oa South African Journal of Information Management - Integrating eHealth in HIV/AIDS intervention programmes in South Africa : original research
Background: With an estimated 12.2% of its population infected in 2012, South Africa has the highest percentage of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the world. Although the mortality rate of the epidemic is decreasing, it has adverse impacts on the socio-economic development status and human capital of South Africa.
Objective: The key aim of this article is to explore the status quo of the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in selected intervention programmes in the South African HIV/AIDS care delivery value chain. The contribution of this article is the mapping of key intervention activities along an HIV care value chain and to suggest a roadmap towards the integration of ICTs in service delivery programmes.
Method: 20 managers of HIV/AIDS intervention programmes were surveyed, followed by semi-structured in-depth interviews with these respondents. A further five in-depth interviews were conducted with experts in the ICT area for exploring the uses of and barriers to integrating ICTs in the HIV/AIDS care delivery value chain.
Results: The researchers mapped the barriers to implementation and ICT tools utilised within the HIV/AIDS care delivery value chain, which proves to be a useful tool to explore the status quo of technology in such service delivery programmes. The researchers then considered the wider policy environment and provided a roadmap based on the analysis and the South Africa eHealth strategy for driving development in this sector.
Conclusion: The authors found that South Africa's eHealth environment is still nascent and that the South African eHealth strategy does not place enough emphasis on systems integration and stakeholder engagement or the planning and process of uptake of ICTs by target audiences.
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