Reduction in Healthcare Disparities Among Marginalized Populations Through ICT Utilization in Delta State

Reduction in Healthcare Disparities Among Marginalized Populations Through ICT Utilization in Delta State

Reduction in Healthcare Disparities Among Marginalized Populations Through ICT Utilization in Delta State


Objectives of the Study

The following specific objectives were examined in this study:

  1. To assess the impact of ICT utilization on healthcare access among marginalized populations in Delta State.
  2. To evaluate the effectiveness of ICT interventions in improving health outcomes among marginalized communities in Delta State.
  3. To identify barriers and challenges to ICT adoption in addressing healthcare disparities in Delta State.



Conceptual Review

Healthcare Disparities among Marginalized Populations

Healthcare disparities among marginalized populations are a critical area of concern in public health (Checchini, 2023). Marginalized populations encompass a diverse group, including low-income individuals, rural residents, women, and ethnic minorities, who face unique challenges in accessing quality healthcare services (Adebola, 2022). These populations often experience barriers such as limited financial resources, inadequate health infrastructure, and discrimination, leading to disparities in health outcomes and access to care.

Socioeconomic status plays a significant role in healthcare disparities among marginalized populations (Ajibade & Alabi, 2017). Individuals with lower income levels may struggle to afford healthcare services, medications, or health insurance, leading to delayed or inadequate healthcare-seeking behaviours (Laswell, 2020). Additionally, limited access to education and employment opportunities can impact health literacy and preventive health behaviours, further exacerbating disparities.

Geographic location is another contributing factor to healthcare disparities (Arzika, 2020). Rural residents often face challenges such as limited healthcare facilities, transportation barriers, and healthcare provider shortages (Belonwu et al., 2020). These geographical disparities result in unequal access to healthcare services and may lead to delayed diagnoses, poorer health outcomes, and increased healthcare costs for marginalized populations.

Cultural factors also play a crucial role in healthcare disparities (Olaniyi, 2019). Cultural beliefs, practices, and language barriers can affect communication between patients and healthcare providers, leading to misunderstandings, misdiagnoses, and suboptimal care (Ofuani, 2020). Lack of culturally competent care can result in lower satisfaction levels, decreased adherence to treatment plans, and disparities in health outcomes among different cultural groups.

The impact of healthcare disparities on health outcomes and access to services is profound (Curtain, 2021). Marginalized populations often experience higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, due to a combination of social, economic, and environmental factors (Belonwun, 2018). Limited access to preventive care, screenings, and early interventions can lead to more advanced disease stages, higher healthcare costs, and increased mortality rates within these populations.

Addressing healthcare disparities among marginalized populations requires a comprehensive approach that considers social determinants of health, policy interventions, and healthcare system improvements (International Labour Organization, 2021). Strategies such as increasing access to affordable healthcare, promoting health education and literacy, enhancing cultural competence among healthcare providers, and implementing community-based interventions are essential steps toward reducing healthcare disparities and improving health equity for marginalized communities.




Introduction Research

The methodology adopted for this research aligned with the guidelines outlined by Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2019) in their book “Research Methods for Business Students.” This chapter focused on various aspects of the research process, including research philosophy, design, population, sampling technique, sample size, sources and methods of data collection, method of data analysis, and ethical considerations.

Research Philosophy

The research philosophy underpinning this study was pragmatism, which acknowledged the value of both positivist and interpretive paradigms in understanding complex phenomena (Saunders et al., 2019). Pragmatism allowed for a flexible approach that combined quantitative data analysis with qualitative insights, aligning with the study’s objectives to explore ICT utilization and healthcare disparities among marginalized populations.



Data Presentation



Summary of Findings

The study examined into the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) utilization on healthcare access, outcomes, and disparities among marginalized populations in Delta State. Through a comprehensive analysis of various aspects related to ICT in healthcare, the study gathered valuable insights and generated meaningful findings that shed light on the current landscape and areas for improvement.

One of the key findings from the study pertains to the positive impact of ICT utilization on healthcare access among marginalized populations. The majority of respondents expressed that ICT tools and services have improved their ability to access healthcare services. This finding underscores the transformative potential of technology in bridging geographical and financial barriers, thereby enhancing healthcare accessibility for vulnerable communities.

Furthermore, the study explored the effectiveness of ICT interventions in improving health outcomes among marginalized communities. The results revealed a strong belief among respondents that ICT has contributed to better management of their health conditions and has led to improved health outcomes. This finding signifies the importance of leveraging technology-driven solutions to empower individuals to manage their health effectively, especially in resource-constrained settings.

However, alongside the positive impacts, the study also uncovered challenges and barriers related to ICT adoption in healthcare. Many respondents highlighted difficulties in accessing or affording ICT devices or services related to healthcare. Additionally, there were concerns regarding the lack of awareness or education about the benefits of using ICT for healthcare purposes, as well as challenges in understanding or using ICT tools effectively for healthcare needs. These findings underscore the need for targeted interventions focused on digital literacy, awareness campaigns, and addressing affordability issues to ensure equitable access to ICT-enabled healthcare solutions.

The study also examined the role of ICT infrastructure in facilitating healthcare access and delivery. Respondents reported hindrances due to the availability or reliability of ICT infrastructure in their areas, indicating that infrastructure-related challenges can impede the effective utilization of ICT for healthcare purposes. This finding emphasizes the importance of investing in robust ICT infrastructure to support the seamless delivery of healthcare services, especially in underserved regions.

