We are bringing the various ADHL nodes together so as to allow users to search and find content held in various nodes from ‘a single place.’

ADHL Partner Institutions


The African Digital Health Library (ADHL) is a collaborative effort among medical librarians at major universities in sub Saharan Africa. The librarians have challenged themselves to digitize and make available to anyone with an Internet connection the research carried out in the country – theses, dissertations, Ministry of Health reports, etc. This knowledge could be invaluable to anyone planning research in sub Saharan Africa and is also a good example of South-South sharing of information and collaboration. The knowledge could also be useful in programming, practice, policy, teaching and learning.


The aims of the African Digital Health Library (ADHL) is well articulated as “to create universal access for a digital library of theses, dissertations, and reports in the fields of public health, science and medicine. This virtual library repository lives on ‘DSpace platforms ’ currently at six separate universities in five African countries ”.

Project sponsors

Core Project Team

Julia Royall - Project Principal Investigator

Ms. Royall is a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board. As a specialized consultant, she will provide advice and expertise on health information databases, management systems, and Internet technology. Julia Royall is a leader in health information and has been working in international health in Africa since 1990, with more than 40 years of professional experience in the communications field. Julia’s commitment is to bring together information and technology with partners, projects and funding, using a variety of media.

Ms. Royall was recruited to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1997 to create a malaria research communications network (MIMCom) to support scientists in Africa as part of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria. The first network of its kind, MIMCom comprised 27 research sites in 14 African countries and engaged over 30 partner organizations and institutions in the US, UK, Europe, and Africa.

As Chief of NLM’s Office of International Programs, she created innovative programs which focused on Africa and comprised outreach to medical librarians, medical journal editors, researchers, medical students, and health workers at the village level. In addition to adapting NLM databases for use in Africa, her work has encompassed a variety of media – from web-based interactive digital tutorials to posters and video. Under Ms. Royall’s leadership, NLM developed greater focus on global health by piloting demonstration projects which drew strength from one another and tied into NLM’s major programs and databases

Prior to government service, she was Deputy Director of SatelLife, a nonprofit dedicated to satellite delivery of public health and medical information in developing countries. As part of the team setting up the first Internet connections for health in sub Saharan Africa, she initiated and directed the HealthNet Information Service. HealthNet News, the first electronic health publication on the continent published weekly for 20 years and pioneered digital sharing of medical literature in medical schools of sub Saharan Africa.

In 2007 – 2008, she was Fulbright Scholar to Uganda, based in the Office of the Dean at Makerere University, and has since served as a Fulbright Specialist at Kenyatta University in the Office of the Vice Chancellor.

Retired from U.S. Government service, she is currently principal investigator for the African Digital Health Library (ADHL), funded by the Office of Global AIDS Coordinator/U.S. Department of State. Based at 5 universities across Africa, ADHL will showcase in-country research previously not digitally accessible. She is also developing an African Student Innovation Fund with Carnegie Mellon University’s Africa campus in Kigali, Rwanda.

Becky Lyon, Consultant

Becky Lyon, Consultant and (ret) Associate Director of Library Operations, U.S. National Library of Medicine, talks about the genesis of the Network of African Medical Librarians (NAML) who are engaged in the ADHL.

Nason Bimbe, Consultant

Nason provides technical and process support to the ADHL project. He is passionate about the project and its contribution to scholarship in sub-Saharan Africa and globally.

Nason is an Independent Consultant with over 10 years in Software Engineering and ICT for development, Nason brings joy and innovative approaches to information and digital knowledge management platforms and systems. He has worked on projects ranging from classic information systems and web applications to library automation and scholarly communications systems (library management system, digital repositories, research data management, research information management systems, resource discovery services).

He is an Ex. Library Information Systems Manager at Institute of Development Studies (IDS); Ex. Software Developer at American Express (Europe) Limited, Publishing Power limited, Tech-Connect Limited, Betenoir Limited and Institute of Development Studies (IDS); and Ex. Computer Programmer at Ministry of Finance, Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ).