HIFA collaboration with GETHealth Summit and mPowering: How can we do better to meet the information and learning needs of Community Health Workers?

16th October 2014
  • What information do CHWs need?
  • Where do they currently get their information?
  • How might existing information be made more available to CHWs?
  • What can be done to adapt/make existing information more useful?
  • What role could mobile network operators (eg Vodafone) or handset manufacturers (eg Samsung) play to get clear, reliable information to CHWs at no or low cost?

  • These are the questions we shall be discussing on the HIFA Forum in the run-up to the GETHealth Summit in Dublin, Ireland, 13-14 November 2014. Join HIFA now to take part!

    The key points from the discussion will feed into a special session at the Summit, chaired by Lesley-Anne Long, director of mPowering frontline Health Workers. Panel speakers will include:

    1. Alex Little from Digital Campus talking about experience of adapting and using mobile content in Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and India http://digital-campus.org/
    2. Anna Frellsen, Maternity Foundation, to talk about The Safe Delivery App, currently being tested in Ethiopia with plans to roll out with key players in sub-Saharan Africa more widely.
    3. Florence Gaudry-Perkins, on the diabetes work she’s been doing with the MOH in Senegal
    4. Trip Allport, Accenture Development Partnerships, talking about HELP in Kenya and potential to replicate in other countries.
    5. Peter Cardellichio, Associate Director of Global Health Media Project, a USA-based non-profit that designs and produces video and animation to train frontline health workers more effectively in resource-limited settings.

    The panelists will be asked to frame their presentations in response to the following context and questions:

    Millions of people depend on CHWs for their care. Given the exceptional importance of these workers in health sectors a critical question remains: why are so many still profoundly undertrained and unsupported? It’s not for want of attention. Private sector, NGO and charitable partners are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into finding solutions to the world’s most pressing health needs. But globally, there continues to be a skilled health worker shortage, and with the MDG deadline looming, the pressure is on to enhance the knowledge and skills of the frontline health workers and the money invested in this effort continues to increase.

    Is the global health community following the most effective route to provide relevant and effective health training for CHWs, or could we make adjustments that will accelerate the process of high quality training at scale? Is it time to start focusing on a set of freely available high quality learning resources that could be adapted for use by training institutions, NGOs, and others across multiple CHW projects in multiple countries?

    Panelists will speak from their experiences and program perspectives to explore the potential to adapt content, models and ideas to support the learning and information needs for CHWs across continents.

    In introducing and moderating the session mPowering will draw on the seven consultation workshops on the learning and information needs of CHWs that they hosted in the first half of 2014. The session will also be informed by the literature review mPowering commissioned on the use of mobile technologies by frontline health workers; and an analysis of current CHW training content and methodologies, drawing on research undertaken by WHO and the One Million CHW Campaign, and findings from the mPowering’s content survey. The potential of an online library or repository (such as the mPowering content platform) to become the ‘go-to’ place for (or Amazon of) digital health content for frontline health workers and their supervisors, and to provide a stronger link between content developers and consumers of content will also be highlighted.

    The panelists will be encouraged to ask questions of the audience and the moderator will also facilitate participant discussion to ensure the session is as engaging as possible. We will feed into the discussion comments and views from the HIFA discussion that takes place in the four weeks preceding the summit.

    Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator
    Lesley-Anne Long, Director, mPowering Frontline Health Workers

    Ebola: HIFA collaborates with mPowering and IntraHealth International to address information and learning needs of health workers

    16th October 2014

    Webinar Series (see below) and HIFA Forum Discussion: (more than 7,600 professionals in 170 countries: join now)

    For more information, see mPowering Frontline Health Workers website

    The Ebola crisis has affected some of the most vulnerable countries of the world, and frontline health workers are struggling to keep pace with the outbreak. Health workers need clear, simple and reliable information on how to protect themselves, detect the disease, and respond.

    More than 15 international health organizations, led by mPowering Frontline Health Workers and IntraHealth International, are coming together to share information related to this response through webinar discussions and via an online Resource Center.

    We invite you to participate.

    The webinar series, Training Health Workers for Ebola: Protection, Detection, and Response, will run on October 21, 23, 28, and 30. The webinars are open to all and we welcome participation from as diverse an audience as possible, including Ministries of Health, health workers, community leaders, program implementers (in-country and international), policy makers, and others. The link to the webinar site and registration details is here.

    All of the webinars will be available for viewing at www.techchange.org after the air dates.

    Please see the table below for more information.

    The presentations and discussions in the webinars will cover the following issues:
    •How to leverage currently available resources to train, support, and communicate with frontline health workers and others involved in the direct Ebola response through mobile technology;
     Ways to connect implementers to resources, collaborators, and sources of information; and
    •Improving opportunities to enable implementers and programmers to share efforts, collaborate, and avoid duplication.

    An online Resource Center is being developed for participants to share messages, training content, guidance documents, and other information. This will be launched on the 21st October. In addition, a linked 4-week facilitated online discussion will take place in the Health Information for All Forum leading up to, during and after the webinars.

