9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

P99 - Management of traditional biomedical knowledge/information system; preservation, digitization and web access

Traditional Biomedical Knowledge (TBK) is in a continuous process of creation, development and refinement of biology and medicine. The TKBs are very rare and fragile in nature in nature, however valuable source of information and, is often considered as an achievement of entire community. It is being used by indigenous people, researchers, clinicians, academicians, e.g. pharmaceutical and veterinary medicine, plant and animal breeding as well as food processing, since ages, and passed from generation to generation mostly orally. We must accept the fact that we do not realize the real value of our TBK. Traditional rich heritage TBK in India, has contributed to progress and development of human society, and does not confine to oral, printed and other non-printed forms. It has legacy, and has been lost its major part, in course of time, however, still a reasonable amount of TBK, exists, which is restricted to particular family, society, community religious faith, spiritual bindings, etc. Consequently, there is an urgent need to capture these valuable information irrespective of form, format, language, culture, etc and preserve above valuable heritage knowledge before it is lost forever and carry out R & D to bridge the gap with modern science. It also proposed to discus IPR based problems to TBK.
Objectives: (i) to collect, preserve, store, organise, improve and enhance, ancient available TBK (recorded, semi-recorded, recorded) before it lost, damaged, disappeared, obsoletes and mismatches forever. (ii) to save from a threat of encroachments. (iii) to address knowledge transfer/exchange and co-operation between academia and organisations in biomedical health care centres.
Methodology: The TBK is widely scattered and there is need to integrate these distributed sources in retrieval form. It has been proposed to use multi-method approach viz. Web access, literature search, questionnaire, interview, visit and exchange of knowledge with TBK groups. Multi-media will be adopted to preserve, while web technology will be used for global access.
Approaches:  (i) Collection and organization of data related to TBK and pooling of relevant methods and materials. (ii) Standardization (iii) Public Web interaction (iv) Network meetings/metadata study material (v) common database and proposal for collaborative research grants.
Conclusions:  Preservation of TBK is the need of the time. However, management of a digital, web accessible information system is essential. Although, the project has focused on public health and hygiene but it will also be very useful for cultural, sociological, religious, educational aspects of global importance, as TBK does not recognise geographical boundaries.