Twenty years of Hinari in Viet Nam

Published: Wednesday 30th November 2022
Category: Blog

Hinari, Research4Life’s collection of health-related resources, managed by the WHO, has worked in Viet Nam since it first became available to lower-income countries in January 2002 – more than twenty years ago. At the time, technology systems in education facilities and in hospitals had no Internet services, nor IT support. Books and journals availability was limited, and their quality unreliable: as health educators, researchers and practitioners were working in a vacuum of evidence, the resulting quality of the healthcare system was shaky and uneven.

Hinari’s online access to major biomedical books and journals has helped close that gap, as showed in this early video from Bach Mai Hospital, one of the country’s most modern health facilities and health libraries:

“Quick access to medical information is so important:
on it depends the life or death of our patients.”

Dr. Do Doan Loi, Cardiologist at Bach Mai Hospital, Hanoi

Over the years, we have heard from nurses, doctors, educators, and more about the personal and country-wide impact Hinari has made for healthcare in Viet Nam. It has allowed them to practice medicine from a firm evidence base – ensuring that teaching of new health practitioners is solidly founded and encouraging knowledge sharing amongst libraries.

“With the information and knowledge I obtain, I feel more confident in practising and implementing respected medical expertise from around the world.”

Dr. Nguyen Duc Chinh, Digestive surgeon, Deputy Chief of Planning Department, and Chief of Department of Septic Surgery, Viet Duc Hospital, Hanoi

At the same time, the availability of up-to-date medical information also contributes to growing research dissemination and writing skills, so that current research is available to others in the country: the overall publication output at a research institution increases almost 30% with access to Research4Life and research input increases as well, with researchers citing 8% more journal articles.

Librarian and Head of the Clinical Department Dr. Le Thanh Ni at Cho Ray Hospital, has used Hinari to further develop the hospital’s Information Technology Centre, which is now the main supporting team for the Hospital Director, in charge of deploying new plans and managing patients and staff.

“Doctors could now read updates and news, or research information and medical treatments that would be useful for new research: Research4Life was the main reference to search for reliable information.”

Doctor Le Thanh Ni supervises the Library at Cho Ray Hospital, the largest general hospital in Hồ Chí Minh, Viet Nam

Now, librarians like Le Trong Hieu at Can Tho University are using Hinari and Research4Life to help local entrepreneurs access the latest references and technology resources – supporting quality research that helps with local challenges.

Getting the most updated information can really help countries to grow, especially now that the speed of doing research is faster.”

Le Trong Hieu. Librarian of the Learning Center of Can Tho University

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