October 2009 - Free Information Resources Bulletin

a resource provided by HealthConnect International
with support from the American International Health Alliance
and the HIV/AIDS Twinning Center

The Free Information Resources Bulletin is a monthly newsletter that provides information on different types of healthcare-related publications – manuals, monographs, books, journals, CD-ROMs and other resources – available for free in hardcopy or electronic format for healthcare professionals from countries with developing economies. The information in the Free Information Resources Bulletin is obtained directly from publishers and content providers. The Bulletin currently has an emphasis on resources available in English.

The Free Information Resources Bulletin is distributed free of charge as a service of the HIV/AIDS Twinning Center/American International Health Alliance (AIHA) healthcare partnerships program. If this document is to be redistributed or posted on another Web site, we request that it be posted in full/without alteration and that credit is given to HealthConnect International, AIHA, and the HIV/AIDS Twinning Center. AIHA and the Twinning Center are not responsible for the actual content or the accuracy of the information presented.

Archived copies of the Free Information Resources Bulletin can be found online at: http://www.healthconnect-intl.org/. Please contact Irina Ibraghimova, ibra [at] zadar.net, with any questions or suggestions for additional free information resources to include in future bulletins.

In this issue:


  • Testing Treatments
  • Quick Guide to Health Literacy
  • Global Tuberculosis Control, Epidemiology, Strategy, Financing
  • HIV/AIDS, Security and Conflict
  • Access: how do good health technologies get to poor people in poor countries?
  • Working in Health: Financing and Managing the Public Sector Health Workforce

Toolkits/Training Materials

  • Sexuality and life skills: participatory activities on sexual reproductive health with young people
  • The Palliative Care Toolkit
  • A handbook for network support agents and other community workers supporting HIV prevention, care support and treatment
  • Safe, voluntary, informed male circumcision and comprehensive HIV prevention programming
  • Stepping Stones: A training package in HIV/AIDS, communication and relationship skills


  • AIDS Action CD-ROM
  • PRED BANK 4.0
  • Clinical Mentoring Toolkit
  • IMARK Information Management ToolKit


  • SimIns - Health Financing Policy Tool


Testing Treatments (2006)

Author: Evans E., Thornton H., Chalmers I.

Description: „How do we know whether a particular drug, therapy or operation really works, and how well? How reliable is the evidence? Are clinical trials truly unbiased? And is current research focused on the real needs of patients? Such timely and pressing questions are raised and addressed in this probing enquiry into modern clinical research, with far-reaching implications for daily medical pactice and patient care. Aimed at both patients and professionals, Testing Treatments builds a lively and thought provoking argument for better, more reliable, more relevant research, with unbiased or ‘fair’ trials, and explains how patients can work with doctors to achieve this vital goal.“

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file
URL: http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/testing-treatments.html


Quick Guide to Health Literacy

Author: US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)

Description: “Health Literacy is the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions… The guide is a quick and easy reference, filled with facts, definitions, tips, checklists, and resources. The guide’s fact sheets provide a basic overview of health literacy concepts. They also offer strategies for improving the usability of health information and health services through communication, knowledge-building, and advocacy. Examples of health literacy best practices are included”.

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file (462kb)
URL: http://www.health.gov/communication/literacy/quickguide/


Global Tuberculosis Control, Epidemiology, Strategy, Financing. WHO Report 2009 - WHO/HTM/TB/2009.411

Author: WHO

Description: WHO's report on Global TB Control compiles data from over 200 countries and territories each year, monitoring the scale and direction of TB epidemics, implementation and impact of the Stop TB Strategy, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The report presents WHO’s latest assessment of the epidemiological burden of TB (numbers of cases and deaths), as well as progress towards the 2015 targets for global TB control that have been established within the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It also includes a thorough analysis of implementation and financing of the WHO’s Stop TB Strategy and the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to Stop TB, since in combination these have set out how TB control needs to be implemented and funded to achieve the 2015 targets.

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [7.28Mb]
URL: http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/2009/en/index.html


HIV/AIDS, Security and Conflict: New Realities, New Responses (2009)

Author: Alex de Waal, Jennifer F. Klot, Manjari Mahajan, et al.

