Political will to commit to access to health information

Ibrahima Bob who works for the British Embassy in Senegal as Aid & UK Trade and Investment Officer- a former President of AHILA ( Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa ) raises an important issue on the HIFA2015 discussion list.

Governments in the developing world need to take decisive actions for the health of their people and provide them with access to the best available health information, research funding and advice. This is a key strategy in public health. Others in the HIFA2015 forum have long demonstrated this and pushed the realisation for many who were sceptical. I would like to use what causes this recognition to urge governments in Africa to catalyse their realisation.

In Africa, most of the time, Ministries of Health are lagging behind NGOs. They do not engage with key political, business, religious and civic leaders and the media for this strategy of access to health information.

Another aspect is that the issue of information in general is not on the broader government agenda. Valuable and credible health information does exist but it does not go beyond classical outlets.

I am sure there is one country in the developing world that has managed successfully to use health information as a good strategy in their public health responses and that this country needs to share its experience.

Nigel Palmer             Phi

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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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