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Librarians without Borders® HINARI Sub-Regional Train the Trainers Workshop Egypt: April 22-26, 2018

The Hinari Sub-Regional Train the Trainers workshop was held in Cairo, Egypt from 22-26 April, 2018.  The workshop was jointly organized by WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO), the Egyptian Knowledge Bank (EKB) and the Librarians Without Borders/Medical Library Association, USA (LWB). 

The training was held at the Al-Masah Hotel, an excellent venue overall including the breaks and luncheons.  In fact, the initial luncheon was held at the side of the pool.  This 1st Hinari workshop in Egypt would not have been conducted without the EKB’s financial support for the renting of the venue and food costs.  Also, the EKB has paid the annual Group B subscription ($1500) for twenty health institutions in Egypt.

The trainers were Lenny Rhine (Coordinator, LWB), Mr. Hatem Nour El-Din (Technical Officer, Knowledge Sharing and Production, WHO/EMRO) and Mr. Mahmoud Dawoud (Marketing and Training Officer, EKB).  Ms. Gehane Omar Al Garraya, WHO/EMRO ably assisted with the administrative details and coordination of the workshop.

The total number of participants was 54 and included five from Djibouti and Libya.  For these two countries, two individuals were from the WHO Country Office/Djibouti while three were from academic institutions in Libya.  Egypt and Libya are Group B Arabic speaking countries while Djibouti is Group A country with the official languages being French and Arabic.  Most of the training was conducted in English with the presentations by the Mr. Dawoud being in Arabic and as were periodic key discussion points by Mr. Nour El-Din.

Regarding the Egyptian participants, all except one was from health-related academic and clinical institutions with many of the participants being physicians in teaching and administrative positions.  A second group of participants were health information professionals.   

The training was conducted during a four-day period which allowed for sufficient time to present the material, have discussion among the participants and also complete the hands-on activities.  The primary objectives were to have the participants learn the skills for accessing/utilizing HINARI, EKB and related Internet resources effectively and efficiently.  Secondary objectives focused on enhancing the participants’ skills for reading and writing scientific information and publishing research material.

The workshop material included modules on Internet Searching, the Hinari Portal, Hinari’s Summon Search tool, (Hinari)PubMed – Interface, Filters, Medical Subject headings and Using My NCBI, Evidence-based Practice and E-books for Hinari users, Health Information on the Internet, How to Read and Write a Scientific Paper, Plagiarism, and a Web-bibliography for publishing resources on the Internet.  The above-mentioned material consisted of PowerPoint presentations with hands-on (computer) activities.  Additional presentations by Mr. Dawoud reviewed the numerous resources available via the EKB including an overview of the portals and databases of several publishers plus the EndNote reference management software. This portion of the training were lectures with live demonstrations.

Initially, there were some Internet access problems with the connection from the hotel and many participants used their mobile phone hot spots.  By the 2nd day, the technical support staff from EKB set up a separate wifi node and all the participants were able to use this option.

This workshop was unique in that, for the Egyptian participants, some of the resources are available from Hinari while others are from the contractual agreements between EKB and various commercial publishers.  The result is that Egyptian health institutions have access to a wide range of resources particularly journals from Hinari and EKB.

Essentially, the training situation was a hybrid one where the trainers often noted that the users must become knowledgeable of what publishers were in a specific platform.  This is particularly critical after subject specific searches are conducted in the Hinari/PubMed databases.  When the link to the full-text is not available in PubMed, the users could obtain access to many of the articles by locating the publisher and the specific journal title/issue in the EKB portal.

Regarding the participants, this was a knowledgeable group that also was quite inquisitive.  This resulted in an excellent dialog between the trainers and participants that definitely contributed to the success of the workshop. 

During the workshops, numerous participants completed their individual registrations to access the EKB portal.  The participating institutions had not received the specific Research4Life/Hinari username and passwords.  A generic Egypt access login was used during the workshop.  Currently, the EKB staff is in the process of properly registering these organizations with Research4Life/Hinari so that the institutional usernames and passwords can be distributed. 

After this is resolved, further training at these institutions should result in significant use of these valuable resources to benefit research and clinical activities.  Two key user groups are professional staff and students.  For the staff, effective use of the resources will benefit their research, teaching and clinical activities.  For the students, they would obtain information literacy skills that would benefit them throughout their professional careers. 


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