WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-94

Strengthening health systems through informatics capacity development among doctors in low-resource contexts: the Sri Lankan experience

1 Specialty Board in Biomedical Informatics, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Specialty Board in Biomedical Informatics, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine; Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
3 Department of Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway

Correspondence Address:
Pandula Siribaddana
Specialty Board in Biomedical Informatics, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo
Sri Lanka
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.264852

PMID: 31441443

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In the process of strengthening health systems, a lack of health-informatics capacity within low- and middle-income country settings is a considerable challenge. Many capacity-development initiatives on health informatics exist, most of which focus on the adoption of eHealth tools by front-line health-care workers. By contrast, there are only a few programmes that focus on empowering medical doctors in low- and middle-income countries to become champions of digital health innovation and adoption. Sri Lanka has a dynamic eHealth ecosystem, resulting largely from the country’s community of medical doctors who are also health informaticians. They are the result of a decade-long programme centred on a Master of Science degree course in biomedical informatics, which has trained over 150 medical doctors to date, and has now been extended to a specialist training programme. This paper evaluates this unique capacity-development effort from the perspective of strengthening health systems and how those in other low- and middle-income country contexts may learn from the Sri Lankan experience when implementing capacity-development programmes in health informatics.

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