Online and Offline Android Based Mobile Application for Mapping Health Facilities Using Google Map API. Case Study: Tanzania and Kenya Borders
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The evolution of technology in 1990s resulted in the enormous growth of smartphones and the propagation of mobile applications (App) that marked new opportunities for healthcare centers and medical education. Apps have altered health services from patient’s health monitoring to specialist’s appointments and consultations from specialized health facilities. It can be argued that a healthy society can bring forth sustainable economic development to its full potential while an unhealthy society cannot. However, a free movement of people, labour and right to residence which was built across East Africa (EA) borders enabled Tanzania and Kenya borders to have enormous interactions. Subsequently, increase the risk of highly communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis and Sexually transmitted infections in such a way that medical attention is unavoidable along the borders. Statistically, Android Operating System (OS) owns 83% of Africa’s mobile OS market. In addition, 25,794,560 internet users reported by Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) together with the 22.86 million internet users provided by Kenya Digital which is equivalent to 46% and 43% of internet penetration in year 2020, disclose the need for Android mobile application for mapping health facilities both online and offline using Google map API, which will solve residents’ need to healthcare services on the presence or shortage of internet connections; using either Swahili or English language via Smartphone devices. The App incorporates Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) tool for tracking application usage which will ease Admin’s task to generate daily and monthly reports in Excel and Comma-Separated Values (CSV) formats. The developed system received positive feedback from EA citizens and residents in the Arusha region and Namanga border crossing where 90.2% of the system evaluation conducted between Dec 2020 and Apr 2021 agreed upon App usage.