Many will be familiar with the need for "research to policy" or R2P. But that in itself is a shortened form of "research to policy to practice" or R2P2P. Clearly, health policies should be based on the best and most appropriate research. But that is not enough. If sound health policies don't then go into clinical practice, they are just empty words. Effort needs to be devoted to each link in this chain.
Best and most appropriate health research needs to be identified. It then needs to be translated into a language and form that can be digested by busy policy makers who may not have deep scientific training. The policies (and the original research) then need to be converted into applicable knowledge that can serve clinical practice. This has to be done by a wide range of health information intermediaries.
What is a health information intermediary? Well, for a start, it is a publication like Africa Health. Publications of all kinds are needed to bridge the R2P2P gaps - from policy briefs to journals, and all manner of less formal media, such as newspapers and magazines, public television and educational films, comic books and instructional manuals. Intermediaries include writers, librarians, journalists, journal editors, and the helpers of the digital age (including lists such as HIFA).