There has been considerable attention to providing electronic health information in the developing world, but until now, very little empirical evidence exists about how it is accessed and utilized. Research capacity is lacking in East Africa, where 400 surgeons care for more than 200 million people. Isolation, burden of practice and resource limitations make surgical education and research difficult in Africa. Electronic access to health information reduces these obstacles and the rapid spread of internet access in the African medical community makes it an increasingly attractive means to disseminate information and promote co-operation.
Access to quality health information is at the foundation of any realistic attempt to build research capacity in Africa and Ptolemy is highly leveraged to build research capacity in Africa and Ptolemy is highly leveraged to build research capacity and to foster scientific partnerships between Canadian and African researchers. The new knowledge generated will be valuable to local, national, and international health authorities, academic institutions, professional bodies and to national and international funding organizations. The groundwork laid here will lead to long-term grant proposals aimed at making a substantial impact on health through understanding how access to health information changes practice, education, and research in Africa.
A team of medical researchers and clinicians will be selected by the Ptolemy library and assigned as research affiliates in the developing worlds. They will be granted accounts that will enable them to fully access the University of Toronto library’s vast electronic resources. This privilege is deemed very important because having access to peer-reviewed medical literature, journals, and texts will help those designated as research affiliates to positively impact the health of people in the developing world.
Participation in this project is free, however, those will be using the Ptolemy project’s resources are requested to provide feedback to help us make improvements where needed.