ICTs and access to health information – AHILA Congress 2014

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.

 

 

 

 

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About jgreigshaw

I work with Partnerships in Health Information which promotes partnership between libraries in Africa and the UK with an emphasis in African leadership. I have visited Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Zambia though Phi has contacts in many more African countries.
This entry was posted in Health, Information resources, Librarian Training, Partnership, Projects, Public Access to Health Information, Technology, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ICTs and access to health information – AHILA Congress 2014

  1. Symphrose Ouma says:

    Indeed this was a great Congress where professionals shared experiences of PAHI activities in their countries. One presentation which ought to have generated debate but passed unnoticed was the the paper by Anne Tenya on Public Information systems in promoting primary healthcare in rural communities. Indeed the PHIS do exist in most countries, particularly the East African countries, but their structure is meant to collect data on how many persons get vaccinations? How many deaths on disease outbreaks, how many under-fives exist in households?, it is all about statistics, which is very ideal for planners and researchers in health systems. Librarians/informationists are on the other hand advocating for systems that can make available the right health information for reduction of mortality rates emanating from disease outbreaks, lifestyles, traditions and religious believes and attitudes. Can librarians/informationist be part of the process that gets information on prevention out to the communities. Can we engage in repackaging this information and disseminating it to the healthcare providers and the communities. Can we empower healthcare providers with skills and knowledge so that they can use the information for prevention and cure.

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