HINARI training to boost local health information system

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Health professionals throughout Guyana will be engaged in a workshop that will help to maximize the use of the access to health information through research via the internet.

HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and major publishers to enable developing countries to access collections of biomedical and health literature.

The participants of the HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme workshop.

The training for these medical professionals will assure that they have first-hand practical knowledge of the HINARI database and how it can help to improve medical policy drafting in Guyana.

The workshop being held from October 10 to 13, is being facilitated by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health.

According to a representative of PAHO, Hinari Access to Research for Health Programme provides free or very low-cost online access to the major journals in biomedical and related social sciences to local, not-for-profit institutions in developing countries.

Dr. Janice Woolford, who spoke on behalf of the PAHO Country Representative to Guyana, told the participants that at the core of HINARI are efficiencies that result in advancing information technology.

“In Guyana, given that HINARI provides the most current information, an agreement was made or reached between the Guyana medical association and PAHO/WHO to use HINARI as the main research tool for project proposals,” Dr. Woolford added.

Shellon Bess, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health.

She also gave brief details on the establishment of HINARI in Guyana. “The University of Guyana (UG) as the national tertiary learning institute was chosen as the focal point for HINARI and the university signed HINARI license in July 2006. Subsequently, in 2011, it was found that 16 institutions are registered users in Guyana but to date, we have less than half of the registered paid users of HINARI.”

HINARI, Dr. Woolford said, has been used extensively across the country to access health information for project development and research more specifically by the University of Guyana.

Meanwhile, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, Shellon Bess welcomed the training exercise as a boost to the health sector. Her ministry is currently engaged in strengthening the Guyana Health Information System, and development of this ‘in-house’ software platform is envisioned to accelerate the process of capturing and dissemination of health data.

Facilitator of this training exercise, Professor Lenny Rhine of the Medical Library Association in the United States of America, emphasised that following the four days training all Doctors and Medical Professionals will be able to understand the use of HINARI.

Professor Lenny Rhine of the Medical Library Association in the United States of America.

“Without the body of literature, without the background information. you are missing a key point so in the next four days we will be trying to give you skills and resources you can use. We will go from this HINARI programme also into the internet and we will look at good tools for finding resources on the internet besides just ‘I’m going to google it,” Professor Rhine explained.

This initiative was launched in January 2002 with some 1500 journals from six major publishers. Since then, the number of participating publishers’ journals and other full-text resources have grown continuously. Today, more than 150 publishers are offering over 7500 information resources in HINARI.

In 2006, the Pan American Health Organisation saw the need to integrate HINARI into a programme where it’s usage could be measured.

As much as 13,000 journals (in 45 different languages), 56,000 e-books and 120 other information resources are now available to health institutions in more than 115 countries.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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