Africa has been losing professionally trained health workers who are the core of the health system of this continent for many years. Faced with an increased burden of disease and coupled by a massive exodus of the health workforce, the health systems of many African nations are risking complete paralysis. Several studies have suggested policy options to reduce brain drain from Africa. The purpose of this paper is to review possible policies, which can stem the impact of health professional br...
Full Text Available Africa has been losing professionally trained health workers who are the core of the health system of this continent for many years. Faced with an increased burden of disease and coupled by a massive exodus of the health workforce, the health systems of many African nations are risking complete paralysis. Several studies have suggested policy options to reduce brain drain from Africa. The purpose of this paper is to review possible policies, which can stem the impact of health professional brain drain from Africa. A systemic literature review was conducted. Cinahl, Science Direct and PubMed databases were searched with the following terms: health professional brain drain from Africa and policies for reducing impact of brain drain from Africa. References were also browsed for relevant articles. A total of 425 articles were available for the study but only 23 articles met the inclusion criteria. The review identified nine policy options, which were being implemented in Africa, but the most common was task shifting which had success in several African countries. This review has demonstrated that there is considerable consensus on task shifting as the most appropriate and sustainable policy option for reducing the impact of health professional brain drain from Africa.
Phillips, James F; Sheff, Mallory; Boyer, Christopher B
Growing international concern about the need for improved health systems in Africa has catalyzed an expansion of the health systems literature. This review applies a bibliometric procedure to analyze the acceleration of scientific writing on this theme. We focus on research published during the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era between 1990 and 2014, reporting findings from a systematic review of a database comprised of 17,655 articles about health systems themes from sub-Saharan African countries or subregions. Using bibliometric tools for co-word textual analysis, we analyzed the incidence and associations of keywords and phrases to generate and visualize topical foci on health systems as clusters of themes, much in the manner that astronomers represent groupings of stars as galaxies of celestial entities. The association of keywords defines their relative position, with the size of images weighted by the relative frequency of terms. Sets of associated keywords are arrayed as stars that cluster as "galaxies" of concepts in the knowledge universe represented by health systems research from sub-Saharan Africa. Results show that health systems research is dominated by literature on diseases and categorical systems research topics, rather than on systems science that cuts across diseases or specific systemic themes. Systems research is highly developed in South Africa but relatively uncommon elsewhere in the region. "Black holes" are identified by searching for terms in our keyword library related to terms in widely cited reviews of health systems. Results identify several themes that are unexpectedly uncommon in the country-specific health systems literature. This includes research on the processes of achieving systems change, the health impact of systems strengthening, processes that explain the systems determinants of health outcomes, or systematic study of organizational dysfunction and ways to improve system performance. Research quantifying the relationship
Mostert, Saskia; Njuguna, Festus; Olbara, Gilbert; Sindano, Solomon; Sitaresmi, Mei Neni; Supriyadi, Eddy; Kaspers, Gertjan
At the government, hospital, and health-care provider level, corruption plays a major role in health-care systems in Africa. The returns on health investments of international financial institutions, health organisations, and donors might be very low when mismanagement and dysfunctional structures of health-care systems are not addressed. More funding might even aggravate corruption. We discuss corruption and its effects on cancer care within the African health-care system in a sociocultural context. The contribution of high-income countries in stimulating corruption is also described. Corrupt African governments cannot be expected to take the initiative to eradicate corruption. Therefore, international financial institutions, health organisations, and financial donors should use their power to demand policy reforms of health-care systems in Africa troubled by the issue of corruption. These modifications will ameliorate the access and quality of cancer care for patients across the continent, and ultimately improve the outcome of health care to all patients. PMID:26248847
Full Text Available Abstract Background In a restricted sense, the resource curse is a theory that explains the inverse relationship classically seen between dependence on natural resources and economic growth. It defines a peculiar economic and political environment, epitomised by oil extraction in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods Based on secondary research and illustrations from four oil-rich geographical areas (the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, Angola, southern Chad, Southern Sudan, I propose a framework for analysing the effects of the resource curse on the structure of health systems at sub-national levels. Qualitative attributes are emphasised. The role of the corporate sector, the influence of conflicts, and the value of classical mitigation measures (such as health impact assessments are further examined. Results Health systems in a resource curse environment are classically fractured into tripartite components, including governmental health agencies, non-profit non-governmental organisations, and the corporate extractive sector. The three components entertain a range of contractual relationships generally based on operational considerations which are withdrawn from social or community values. Characterisation of agencies in this system should also include: values, operating principles, legitimacy and operational spaces. From this approach, it appears that community health is at the same time marginalised and instrumentalised toward economic and corporate interests in resource curse settings. Conclusion From a public health point of view, the resource curse represents a fundamental failure of dominant development theories, rather than a delay in creating the proper economy and governance environment for social progress. The scope of research on the resource curse should be broadened to include more accurate or comprehensive indicators of destitution (including health components and more open perspectives on causal mechanisms.
Rispel, Laetitia C.; Blaauw, Duane
Background: Worldwide, there is an increased reliance on casual staff in the health sector. Recent policy attention in South Africa has focused on the interrelated challenges of agency nursing and moonlighting in the health sector.Objective: This paper examines the potential health system consequences of agency nursing and moonlighting among South African nurses.Methods: During 2010, a cluster random sample of 80 hospitals was selected in four South African provinces. On the survey day, all n...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Mobile phone technology has demonstrated the potential to improve health service delivery, but there is little guidance to inform decisions about acquiring and implementing mHealth technology at scale in health systems. Using the case of community-based health services (CBS in South Africa, we apply a framework to appraise the opportunities and challenges to effective implementation of mHealth at scale in health systems. Methods A qualitative study reviewed the benefits and challenges of mHealth in community-based services in South Africa, through a combination of key informant interviews, site visits to local projects and document reviews. Using a framework adapted from three approaches to reviewing sustainable information and communication technology (ICT, the lessons from local experience and elsewhere formed the basis of a wider consideration of scale up challenges in South Africa. Results Four key system dimensions were identified and assessed: government stewardship and the organisational, technological and financial systems. In South Africa, the opportunities for successful implementation of mHealth include the high prevalence of mobile phones, a supportive policy environment for eHealth, successful use of mHealth for CBS in a number of projects and a well-developed ICT industry. However there are weaknesses in other key health systems areas such as organisational culture and capacity for using health information for management, and the poor availability and use of ICT in primary health care. The technological challenges include the complexity of ensuring interoperability and integration of information systems and securing privacy of information. Finally, there are the challenges of sustainable financing required for large scale use of mobile phone technology in resource limited settings. Conclusion Against a background of a health system with a weak ICT environment and limited implementation capacity, it remains
Meyer Swanepoel; Bob Mash; Tracey Naledi
Background: In 2007, South Africa made family medicine a new speciality. Family physicians that have trained for this new speciality have been employed in the district health system since 2011. The aim of the present study was to explore the perceptions of district managers on the impact of family physicians on clinical processes, health system performance and health outcomes in the district health system (DHS) of the Western Cape. Methods: Nine in-depth interviews were performed: seven with ...
Peltzer, Karl; Phaswana-Mafuya, Nancy
Background As populations age, health systems must adapt and develop approaches that meet the needs of older patients with increasing multiple chronic conditions. Understanding older populations’ perceptions of quality of care is critical to developing measures to increase the utilization of primary healthcare services. Using the data from the Global Study on Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) survey, the current study aims to evaluate the degree of perceived responsiveness with outpatient and inpatient healthcare in South Africa. Methods We conducted a national population-based cross-sectional study with a sample of 3,840 individuals aged 50 years or older in South Africa in 2008. The questionnaire included sociodemographic characteristics, healthcare utilization and responsiveness, and other health variables. Results Healthcare utilization was 9% inpatient care in the past 3 years and 50% outpatient care in the past 12 months. The overall mean perceived responsiveness score for inpatient care was 71 and for outpatient care 69. According to the evaluation of inpatient care, autonomy and prompt attention showed the lowest while quality, confidentiality, and dignity showed the highest degree of perceived responsiveness among all the areas analyzed. Regarding outpatient care, prompt attention showed the lowest while quality, confidentiality, and dignity the highest degree of perceived responsiveness scores. Overall, perceived healthcare responsiveness was higher in private than in public inpatient and outpatient healthcare facilities. Multivariate analysis found that being from the White population group (OR=3.96, CI=1.54–19.19), not a public health facility (OR=0.34, CI=0.17–0.69), poor subjective health status (OR=0.53, CI=0.38–0.75) and having health insurance paying for the outpatient care visit (OR=3.39, CI=1.24–9.27) were associated with outpatient perceived healthcare responsiveness, whereas male gender (OR=0.36, CI=0.14–0.89), 80 years or older (OR=5
Mocumbi, Ana Olga; Sliwa, Karen
The predominant pattern of cardiovascular diseases in sub-Saharan Africa is that of poverty-related conditions (rheumatic heart valve disease, untreated congenital heart disease, tuberculous pericarditis) and diseases of unclear aetiology with a higher prevalence in this part of the world (peripartum cardiomyopathy, endomyocardial fibrosis). However, the prevalence of the traditional risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and marked obesity is high in a number of sub-Saharan settings, although they vary considerably among countries, urban/rural locations and specific subpopulations. In urban settings, hypertensive heart disease with systolic and diastolic function contributes substantially to morbidity. Awareness of the general public and health workers about the burden of cardiovascular diseases in women must be increased, and risk factor control programmes must be included in the health research agenda on the African continent. Improvement in health services with coordination of maternal health services and non-communicable diseases is also needed. This review focuses on the current knowledge of cardiovascular healthcare of women in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly their propensity for various forms of heart disease, access to healthcare, treatment received within the respective healthcare system, response to therapy and mortality. It highlights the gaps in knowledge and the paucity of data in most of these aspects. PMID:22350029
Laetitia C. Rispel
Full Text Available Background: Worldwide, there is an increased reliance on casual staff in the health sector. Recent policy attention in South Africa has focused on the interrelated challenges of agency nursing and moonlighting in the health sector. Objective: This paper examines the potential health system consequences of agency nursing and moonlighting among South African nurses. Methods: During 2010, a cluster random sample of 80 hospitals was selected in four South African provinces. On the survey day, all nurses providing clinical care completed a self-administered questionnaire after giving informed consent. The questionnaire obtained information on socio-demographics, involvement in agency nursing and moonlighting, and self-reported indicators of potential health system consequences of agency nursing and moonlighting. A weighted analysis was done using STATA® 13. Results: In the survey, 40.7% of nurses reported moonlighting or working for an agency in the preceding year. Of all participants, 51.5% reported feeling too tired to work, 11.5% paid less attention to nursing work on duty, and 10.9% took sick leave when not actually sick in the preceding year. Among the moonlighters, 11.9% had taken vacation leave to do agency work or moonlighting, and 9.8% reported conflicting schedules between their primary and secondary jobs. In the bivariate analysis, moonlighting nurses were significantly more likely than non-moonlighters to take sick leave when not sick (p=0.011 and to pay less attention to nursing work on duty (p=0.035. However, in a multiple logistic regression analysis, the differences between moonlighters and non-moonlighters did not remain statistically significant after adjusting for other socio-demographic variables. Conclusion: Although moonlighting did not emerge as a statistically significant predictor, the reported health system consequences are serious. A combination of strong nursing leadership, effective management, and consultation with and
Full Text Available Abstract Background In the developed world, information on vital events is routinely collected nationally to inform population and health policies. However, in many low-and middle-income countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA, there is a lack of effective and comprehensive national civil registration and vital statistics system. In the past decades, the number of Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSSs has increased throughout SSA. An HDSS monitors births, deaths, causes of death, migration, and other health and socio-economic indicators within a defined population over time. Currently, the International Network for the Continuous Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health (INDEPTH brings together 38 member research centers which run 44 HDSS sites from 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Oceana. Thirty two of these HDSS sites are in SSA. Discussion This paper argues that, in the absence of an adequate national CRVS, HDSSs should be more effectively utilised to generate relevant public health data, and also to create local capacity for longitudinal data collection and management systems in SSA. If HDSSs get strategically located to cover different geographical regions in a country, data from these sites could be used to provide a more complete national picture of the health of the population. They provide useful data that can be extrapolated for national estimates if their regional coverage is well planned. HDSSs are however resource-intensive. Efforts are being put towards getting them linked to local or national policy contexts and to reduce their dependence on external funding. Increasing their number in SSA to cover a critical proportion of the population, especially urban populations, must be carefully planned. Strategic planning is needed at national levels to geographically locate HDSS sites and to support these through national funding mechanisms. Summary The paper does not suggest that HDSSs should be
Schneider, Helen; Blaauw, Duane; Gilson, Lucy; Chabikuli, Nzapfurundi; Goudge, Jane
Without strengthened health systems, significant access to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in many developing countries is unlikely to be achieved. This paper reflects on systemic challenges to scaling up ARV access in countries with both massive epidemics and weak health systems. It draws on the authors' experience in southern Africa and the World Health Organization's framework on health system performance. Whilst acknowledging the still significant gap in financing, the paper focuses on the challenges of reorienting service delivery towards chronic disease care and the human resource crisis in health systems. Inadequate supply, poor distribution, low remuneration and accelerated migration of skilled health workers are increasingly regarded as key systems constraints to scaling up of HIV treatment. Problems, however, go beyond the issue of numbers to include productivity and cultures of service delivery. As more countries receive funds for antiretroviral access programmes, strong national stewardship of these programmes becomes increasingly necessary. The paper proposes a set of short- and long-term stewardship tasks, which include resisting the verticalisation of HIV treatment, the evaluation of community health workers and their potential role in HIV treatment access, international action on the brain drain, and greater investment in national human resource functions of planning, production, remuneration and management. PMID:16713875
allocations for health can be solved with a more evidence based approach and dialogue based on a clear vision and costed strategic plan articulated by the ministry of health. Improving health in Africa is a driver for long-term economic growth and development and this is the reason why the ministries of health and finance will need to find common ground on how to create policy coherence and how to articulate their respective objectives.
