Healthcare Information For All

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Healthcare Information For All (HIFA)
HIFA logo.jpg
Type Global Knowledge Network
Headquarters Charlbury, Oxford, UK
Coordinator Dr. Neil Pakenham-Walsh
Website Official website

Healthcare Information For All (HIFA) is a global network of health professionals, producers of reference and learning materials, librarians, technologists, researchers, and policymakers. Formerly known as HIFA2015 (Healthcare Information For All by 2015), the network was rebranded as HIFA in 2014. They have over 10,000 members from 2000 separate organisations in 167 countries worldwide.[1][2]

HIFA was formally launched in October 2006 at the 10th Congress of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa in Mombasa, Kenya.[2] The network is administered by the Global Healthcare Information Network, a nonprofit organisation based in the United Kingdom. Universal and user-friendly access to relevant, reliable health information is considered a vital part of meeting the World Health Organization's goal of Health For All and the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.[3]


In 2007, HIFA members developed organisational goals, which include the goal that "By 2015, every person worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider." The HIFA definition of "healthcare provider" includes citizens as well as health workers, recognising the importance of parents, children and families as providers of care, especially in low-income countries where health workers may be absent or hard to reach.[4] This goal is supported by 215 health and development organisations,[5] including the British Medical Association; BioMed Central; CAB International; Cochrane Collaboration; Hesperian Foundation; ICCDR, B; International Confederation of Midwives; International Council of Nurses; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine;[6]Medical Library Association; Partners in Health; Partnerships in Health Information; Public Library of Science; Royal College of Midwives; Royal College of Nursing; Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; The Joanna Briggs Institute; THET; and Wikimedia Canada.[7]

HIFA has a sister network, CHIFA, formerly known as CHILD2015, which focuses on child health and rights. CHIFA has 2500 international child health professionals and other professionals, with the goal that "By 2015, every child worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider." [8] CHIFA is administered jointly by Global Healthcare Information Network, International Child Health Group (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health), and International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health.

Each year, the campaign addresses the information needs of a particular group of healthcare providers, including:

  • 2008–15: Medical, nursing and midwifery students
  • 2009–15: Nurses and midwives
  • 2010–15: Community health workers
  • 2011–15: Mothers and family caregivers
  • 2012–15: Citizens, mothers and families
  • 2013–15: Users and prescribers of medicines

In November 2009, the Global Healthcare Information Network and ePORTUGUESe (World Health Organization) launched a Portuguese version of HIFA.[9] HIFA–Portuguese has more than 1800 members in the eight Portuguese-speaking countries (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste), which have a combined population of 240 million people.

In June 2010, the Positive Practice Environments Campaign, hosted at the International Council of Nurses in Geneva, officially incorporated the HIFA2015 Fact Sheet: Meeting the information needs of health professionals into their campaign materials to empower health workers worldwide to deliver evidence-informed health services to the global population.[10][11][12]

In October 2010, the Global Healthcare Information Network and the Evidence-Informed Policy Network at the World Health Organization in Geneva launched a French-speaking version of HIFA with a focus on the information needs of policy makers for health in francophone Africa.[13]

In May 2011, the British Medical Association hosted the first international HIFA2015 Conference.[14] Virginia Barbour, Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Medicine, said, "It is a shameful fact that in 2011 people are still dying because their healthcare workers don’t have access to the information they need."[15]

In May 2011, HIFA-Zambia was launched in collaboration with the Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance.

From January to September 2011, HIFA underwent an external evaluation funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, which concluded: “HIFA2015 achieves an extraordinary level of activity on minimal resources from which many people around the world benefit".

In the summer of 2012, the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) formally became a new HIFA Supporting Organization. EASE supports the global initiative by advising authors to make abstracts of their papers highly informative, reliable, and easily understandable (see EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles).


HIFA is currently supported (2014) by financial contributions from the British Medical Association (main funder), Africa Health, African Health Policy Network, Anadach Group, British Medical Association, CABI, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Community Dermatology Journal, Council of International Neonatal Nurses, Global Health Media Project, Haiti Nursing Foundation, Health Sciences Online, Institution of Engineering and Technology, Instituto de Cooperación Social INTEGRARE, International Foundation for Dermatology, International League of Dermatological Societies, International Child Health Group, International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health, Joanna Briggs Institute, The Lancet, LiveWell Initiative, Medical Aid Films, Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, mPowering Frontline Health Workers,, Network for Information and Digital Access, Operation Hernia, Partnerships in Health Information, Physicians for Haiti, Public Library of Science, Royal College of Midwives, Rural and Remote Health Journal, The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust, Virtual Development, and the Zambia Health UK Workforce Alliance.[5]


  1. ^ Smith, Richard; Koehlmoos, Tracey Pérez (30 June 2011). "Provision of health information for all". BMJ. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4151. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Bailey, C; Pang, T (Jul 17–23, 2004). "Health information for all by 2015?". Lancet 364 (9430): 223–4. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16686-5. PMID 15262080. 
  4. ^ Global Healthcare Information Network (2007). "HIFA2015 Foundation Document". 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Unsecured texts and emails as a method for getting medical answering services. Medical Answering Service. 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Support". HIFA2015. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  8. ^ "CHILD2015". HIFA2015. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  9. ^ "WHO | The ePORTUGUÊSe network". 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  10. ^ "Positive practice environments for health care proffessionals". PPE Campaign. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Invitation to HIFA2015". 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  13. ^ "WHO | Evidence-Informed Policy Network". Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  14. ^ Wise, Jacqui, T (2011-05-10). "Access to health information is vital for low income countries". BMJ 342: d2950. doi:10.1136/bmj.d2950. PMID 21558356. 
  15. ^ Barbour, Virginia (May 12, 2011). "HIFA2015 Conference: lack of access to healthcare information is lethal". Public Library of Science. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 

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