mHEALTH-INNOVATE (7) Do you use a mobile phone to help you in your work? (2)

11 April, 2022

Dear HIFA Team members,

I hope this message finds you well.

Please receive my email responses to the questions in this email communication as hereunder:-

1. Do you use a mobile phone to help in your work? How do you use it?

How mobile phones help in my work

I use a mobile phone a lot in the kind of work that I do. I text all the updates to the new health rights laws to my contact on WhatsApp. We have parasocials in our communities of work with whom we discuss health rights approaches using these phones. These parasocials also help us with feedback and share our communications with the communities of engagement.

How we use them:

We use featured apps like WhatsApp to communicate. This is done through creating whatsapp groups. There are other applications that are applicable like bulk messaging for those who do not own smartphones.

3. How do you use your phone to communicate with colleagues, patients and families?

I use my phone to communicate with colleagues through the following apprachs

i) Regular phone calls

ii) Shared messages and experiences through WhatsApps

iii) Virtual conversations like google meet, viber, WhatsApp calls, microsoft teams, zoom and skype...

4. Can you give any example of "informal" use of mobile phones by health workers.(ie uses of mobile phones that have not been directed by the employer, but have been initiated, adopted or developed by health workers themselves)

There are so many uses that have been adopted for use but not directed by the employers and these include :-

a) Shared WhatsApp groups for the health workers, patients and community leaders and wellwishers.

b) Patient support groups

c) Community drug monitoring centers

d) Health worker support groups


5. How can the informal use of mobile phones be improved to strengthen healthcare?

1) This can be strengthened by developing specific applications for communication that do not need data or the internet to function.

2) Teaching people how to use most of these available applications

3) Development of constructive information data-bases and libraries online

4) Creating an information online depository for shared best practices.

5) Improved hotlines for information sharing, calling for diagnostics and development of automatic response centers as a service catalogue.

Above are the answers and responses to the questions posed for your consideration. I am also looking forward to your feedback.


HIFA profile: Denis Joseph Bukenya is Coordinator of the People's Health Movement, Uganda Chapter, and HURIC, Human Rights Research Documentation Center in Uganda. Professional interests: The right to Health and Health for All. Currently in Uganda we are seeking the support of the government to the realization of Universal Health Coverage. We are busy suggesting options of funding to attain this by government and professionally I am adjudicating for the issues of Human Resources for Health and this is a worldwide campaign by the People's Health Movement, to see that community health workers are accorded recognition by the government. This in effect means that they need to be made recruited and remunerated by government, since they are structurally recognized by many government establishments. Denis is a member of the HIFA working group mHEALTH-INNOVATE: What can we learn from health workers' informal use of mobile phones?

denisbukenya AT