Description: This is the final report of the AIDS, Security and Conflict Initiative(ASCI) that was convened by the Social Science Research Council (New York) and Clingendael Institute (The Hague) between 2005 and 2009, with support from UNAIDS. „The report delivers four critical messages: HIV and AIDS pose diverse threats to human security and to international and national security; Security institutions and situations of insecurity and crisis influence patterns of HIV risk; Post-conflict transitions reshape and, in some cases, exacerbate HIV risks and impacts; HIV prevention and AIDS care and treatment are poorly integrated with security sector reforms, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding.

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file
URL: http://www.ssrc.org/publications/view/E2090D2B-72A8-DE11-9D32-001CC477EC70/


Access: how do good health technologies get to poor people in poor countries? (2009)

Author: Laura J. Frost, Michael R. Reich

Description: Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. “Many people in developing countries lack access to health technologies, even basic ones. Why do these problems in access persist? What can be done to improve access to good health technologies, especially for poor people in poor countries? This book answers those questions by developing a comprehensive analytical framework for access and examining six case studies. Access to health technologies in poor countries is shaped by social, economic, political, and cultural processes. To understand those processes, the authors develop an analytic framework based on four A's—Architecture, Availability, Affordability, and Adoption. The book applies this approach to explain why some health technologies achieved more access than others. The technologies include praziquantel (for the treatment of schistosomiasis), hepatitis B vaccine, malaria rapid diagnostic tests, vaccine vial monitors for temperature exposure, the Norplant implant contraceptive, and female condoms. The book is based on research studies commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [264p.]
URL: http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/node/4579


Working in Health: Financing and Managing the Public Sector Health Workforce (2009)

Author: Marko Vujicic, Kelechi Ohiri, Susan Sparkes

Description: The World Bank. “Working in Health addresses two key questions related to health workforce policy in developing countries: 1. What is the impact of government wage bill policies on the size of the health wage bill and on health workforce staffing levels in the public sector? 2. Do current human resources management policies and practices lead to effective use of wage bill resources in the public sector?” “Health workers play a key role in increasing access to health services for poor people in developing countries. Global and country level estimates show that staffing levels in many developing countries—particularly in sub-Saharan Africa—are far below what is needed to deliver essential health services to the population. Through a review of literature, analysis of data, and country case studies in Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda, and the Dominican Republic, this book examines the process that determines the health wage bill budget in the public sector, how this is linked to overall wage bill policies, how this affects staffing levels in the health sector, and the relevant policy options.”

How to obtain: Available online as PDF files (for each separate chapter)
URL: http://go.worldbank.org/PU86PVIEU0




Sexuality and life skills: participatory activities on sexual reproductive health with young people (2008)

Author: International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Description: This toolkit is a result of team work between sexual and reproductive health practitioners working with young people in Zambia, Malawi Zimbabwe and Uganda. It is written for anyone who wants to facilitate participatory learning activities with young people to equip them with knowledge, positive attitudes and skills to grow up and enjoy sexual and reproductive health and well- being. The toolkit's intended audience includes peer educators, outreach workers, school teachers and community workers. It covers themes on community mobilisation, gender and sexuality, prevention, reproductive health, stigma and discrimination. The educational approach to behavioural change used in the toolkit is based on the belief that people actively learn through participatory problem solving activities related to their own lives.

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file
URL: http://www.eldis.org/go/display&type=Document&id=44865


The Palliative Care Toolkit: Improving care from the roots up in resource-limited health settings

Author: Help the Hospices

Description: “Responding to the call for on line learning material for medical assistants and nurses and learning material for community health workers this manual demystifies palliative care. It teaches all the elements essential in that care and how to integrate palliative care into what is already in place particularly home based care. It contains basic symptom control, including assessment and relief of pain, and chapters on communication skills, spiritual and psychological support, with attention paid to the special needs of children.” A set of 18 tools are included ranging from assessment charts to forms for patient records to data collection a basic drug list and advocacy material. The Toolkit has been translated into Russian and Swahili. The Trainer's Manual has been produce and is also available online. This includes teaching techniques and how to help others to learn as well as teaching modules to accompany the Palliative Care Toolkit.

