By Julienne Stéphanie Nouetchognou, MPH
Mobile phones are the most rapidly adopted technology in the world. For all of us who work in global health prac oners the ques on remains: how can we leverage the power of mobile phones to advance global health goals? This ques on becomes even more per nent when we look at the poten al use of mobile technology to prevent and control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). With the high penetration of mobile phones, this represents an enormous opportunity to develop and test speci c projects for the prevention and control of NCDs. As more than half of the disease burden is preventable through focused behavioral change programs and increased health literacy, mobile phones can become a central tool in NCDs preven on. This article will discuss how mobile solutions can be considered to prevent, treat and manage NCDs in developing countries to minimize their growing disease burdens.
The term mobile health or m-Health, describes the use of mobile telecommunica on and mul media technolo- gies as they are integrated within increasingly mobile and wireless health care delivery systems. Mobile phone ownership and use is experiencing its greatest growth in Africa, where HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria remains rife1. This has led to the recent rise in research e orts regarding the use of mobile phones to enhance HIV care.
On the African con nent recent reports suggest that mobile phone text messages can be used to improve outco- mes in people living with HIV2. Similarly, mobile phone technologies can help improve the life of people a ected by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It is indisputable that these disease are responsible for many deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, yet, many other chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) s ll cause signi cant mortality and morbidity, owing in part to their long las ng nature and debilita ng consequences…
Julienne Stéphanie Nouetchognou is a Health Policy Analyst at the Nkafu Policy Institute, a Cameroonian think-tank at the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation in Yaoundé. She can be reached at [email protected]