Magazine article The Nation's Health

International Health Section Joins Online Community of Bloggers

Magazine article The Nation's Health

International Health Section Joins Online Community of Bloggers

Article excerpt

To enrich communications among its members, APHA's International Health Section has officially entered the blogosphere. The Section's new blog, accessible via a link on its home page, is open to all International Health Section members and anyone interested in sharing their opinions, concerns and thoughts on issues related to global health.

International Health Section Chair Samir Banoob, MD, DM, DPH, PhD, said he sees the new blog as a dynamic communications tool capable of promoting a healthier global community.

"As a Section of frequent travelers, overseas residents or foreign professionals, proper communication becomes a real challenge," Banoob said. "We feel that we owe it to our members to provide them with a forum for exchange and connection."

The Section's blog boasted eight story postings as of early August and has received more than 1,200 hits since it launched on Jan. 26. The hits, recorded on a colorful tracking map posted on the blog's main page at www.aphaih.wordpress. com, are coming in from all over the world.

"I wish we had more (postings), but I guess that is the fate of every blog," said Eckhard Kleinau, MD, DrPH, MS, chair of the Section's Information and Communications Committee.

Some stories resonate more with readers than others, Kleinau said, noting that one posting, which discussed whether the Millennium Development Goals are unfair to Africa, generated numerous comments.

"I think certain topics fetch more interest, but it is a good way to find out what your membership cares about," he said.

As the blog's site manager, Kleinau handles day-to-day maintenance of the site and screens all comments to prevent inappropriate content, which is especially important, he said, because the site is "totally public" and anybody can post a comment.

Even still, the process is very democratic, he said, explaining that his role is simply to facilitate the dialogue. …

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