TALC (Teaching-aids At Low Cost) is a non-profit organisation which distributes low cost health books, slides and teaching equipment to developing and needy countries.
Many hospitals, health centres and clinics in these countries are desperately short of books and teaching materials and help provided by TALC can enable doctors and health workers to make the right diagnosis and provide the right treatment, resulting in the saving of life and the alleviation of an enormous amount of pain and suffering.
Material provided by TALC, as well as covering most aspects of primary health care, also covers surgery, anaesthetics, nutrition and other topics at district hospital level.
Among the most popular books are, Clinical Tuberculosis, the Strategies for Hope series and the Child-to-Child Readers.
TALC is also in the forefront of the battle against AIDS and fulfils a big demand for books and slides on this subject.
On the equipment side TALC is interested in low cost methods of weighing and measuring, children such as the Direct Recording Scale which involves mothers in plotting the charts of their own children, and enables them to understand, even if illiterate, the meaning of a growth curve.
On the teaching side, flannelgraphs, which consist of pictures printed onto material with a rough surface have proved very popular.
The idea of forming TALC came to child care specialist Professor David Morley when he was lecturing in 1966 at London University and was asked by overseas students for slides which they wanted to take back to their own countries to use for lectures.
He started making sets of slides with a duplicate commentary to accompany each set and quickly discovered that there was more demand than he could cope with, so he got people living near his home to help and as demand continued to grow TALC became an official charity and branched out into books and teaching aids.
Since it started TALC has distributed 5½ million slides, probably more than any other organisation. Today it employs over 20 full and part time staff and supplies over 80,000 books and booklets, 10,000 slide sets and a large amount of teaching equipment every year.
Packing and distribution of slides and books has taken place largely from the homes of TALC workers in St Albans, thus reducing overhead costs and allowing the provision of teaching material at a fraction of similar commercial organisations.
TALC is advised by staff in the Centre for International Child Health in the Institute of Child Health, London University. It also works closely with Appropriate Health Resources Technology Action Group (AHRTAG) and the Child-to-Child programme and is a source for publications sold by both these groups.
Those interested in further details should write for a free list of books and other material available to:
PO Box 49,
Herts, AL1 4AX,