5 December 2012

Project Report: Workshop on Health Information Literacy, Bangladesh

East West University took the initiative to conduct a project to grow leaders in the field of Health Information Literacy with support from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) under its Action for Development through Libraries (ALP) program in 2011-2012. The project was in three phases.

Background

Bangladesh is one of the most compactly populated countries in the world. Its population of over 140 million places a tremendous economic, social and environmental strain on the country’s resources. In spite of development successes in the last three decades, with fertility declining from 6.3 to 2.5 children/women, Bangladesh’s population is still projected to reach 200 million by 2050. The health status of mothers and children remains poor. Due to prevalent poverty, children (40%) and mothers (30%) suffer from moderate to severe underfeeding. Malnutrition is also a reason for the death of nearly a quarter of children under five. Bangladesh is also at high risk to the spread of HIV/AIDS, despite its low prevalence among the common population, due to a concentrated epidemic among injecting drug users. Bangladesh is considered one of 22 high burden countries for Tuberculosis (TB) and currently has the sixth highest frequency in the world.

To protect the country’s population from these types of problems and to build healthy and wealthy nation literacy is a crucial element that can play a significant role to develop a self dependent population as well as a nation.

East West University took the initiative to conduct a project to grow leaders in the field of Health Information Literacy with support from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) under its Action for Development through Libraries (ALP) program in 2011-2012. The project was in three phases.

The first phase of the workshop was a train the trainers workshop on health information literacy that was conducted on 27-30 July 2011.

The workshop was focused on different health and health related issues to promote the health information literacy among next generation of the country. A total of 35 participants from national & International leading public and private universities including North Bengal University, India, Maldives National University, Banaras Hindu Inuversity, Varanasi, India, Dhaka University, Rajshahi University, Independent University Bangladesh, and other national & International institutions took part.

The closing session of the workshop was held on 30th July 2011. This session was addressed by Md. Humayun Kabir, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh as chief guest.

The second phase of the workshop was Health Information Literacy that was conducted on 12 and 13 February 2012 at the East West University Auditorium. This workshop was specially designed for the researchers, faculty members, health workers and graduate and undergraduate students from different universities of the country. Professor Ahmed Shafee, Vice Chancellor, East West University emphasized that libraries have a pivotal role in promoting health information literacy.

The 3rd and last phase was conducted by the East West University Library on 20 July 2012. A total of 27 participants from public and private universities took part. Speakers urged the participants to use their knowledge to create a healthy society.

The Department of Information Science and Library Management, University of Rajshahi, introduced a topic on health information literacy for students after participating in this project.

East West University Library believes that this series of workshop successfully achieved its objectives and has created more awareness about practicing health information literacy.

Read the full report

LDP (Library Development Programme), Access to information, Bangladesh, public access to health information

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