The ‘noughties’ era is undisputedly associated with a technology boom, rather than the under-representative term ‘growth,’ and subsequent information share. Because of this it can only be called shameful that in 2011 people continue to die because healthcare workers do not have the access they need to life-saving information.
Healthcare Information for All (HIFA2015) has claimed that tens of thousands of people die unnecessarily every day for want of simple, low-cost interventions – interventions which are often available locally. According to the organization four in ten mothers in India believe that they should withhold fluids if their baby develops diarrhea. It also claims that seven in ten women giving birth in health facilities in Africa and South Asia are incorrectly managed during the 3rd stage of labour, predisposing them to postpartum hemorrhaging. If mothers, family caregivers or health workers had access to information in a time of need, more appropriate decisions could be made, helping to reduce these high death rates.
Microsoft Research and BioMed Central are not alone in making a stand on this issue. HIFA2015, which held its first conference in London earlier this week, is represented by 1,800 organizations in 157 countries worldwide, a third of which are African countries.
It will take a global effort to fix this global problem. We need to work together.