The study looked at the viability of using mobile phones by an academic health library to provide health information to rural women. It is understood that Mobile phones have become household items thereby providing an opportunity for organisation to use them for information delivery. Access to information by individuals is essential in reducing people’s levels of uncertainty especially in matters that relate to growth and survival such as health.
The central research question upon which this study was based was, “How can an academic library adopt the use of mobile phones as an information delivery device to enhance access to health information for rural women?” with sub-questions focusing on information needs and sources of health information for women and the adaptation of mobile services within the library. It further looked at appropriate partnership needed in developing mobile services for health information delivery.
Reviewed literature revealed that mobile phones are already being used by several organisations in making available information. In particular academic libraries have embraced the mobile revolution by creating mobile services for their users.
A qualitative approach was adopted for this study and interviews were used for all the three categories of respondents, who are rural women from Buyengo sub-county, health workers from Kakaire health centre iv and librarians from Albert Cook Medical Library.
Findings from the study have shown that in the information era where one’s survival is highly dependent upon information, rural women do not have access to credible sources of health information despite the fact that they have high demand for health information because of the soaring disease burden in rural areas. The study without doubt has led to the establishment that the use of mobile phones to fill this gap is a cost effective and life saving venture which if well set up and implemented will add to the global programmes initiated with the aim of reducing child mortality, maternal deaths and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Mini Dissertation (MIT)--University of Pretoria, 2015.