IFKA/FAIFE - The International Federation of Library Associations' Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression

Public access to health information (PAHI) is of vital importance to the developing world, especially Africa, where societies grapple with daunting health problems; and health messages even at government level are often confused and unreliable.  Convinced of the valuable role libraries can play in increasing public access to health information, IFLA’s FAIFE Committee created Access to HIV/AIDS through Libraries Learning Materials, a freely downloadable web resource. 


Building on this in 2008/09 IFLA/FAIFE, began a project to develop materials to improve PAHI in other medical and health-related areas. IFLA/FAIFE invited Phi, together with its local partners, to collaborate with them in this project. Phi’s local partners and their networks were vital in setting up the series of ‘train the trainers’ workshops to test and refine the materials. 


The overall aim of the workshop, which was delivered in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia, was to support librarians in positioning themselves and their services, working in partnership with other agencies where possible and appropriate to improve

public access to health information. 


It was decided to translate the materials into Portuguese and French. So 2011 saw Phi organizing the first workshops on behalf of IFLA/FAIFE in Mozambique (March) headed by Professor Paul Sturges, and Senegal (June/July) headed by Shane Godbolt, then Director of Phi.