Research Reveals Lack of Mobile Access to Health Information in Low-Income Countries

24th February 2014

Dr. Christine Hagar, an assistant professor at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science, addressed the Health Information For All 2015 (HIFA2015) mHealth goal during a poster showing at the 2014 BOBCATSSS conference in Barcelona. She explained the need for mobile access to healthcare information at the point of need in low-income countries where healthcare workers may not be available. You can view the poster here.

“Thousands of lives could be saved every day if all mobile phones had basic healthcare knowledge, including and especially first aid, maternal, and child health information” (HIFA2015).

The preliminary research findings revealed that of the 1,700 mHealth programs/projects scanned, “there are very few projects that empower people in low-income countries with the information they need, when they need it.”

Hagar teaches an informatics course for graduate students in the SJSU information school’s exclusively online and ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science program. She is also the coordinator for the school’s Center for Information Research and Innovation (CIRI), a virtual research center aimed at generating exemplary new practices and innovative products to benefit a global audience.

More information on the mHIFA goal…

HIFA welcomes 5 new Supporting Organisations

23rd December 2013

The HIFA Steering Group is delighted to announce 5 new HIFA Supporting Organisations:
1. Association of General & Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria
2. Family Medicine Unit, Department of Community Health & Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos
3. International Foundation for Dermatology
4. The International League of Dermatological Societies
5. Publication Integrity & Ethics

1. Association of General & Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria
‘The mission of the Association of General & Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) is:
- To promote the advancement of health and allied sciences.
- To promote the welfare, encourage interation and protect the honour and integrity of private practitioners for the overall improvement of the medical profession.
- To promote continuing professional development activities that will assist private practitioners to update their professional knowledge and skills for the enhancement of health care services in Nigeria.
- To cooperate with organizations any where in the World which have similar missions and goals.
- To assist the Government and people of Nigeria in the provision of smooth, efficient and effective health care services in the country.’

2. Family Medicine Unit, Department of Community Health & Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos
‘The Department of Community Health offers expert clinical and community based services, provides training both at undergraduate and postgraduate level and conducts research. The department runs clinics daily in the out-patient-department of the teaching hospital. The clinics run immunization and child welfare clinic, Family Planning Clinics, well woman clinic, endemic disease clinic and nutrition clinic. Attendance at the clinics is high’ Health Education and Consulting services are also provided. The staff conducts outreach services in neighboring communities…’

3. International Foundation for Dermatology
‘The International Foundation for Dermatology is a non-profit organisation whose principal mission is to improve dermatology care in underserved areas of the developing world. The IFD is an integral arm of the ILDS representing more than 25,000 members from over 60 nations.’

4. The International League of Dermatological Societies
‘The International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) is a non-governmental organization in official relations with the World Health Organization.’

5. Publication Integrity & Ethics
‘Publication Integrity & Ethics aims to establish an ethical publishing environment, to address the main areas of concern in the editorial sector and to promote real editorial freedom among publishers. PIE along with its council, assists editors, authors and publishers to define, understand and achieve the best practice in the ethics of the publishing environment.’

192 organisations worldwide have now officially declared their commitment to the HIFA goal.

If the goals of YOUR organisation align with the HIFA goal, please join us!

  • HIFA Supporting Organisations are under no obligation to provide financial support
  • HIFA Supporting Organisations are promoted on HIFA2015 publications and website
  • HIFA Supporting Organisations are invited to explore possibilities for collaboration (please contact us for details).
  • To become a HIFA Supporting Organisation, please download an application form from our home page.

    Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh
    Coordinator, HIFA2015
    On behalf of the HIFA2015 Steering Group

    HIFA-EVIPNet-French 2013 Report is now available on the WHO website

    20th December 2013

    The 2013 Report on HIFA-EVIPNet-French is now available on the WHO website here

    HIFA-EVIPNet-French focuses specifically on health policymaking in French-speaking African countries. It brings together policymakers, researchers, health professionals and citizens worldwide to explore the information needs of policymakers and how these needs can be addressed more effectively, thereby improving the policymaking process and its impact on public health. Join here

    We are delighted to be collaborating with the World Health Organization on HIFA-EVIPNet-French and extend our congratulations to Isabelle Wachsmuth-Huguet for her able stewardship of this vital and thriving discussion forum.

