Mobile technology, a necessary pearl in developing countries

(Luis Villasmil: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Yves Jacket Nsavyimana, a 5th year Medical Student at University of Burundi. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

For years, Humanity has known an exponential evolution which only increases with the rise of new technologies. They are the sign of our modernity and would henceforth be representative of Men.

Technologies are significant progress, thus allowing an evolution of the society towards a desirable future. These novelties are all aimed at improving the daily life and living conditions of everyone by meeting the needs of our time. One of the first fundamental needs of humans is, according to the pyramid of Maslow (American psychologist and sociologist of the 20th century), the primary psychological need resulting in the survival of man.

Mobile phones are used by NGOs, United Nations agencies and international organizations to collect data on many topics including the health sector as the great potential of mobile telephony has really been revealed. The mobile phones are not just data collection tools; they can also help healthcare staff in diagnosing illnesses, for example by using specific algorithms that can be integrated into devices. Telephones can be used to broadcast messages during awareness campaigns or health alert messages. 

In recent years, sophisticated software has also been developed to enable mobile phones to function practically as medical devices, revolutionizing the way patient care is provided. In the context of disaster risk reduction or management, in particular, having access to real-time health information is extremely important. For example, it’s essential to be informed when an outbreak of disease (such as COVID-19) occurs or when health centers run out of drugs. In these cases, the use of mobile phone communication makes it possible to collect and transfer information from rural health centers to central hospitals.

Regarding social networks, its use by young people is beneficial to improve communication as well as various skills. In addition, students have beautiful opportunities for learning and exchange ideas on various topics including health for example learning on topics related to health system, learning from online campaigns on networks social and many more.

In Burundi, from 2005 to 2015 according to the ARCT (Telecommunications Regulation and Control Agency), the use of mobile telephony has progressed gradually from 1.6% to 48% while the Internet use stood at 8.20% in 2015. Unlike mobile telephony, the Internet, introduced in Burundi since 1996, remains a communication channel limited to urban centers. Lack of connectivity side makes often unavailable access to information in rural areas, what causes inequitable access to information.

About the author

Yves Jacket Nsavyimana is a 5th year Medical Student at University of Burundi, member and NMO President of ABEM-Burundi 2019/20, former National Officer on human Right and Peace (NORP) of Burundi 2018/19, Incision Burundi co-founder and Blogger at YAGA Burundi. He is a Global health and Global surgery passionate. Healthcare is a human right.

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