allowed interaction between the
participants and the system and the system allowed participants in emergency
situations to contact a health worker.
The intervention caused an improvement in diarrhoea awareness in the
experimental group from 42.69% to 87.10% which was significant (effect size=
0.81) but there was no significant change in the control group (p>0.999). On
diarrhoea prevention practices, there was a significant improvement from 36.9% to
73.0% in the experimental group (effect size=0.643) however there was no
significant change in the control group (p=0.526). Diarrhoea prevalence
significantly reduced from 28% to 19.6% in the experimental group (p=0.002) but
there was no significant change in the control group (p=0.557). Using the data
collected during the study, a diarrhoea intervention framework for resource
constrained environments that integrates use of suitable technology in the context
environment in diarrhoea intervention was developed. The framework addresses
diarrhoea intervention from the awareness point of view because high diarrhoea
prevalence is associated to low diarrhoea awareness. The framework can also be
adopted in interventions of other diseases that can be prevented by creating
awareness. The study concluded that when the right technology for the context
environment is used to raise diarrhoea awareness, the awareness increases which leads to improved diarrhoea prevention practices and consequently to reduced diarrhoea prevalence.
Description: 
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Information Technology in the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics, Durban University of Technology, 2019.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10321/3675
DOI: https://doi.org/10.51415/10321/3675
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Accounting and Informatics)

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