Bankole, Felix Olu; Mimbi, Lucas
For the past two decades, the discussion regarding the effect of ICT on health systems is becoming apparent. However, past studies have mainly focused on ICT impact on specific social-economic phenomena. Little empirical research on ICT and health systems exists. Many African countries have invested in ICT and there is a need to examine if such investments have impacted on health system of these countries. Using a multi-method approach, data for 27 African countries were analysed. We employed...
Fonn, Sharon; Ray, Sunanda; Blaauw, Duane
Initiatives to address the human resource crisis in African health systems have included expanded training of mid-level workers (MLWs). Currently, MLWs are the backbone of many health systems in Africa but they are often de-motivated and they often operate in circumstances in which providing high quality care is challenging. Therefore, assuming that introducing additional people will materially change health system performance is unrealistic. We briefly critique such unifocal interventions and review the literature to understand the factors that affect the motivation and performance of MLWs. Three themes emerge: the low status and inadequate recognition of MLWs, quality of care issues and working in poorly managed systems. In response we propose three interrelated interventions: a regional association of MLWs to enhance their status and recognition, a job enrichment and mentoring system to address quality and a district managers' association to improve health systems management. The professionalisation of MLWs and district managers to address confidence, self-esteem and value is considered. The paper describes the thinking behind these interventions, which are currently being tested in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda for their acceptability and appropriateness. We offer the policy community a complementary repertoire to existing human resource strategies in order to effect real change in African health systems. PMID:20582782
Full Text Available Abstract Background The literature on health systems focuses largely on the performance of healthcare systems operationalised around indicators such as hospital beds, maternity care and immunisation coverage. A broader definition of health systems however, needs to include the wider determinants of health including, possibly, governance and its relationship to health and health equity. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between health systems outcomes and equity, and governance as a part of a process to extend the range of indicators used to assess health systems performance. Methods Using cross sectional data from 46 countries in the African region of the World Health Organization, an ecological analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between governance and health systems performance. The data were analysed using multiple linear regression and a standard progressive modelling procedure. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR was used as the health outcome measure and the ratio of U5MR in the wealthiest and poorest quintiles was used as the measure of health equity. Governance was measured using two contextually relevant indices developed by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Results Governance was strongly associated with U5MR and moderately associated with the U5MR quintile ratio. After controlling for possible confounding by healthcare, finance, education, and water and sanitation, governance remained significantly associated with U5MR. Governance was not, however, significantly associated with equity in U5MR outcomes. Conclusion This study suggests that the quality of governance may be an important structural determinant of health systems performance, and could be an indicator to be monitored. The association suggests there might be a causal relationship. However, the cross-sectional design, the level of missing data, and the small sample size, forces tentative conclusions. Further research will be needed to assess the
Full Text Available Abstract Background Over the past ten years, calls to strengthen health systems research capacities in low and middle income countries have increased. One mechanism for capacity development is the partnering of northern and southern institutions. However, detailed case-studies of north-south partnerships, at least in the domain of health systems research, remain limited. This study aims to evaluate the partnerships developed between the Health Economics and Financing Programme of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and three research partners in South Africa and Thailand to strengthen health economics-related research capacity. Methods Data from programme documents were collected over five years to measure quantitative indicators of capacity development. Qualitative data were obtained from 25 in-depth interviews with programme staff from South Africa, Thailand and London. Results and Discussion Five years of formal partnership resulted in substantial strengthening of individual research skills and moderate instituonalised strengthening in southern partner institutions. Activities included joint proposals, research and articles, staff exchange and post-graduate training. In Thailand, individual capacities were built through post-graduate training and the partner institution developed this as part of a package aimed at retaining young researchers at the institution. In South Africa, local post-graduate teaching programs were strengthened, regular staff visits/exchanges initiated and maintained and funding secured for several large-scale, multi-partner projects. These activities could not have been achieved without good personal relationships between members of the partner institutions, built on trust developed over twenty years. In South Africa, a critical factor was the joint appointment of a London staff member on long-term secondment to one of the partner institutions. Conclusion As partnerships mature the needs of partners
Full Text Available Background: In 2007, South Africa made family medicine a new speciality. Family physicians that have trained for this new speciality have been employed in the district health system since 2011. The aim of the present study was to explore the perceptions of district managers on the impact of family physicians on clinical processes, health system performance and health outcomes in the district health system (DHS of the Western Cape.Methods: Nine in-depth interviews were performed: seven with district managers and two with the chief directors of the metropolitan and rural DHS. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using the ATLAS-ti and the framework method.Results: There was a positive impact on clinical processes for HIV/AIDS, TB, trauma, noncommunicable chronic diseases, mental health, maternal and child health. Health system performance was positively impacted in terms of access, coordination, comprehensiveness and efficiency. An impact on health outcomes was anticipated. The impact was not uniform throughout the province due to different numbers of family physicians and different abilities to function optimally. There was also a perception that the positive impact attributed to family physicians was in the early stages of development. Unanticipated effects included concerns with their roles in management and training of students, as well as tensions with career medical officers.Conclusion: Early feedback from district managers suggests that where family physicians are employed and able to function optimally, they are making a significant impact on health system performance and the quality of clinical processes. In the longer term, this is likely to impact on health outcomes.
Naidoo, Kovin S; Naidoo, Kesi; Maharaj, Yashika; Ramson, Prasidh; Wallace, Diane; Dabideen, Reshma
Background In South Africa, the health service is based on a Primary Health Care (PHC) philosophy with the District Health System (DHS) as the locus of delivery. However eye care services, particularly primary eye care, refractive error and low vision, have not been prioritised accordingly. Hence the aim of the Giving Sight to KwaZulu-Natal (GSKZN) project was to integrate the delivery of eye care services into the district health system, with emphasis on addressing the need for uncorrected r...
Full Text Available Background: Declining rates of fertility and mortality are driving demographic transition in all regions of the world, leading to global population ageing and consequently changing patterns of global morbidity and mortality. Understanding sex-related health differences, recognising groups at risk of poor health and identifying determinants of poor health are therefore very important for both improving health trajectories and planning for the health needs of ageing populations. Objectives: To determine the extent to which demographic and socio-economic factors impact upon measures of health in older populations in Africa and Asia; to examine sex differences in health and further explain how these differences can be attributed to demographic and socio-economic determinants. Methods : A total of 46,269 individuals aged 50 years and over in eight Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS sites within the INDEPTH Network were studied during 2006–2007 using an abbreviated version of the WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE Wave I instrument. The survey data were then linked to longitudinal HDSS background information. A health score was calculated based on self-reported health derived from eight health domains. Multivariable regression and post-regression decomposition provide ways of measuring and explaining the health score gap between men and women. Results: Older men have better self-reported health than older women. Differences in household socio-economic levels, age, education levels, marital status and living arrangements explained from about 82% and 71% of the gaps in health score observed between men and women in South Africa and Kenya, respectively, to almost nothing in Bangladesh. Different health domains contributed differently to the overall health scores for men and women in each country. Conclusion: This study confirmed the existence of sex differences in self-reported health in low- and middle-income countries
Moloi, Annesinah Hlengiwe; Watkins, David; Engel, Mark E; Mall, Sumaya; Zühlke, Liesl
Introduction Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a chronic disease affecting the heart valves, secondary to group A streptococcal infection (GAS) and subsequent acute rheumatic fever (ARF). However, RHD cure and preventative measures are inextricably linked with socioeconomic development, as the disease mainly affects children and young adults living in poverty. In order to address RHD, public health officials and health policymakers require up-to-date knowledge on the epidemiology of GAS, ARF and RHD, as well as the existing enablers and gaps in delivery of evidence-based care for these conditions. We propose to conduct a systematic review to assess the literature comprehensively, synthesising all existing quantitative and qualitative data relating to RHD in Africa. Methods and analysis We plan to conduct a comprehensive literature search using a number of databases and reference lists of relevant articles published from January 1995 to December 2015. Two evaluators will independently review and extract data from each article. Additionally, we will assess overall study quality and risk of bias, using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria for quantitative and qualitative studies, respectively. We will meta-analyse estimates of prevalence, incidence, case fatality and mortality for each of the conditions separately for each country. Qualitative meta-analysis will be conducted for facilitators and barriers in RHD health access. Lastly, we will create a list of key stakeholders. This protocol is registered in the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of systematic reviews, registration number CRD42016032852. Ethics and dissemination The information provided by this review will inform and assist relevant stakeholders in identifying key areas of intervention, and designing and implementing evidence-based programmes and policies at the local and regional level. With slight modifications (ie, to the country terms in the search
David H. Peters; Kandola, Kami; Elemendorf, A. Edward; Chellaraj, Gnanaraj
In the past thirty years, Sub-Saharan African countries have made remarkable improvements in health conditions and status. However, they still suffer from some of the worst health problems in the world, and AIDS is making conditions much worse than they will be otherwise. This study, health expenditures, services, and outcomes in Africa considers 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and outl...
David M. Hondula
Full Text Available Background: Climate and weather affect human health directly and indirectly. There is a renewed interest in various aspects of environmental health as our understanding of ongoing climate change improves. In particular, today, the health effects in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs are not well understood. Many computer models predict some of the biggest changes in places where people are equipped with minimal resources to combat the effects of a changing environment, particularly with regard to human health. Objective: This article documents the observed and projected climate profiles of select sites within the International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health (INDEPTH network of Health and Demographic Surveillance System sites in Africa and Asia to support the integration of climate research with health practice and policy. Design: The climatology of four meteorological stations representative of a suite of INDEPTH Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSSs was assessed using daily data of 10 years. Historical and future trends were analyzed using reanalysis products and global climate model projections. Results: The climate characteristics of the HDSS sites investigated suggest vulnerability to different environmental stressors, and the changes expected over the next century are far greater in magnitude than those observed at many of the INDEPTH member sites. Conclusions: The magnitude of potential future climate changes in the LMICs highlights the need for improvements in collaborative climate–health research in these countries. Climate data resources are available to support such research efforts. The INDEPTH studies presented in this supplement are the first attempt to assess and document associations of climatic factors with mortality at the HDSSs.
