Empowering health workers and librarians in Africa

CEBHA Workshops on Evidence Based Healthcare held in Bujumbura, Burundi and Moshi, Tanzania

In 2011, the Collaboration for Evidence Based Healthcare in Africa (CEBHA) was awarded a three year Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries grant from the Elsevier Foundation. The awarded project focuses on the key role played by information specialists in the practice and implementation of Evidence Based Healthcare in the developing world. Through the project, medical doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers across eight African countries are taught the skills of searching and retrieving, evaluating and implementing medical literature and evidence into clinical and public health to improve patient care.

Two courses in the second phase of this project were arranged during the first two weeks of July. Librarians trained in evidence based literature searching in October 2012 were now co-facilitating on these workshops for health workers, policy makers and librarians.

Impressions from the Burundi workshop

Participants CEBHA workshop Burundi 2013   Participants and faciliators at the CEBHA Workshop in Burundi, 2-5 July 2013

For Burundi, this was the first ever workshop on Evidence Based Healthcare (EBHC) arranged in the country. The workshop was organized by CEBHA in collaboration with the National Public Health Institute and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Burundi. There  were some 20 participants on both workshops and the evaluations were overwhelmingly positive. The last session in Burundi was a discussion among all participants about how EBHC can become an integrated part of the health system, and the following observations were noted:

There is a need for mentorship and international collaboration to develop systematic reviews. Students and health workers should be encouraged to question their own truths and ask for the evidence. Burundi has a medical journal, that can be used for publishing of papers and Evidence Updates. Coordination and networking between the Ministry of Health, the Medical School and the Public Health Institute should be stimulated to foster a culture of research, EBHC and development of national guidelines.

On the library side there is a need for better IT equipment and good internet connections. As a conclusion the group wanted to establish a team to write a document about what changes are needed.

Click here to read about the impressions of these three participants from the Burundi workshop on EBHC.

Impressions from the Tanzania workshop

Participants CEBHA workshop Tanzania 2013  Participants and faciliators at the CEBHA Workshop in Tanzania, 8-11 July 2013

In Tanzania the workshop was arranged in collaboration with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, and among the participants were many librarians from different parts of the country. Richard Ssenono from Makerere University in Uganda was the lead facilitator on evidence searching.

Evaluations showed that many found the searching exercises, the use of different databases and information about literature referencing and storage systems particularly useful.

Searching PubMed and HINARI
Participants practice searching PubMed and HINARI for evidence based medical literature
Interviews for Elsevier Foundation video documentary
A video documentary of the workshop was made by the Elsevier Foundation
CEBHA Tanzania workshop
Group session on formulating searchable questions during the Tanzania workshop
Facilitators CEBHA workshop Tanzania
The CEBHA facilitator team in Tanzania:
Dr. Fergus Macbeth (UK), Richard Ssenono (UG), Daudi Joho (TZ), Krisanta Wilhelm (TZ) and Dr. Frode Forland (NL)