Wednesday, November 25, 2015

HICSA : Reportback on conferences incl.ICAHIS 8, Edinburgh 2015

At the HICSA meeting held on 20 November 2015 Marguerite Nel reported on conferences she attended in Edinbugh, June 2015.

I was fortunate to attend the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL), the International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS), and International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC) Workshop in Edinburgh from 9 to 12 June 2015. The Workshop was a collaboration between the EAHIL, ICAHIS, and the ICLC. The theme of the Workshop wasResearch-Minded: understanding, supporting, conducting research.

The aim of the EAHIL Workshop was to equip participants with a greater understanding of, and practical skills in, research approaches and methods. The rationale behind this theme was that an understanding and experience of research will enable librarians to improve their support to clinicians, researchers, lecturers and students. Several topics were presented in different workshop sessions. These include, among others, the following:  communication skills, mixed methods, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, research data management, and systematic reviews.  The format of the workshop sessions was participative and practical.  

Keynote speakers emphasised the importance of research and the role of the library as an essential partner in knowledge creation.
The ICAHIS was a satellite conference of the Workshop, and presented on Tuesday, 9 June, at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus. This was the eighth ICAHIS, which is a highlight every time for veterinary librarians around the globe.

I was also fortunate to attend a Historical tour of veterinary education in Edinburgh, led by the really delightful Colin Warwick and Alastair MacDonald. This was a walking tour through the historical part of Edinburgh, along all sites relevant to and of interest of the development of veterinary medicine in Edinburgh.

The workshops and ICAHIS conference were both excellent learning opportunities and I gained numerous new knowledge on topics, formerly not very familiar to me.

Marguerite showed some photos of the ICAHIS meeting including scenes of beautiful Edinburgh.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

SKILLS LABORATORY ONDERSTEPOORT CAMPUS University of Pretoria (HICSA meeting 20 November 2015)

The HICSA meeting of 20 November 2015 included a tour of the new Skills Laboratory at the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria. This is a state-of-the-art facility where veterinary students can practice skills in examining animals including taking blood smears, bandaging limbs and doing rectal examinations of large production animals. We enjoyed the visit and the interesting explanations given by our guide, Dr Elrien Scheepers.

Friday, November 20, 2015

HICSA : Saving the survivors : Surgical treatment of Rhinos after losing their horns to poachers

What an interesting talk on Saving the Survivors given by Dr Gerhard Steenkamp today at the HICSA meeting (20 November 2015)
After poachers have sawn or hacked off the horns of the rhinos he and his team try to save the rhino by treating the wounds enabling those that survive to continue their lives and some even manage to breed - this is the ultimate aim of the organisation, hopefully delaying the extinction of the species.

HICSA meeting 20 November 2015

HICSA meeting 20 November 2015

You are kindly invited to the next meeting of the Health Information Community of South Africa (HICSA), which is going to take place in the newly built Skills Lab Building, on the Onderstepoort Campus, University of Pretoria, on Friday, 20 November 2015 from 9:00 till lunch time. Our guest speakers will be Drs Gerhard Steenkamp and Johan Marais on the work their Saving the Survivors organisation is doing regarding Rhinos in South Africa. You are also invited to participate in a tour of the recently launched, state-of-the-art skills laboratory.  The proceedings will be concluded with a light lunch.
A detailed agenda will be sent to you closer to the date.
RSVP: On or before Monday, 16 November 2015 - Marguerite: 012 529 8474 or
Please invite other professionals in the field of health information to also attend the meeting and join the HICSA community.
Your attendance will be highly appreciated.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


THE FOURTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE HEALTH INFORMATION COMMUNITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (HICSA) 25 November 2013 Onderstepoort, Pretoria, Gauteng “What have you been up to?” Preliminary Programme 9:00 – 10:00 REGISTRATION TEA / COFFEE & REFRESHMENTS 10:00 Welcoming Marguerite Nel (HICSA Chair) Implementing new ways of information delivery: 10:10 – 10:25 RSA Medical Information Journey Sue Dickinson, Abbvie (Pty) Ltd Special projects: 10:25 – 10:40 The Sun is shining in Tshwane!!! Abram Maboya, Health Sciences Library, University of Pretoria 10:40 – 10:55 Digital integration of Clinical Associates studies to Enhance Information Access and Improve the Quality of Clinical Training for Mid-Level Medical Professionals in South Africa SailasNyareza and John Capati American International Health Alliance, Pretoria, South Africa 10:55 – 11:10 The Gift. Antoinette Lourens, Jotello F Soga Library, UP Conferences attended: 11:10 – 11:25 "From conferences to connections: attending the 7th ICAHIS in Boston, Mass" Susan Marsh, Jotello F Soga Library, UP Perceptions of the health information environment: novice information workers 11:25 – 11:40 Taking off the training wheels EliscaCoetsee, Ampath Perceptions of the health information environment: experienced information workers 11:40 – 11:55 Days of our lives – a soap opera by the Medical Library staff MyleenOosthuizenet al – Health Sciences Library, University of Pretoria 11:55 – 12:10 Establishing an AHILA Chapter in South Africa ChipoMsengezi Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) 12:10 – 12:25 Wrap-up 12:30 – 13:00 AGM

