Knowledge for Health (K4Health) and HIFA2015 announce a special issue of the Journal of Health Communication

10th July 2012

Healthcare Information For All by 2015 ( is pleased to make available a Press Release from Knowledge for Health (K4Health) regarding a Special Issue of the Journal of Health Communication, guest edited by Tara Sullivan, Neil Pakenham-Walsh and Symphrose Ouma. This is a collaboration between the Knowledge For Health Project at Johns Hopkins University, HIFA2015, and the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa. The full text of the special issue is freely available here.

‘Taken together, the pieces in this special issue form a picture of how actors at different levels of the health system can work together to meet the information needs of all health care professionals.’ (Tara M. Sullivan, Sarah V. Harlan, Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Symphrose Ouma)


For immediate release

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD – K4Health announces the publication of “Meeting the Information Needs of Health Care Providers, Program Managers and Policy Makers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”, a special supplement to the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.

K4Healths Knowledge Management Director Tara Sullivan guest edited the supplement, along with Neil Pakenham-Walsh, coordinator of Healthcare Information for All by 2015 (HIFA2015) and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network; and Symphrose Ouma, Chair of the Kenya Chapter of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA).

Sullivan explained: “This special issues draws attention to a critical health issue: the need for accurate and relevant information to inform decision-making and improve health service quality. Lack of information or outdated information can have detrimental consequences for health care consumers – it can literally mean the difference between life and death or sickness and health.”

This special issue addresses meeting the health information needs of health professionals, and shares findings from qualitative studies conducted in India, Malawi, and Senegal. Each study explores what information is most relevant and useful for providers, program managers, and policy makers and how to bridge gaps in health information access.

The supplement also includes commentaries that explore issues surrounding opportunities and barriers to access and use of information from three different perspectives: health care providers, library services, and donors.

The special supplement is provided free of charge via open access courtesy of the K4Health project, and is available at the journal website:

-The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH), within its Bureau for Global Health. K4Health is led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Healths Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP), in partnership with FHI 360 and Management Sciences for Health (MSH). While the current iteration of the project began in 2008, we are the inheritors of a rich store of expertise and resources from predecessor projects going back nearly 40 years. K4Health works to improve access to and sharing of global, regional, and country-specific public health knowledge, particularly about family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH). Since FP/RH issues do not exist in a vacuum, we also share information about related public health issues (such as HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health).

-The HIFA2015 campaign was launched in Mombasa, Kenya in October 2006, at the 10th Congress of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa. Our shared goal is: By 2015, every person worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider. People will no longer be dying for lack of knowledge.

-The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) is a leader in promoting access and use of health information in Africa.


For convenience, the article titles and their individual links are provided below.

Empowering People and Organizations through Information
Najeeb Al-Shorbaji

Working Together to Meet the Information Needs of Health Care Providers, Program Managers, and Policy Makers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Tara M. Sullivan, Sarah V. Harlan, Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Symphrose Ouma

Towards a Collective Understanding of the Information Needs of Health Care Providers in Low-Income Countries, and How to Meet Them
Neil Pakenham-Walsh

Enhancing Access to Health Information in Africa: A Librarian’s Perspective
Nasra Gathoni

Meeting the Health Information Needs of Health Workers: What Have We Learned?
Margaret D’Adamo, Madeleine Short Fabic & Saori Ohkubo

Understanding Health Information Needs and Gaps in the Health Care System in Uttar Pradesh, India
Nandita Kapadia-Kundu, Tara M. Sullivan, Basil Safia, Geetali Trivedia & Sanjanthi Velua

Qualitative Study of Health Information Needs, Flow, and Use in Senegal
Amadou Hassane Syll, Elizabeth T. Robinson, Laura Raney & Karim Seckd

Building a National Model for Knowledge Exchange in Malawi: Findings From a Health Information Needs Assessment
Nancy Vollmer LeMay & Piers J. W. Bocock