    New! Sponsored Discussion: Meeting the information and learning needs of Community Health Workers

    3rd December 2013

    From December 2013 to March 2014, mPowering Frontline Health Workers is supporting HIFA to hold an in-depth exploration on HIFA2015 around the information and learning needs of Community health workers (CHWs), and how we can meet those needs more effectively and efficiently over the coming years.…more information

    BMA awards £10,000 for HIFA activities in 2014

    29th November 2013

    The HIFA Steering Group is delighted to announce that the British Medical Association charitable purposes subcommittee has awarded £10,000 (approximately 16,000 US dollars) for HIFA activities in 2014. This is the 7th consecutive year that the BMA has awarded major funding for HIFA. The BMA continues to be our main funder, supplemented by smaller annual contributions from other health and development organisations (listed in the footer of this and every HIFA message).

    Thanks to this grant, we shall be able to continue to support and grow the HIFA Global Forums (HIFA2015, CHILD2015, HIFA-Portuguese, HIFA-EVIPNet-French, HIFA-Zambia) in 2014, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, International Child Health Group, International Society for Social Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance.

    In our funding proposal to the BMA, we committed to raise an *additional* £15,000 for HIFA activities in 2014. We have already raised £5,000 from The Lancet and we would like to invite HIFA members to help us raise the other £10,000. Can you help?

    This would enable us to achieve the following targets in our five work areas:

    1. Building the HIFA Community
    - We shall increase our collective membership from 12,100 to at least 14,000 members, and from 170 to 175 countries.
    - We shall implement at least 2 webinars on priority health information issues
    - We shall initiate at least 52 thematic discussions (in addition to spontaneous discussions).

    2. Building the HIFA Knowledge Base: HIFA Voices
    - We shall identify and collate HIFA-Quotations from ongoing HIFA forum discussions
    - We shall establish full functional linkage with the HRH Global Resource Center
    - We shall officially launch HIFA Voices at the AHILA 14 Congress, Dar es salaam, Tanzania, October 2014

    3. Building the HIFA2015 Advocacy Programme
    - We shall ratify at least 30 new Supporting Organisations, bringing the total to 215
    - We shall expand the HIFA Country Representative programme to at least 100 representatives in 50 countries

    4. HIFA Annual Challenges and HIFA SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound)
    - We shall support the HIFA 2012-15 Challenge Working Group to promote at least 10 new thematic discussions on HIFA forums on the theme of “Meeting the health information needs of Citizens, Parents and Children”
    - We shall support the HIFA 2012-15 Challenge Working Group in their leadership of the 1st HIFA SMART Goal (Mobile Healthcare Information For All)
    - We shall support the HIFA 2013-15 Challenge Working Group to promote at least 10 new thematic discussions on HIFA forums on the theme of “Meeting the information needs of Prescribers and Users of Medicines”
    - In consultation with HIFA members, we shall define and launch the 2nd HIFA SMART Goal.

    5. HIFA Global Networks
    - We shall continue to develop our collaboration with the International Child Health Group (RCPCH) and International Society of Social Paediatrics (ISSOP) to develop CHILD2015.
    - We shall continue to develop our collaboration with WHO Geneva to develop HIFA-Portuguese and HIFA-EVIPNet-French
    - We shall continue to develop our collaboration with the Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance to develop HIFA-Zambia
    - We shall explore the possibility of launching HIFA-Uganda in collaboration with the newly-formed Uganda UK Health Alliance.

    Special thanks to our 140 volunteers worldwide, including our 88 HIFA Country Representatives. Help from volunteers has allowed us to “achieve an extraordinary level of activity on minimal resources from which many people around the world benefit” (External Evaluation Report, 2011). With your continuing help, we can expect to achieve much more in the future.

