Access to medical literature in developing countries is helped by open access publishing and initiatives to allow free access to subscription only journals. The effectiveness of these initiatives in Africa has not been assessed. This study describes awareness, reported use and factors influencing use of on-line medical literature via free access initiatives. A descriptive study was carried out in four teaching hospitals in Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda plus one externally funded research institution in The Gambia. A survey was carried out with postgraduate doctors and research scientists to determine Internet access patterns, reported awareness of on-line medical information and free access initiatives; semi structured interviews with a sub-sample of survey participants to explore factors influencing use.
Smith, H.; Bukirwa, H.; Mukasa, O.; Snell, P.; Adeh-Nsoh, S.; Mbuyita, S. Access to electronic health knowledge in five countries in Africa: A descriptive study. BMC Health Services Research (2007) 7 (1) 72. [DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-7-72]