Free Information Resources Bulletin
American International Health Alliance
The Free Information Resources Bulletin is intended to promote improved access to information resources for healthcare and social care institutions and professionals, with an emphasis on resources available in English. This bimonthly Bulletin provides information on different types of publications – manuals, monographs, books, journals, CD-ROMs and other resources – available for free in hardcopy or electronic format for professionals from countries with developing economies.
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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:
- Social determinants approaches to public health: from concept to practice
- Health professionals for a new century: Transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world
- Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2011
- Global Atlas on cardiovascular disease prevention and control
- Governance for health in the 21st century: a study conducted for the WHO Regional Office for Europe
- Innovating for Every Woman, Every Child: Thematic Report
- Return on Investment: Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention
- WHO Mental Health Atlas 2011
- Using Information Therapy to Put Patients First
- 'Called to Care' Toolkit. No. 9: More and Better Food. No.10: Papenting: A Journey of Love
- Testing Treatments - Better Research for Better Healthcare
Global State of Pain Treatment: Access to Palliative Care as a Human Right (2011)
Author: Human Rights Watch
Description: The report details the failure of many governments to take even basic steps to ensure that people with severe pain due to cancer, HIV, and other serious illnesses have access to palliative care, a health service that seeks to improve quality of life.
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [128p].
Social determinants approaches to public health: from concept to practice (2011)
Author: World Health Organization
Description: A new publication from the World Health Organization explores methods of addressing the social factors that impact public health, and the challenges that arise during implementation of such programmes. The book features 13 case studies from public health programmes in widely varied settings, ranging from menstrual regulation in Bangladesh and suicide prevention in Canada to malaria control in Tanzania and prevention of chronic noncommunicable diseases in Vanuatu. The thirteen case studies contained in this publication were commissioned by the research node of the Knowledge Network on Priority Public Health Conditions (PPHC–KN), a WHO-based interdepartmental working group associated with the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The case studies describe a wealth of experiences with implementing public health programs that intend to address social determinants and to have a great impact on health equity. They also document the real-life challenges in implementing such programs, including the challenges in scaling up, managing policy changes, managing intersectoral processes, adjusting design and ensuring sustainability.
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [220p].
Health professionals for a new century: Transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world (2010)
Author: A Global Independent Commission. The Lancet
Description: “New infectious, environmental, and behavioural risks, at a time of rapid demographic and epidemiological transitions, threaten health security of all. Health systems worldwide are struggling to keep up, as they become more complex and costly, placing additional demands on health workers. Professional education has not kept pace with these challenges, largely because of fragmented, outdated, and static curricula that produce ill-equipped graduates. The problems are systemic mismatch of competencies to patient and population needs; poor teamwork; persistent gender stratification of professional status; narrow technical focus without broader contextual understanding; episodic encounters rather than continuous care; predominant hospital orientation at the expense of primary care; quantitative and qualitative imbalances in the professional labour market; and weak leadership to improve health-system performance. Laudable efforts to address these deficiencies have mostly floundered, partly because of the so-called tribalism of the professions—ie, the tendency of the various professions to act in isolation from or even in competition with each other. Redesign of professional health education is necessary and timely, in view of the opportunities for mutual learning and joint solutions offered by global interdependence due to acceleration of flows of knowledge, technologies, and financing across borders, and the migration of both professionals and patients…”
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [116p].
Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2011
Author: World Health Organization
Description: The report features information about the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) situation in 193 countries. This includes details of what proportion of each country's deaths are due to diseases such as cancer, heart and lung diseases, and diabetes. Using graphs, on a page-per country presentation format, the report provides information on prevalence, trends in metabolic risk factors (cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and blood sugar) alongside data on the country's capacity to address the challenges posed by NCDs. Countries will be able to benchmark progress to date and determine where more efforts are needed
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [209p].
Global Atlas on cardiovascular disease prevention and control (2011)
Author: CVDs Joint Publication of the World Health Organization the World Heart FederationOrganization
Description: As the magnitude of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) continue to accelerate globally, the pressing need for increased awareness and for stronger and more focused international and country responses is increasingly recognized. This atlas on cardiovascular disease prevention and control is part of the response to this need. It documents the magnitude of the problem, using global cardiovascular mortality and morbidity data. It demonstrates the inequities in access to protection, exposure to risk, and access to care as the cause of major inequalities between countries and populations in the occurrence and outcome of CVDs. The report has graphs showing mortality rates of CVDs by age, by country/region, and is divided into three main sections: Section A: Cardiovascular diseases due to atherosclerosis, Section B: Other cardiovascular diseases, Section C: Prevention and control of CVDs: Policies, strategies and interventions.
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [164p].
