Although we all know the importance of information sharing to improve the practice of health promotion and prevention in non-communicable diseases, do we really know how to maximise it? Dr Paula Gutlove of the Institute for Resource & Security Studies in Massachusetts USA presented a great overview of information flow and ways of achieving it. Her presentation was part of the 7th IHHP Training Course on Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion in Isfahan. Internationally, health promotion and chronic disease prevention have been successfully demonstrated, however, using normal channels of communication, the lessons learnt may not have reached other interested parties looking to develop or implement similar projects.The current situation is that of no cohesion, on the most part, but also the lack of collaboration. In order to improve the situation we need to understand the challenges we face. Cross-cultural complexities of language, ideology and culture, combined with professional niches we build for ourselves and the 'multi-sectoral babel' lead to competition within sectors.What is needed is multi-sectoral exchange in tackling the epidemic of chronic diseases. This has the advantage of addressing complex, multi-disciplinary issues by inviting new perspectives and innovation by exploring challenges and lessons learnt; as well as promoting trust, confidence and relationships that can lead to scientific innovations. All together building a broadly accessible and searchable knowledge database.Although not definitive, a simple 'place and time' matrix will introduce the modes of information flow thereby helping approach the problem.
Same Place Different Place Same Time Face-to-face Videoconference
Different Time Internet sites Voicemail
Single-text editing Email
Dr Gutlove is currently involved in a US-Iran Working Group on Health Science Cooperation, which was started in 2005 and include more than 200 members. The project aims to share experiences and information in order to promote non-communicable disease prevention internationally, starting by enhancing the impact of IHHP.
I would encourage all to think of ways outside the traditional communication channels to enhance knowledge and experience globally.For more information on the US-Iran Working Group kindly contact Dr Gutlove (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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