We are pleased to announce that Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) 16 Biennial Conference will be held in Ibadan, Nigeria from 14-18 October, 2019.
The main theme of the Conference is Achieving healthy lives and well-being in Africa through access to and use of information.
The Conference Theme focuses on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Health and wellbeing is one of the key goals in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is a framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These encompass economic, environmental and social development. They lay out a plan for all countries to engage actively in making our world better for its people, with no-one left behind. These are challenging times for our profession as libraries are key institutions for achieving the Goals and as health information professionals, we have a crucial role to play in contributing to the health and well-being of the people of Africa. In an interdependent and interconnected world, we need to share and learn from each other and from other professionals. This is an opportunity to look at what others are doing, as well as what we are doing, and to showcase partnerships and collaborations which take forward this goal.
1. Application of ICTs to support medical education, quality health care and well-being
ICTs have revolutionised our work from MEDLINE to health research management for quality and evidence (organising output, data management, bibliometrics, Open data/Big data) and social media. Papers should contribute to our understanding of how health librarians in Africa have used these technologies and the partnerships established through implementing them. Research and evaluation studies as well as papers describing projects from inception to implementation and evaluation are welcome.
2. The contribution of health literacy to achieving health and well-being
Health literacy is an important public health topic which has grown in importance across the globe in recent years. It is more than just the ability to read and understand health related information; it also includes the motivation, ability and confidence to make informed decisions to help manage and improve health. As such it is highly relevant in the context of health in Sub Saharan Africa involving the whole population, including those who may not be currently in receipt of care. Papers may describe outreach activity projects, in house projects (e.g. in public libraries), case studies or needs assessments. Papers where possible should include a description of how any partnership working was set up and the contribution this made to achievement of the project.
3. Education and training for health sciences librarianship in the 21st century: is the curriculum addressing the need?
Health science librarians are continually needing to re-tool to meet new needs in constantly changing environments. The emergence of evidence -based policy /practice and systematic reviews has brought into sharp focus the vital contribution expert health information specialists make in the team. Additionally, the increasing need to demonstrate our value demands new competencies in advocacy; soft skills too are needed to assert our place in an increasingly collaborative work environment. Papers should contribute to our understanding of education and training for health librarians in Africa. This may include research into the areas below
· How educational institutions, which have traditionally provided undergraduate and graduate courses in librarianship, have responded to specific requirements of work in health information.
· What role practising health librarians have in ensuring the educational infrastructure is fit for purpose in rapidly changing environments.
· What findings and /or recommendations are emerging from current research into the curriculum for health science librarians’ /information specialists.
4. Reaching out to under-served communities to achieve health and well-being in Africa: contribution of health information professionals
Papers should give examples of new and/or innovative projects that have been implemented by health information professionals, to reach out to the hard to reach areas, giving evidence of what was learnt and demonstrating that a specified group of people was reached and supported. This should include evidence of results. New roles undertaken by health information professionals should be highlighted. We encourage papers reporting projects working collaboratively with other professionals
We hope to hear from professionals in any sector involved in health information including public health professionals, pharmacists, ICT professionals and others with a passion for reliable health information. We encourage submissions describing working across professional boundaries and the lessons learned from such collaborations and partnerships. We especially encourage submissions from current and recently graduated LIS students, (Masters or PhD), who would like to take this opportunity to present their research to a community of health information professionals.
We welcome proposals in English, French and Portuguese in the following formats:
1. Congress papers (15-20 mins). An opportunity to present how your work, (project or research) innovates and/or contributes to the evidence base of our professional practice.
2. Lightning talk (5 mins). Shorter presentations supported by a maximum of 3 slides on the above sub themes. Please consider this if you have something to share but do not have a full paper.
3. Interactive sessions (up to 25 mins). With the venue offering breakout rooms, we particularly encourage presentations with interactive elements.
- Panel discussions (30 mins). Panels comprised oof 2-3 representatives from different countries commenting on an agreed topic or challenge.
- Posters. An opportunity to present your work/project/research in visual form. Time will be included during the conference to allow poster presenters to engage directly with delegates and discuss the contents of their poster. Please consider this if you would prefer to present in a less formal way.
Abstract Submission Guidelines
Only abstracts reporting completed research work or implemented projects will be considered for Congress Papers. The abstract must be submitted in an electronic format and must contain:
Title of abstract/paper
Summary of abstract (250 � 300 words maximum)
An indication of the sub-theme the abstract is focusing on
An indication of format (Paper, Lightning talk, Interactive session, Panel discussion or Poster)
Speaker’s name, address, telephone number(s), professional affiliation, email address, keywords (not more than five) and biographical note (40 words).
Abstracts must be submitted also for all other formats,
Research papers should include some introduction/background, methods, results/findings and discussion of the results/findings, implications of the study and areas for possible further research. Project report papers should include innovative approaches, evaluation and lessons learned.
Friday 31 May, 2019: Deadline for submission of abstracts
Sunday 30 June, 2019: Notification of acceptance/rejection
Submissions should be sent as email attachments, by the dates indicated above, to:
and copied to:
Samuel Bello - firstname.lastname@example.org
All proposals must be received by Friday 31 May, 2019
Grace A. Ajuwon, MLS, CLN, Ph.D
E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library,
College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
HIFA profile: Grace Ajuwon is the Reference and Information Services Librarian at the University of Ibadan, College of Medicine, E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library, Nigeria. She is a HIFA Country Representative and is currently President of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa.
agajuwon AT yahoo.com