open access healthcare library

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MEDBOXMEDBOX is an open access online library for humanitarian professionals working to improve the quality of healthcare worldwide.

An independent internet platform supported by international agencies and scientific institutions active in humanitarian assistance and development work, MEDBOX collates professional guidelines, textbooks and practical documents on health action and makes them accessible to health workers online.

Access to MEDBOX is free of charge, offering currently around 1,200 documents on all aspects of health action.

MEDBOX is still under development and welcomes more documents, training materials and presentations relevant to improve the quality of healthcare. Submit your questions, comments or contributions to:

Live broadcast of Global Cancer Care symposium, 8 February 2014

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The Global Oncology Initiative is hosting a symposium, Global Cancer Care: Challenges and Opportunities, on Saturday, 8 February, from 8:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m EST.

A live broadcast will be available on the symposium page.

Symposium topics include:

  • Burden of cancer in low- and middle-income countries
  • Barriers to cancer therapies in low-resource settings
  • Innovative solutions to improve access to cancer care

Keynote presenters include:

  • Thomas Gross, MD, PhD, deputy director of science, NCI Center for Global Health
  • Rifat Atun, MBBS, MBA, professor of international health management, Imperial College London
  • Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, professor of global health and social medicine, Harvard Medical School and co-founder, Partners in Health

Online participation is encouraged. Presenters will answer questions submitted electronically or via social media. Questions may be submitted by using Twitter hashtag #askGlobalOnc, or sending email to

Follow Global Oncology on Twitter (@GlobalOnc) and Facebook.

The Global Oncology Initiative is an academic and community-­based organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, leading efforts in global oncology and working to improve cancer care and research in resource-sensitive settings. Free portal to health sciences courses

Leave a comment is a portal to free, accredited, higher education with a focus in the health sciences. It partners with leading universities, professional societies, and government organizations like the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization.’s accredited partners give learners credit for this training (or institutions can adopt them and use them with their students), all for free and without advertisements. All our courses are competency-based, and include a global peer community of practice, and local skills-oriented mentorships.

Chronic care integration for NCDs

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Partners in Health is making available the Guide to Chronic Care Integration for Endemic Non-communicable Diseases. This guide is for district-level health care providers and policy makers designing a health system for care of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in rural Rwanda and other very low-income populations.

The guide focuses on NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatic heart disease, and respiratory diseases. It also covers the role of community health workers, family planning, mental health and social services in the treatment of chronic disease.

1. Bukhman G, Kidder A. The PIH Guide to Chronic Care Integration for Endemic Non-communicable Diseases. Boston: Partners in Health, 2011.

Case management guide for diabetes, heart disease and related conditions

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The UK Department for International Development has made available Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity and Hyperlipidaemia Care in Adults: Case Management Desk Guide. This document guides health care workers on the screening, detection and management of type 2 diabetes and its related conditions (hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, alcoholism and smoking). The guide is currently in draft form.

Click here to access a PDF of the guide. Open access training in health care

Leave a comment is a website dedicated to addressing the worldwide shortage of health care providers through comprehensive, open access training resources. The resources are designed for individual and small group learning, accessed through low-cost computers. The website is designed and maintained by students, for students.

Visit the website at

New Global Health Education website launched by the University of Toronto

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The new Global Health Education (GHE) website aims to educate, engage and connect students with an online educational resource and networking tool for global health affairs. GHE is a collective of students and professionals committed to understanding and contributing to global health.

Several components of the website may be relevant to students interested in global health:

1) Global health basics: Don’t know much about global health, but curious to learn? Check out the GH Basics page for links to fundamental resources.

2) International experiences: A series of honest reflections by students on the rewards and challenges of international work.

3) Academic and career resources.

4) Self-learning resources: links to open course ware, online global health modules and more.

5) News and Interviews: articles and interviews with global health professionals on emergent issues created by students for students.



Meeting the information needs of health professionals

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“Access to health information should be considered as equally important as to access to drugs and equipment. All are essential tools in the delivery of safe, efficient and effective care and/or advice.” – PPE Fact Sheet

The PPE Fact Sheet ‘Meeting the information needs of health professionals,’ prepared by the HIFA2015 Steering Group and the PPE Secretariat, is now available in three languages.

Healthcare Information for All by 2015 (HIFA2015) is a global campaign and knowledge network with more than 3,000 members from 1,800 organizations in 150 countries worldwide, all working towards the HIFA2015 goal: ‘By 2015, every person worldwide will have access to an informed health care provider.’

The Positive Practice Environments (PPE) Campaign is a multi-agency collaboration which aims to improve work environments, staff recruitment and retention and quality of health services through the development of positive practice environments.

The fact sheet is available in PDF in English, French and Spanish:

  • English: Positive Practice Environments: Meeting the information needs of health professionals (PDF 196 KB)
  • French: Environnements favorables à la pratique: répondre aux besoins d’information des professionnels de la santé (PDF 244 KB)
  • Spanish: Entornos positivos para la práctica: Dar respuesta a las necesidades de información de los profesionales de salud (PDF 202 KB)

Better diabetes training for primary care providers needed in Brazil

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Primary health care providers in Brazil reported in a study that they felt insufficiently prepared to conduct educational practices for people with diabetes, pointing to gaps in their knowledge on the disease and the importance of diabetes self-management. The study findings indicate that the health professionals are aware and want to modify their behavior in patient education and complain of a lack of training for such change, specifically in relation to patient education in diabetes.

The current patient education process is based on health professionals “transferring” information on diabetes, rather than a more comprehensive and effective educational approach. The study suggests that the more appropriate approach should focus on the need to establish a dialogue between the provider and the patient and thus on the capacity to hear the needs and demands of the patient.

1. Torres HC, Rozemberg B, Amaral MA, Bodstein RCA. Perceptions of primary healthcare professionals towards their role in type 2 diabetes mellitus patient education in Brazil. BMC Public Health 2010; 10: 583. (open access)