The meeting was chaired by Mr William Nkata, Mental Health Practitioner at Mind Professionals & Beacon Healthcare Services, UK, and a founding member of the East African Healthcare Forum.
He introduced Dr Tracey Eastman, the Director of Global Development, to speak on behalf of the BMJ, who were our hosts for the occasion. After introducing her colleagues Richard Purdy and John O’Connell from the BMJ Healthcare Commercial team, she spoke to the audience about the online learning platform and clinical decision support protocol that BMJ have developed to advance healthcare practice worldwide.
We then heard from our Keynote Speaker, Professor Maria Musoke, Professor of Information Science at Makerere University and Chair of the Health & Biosciences Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
She gave us the key findings of her research, which is that ‘for people to continue to access information, they must attach value to it.’ Her book, ‘Informed and Healthy: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives on the value of Information to Health Care,’ has recently been published by Elsevier Foundation; details of how to purchase it are at the bottom of this article.
She described the demographics of Uganda and its healthcare system, and the issues that affect the ability of the population to access and continue to use healthcare information, as evidenced by her research.
One of the outcomes of her research was that it enabled her to give feedback to the Department of Health, resulting in improved quality of information provided in polio vaccination advertisements.
Since completing her research, she has given feedback about her results to the research participants, and has carried out ongoing health education programmes based on her findings.
Her research has been well received in the academic world, and has led to modification of previously held models of information behaviour, to incorporate the interaction from her research i.e. the value of healthcare information.
Finally, we heard from her former Headmistress, Mrs Margaret Nsereko, and the meeting was closed by one of her valued supporters in the UK, Dr Shane Godbolt.
The book launch was a great success and is to be followed by a Ugandan book launch at Makerere University, hosted by the Vice Chancellor, on 27 September 2016.
To purchase her book, please go to: http://store.elsevier.com/Informed-and-Healthy/Maria-Musoke/isbn-9780128042908/