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Two colleagues have done a literature review on the Information needs of health care workers in developing countries with a focus on Africa. Their damning conclusion:

“Health care workers in developing countries continue to lack access to basic, practical information to enable them to deliver safe, effective care.

Studies suggest a gross lack of knowledge about the basics on how to diagnose and manage common diseases, going right across the health workforce and often associated with suboptimal, ineffective and dangerous health care practices. If this level of knowledge and practice is representative, as it appears to be, it indicates that modern medicine, even at a basic level, has largely failed the majority of the world's population. The information and learning needs of family caregivers and primary and district health workers have been ignored for too long. Improving the availability and use of relevant, reliable health care information has enormous potential to radically improve health care worldwide”

The full article is in Human Resources for Health, an open-access journal: http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/7/1/30