    “Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge” Join here: www.hifa2015.org

    HIFA welcomes six new Supporting Organisations

    18th November 2013

    The HIFA Steering Group is delighted to announce 6 new HIFA2015 Supporting Organisations:
    1. African Health Policy Network
    2. Operation Hernia
    3. The Order of St John
    4. People’s Open Access Education Initiative (Peoples-uni)
    5. Public Health Perspective Nepal
    6. Maternal & Child Health Advocacy International

    1. African Health Policy Network
    ‘AHPN works to improve the health and wellbeing of the UK’s African population and to reduce health inequalities. We do this by influencing health policies, to ensure that the health needs of Africans are recognised and addressed in a meaningful way. We also work to identify and address the wider determinants of health and the causes of health inequalities.’

    2. Maternal & Child Health Advocacy International
    ‘MCAI is an international maternal and child healthcare charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for seriously ill and injured pregnant women, children and babies in countries where there is extreme poverty.’

    3. Operation Hernia
    ‘Operation Hernia is committed to providing high quality surgery at minimal costs to patients that otherwise would not receive it.’

    4. The Order of St John
    ‘The Order of St John is a major international charity, accredited to the United Nations, whose organisations provide first aid, health care and support services in over 40 countries around the world.’

    5. People’s Open Access Education Initiative (Peoples-uni)
    ‘The People’s Open Access Education Initiative (Peoples-uni) aims to offer high quality and low cost education in Public Health to assist with Public Health capacity-building.’

    6. Public Health Perspective Nepal
    ‘Founded in 2011, Public Health Perspective (PHP) is Nepal’s first public health online newsletter; pioneer in the exchange of public health related information, ideas, and resources. For more than two years, we have led the quest for innovation, better outcomes, and helped the health professionals to update their existing information.’

    187 organisations worldwide have now officially declared their commitment to the HIFA goal.

    If the goals of YOUR organisation align with the HIFA goal, please join us!

  • HIFA Supporting Organisations are under no obligation to provide financial support
  • HIFA Supporting Organisations are promoted on HIFA2015 publications and website
  • HIFA Supporting Organisations are invited to explore possibilities for collaboration (please contact us for details).
  • To become a HIFA Supporting Organisation, please download an application form from our home page.

    Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh
    Coordinator, HIFA2015
    On behalf of the HIFA2015 Steering Group

    Library 2.013 Conference Keynote Presentation on HIFA is now available on YouTube

    17th November 2013

    The Library 2.013 Conference Keynote Presentation on HIFA2015 is now available to view on YouTube here.

    The video starts with a 20-minute presentation by the HIFA Coordinator, Neil Pakenham-Walsh, followed by 30 minutes of questions and discussion on the issues raised.

    Outline of presentation

    People are dying for lack of healthcare knowledge. Every day, citizens and health workers make uninformed healthcare decisions and take the wrong actions, leading directly to avoidable death and suffering. This is especially true in low-income countries. This presentation will provide:

    1. An overview of global health information poverty, its causes and its consequences.

    2. An introduction to HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global movement for change with more than 12,000 professional members (librarians, publishers, health professionals, policymakers, researchers…) from 170 countries worldwide.

    3. Discussion on ways forward to strengthen the global healthcare knowledge system, and how librarians and information professionals are best positioned to lead the way.

    4. An invitation to join HIFA and help us create a world where every person worldwide has access to the information they need to protect their own health and the health of others.

    Announcing the HIFA Photography Award and 9th Annual 2013 Photoshare Contest

    9th November 2013

    Announcing the 9th Annual 2013 Photoshare Photo Contest featuring the HIFA2015 Photography Award
    Images capturing global public health and development in action and the people served.

    Baltimore, MD (November 7, 2013) – Announcing the 9th Annual 2013 Photoshare Photo Contest – a popular international event mobilizing amateur and professional photographers to share their photos for charitable and educational use.

