Papers at the 4 day AHILA Congress, 2014, covered the theme “ICTs and access to information and knowledge”. Information seeking behaviours, access to and resources for health information were extensively reported and covered disparate groups ranging from academic researchers and students to mothers and students, teenage pregnant girls and older people (60 onwards). The problems of providing health information in rural areas, where some religious and cultural values can be a barrier to western medicine were the subject of a several studies and lengthy discussion. Highlights were presentations from community health workers and the organisation which trained them CUAMM.
April 25th is World Malaria Day & there’s mixed news concerning the GlaxoSmithKline RTS,S vaccine: 65% of children vaccinated were protected in the 1st year, but protection declined to zero over the next 3 years so booster shots will be essential. Vaccine efficacy also declined faster in children who were more exposed to malaria than in those who had below-average exposure. Effectiveness is at the heart of the problem of malaria control. Oxfam’s report “Salt, Sugar And Malaria Pills” highlighted their concerns on the effectiveness of Global Fund's Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (focussed on increasing access to artemisinin-combination drugs).