How Dokita Is Improving Access to Health Information
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Ghana and Africa as a whole faces a number of big challenges to healthcare delivery. A large part of the healthcare mandate depends on access not only to facilities and treatment, but also simply to empowering, life-saving information. This is often lacking or difficult to access in Africa.
Dokita is an online application that is helping to improve the access people in Ghana have to quality health information. It achieves this by providing a platform for people to have conversations with doctors and other healthcare professionals.
The service currently runs in Ghana, but has a long-term pan-African outlook.
Solving A Problem
In Ghana, most people only see a doctor when they are sick and visit a hospital or clinic. Once there the conversation focuses on a medical history, which is usually followed by a written prescription. Many patients actually leave the hospital not knowing exactly what is wrong with them and why the doctor thinks so. That leaves a lot of room for discussion amongst friends and family, and an attendant myriad of counter diagnoses and theories on what could be wrong.
The Internet has made it much easier to access credible information on health. But while this is true, it is still difficult to find accurate information for a specific set of symptoms, conditions and medical history.
Across Africa, outside the setting of a hospital consultation, there are few effective ways of sourcing, filtering and managing health related information, particularly the kind provided by trained professionals. Such tools are necessary because Africa presents its own unique health challenges, not to mention the cultural dimension to how information is exchanged between professionals and consumers. Currently available options do not mirror this cultural dimension into the digital world very well.
- Health Care