Chersich Matthew F
Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV remains responsible for an estimated 40% of mortality in South African pregnant women and their children. To address these avoidable deaths, eligibility criteria for antiretroviral therapy (ART in pregnant women were revised in 2010 to enhance ART coverage. With greater availability of HIV services in public health settings and increasing government attention to poor maternal-child health outcomes, this study used the patient's journey through the continuum of maternal and child care as a framework to track and document women's experiences of accessing ART and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT programmes in the Eastern Cape (three peri-urban facilities and Gauteng provinces (one academic hospital. Results In-depth interviews identified considerable weaknesses within operational HIV service delivery. These manifested as missed opportunities for HIV testing in antenatal care due to shortages of test kits; insufficient staff assigned to HIV services; late payment of lay counsellors, with consequent absenteeism; and delayed transcription of CD4 cell count results into patient files (required for ART initiation. By contrast, individual factors undermining access encompassed psychosocial concerns, such as fear of a positive test result or a partner's reaction; and stigma. Data and information systems for monitoring in the three peri-urban facilities were markedly inadequate. Conclusions A single system- or individual-level delay reduced the likelihood of women accessing ART or PMTCT interventions. These delays, when concurrent, often signalled wholesale denial of prevention and treatment. There is great scope for health systems' reforms to address constraints and weaknesses within PMTCT and ART services in South Africa. Recommendations from this study include: ensuring autonomy over resources at lower levels; linking performance management to facility-wide human resources interventions; developing
The population residing Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) continues to suffer from communicable health problems such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and various neglected tropical as well as non-communicable diseases. The disease burden is aggravated by shortage of medical personnel and medical supplies such as medical devices and minimal access to essential medicine. For long time, human beings through observation and practical experiences learned to use different plant species that led to the emergence of traditional medicine (TM) systems. The ancient Pharaonic Egyptian TM system is one of the oldest documented forms of TM practice in Africa and the pioneer of world's medical science. However, the medical practices diffused very fast to other continents being accelerated by advancement of technologies while leaving Africa lagging behind in the integration of the practice in formal health-care system. Challenging issues that drag back integration is the development of education curricula for training TM experts as the way of disseminating the traditional medical knowledge and practices imbedded in African culture. The few African countries such as Ghana managed to integrate TM products in the National Essential Medicine List while South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania have TM products being sold over the counters due to the availability of education training programs facilitated by research. This paper analyses the contribution of TM practice and products in modern medicine and gives recommendations that Africa should take in the integration process to safeguard the SSA population from disease burdens. PMID:27366358
Travis, Dominic A; Chapman, David W; Craft, Meggan E; Deen, John; Farnham, MacDonald W; Garcia, Carolyn; Hueston, William D; Kock, Richard; Mahero, Michael; Mugisha, Lawrence; Nzietchueng, Serge; Nutter, Felicia B; Olson, Debra; Pekol, Amy; Pelican, Katharine M; Robertson, Cheryl; Rwego, Innocent B
Africa is faced with many of the most daunting challenges of our time. It comprises roughly 15% of the world's human population, and most of its countries are perpetually ranked "Low" on the United Nations' Human Development Index. On the other hand, Africa has arguably the largest proportion of intact natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and sociocultural capital and the lowest impact on global warming of any continent. Thus, African leaders are faced with competing demands and values among a multitude of complex issues, such as high human population growth, extreme poverty, food insecurity, land use policy, climate change, and biodiversity conservation. In this context, building sustainable national systems for human and/or animal health is one of the grand challenges of this generation. Today's complex global health and development challenges require long-term commitment and a range of approaches that are too broad for any one discipline, institution, or country to implement on its own. The One Health concept recognizes the interconnectedness of global health issues and, as such, promotes the importance of and need for international, interdisciplinary, and cross-sectoral communication and collaboration at local, national, and international levels. By taking advantage of natural cultural tendencies for shared leadership, resource allocation, and community values, African leaders are currently proactively demonstrating the principles of One Health, and thus becoming a model for this global vision. And by focusing on partnerships rather than donor-recipient relationships, they are fostering the development of shared priorities and are increasingly driving their own health agenda to fulfill their own needs. PMID:26082115
Klopper, J M; Taylor, S P
The per capita gross national product (GNP) in South Africa is examined as it relates to life expectancy and the infant mortality rate. Despite South Africa's relative wealth in per capita GNP terms, life expectancy at birth is 63-65 years and the national infant mortality rate according to Unicef, is unlikely to reach the target of 50/1,000 live births by the year 2000. The distribution of expenditure on health is contrasted between the former provincial administrations, the major local authorities, the national states and the homelands. The health resources allocation distribution is unlikely to ensure health for all by the year 2000. PMID:3120325
Full Text Available In much of the developing world, private health care providers and pharmacies are the most important sources of medicine and medical care and yet these providers are frequently not considered in planning for public health. This paper presents the available evidence, by socioeconomic status, on which strata of society benefit from publicly provided care and which strata use private health care. Using data from The World Bank's Health Nutrition and Population Poverty Thematic Reports on 22 countries in Africa, an assessment was made of the use of public and private health services, by asset quintile groups, for treatment of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections, proxies for publicly subsidized services. The evidence and theory on using franchise networks to supplement government programmes in the delivery of public health services was assessed. Examples from health franchises in Africa and Asia are provided to illustrate the potential for franchise systems to leverage private providers and so increase delivery-point availability for public-benefit services. We argue that based on the established demand for private medical services in Africa, these providers should be included in future planning on human resources for public health. Having explored the range of systems that have been tested for working with private providers, from contracting to vouchers to behavioural change and provider education, we conclude that franchising has the greatest potential for integration into large-scale programmes in Africa to address critical illnesses of public health importance.
Prata, Ndola; Montagu, Dominic; Jefferys, Emma
In much of the developing world, private health care providers and pharmacies are the most important sources of medicine and medical care and yet these providers are frequently not considered in planning for public health. This paper presents the available evidence, by socioeconomic status, on which strata of society benefit from publicly provided care and which strata use private health care. Using data from The World Bank's Health Nutrition and Population Poverty Thematic Reports on 22 countries in Africa, an assessment was made of the use of public and private health services, by asset quintile groups, for treatment of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections, proxies for publicly subsidized services. The evidence and theory on using franchise networks to supplement government programmes in the delivery of public health services was assessed. Examples from health franchises in Africa and Asia are provided to illustrate the potential for franchise systems to leverage private providers and so increase delivery-point availability for public-benefit services. We argue that based on the established demand for private medical services in Africa, these providers should be included in future planning on human resources for public health. Having explored the range of systems that have been tested for working with private providers, from contracting to vouchers to behavioural change and provider education, we conclude that franchising has the greatest potential for integration into large-scale programmes in Africa to address critical illnesses of public health importance. PMID:15868018
Simplice A, Asongu
How do economic prosperity, health expenditure, savings, price-stability, demographic change, democracy, corruption-control, press-freedom, government effectiveness, human development, foreign-aid, physical security, trade openness and financial liberalization play-out in the fight against health-worker crisis when existing emigration levels matter? Despite the acute concern of health-worker crisis in Africa owing to emigration, lack of relevant data has made the subject matter empirically vo...
Mash, Bob; Naledi, Tracey
Background: In 2007, South Africa made family medicine a new speciality. Family physicians that have trained for this new speciality have been employed in the district health system since 2011. The aim of the present study was to explore the perceptions of district managers on the impact of family physicians on clinical processes, health system performance and health outcomes in the district health system (DHS) of the Western Cape. Methods: Nine in-depth interviews were performed: seven with district managers and two with the chief directors of the metropolitan and rural DHS. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using the ATLAS-ti and the framework method. Results: There was a positive impact on clinical processes for HIV/AIDS, TB, trauma, non-communicable chronic diseases, mental health, maternal and child health. Health system performance was positively impacted in terms of access, coordination, comprehensiveness and efficiency. An impact on health outcomes was anticipated. The impact was not uniform throughout the province due to different numbers of family physicians and different abilities to function optimally. There was also a perception that the positive impact attributed to family physicians was in the early stages of development. Unanticipated effects included concerns with their roles in management and training of students, as well as tensions with career medical officers. Conclusion: Early feedback from district managers suggests that where family physicians are employed and able to function optimally, they are making a significant impact on health system performance and the quality of clinical processes. In the longer term, this is likely to impact on health outcomes. Evaluation de l'impact des médecins de famille dans le système de santé du district du Western Cape, en Afrique du Sud. Contexte: En 2007, l'Afrique du Sud a institué une nouvelle spécialité, la médecine de famille. Les médecins de famille qui se sont sp
Kumar, Meghan; Lehmann, Joel; Rucogoza, Aniceth; Kayobotsi, Claver; Das, Ashis; Schneidman, Miriam
This report summarizes the main findings from the application of performance based incentives linked to progress on a standardized, globally recognized metric - the stepwise laboratory improvement process towards accreditation (SLIPTA) checklist - under the East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLNP) in Rwanda. The lab performance-based financing (PBF) pilot was intro...
Nightingale, E O; Hannibal, K; Geiger, H J; Hartmann, L; Lawrence, R; Spurlock, J
Human rights and health care under apartheid in South Africa were studied. Human rights violations, such as detention without charge or trial, assault and torture in police custody, and restriction orders, have had devastating effects on the health of persons experiencing them. These violations have occurred in the context of a deliberate policy of discriminatory health care favoring the white minority over the black majority. South Africa's medical societies have had mixed responses to the health problems raised by human rights violations and inequities in the health care system. The amelioration of health care for all and prevention of human rights violations depend on ending apartheid and discrimination and greater government attention to these problems. PMID:2214078
Abdramane Bassiahi Soura
Full Text Available Background: The probable coexistence of two or more epidemiological profiles in urban Africa is poorly documented. In particular, very few studies have focused on the comparison of cause-specific mortality between two types of neighborhoods that characterize contemporary southern cities: formal neighborhoods, that is, structured or delineated settlements (planned estates that have full access to public utilities (electricity and water services, and the informal neighborhoods, that is, spontaneous and unplanned peri-urban settlements where people live in slum-like conditions, often with little or no access to public utilities. Objective: To compare the causes of death between the formal and informal neighborhoods covered by the Ouagadougou Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSS. Design: The data used come from the INDEPTH pooled dataset which includes the contribution of Ouagadougou HDSS and are compiled for the INDEPTH Network Data repository. The data were collected between 2009 and 2011 using verbal autopsy (VA questionnaires completed by four fieldworkers well trained in the conduction of VAs. The VA data were then interpreted using the InterVA-4 program (version 4.02 to arrive at the causes of death. Results: Communicable diseases are the leading cause of death among children (aged between 29 days and 14 years in both formal and informal neighborhoods, contributing more than 75% to the mortality rate. Mortality rates from non-communicable diseases (NCDs are very low before age 15 but are the leading causes from age 50, especially in formal neighborhoods. Mortality from injuries is very low, with no significant difference between the two neighborhoods. Conclusions: The fact that mortality from NCDs is higher among adults in formal neighborhoods seems consistent with the idea of a correlation between modern life and epidemiological transition. However, NCDs do affect informal neighborhoods as well. They consist mainly of
Piette Danielle; Garant Michèle; Lemenu Dominique; Lejeune Colette; Coppieters Yves; Fromageot Audrey; Parent Florence; Levêque Alain; De Ketele Jean-Marie
Abstract Human resources in health care system in sub-Saharan Africa are generally picturing a lack of adequacy between expected skills from the professionals and health care needs expressed by the populations. It is, however, possible to analyse these various lacks of adequacy related to human resource management and their determinants to enhance the effectiveness of the health care system. From two projects focused on nurse professionals within the health care system in Central Africa, we p...
