Landmark HINARI/AGORA/OARE Users’ Meeting held in Pretoria, South Africa

The first ever meeting for HINAGOA users was held in Pretoria from 2-3 March 2008. The meeting brought together 20 participants and users’ representatives were drawn from 10 countries. This meeting was a culmination of the formation of the HINAGOA Users Forum which aims to give a platform for users to share experiences as well as give feedback for the future development of the programmes.

The two day deliberations focused on the following objectives:

  • To develop a common understanding of the HINAGOA programmes;
  • To brainstorm on the challenges and solutions of effective access and utilization and of HINAGOA resources;
  • To facilitate the generation of appropriate strategies that will promote the use of the HINAGOA resources on the African continent;
  • Learn from users experiences of the use of the HINAGOA programmes
  • Best practices in the use of the HINAGOA programmes
  • Map a way forward on the formation of the HINAGOA User Community in Africa

At the end of the two day meeting participants were able to come-up with challenges and resolutions which could be addressed at three levels: Publishers/Programmes level, Institutional/ Policy Makers level and Users level. Most of the issues discussed are those that have come-up on the users forum. All registered users of the programmes can get the full report on the proceedings by sending an email tochristine@itoca.org.

To join the forum you can go to: Join D-Group User Forum

First HINARI training for Sierra Leone

WHO, Cardiff University- Wales, Partnerships in Health Information (Phi), DIFID/ British Council DelPHE Project- Community Health Information for Poverty Alleviation in Sierra Leone in collaboration with College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences- University of Sierra Leone funded the first special HINARI workshop for Sierra Leone which was held at the British Council in Freetown. The workshop was attended by 17 participants and facilitated by a HINARI trainer from ITOCA.

The DelPHE Project- Community Health Information for Poverty Alleviation, aims are to develop locally appropriate health information materials to support health care staff in the fight against extreme poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.  Training programmes will also be developed for health professionals in the retrieval and dissemination of research-based (‘evidence-based’) heath information. As stated during the opening ceremony for the workshop “Working collaboratively with others is essential in increasing the flow of timely, reliable and appropriate health information. This training is a wonderful complement to the DelPHE project”.

Basing on the success of the workshop the organizers of this workshop Dr Alison Weightman (Cardiff University), Shane Godbolt (Partnerships in Health Information) and Nance M’jamtu-Sie (University of Sierra Leone) are already looking at the possibility of having another workshop next year and Barbara Aronson (WHO) has agreed in principal to the co-funding of the workshop.

New open-access teaching modules for plant disease epidemiology

A set of teaching modules for using the R programming environment in ecology and epidemiology has now been published through the open-access on-line peer-reviewed journal The Plant Health Instructor (PHI).  R is a free software environment that has a large community of contributors.  Instructions for downloading R are included in the introduction module.

Entry page
http://www.apsnet.org/education/AdvancedPlantPath/Topics/RModules/default.html

An introduction to the R programming environment
http://www.apsnet.org/education/advancedplantpath/topics/Rmodules/doc0/

Ecology and epidemiology in R: Disease progress over time
http://www.apsnet.org/education/advancedplantpath/topics/Rmodules/doc1/

Ecology and epidemiology in R: Modeling dispersal gradients
http://www.apsnet.org/education/advancedplantpath/topics/Rmodules/doc2/

Ecology and epidemiology in R: Spatial analysis
http://www.apsnet.org/education/advancedplantpath/topics/Rmodules/doc3/

Ecology and epidemiology in R: Disease forecasting
http://www.apsnet.org/education/advancedplantpath/topics/Rmodules/doc4/

We hope you will find these modules useful!  PHI allows revision of
publications, so we welcome your feedback for improving these and future modules.

Karen A. Garrett
Associate Professor
Department of Plant Pathology
Kansas State University

Promotion and developments at Institutions  Promoting use of e-resources:  The Egerton University Experience by Nerisa Kamar (koriesn@yahoo.com)

Egerton University (Kenya) has a mission to generate and disseminate significant knowledge and offer exemplary education to contribute and innovately influence national and global development. The government of Kenya set up the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) in a bid to achieve the above mission alongside those for other universities. The (RRI) is a way of harnessing team strength and client participation to fast track large scale delivery of services within a period of 100 days. The period includes weekends and public holidays. The initiative involved most ministries within the government of Kenya.