    The contest has a top prize of $1,000 USD. Deadline for Entries: January 31, 2014
    Contest categories for photos include:
    - Healthcare Providers (*Featured Category: HIFA2015 Photography Award)
    - Family Planning and Reproductive Health
    - HIV/AIDS
    - Malaria
    - Environment
    - Agricultural and Economic Development
    - Democracy & Governance
    - Humanitarian Assistance
    - Global Health (open subject)
    - Human Interest (open subject)

    Photoshare’s 9th Annual Contest features the HIFA2015 Photography Award, spotlighting the critical role of Healthcare Providers worldwide. The contest leverages HIFA2015 as a key partner to further expand Photoshare’s reach and impact among health professionals working to improve the availability and use of healthcare information in developing countries.

    The contest will support the advancement of photography as a vital tool to communicate issues related to global public health and development. Entries are accepted through Photoshare’s Upload Photos submission form.

    In addition to cash prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, participants submitting entries to the featured Healthcare Providers category, are also eligible for an additional cash prize, the HIFA2015 Photography Award, sponsored by Healthcare Information For All. Best of Show images will be selected based on topic relevancy and technical execution by a panel of independent judges. Contest winners and finalist will be showcased on Photoshare and hosted on a number of other medium to high impact virtual venues.
    The 2013 Photoshare Photo Contest is brought to you by the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, a USAID funded project at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU·CCP), in partnership with FHI360, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), IntraHealth International, and HIFA2015 (Healthcare Information For All by 2015), a global campaign administered by the Global Healthcare Information Network.

    For more information about the contest, visit the 2013 Photoshare Photo Contest Announcement.

    Learn more about Photoshare:
    Photoshare – a service of the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, helping nonprofits
    communicate global health and development issues through photography. By facilitating photo
    sharing among colleagues in international development, Photoshare has become a leading source
    for editorial development photography. The Photoshare collection, consisting primarily of photos
    taken by public health professionals in the field, contains over 20,000 images capturing project in
    action and the people they serve, as well as global efforts to improve health and save lives.
    Photoshare is based at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for
    Communication Programs. For more information, visit: www.photoshare.org

    CHILD2015 thematic discussion: Protecting children from child abuse

    7th October 2013

    The International Child Health Group is supporting a thematic discussion on CHILD2015 email discussion forum, on the subject of protecting children from child abuse. The discussion started on 4th October and will continue through to 4th November. Please join us! We are exploring the following questions:

    1. Please can you share any case studies from your clinical experience, of children who have suffered abuse? What was the background to the abuse? What form did the abuse take? How was it detected? How was the situation managed? (please anonymise contributions)

    2. For those who have worked in different countries (or in different areas of the same country), what are the similarities and differences in patterns of child abuse that you have observed?

    3. What more can be done to prevent and manage child abuse in your country and worldwide?

    The messages will be summarised and presented at the ICHG Winter Meeting in London: Protecting Children: A Global Perspective.

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank ICHG for sponsoring this discussion. Sponsorship of CHILD2015 discussions is a vital means for us to secure modest funding to support CHILD2015 and related activities. If *your* organisation would be interested to sponsor a CHILD2015 discussion and/or webinar, on a topic of your choice, please contact the HIFA coordinator: neil.pakenham-walsh@ghi-net.org

    2nd HIFA International Conference at AHILA 14, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 20-24 October 2014

    12th September 2013

    The 2nd HIFA International Conference will take place in Tanzania as part of AHILA 14, the 14th Biennial Congress of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa.

    Delegates will review progress made since the launch of HIFA at AHILA 10 (Mombasa, Kenya, 2006) and explore ways forward to accelerate progress towards Healthcare Information For All in Africa and worldwide.

    For further information, see the AHILA announcement or contact the HIFA Coordinator, Neil Pakenham-Walsh.

    1st HIFA International Conference at BMA, London, 2011