University of Zimbabwe, College of Health
Sciences Library
Mr. Masimba Muziringa
[email protected]
My participation at this Health Libraries Group
Conference 2012, has been made possible
courtesy of a bursary from CILIP HLG.
I want to thank them all for affording me this
great opportunity.
Brief background about Zimbabwe
Understanding the role of the University
of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences
(UZ CHS) Library to inform medical
education, teaching, research, and
improved health outcomes in
Interesting Questions?
• What is the role of the medical library in
medical education and teaching?
• Is the medical library important in medical
• Is the medical librarian a valid member of the
healthcare delivery team?
• Are there any new skills required to function
and perform effectively in this environment?
Presentation Overview
• Background to the UZCHS Library
• Access to Information resources.
• Training Programmes
– Health Information Literacy
– Evidence based medicine literature searching
– Information Retrieval and Online Research.
• Partnerships and collaborations
• Conclusion
Background to UZCHS Library
• UZCHS Library is the medical branch unit of
the University of Zimbabwe Libraries
• Currently the ONLY Medical Library in
• It caters for 23 teaching departments as well
as 4 research institutes.
• It has the mandate of providing access to scholarly
medical information.
• Supports medical education, teaching and research in
• Nominated as the national focal point for the
dissemination of health information in Zimbabwe.
• UZCHS Library is also the W.H.O country depository
Access to Information Resources
• 70 000 printed copies of health sciences
• Provides access to 6 000 e-Books.
• Access to 8 500 journals through HINARI.
• INASP PERI resources
• UpToDate Clinical database
HINARI homepage
UpToDate Point-of-Care Database
UpToDate search results
Access to ICT infrastructure..
• Wireless connection available
• Internet bandwidth has been increased from
50 to the current 150 megabits per second.
(A 10 paged article can take less than 1 minute
to download)
• Internet access available to students, medical
researchers, academics, clinicians.
Three Pieces of the Puzzle
Health Information Literacy
• 7 NLM Affiliates/Associates from Kenya, Mali,
Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia &
Zimbabwe submitted a proposal to NLM to
develop IL manual.
• There was a need to standardise the training
of Health Information Literacy in Africa.
• The course is now being taught and is part of
the curriculum at UZ CHS.
Health Information Literacy
Training: Modules
 Module 1-Information Sources
 Module 2-Searching Tools
 Module 3- Searching Techniques
 Module 4-Intellectual Property Rights
 Module 5-Evaluating & Managing Information Resources
 Module 6-Communication Skills
Health Information Literacy:
Training manual
• The NAML received funding from the National
Library of Medicine (NLM)in USA for the
production of the manual.
• The manual has also been translated into French
and Portuguese and is also available in print as
well as an online versions.
• Currently the manual is being used to train health
care professionals in Africa.
Health Information Literacy: Online
NAML :Network Members
Information Retrieval and Online
• The UZCHS library conducted a needs survey
on the utilisation of electronic resources
among academic staff.
• The survey indicated a lamenting lack in:
– Knowledge of the electronic resources available
– The skills in accessing and retrieving the
– Critical skills of evaluating the literature.
Information Retrieval and Online
• As a direct response, the UZCHS came up with
an evidence informed training curriculum that
Planning a research search strategy
Generic ICT skills required in online research.
Evaluation of information sources
Reference management and anti plagiarism.
Training in Progress
Information Retrieval and Online
Research: Evaluation
• Post training assessment done have currently
– Increased utilisation of electronic resources
through download statistics.
– Increased research output by medical researchers
through total number of articles published in a
– Improved quality in research.
Evidence Based Medicine Literature
• The UZCHS has started rolling out trainings on
evidence based literature searching which are
aimed at improving access to information that
results in improved health care delivery..
• This training seeks to achieve these objectives:
Constructing a clinical question.
Search strategy formulation using a PICO.
Selection of appropriate sources for searching
Appraising the evidence for its validity and
Searching Strategy Overview:
Formulate clinical questions
• Patient, Population, Problem.
– What are the characteristics of the patient or population?
– What is the condition or disease you are interested in.
• Intervention or exposure
– What do you want to do with this patient (e.g treat,
diagnose, observe?)
• Comparison
– What is the alternative to the intervention (e. g Placebo,
different drug, surgery?)
• Outcome
– What are the relevant outcomes (e.g morbidity, death,
Example of a Case
• In female diabetic adult patients, the
treatment given at a rural clinic for vaginal
candida is clotrimazole vaginal cream. Could
there be a shorter period to cure if miconazole
were used instead?
Answerable question
Female Diabetic
Adults With
Vaginal Candida
Vaginal Cream
Reduced period
to cure, candida
In [Female Diabetic Adults With Vaginal Candida] is [Miconazole Vaginal
Cream] better than [Clotrimazole Vaginal Cream] at [reducing Period to
cure of candida]?
Outreach Activities
• UZCHS Library has a mandate of being the
national focal point for the dissemination of
health information.
• Capacity building programmes in finding,
organising and using health information
– Health Sciences Librarians
– Health care professionals
Partnerships and Collaborations:
Resource Mobilisation
• Health Inter Network Access to Research
Initiatives (HINARI)
• INASP PERI programme
• Book Aid International
• Global Health Delivery Online (UpToDate
Clinical Database)
Partnerships and Collaborations:
• Zimbabwe Health Libraries Consortium
• Network of African Medical Librarians (NAML)
• Association of Health Information Libraries in
Africa (AHILA)
• Limited/No budgetary support for collection
• Limited computing training facilities.
• Limited support for outreach programmes
• Limited support for capacity building
Opportunities and the way forward
• Stronger collaborations and cooperation
• Capacity building initiatives
• Sustainability
Thank you

Building capacity in finding, organising and using health