Hesperian Health Guides

How to Use the HealthWiki

Finding Information

The Table of Contents, just like in a book, lists the chapters in the order in which they appear. There is also a box with a list of the chapter contents called "In this chapter" on the right-hand side of every wiki page. Click on a topic in this list to go to that part of the chapter.

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You can also enter terms in the search field in the top right-hand corner to look up information you are interested in.

To find information about the medicines used in this book and how to use them, look in the Medicines Pages. You can get there either from the Table of Contents or by clicking on the name of a medicine in the text.

Many chapters end with a section called Working for Change. These sections give suggestions for working to improve women’s health in your community.

Understanding the navigation

A page in the wiki may contain the same information as many pages of a printed book. It also contains other information, including ways to visit other wiki pages, other books, and other websites. The links (or navigation) on the left can lead you to:

  • the main Hesperian site
  • a “store” where you can buy the print version of the book you are currently using
  • a version of the chapter that looks just like the printed book (PDF) to print or download
  • a way to print the page just as it looks on your screen
  • this same material in another language
  • a page where you can create new health materials using your own ideas along with Hesperian content

As mentioned above, the links (or navigation) on the right can lead you to the other pages in the chapter you are currently using.

What the different things on a page mean

Most pages include several headings of different sizes. The largest heading, at the beginning of the wiki page, is the general topic that is being discussed on that page. The smaller headings present more specific information.

Some pages contain medicine boxes, which look like this:

Medicines for Yeast Infection
Medicine How much to take When and how to take
nystatin put one 100,000 units insert or cream high in the vagina, each night for 14 nights
or clotrimazole put one 100 mg insert high in the vagina, each night for 5 nights
or clotrimazole put one 500 mg insert high in the vagina, for 1 night only

These boxes tell you the amount of medicine to give, how often to give it, and for how long, as well as some important information to know about using (or not using!) that medicine. Sometimes we recommend medicines in the text and do not put them in a box. Always look up each medicine in the Medicines Pages before using it. By clicking on the name of a medicine that is written in red, you will go to the place in the Medicines Pages where that medicine is explained in more detail. Rarely, as with the last medicine in the box above, we do not include information about that medicine in our Medicines Pages.

Medicines in the Medicines Pages appear in boxes that look like this:

dexamethasone (Decadron, Decilone, Inflam, Maxidex)

Dexamethasone is a steroid medicine used to treat allergic shock.

Often comes in:
Tablets: 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.5, 2, 4, or 6 mg
Liquid: 0.5 mg per 5 ml, or 1 mg per 1 ml
For injection: 4, 8, 10, 16, or 20 mg per ml

How to use:
For allergic shock: Inject 20 mg into muscle. If signs return, take 20 mg by mouth and repeat once if needed.

Side effects
If the person has diabetes, it could make it worse for a few hours. Also, it might raise blood pressure.

Other medicines
that may work
for allergic shock: hydrocortisone

Navigating between pages

The top center of every page has links that show in which book and in which chapter the page you are viewing can be found. If you click on the name of the book, you will go to the Table of Contents for the whole book. If you click on the name of the chapter, you will go to the beginning of the chapter.

As mentioned above, the links (or navigation) on the right can lead you to the other pages in the chapter you are currently viewing.

More Information
Solving Health Problems

Red underlined text is a link to related information in the book. In the printed book, it may say “See more information on page 109”; in the wiki you can just click on the link and it will take you to that page. To return to the page where you were before clicking a link, just use the “go back” arrow in your internet browser (usually on the top left of your screen). Sometimes a page will include a box titled “More Information” with additional links to related information.

Finally, at the very bottom of every page there are links to the previous page and the next page of the chapter.

Other information about the Hesperian HealthWiki

Some of Hesperian's books are in the Hesperian HealthWiki. But the NEW Where There Is No Doctor is still being written. So the HealthWiki contains advance versions of only some chapters. In those chapters you will find gray “links” that do not work because the material that they will link to has not yet been completed. Please forgive us. We hope the chapters will be useful to you even before the entire book is completed.

Each chapter of the NEW Where There Is No Doctor contains medicine information (“Medicines Pages”) for that chapter. Instead of combining the medicine information in a single chapter in the book (where it will be when the book is completed), the medicines information is now found at the end of each chapter. You can find a link to the Medicines Pages for a chapter in the contents box on the top right of each wiki page in that chapter.

Some books contain a “Problem Index” at the beginning of the Medicines Pages. In this Index, you can look up a health problem, the places in the book where it is explained, and the medicines which may be useful in treating it. The “Problem Index” provides an easy way to find information quickly, but it is not a substitute for a more careful study of the book.

Some of our books use specific pictures to convey important or repeated information. They include:


Get help right away!
IMPORTANT! Very important information
This is a sign of danger!
Be very careful with this medicine during pregnancy
Do not use this medicine during pregnancy
Be very careful with this medicine if you are breastfeeding
Do not use this medicine if you are breastfeeding

Hesperian books often have a chapter called “Other Resources” or “Where To Get More Information” that lists other books, materials, and organizations which we have found to be particularly helpful in working on different problems. You can find a link to this section in the Table of Contents for each book. On the Hesperian books and resources page and also on the pages in other languages, you will find more links to “Other Resources”. Use these links! There is a world-wide network of people working for health and social justice. Also, please let us know if any of these links no longer work, or if you think other resources should also be listed. Contact us at: [email protected].

This resource can be improved with your help

If you have any ideas about how the Hesperian HealthWiki could better meet your needs, or suggestions for changes to the content of the books, please write to us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

This page was updated:21 May 2021