Introduction International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War sought data on potential communications and technology barriers to health professional participation in its global program.
Aiming for Prevention A Health Approach to Preventing Injuries from Violence.
Materials and Methods In consultation with an expert at the University of Delaware, IPPNW developed a 14-question survey focusing on communications issues. It was pretested with six staff at the IPPNW central office, revised, retested with a small group of international medical students, revised again and distributed throughout IPPNW affiliates working on violence prevention, primarily those in the global South in Latin America, South Asia and Africa.
Selected Results It was returned by 21 people from 10 countries. About 25% don't own a computer; about 24% only have access to a computer and Internet at a cybercafe; slow/unreliable connections, cost are major impediments to regular internet use; lack of privacy/security issues were also cited; less than half have access to presentation projectors; a majority say that providing them with hardware, software and training of various sorts would help them participate more in IPPNW's violence prevention work.
Conclusions Provision of modern and accessible communications technology would help remove some barriers to easy and full participation by affiliates in IPPNW's violence prevention work. Survey results provided a better understanding of the resources needed to more fully engage busy medical and health practitioners who live and work in the global South.
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