Statistical analyses, including one-sample t-tests, provided further validation of key hypotheses related to ICT utilization and its impact on healthcare among marginalized populations. The significant mean differences observed in these analyses supported the hypotheses and provided statistical evidence of the relationships between ICT utilization, healthcare access, health outcomes, and barriers to adoption.

Overall, the study’s findings highlight both the opportunities and challenges associated with ICT utilization in healthcare for marginalized populations. The positive impacts on healthcare access and outcomes underscore the potential of ICT to drive positive change and improve health equity. However, addressing barriers such as affordability, awareness, usability, and infrastructure reliability is crucial to fully harnessing the benefits of ICT in healthcare delivery for marginalized communities. The study contributes valuable insights that can guide policymakers, healthcare providers, and technology developers in developing targeted interventions and strategies to create a more inclusive and effective healthcare ecosystem leveraging ICT solutions.


The findings from the hypotheses tested in this study provide valuable insights into the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in healthcare access, outcomes, and disparities among marginalized populations in Delta State. The results of the one-sample t-tests support several key conclusions regarding the impact of ICT utilization on healthcare in the study area.

Firstly, the evidence suggests that increased utilization of ICT in healthcare services leads to improved healthcare access among marginalized populations in Delta State. This finding underscores the importance of leveraging ICT tools and services to bridge gaps in access and enhance healthcare delivery for vulnerable communities.

Secondly, the notion that ICT interventions hurt health outcomes among marginalized communities in Delta State was not supported by the data. On the contrary, respondents indicated positive experiences with ICT-based healthcare services, leading to better management of health conditions and improved health outcomes.

Lastly, the study’s findings reject the hypothesis that barriers to ICT adoption do not significantly hinder efforts to reduce healthcare disparities among marginalized populations in Delta State. The challenges related to ICT access, affordability, awareness, and usability highlighted in the study underscore the need for targeted interventions and policy measures to address these barriers effectively.

In conclusion, the results affirm the potential of ICT to positively impact healthcare access and outcomes for marginalized populations while highlighting the importance of addressing barriers to ensure equitable and effective utilization of technology in healthcare delivery. These insights can inform policymakers, healthcare providers, and stakeholders in designing and implementing strategies that leverage ICT to improve health equity and quality of care in underserved regions.


Based on the findings and conclusions drawn from the study, here are eight recommendations:

  1. Enhance ICT Infrastructure: Invest in improving the availability and reliability of ICT infrastructure in rural and marginalized areas of Delta State. This includes expanding network coverage, ensuring a stable electricity supply, and providing access to affordable ICT devices.
  2. Promote Health Literacy: Develop and implement programs to enhance health literacy among marginalized communities. Focus on educating individuals about the benefits of ICT in healthcare, how to access relevant services, and how to use ICT tools effectively for health management.
  3. Address Barriers to ICT Adoption: Identify and address barriers such as cost, awareness, and usability of ICT devices and services. Provide subsidies or incentives for ICT adoption, conduct awareness campaigns, and offer training programs to improve digital literacy.
  4. Expand ICT-Based Healthcare Services: Encourage the development and deployment of more ICT-based healthcare services tailored to the needs of marginalized populations. This can include telemedicine, mobile health applications, and remote monitoring systems.
  5. Support Community Engagement: Foster community engagement and participation in healthcare initiatives involving ICT. Involve local leaders, community health workers, and grassroots organizations to ensure the relevance, acceptance, and sustainability of ICT interventions.
  6. Collaborate for Intersectoral Action: Foster partnerships and collaborations between government agencies, healthcare providers, technology companies, and civil society organizations. This multi-sectoral approach can lead to holistic and effective solutions that address healthcare disparities comprehensively.
  7. Monitor and Evaluate Impact: Establish monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assess the impact of ICT interventions on healthcare access, outcomes, and disparities. Use data analytics and feedback mechanisms to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
  8. Policy and Regulatory Support: Develop and enforce policies and regulations that support ICT integration in healthcare. This includes data privacy and security regulations, standards for ICT-enabled healthcare services, and incentives for innovation and investment in digital health solutions.

Limitations of the Study

While the study aimed to provide valuable insights into the impact of ICT utilization on healthcare disparities among marginalized populations in Delta State, several limitations need acknowledgement. Firstly, the sample size, while adequate for certain analyses, may not fully represent the diversity within marginalized communities across the state. A larger and more diverse sample could offer a broader perspective and strengthen the generalizability of the findings. Additionally, the study’s reliance on self-reported data through questionnaires introduces the potential for response bias and subjective interpretations, which may influence the accuracy and reliability of the results.

Another limitation is the cross-sectional nature of the study, which limits the ability to establish causality between ICT utilization and healthcare outcomes definitively. Longitudinal studies or experimental designs could provide more robust evidence of the causal relationships between ICT interventions and health-related variables. Furthermore, the study focused primarily on perceptions and experiences related to ICT in healthcare, and while valuable, a more comprehensive analysis could include objective measures of healthcare access, quality, and outcomes. These limitations highlight areas for future research to build upon and strengthen the understanding of ICT’s role in addressing healthcare disparities among marginalized populations.


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