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About Health Books International

Healthworkers in low income countries do not always have access to up-to-date health and medical information to help them diagnose and treat their patients.

Health Books International (HBI) is a UK-registered charity run on a not-for-profit basis.

We offer a practical, highly-effective response to a lack of access to information by sourcing, producing and distributing practical and accessible health information designed for use where resources are limited.

HBI materials are clearly written, well-illustrated and relevant to the conditions in which many health workers operate – with limited access to electricity and reliable internet connections, sophisticated equipment or drugs for treatment.


Our Vision

Our vision is a world where everyone has access to good quality healthcare.


Our mission is to improve health by providing healthcare and medical information designed for use in developing countries on a not-for-profit basis.


Originally called Teaching-aids at Low Cost (TALC), HBI was founded in 1965 by Professor David Morley CBE MD FCRP, in response to requests from overseas students for teaching books and equipment to use in their own countries.

David Morley began his medical career as an undergraduate in Cambridge and then at St Thomas’s Hospital, London.

He worked first at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and then the Institute of Child Health setting up the tropical child health unit and ran courses for senior paediatricians and nurses from developing countries.  This unit formed the basis for the present Centre for International Health and Development. Prof Morley joined with collegues at the Institute of Education to form Child to Child, a global network for activities for children to improve their own health.

Initially, TALC focussed on sending out transparencies. Demand grew and the charity expanded into distributing books and teaching-aids and accessories.  Since then, TALC has continued to grow and has distributed millions of books, slides and accessories relating to health and community issues to thousands of health workers throughout the developing world.

Prof Morley’s legacy is improved health for many worldwide.


HBI receives the majority of its funding from the sale of books, CDs, DVDs and other resources. Download our Annual Report and Accounts 2015 – 2016

Governance – Board of Directors

Kate Ashmore 

Kate joined HBI as a Director in April 2016. She has a variety of experience working within the charity sector, and currently works in medical publishing producing NHS guidelines. Kate has a degree in Creative Writing and lives in St Albans.

Moira Dick

Moira Dick is a recently retired consultant in paediatrics. She specialised in community paediatrics and haemoglobinopathies in the UK and was lead writer of the standards and clinical guidelines for these conditions. She worked in Mozambique shortly after independence and has kept in touch with the issues facing countries in the southern hemisphere. She is currently treasurer of Health Books International.

Jane Wilson-Howarth

Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth is trained in paediatrics and has worked for around 11 years on child survival and hygiene promotion in six Asian countries as well as Madagascar. She has published extensively on travel health and diarrhoea avoidance and teaches on these areas at the Universities of Cambridge and Cranfield and elsewhere. She currently lives in Nepal.

Gabrielle Palmer

Gabrielle is a nutritionist and writer on infant feeding issues who has been involved in campaigns to stop unethical baby food marketing. She was a founder of the UK campaign group Baby Milk Action, and has worked freelance for several international agencies and teaching centres, including The Institute of Child Health where she ran the Breastfeeding Policy and Practice Course. She also worked at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she originally studied Human Nutrition, and at UNICEF as HIV and Infant Feeding Officer for UNICEF. Her book, ‘The Politics of Breastfeeding’ (first published 1988; 3rd ed. Pinter & Martin 2009) has never been out of print.  She is convinced of the urgency of providing the most disadvantaged people with unbiased, accurate information untainted by commercial, vested interests. She has worked in Mozambique and China and in many other countries on short assignments.

John Palmer

John is a mechanical engineer and has worked in the water sector, in the UK for both a water supply company and a consultancy involved in all aspects of water supply and treatment and for the Mozambique government in various aspects of the water supply sector during 1981-83. He has also worked in Nigeria, China, Ethiopia and the Middle East.

Claire Schofield

Claire has degrees in Social Anthropology and Human Nutrition and is a qualified nurse and midwife. For many years she was both Course Director and Lecturer for the MSc Public Health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has worked as a consultant, researcher and teacher in Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Egypt, Yemen and Mongolia as well as for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome.  She has collaborated in work to develop methods to estimate energy requirements for populations, and on improving the case management of severe malnutrition, with the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Martin Wagner

Martin Wagner is a publisher and writer living in London. He is the owner and managing director of the publishing company Pinter & Martin, founded in 1997, which specialises in pregnancy, birth & parenting, health, psychology and yoga. In 2016 he established effraspace, a wellbeing venue for families in South London.

Management – Staff Team 

Madeleine Bates - Chief Executive

Madeleine has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over twenty years, on UK and international projects, in a variety of roles including programme management, grant-making, advocacy and networking. She joined HBI in July 2013.

Uma Lanka - Operations Manager

Uma is an experienced science communicator and recent biomedical sciences graduate. She has worked for a variety of non-profit organisations and causes, including in the creative sector, in education, and in community action. Uma joined HBI in January 2018.

Tracey Cross - Operations Assistant

Tracey loves working with people. She has always worked in customer service, in a variety of roles including at Vauxhall and on the membership scheme at ZSL Whipsnade. Tracey joined HBI in October 2017.