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The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) is a professional association founded in 1984 with 46 member countries, partners and collaborators worldwide.

The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa was founded in Nairobi on Thursday 23 August 1984 under the name - Association of African Medical Librarians Association (AMLA). The name later changed in 1988 to the 'Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa' so as to cater for those who are interested in health information issues and may not be librarians.

Aims and Objectives:
Improve provision of up-to-date and relevant health information
Encourage professional development of health librarians
Promote resource sharing in Africa and exchange of experiences
Promote the development and standardisation and exchange of health databases in Africa

Leader in promoting access and use of health information in Africa


News & Updates
Ugandan medical librarians win African health award
Two medical librarians from Uganda, Dr Alison Kinengyere and Ms Glorias Asiimwe, respectively Chair and Secretary of UG-AHILA, (the local country chapter of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa)  received a prestigious award for their report on health information activities in their country on 20 October 2014. Granted by AHILA and Partnerships in Health Information (Phi), the prize of £500 was sponsored by CABI, publishers of world-renowned bibliographic database, Global Health. Vice President of Tanzania, Mohamed Gharib Bilal, presented the award to the winners at the 14th AHILA Congress, which is taking place 20-24 October 2014 in Dar es Salaam.

The prize is intended to strengthen and support an existing AHILA chapter or facilitate the process of forming a country chapter with links to its national library association. Entrants were asked to describe partnership activities and events relevant to health information in their country, and show how they would spend the prize money to strengthen future health information activities.

Reviewed by a committee of distinguished international information professionals, judges said the librarians’ report was, “compelling in demonstrating a clear desire to develop the AHILA chapter, both in terms of activities and extended membership. Their objectives for the use of funding were clear and realistic.”

Dr Alison Kinengyere of Albert Cook Medical Library, Makerere University and Ms Glorias Asiimwe of Busitema University were very excited to win the award. “When I heard the news”, said Alison, “I felt humbled and thrilled that Glorias and I had won the award. Our Chapter has challenges and this will encourage and inspire us in overcoming them.”

Alison Kinengyere has worked with Phi organizing training workshops on the role that health librarians can play in improving public access to health information. A health librarian’s skill set is important for sourcing reliable evidence-based health information, partnership building and collaboration across professions. Glorias Asiimwe was formerly Education Lead at the African Prisons Project and is now Medical Librarian at Busitema University School of Medicine (BUSM), which is the newest medical school in Uganda, having been part of Busitema University.

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, opened the AHILA Congress. He commented that the use of ICTs to enhance the management, access and sharing of health information and knowledge, particularly in Africa’s rural communities where information asymmetries are more pronounced, is a development priority; the skills and expertise of AHILA’s members could make a significant contribution. He urged that they develop realistic, focused and implementable strategies and recommendations.

Message from the President

Dear Colleagues

Please take a moment to read the simplified guidance below. This is a wonderful opportunity to share an update with your colleagues as all submissions will be posted on AHILA’s website before the Dar es Salaam Congress. No more than 1,000 words are required ( max 1,500) and entries can be accepted in AHILA’s three official languages.

The purpose  is to highlight the various health information activities/initiatives that have been taking place in different countries  in Africa where there are active members of AHILA.

We know that members of AHILA are professionally active, have  networks within country and have great expertise to share. The task is not difficult if you think of it as ‘News from [country name]’ and of the poem below..

I keep six honest serving-men
  (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
  And How and Where and Who

DRAFT example for Health activity  in X

What about our country and its health issues?
Health infrastructure  and challenges. Is there an  MoH strategy /or not ; any links with MoH?  Key health problems  are?   Health institutions?  Medical/nursing  schools hospitals with librarians/ libraries. Health education expanding/static.

Raison d’etre. Contribution and role of health librarians? Changing? Expanding? Traditional? 

Any key  dates

How do we operate formal/informal network? Are we professionally active? If so how? Meetings? Projects? Conferences? Workshops?  Training?  Are we involved? MEPI? NAML? BookAid? INASP? Phi?  Other partnerships?  Are  we not very active?  Or even  not  active?

Are activities focused? In the Centre? in rural areas? Room space provided by members?

Is there  a country chapter of AHILA? Is there an informal network? Who is chair? Key committee/leaders ?

In summary  a productive time? Need/want  to do more …..?  if we/this report won the CABI prize we would spend it on…..?

The winning entry  will also benefit with  prize money 500 GBP  which is intended  to help local AHILA chapters to grow or to be set up. 
There  are a  few more details  on AHILA’s website (http://ahila.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=83). You will see the request is  really  a very simple one.  Finally be proud of yourselves and  your colleagues and what has been achieved.  This competition  is  not looking for  anything more complicated than what is  outlined above. This structure is indicative not prescriptive.  If you have other ideas these are welcome !

All entrants will be rewarded with a flash drive for submitting a report.
Please do not ignore this request as it is  important to step forward and  engage with those willing to support and fund AHILA  activities. For more information you can contact chipo@itca.org.

Deadlines for submissions is Monday, 29 September 2014

I would like to thank Phi and CABI for collaborating with AHILA in this initiative

Nasra Gathoni, President, AHILA

New prize Sponsored by CABI; Apply Now!