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [5Mb], on CD and as a hardcopy. If you work in hospice and palliative care in a resource-poor setting or are planning to travel to a resource-poor setting to deliver training, the publisher will be able to provide you with copies of the Toolkit and the Training Manual. Contact the publisher at


URL: http://www.helpthehospices.org.uk/our-services/international/what-we-do-internationally/education-and-training/palliative-care-toolkit/


A handbook for network support agents and other community workers supporting HIV prevention, care support and treatment (2009)

Author: HIV/AIDS International in Uganda

Description: „The handbook provides key information on a broad range of areas affecting people living with HIV/AIDS including: basic communication skills for counselling and situations where counselling might be needed; HIV and ARV treatment and the ABC of Septrin, the antibiotic used for treatment of infections and as a prophylaxis for opportunistic infections ; food and nutrition basics and home based care; Illness and HIV/AIDs including other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis; focussing on the family including integrating family planning into prevention of mother to child transmission, working with orphans and vulnerable children, and preparing a will; understanding gender roles in the context of HIV/AIDS, positive prevention and behavioural change and getting the community educated and involved ; stress management and caring for NSAs.“

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file
URL: http://www.eldis.org/go/display&type=Document&id=44694


Safe, voluntary, informed male circumcision and comprehensive HIV prevention programming: Guidance for decision-makers on human rights, ethical and legal considerations (2008)

Author: UNAIDS, AIDS Law Project, South Africa

Description: Provides guidance on the human rights, legal and ethical issues that decision makers may need to consider when they are deciding whether or not to initiate or expand male circumcision services in the context of comprehensive HIV programming.

How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [ 408 kb]
URL: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/malecircumcision/guide_decision/en/index.html


Stepping Stones: A training package in HIV/AIDS, communication and relationship skills

Author: Alice Welbourn

Description: Stepping Stones is a training package in gender, HIV, communication and relationship skills.” Stepping Stones from the outset takes the standpoint that we are all affected by HIV, its causes and its consequences, and that therefore the only effective response to the virus is going to be a collective one. From the start the program adopts a human rights based approach. It is careful not to distinguish between those who are infected and those who may not be and aims to break down the barriers between “us” and “them” which many HIV prevention programs still inadvertently promote”

How to obtain: Available one free copy each of the 'Stepping Stones' training manual (in English, French or Portuguese) and the workshop video (in English or French) to organisations based in sub-Saharan Africa that cannot afford to purchase them. To request free copies, please write to introduce your organisation, explaining in full your aims and objectives, describing the activities you carry out and specifying which sections of the community you work with. Specify also whether you are requesting a printed version of the manual, or a copy on CD. After you have used 'Stepping Stones' and sent your feedback, the publisher can provide you with a copy of 'Stepping Stones PLUS', which consists of new exercises and sessions designed to promote a whole community approach to the HIV epidemic.

URL: http:// www.steppingstonesfeedback.org





Author: Healthlink Worldwide

Description: The AIDS Action CD-ROM offers all Healthlink Worldwide’s essential information on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The information has been developed for health and community workers who work with resource-poor communities around the world, and will be particularly useful to people who have limited access to other sources of information.

How to obtain: Fill in the form to request your free copy
URL: http://www.aidsaction.info/about/requestcd.html



Author: United Nations Population Division

Description: The Population, Resources, Environment and Development Databank (PRED Bank) brings together data series dealing with various aspects of population, labor force, education, economic and social development, land, water and energy use. It also provides the texts of selected international treaties and conventions related to major environment and development issues. The 140 variables on the CD-ROM include regional, sub-regional and national data, over time, for 228 countries and regions.

How to obtain: United Nations Population Division, as part of its technical cooperation program, would be able to provide one copy of the CD-ROM free of charge to interested institutions in developing countries, upon request on the institution's letterhead paper. Correspondence should be addressed to Ms. Hania Zlotnik, Director, Population Division, Room DC2-1950, United Nations, New York, New York 10017, USA, or faxed to +1-212-963-2147.

URL: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/predbank4/predbank.htm


Clinical Mentoring Toolkit (2008)

Author: I-TECH

Description: This clinical mentoring toolkit is a comprehensive guide for developing, implementing, and evaluating clinical mentoring programs. This updated edition of the toolkit contains many new documents, tools, andarticles reflecting the rich diversity and depth of I-TECH's program experience in clinical mentoring. The toolkit has been reorganized so that it is easier to navigate, with sections specifically aimed at program developers and managers, trainers of clinical mentors, and clinical mentors themselves

How to obtain: Available online and as a CD (1-3 copies are free). To order – fill the form at http://www.go2itech.org/itech?page=db-order_toolkit

URL: http://www.go2itech.org/HTML/CM08/index.html


IMARK Information Management ToolKit

IMARK is an e-learning initiative in agricultural information management developed by FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and partner organizations. IMARK is building upon existing resources to create a comprehensive suite of distance learning resources for information management and exchange. IMARK supports agencies, institutions and networks worldwide, and helps them to work together and share information more effectively. “Modules” is a series of computer-based distance learning curricula and resources for agricultural information management on CD and via the Internet. Each IMARK module treats one of the major subject areas in such a way that practitioners and experts of various levels of experience from a wide range of institutions and organizations will benefit.

