In Nigeria when one trained to become a medical doctor and when one practiced as a junior doctor in the 1970s and 1980s the teaching hospitals and general hospitals all had libraries. Infact, as a member of the BMJ-NMF delegation to Lagos, Nigeria in 1995 to start the BMJ West Africa local edition, we visited hospital libraries and a central medical library in Lagos. Even ordinary health centers had collection of journals/books/periodicals that they called libraries. That was then.
The challenge was not their absence but rather their inadequacy in content and human resource, unlike today when hardly any hospital of any type has a functioning library.
The BMJ West Africa in 2003 (HRI West Africa) introduced and promoted Health Information Resource Centres (HIRC) as soft health information became available. The HIRC promoted the idea of combining hard information (books, journals, etc) and soft information (CD, Videos, PC,Internet etc) in space usually smaller, cheaper to start up and run. HIRC also incorporates capacity building : How to read, How to write, How to publish, and How to appraise information that is often not even peer reviewed or standardized.
HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: www.hriwestafrica.com Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group: http://www.hifa.org/people/steering-group jneana AT yahoo.co.uk