Dr. Maria’s keynote address encompassed the main themes of the Congress and AHILA’s role in accommodating the huge changes that have taken place over the thirty years of its existence – both the benefits and the challenges.
These themes were taken up by the guest speakers – the representative for the Minister for Health and Social Welfare and His Excellency the Vice-President for the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal. They both emphasised the importance of e-health resources in the education and practice of health care and research and the effects of health on the national economy.
The following exciting event was the presentation of the CABI and PAHI (Public Access to Health Information) prizes by his Excellency. The CABI prize report was awarded to Dr. Alison Kinengyere and Glorias Asiimwe (Uganda) for their report on the aims and activities of the Uganda Chapter of AHILA. The PAHI prizes were awarded to Mr. Gilchriste Ndongwe and Mr. Ronald Munatsi (Zimbabwe) for creating partnerships to enhance access to health information for the public.
Then began a rich feast of presentations which addressed challenges currently facing information professionals: a website to improve clinical trials for new drugs through more effective collaboration; social media and the “infodemiology” of misinformation – its identification and containment; an African perspective on sensitive health- related data; and MEDBOX an online library suitable for health workers in crisis situations.
As Dr. Musoke emphasised in her keynote address, AHILA will have to ensure that their structure is robust enough to lead its country Chapters in meeting the challenges of providing relevant, safe and secure information for all who need it.