Monda, Jonathan; Keipeer, Jeremy; Were, Martin C
Objective: Ensuring good data quality within telemedicine and e-health systems in developing countries is resource intensive. We set out to evaluate an approach where in-built functionality within an electronic record system could identify data quality and integrity problems with little human input. Materials and Methods: We developed a robust data integrity module to identify, enumerate, and facilitate correction of errors within an e-health system that is in wide use in sub-Saharan...
Habte, Demissie; Dussault, Gilles; Dovlo, Delanyo
Sub-Saharan Africa and the international health community face a daunting challenge to deal with an extraordinary disease burden and improve the health status of Africans. Despite decades of effort to provide effective, equitable and affordable health care services, the health indices of Africans have stagnated and in some instances have deteriorated. Africa is the only continent that has not fully benefited from recent advances in biomedical sciences that brought health tools and technologies to tackle most of the disease burden. The emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has confounded the health scene and posed further challenges. Several factors are responsible for this state of affairs: macro factors, that represent the broader socio-cultural environment that impact on health, and micro factors, which are largely health sector specific. There is increasing recognition that the major limiting factor to improved health outcomes is not lack of financial resources or health technologies but the lack of implementation capacity which depends on the presence of a functional health system. The drivers and architects of this are health workers, 'the most important of the health system's input'. The Commission on Macroeconomics and Health advocates a greatly increased investment in health rising in low income countries to a per capita expenditure of US $34 per year and states that the problem in implementing this recommendation is not difficulty in raising funds but the capacity of the health sector itself to absorb the increased flow. Yet, until fairly recently sufficient attention has not been directed to the role of the health workforce. The failure to develop and deploy an appropriate and motivated health workforce, and the environment necessary for the workforce to perform optimally is clearly a critical determinant of the health status of Africans. This paper summarizes key issues facing the workforce and outlines a framework to develop strategies to address them
In recent years, tremendous progress has been made toward providing health information in Africa, in part because of technological advancements. Nevertheless, ensuring that information is accessible, comprehensible, and usable remains problematic, and there remain needs in many settings to address issues such as computer skills, literacy, and the infrastructure to access information. To determine how librarians might play a more strategic role in meeting information needs of health professionals in Africa, the author reviewed key components of information systems pertinent to knowledge management for the health sector, including access to global online resources, capacity to use computer technology for information retrieval, information literacy, and the potential for professional networks to play a role in improving access to and use of information. The author concluded that, in regions that lack adequate information systems, librarians could apply their knowledge and skills to facilitate access and use by information seekers. Ensuring access to and use of health information can also be achieved by engaging organizations and associations working to enhance access to health information, such as the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa. These groups can provide assistance through training, dissemination, information repackaging, and other approaches known to improve information literacy. PMID:22724668
P. Kim Streatfield
Full Text Available Background: Childhood mortality, particularly in the first 5 years of life, is a major global concern and the target of Millennium Development Goal 4. Although the majority of childhood deaths occur in Africa and Asia, these are also the regions where such deaths are least likely to be registered. The INDEPTH Network works to alleviate this problem by collating detailed individual data from defined Health and Demographic Surveillance sites. By registering deaths and carrying out verbal autopsies to determine cause of death across many such sites, using standardised methods, the Network seeks to generate population-based mortality statistics that are not otherwise available. Objective: To present a description of cause-specific mortality rates and fractions over the first 15 years of life as documented by INDEPTH Network sites in sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia. Design: All childhood deaths at INDEPTH sites are routinely registered and followed up with verbal autopsy (VA interviews. For this study, VA archives were transformed into the WHO 2012 VA standard format and processed using the InterVA-4 model to assign cause of death. Routine surveillance data also provided person-time denominators for mortality rates. Cause-specific mortality rates and cause-specific mortality fractions are presented according to WHO 2012 VA cause groups for neonatal, infant, 1–4 year and 5–14 year age groups. Results: A total of 28,751 childhood deaths were documented during 4,387,824 person-years over 18 sites. Infant mortality ranged from 11 to 78 per 1,000 live births, with under-5 mortality from 15 to 152 per 1,000 live births. Sites in Vietnam and Kenya accounted for the lowest and highest mortality rates reported. Conclusions: Many children continue to die from relatively preventable causes, particularly in areas with high rates of malaria and HIV/AIDS. Neonatal mortality persists at relatively high, and perhaps sometimes under-documented, rates
Uwimana, J; Jackson, D; Hausler, H; Zarowsky, C
In South Africa, the control of TB and HIV co-infection remains a major challenge despite the availability of international and national guidelines for integration of TB and HIV services. This study was undertaken in KwaZulu-Natal, one of the provinces most affected by both TB and HIV, to identify and understand managers' and community care workers' (CCWs) perceptions of health systems barriers related to the implementation of collaborative TB/HIV activities, including prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). We conducted 29 in-depth interviews with health managers at provincial, district and facility level and with managers of NGOs involved in TB and HIV care, as well as six focus group discussions with CCWs. Thematic analysis of transcripts revealed a convergence of perspectives on the process and the level of the implementation of policy directives on collaborative TB and HIV activities across all categories of respondents (i.e. province-, district-, facility- and community-based organizations). The majority of participants felt that the implementation of the policy was insufficiently consultative and that leadership and political will were lacking. The predominant themes related to health systems barriers include challenges related to structure and organisational culture; management, planning and power issues; unequal financing; and human resource capacity and regulatory problems notably relating to scope of practice of nurses and CCWs. Accelerated implementation of collaborative TB/HIV activities including PMTCT will require political will and leadership to address these health systems barriers. PMID:22394016
Erasmus, E; Lehmann, U.; Agyepong, IA; Alwar, J; de Savigny, D; Kamuzora, P; Mirzoev, T; Nxumalo, N; Tomson, G; Uzochukwu, B; Gilson, L
Background The last 5–10 years have seen significant international momentum build around the field of health policy and systems research and analysis (HPSR + A). Strengthening post-graduate teaching is seen as central to the further development of this field in low- and middle-income countries. However, thus far, there has been little reflection on and documentation of what is taught in this field, how teaching is carried out, educators’ challenges and what future teaching might look like. Me...
Connell, John; Zurn, Pascal; Stilwell, Barbara; Awases, Magda; Braichet, Jean-Marc
Migration of skilled health workers from sub-Saharan African countries has significantly increased in this century, with most countries becoming sources of migrants. Despite the growing problem of health worker migration for the effective functioning of health care systems there is a remarkable paucity and incompleteness of data. Hence, it is difficult to determine the real extent of migration from, and within, Africa, and thus develop effective forecasting or remedial policies. This global overview and the most comprehensive data indicate that the key destinations remain the USA and the UK, and that major sources are South Africa and Nigeria, but in both contexts there is now greater diversity. Migrants move primarily for economic reasons, and increasingly choose health careers because they offer migration prospects. Migration has been at considerable economic cost, it has depleted workforces, diminished the effectiveness of health care delivery and reduced the morale of the remaining workforce. Countries have sought to implement national policies to manage migration, mitigate its harmful impacts and strengthen African health care systems. Recipient countries have been reluctant to establish effective ethical codes of recruitment practice, or other forms of compensation or technology transfer, hence migration is likely to increase further in the future, diminishing the possibility of achieving the United Nations millennium development goals and exacerbating existing inequalities in access to adequate health care. PMID:17316943
Singer Peter A; Mugabe John; Smith Alyna C; Daar Abdallah S
Abstract Background Africa in the twenty-first century is faced with a heavy burden of disease, combined with ill-equipped medical systems and underdeveloped technological capacity. A major challenge for the international community is to bring scientific and technological advances like genomics to bear on the health priorities of poorer countries. The New Partnership for Africa's Development has identified science and technology as a key platform for Africa's renewal. Recognizing the timeline...
Daar Abdallah S
Full Text Available Abstract In recent years emerging markets such as India, China, and Brazil have developed appropriate business models and lower-cost technological innovations to address health challenges locally and internationally. But it is not well understood what capabilities African countries, with their high disease burden, have in science-based health innovation. This gap in knowledge is addressed by this series in BMC International Health and Human Rights. The series presents the results of extensive on-the-ground research in the form of four country case studies of health and biotechnology innovation, six studies of institutions within Africa involved in health product development, and one study of health venture funds in Africa. To the best of our knowledge it is the first extensive collection of empirical work on African science-based health innovation. The four country cases are Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The six case studies of institutions are A to Z Textiles (Tanzania, Acorn Technologies (South Africa, Bioventures venture capital fund (South Africa, the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA; Madagascar, the Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI; Kenya, and Niprisan’s development by Nigeria’s National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Xechem (Nigeria. All of the examples highlight pioneering attempts to build technological capacity, create economic opportunities, and retain talent on a continent significantly affected by brain drain. They point to the practical challenges for innovators on the ground, and suggest potentially helpful policies, funding streams, and other support systems. For African nations, health innovation represents an opportunity to increase domestic capacity to solve health challenges; for international funders, it is an opportunity to move beyond foreign aid and dependency. The shared goal is creating self-sustaining innovation that has both health and development impacts. While
Jørgensen, Tine Herreborg; Smink, Carla
The article presents som empirical findings regarding environmental management systems of four companies in the automotive industry in South Africa.......The article presents som empirical findings regarding environmental management systems of four companies in the automotive industry in South Africa....
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses findings of the Financial System Stability Assessment for South Africa. South Africaâ€™s financial sector operates in a challenging economic environment. Despite remarkable progress since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa still has one of the worldâ€™s highest unemployment and income inequality rates. Slow economic growth since 2008 has further aggravated unemployment, real disposable income is stagnant, and households are heavily indebted. Relatively high capita...
Dookie Sunitha; Singh Shenuka
Abstract Background The rhetoric of primary health care philosophy in the district health system is widely cited as a fundamental component of the health transformation process in post-apartheid South Africa. Despite South Africa’s progress and attempts at implementing primary health care, various factors still limit its success. Discussion Inconsistencies and poor understanding of primary care and primary health care raises unrealistic expectations in service delivery and health outcomes, an...
Abdallah S. Daar
Full Text Available Urgent action is needed to address mental health issues globally. In Africa, where mental health disorders account for a huge burden of disease and disability, and where in general less than 1% of the already small health budgets are spent on these disorders, the need for action is acute and urgent. Members of the World Health Organization, including African countries, have adopted a Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan. Africa now has an historic opportunity to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its citizens, beginning with provision of basic mental health services and development of national mental health strategic plans (roadmaps. There is need to integrate mental health into primary health care and address stigma and violations of human rights. We advocate for inclusion of mental health into the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and for the convening of a special UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on Mental Health within three years.
Chersich Matthew F; Sprague Courtenay; Black Vivian
Abstract Background HIV remains responsible for an estimated 40% of mortality in South African pregnant women and their children. To address these avoidable deaths, eligibility criteria for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in pregnant women were revised in 2010 to enhance ART coverage. With greater availability of HIV services in public health settings and increasing government attention to poor maternal-child health outcomes, this study used the patient's journey through the continuum of materna...
Jørgensen, Tine Herreborg; Smink, Carla Kornelia
The paper presents and discusses some of the empirical findings regarding envi-ronmental management systems (EMS) of four companies in the automotive industry in South Africa and compares some of the findings to Danish and international experiences.......The paper presents and discusses some of the empirical findings regarding envi-ronmental management systems (EMS) of four companies in the automotive industry in South Africa and compares some of the findings to Danish and international experiences....
Beran, David; Yudkin, John S; de Courten, Maximilian
In order to improve the health of people with Type 1 diabetes in developing countries, a clear analysis of the constraints to insulin access and diabetes care is needed. We developed a Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access, comprising a series of questionnaires as well as a protocol for the...
