Problems of accessing Medline in the developing world

Even if many universities, colleges, hospitals and organizations working in the area of health development have access to the internet and different free websites to search for health information and research, only a few people can access this research on Medline for many reasons. The knowledge and skill transfer between senior and junior health professionals is very slow. The fact that senior health professionals used to rely on books and are not familiar with information communication technology is one of the major challenges and a barrier to health information exchange between the senior and junior health professionals.

The other challenge for the ineffectiveness in the use of these websites, such as Medline, for the health professionals in developing countries is the lack of knowledge and skill on how to use computers. This could be due to the fact that they are not familiar with computers as many of the hospitals have no access to ICT.

Internets in developing countries are very slow to access websites. So many health professionals hesitate to sit at computers for this reason, as looking for good articles needs a good investment of time.

There is also a problem in making choice of which articles are of the highest quality by untrained users who are sometimes frustrated with the large numbers of articles returned by simple searches. Therefore, training clinicians, academicians and researchers in developing countries on how to access health information on Medline is essential in ensuring the best use of up to date research for the purpose of health development.

Mulugeta Bayisa                 Department of Physiotherapy

College of Medicine and Health Sciences   University of Gondar, Ethiopia

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About nigepalphi

I am a trustee of Partnerships in Health Information. I was librarian of the Health Education Council in London from 1969 to 1972, then librarian of St Mary's Hospital Medical School from 1972 to 2002.
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One Response to Problems of accessing Medline in the developing world

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