The development of health information practice through Internet use in the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Albania, from 2000 onwards
The Institute of Public Health (IPH) (www.ishp.gov.al) is recognized as the leading agency of Ministry of Health of Republic of Albania for protecting health and safety of Albanian people, being the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health and health promotion and education activities in specialized departments.
With the help and other support from AIHA and USAID, a LRC was created in IPH after 2 years of preparatory and testing time, for the enhancement of awareness of local specialists and researchers for Internet use, especially for Cochrane and other EBM controlled databases working in a quite wide range of research oriented topics.
The main aim of this LRC is to involve as many specialists and as many projects as possible in EBM practice, transforming it gradually in a national public health information center. In the framework of AIHA project and further, on our initiative, on other projects, many local workshops and individual training was provided to all the specialists of the IPH and also of different regional public health directories in the field of EBM principles using JAMA guidebooks, and they were provided with OVID, HINARI, NHS CASP facilities in order to better select the sources of medical literature to fulfill their specific projects requirements(e.g.HIV-AIDS national programme of prevention and control, other viral and bacterial diseases projects in the fields of microbiology and epidemiology). This has been done creating documentary profiles, email lists and different subscriptions online, e.g. to Medscape, Dynamed etc. The use of medterms of Medline translated in local language was used for keywords in local language research publications.
Materials obtained by courses I have attended online for EBL ScHARR, University of Sheffield have been used in trying to obtain an initial estimate of indicators for monitoring and evaluating Health information local products and services, according to respective USAID Guide, 2007. Different books regarding bird flu, SARS and other epidemics has been translated and published on license, thus helping in the local establishment of valid structures of prevention and control of possible outbreaks of new and scarcely known epidemics.
We have been constantly helped in this work also by the copious and constant contribution of Ms.Ibraghimova in links provided, and especially those in Russian for Russian educated specialists, and also by EBLIP journal published by University of Alberta, USA.
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