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HIFA-Watch: Promoting an understanding of health information as a human right (2)

"May I express my personal interest in your chosen topic - the rights aspect of health information. We are talking about an access right to information. Apart from the rather vague expression of such a right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19), this is nowhere embodied in law. There is no such right granted under copyright - the exceptions granted in all national laws and international treaties (for "fair use" in some jurisdictions and "faIr dealing" in others, for citation/quotation, "study", etc.), are small chinks in a fairly forbidding edifice."

HIFA-Watch: Promoting an understanding of health information as a human right

In your country, what is being done by the government  to improve the availability of reliable healthcare information and knowledge for health professionals, lay providers, or citizens? Has there been anything that has worked especially well, or not well? What *could* governments do that they are not yet doing?
Here are some examples from the HIFA-Watch website:
- Over 70 countries worldwide have developed national e-health strategies (2013)

Media Coverage of Medical Journals: Do the Best Articles Make the News? (3)

"Media from many countries simply laps up what has been reported in media from the west a day or two before and that distorts the message further.

Many regional and local conferences invite media and trivial and sometimes erroneous work done by locally influential doctors is highlighted."

Cholera in northern Nigeria

"Cholera is a common disease in northern Nigeria south of sahara where the prevelance is anytime of the year because of the lifestyle of our people there. The government have done their best but their best is not good enough. The environment and its surroundings are unkept, the river banks are littered with human faeces, no clean drinking water, the pit toilets are left unclean and open while flies and cockroach are having their field day thereby causing all manner of sicknesses and diseases.

Clinical Toxinology and Snake Anti-Venoms in India

Soumyadeep Bhaumik (HIFA Country Representative, India) has written an open-access piece on Clinical Toxinology and Snake Anti-Venoms in India:

Criteria for Useful Accurate Drug Information for Patients and Prescribers (3)

"Agree that barriers to access to useful scientifically accurate drug information are political that involve trade groups representing health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry that can influence national drug regulatory authorities.  Control over information confers power and result in patients being dependent.  An observation can be made that the less that is known about drugs the easier they are sell."

WHO informal consultation on fever management in peripheral health care settings (2) Fever management in the home setting

“I wanted to add to this discussion by considering the household-level treatment of children with fever. Certainly in Sierra Leone, wrapping children up in blankets was common, exacerbating the problem.”

Publication: Ensuring comprehensive care for women and families to end vertical transmission of HIV

As a personal observation (and I stress I am not an expert) it seems odd to me that there is such an emphasis on infant feeding policies for whole populations of countries, with apparently little attention to the individual circumstances of mothers. From what I can understand, the national policies of rich countries seem to send the message that _all_ HIV-positive women should avoid all breastfeeding, whereas the national policies of low-income countries seem to imply that _all_ HIV-positive women should practise exclusive breastfeeding.


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