Sanou, Anselme Simeon; Awoyale, Florence Adeola; Diallo, Abdoulaye
The health sector is characterized by a human resource base lacking in numbers, specialized skills, and management skills. West African Health Organization (WAHO) recognizes the need within the West Africa sub-region for bilingual professionals who are skilled in public health, management, leadership, and information technology to build human capacity in public health and developed the Young Professionals Internship Program (YPIP). Our study explores the evolution of the programme. YPIP progr...
McLeod, Heather; Grobler, Pieter
South Africa intends implementing major reforms in the financing of healthcare. Free market reforms in private health insurance in the late 1980s have been reversed by the new democratic government since 1994 with the re-introduction of open enrolment, community rating and minimum benefits. A system of national health insurance with income cross-subsidies, risk-adjusted payments and mandatory membership has been envisaged in policy papers since 1994. Subsequent work has seen the design of a Risk Equalisation Fund intended to operate between competing private health insurance funds. The paper outlines the South African health system and describes the risk equalisation formula that has been developed. The risk factors are age, gender, maternity events, numbers with certain chronic diseases and numbers with multiple chronic diseases. The Risk Equalisation Fund has been operating in shadow mode since 2005 with data being collected but no money changing hands. The South African experience of risk equalisation is of wider interest as it demonstrates an attempt to introduce more solidarity into a small but highly competitive private insurance market. The measures taken to combat over-reporting of chronic disease should be useful for countries or funders considering adding chronic disease to their risk equalisation formulae. PMID:20619476
Full Text Available Health systems played a key role in the dramatic rise in global life expectancy that occurred during the 20th century, and have continued to contribute enormously to the improvement of the health of most of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s population. The health workforce is the backbone of each health system, the lubricant that facilitates the smooth implementation of health action for sustainable socio-economic development. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the density of the health workforce is directly correlated with positive health outcomes. In other words, health workers save lives and improve health. About 59 million people make up the health workforce of paid full-time health workers world-wide. However, enormous gaps remain between the potential of health systems and their actual performance, and there are far too many inequities in the distribution of health workers between countries and within countries. The Americas (mainly USA and Canada are home to 14% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s population, bear only 10% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s disease burden, have 37% of the global health workforce and spend about 50% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s financial resources for health. Conversely, sub-Saharan Africa, with about 11% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s population bears over 24% of the global disease burden, is home to only 3% of the global health workforce, and spends less than 1% of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s financial resources on health. In most developing countries, the health workforce is concentrated in the major towns and cities, while rural areas can only boast of about 23% and 38% of the countryÃ¢Â€Â™s doctors and nurses respectively. The imbalances exist not only in the total numbers and geographical distribution of health workers, but also in the skills mix of available health workers. WHO estimates that 57 countries world wide have a critical shortage of health workers, equivalent to a global deficit of about 2
Liu, Germaine; Jack, Helen; Piette, Angharad; Mangezi, Walter; Machando, Debra; Rwafa, Chido; Goldenberg, Matthew; Abas, Melanie
Commitment to building mental health treatment capacity in Africa is increasing but little agreement exists on strategies to train health workers on mental health or evaluation of training efforts. We systematically reviewed published literature on interventions to train health-care workers in Africa on mental health. 37 studies met our inclusion criteria. Training outcomes focused on changes in knowledge and attitude, with few studies evaluating skill and practice and only two studies measuring clinical outcomes. Quality of study methodology was generally not high, with scarce follow-up data and use of control cohorts. Existing studies provide examples of many training and evaluation strategies, but evidence to draw conclusions about the efficacy of different training techniques is inadequate. Key knowledge gaps include development and testing of innovative educational strategies; development of standardised, competency-based learning objectives and outcome measures; and training that facilitates implementation of integrated mental health systems. African institutions need to be empowered to do research in these areas to encourage the development of best practices for the continent. PMID:26772066
Hageman, Jeffrey C; Hazim, Carmen; Wilson, Katie; Malpiedi, Paul; Gupta, Neil; Bennett, Sarah; Kolwaite, Amy; Tumpey, Abbigail; Brinsley-Rainisch, Kristin; Christensen, Bryan; Gould, Carolyn; Fisher, Angela; Jhung, Michael; Hamilton, Douglas; Moran, Kerri; Delaney, Lisa; Dowell, Chad; Bell, Michael; Srinivasan, Arjun; Schaefer, Melissa; Fagan, Ryan; Adrien, Nedghie; Chea, Nora; Park, Benjamin J
The 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease (Ebola) epidemic in West Africa underscores the need for health care infection prevention and control (IPC) practices to be implemented properly and consistently to interrupt transmission of pathogens in health care settings to patients and health care workers. Training and assessing IPC practices in general health care facilities not designated as Ebola treatment units or centers became a priority for CDC as the number of Ebola virus transmissions among health care workers in West Africa began to affect the West African health care system and increasingly more persons became infected. CDC and partners developed policies, procedures, and training materials tailored to the affected countries. Safety training courses were also provided to U.S. health care workers intending to work with Ebola patients in West Africa. As the Ebola epidemic continued in West Africa, the possibility that patients with Ebola could be identified and treated in the United States became more realistic. In response, CDC, other federal components (e.g., Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response) and public health partners focused on health care worker training and preparedness for U.S. health care facilities. CDC used the input from these partners to develop guidelines on IPC for hospitalized patients with known or suspected Ebola, which was updated based on feedback from partners who provided care for Ebola patients in the United States. Strengthening and sustaining IPC helps health care systems be better prepared to prevent and respond to current and future infectious disease threats.The activities summarized in this report would not have been possible without collaboration with many U.S. and international partners (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/partners.html). PMID:27390018
Curry Leslie; Taylor Lauren; Chen Peggy; Bradley Elizabeth
Abstract Background Leadership is widely regarded as central to effective health-care systems, and resources are increasingly devoted to the cultivation of strong health-care leadership. Nevertheless, the literature regarding leadership capacity building has been developed primarily in the context of high-income settings. Less research has been done on leadership in low-income settings, including sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in health care, with attention to historical, political and soci...
Full Text Available Abstract Human resources in health care system in sub-Saharan Africa are generally picturing a lack of adequacy between expected skills from the professionals and health care needs expressed by the populations. It is, however, possible to analyse these various lacks of adequacy related to human resource management and their determinants to enhance the effectiveness of the health care system. From two projects focused on nurse professionals within the health care system in Central Africa, we present an analytic grid for adequacy levels looking into the following aspects: - adequacy between skills-based profiles for health system professionals, quality of care and service delivery (health care system /medical standards, needs and expectations from the populations, - adequacy between allocation of health system professionals, quality of care and services delivered (health care system /medical standards, needs and expectations from the populations, - adequacy between human resource management within health care system and medical standards, - adequacy between human resource management within education/teaching/training and needs from health care system and education sectors, - adequacy between basic and on-going education and realities of tasks expected and implemented by different categories of professionals within the health care system body, - adequacy between intentions for initial and on-going trainings and teaching programs in health sciences for trainers (teachers/supervisors/health care system professionals/ directors (teaching managers of schools.... This tool is necessary for decision-makers as well as for health care system professionals who share common objectives for changes at each level of intervention within the health system. Setting this adequacy implies interdisciplinary and participative approaches for concerned actors in order to provide an overall vision of a more broaden system than health district, small island with self
Full Text Available Abstract The new United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities creates a new paradigm for mental health law, moving from a focus on institutional care to a focus on community-based services and treatment. This article considers implementation of this approach in Africa.
Jenkins Rachel; Bartlett Peter; Kiima David
Abstract The new United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities creates a new paradigm for mental health law, moving from a focus on institutional care to a focus on community-based services and treatment. This article considers implementation of this approach in Africa.
Full Text Available Background: South Africa is currently undergoing major health system restructuring in an attempt to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities in access. Such inequities exist between private and public health care and within the public health system itself. Experience shows that rural health care can be disadvantaged in policy formulation despite good intentions. The objective of this study was to identify the major challenges and priority interventions for rural health care provision in South Africa thereby contributing to pro-rural health policy dialogue. Methods: The Delphi technique was used to develop consensus on a list of statements that was generated through interviews and literature review. A panel of rural health practitioners and other stakeholders was asked to indicate their level of agreement with these statements and to rank the top challenges in and interventions required for rural health care. Results: Response rates ranged from 83% in the first round (n=44 to 64% in the final round (n=34. The top five priorities were aligned to three of the WHO health system building blocks: human resources for health (HRH, governance, and finance. Specifically, the panel identified a need to focus on recruitment and support of rural health professionals, the employment of managers with sufficient and appropriate skills, a rural-friendly national HRH plan, and equitable funding formulae. Conclusion: Specific policies and strategies are required to address the greatest rural health care challenges and to ensure improved access to quality health care in rural South Africa. In addition, a change in organisational climate and a concerted effort to make a career in rural health appealing to health care workers and adequate funding for rural health care provision are essential.
Negeri KG; Halemariam D
Keneni Gutema Negeri,1 Damen Halemariam,21School of Public and Environmental Health, Health Service Management Unit, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University, Hawassa, 2College of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Introduction: Data on the effect of health aid on the health status in developing countries are inconclusive. Moreover, studies on this issue in sub-Saharan Africa are scarce. Therefore, this stud...
Nitya Hullur 1
Full Text Available South Africa faces a complex burden of disease consisting of infectious and non–communicable conditions, injury and interpersonal violence, and maternal and child mortality. Inequalities in income and opportunity push disease burdens towards vulnerable populations, a situation to which the health system struggles to respond. There is an urgent need for health planning to account for the needs of marginalized groups in this context. The study objectives were to develop a process to elicit the perspectives of local communities in the established Agincourt health and socio-demographic surveillance site (HDSS in rural north–east South Africa on two leading causes of death: HIV/AIDS and violent assault, and on health surveillance as a means to generate information on health in the locality.
D. P. Knobel
Full Text Available The critical need for primary health care in Southern Africa with special reference to the demands of the heterogenous population is measured against the background of the declaration of Alma Ata at the WHO/UNICEF conference in 1978. In particular the provision of primary health care to the Third World communities of the RSA as an essential part of the security power base of the State is underlined and it is analised in terms of how shortcomings in this service can be exploited in a subversive revolutionary onslaught.
Greter, Helena; Jean-Richard, Vreni; Crump, Lisa; Béchir, Mahamat; Alfaroukh, Idriss O; Schelling, Esther; Bonfoh, Bassirou; Zinsstag, Jakob
'One health' is particularly suited to serve mobile pastoralists. Dinka pastoralists in Sudan inspired Calvin Schwabe to coin the term 'one medicine', indicating that there is no difference in paradigm between human and veterinary medicine. Our contemporary definition of 'one health' is any added value in terms of improved health of humans and animals or financial savings or environmental services resulting from a closer cooperation of human and animal health sectors. Here we present a summary of 'one health' studies with mobile pastoralists in Africa which were done in research partnership, demonstrating such an added value. Initial joint human and animal health studies revealed higher livestock vaccination coverage than in the pastoralist community, leading to joint animal and human vaccination intervention studies which demonstrated a better access to primary health care services for pastoralists in Chad. Further simultaneous animal and human serological studies showed that camel breeding was associated with human Q-fever seropositivity. In Borana communities in Ethiopia, human cases of Mycobacterium bovis infection could be related to strains isolated from cattle. A challenge remained with regard to how to assess vaccination coverage in mobile populations. With the advent of mobile phones, health and demographic surveillance could be established for mobile pastoralists and their animals. This presents vast possibilities for surveillance and control of human and animal diseases. Pastoralists prefer a 'one health' approach and therefore contribute toward the validation of this concept by showing real added value of the cooperation between human and animal health services. PMID:25005234
Stephen J. Connor
Full Text Available Good health status is one of the primary aspirations of human social development and, as a consequence, health indicators are key components of the human development indices by which we measure progress toward sustainable development. Certain diseases and ill health are associated with particular environmental and climate conditions. The timeframe of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs demands that the risks to health associated with current climate variability are more fully understood and acted upon to improve the focus of resources in climate sensitive disease control, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where good epidemiological surveillance data are lacking. In the absence of high-quality epidemiological data on malaria distribution in Africa, climate information has long been used to develop malaria risk maps illustrating the climatic suitability boundaries for endemic transmission. However, experience to date has shown that it is difficult in terms of availability, timing and cost to obtain meteorological observations from national meteorological services in Africa. National health services generally find the costs of purchasing these data prohibitive given their competing demands for resources across the spectrum of health service requirements. Some national health services have tried to overcome this access problem by using proxies derived from satellites, which tend to be available freely, in 'near-real-time' and therefore offer much promise for monitoring applications. This paper discusses the issues related to climate and health, reviews the current use of climate information for malaria endemic and epidemic surveillance, and presents examples of operational use of climate information for malaria control in Africa based on Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing.