  Submissions are Invited for Short Report on Health Information Activities in an AHILA Member Country

Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) and Association for Health Information & Libraries in Africa (AHILA) are pleased to announce a new prize to be awarded at AHILA 2014 .The award is being generously sponsored by CABI, publishers of the world-renowned bibliographic database, Global Health which gives researchers and students unparalleled access to all the world's relevant public health literature

The award will be presented for the best short report showcasing health information activities in an AHILA member country. The award aims to strengthen the activities of AHILA members and/or chapters at country level. Therefore the reports should showcase partnership working. 

The prize money for the winning report is GBP 500.00. The money is intended to support and strengthen an existing AHILA chapter; or to facilitate the process of forming a country chapter with links to its national library association.

The competition will run from the end of July to the 1st of September 2014. 

The reports will be reviewed by a committee of distinguished international information professionals and the winner will be notified before the end of September. The prize will be awarded at the 14th Congress of AHILA which takes place from 20 – 24 October 2014.

Click here for more information on eligibility and submissions


Second Round of Public Access To Health Information Grants

Phi in collaboration with AHILA is pleased to announce a second round of funding for Improving Public Access to Health Information (PAHI).


The aim of the small grant is to enable health librarians/ health information professionals to carry out a project of their choosing.

Purpose of the small grant
The Association for Health Information & Libraries in Africa (AHILA) and Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) have been working together to incorporate Public Access to Health Information (PAHI) as a strand within AHILA’s strategic work. The main aim of the PAHI initiative has been to discuss what librarians can do, especially through partnership, to improve public access to health information. The challenge is to develop an idea which will promote public access to health information in your country or community. Phi and AHILA are looking for innovative proposals. Preference will be given to proposals which involve team working with other professions; or bodies like government departments, or with other networks e.g. churches or non-profit organisations. Females are encouraged to apply. In this round there will be one award of £1000 sponsored in full by Phi. .

  1. The lead applicant must be a paid up member of AHILA through either individual or institutional membership. (Applications should include an email from the AHILA Treasurer confirming membership - rchandemallya@gmail.com or rmallya@muhas.ac.tz).
  3. The grant is open to residents of African countries.
  5. Entries will be accepted in English, French or Portuguese.
  7. NB. AHILA Executive members are not eligible for this grant, but are however encouraged to work together with local AHILA members in developing ideas and implementing the projects.
Proposals coming from country chapters of AHILA will be favourably considered. If any intending applicants are uncertain how to get in touch with a local AHILA member/chapter please contact chipo@itoca.org 

Application Instructions
  1. Application forms are available from chipo@itoca.org. Any application which is not on the official form will not be considered.
  3. The application form will require:
    • A project summary (in English, French or Portuguese) of no more than 500 words. (Maximum 1side of A4). (see application form)
    • A work plan with time frames ( maximum 1 side of A4) (see application form)
    • A detailed budget (see application form)
    • Curriculum Vitae of the project lead and why/how they are qualified to undertake this project.
    • Brief details of partners and their roles.
  5. Applications should be submitted to chipo@itoca.org on or before 1 September 2014. Late entries will not be accepted.
  7. An email confirming receipt of application will be sent.
  9. Applicants are advised to study the assessment criteria below when preparing project proposals.
  11. The judges’ decision is final and the successful applicants will be notified by 19 September 2014.
Assessment criteria
  • Extent to which collaborative working and partnership is demonstrated
  • Extent to which the work project has been well thought out and structured 
  • Feasibility of project completion within the timescale.
  • Potential for future sustainability
  • Extent to which the proposed project will benefit the community
  • Demonstrated intention to share learning outcomes and benefits with wider LIS community
  • Willingness to participate in relevant publicity material or events
Information for the successful applicants
  • Successful applicants will need to provide details of an institutional bank account as funds cannot be transferred to personal accounts
  • A report of the activity, including a financial statement and photographs must be submitted no later than six weeks after the completion of the project.
  • Application deadline -- 1 September 2014
  • Winner notified -- By 19 September 2014
  • Project should be completed by -- 30 April 2015
  • Submission of project report -- Not more than 6 weeks after project completion
PAHI Award 2013
The 2013 recipients were Ms. Symprose Ouma for KenAHILA the Kenyan Chapter of AHILA and Ms. Monica Chipungahelo from the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre. Their project proposals were entitled “Enhancing Access to Health Information through Community Extension Health Workers (Chews) And Health Facility Chairpersons: A ToT Workshop” and “Promoting and Improving Public Access to Nutrition and health related Information in Health Facilities”.

Any intending applicants who have not attended a PAHI workshop are advised to familiarise themselves with the training materials used in the Cape Verde workshop (

Contacts: If you have any questions regarding the award and the process please contact Chipo Msengezi, Project Coordinator. Email:
chipo@itoca.org, Telephone: +27126634062

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From The President's Desk
Dear Colleagues,

I wish to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all AHILA members for the confidence and opportunity given to me to serve the Association in the capacity as the President. This is indeed a great honour and I feel extremely privileged. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the rest of the executive members who were elected to office. more...

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