A research outline to explore the benefits of health information systems on outcomes for cardiovascular diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa: Focus on Kenya

AshEse Journal of Health and Social Care

Vol. 1(1), pp 001-015, January, 2016

© 2016 AshEse Visionary Limited      

Full Length Research                                                                             

Philip F. Musa1*, Risper Mwangi2 and Susan Key3

1The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

2Auburn University, USA

3The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

*Corresponding author. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received November, 2015; Accepted January, 2015.

 

The steady decline in prevalence and mortalities attributable to infectious diseases at a global level is being counterbalanced by increasing deaths from chronic diseases. The prevalence of chronic diseases and associated mortality rates in SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa) is particularly alarming.  Cardiovascular diseases are the leading non-communicable cause of deaths in SSA.  About 70% of Africa’s 1.1 billion people live in rural areas, where there is inadequate access to healthcare, technologies, and other “luxuries” of industrialization.  It has been suggested that information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure would help cure Africa’s problems, including healthcare. We present an outline of a cross-sectional study to investigate the extent to which ICT infrastructure, health systems infrastructure, and health information systems (HIS) could enhance quality of care for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) across a given Sub-Saharan African country. The country of focus in this preliminary survey study is Kenya. In line with a recent mortality study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the primary method of analysis will be hierarchical logistic-regression. The research model and hypotheses we present in this manuscript will be tested using the results from a survey of hospitals to be administered. The results from the study will be shared with policy makers in Kenya. We hope it would influence them to implement and/or enhance nationally the three levels of Information and Communications technologies and Systems that exist in parts of the country. Extrapolating the results to other SSA countries may or may not be valid for a variety of reasons. Future studies would be needed to rationalize ICT and HIS implementations to manage other diseases in Kenya and across Sub-Saharan African countries.  

Key words: ICT infrastructure, Health Systems infrastructure, Health Information Systems, Chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, developing countries.

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