    <h3>Webinar Schedule</h3>

    21st October
    10:00-11:00 am EDT
    Introduction: Response to learning and information needs for frontline health workers
    • UNICEF
    • Intrahealth
    1. State of response in three most affected countries
    2. FLHW learning & information needs
    3. Materials available to support frontline health worker and community volunteer training, and
    4. Technologies that could be used to get information into the hands of people quickly

    23rd October
    10:00- 11:00 am EDT
    The health system: Supporting frontline health workers
    • Jhpiego
    • Last Mile Health
    1. How FLHWs can keep themselves safe
    2. Support for and supervision of FLHWs

    28th October
    10:00- 11:00 am EDT
    Community sensitization, mobilization and support; interactions with clients
    • Well Body Alliance
    • GOAL
    • Medic Mobile
    • Rev Moses Khanu
    1. Public messaging
    2. Working with volunteers
    3. Patient care and patient dignity

    30th October
    10:00- 11:00 am EDT
    Data to support effective response and case management
    • Dimagi
    • One other tbc
    1. Contact tracing
    2. Data collection, reporting, case management 2

    Please contact Carolyn.Moore@mpoweringhealth.org if you have any questions.
    We look forward to meeting you in the webinars!
    Lesley-Anne Long & David Potenziani
    mPowering Frontline Health Workers Intrahealth International

    Wiki Project Med Foundation: ‘Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all medical knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.’

    3rd October 2014

    We are delighted to welcome Wiki Project Med Foundation as a new HIFA Supporting Organisation.

    ‘Wiki Project Med (WPMEDF) is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to promote the development of medical content on Wikimedia projects by, among other things, forming collaborations with other like-minded organizations, giving talks / lectures at universities and other organizations, and working to develop greater access to the medical literature for Wikipedians.’

    The mission of WPMEDF is: ‘To make clear, reliable, comprehensive, up-to-date educational resources and information in the biomedical and related social sciences freely available to all people in the language of their choice.’

    The full list of HIFA Supporting Organisations is available

    HIFA 2013 Review

    2nd October 2014

    Please find here HIFA Review 2013 with many thanks to all of our Supporting Organisations for their ongoing help and support.

    HIFA Review 2013

    Membership of all five HIFA Forums show strong growth

    1st October 2014

    All five HIFA forums are growing strongly, as shown by the graphs below.

    This success is due to several factors, in particular the hard work of the lead moderators of each forum and the enthusiastic volunteerism of our 105 HIFA Country Representatives.

    The lead moderators of the five forums are currently:
    - Neil Pakenham-Walsh (HIFA & HIFA-Zambia)
    - Tony Waterston (CHIFA [CHILD2015])
    - Regina Ungerer (HIFA-Portuguese)
    - Isabelle Wachsmuth-Huguet (HIFA-EVIPNet-French).


























    The Lancet Ebola Resource Centre

    30th September 2014

    We would like to thank The Lancet for launching The Lancet Ebola Resource Centre. As the journal explains, ‘The Lancet wishes to assist health workers and researchers working under difficult and dangerous conditions to bring this outbreak to a close. In an effort to support the vital work being done, all related content from The Lancet is freely accessible on our online Ebola Resource Centre. Visit www.thelancet-ebola.com

    It is vitally important that policymakers, health professionals, researchers and the general public have access to reliable information about Ebola. People are dying (and, tragically, killing others as in Guinea) because of lack of understanding of Ebola. Everyone has a part to play – we invite you to join HIFA to help address the information and communication aspects of this disease.

    The Lancet is a lead sponsor of HIFA Voices, the database that brings together the collective experience and expertise of HIFA members (HIFAVoices.org). This includes a growing collection of HIFA Quotations on Ebola selected from HIFA discussions on Ebola over recent weeks (scroll down to see 16 items).

    Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator

    HIFA welcomes 8 new Supporting Organisations from Bangladesh, Colombia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda and the United Kingdom

    24th September 2014

    The HIFA Steering Group is delighted to announce 8 new HIFA Supporting Organisations from Bangladesh, Colombia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda and the United Kingdom.

    1. ​Afro-European Medical & Research Network (AEMRN) reach out to needy communities (health workers, allied health or health supporting communities and ordinary people) offering them services, sharing, exchanging knowledge and innovative ideas.

    2. Committee for Rural Urban Development(CRUD) is a government registered charity organisation working in health, education and social development since 1998 in Bangladesh.

    3. The Global Health Network is a hub joining together a collection of websites to support research by sharing knowledge and method.

    4. The Health Home Initiative contribute to a healthy community by integrating preventive and curative care service delivery in order to complete the health management system for vulnerable rural women and children.

    5. The International Journal of Medical Students is an online peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal, created to share the scientific production and experiences of medical students worldwide.

    6. Istituto Superiore di Sanita (National Institute of Health)​ is the leading technical and scientific public body of the National Health Service in Italy.

    7. The Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) inspire others towards rural healthcare in South Africa. To support and empower those committed to making health care available to all South Africans.

    8. The World Health Summit, is a group achievement of the M8 Alliance to improve health worldwide, through collaboration and open dialogue, education, health care and policy outcomes.