HICSA 4th National Conference 25th November 2013

HICSA 4th National Conference 25th November 2013

Dear HICSA members and other health information workers

On behalf of the HICSA committee, I want to invite you to the Fourth National HICSA Conference.

With the theme "What have you been up to?" this promises to be an exciting, vibrant event, covering a large spectrum of topics (see attached preliminary programme).

  The conference will take place in the newly built, modern Postgraduate Student Centre at the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Onderstepoort on Monday, 25 November 2013 with registration starting from 9:00. Directions and a map to the Faculty of Veterinary Science are available at:

There will be no costs involved, but for space and catering purposes, we need you to register (please click on the link and fill in the form) not later than Wednesday, 20 November 2013. If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you may just send me an e-mail with your name, institution and if you have any special dietary requirements.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

HICSA meeting of 5 August 2011 MINUTES

WHO Offices, 7th Floor Metropark Building, 351 Schoeman Street, Pretoria

Friday, 5 August 2011, 14:00 - 16:00


Carina van Zyl, Marguerite Nel, Erica van der Westhuizen, Susan Marsh, David Swanepoel, Suzy Nyakala, SailasNyareza, Michael Chimalizeni, Alfred Masiteng


Antoinette Lourens, Berry Pflugler, TertiaCoetsee, Susan Dickinson, Ina Fourie, KabeloNzima, Anna-Marie Young, Anneline van der Gryp

1. Marguerite Nel welcomed all members and attendees at the meeting.

2. Alfred Masiteng of WHO Pretoria gave a brief introduction and explained the purpose of the meeting. Everybody present introduced themselves.

3. Michael Chimalizeni of ITOCA then gave a presentation on The Association of Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA): background, conferences and the importance in Africa. He also presented a proposal for the establishment of an AHILA chapter in South Africa.

The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) is a professional association founded in 1984 with now 46 country members and many partners and collaborators worldwide. AHILA aims to improve the provision of up-to-date and relevant information to health and medical workers in Africa. It also strives to encourage the professional development of librarianship and to promote the development of resource-sharing and exchange of experiences and information among African health information professionals. It further aims to promote the development, standardisation, and exchange of national databases of medical and health literature produced in the African countries in the form of an African Index Medicus ( recently, there was no formal, active AHILA chapter in South Africa. The most active chapter currently is Kenya.

Bi-annual congresses are held. The 2010 conference was in Burkina Faso and in 2012 it will be on the Cape Verde islands.

The AHILA-Net Listserv (Managed in Brazzaville, Congo) is a very active communication tool for members. WHO hosts the database in the Congo.

Partners for Health Info (PHI) is based in the UK. They are planning to set up a permanent secretariat in SA. ITOCA will give the AHILA secretariat physical space. Further funding and international partners are amongst others HIFA (Health Info for All) and WHO.

It was proposed to form a steering committee to start working on the constitution and terms of reference for AHILA, South Africa.

The proposed steering committee consists of the following members:

- Alfred Masiteng (WHO)
- Michael Chimalizeni (ITOCA)
- Suzy Nyakale (University of Pretoria)
- Marguerite Nel (representing HICSA)
- Hope Kabamba (United Nations Library)
- Erica van der Westhuizen will act in an advisory capacity

The ideal is to attend the AHILA 2012 conference in Cape Verde as a fully functional country chapter.

Alfred Masiteng will coordinate the activities of the steering committee and will inform all members of the first committee meeting.

It was asked if HICSA still needs to exist after the establishment of an active AHILA chapter in South Africa – as these two associations strive more or less towards the same goals. It was therefore suggested to arrange an annual general meeting for all HICSA members where the future of HICSA needs to be discussed. The date for this meeting was not set yet.

4. Marguerite Nel gave a brief presentation on her recent visit and internship in the United States of America. She also highlighted that she wants to apply these learning experiences and knowledge gained in the USA in supporting the information needs of Africa.

5. Due to the absence of the secretary as well as a large number of other HICSA members, it was decided to postpone the business meeting to the next HICSA meeting.

6. The meeting concluded and was dismissed.