Health care: an information business
Africa is technologically advanced in several areas, but woefully unprepared for technologies that could revolutionise its health care.
The Health Informatics Training and Research in East Africa for Improved Health Care Programme (HI‐TRAIN) aims to do something about this. The programme has received funding under Norad’s capacity-building programme NORHED (Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development).
HI-TRAIN brings together specialists in the fields of public health and informatics from the University of Bergen (UiB), Makerere University in Uganda and Moi University in Kenya.
“The use of paper forms is the norm in most African countries, both in health care and in research. In a health clinic, for instance, you commonly start with a blank sheet of paper every time a child comes in. The information is seldom stored at all,” explains Professor Thorkild Tylleskär from UiB’s Centre for International Health, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. “This might be OK for simple conditions like colds, coughs and pneumonia. But not for treating HIV.”