In yet another exciting and informative session, I was invited by AFYA BUZZ online TV to talk about research as a tool for health care development. In the past, AFYA BUZZ interviewed me on cross-cutting themes in public health and how these cross-cutting themes have a bearing on NCDs prevalence. In the recent interview however, the discussion was focused on mHealth as an active area of research.
I was interviewed on the use of mHealth intervention in service delivery especially to NCDs patients. The interview was hosted by Dr. Caroline Mukoma and Christine Ogolla both currently pursuing MBA in healthcare at Strathmore University. Centered around the research I co-authored together with Ogweno Stephen -Founder and CEO Stowelink, Danor Ajwang- Plan International UK and Dr. Nyawade Okinyi- Plan International -Kenya, I underscored the essence of research as a tool for development. We conducted a study on “Incorporating mHealth Intervention into Kenya’s Health Infrastructure to Augment Universal Health Coverage —A service Delivery Approach.” The study has since been published in the South Eastern European Journal of Public health (https://doi.org/10.11576/seejph-4317).
Dominating the interview was growing body of need to leverage mHealth technologies to deliver much needed services. Looking at it from UHC (Universal Health Coverage) perspective, I submitted that the use of mHealth technologies in health profoundly reduces out-of-pocket expenditure which is on the rise due to increased cost of travelling to seek medical intervention. I sobbed that while Kenya abolished user fee in 2013, the cost of accessing health has remained high. As such, I advocated for proper policy reforms to harmonize the integration of mHealth solutions into the larger health infrastructure to enhance service delivery especially during COVID-19 when there is mobility restriction to curb the spread of this deadly disease. The discussion also covered the operational recommendation proposed in this study. In finishing, I mentioned that research is an interesting area of specialization in health which the young can pursue. As such, I also challenged young people to hone their skills around public health research and ultimately contribute to global development.