In September 2000, the UN Secretary-General launched a public-private initiative to bridge the digital divide in health. Spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Health InterNetwork brings together international agencies, the private sector, foundations, non-governmental organizations and country partners under the principle of ensuring equitable access to health information.
As a key component of the project, the Health InterNetwork portal provides a vast library of the latest and best information on public health. The portal will also make available information technology health applications such as geographic information systems and epidemiological tools, plus courses and training offered through distance learning.
The Health InterNetwork seeks to establish or upgrade thousands of Internet-connected sites in public and not-for-profit institutions in developing countries. Guided by a technology advisory group, foundations, development agencies, non-governmental organizations and corporate and local private sector partners are involved in specifying, providing and supporting hardware, software and Internet connectivity to pilot sites.