Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Health Information Provision for the Vulnerable Orphans in Ogun State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Health Information Provision for the Vulnerable Orphans in Ogun State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information is a resource for growth and development of an individual, an organization, or a nation (Ogunrombi, 2009). It strengthens individual ability for survival. The vulnerable needs to be well acquainted with relevant information that will give them access to their health needs. This will help them to survive and contribute meaningfully to the development process. According to Mohammed and Abule (2014), health information is seen as a major ingredient that facilitates effective health services delivery in a community. They further posit that the health professionals and members of the community who are the consumers of health services need health information services provision for a healthy society. Ibegwam (2013) suggests that the access to health information should be considered as equally important as access to drugs and equipment. According to him all are essential tools in the delivery of safe, efficient and effective care and /or advice.

Literature Review

The concept of Health Information

The concept of health information has many definitions. Mohammed and Abule (2014) sees the concept as the foundation for better health as 'glue' holding the health system together, and as the 'oil' keeping the health system running. Health information according to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (2005) is any information whether oral or recorded in any form or medium, that was created or received by health care provider, health planners, public health employer, life insurer, school or university or health care, clearing house; and relates to the past, present or future, physical or mental health condition of an individual or individuals.

Kamel (2003) posits that librarians working in health institutions can provide valuable information to consumers by marketing and creating awareness of their services through selecting, personalizing and filtering quality information to specifically meet their unique needs. This supports Zippers, Berendsen and Walton (2006) statement, that medical librarians can play an expanded role in health provision by accessing and reviewing medical information and therefore, resources and strategy experts in identifying and disseminating reliable information to different heath information seekers.

However, despite the numerous benefits attached to the health information service provision, it is obvious that there are some factors that hinder effective provision of health information service. According to Covell et al (1985) there are those problems that arise as a result of inadequate resources, untrained human resources, infrastructural problems include power outages. Others are lack of awareness, access training and time. In addition, Milimo and Tenya (2013) observed that in many communities health libraries are struggling with slashed budgets, reduced staff and competing priorities

Health Information Provision for the Vulnerable

The definition of vulnerability varies from society to society; therefore definitions are community specific. According to the World Bank's Thematic Group for the OVC Toolkit vulnerability, defined within a Social Risk Management (SRM) framework, is "the likelihood of being harmed by unforeseen events or as susceptibility to exogenous shocks." A vulnerable household is one with a poor ability: to prevent the likelihood of shocks hitting the household; to reduce the likelihood of a negative impact if shocks were to hit; and to cope with shocks and their negative impacts. In the perspective of SRM, vulnerable children are those who face a higher risk than their local peers of experiencing: infant, child and adolescent mortality; low immunization, low access to health services, high malnutrition, and high burden of disease; low school enrollment rates, high repetition rates, poor school performance and/or high drop-out rates; intra-household neglect vis-a-vis other children in the household (reduced access to attention, food, care); family and community abuse and maltreatment (harassment and violence); and economic and sexual exploitation, due to lack of care and protection. …

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