J.D Rockefeller Research library which is one of the Egerton University Library branches is mandated to facilitate access and use of electronic resources to the clients. Towards promoting the resources, the J.D Rockefeller Research library, updates and distributes e-brochures, and provides alerts and training to clients. A 9-member team was identified to execute the RRI objectives. The library RRI phase I involved provision of 2000 book titles within 100 days. Phase II (November 2007-February 2008) goal was to increase user database navigating skills and promote use of available e-resources for research and teaching by 20%The RRI team trained 60 members of academic staff identified from all the departments in the University.

Within the expected 100 days, the team did a needs assessment/baseline survey, developed and evaluated a training manual with six modules. The modules included Introduction to computers, Internet and searching concepts, HINARI, AGORA, PERI, TEEAL and OARE.

The popularity of the training led to more focused departmental trainings. So far training has been carried out for Industrial & Energy Engineering department (teaching staff and post graduate students). The use of e-resources at the library access point has since increased by about 75%.

 

AIC KIJABE HOSPITAL (Kenya) benefiting from HINARI by Beatrice Waithera (jackshanb2@yahoo.com)

Access to HINARI has given our library a very big status as we access the most recent information just like most well funded hospitals in a developed countries if not better in terms of number of titles.  There is no more lagging behind with outdated information.

Access to full text articles through this programme has come as a big relief to our clients especially nursing students and doctors carrying out research. It has enhanced research and educational development in our institution. The popularity of HINARI has come as a result of the promotion to the library users.

To promote HINARI usage, we share the HINARI username and password with legitimate members of our institution so that they can access the resources and make use of the latest information. The password is posted for all to see. We also pass information about HINARI by guiding users on how to use the portal. The training of users is done to groups and individuals as the need arises. We also have a repackaged training manual that can be used by anyone searching HINARI which is placed in a strategic place for easy access by anyone who needs to use it.

For one to be better able to promote a product one needs to understand how the product functions and l was lucky to be accorded a chance to attend a HINARI course, which was very beneficial. Through this course l was able to acquire many skills that l am also imparting to our clients. I have also completed a HINARI email course, which I found to be a great course for librarians who need to refresh their skills on getting the most out of HINARI and PubMed. The email course gives one a chance to experience the searches first hand when you have time which gives more time to experiment than in a workshop set-up. You do it at your own convenient time and you gain a lot as it keeps your mind open and makes you a better trainer. I definitely would recommend the email course to anyone who has not taken it.

 

HINARI quenches health information thirst of Zanzibar health care professionals says Amour Kassim

Although Zanzibar health care professionals were retrieving health information through various gateways, databases and search engines for a long time it’s different from how they are searching for information now. This came up as a result of the four days HINARI training to 26 resource persons from various institutions in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Zanzibar. The main objective of the initial training was to train a small number of health care personnel who are now trainers of others in their institutions. This training took place in early September, 2007, Dr Lenny Rhine from Florida, being the principal instructor.

At the beginning, the training dwelled mostly on the baseline skills in order to make sure that all course participants have the same level of understanding, these were:

  • Basic Internet Concepts
  • How to do internet Searching
  • How to evaluate Health Information on the Internet
  • How to get Free Health Resources on the Internet

Later on, the instructor continued with the core topics on how to use the HINARI website, how to access to full journal’s articles and full free-texts after registration, and how to utilize the resources of the publisher’s partners of HINARI. Skills on how to use PubMed as a tool to identify full text articles on health-related subjects via HINARI, their limits and the use of MyNCBI were much emphasized.

It is believed that proper utilization of the knowledge and skills acquired through this training can educate and keep Zanzibar health workers updated on health problems, emergencies, epidemics etc for better health care delivery.

 Help Desk

 

TIP!

Your browser history
Modern web browsers are very smart and are able to record every activity you carry out in their history. By recording a history of the web sites you have visited, the browsers are able to achieve tasks at great speeds as they go through the browser history and their cache to quickly retrieve web pages which you often visit.

While this facility is very good one of its down sides is that it can take an old URL from its cache which does not work anymore and will tell you that the site cannot be found and this problem has been encountered a number of times in the use of HINAGOA programmes.

To avoid this problem one will need to clear their browser history or set the auto clear to a short period. To clear the browser history in Internet Explorer please follow these steps:

  • Click Tools > Options.
  • To delete cookies, go to General tab. Click the Delete Cookies button.
  • To clear your history, click the Clear History button. If you want to selectively delete the web pages, then Click History button in the IE main menu window. A side bar will appear with all the sites you have visited recently or in the past. Use right Click > Delete.
  • To clear cache, click the delete files button. Check the “Delete all offline content” check box and then click OK.

Please note that depending on the version the layout may be different but the procedure is the same to delete your history.