Full Text Available Background: Nearly one in three South Africans will suffer from a mental disorder in his or her lifetime, a higher prevalence than many low- and middle-income countries. Understanding the economic costs and consequences of prevention and packages of care is essential, particularly as South Africa considers scaling-up mental health services and works towards universal health coverage. Economic evaluations can inform how priorities are set in system or spending changes. Objective: To identify and review research from South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa on the direct and indirect costs of mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS disorders and the cost-effectiveness of treatment interventions. Design: Narrative overview methodology. Results and conclusions: Reviewed studies indicate that integrating mental health care into existing health systems may be the most effective and cost-efficient approach to increase access to mental health services in South Africa. Integration would also direct treatment, prevention, and screening to people with HIV and other chronic health conditions who are at high risk for mental disorders. We identify four major knowledge gaps: 1 accurate and thorough assessment of the health burdens of MNS disorders, 2 design and assessment of interventions that integrate mental health screening and treatment into existing health systems, 3 information on the use and costs of traditional medicines, and 4 cost-effectiveness evaluation of a range of specific interventions or packages of interventions that are tailored to the national context.
G.E. Swan; N.P.J. Kriek
Veterinary education commenced in South Africa in 1920 at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in South Africa in association with the Transvaal University College, now the University of Pretoria. Sir Arnold Theiler, Director of Veterinary Research and Education, was the first Dean. Today there are 46 veterinary training institutions in Africa of which 21 are in sub-Saharan Africa.Veterinary services are indispensable to the sustained health and wellbeing of animals and humans, and ag...
Tetteh, Godwin Kofi
, CINAHL, Science Direct and Emerald, we identified 41 published research articles that met our inclusion criteria. The articles were mapped unto the process-variance framework. A significant finding in this critical review is that, the state-of-the-art of a large proportion of the studies was underpinned...... the process theoretical framework to enhance our insight into successful information systems implementation in the region. It is our optimism that the process based theoretical framework will be useful for, information system practitioners and organisational managers and researchers in the health...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the growth of biomedical research in South Africa, there are few insights into the operation of Research Ethics Committees (RECs in this setting. We investigated the composition, operations and training needs of health RECs in South Africa against the backdrop of national and international guidelines. Methods The 12 major health RECs in South Africa were surveyed using semi-structured questionnaires that investigated the composition and functions of each REC as well as the operational issues facing committees. Results Health RECs in SA have an average of 16 members and REC members are predominantly male and white. Overall, there was a large discrepancy in findings between under-resourced RECs and well resourced RECs. The majority of members (56% are scientists or clinicians who are typically affiliated to the same institution as the health REC. Community representatives account for only 8% of membership. Training needs for health REC members varied widely. Conclusion Most major health RECs in South Africa are well organized given the resource constraints that exist in relation to research ethics in developing countries. However, the gender, racial and occupational diversity of most of these RECs is suboptimal, and most RECs are not constituted in accordance with South African guidelines. Variability in the operations and training needs of RECs is a reflection of apartheid-entrenched influences in tertiary education in SA. While legislation now exists to enforce standardization of research ethics review systems, no provision has been made for resources or capacity development, especially to support historically-disadvantaged institutions. Perpetuation of this legacy of apartheid represents a violation of the principles of justice and equity.
Barthélémy Kuate Defo
Full Text Available Background: Studies of trends in population changes and epidemiological profiles in the developing world have overwhelmingly relied upon the concepts of demographic, epidemiological, and health transitions, even though their usefulness in describing and understanding population and health trends in developing countries has been repeatedly called into question. The issue is particularly relevant for the study of population health patterns in Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, as the history and experience there differs substantially from that of Western Europe and North America, for which these concepts were originally developed. Objective: The aim of this study is two-fold: to review and clarify any distinction between the concepts of demographic transition, epidemiological transition and health transition and to identify summary indicators of population health to test how well these concepts apply in Africa. Results: Notwithstanding the characteristically diverse African context, Africa is a continent of uncertainties and emergencies where discontinuities and interruptions of health, disease, and mortality trends reflect the enduring fragility and instability of countries and the vulnerabilities of individuals and populations in the continent. Africa as a whole remains the furthest behind the world's regions in terms of health improvements and longevity, as do its sub-Saharan African regions and societies specifically. This study documents: 1 theoretically and empirically the similarities and differences between the demographic transition, epidemiological transition, and health transition; 2 simple summary indicators that can be used to evaluate their descriptive and predictive features; 3 marked disparities in the onset and pace of variations and divergent trends in health, disease, and mortality patterns as well as fertility and life expectancy trajectories among African countries and regions over the past 60 years; 4 the rapid decline in infant
Myer Landon; Moodley Keymanthri
Abstract Background Despite the growth of biomedical research in South Africa, there are few insights into the operation of Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in this setting. We investigated the composition, operations and training needs of health RECs in South Africa against the backdrop of national and international guidelines. Methods The 12 major health RECs in South Africa were surveyed using semi-structured questionnaires that investigated the composition and functions of each REC as we...
Full Text Available Objective: To describe and compare the health status, emotional wellbeing, and functional status of older people in Uganda and South Africa who are HIV infected or affected by HIV in their families. Methods: Data came from the general population cohort and Entebbe cohort of the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute, and from the Africa Centre Demographic Information System through cross-sectional surveys in 2009/10 using instruments adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO Study on Global Ageing and adult health (SAGE. Analysis was based on 932 people aged 50 years or older (510 Uganda, 422 South Africa. Results: Participants in South Africa were slightly younger (median age − 60 years in South Africa, 63 in Uganda, and more were currently married, had no formal education, were not working, and were residing in a rural area. Adjusting for socio-demographic factors, older people in South Africa were significantly less likely to have good functional ability [adjusted odds ratio (aOR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53–0.98] than those in Uganda, but were more likely to be in good subjective wellbeing (aOR 2.15, 95% CI 1.60–2.90. South Africans were more likely to be obese (aOR 5.26, 95% CI 3.46–8.00 or to be diagnosed with hypertension (aOR 2.77, 95% CI 2.06–3.73. Discussion and conclusions: While older people's health problems are similar in the two countries, marked socio-demographic differences influence the extent to which older people are affected by poorer health. It is therefore imperative when designing policies to improve the health and wellbeing of older people in sub-Saharan Africa that the region is not treated as a homogenous entity.
Full Text Available Abstract The human resources crisis in Africa is especially acute in the public health field. Through distance education, the School of Public Health of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, has provided access to master's level public health education for health professionals from more than 20 African countries while they remain in post. Since 2000, interest has increased overwhelmingly to a point where four times more applications are received than can be accommodated. This home-grown programme remains sensitive to the needs of the target learners while engaging them in high-quality learning applied in their own work contexts. This brief paper describes the innovative aspects of the programme, offering some evaluative indications of its impact, and reviews how the delivery of text-led distance learning has facilitated the realization of the objectives of public health training. Strategies are proposed for scaling up such a programme to meet the growing need in this essential area of health human resource capacity development in Africa.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Mental illnesses are increasingly recognised as a leading cause of disability worldwide, yet many countries lack a mental health policy or have an outdated, inappropriate policy. This paper explores the development of appropriate mental health policies and their effective implementation. It reports comparative findings on the processes for developing and implementing mental health policies in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia as part of the Mental Health and Poverty Project. Methods The study countries and respondents were purposively selected to represent different levels of mental health policy and system development to allow comparative analysis of the factors underlying the different forms of mental health policy development and implementation. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Data analysis was guided by conceptual framework that was developed for this purpose. A framework approach to analysis was used, incorporating themes that emerged from the data and from the conceptual framework. Results Mental health policies in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia are weak, in draft form or non-existent. Mental health remained low on the policy agenda due to stigma and a lack of information, as well as low prioritisation by donors, low political priority and grassroots demand. Progress with mental health policy development varied and respondents noted a lack of consultation and insufficient evidence to inform policy development. Furthermore, policies were poorly implemented, due to factors including insufficient dissemination and operationalisation of policies and a lack of resources. Conclusions Mental health policy processes in all four countries were inadequate, leading to either weak or non-existent policies, with an impact on mental health services. Recommendations are provided to strengthen mental health policy processes in these and other African countries.
Adenle Ademola A
Full Text Available Abstract Background There is an urgent need to solve the problem of micronutrient malnutrition that is prevalent among young children and women in Africa. Genetically modified (GM biofortified cassava has great potential to solve part of this problem, but controversy surrounding GM technology and lack of awareness, limited facilities, biased news and other factors may hinder the adoption of GM cassava in the future. Method Using semi-structured interviews in Ghana and Nigeria, this paper examines the perspectives of scientists, including the BioCassava Plus (BC+ team, on the potential adoption of GM cassava for improving health and food security in Africa. The article also examines issues around the regulatory system and transfer and acceptance of GM cassava among scientists. Results and discussion The result suggests that an overwhelming majority of scientists agree that GM biofortified cassava will benefit the health of millions in Africa, and that GM cassava conferred with disease and pest resistance will increase cassava production as it is currently plagued by cassava mosaic diseases (CMD. However, respondents are wary of long-term effects of GM cassava on the environment and lack of a regulatory framework to facilitate the adoption of GM cassava. Even though scientists expressed little or no concern about health risks of GM cassava, they were concerned that consumers may express such concerns given limited understanding of GM technology. Conclusion The article concludes with a summary of priorities for policy development with regard to adopting biofortified food products.
Caradee Y. Wright
Full Text Available Photoprotection messages and ‘SunSmart’ programmes exist mainly to prevent skin cancers and, more recently, to encourage adequate personal sun exposure to elicit a vitamin D response for healthy bone and immune systems. Several developed countries maintain intensive research networks and monitor solar UV radiation to support awareness campaigns and intervention development. The situation is different in sub-Saharan Africa. Adequate empirical evidence of the impact of solar UV radiation on human health, even for melanomas and cataracts, is lacking, and is overshadowed by other factors such as communicable diseases, especially HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis. In addition, the established photoprotection messages used in developed countries have been adopted and implemented in a limited number of sub-Saharan countries but with minimal understanding of local conditions and behaviours. In this review, we consider the current evidence for sun-related effects on human health in sub-Saharan Africa, summarise published research and identify key issues. Data on the prevalence of human diseases affected by solar UV radiation in all subpopulations are not generally available, financial support is insufficient and the infrastructure to address these and other related topics is inadequate. Despite these limitations, considerable progress may be made regarding the management of solar UV radiation related health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa, provided researchers collaborate and resources are allocated appropriately.
