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Message from the President
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.

My dear colleagues the moment is here and the time is now, for health information professionals in Africa to take the lead in improving the health of the society. This should be done through active involvement in ensuring those providing healthcare as well as consumers access timely information.  Information plays a vital role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Specifically, progress towards the health MDGs 4, 5 and 6 , would be accelerated through the provision of accurate, relevant and up-to-date information resulting  in better decisions by healthcare providers and ultimately better healthcare. Besides providing information to the healthcare providers, preventive healthcare is paramount in ensuring a healthy society. I believe the most important step to a healthy society is to empower the consumer with information that will lead to better health practices. I applaud members of AHILA and more specifically local chapters for the attempt to deliver health information to the remote communities through various initiatives. The Blue Trunk Library is one such initiative supported by World Health Organisation (WHO) for the provision of information to remote regions.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team that worked tirelessly in order to develop a Strategic Plan for AHILA. The Strategic Plan that was endorsed by members at the General Assembly during the AHILA 12 Congress held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in October 2010 will act as the blue print for AHILA activities. Resolutions arising from the AHILA 12 Congress will also be incorporated as we plan the way forward. The strategic plan and resolutions will be made available on the AHILA website (http://www.ahila.org) and all members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the objectives and activities identified; we all need to own the process.

My team and I have a great journey ahead as we work to uphold the vision and mission of AHILA. The various challenges facing the association e.g. geographical location of members, resources, funding, notwithstanding, I believe that with a dedicated Executive team, together with our collaborators and partners, I will do my best to steer AHILA to greater heights. I would like to acknowledge the great work done by the immediate past president, the Late Vimbai Hungwe. Vimbai’s tragic death while in office was a great loss to the AHILA community and in his memory we will strive to work in the same enthusiasm, and dedication that he had.

As I take office I would like to highlight my priority areas as: development of functional and operational AHILA country chapters, strengthening of existing AHILA local chapters and improvement of communication among AHILA members. These will ensure strengthening of the association and subsequently achieve AHILA objectives throughout Africa.

As we continue to take lead in promoting access and use of health information through training, dissemination, repackaging, and of course embracing information and communication technologies, just to mention a few, I urge all AHILA members to work together towards making this vision a reality.

Thank you.

Nasra Gathoni (Ms.)
President Elect, AHILA 2010-2012 & 2012 -2014

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