The aim of this study is to examine accessibility of health information to women in Tanzania with reference to the Morogoro region. The specific objectives of the study were: first, to identify the health information needs of women; second, to determine the accessibility of the needed health information to women in the study area; and third, to determine the preferred sources of information used by women in accessing health information in the study area.
A descriptive survey method – cross-sectional design – was used. Semi-structured questionnaires with both open- and close-ended questions were used to collect data from four wards of Morogoro Municipal Council, Tanzania. Key informant interviews were conducted with 12 women from four wards, 3 women were selected from each ward.
The findings also indicated that there was a significant relationship between wards and accessibility to certain types of information which were concerning hypertension, family planning, malaria and typhoid. Although information on diabetes and hypertension had lower percentages of accessibility in all four wards, the study findings revealed that medical doctors, pharmacy shops and family were the main sources of information used by women to access health information. Radio and television were rated as preferred sources of information required by women, whereas internet, local herb hawkers and mobile phones were rated as non-preferable. It is therefore recommended that the government through health-care providers and medical librarians should be proactive in creating awareness and disseminate health information on non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes to women.
This paper provides practical recommendations on how to improve accessibility of health information in the communities.
The paper has an implication of improving accessibility of health information to women in the communities.
The paper provides appropriate knowledge that is needed in improving access to health information in Tanzanian communities and in other developing countries communities.
The authors appreciate the ward leaders and women of Mazimbu, Kilakala, Bigwa and Kihonda for their support and cooperation during the study.
Benard, R. and Chipungahelo, M. (2017), "Accessibility of women to health information in Tanzania: A case study of Morogoro Region", Library Review, Vol. 66 No. 6/7, pp. 415-429. https://doi.org/10.1108/LR-05-2017-0046Download as .RIS
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