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An ANT Analysis of Healthcare Services for the Nomadic Patients of Namibia

An ANT Analysis of Healthcare Services for the Nomadic Patients of Namibia
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Author(s): Tiko Iyamu (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia) and Suama Hamunyela (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia)
Copyright: 2014
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Pages: 14
Source title: International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation (IJANTTI)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ivan Tchalakov (Plovdiv University, Bulgaria)
DOI: 10.4018/ijantti.2014010104

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Abstract

Patients seek attention and treatments to various types of diseases and symptoms. Diseases infection and symptoms are often not predictive. Normally, there is a spread and movement of people across the geographical locations, of both the rural and urban communities, in countries including Namibia. As such, healthcare could be needed at any location, and at any time. There is significant mobility of individuals and groups within a country. Unfortunately, the healthcare services are not always as mobile at the level and speed that individuals and groups does in Namibia. Hence, there is need for the mobility of healthcare services at both primary and secondary healthcare levels, particularly in the developing countries, such as Namibia. The population of Namibia is scantly spread among its towns and cities. The major towns and cities are situated, in the average of 175km far apart from each other, in the country's 825, 418km square landscape. The spread necessitates movements of individuals and groups, particularly the old, poor, and nomadic people. Unfortunately, healthcare records in the country are not centralised and virtualised, making accessibility into patients' records difficult or impossible, from any location. As a result, healthcare service delivering is challenged. This study therefore explored and examined the possibility of mobility of healthcare services to those who live in the country. The study employed the qualitative research method, within which data was gathered from primary healthcare service providers, using open-ended questionnaires. The Moments of Translation from the perspective of actor-network theory (ANT) was used as a lens in the analysis of the data, to examine and understand the power and factors, which influences mobility of healthcare service in Namibia. Categorisation of Patients, Response Time, Understanding the Actors, Actors' participatory to service delivery, and Actors' Alliance were found to be the influencing factors in the provision of mobility of healthcare services.

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