Sixth International Congress on Medical Librarianship.
New Delhi, India, September/October 1990.

At the sixth congress (1990) in New Delhi, 46 papers (53%) were presented by delegates from developing countries, in contrast with the first congress (1953) in which only one delegate represented all of Africa. In evaluating local needs and their emerging national systems, the Arabic countries, Africa, India, and Latin America reported inadequate coverage of their medical literature in international databases. If South Africa were excluded, only 8% of African biomedical journals were indexed in Index Medicus. It was recommended that local area databases be developed, such as the LILACS database by BIREME for health sciences literature generated in Latin America. The political instability and socioeconomic dilemmas of developing countries were underscored by countries such as Zambia where 70% of subscriptions were recently cut. Attempts to develop networks and resource sharing among medical libraries in China were reported. While large centers in some areas are meeting the challenge of new technology and integrated systems, most libraries in developing countries are still confronted with basic problems of distance, lack of resources, poor communications, inadequate facilities, and insufficient budget for daily operations.

--excerpted from The International Congress on Medical Librarianship, 1953-1995:
Goals and Achievements by Susan Crawford.