URL: http://www.imarkgroup.org/aboutimarkintro_en.asp

The following Modules are available now:

Investing in information for development module

Description: The IMARK module entitled "Investing in Information for Development" provides the knowledge and awareness required to support individuals responsible for formulating improved information management strategies within their organizations and through partnerships. Unit 1 - How to invest in Information for Development. Unit 2 - Information Strategy. Unit 3 - Information Access. Unit 4 - Information Dissemination. Unit 5 - Organization and Management. Unit 6 - Evaluating an Information Project

How to obtain: Please fill out the form to request a copy of your module on CD-ROM at

URL: http://www.imarkgroup.org/moduledescrD_en.asp

Management of Electronic Documents

Description: The module offers a series of lessons on electronic document management which introduce basic concepts and describe specific work flows and topics. The lessons include relevant resources and additional reading. Learners can also consult a glossary specific to the module and search within the course materials for specific terms. Unit 1 – Overview. Unit 2 - Formats for electronic documents and images. Unit 3 – Metadata standards and subject indexing. Unit 4 - Production and management of electronic documents. Unit 5 - Database management systems. Unit 6 - Networking documents and databases.

How to obtain: Please fill out the form to request a copy of your module on CD-ROM at http://www.imarkgroup.org/order_en.asp?modulecode=A&modulelang=en

URL: http://www.imarkgroup.org/moduledescrA_en.asp

Building Electronic Communities and Networks

Description: “The module covers the approaches, methods, and tools used to build electronic communities, and covers the various steps and procedures for developing and facilitating electronic communities. The total curriculum consists of 29 lessons, ranging from approximately 15 to 90 minutes duration, grouped into five units, for a total of about 16 to 22 hours of self-paced instruction. Each lesson includes a list of job aids, online resources and additional reading. Learners can consult a glossary specific to the module, and search within the course materials for specific terms. A series of non-proprietary methodological guides are also provided.”

How to obtain: Please fill out the form to request a copy of your module on CD-ROM at http://www.imarkgroup.org/order_en.asp?modulecode=C&modulelang=en

URL: http://www.imarkgroup.org/moduledescrC_en.asp

Digitization and Digital Libraries

Description: The module provides 31 lessons concerned with the creation of digital libraries and the preservation of materials in digital format. Also included are lessons covering copyright issues, electronic formats for text and images, metadata and subject indexing, as well as a comprehensive overview of the creation and management of digital documents. Unit 1 - Conceptual overview. Unit 2 - Electronic documents and formats. Unit 3 - Metadata standards and subject indexing. Unit 4 - Creation and management of digital documents. Unit 6 - Example of digital library software – Greenstone.

How to obtain: Please fill out the form to request a copy of your module on CD-ROM at http://www.imarkgroup.org/order_en.asp?modulecode=E&modulelang=en

URL: http://www.imarkgroup.org/moduledescrE_en.asp




SimIns - Health Financing Policy Tool. Version 2.1 of SimIns released in May 2008

Author: Guy Carrin and Chris James

Description: The SimIns software developed and jointly owned by WHO and GTZ. SimIns is a computerized tool to aid in making health financing policy decisions. It does so by projecting health expenditure and funding for a 10 year time period. Thereby it allows to evaluate the feasibility of alternative mixes of financing sources, including social health insurance, community-based health insurance and government budget lines. It can be applied to both existing or planned schemes.

How to obtain: SimIns is available on request. Please send an email to: simins@who.int for a copy and further information.

URL: http://www.who.int/health_financing/tools/simins/en/index.html


Compiled by Irina Ibraghimova
Library and Information Management Consultant
HealthConnect International
ibra [at] zadar.net

Back issues of the Free Information Resources Bulletin for the previous years (2004 -2008) are archived at http://www.eurasiahealth.org/eng/misc/publication4/

Call for participation 

Have you developed any resources (for example, educational materials, software applications, networks) that would be valuable to share with others? Have you been involved in any e-health projects that provide useful lessons learned or models that others can follow? Please send any ideas or suggestions for items to include in future issues of this bulletin to bulletin@healthconnect-intl.org.