It is increasingly apparent that, while the internet has given a huge boost to efforts to exchange health news and information around the world, most of the information sources available are still in just one language - English.
There are some encouraging programmes in operation to improve the situation. For example, BIREME exists to “contribute to the development of the health in the countries of the Latin America and the Caribbean by the promotion of the use of the scientific and technical health information”. More, however, needs to be done and it is very pleasing to note the launch of a new initiative for Portuguese speakers by HIFA2015.
HIFA2015 is a global campaign with the goal that “By 2015, every person worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider”. The HIFA2015 Email Forum is the main communication tool to bring all HIFA2015 members together. Staff at the World Health Organization and elsewhere have emphasised to HIFA2015 the need for parallel HIFA2015 forums in different languages, with linkages between them. As a result, HIFA-pt was launched last week at a meeting in Maputo, Mozambique.
The focus of HIFA-pt is on the 240 million people who live in the eight Portuguese-speaking countries:
Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome e Principe, and Timor Leste. Within days of its launch, over 350 people have joined.
For more information and how to join, see www.hifa2015.org/hifa-pt.
For information HIFA2015 and its other activities (including the CHILD2015 email forum) see http://www.hifa2015.org/about/.