9º Congreso Mundial de Información en Salud y Bibliotecas

Salvador, Bahia - Brasil, 20 a 23 de septiembre de 2005


4a. Reunión de Coordinación Regional de la BVS

19 y 20 de septiembre de 2005

The impact of E-resources in the provision of health and medical information services in Kenya


The impact of E-resources in the provision of health and medical information services in Kenya

Timely access to accurate and relevant health and medical information is crucial to the development and administration of healthcare services, research and teaching. The advent of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has brought many opportunities and challenges in the provision of library and information services in the health sector worldwide. This is especially the case for libraries in the Sub-Saharan Africa that had experienced massive budget cuts in the 1990’s. This adversely affected efficient and effective delivery of information services. Today most health and medical libraries in Kenya have embraced the use of ICTs in the management of their information resources. Currently a lot of relevant publications are available online and they can be accessed conveniently over the Internet by those libraries that have Internet connectivity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the lev el of usage of e-resources, their effects on the provision of information services and other library functions.  The paper further looks at open access resources such as Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) and International Network for Accessibility of Scientific Publications (INASP) open source databases, and the impact they have had in the provision of health information in Kenya. The authors carried out a survey to ascertain the impact of e-recourses on information access, retrieval and dissemination.  The survey also set out to ascertain the level of ICT literacy among the users and the information providers.  The paper recognizes the challenges that Librarians face in their endeavors to satisfy user need in the revolution of e-literature. As a result of the survey, the paper discusses challenges that librarians face as regards to limitations of reliable information infrastructure, which often interferes with connectivity.  Lack of marketing and training opportunities is equally addressed. The paper concludes by giving recommendations with emphasis that user satisfaction is a yardstick by which information providers will always rely on to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of their services.