Assessment of integrating Environmental Factors into Healthcare Models for Enhancing Timely Epidemics Analysis: A Case study of Cholera in Dar es Salaam – Tanzania
Keywords:Healthcare Sytsems, Environmental Systems, Epidemic Analysis, Cholera
The objective of this study is to assess the perspectives of users on the feasibility of using an integrated environmental factors-based healthcare model to enhance timely cholera epidemics analysis in Tanzania. The study used a mixed-design approach of quantitative and qualitative methods with focus group discussion and interviewer-administered questionnaires. Participants or users included; medical and epidemiological experts, environmental experts, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) experts, and cholera patients from Ilala, Ubungo, Kigamboni, Temeke, and Kinondoni districts in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In the process, a total of 500 interviews were conducted, consisting of 200 medical experts, 50 environmental experts, 50 ICT experts, and 200 cholera patients, with an average age of 28 years old, and at 3:2 female to male ratio. Overall, our findings showed that Health and Environmental Integrated Modelled Systems (HEIMs) interventions are acceptable, feasible, and capable in assisting timely analysis towards effective prediction and eradication of epidemics such as; cholera outbreaks at 79% acceptability, 90% aid-value and 69% awareness levels. Despite, the high acceptability level, participants also highlighted barriers of the model, such as; sustainability and operation costs, which need to be addressed. These findings confirm that the program of HEIMS is of high potential towards enhancing timely cholera analysis, clear public health significance, and relevant to policy-makers, government, society, and related stakeholders at large. Therefore, the study, recommends that there is a need for all these organs to work together towards clearing all obstacles in order to achieve the intended goal of the HEIMs program.
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