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Training faculty in Bangladesh to use a microcomputer for public health: followup report.

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Computer Science


In 1984 the Western Consortium for the Health Professions, Inc., under contract to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), began a project to assist Bangladesh's National Institute for Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) in establishing a microcomputing capability. The project's goal was to enable NIPSOM to become self-sufficient in the analysis by microcomputer of health, population, and family planning data; program evaluation; and policy activities. Lack of a local microcomputer infrastructure demanded that a local team of experts be developed to run the system described in a previous report. Five NIPSOM faculty members--three of whom had taken the workshop held when the system was first installed--were assigned to a computer committee, which was responsible for the computer's well-being. Six months after the microcomputer system was installed, a second 2-week workshop was given. The consortium's consultant facilitated the development of a basic microcomputer course, which was taught by four members of the computer committee to an additional eight NIPSOM faculty members. Emphasis was placed on developing local self-reliance and the need to overcome obstacles imposed by the lack of local hardware and software support systems. A strategy is proposed for the successful introduction of microcomputers in developing countries.

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