Singer Peter A
Full Text Available Abstract Background Africa in the twenty-first century is faced with a heavy burden of disease, combined with ill-equipped medical systems and underdeveloped technological capacity. A major challenge for the international community is to bring scientific and technological advances like genomics to bear on the health priorities of poorer countries. The New Partnership for Africa's Development has identified science and technology as a key platform for Africa's renewal. Recognizing the timeliness of this issue, the African Centre for Technology Studies and the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics co-organized a course on Genomics and Public Health Policy in Nairobi, Kenya, the first of a series of similar courses to take place in the developing world. This article presents the findings and recommendations that emerged from this process, recommendations which suggest that a regional approach to developing sound science and technology policies is the key to harnessing genome-related biotechnology to improve health and contribute to human development in Africa. Methods The objectives of the course were to familiarize participants with the current status and implications of genomics for health in Africa; to provide frameworks for analyzing and debating the policy and ethical questions; and to begin developing a network across different sectors by sharing perspectives and building relationships. To achieve these goals the course brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from academic research centres, the media, non-governmental, voluntary and legal organizations to stimulate multi-sectoral debate around issues of policy. Topics included scientific advances in genomics innovation systems and business models, international regulatory frameworks, as well as ethical and legal issues. Results Seven main recommendations emerged: establish a network for sustained dialogue among participants; identify champions among politicians; use the
Smith, Alyna C; Mugabe, John; Singer, Peter A; Daar, Abdallah S
BACKGROUND: Africa in the twenty-first century is faced with a heavy burden of disease, combined with ill-equipped medical systems and underdeveloped technological capacity. A major challenge for the international community is to bring scientific and technological advances like genomics to bear on the health priorities of poorer countries. The New Partnership for Africa's Development has identified science and technology as a key platform for Africa's renewal. Recognizing the timeliness of this issue, the African Centre for Technology Studies and the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics co-organized a course on Genomics and Public Health Policy in Nairobi, Kenya, the first of a series of similar courses to take place in the developing world. This article presents the findings and recommendations that emerged from this process, recommendations which suggest that a regional approach to developing sound science and technology policies is the key to harnessing genome-related biotechnology to improve health and contribute to human development in Africa. METHODS: The objectives of the course were to familiarize participants with the current status and implications of genomics for health in Africa; to provide frameworks for analyzing and debating the policy and ethical questions; and to begin developing a network across different sectors by sharing perspectives and building relationships. To achieve these goals the course brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from academic research centres, the media, non-governmental, voluntary and legal organizations to stimulate multi-sectoral debate around issues of policy. Topics included scientific advances in genomics innovation systems and business models, international regulatory frameworks, as well as ethical and legal issues. RESULTS: Seven main recommendations emerged: establish a network for sustained dialogue among participants; identify champions among politicians; use the New Plan for African
Smith, Alyna C; Mugabe, John; Singer, Peter A; Daar, Abdallah S
Background Africa in the twenty-first century is faced with a heavy burden of disease, combined with ill-equipped medical systems and underdeveloped technological capacity. A major challenge for the international community is to bring scientific and technological advances like genomics to bear on the health priorities of poorer countries. The New Partnership for Africa's Development has identified science and technology as a key platform for Africa's renewal. Recognizing the timeliness of this issue, the African Centre for Technology Studies and the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics co-organized a course on Genomics and Public Health Policy in Nairobi, Kenya, the first of a series of similar courses to take place in the developing world. This article presents the findings and recommendations that emerged from this process, recommendations which suggest that a regional approach to developing sound science and technology policies is the key to harnessing genome-related biotechnology to improve health and contribute to human development in Africa. Methods The objectives of the course were to familiarize participants with the current status and implications of genomics for health in Africa; to provide frameworks for analyzing and debating the policy and ethical questions; and to begin developing a network across different sectors by sharing perspectives and building relationships. To achieve these goals the course brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from academic research centres, the media, non-governmental, voluntary and legal organizations to stimulate multi-sectoral debate around issues of policy. Topics included scientific advances in genomics innovation systems and business models, international regulatory frameworks, as well as ethical and legal issues. Results Seven main recommendations emerged: establish a network for sustained dialogue among participants; identify champions among politicians; use the New Plan for African
This paper assesses the advantages and disadvantages of the French and British public expenditure management systems as used in Africa. The main differences are in budget execution and government accounting. In both francophone and anglophone Africa, there are common weaknesses in the application of the inherited systems, which appear to dominate any distinct features of the individual systems. Desirable reforms in both systems will only be successful if they are accompanied by measures that ...
Remarkable progress has been made towards the recognition of sexual minority rights in Africa. At the same time, a marked increase in attacks, rhetorical abuse, and restrictive legislation against sexual minorities or ‘homosexuality’ makes activism for sexual rights a risky endeavour in many African countries. Campaigns for sexual rights and ‘coming out’ are frequently perceived as a form of Western cultural imperialism, leading to an exportation of Western gay identities and provoking a patriotic defensiveness. Cultures of quiet acceptance of same-sex relationships or secretive bisexuality are meanwhile also problematic given the high rate of HIV prevalence on much of the continent. This article examines specific initiatives that are using subtle, somewhat covert means to negotiate a path between rights activism and secretive bisexuality. It argues that strategies primarily focused on health concerns that simultaneously yet discreetly promote sexual rights are having some success in challenging prevalent homophobic or ‘silencing’ cultures and discourses. PMID:22826897
There is a more and more emerging consensus claiming universal access to health care in order to achieve the desired Millennium Development Goals related to health in Africa. Unfortunately, the debate of the universal coverage has focussed so far mainly on financial affordability, while it is also a human resource matter. Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing severe shortages of skilled health care workers. There are several causes, the importance of which varies by country, but one of the most significant factors is brain drain. In those countries, scarcity of doctors increases the distance between a doctor and patients, and bridging that increased distance implies costs, both time and money. Adequate number of qualified health personnel is then vital to increase coverage and improve the quality of care. In as much as access to health services is also determined by access to qualified health workers, any reflection on the universal health coverage has to also consider the inequities in qualified health personnel distribution throughout the world. PMID:22384301
Full Text Available Abstract Background Even though Africa has the highest disease burden compared with other regions, it has the lowest per capita spending on health. In 2007, 27 (51% out the 53 countries spent less than US$50 per person on health. Almost 30% of the total health expenditure came from governments, 50% from private sources (of which 71% was from out-of-pocket payments by households and 20% from donors. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the proceedings of the African Union Side Event on Health Financing in the African continent. Methods Methods employed in the session included presentations, panel discussion and open public discussion with ministers of health and finance from the African continent. Discussion The current unsatisfactory state of health financing was attributed to lack of clear vision and plan for health financing; lack of national health accounts and other evidence to guide development and implementation of national health financing policies and strategies; low investments in sectors that address social determinants of health; predominance of out-of-pocket spending; underdeveloped prepaid health financing mechanisms; large informal sectors vis-à-vis small formal sectors; and unpredictability and non-alignment of majority of donor funds with national health priorities. Countries need to develop and adopt a comprehensive national health policy and a costed strategic plan; a comprehensive evidence-based health financing strategy; allocate at least 15% of the national budget to health development; use GFATM and PEPFAR funds for health systems strengthening; strengthen intersectoral collaboration to address health determinants; advocate among donors to implement the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and its Accra Agenda for Action; ensure universal access to health services for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children aged under five years; strengthen financial management capacities; and develop prepaid health
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The Health System Measurement Project tracks government data on critical U.S. health system indicators. The website presents national trend data as well as detailed...
As part of a growing literature on the histories of psychology in the Global South, this article outlines some historical developments in South African psychologists' engagement with the problem of "health." Alongside movements to formalize and professionalize a U.S.-style "health psychology" in the 1990s, there arose a parallel, eclectic, and more or less critical psychology that contested the meaning and determinants of health, transgressed disciplinary boundaries, and opposed the responsibilization of illness implicit in much health psychological theorizing and neoliberal discourse. This disciplinary bifurcation characterized South African work well into the postapartheid era, but ideological distinctions have receded in recent years under a new regime of knowledge production in thrall to the demands of the global market. The article outlines some of the historical-political roots of key trends in psychologists' work on health in South Africa, examining the conditions that have impinged on its directions and priorities. It raises questions about the future trajectories of psychological research on health after 20 years of democracy, and argues that there currently is no "health psychology" in South Africa, and that the discipline is the better for it. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26881425
This paper provides a test of the generalizability of the barriers’ approach (Rahat and Hazan, 2011) to the study of electoral system reform attempts. It does so by examining a set of recent attempts of electoral system change in four Sub-Saharan countries (South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, and...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Leadership is widely regarded as central to effective health-care systems, and resources are increasingly devoted to the cultivation of strong health-care leadership. Nevertheless, the literature regarding leadership capacity building has been developed primarily in the context of high-income settings. Less research has been done on leadership in low-income settings, including sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in health care, with attention to historical, political and sociocultural context. We sought to characterize the experiences of individuals in key health-care leadership roles in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods We conducted a qualitative study using in-person interviews with individuals (n = 17 in health-care leadership roles in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa: the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Ghana, the Republic of Liberia and the Republic of Rwanda. Individuals were identified by their country’s minister of health as key leaders in the health sector and were nominated to serve as delegates to a global health leadership conference in June 2010, at Yale University in the United States. Interviews were audio recorded and professionally transcribed. Data analysis was performed by a five-person multidisciplinary team using the constant comparative method, facilitated by ATLAS.ti 5.0 software. Results Five key themes emerged as important to participants in their leadership roles: having an aspirational, value-based vision for improving the future health of the country, being self-aware and having the ability to identify and use complementary skills of others, tending to relationships, using data in decision making, and sustaining a commitment to learning. Conclusions Current models of leadership capacity building address the need for core technical and management competencies. While these competencies are important, skills relevant to managing relationships are also critical in the sub
Davies, T. C.; Mundalamo, H. R.
The crust of South Africa has undergone various episodes and styles of mineralisation, dating as far back as the Archaean. The suite of minerals produced is diverse and includes metals, non-metals and industrial minerals. Since the Pleistocene, substantial quantities of elements, both nutritional and toxic, that were involved in ore forming processes, have been remobilised and redistributed by surficial processes of intense tropical weathering, leaching, eluviation, podsolisation and gleying; and more recently, by mining and related processes, as well as by other urban and industrial activities. As a result of this "dispersion" it is not uncommon to find large tracts of the country containing anomalous trace element contents or deficiencies in essential micro-nutrient elements. Through water and food crops, extremes in trace element variation in soils are transmitted into the food chain, with often undesirable consequences for human and animal health. But the known variations are not as yet adequately documented. Nor is there sufficient knowledge on the implications of these variations for the health of the environment and its ecosystems. Nutrient deficient soils may be the principal causative factor in the devastating endemic osteoarthritic disease that afflicts two-thirds of the women in Maputaland, for instance. The generally low Se status of agricultural soils could represent an important co-factor in the relatively high diffusion rates of HIV-AIDS in the country. The impact of geology on animal health also remains an area of critical concern to both farmers and managers of the hugely important wildlife game reserves. This paper discusses a few known relationships between trace element excess/deficiency stemming originally from mineralisation processes, and the local and regional distribution of diseases in man and animals in South Africa. It is submitted that the challenge for future research in medical geology would lie in an organised effort aimed at
The extended Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) region is the world region with the second youngest population, where globalization, migration, information technology, and political changes are contributing to the shaping of sexuality and sexual behaviors. Understanding the various sociocultural, demographic and public health dimensions of sexual and reproductive health of young people is fundamental to understanding the pattern of sexual behavior and the burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human papillomavirus-related diseases. New norms and forms of marriage have emerged to accommodate the changing trends in sexual behavior of premarital and extra-marital sex, as well as reports of increased prevalence of premarital penetrative and non-penetrative sexual behavior. Despite these trends, the burden of sexual illnesses remains low and is estimated at 7% of the general population being infected with curable STIs. Other STIs, such as herpes simplex virus 2, are also prevalent. The existing policies and health systems remain short of promoting youth reproductive and sexual health. Efforts should address establishing national preventive programmes, such as screening for STIs, primary prevention, comprehensive sexuality education, as well as youth-friendly services. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Extended Middle East and North Africa Region" Vaccine Volume 31, Supplement 6, 2013. Updates of the progress in the field are presented in a separate monograph entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012. PMID:24331819
Full Text Available The World Health Organisation recommends outpatient influenza-like illness (ILI and inpatient severe acute respiratory illness (SARI surveillance. We evaluated two influenza surveillance systems in South Africa: one for ILI and another for SARI.The Viral Watch (VW programme has collected virological influenza surveillance data voluntarily from patients with ILI since 1984 in private and public clinics in all 9 South African provinces. The SARI surveillance programme has collected epidemiological and virological influenza surveillance data since 2009 in public hospitals in 4 provinces by dedicated personnel. We compared nine surveillance system attributes from 2009-2012.We analysed data from 18,293 SARI patients and 9,104 ILI patients. The annual proportion of samples testing positive for influenza was higher for VW (mean 41% than SARI (mean 8% and generally exceeded the seasonal threshold from May to September (VW: weeks 21-40; SARI: weeks 23-39. Data quality was a major strength of SARI (most data completion measures >90%; adherence to definitions: 88-89% and a relative weakness of the VW programme (62% of forms complete, with limited epidemiologic data collected; adherence to definitions: 65-82%. Timeliness was a relative strength of both systems (e.g. both collected >93% of all respiratory specimens within 7 days of symptom onset. ILI surveillance was more nationally representative, financially sustainable and expandable than the SARI system. Though the SARI programme is not nationally representative, the high quality and detail of SARI data collection sheds light on the local burden and epidemiology of severe influenza-associated disease.To best monitor influenza in South Africa, we propose that both ILI and SARI should be under surveillance. Improving ILI surveillance will require better quality and more systematic data collection, and SARI surveillance should be expanded to be more nationally representative, even if this requires scaling
The tax system in South Africa makes provision for every South African citizen to contribute to a greater or lesser extent to funding the National Health Insurance (NHI), either through VAT or PAYE. However, as a result of the high unemployment rate, a large gap exists between tax and non-tax contributors. The question can now be asked whether it is fair that just a small percentage of taxpayers are responsible for the total funding of the NHI. Furthermore, it could be asked wh...
