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This paper talks about poverty and how we can improve the health structure of people living in rural areas of Nigeria. Poverty creates ill- health because it forces people to live in environments that make them sick, without decent shelter, clean water or adequate sanitation. Poverty creates hunger, which in turn leaves people in danger to disease. Poverty denies people access to reliable health services and affordable medicines, and causes children to miss out on routine vaccinations. Poverty creates illiteracy, leaving people poorly Informed about health risks and forced into dangerous jobs that harm their health. It also seeks to discuss ways in which healthcare could be improve in the rural areas with the use of ICT. Furthermore, this paper seeks to document the problems associated with the lack of ICT in rural areas in Nigeria. On the other hand also it seeks to analyze the benefits of ICT when applied with healthcare delivery in the rural areas. Also it talks and suggests about medical practice like telemedicine, sharing of data through a database and sharing of experience that only ICT can bring about in the rural areas are only one of its kind approaches that can improve healthcare in the rural areas. Also how government would attempt or help to solve and reduce poverty in rural areas in the Nation such as electricity’s, good roads for transportation and good communication network systems, well qualified doctors with adequate drugs for treatments.
Health care is the treatment and prevention of illness. Health care is delivered by professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and allied health. People living in rural area of Nigeria lack qualitative health care system such as good hospitals around, drugs and good professionals to examine them and even health education or health awareness program that could help educate them on how to live a healthy life. The whole idea of this project is to explain how we can improve healthcare in rural areas through the use of ICT. In Urban areas of Nigeria, so many health care deliveries are introduced such as Federal Medical Centres, Teaching Hospitals, Private Hospitals and Clinics located in states which have more equipments than rural areas that provide good equipments to examine patients at different kind of diseases.
In Rural areas, health care is very poor and has no good equipments to treat patients with a particular disease. Also the people have to walk too far to receive bad treatment in a hospital that has neither professional doctor nor good drugs for treatment. Based on my private interview with a man in yola bye pass explain how healthcare affecting his own village saying: People are too poor and receiving lower income as such they cannot afford to go to the urban areas to receive good treatment because they are very poor and they cannot afford to go to school so as to maintain good health and no good health centers nearby. So if a woman has a difficult delivery, a traditional cloth is tied between two sticks and we carry her for seven kilometers to the health center. You know how long it will take to walk like that? And no one will help at the process.
Lack of good food is the most frequent problem that brings sickness to the rural areas. Hunger and malnutrition are seen as underlying causes of many diseases. They cause weakness and exhaustion and making people more susceptible to infections. Many people say they eat only once a day and sometimes have nothing for lunch or dinner at the end. The poorest people rely on what they can find growing natural or by catching fish and shellfish. In towns, Hunger is less remarkable or noticeable than it is in rural areas. Hunger is highly seasonal, in both rural and urban areas. In rural areas, the season is determined by the agricultural cycle. In urban areas, it often corresponds to the rainy season, when there are fewer jobs in construction and vending. Women in rural areas are so weak by hunger as they do not have enough breast milk to feed their babies. Parents worry constantly about providing enough food for their children.
My Research is based on online sources and interviews which help me to gather information. I also asked questions to people around me about rural health clinics to witness the healthcare situation in area of poverty in the Nation.
How can we improve poor people’s health by the used of ICT?
It is unquestionable that healthcare in rural Nigeria is in a terrible stage where needs suppose to be address by the help of the governments. There are many ways in which it can be improved. Yet, we are focusing more on the development with the assist of information technology. In the rural areas of Nigeria, information are usually composed and analyzed to provide information for health employees as well as global health programs in the nation. These information help out to bring useful health care to the people. This data is significant so that they can make important decisions as to the healthcare of the people. But, this is not easily done as most of the data are collected manually on paper. This leads to several problems. We as people due make mistakes and incorrect data maybe recorded and inconsistencies may result. The loss of data can be very detrimental to the process of providing healthcare to the people.
The introduction of ICT will go a long way to check these constraints to healthcare provision. A structure can be developed to serve as an inner information storeroom which will provide information to healthcare workers in different rural areas. It will be designed at collecting, storing and analyzing data for each rural region. For instance, we can regularly collect data about those infected with HIV/AIDS. This data can be analyzed to get an close into the spread of the disease and the annual growth of the population living with AIDS.
The implementation of this system will serve many purposes. Most importantly, it will aid the government in better policy-making as regards to healthcare. Also, government will be able to make more informed decisions as regards to areas where more resources are to be focused. Statistical figures can be derived from the data collected, which researchers in the field can make use of. Patients will benefit from the system, through faster and better service delivery. Ultimately, the provision of healthcare to rural areas can be made in more organized manner, while conserving such resources as money, time and effort.
Telemedicine in Rural Healthcare areas of the Nation
One of the good qualities of ICT in rural areas healthcare is telemedicine. Telemedicine is the use of ICTs to give healthcare over long distances and can also be used to improve healthcare (Darren Wilkins, 2009). Telemedicine helps in the upgrading of healthcare in a number of ways to save lives. One of the good advantages of telemedicine is that it saves the cost of transportation as well as providing quality healthcare to people living in the rural areas who don’t have access to good hospitals, drugs and qualified doctors. Also, it could save the cost and time of people in rural areas going all the way to the cities to receive treatment. A patient in a remote village where there is no clinic may not have to travel the long distance into the city to get medical attention. If a system can be set up, so that doctors can give patients remote assistance, the time and risk spent travelling to the cities can be reduced. This can be done through the use of mobile phones. If it is a minor illness, the patient can call doctor and explain the symptoms he or she is experiencing, and the doctor can prescribe some drugs and send the prescription to the person at the moment. Then the patient can buy the prescribed medicine from the local stores nearby.
Solutions to the Problems of health care in Rural Nigeria by using ICT.
Provision of power to the hospitals: The government should kindly improve to put solar systems to all the hospitals in rural areas because it will help in having lights when NEPA took off and it will help also when a doctor is in theater room operating or any emergency machine which requires light to operate.
Condition for internet: Hospitals should have access to the internet so as to enable them get access to E-learning to people across.
Government should get to know the real meaning of ICT into the healthcare system as of keeping of staff records, payroll and access to the internet. Government should allow private institutions and nongovernmental organizations to facilitate healthcare services
There is a need to show up the affordability of basic healthcare solutions to the rural areas using ICTs.
Generally, integration of ICTs into the health care system will go a long way in fostering better healthcare coverage and affordability to the rural populace. Endemics would be better handled and responded to incase of occurrences. The use of databases would give a foundation for coming up with funding plans, study and analysis of diseases and their causes in the rural communities. Also all my solutions and suggestions would be meant if and only if the government will intervene in this so as to make it easier for the people living in rural area of Nigeria.
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