The potential of mHealth technologies for maternal health-care services : a case of selected public hospitals' maternal units in Zimbabwe
Samusodza, Chengetai Rosemary
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Zimbabwe has a fairly developed health-care delivery system that is served by public and private hospitals at district, provincial and national level. The public health-care system is the largest provider of health-care services and caters for the majority of the population but this is done in a resource-restricted context, typical of a developing context. In this context, this research sought to establish the potential of mHealth Technologies in Zimbabwe’s maternal health sector using Parirenyatwa and Harare hospitals as case studies. The reviewed body of knowledge, which was largely a comparative assessment of mHealth technology adoption in developing countries, indicated that the full adoption of the prevailing eHealth strategy in Zimbabwe remains hamstrung by the slow pace of policy implementation. This is a qualitative study and data was collected with unstructured interviews. Purposive and snowball sampling were used to recruit the participants. The gathered data was analyzed through content and thematic analysis. Four broad themes emerged from the primary data collected during the interviews and these include: trends in information dissemination in Zimbabwe’s Public Health System; information needs for expectant women and midwives; the prevalence of ICT use in Zimbabwe’s Public Health System, and mobile technology use in the maternal health sector in Zimbabwe. The research was able to establish that while there is a high proliferation of smartphone use among most expectant women, this has not translated into their use for health information-related purposes.