A public-private partnership known as Research4Life that is sponsored in part by Microsoft, has been commended by the Global Business Coalition on Health and will be honored during that organization’s annual GBCHealth conference and awards dinner in New York City at the Roosevelt Hotel on May 14 and 15. In announcing the awards, John Tedstrom, President and CEO of GBCHealth said, “This year’s award winning and commended companies embrace GBCHealth’s expanded mandate and showcase an unprecedented diversity of innovative private sector solutions to global health problem. Collectively, these programs demonstrate the unique power of business to help overcome our world’s most pressing health challenges.”
Research4Life is a public-private partnership of Microsoft, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Cornell and Yale Universities and more than 150 science publishers. Through a group of thematic web portals, Research4Life provides free or low-cost online access to a ‘’Library-In-a-Box’’ (LIB) comprised of a rich set of online scientific published literature, including subscription-based and open access information resources, in topical areas supporting the improvement of quality of life for the benefit of university, research, and policy institutions in 108 low-income countries. It also supports the effective use of ‘’Library-In-a-Box” research materials among academics, students, and government personnel by providing training in information literacy skills, and promoting local authorship to help researchers in developing countries to participate in the achievements of the global scientific community.
One of the Research4Life “Library in a Box” initiatives, HINARI, is in partnership with WHO. It provides access to peer-reviewed journals covering medicine, nursing and related health and social sciences. It also includes many databases, indexes and reference books, as well as journals in several languages.
Just one example of HINARI’s success can be seen at the Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam where is gives doctors and staff access to journals and research. As a result, they have been able to develop one of the country’s most modern health facilities and medical libraries. Doctors at Bach Mai Hospital say HINARI has helped to provide a base of information for a hospital that would not have enough funding to purchase the most up-to-date medical journals. Benefitting from a free annual subscription to HINARI’s resources, the hospital employs 800 doctors and supports over 2,200 patients. With just a click of the button, HINARI’s electronic library searches key words or symptoms providing constant updates and new methods of diagnosis and treatment in the fast-changing medical field.
Congratulations to Research4Life’s “Library in a Box”, and technology partner Microsoft, on receiving this commendation from the Global Business Coalition on Health. I’d say, “Job well done!”
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft