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Health Literacy Month! Championing the Work of HIFA

October is Health Literacy Month. A time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. This annual, worldwide, awareness-raising event has been going strong since 1999. To celebrate Health Literacy Month, we’d like to champion the work of the Healthcare Information For All Network (HIFA).

HIFA’s stated mission is to work towards…

A world where every person will have access to the healthcare information they need
to protect their own health and the health of others

HIFA is a global health network of more than 16,000 members (health workers, librarians, publishers, researchers, policy-makers, etc.) committed to the progressive realisation of a world where every person has access to the healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of others. HIFA members have a vast and unique experience and knowledge which they can use to bring clarity to challenging questions around global health issues in general and healthcare information issues in particular.

One-third of members are based in Africa, one-third in Europe, and one-third in the rest of the world. HIFA members represent more than 2500 organisations across 176 countries worldwide, and interact on five HIFA Forums in three languages (English, French, Portuguese). Join here (free).

HIFA was launched in Mombasa, Kenya in October 2006, at the 10th Congress of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa. In 2004 the World Health Organization had commissioned a global review on access to healthcare information, leading to a paper in The Lancet by Fiona Godlee et al: ‘Can we achieve health information for all by 2015?’. The authors called for all stakeholders to work together to improve the availability and use of healthcare information. The HIFA campaign is a direct response to that challenge.

Clare Hanbury, CEO of Children for Health participates in two of the HIFA working groups and is a frequent contributor to the forums. The forums are active and interesting and anyone interested in our work will be interested in HIFA too! Join now for free!