ENHANCING COMMUNICATION OF HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

Gloria Nwakego Chukwuemeka (PhD), Anthony Ogbonna Uche (PhD), Odogwu Christian Emeka (PhD)

Abstract


This study explores the patterns and challenges encountered by the media in the communication of health information technology and innovation in South East Nigeria. The research was designed as a descriptive survey with the aim of achieving four distinct objectives. The study encompassed a population of 665 registered journalists in South East Nigeria. To obtain a representative sample, the researchers employed a multi-stage sampling technique, ultimately surveying 230 journalists. Data collection was facilitated through structured questionnaires, and the data was subsequently analyzed using frequency, percentage, mean, and t-test methodologies. Findings indicate low awareness of health information technologies; thus, exposed a significantly low level of awareness among media practitioners regarding available health information technologies in South East Nigeria, highlighting a substantial knowledge gap. The preferred modes of health information dissemination indicate that media practitioners in south east Nigeria favour video, magazines, personal blogs, and organizational websites as their primary means for disseminating health information while challenges in health information communication encompassed a lack of collaboration between health workers and journalists, a scarcity of up-to-date statistics on health information, inadequate medical or health scientific training, limited access to funds, the influence of personal beliefs among journalists, and a lackluster attitude towards work, among others. The recommendations include prioritizing knowledge and understanding of health technologies through active participation in conferences and seminars designed to provide knowledge on best practices for health information technology. Media organizations should allocate sufficient funds to support journalists responsible for covering the health sector.


Keywords


Communication, Health, Information, Innovation, Technology.

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