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Publishing health information on the Internet does not serve developing countries' needs, say Clifford C. Missen and Thomas M. Cook in this editorial from the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

Only one-sixth of the world's population uses the Internet and increases in user numbers over the next four years are not predicted to match the growth seen in the past decade.

Countries with the least resources for solving health problems often have the poorest access to information on best practices in health, say the authors.

According to a recent World Bank report, connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa can be hundreds of times more expensive than in Europe or North America. Internet speeds can be five to six hundred times slower, with frequent disconnections.

The authors propose alternative methods for disseminating health information: a hard drive of web pages and educational resources that can be accessed offline and web-conferencing software designed for slow Internet connections to allow collaboration between different groups with common needs.

Link to full article in Bulletin of the World Health Organization

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