    This brings to *223* the number of organisations that have declared their support for the HIFA vision – a world where every person and every health worker has access to the healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of those for whom they are responsible.

    If the goals of YOUR organisation align with the HIFA vision, please join us
    HIFA Supporting Organisations are under no obligation to provide financial support
    HIFA Supporting Organisations are promoted on HIFA 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: www.hifa2015.org

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

    IntraHealth International: Fighting Ebola with mobile phones

    2nd September 2014

    Ebola Voice Response and SMS for frontline health workers

    (With thanks to Kate Tulenko, IntraHealth International)

    ‘The current Ebola epidemic in west Africa is the first Ebola epidemic in region and therefore most health workers have received no formal education on Ebola prevention, diagnosis, or care. During an epidemic, health workers are needed at their posts and there is often not time to bring them to central sites for face to face training. In addition, travel for training risks spreading the disease via health workers who are not aware they are infected. Traditional distance education approaches, such as the internet and DVD are difficult because many community-based health workers often do not have access to the internet or laptops and tablets or are illiterate or semi-literate. In order to address these issues and get information quickly to health workers in Ebola affected and at-risk countries, IntraHealth International has developed [1] an Ebola Interactive Voice Response (IVR) course [and 2] an Ebola SMS course:

    [1] Ebola Interactive Voice Response Course for Health Workers

    [2] Ebola SMS Messages for Health Workers

    ‘These messages were developed based on CDC’s Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers. The course is available for general use and modification under a creative commons license. We recommend that the course be adapted to meet national guidelines and language…’

    The courses will be available via the IntraHealth International website within the next few days.

    HIFA opens up Ebola content for all

    22nd August 2014

    On 19 August HIFA wrote to the publishers of UpToDate, the ‘premier evidence-based clinical decision support resource’. We requested that their Ebola content be made freely available to all, in full, to assist in global and local efforts to contain the epidemic.

    We are delighted to report that they have agreed to this request, and the full content of the Ebola section is now freely available here:

    Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations of Ebola and Marburg virus disease

    Diagnosis and treatment of Ebola and Marburg virus disease

    Please forward this link to your colleagues and networks:

    Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator

    HIFA Voices launches today!

    12th August 2014

    We are delighted to announce the launch today of HIFA Voices: Harnessing the knowledge of HIFA members to improve the availability and use of healthcare information. We invite you to visit the HIFA Voices website and give us your feedback.

    HIFA Voices is an evolving database that aims to bring together the experiential knowledge of HIFA members: more than 12,000 professionals from over 2500 organisations in 170 countries, ranging from senior executives at the World Health Organization in Geneva to community health workers in rural Gambia, interacting on five global discussion forums.

    HIFA Voices contains the following specialised content:
    1. HIFA Quotations are selected verbatim extracts from HIFA Global Forum discussions. HIFA Quotations comprise about 90% of the total content on HIFA Voices.
    2. HIFA Citations are conventional bibliographic records of formal and informal literature on the availability and use of health information in low and middle-income countries. They include a growing collection of health information and libraries literature related to Kenya, compiled by Nasra Gathoni, President of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa. We aim to introduce other countries in 2015.

    HIFA Quotations and HIFA Citations are selected according to their relevance to three critical questions:
    1. What are the healthcare information and learning needs of different groups of healthcare providers in different settings?
    2. What are the barriers and drivers to meeting those needs?
    3. What must be done – and how – to improve the availability and use of relevant, reliable and actionable healthcare information?

    (Please note that HIFA Voices is not a database of health information resources – such databases are provided by other organisations, many of whom are represented among the HIFA members.)

    You can choose to browse or search HIFA Quotations, HIFA Citations (Formal), or HIFA Citations (Informal). You can search on title, body and/or author, and/or select from a range of values under five different filters [1. users of healthcare information (eg community health workers); 2. healthcare issue (e.g. malaria); 3. knowledge cycle (eg producing reference and educational resources; 4. WHO regions and countries (e.g. Nigeria); and 5. Health systems and HRH (eg task shifting).

    The content of the database is currently limited, but will grow substantially over the coming months. The current content includes HIFA Quotations from our main forum, HIFA, from 1st January 2014 to the present day, and this will be kept up-to-date as we progress through the year and beyond. The current content also includes some HIFA Quotations from previous work that we did with the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services as a contribution to the WHO Recommendations on Optimising Health Workers’ Roles for Maternal and Newborn Health (2012).

    We are grateful to our Lead Sponsors – The Lancet, Elsevier, mPowering Frontline Health Workers and Intel Corporation; Dr Najeeb Al-Shorbaji and Ian Roberts at WHO Geneva; the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA); and expert advisers Pascal Mouhouelo (Head Librarian, WHO Africa Regional Office) and John Eyers (Emeritus Librarian, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Special thanks to our lead database developer Arjun Thandi of Evucan web solutions.

    We look forward to continue working with you to realise the HIFA vision: a world where every person and every health worker will have access to the healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of those for whom they are responsible.

    HIFA Steering Group