Comparative Analysis of the Status of ICT Usage in Healthcare: South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi

Richard Pankomera and Darelle van Greunen


ICT usage, electronic health, m-health, e-health, South Africa, developing country


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly playing a pivotal role in the delivery of healthcare services. Effective use of ICT in the health sector has the potential to improve the efficiency of health care and public health service delivery. Health is affected profoundly by the application of ICT, which changes the way people can access knowledge and the way they communicate with one another daily (Mechael, 2005). Telemedicine, mobile health and electronic health applications have improved the delivery of healthcare services, disease management and disease awareness. It cannot be overemphasised that the deployment of these technologies has enabled the timely access and the sharing of more accurate health information between healthcare professionals and patients. This paper discusses a comparative analysis of the usage of ICT in health care, specifically in the countries of South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi. The study was conducted by examining scientific research papers in journals and conference proceedings. The paper has revealed that there are disparities in the usage of ICT within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regions, especially among South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi. In general, SADC faces a lot of challenges such as lack of financial resources, poor infrastructure and lack of cyber-legislation. However, the situation in the SADC region can improve if there is a harmonization of cyber-legislation. Apart from improving infrastructure, there is also a need to increase trade and e-commerce among member countries.

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