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 colleagues 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.
In 2019, Practical Action Publishing acquired Health Books International. This addition of an established health list to Practical Action Publishing’s collection of international development resources is an important expression of our mission to put affordable, practical knowledge into the hands of people who need it most, whatever their location, in a language and format that suits them best. By diversifying and expanding our range of subjects and formats, and by bringing our two organisations together, we hope to make important knowledge more accessible for communities around the world. We believe that global collaboration is central to giving people access to fresh answers and practical resources to tackle the causes of poverty and disadvantage.