News and Events
IMPACT Project 2016-2017
The ‘IMPACT Project’ (usIng Mobile Phones for Assessing, Classifying and Treating sick children) is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Information Systems (IS) experts including Dr. Ciara Heavin, Dr. Yvonne O’Connor, Dr. Grace Kenny and Mr. Emmanuel Eze from the Health Information Systems Research Centre (HISRC), University College Cork, Ireland, and Dr. Eddy Ndibuagu from the Department of Community Medicine, Parklane Teaching Hospital, Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT), Enugu, Nigeria. IMPACT is focused on assessing the feasibility of a mobile health solution (mHealth) at the level of community healthcare in Enugu State, Nigeria.
As part of this project, two research visits to Enugu, Nigeria have been undertaken to date. In doing so, the research team have acquired excellent insights into the feasibility of deploying a leading edge mHealth solution (IMPACT) using robust secure cloud-based data storage in a rural community, where the reliability of technical infrastructure is a challenge.
During visit 1 in September 2016 we had the pleasure of meeting a number of key individuals to ensure the success of the IMPACT project. The focus of the visit was to introduce the IMPACT research project to His Excellency the Governor of Enugu Sate and representatives from the Ministry of Health in Enugu State including Commissioner for Health Dr. Samuel Ngwu. During this visit, the project team established the ‘As-Is’ of the developed WHO/UNICEF integrated Community Case Management guidelines and the nature of the Primary Healthcare in Nigeria.
As part of this trip, we also had the opportunity to:
- Meet with our research collaborators at Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT)
- Visit primary healthcare workers in one community near Enugu City i.e. Nsukka.
The visit was a huge success. We gathered rich data to help establish the ‘As-Is’ situation on the ground which was fundamental to shaping our research for visit 2.
Visit 2, February 2017, focused on the second phase of the IMPACT project by focusing on the social, cultural and technical aspects of the IMPACT app feasibility study among a group of Primary Healthcare Workers (PHWs) from five communities, namely: Edem; Ibagwa; Alor-Unor; Okpuje, and Okutu Communities. From our first visit in September the team identified the important role training plays within the healthcare system in Nigeria. As a result, one of the goals of visit 2 was to deliver a mobile health training course to some Primary Healthcare Workers (PHC).
The training course was delivered over a 2 day period and covered a range of topics focusing on:
- The use of mobile devices
- Installing and using popular mobile health applications readily available for use on Android phones and
- The use of the IMPACT application.
- During this visit we met with some key individuals who provided us with some rich insights. While this Irish Research Council funded project has recently drawn to a close, HISRC at UCC continues to work with the Department of Community Medicine at ESUT to investigate the opportunities for mobile health to serve the rural regions of Enugu.
Many thanks to the Irish Research Council for funding this New Horizons REPRO/2015/116’