ACCESS OF HEALTH CARE MESSAGES THROUGH MOBILE TELEPHONE SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS OF KIAMBU: A CASE OF DAKTARI PROJECT

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ABSTRACT
This study sought to investigate the access of health care messages through mobile telephone services in rural areas of Kiambu County with specific focus on Daktari Project. The specific objectives were to assess the awareness levels of health care messages emanating from mobile telephone in rural areas of Kiambu County, to investigate the nature and contents of health messages disseminated through Daktari Project on the performance of health care agencies in rural areas of Kiambu County, to assess the satisfaction of Daktari Project on the performance of health care agencies in rural areas of Kiambu County. The study utilized a mixed research approach using the case study methodology. The population for this study was all persons enrolled and participating in the Daktari Project in the rural areas of Kiambu County. The study also included key informants from the government staffs offering health services, and NGOs staff partnering with health care agencies to provide the programmes. Focus groups were also used in this study. This made a total target population of 3,096 respondents. The sample population size was 80 respondents. Primary data was obtained through the use of a questionnaire and an interview guide. The information gathered was coded, measured and presented quantitatively. The information was analysed using SSP and presented in form of tables, diagrams, pie charts, and graphs. The study found out that respondents were aware of dissemination of health care messages through Daktari Project. It also established that whatsapp was the most applied form of communication used in disseminating messages through Daktari Project. The study established that the respondents understood the messages they received from the doctor after asking a question hence accepting the use of Daktari mobile application. The study also found out that respondents had to seek clarification on the initial response from the doctor. The study concluded that there was indeed awareness of dissemination of healthcare messages through Daktari Project. Although the respondents understood the content of the disseminated through Daktari Project, the study showed that in most cases the respondents sought further clarification on the initial message sent by the doctor. The study also gathered that respondents were familiar on usage of the Dakatari Project mobile application. Respondents mainly used the mobile application for regular checkups among many other uses. The study revealed that most respondents were pleased and satisfied with the use of Daktari mobile application and would recommend it to others. The study recommends that that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with health agencies, encourage the uptake of Daktari Project in other counties. The study also recommends further research on simplifying the content disseminated through mobile application for easy and immediate understanding. Health agencies should work with the local community in ensuring content disseminated by doctors is clearly understood by respondents and instructions followed accurately.

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