Use of information and communication technology and retention of health workers in rural post-war conflict Northern Uganda: findings from a qualitative study
Onen Yagos, Walter
Tabo Olok, Geoffrey
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Information and communication technologies have become a vital infrastructural asset for use in the retention of rural health workers. However, little is known about the potential influence of ICT use, perceptions of health workers on ICT in healthcare delivery, and contribution of ICT to health care providers’ retention in rural and remote areas in rural post-war and conflict situations of northern Uganda. Methods: Data from interviews were transcribed, coded and thematically analysed. Results: Participants generally exhibited low confidence, knowledge and low ICT skills. Majority of participants, however, perceived ICT as beneficial in relation to job performance and health care provider retention in rural areas. Common barriers for the implementation and use of ICT in health centres were inadequate ICT knowledge and skills, poor Internet networks, inadequate computers, inadequate power supply, lack of Internet Modems and expensive access to outside computer centres. Conclusions: This qualitative study showed low confidence, poor knowledge and skills in ICT usage but positive perceptions about the benefits and contributions of ICT. These findings suggest the need for specific investment in ICT infrastructural development for health care providers in remote rural areas of northern Uganda.