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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. HBI offers 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. 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. Health Books International’s vision is a world where everyone has access to good quality healthcare with a mission 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 focused 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.
Andrea has worked in academia and publishing for over 20 years, taking on the role of Head of Practical Action Publishing in 2019 and was previously responsible for global sales, publishing systems, the intern programme – managing bibliographic data, websites and publishing platforms, financial and sales reporting, and managing international print and digital sales distributors and agents. Currently she is responsible for Practical Action Publishing’s operational, financial and strategic management and leadership; including managing Practical Answers and Health Books International. In essence, the chief plate spinner and facilitator – enabling a small yet brilliantly professional and highly skilled team to continue working in these challenging times; balancing the budget; fire fighting; making final decisions and strategizing ways to grow.
Jenny has worked for 10 years in academic and not-for-profit publishing, with a particular focus on research and practice within international development. She commissions content for Practical Action Publishing’s list, which alongside other partner organisations now includes Practical Answers and Health Books International content. Partnering with the brightest minds to publish the latest development perspectives, her work covers author acquisition and contracting; managing content quality including peer review; controlling house style; and managing the publishing programme.
Chloe has a background in academic publishing and oversees book and journal production for our Practical Action Publishing lists, both in print and in digital. She maintains the publishing schedule and oversees copyediting, typesetting, proofreading, design and indexing sub-contractors; e-book and xml production; metadata preparation; pdf file preparation; printing; delivery; and maintaining production flow. Chloe also coordinates our journal programme, managing the peer review system; liaising with authors, Editors and Editorial Boards in order to ensure quality content is delivered for each issue.
Rosanna has a background in academic publishing and coordinates all aspects of Practical Action Publishing’s book, journal and knowledge product global marketing. She manages website and social media content, marketing materials and promotion, event co-ordination, liaises with international sales agents and partners, and works with authors to produce covers, reviews and endorsements.
Katarzyna is responsible for online sales order processing, dispatch and returns for all of Practical Action Publishing’s catalogue lists including Health Books International and is the go to expert on distribution logistics and customs regulations. She also has a background in design so is involved in designing marketing materials, book covers and our print on demand programme.