------- Forwarded message
>From email@example.com Fri Jan 24 15:43:02 1997
Posted: Thu, 23 Jan 97 23:00:01 -0100
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 97 11:26:01 -0100
Author: "irene bertrand"
Electronic Media for District Health Managers (6)
MESSAGE FROM DAVID FITZSIMONS
I congratulate you on the correspondence about electronic media for district
health managers (and others). It seems that this is an idea that is coming
of age, especially with the development of "network computers" (stripped
down PCs that are easier to operate and support) based on a network around a
centre that looks after software upgrades and general support needs. Several
bodies seem to be looking at the idea of support for resource
centres/information centres/centres for policy and debate - call them
whatever - and the technology in terms not only of hardware but
infrastructure is beginning to arrive (e.g. the report from Namibia). (That
is not to say that there is not a long way to go and that the need for good
old-fashioned printed forms will not remain.) There is still a need for
advocacy for support for information infrastructure development.
To the obstacles or concerns raised by Fred Bukachi and Helga Patrikios may
I add that of quality of information? Still very much a novice on the
Internet (yes, even in the UK) I am struck by the sheer volume of
information available and the low percentage of that information that is
relevant or useful. In addition finding and accessing it can be slow and
expensive. My plea is for more concern about the content - more effort needs
to be put into sifting, sorting , gathering and evaluating the information
that is so retrieved. That may need skilled staff in regional or national
centres for health information delivery and exchange who can act as
"clearinghouse managers" for information (not quite re-inventing libraries
and librarians I think!, but building on them or complementing them),
positively seeking, evaluating and repackaging information in appropriate
forms for different target audiences.
Also I believe that skilled support services are not only necessary to
maintain any network but also a serious cost consideration.
Experience has shown that information is not always considered in health
interventions. For example, an HIV/STD intervention proposal in West Africa
recognised the difficulty of operating at several sites but had not included
electronic networking (even rudimentary) in the proposal. Perhaps we could
increase our efforts to persuade proposal writers and funders to recognise
the value of information and communication.
Thanks and best wishes
CABI (until the end of February 1997); firstname.lastname@example.org
also contractible at:
10 Leinster Road, London N10 3AN, England
e-mail (at present) DWFitzS@aol.com
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