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The level of Internet access and ICT training for health information professionals in sub-Saharan Africa.
Health Information and Libraries Journal. 2008 Sep; 25(3):175-85.BACKGROUND: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are important tools for development. Despite its significant growth on a global scale, Internet access is limited in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Few studies have explored Internet access, use of electronic resources and ICT training among health information professionals in Africa. OBJECTIVE: The study assessed Internet access, use of electronic resources and ICT training among health information professionals in SSA. METHODS: A 26-item self-administered questionnaire in English and French was used for data collection. The questionnaire was completed by health information professionals from five Listservs and delegates at the 10th biannual Congress of the Association of Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA). RESULTS: A total of 121 respondents participated in the study and, of those, 68% lived in their countries' capital. The majority (85.1%) had Internet access at work and 40.8% used cybercafes as alternative access points. Slightly less than two-thirds (61.2%) first learned to use ICT through self-teaching, whilst 70.2% had not received any formal training in the previous year. Eighty-eight per cent of respondents required further ICT training. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: In SSA, freely available digital information resources are underutilized by health information professionals. ICT training is recommended to optimize use of digital resources. To harness these resources, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations must play a key role.
International Affairs. 2006 Mar; 82(2):269-284.This article attempts to lay out a set of broad theoretical questions, illustrated with material from two visits to sub-Saharan Africa, including interviews with government officials and international organization representatives in Botswana and Malawi, about 70 interviews with staff from AIDS NGOs across sub-Saharan Africa, and an initial effort at mapping the universe of organizations responding to Africa's AIDS pandemic. The article focuses on four issues: (1) the nature of the organizations responding to AIDS in Africa; (2) the relation of AIDS governance to existing patterns of African governance, including the possibilities of syncretism and, conversely, a stand-off between the organizational models created by AIDS NGOs and existing patterns of authority and cooperation in African societies; (3) the problems and possibilities of 'cultural match' between existing repertoires of 'collective action schemas' and those proffered by NGOs and international organizations;1 and (4) the slippery matter of the play of power, money and identity in a field of power with very unequal players. (excerpt)
Effect of an armed conflict on human resources and health systems in Cote d'Ivoire: Prevention of and care for people with HIV/AIDS.
AIDS Care. 2006 May; 18(4):356-365.In September 2002, an armed conflict erupted in Cote d'Ivoire which has since divided the country in the government-held south and the remaining territory controlled by the 'Forces Armees des Forces Nouvelles' (FAFN). There is concern that conflict-related population movements, breakdown of health systems and food insecurity could significantly increase the incidence of HIV infections and other sexually-transmitted infections, and hence jeopardize the country's ability to cope with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our objective was to assess and quantify the effect this conflict had on human resources and health systems that provide the backbone for prevention, treatment and care associated with HIV/AIDS. We obtained data through a questionnaire survey targeted at key informants in 24 urban settings in central, north and west Cote d'Ivoire and reviewed relevant Ministry of Health (MoH) records. We found significant reductions of health staff in the public and private sector along with a collapse of the health system and other public infrastructures, interruption of condom distribution and lack of antiretrovirals. On the other hand, there was a significant increase of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), some of which claim a partial involvement in the combat with HIV/AIDS. The analysis shows the need that these NGOs, in concert with regional and international organizations and United Nations agencies, carry forward HIV/AIDS prevention and care efforts, which ought to be continued through the post-conflict stage and then expanded to comprehensive preventive care, particularly antiretroviral treatment. (author's)
Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. 2004; 3(1-2):171-196.Global reproductive health policy is based on assumptions, couched in scientific language, that technological methods of birth control are superior to traditional methods, use of these methods is more modern and "rational" than alternatives, and abortion should not be considered a form of birth control. The authority these assumptions have achieved in global health circles prevents alternative options from being considered. Our research on women's birth control experiences in Mongolia suggests that reproductive health programs based on such global assumptions fail to consider the local cultural contexts of reproductive decision-making address women's needs, and are therefore seriously flawed. (author's)
Implementing GIPA: how USAID missions and their implementing partners in five Asian countries are fostering greater involvement of people living with HIV / AIDS.
Washington, D.C., Futures Group International, POLICY Project, 2004 Jan.  p. (USAID Contract No. HRN-C-00-00-00006-00)On behalf of the Asia/Near East Bureau (ANE) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the POLICY Project undertook an assessment of how the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) Principle is being implemented in the ANE region. Five USAID Missions and 12 implementing agencies (IAs) in the region participated in the assessment, which was undertaken in May and June 2003 in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Philippines, and Viet Nam. The purpose of the assessment was to ascertain how Missions, IAs, and NGOs are incorporating GIPA principles into their organizations and into the programmatic work they support and implement. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 23 respondents from Missions, IAs, and NGOs. The assessment found a high level of awareness of GIPA and a commitment by most organizations to foster and promote GIPA principles, within their organizations and in the work they carry out. Ninety-one percent of respondents from the three types of organizations believe that their organizations’ planning, programs, and policymaking activities are or would be enhanced by GIPA. (excerpt)