Governance for health in the 21st century: a study conducted for the WHO Regional Office for Europe (2011)
Author: WHO regional Office for Europe
Description: „In this study, ‘governance for health’ is defined as the attempts of governments or other actors to steer communities, countries or groups of countries in the pursuit of health as integral to wellbeing through both a ‘whole-of-government’ and a ‘whole-of-society’ approach. It positions health and well-being as key features of what constitutes a successful society and a vibrant economy in the 21st century and grounds policies and approaches in values such as human rights and equity. Governance for health promotes joint action of health and non-health sectors, of public and private actors and of citizens for a common interest. It requires a synergistic set of policies, many of which reside in sectors other than health as well as sectors outside of government, which must be supported by structures and mechanisms that enable collaboration. It gives strong legitimacy to health ministers and ministries and to public health agencies, to help them reach out and perform new roles in shaping policies to promote health and wellbeing.“
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file English [1,5 MB], Russian [2,5 MB].
Innovating for Every Woman, Every Child: Thematic Report (2011)
Author: UN Innovation Working Group
Description: The first thematic report in a series from the Global Campaign for the Health Millennium Development Goals that is intended to provide examples of practical and inspirational actions and initiatives that try to address existing gaps in women’s and children’s health; and to “empower and inspire tomorrow’s innovators.” In many low- and middleincome countries, the heath care sector continues to fall short when it comes to safeguarding women and children’s health. Although providers of health services try to bring the right people with the right skills and the right resources together in the right place to deliver essential interventions, the report finds that these providers are often obstructed by social and economic barriers excluding women and children from receiving life-saving support. The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health aims to close the gaps behind these high mortality rates as it sets out the key areas where action is urgently required to enhance financing, strengthen policy and improve service delivery.
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [52p].
Return on Investment: Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention (2011)
Author: Canadian Policy Network at the University of Western Ontario. Canadian Institute for Health Information
Description: “The Canadian Population Health Initiative (CPHI) of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) commissioned the Canadian Policy Network at the University of Western Ontario to complete a scoping study that examines the return on investment and cost effectiveness of mental health promotion. Mental health issues will be among the leading causes of disability in Canada by 2030, yet there is limited information about the costs of interventions for mental illness prevention and mental health promotion. This scoping study found that there is research showing a return on investment for some mental health promotion/illness prevention interventions. The strongest evidence was for interventions targeting children and youth (such as those that focus on conduct disorders, depression, parenting, and suicide awareness and prevention), while the weakest evidence was from the workplace sector.“
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [76p].
WHO Mental Health Atlas 2011
Author: World Health Organization
Description: It presents data from 184 WHO Member States, covering 98% of the world’s population. Facts and figures presented in Atlas indicate that resources for mental health remain inadequate. The distribution of resources across regions and income groups is substantially uneven and in many countries resources are extremely scarce.
How to obtain: Available online as PDF file [82p].
Using Information Therapy to Put Patients First (2011)
Description: “Ideally, with every prescription, your doctor should prescribe information; and in a perfect world, every clinic, hospital, pharmacy and diagnostic centre would have a patient education resource centre, where people can find information on their health problems. This book explores how Information Therapy impacts all players in the healthcare ecosystem – patients, doctors, hospitals, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the government – and how it can help all of us.“
How to obtain: Available online
'Called to Care' Toolkit. No. 9: More and Better Food. No.10: Parenting: A Journey of Love (2011)
Author: The Strategies for Hope Trust
Description: “This 88-page workbook is an essential guide to food security in the age of climate change and the AIDS epidemic. It presents basic information about food and health, managing soil and water, and improving productivity through farming methods which also help to address the challenges of climate change. It is particularly relevant to people living with HIV, for whom food security is just as important as medical care.“
„This 56-page workbook is designed to inform, support and encourage parents, especially in countries where family life is being undermined by the AIDS epidemic. It is structured around five 'parental roles' defined by the World Health Organization, based on a review of 34 projects from around the world.“ . Both are well illustrated with line drawings and contain numerous participatory exercises for teaching skills through practical activities.
How to obtain: Available online as PDF files. To order copies, please contact TALC (firstname.lastname@example.org; www.talcuk.org). Organisations based in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific may request free copies by contacting the Series Editor: email@example.com. Organisations in South Africa may order the book from the Christian Literature Fund (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Testing Treatments - Better Research for Better Healthcare (2011)
Author: Imogen Evans, Hazel Thornton, Iain Chalmers and Paul Glasziou
Description: Second edition. “Over the past half century or so, better healthcare has made a major contribution to increased lifespan, and has improved the quality of life, especially for those with chronic conditions. But the triumphs of modern medicine can easily lead us to overlook many of its ongoing problems. Even today, too much medical decision-making is based on poor evidence….”
„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 [226p].
Compiled by Irina Ibraghimova, PhD
Library and Information Management Specialist
Back issues of the Free Information Resources Bulletin for 2004-2008 are archived at: