High quality information is essential for good health, yet many individuals, practitioners, and health organisations—particularly in low and middle income countries—lack access to information. This problem has been highlighted many times, and Health Information for All 2015 (HIFA2015) was founded in 2006 with the aim that “by 2015 every person worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider—lack of relevant, reliable healthcare information will no longer be a major contributor to avoidable death and suffering” ( www.hifa2015.org/ ). It is unlikely that this ambitious goal will be achieved.
In HIFA2015’s definition, the term “healthcare providers” includes mothers and family caregivers, in recognition that their basic knowledge and decisions are crucial to survival. In many countries in Africa more than 80% of children die before they even reach a health facility. The term “healthcare information” refers to health knowledge for prevention and treatment of disease rather than routine statistical data.
Smith R, Koehlmoos TP. Provision of health information for all. BMJ. 2011 Jun 30;342:d4151.