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International News

Schizophrenia library launches in Australia

Patients and families affected by schizophrenia now have access to a virtual collection of reliable information comprising 2,000 fact sheets, evidence reports, videos, podcasts, and interviews with experts.

Schizophrenia is a lifelong illness that usually emerges in adolescence or early adulthood. Those afflicted may experience delusions or hallucinations, difficulties with speech or behavior, social stigma, or challenges in holding a job. With an overabundance of information available online, it can be difficult to assess its reliability. Schizophrenia is among the most difficult mental illnesses to treat, so the reliability of available information about symptoms, treatments, diagnoses, risk factors, and outcomes is of utmost importance.

Professor Vaughn Carr of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, the leader of the initiative, asserts: “The evidence has been sifted in a very systematic and thorough manner so that we can give people some idea as to what is true about schizophrenia.”

Two more virtual libraries covering bipolar disorder and dementia are being developed over the next two years. Read the full story.

CILIP accredits first library science program in Arabic

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has accredited a new bachelor of arts program in information and library science at the College of Basic Education in Kuwait. The program, which is the third of its kind in the Middle East, is the first to be offered in Arabic.

The new program exhibits CILIP’s commitment to improve the student experience and provide career opportunities. Like its counterparts, the new program has undergone stringent assessment to ensure that it equips students with the knowledge required to enter a professional environment in the field of information and knowledge management. Read the full story.

Cochrane Library is made freely available in South Africa

The resources in the Cochrane Library are highly authoritative, useful, and necessary in the practice of medicine. Libraries often pay the high subscription costs to make the database available to their patrons. However, many people who need access—for example, consumers, government officials, and health care workers without affiliation to the library—cannot obtain access. The situation has changed in South Africa.

Cochrane South Africa, with the assistance of funding from the South African Medical Research Council, has purchased a national license to Cochrane Library. The license will allow equal access to Cochrane for everyone in the country. Without access to the synthesized data in Cochrane’s systematic reviews, it is estimated that medical personnel must read seventeen articles a day to keep up with the developments in their fields. Cochrane will significantly aid health professionals in staying informed and provide the opportunity for all of society to improve health outcomes. Read the full story.

Ancient text is traced to “Father of Medicine”

During renovations on the St. Catherine Monastery in south Sinai in northeast Egypt, an ancient manuscript was found that contains what is understood to be one of Hippocrates’ recipes. Hippocrates, famously known for the Hippocratic Oath, which is still in use at modern medical schools, is known as the “father of Western medicine.”

The medical recipe contained in the text has been dated between the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. As one of the Sinai palimpsests, the manuscript is made of stretched leather that was repurposed by erasing or overwriting the text to use for new content, as production of palimpsests was very expensive. The Hippocratic recipe had been overwritten with Bible text, the “Sinaitic manuscript,” and was read by researchers using spectral imaging.

“The manuscript, which contains three medical texts, will be enlisted among the oldest and the most important manuscripts in the world,” says Michael Phelps, a researcher at Early Manuscripts Electronic Library. Read the full story.

Medical college launches unique new library

At the Government Medical College in Kottayam, India, students have created a library for patients, visitors, and medical staff to use. Although patients are its main target audience, the library also seeks to spark and support medical professionals’ reading habits.

The library currently has over 650 books donated by students, staff, and third-party organizations. The library’s holdings will be rotated periodically in partnership with the public library. Efforts are being made to move the library into a hospital and create book banks in each hospital ward. Read the full story.

 

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