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Hesperian’s online library of healthcare books

Hesperian Foundation
Hesperian has made a commitment to publish online versions of all of our books and to keep those online editions up-to-date, incorporating all corrections and revisions as they are made.

The Following Titles are available for Free Download:

Where There Is No Doctor
Donde no hay doctor
Where Women Have No Doctor
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities
Donde no hay doctor para mujeres
A Book for Midwives
Un libro para parteras
HIV Health and Your Community
Helping Children Who Are Deaf
Helping Children Who Are Blind
Ayudar a los niños ciegos
Where There Is No Dentist
Donde no hay dentista
A Worker’s Guide to Health and Safety
A community guide to environmental health
Women’s Health Exchange
Global Health Watch

We are happy to have other organizations link to our online publications, but in order to prevent out-of-date or altered editions of our publications from being accessed online, we do not allow Hesperian publications to be posted on other sites without our explicit permission.

We will be posting online versions of all of our publications in the coming months, so please visit our site again soon to see what new resources are available.

All of the materials below are in PDF format.
(December 2007)
An outstanding free library of medical care books, especially for people without access to high tech medical system. The classic volume is Where There Is No Doctor, which has appeared in many different langauges. History of Hesperian:

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a group of health activists in Ajoya, Mexico compiled a notebook of treatment information for common medical problems in their village. The notebook came into great demand not only in Ajoya, but also among health workers from neighboring communities. In 1973, the notebook was reproduced as a comprehensive and revolutionary health-care manual titled Donde no hay doctor (Where there is no doctor).

Around this time, an organization was founded in California to distribute the book and begin work on an English version. Where there is no doctor was first published in 1977 and is now considered by many to be the “bible” of primary health care for community health workers and villagers in poor countries around the world.

Disclosure: I was a volunteer for the group in the 80s, but haven’t had any contact with them since. -BA

Working And Health: Allocating time

Editorial, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
We live at frenetic speed. We’re on 24/7. Global is the new local. A teenager today is three times more likely to send an “instant” message than an e-mail.

Is this pace killing us? If your work includes a graveyard shift, the answer might well be yes. A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, says overnight shift work could be a carcinogen. Even though the evidence is preliminary, the plausibility passes the common sense test. If you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system will be more vulnerable. (Sounds a lot like the message most parents convey.)

Night work has become common for many professions, from flight attendants to factory workers. But many of the rest of us work at all hours, too.

That’s why we need more study — and a new discourse about the nature of work in the 21st century. We might find that it’s in our interest to slow down. Imagine this outcome: Local is the new global, people work at regular, more humane hours and instant communications are given up in favor of letters written by pen and ink.

Sounds like a good dream, right? It’s certainly a worthy goal. The only thing is, we’ll need to make time for that.
(2 December 2007)

Competition: How green is your healthcare organisation?

BUPA Foundation
Increasingly healthcare has become more and more dependant on disposable instruments, packaging and procedures, in order to protect our patients from the risk of ever more resistant organisms. For a long time, we have not considered whether there is anything that can be done, within the tight confines of infection control, to try to be more environmentally friendly.

To date there have been few initiatives which have sought to improve waste and energy consumption in our hospitals, operating theatres, clinics and nursing homes.

The BUPA Foundation wishes to announce that it is offering up to £750,000 funding for studies of more environmentally friendly methods in carrying out everyday activities and procedures in all health settings.

The studies must demonstrate that healthcare by these methods complies with current best practice including that of infection control or improves on this.

The Foundation hopes that multi-disciplinary research teams with a broad range of skills will apply. All projects should incorporate health outcome measures that are of relevance to patient care and describe the likely impact on regional and national prosperity of identifying and implementing the new ways of meeting health needs.

The competition is open to those based in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Thailand.
(December 2007)