Ugandan Cellular and Internet Usage: Changing Health Care and Education Needs

By Connie S. Eigenmann and Trisha Capansky.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: June 22, 2016 $US5.00

This paper looks at the changes that are occurring in Uganda’s population as the country continues to increase usage of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The Ugandan study is built on our previous works exploring shifts in socio-economic and cultural practices brought about by ICTs, compiled in Electronic Communication in Developing Countries (Eigenmann 2014). Much of Uganda’s push toward connectedness is a result of the Uganda Communications Act of 1997, drafted not long before the Ebola virus spread through the country causing the largest Ebola outbreak in history until recently. Early findings presented in this study indicate that mobile phone and internet access in Uganda are not only instrumental in minimizing the death toll of the recent Ebola outbreak, ICTs are also tools for educating Ugandans about other health-related practices and quality-of-life issues. Easy, simple, culturally-relevant messages about HIV prevention, hypertension medication, and cholesterol lowering are delivered to large audiences, and public fear about epidemics are also addressed and alleviated. Working with African students from Berea College in Kentucky and the Kuchanga Foundation of Minnesota, this study continues in the direction of our previous works on South Africa and South Sudan by employing both quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry to determine how ICT development is influencing other aspects of African life such as agriculture, economic development, and education, in addition to health care.

Keywords: Education, Health Care, Electronic Communication

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 11, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.19-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: June 22, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.088MB)).

Dr. Connie S. Eigenmann

Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA

Dr. Trisha Capansky

Assistant Professor, Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee, USA