AN INTERACTIVE INFORMATION PORTAL ON CERVICAL CANCER AWARENESS IN UGANDA
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Introduction: The advent of effective infection control and treatment measures from the last half of the 20th century has shifted the leading causes of deaths from infectious to non-communicable diseases. Diseases such as diabetes and cancer are on the rise globally, mostly in low income world due to low levels of awareness among other factors. Cervical cancer for example, has mostly affected the underserved women in rural areas of Uganda where healthcare access is characterized by limited access to information resulting into lack of community awareness. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop an interactive information portal to increase on cervical cancer awareness in Uganda. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study design; key informant, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted and data analyzed using Atlas.ti 7.0 version. Object-Oriented Programming was used to design and develop the portal through a step-wise approach. Usability assessment of the portal was conducted with a sample of expected portal users, and both qualitative and quantitative responses were collected then analyzed based on measures of central tendency-mean on a Likert scale of 1 – 5 point score. Results: Broad awareness themes which emerged included; preventive and control awareness, and protective awareness. Sub-awareness themes included among others information on; treatment side effects, causes of cervical cancer, signs and symptoms, and screening. The overall satisfaction regarding ease of accessing portal resources was 4.17 on the scale of 5.0, while overall satisfaction score in regards to the amount of time to get the information needed was 3.83, overall perceived ease of use scored 4.08 and overall satisfaction in regards to the interactive capability of the portal was rated at 3.92; slightly above average. Conclusion: Information needs for cervical cancer clients and those without the disease differed yet between cervical cancer clients and information shared by health professionals were comparable. Overall usability assessment showed a high likelihood of expected portal users to use this innovation, and this is good news for Uganda in its effort to fight cervical cancer through awareness. However the impact of the portal is something that needs to be evaluated over time.
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