A modern medical library in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Nazim Uddin is the Senior Manager at the Library and Information Services Section of the International Centre for Diarrhea Disease Research in Bangladesh ICDDRB. A modern and vibrant library and information centre equipped with the most advanced tools and information technology for collecting, processing, and storing information.
With 14 million residents and counting, Dhaka is a fast-growing city in the world’s most densely populated country, Bangladesh. Despite being surrounded by rivers, very little people have access to portable water. The poor sanitation across the city, means that Bangladeshi people have to struggle to find clean water supplies but are also regularly in danger of tropical diseases such as cholera.
During the March to May monsoon season, between 600 to 800 patients daily visit the Diarrhea Hospital, part of the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), an institution leading the fight against cholera in Bangladesh and around the world. Since 1962 it has been dedicated to saving lives through research and treatment thanks to its highly knowledgeable and skilled clinicians, researchers, nurses, and health workers.
More than 200 researchers, who are part of the scientific staff at ICDDR,B, work on topics such as maternal and neonatal health, enteric and respiratory infections, emerging and re-emerging infections and non-communicable diseases. Their findings have made important contributions to the knowledge base of these focal areas, with the potential to influence both national and international policy and practice. During the past year more than 300 papers were published by the ICDDR,B staff.
Publication in peer-reviewed scientific literature is a key indicator of quality, and an important step in the dissemination of new scientific information. That is why researchers at ICDDR,B rely on Nazim Uddin, the Senior Manager at the Library and Information Services Section of ICDDR,B. Dr. Uddin has led the transformation of this section into a modern and vibrant library and information centre. It is equipped with the most advanced tools and information technology for collecting, processing, and storing information. Thanks to Dr. Uddin and his staff, researchers can access a collection of over 45,500 volumes of bound journals and books and over 176 journals through the Hinari programme.
A study carried out by Dr. Uddin, found that since 2003 “Hinari has been very well-received by scientific researchers at ICDDR,B. 60% of scientists questioned in a survey rated Hinari as an “excellent” way to access scientific publications. Hinari is also enabling vital research activities, including grant proposal writing, gaining knowledge of new scientific research, publishing their own work and downloading full-text articles for teaching/research activities”.
Moreover, “the output of research publications has steadily increased since the introduction of Hinari. Prior to the introduction of Hinari in 2003, ICDDR,B published about a 100 articles a year from 1994 to 2003. After the introduction of Hinari the institution has seen a steady increase in publication output”.
As a Hinari focal point, Dr. Uddin also trains librarians in Dhaka. He actively participates in Hinari workshops by providing his expertise and knowledge in order to keep promoting the programme across the country. In his own words:
As long as Hinari is available to Bangladeshi researchers, fantastic.
The series of stories presented here were possible through a grant from the Elsevier Foundation.