Vimbai is elected President of AHILA
The Senior Programme Officer for ITOCA heading the Training Unit, Vimbai M. Hungwe was elected the President of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) at a congress held in Maputo, Mozambique from 6 – 10 October 2008. The new President will be at the helm of the Africa body until 2010 when another congress will be held in Burkina Faso. According to the new President his motto for the two years will be “Awakening the sleeping giant”. The ITOCA team would like to wish Vimbai a fruitful term.

HINARI/PubMed Advanced Searching

HINARI/PubMed LIMITS has a new feature – an “Advanced Search” option.   By using the “Advanced Search”, you can LIMIT your search (by language, human or animal, gender, type of article and/or age, etc.) and link it to a previous search result using the HISTORY option.  For detailed information on using PubMed LIMITS, go to the PubMed/HINARI Module 4.2 (http://www.who.int/hinari/training/modulesfour/en/index.html).

Useful Tools for the Effective Use of HINARI

The training team has developed two useful tools:  ‘HINARI – The Basics’ and “Access Problems and Solutions”.  Both are accessible/downloadable from the Brief Training Section of the HINARI Training Page (http://www.who.int/hinari/training/en/).

‘HINARI – The Basics’ is a two page Word document that summarizes all the basics for using HINARI.  This can be printed or saved and used as a reference tool – to facilitate your use of HINARI.

“Access Problems and Solutions” is a PowerPoint presentation that contains a step-by-step process to resolving problems when accessing the available full-text articles.  By following these steps, you might be able to resolve the problem and, if not, know what information needs to be sent to HINARI (hinari@who.int).

HINARI contact database update
ITOCA is currently in the process of updating the HINARI contact database for Africa. This exercise will help the HINARI team maintain an efficient way to communicate with subscribers. If your institution”s contact address, website address, contact numbers, head of institution, head of IT department, head of the library and/or their contact emails have changed in the past please send an email to itoca@itoca.org and we will update your institutional contact details in our database.

2008 in retrospect

In this last issue of the year we would like to once again take a look at what HINAGOA workshop participants had to say about the ToT workshops and also highlight downstream training at institutions:

By using appropriate fora, participants of the HINAGOA workshops have been able to reach out and cascade skills gained. The Nigeria Library Association Abia State Chapter held a meeting in Umudike on 27th November, 2008 soon after an ITOCA organized HINAGOA workshop hosted in Umudike. Participants to the ToT Workshop took the gathering as an opportunity to promote HINAGOA resources. According to Faustinus Macalberts, they circulated posters and brochures and informed members of the resources available through the portals. There was so much interest in the programs that there was a request to organize a workshop early next year for library staff. One of the represented libraries requested if a special workshop could be conducted for its library staff and medical doctors who had not had a chance to attend the HINAGOA workshop

“Madagascar is fully engaged in a merciless battle against poverty and hunger and now more than ever scientific research plays an important role in the achievements of the objectives and goals of the Madagascar Action Plan. But actions can not be successful if we don”t have access to scientific information (success belongs to those who own and have access to scientific information). This training is therefore very important to us and undoubtedly will contribute in the achievement of the Madagascar Action Plan”.
Dr Razafinyara – Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research – Madagascar

“I acquired a lot of knowledge on how to provide AGORA/OARE/HINARI research information to my university community. I feel I am now better equipped to function as a University Librarian in the area of information dissemination. Thanks to CTA, Rodgers Obubo and ITOCA.” – Nigeria

After l took part in the informative training course held in Khartoum, I returned back to my station in Wad Medani and started on a programme to inform my colleagues in the biotechnology lab about how to search for articles in AGORA. At the ARC we have been registered for AGORA for a long time but did not have the skills on how to do effective searching and how to retrieve good results and hence l found the ITOCA workshop valuable. At the institution l decided to give my first presentation within the first month after the training as the skills l had gained were still fresh in my mind. My fellow colleagues helped me in the presentation and some researchers used their laptops for the presentation. Other colleagues with ARC who attended the workshop also held presentations to other scientists in their departments. A total of 20 participants attended my presentation which was a general overview and the group agreed that we should hold another intensive training course

Mayada M. Beshir – ARC Sudan