Jack, Helen; Wagner, Ryan G.; PETERSEN, INGE; Thom, Rita; Newton, Charles R; Stein, Alan; Kahn, Kathleen; Tollman, Stephen; Karen J Hofman
Background: Nearly one in three South Africans will suffer from a mental disorder in his or her lifetime, a higher prevalence than many low- and middle-income countries. Understanding the economic costs and consequences of prevention and packages of care is essential, particularly as South Africa considers scaling-up mental health services and works towards universal health coverage. Economic evaluations can inform how priorities are set in system or spending changes.Objective: To identify an...
Using a panel dataset on 45 sub-Saharan Africa countries (SSA), this study analyzes empirically the socioeconomic determinants of life expectancy gain (considered as an indicator of global health improvement at country level). In order to treat heterogeneity and endogeneity concerns, we use multiple estimation methods including pooling, fixed-effect, long difference and system GMM. Our analyses show that income is critical for health enhancement. Particularly, we find that GDP per capita is s...
Governments, NGO's and UN organisations are increasingly convinced that renewable energies not only help to solve energy problems in Africa but are indispensable in alleviating regional disparities, social problems and bridging the digital gap. Still, many years after introducing high efficiency solar PV systems the necessary breakthrough of implementing them on a mass scale is still not a reality. The author provides perspectives on developing solar PV in Africa. (Author)
Wambugu Susan W; Izugbara Chimaraoke O; Kabiru Caroline W; Ezeh Alex C
Abstract Africa's progress depends on her capacity to generate, adapt, and use scientific knowledge to meet regional health and development needs. Yet, Africa's higher education institutions that are mandated to foster this capacity lack adequate resources to generate and apply knowledge, raising the need for innovative approaches to enhance research capacity. In this paper, we describe a newly-developed program to support PhD research in health and population sciences at African universities...
Orosz, Matthew; Quoilin, Sylvain; Hemond, Harold
This paper examines technical and economic choices for rural electrification in Africa and presents the rationale for trigeneration (capability for electricity, heating, and cooling) in health and education applications. An archetypal load profile for a rural health clinic (25 kWhe/day and 118–139 kWht) is described, and a regional analysis is performed for sub-Saharan Africa by aggregating NASA meteorological data (insolation, temperature, and heating and cooling degree-days) using correlate...
Abstract Background This methodological article is based on a health policy research project conducted in Burkina Faso (West Africa). Concept mapping (CM) was used as a research method to understand the local views of equity among stakeholders, who were concerned by the health policy under consideration. While this technique has been used in North America and elsewhere, to our knowledge it has not yet been applied in Africa in any vernacular language. Its application raises many issues and ce...
Because of war, between the 1980s and early '90s Africa suffered about 5 million excess deaths and economic losses estimated at US $13 billion per year. In 1995, war was directly or indirectly affecting 550 million people in 35 countries. Besides violent deaths, injuries and disabilities, displacements of population increase the risk for acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeas, epidemics and parasitic disease. The risk for malnutrition and deficiencies is made worse by the loss of means of production, of food stocks, of commerce and by banditism. Military operations target water plants and health facilities as means of deliberately hurting civilians. Economic crisis curtails the budgets of the social sectors and, together with social distress, undermines national capacities. The delivery of health care is hampered right when hazards and vulnerabilities increase, with general greater risk of illness and death. With the cessation of hostilities, the need for curative and preventative health activities increases and is a matter of emergency, as equitable access to services is important for peace. Repatriation of refugees, demobilization of soldiers and demining require special health activities. War leaves behind new hazards and vulnerabilities such as landmines, wide availability of weapons, artificial concentrations of population, loss of national capacities and psychological disorders. All this interacts tragically with Africa's wider epidemiological realities of poverty, food insecurity, proneness to natural disasters and endemic diseases. PMID:9290329
Babasile D. Osunyomi
Full Text Available Background: With an estimated 12.2% of its population infected in 2012, South Africa has the highest percentage of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS in the world. Although the mortality rate of the epidemic is decreasing, it has adverse impacts on the socio-economic development status and human capital of South Africa.Objective: The key aim of this article is to explore the status quo of the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs in selected intervention programmes in the South African HIV/AIDS care delivery value chain. The contribution of this article is the mapping of key intervention activities along an HIV care value chain and to suggest a roadmap towards the integration of ICTs in service delivery programmes.Method: 20 managers of HIV/AIDS intervention programmes were surveyed, followed by semi-structured in-depth interviews with these respondents. A further five in-depth interviews were conducted with experts in the ICT area for exploring the uses of and barriers to integrating ICTs in the HIV/AIDS care delivery value chain.Results: The researchers mapped the barriers to implementation and ICT tools utilised within the HIV/AIDS care delivery value chain, which proves to be a useful tool to explore the status quo of technology in such service delivery programmes. The researchers then considered the wider policy environment and provided a roadmap based on the analysis and the South Africa eHealth strategy for driving development in this sector.Conclusion: The authors found that South Africa’s eHealth environment is still nascent and that the South African eHealth strategy does not place enough emphasis on systems integration and stakeholder engagement or the planning and process of uptake of ICTs by target audiences.
Kathryn J Allan
Full Text Available Leptospirosis is an important but neglected bacterial zoonosis that has been largely overlooked in Africa. In this systematic review, we aimed to summarise and compare current knowledge of: (1 the geographic distribution, prevalence, incidence and diversity of acute human leptospirosis in Africa; and (2 the geographic distribution, host range, prevalence and diversity of Leptospira spp. infection in animal hosts in Africa.Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA guidelines, we searched for studies that described (1 acute human leptospirosis and (2 pathogenic Leptospira spp. infection in animals. We performed a literature search using eight international and regional databases for English and non-English articles published between January 1930 to October 2014 that met out pre-defined inclusion criteria and strict case definitions.We identified 97 studies that described acute human leptospirosis (n = 46 or animal Leptospira infection (n = 51 in 26 African countries. The prevalence of acute human leptospirosis ranged from 2 3% to 19 8% (n = 11 in hospital patients with febrile illness. Incidence estimates were largely restricted to the Indian Ocean islands (3 to 101 cases per 100,000 per year (n = 6. Data from Tanzania indicate that human disease incidence is also high in mainland Africa (75 to 102 cases per 100,000 per year. Three major species (Leptospira borgpetersenii, L. interrogans and L. kirschneri are predominant in reports from Africa and isolates from a diverse range of serogroups have been reported in human and animal infections. Cattle appear to be important hosts of a large number of Leptospira serogroups in Africa, but few data are available to allow comparison of Leptospira infection in linked human and animal populations. We advocate a 'One Health' approach to promote multidisciplinary research efforts to improve understanding of the animal to human transmission of leptospirosis on the
Henry Ford Health Systems evolved from a hospital into a system delivering care to 2.5 million patients and includes the Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Program, which focuses on epidemiologic and public health aspects of cancer.
Sibanda, Timothy; Selvarajan, Ramganesh; Tekere, Memory
The water quality in South Africa's river systems is rapidly deteriorating as a consequence of increased discharge of wastewater effluents. The natural ability of rivers and reservoirs to trap toxic chemicals and nutrients in their sediments enables these systems to accumulate contaminants, altering the natural balance in environmental water quality, thereby raising a plethora of public and environmental health concerns. Impaired water quality has been linked to an array of problems in South Africa including massive fish mortalities, altered habitat template leading to the thinning of riverine macroinvertebrate diversity, shifts in microbial community structures with drastic ecological consequences and evolvement of antibiotic resistance genes that, under natural conditions, can be transferred to waterborne pathogens. Urban wastewater discharge has also been implicated in increased bioaccumulation of metals in edible plant parts, elevated concentrations of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), which are blamed for reduced fertility and increased cancer risk, excessive growth of toxic cyanobacteria and an increase in concentrations of pathogenic microorganisms which constitute a potential health threat to humans. However, despite the ecotoxicological hazards posed by wastewater effluents, ecotoxicological studies are currently underutilised in South African aquatic ecosystem assessments, and where they have been done, the observation is that ecotoxicological studies are mostly experimental and restricted to small study areas. More research is still needed to fully assess especially the ecotoxicological consequences of surface water pollution by urban wastewater effluents in South Africa. A review of the effects of urban effluent discharges that include domestic effluent mixed with industrial effluent and/or urban stormwater run-off is hereby presented. PMID:26408112
Luk, Rowena; Aoki, Paul M
All of the countries within Africa experience a serious shortage of medical professionals, particularly specialists, a problem that is only exacerbated by high emigration of doctors with better prospects overseas. As a result, those that remain in Africa, particularly those practicing in rural regions, experience a shortage of specialists and other colleagues with whom to exchange ideas. Telemedicine and teleconsultation are key areas that attempt to address this problem by leveraging remote expertise for local problems. This paper presents an overview of teleconsultation in the developing world, with a particular focus on how lessons learned apply to Africa. By teleconsultation, we are addressing non-real-time communication between health care professionals for the purposes of providing expertise and informal recommendations, without the real-time, interactive requirements typical of diagnosis and patient care, which is impractical for the vast majority of existing medical practices. From these previous expe...
McIntyre, Di; Ataguba, John E
South Africa is considering introducing a universal health care system. A key concern for policy-makers and the general public is whether or not this reform is affordable. Modelling the resource and revenue generation requirements of alternative reform options is critical to inform decision-making. This paper considers three reform scenarios: universal coverage funded by increased allocations to health from general tax and additional dedicated taxes; an alternative reform option of extending private health insurance coverage to all formal sector workers and their dependents with the remainder using tax-funded services; and maintaining the status quo. Each scenario was modelled over a 15-year period using a spreadsheet model. Statistical analyses were also undertaken to evaluate the impact of options on the distribution of health care financing burden and benefits from using health services across socio-economic groups. Universal coverage would result in total health care spending levels equivalent to 8.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), which is comparable to current spending levels. It is lower than the status quo option (9.5% of GDP) and far lower than the option of expanding private insurance cover (over 13% of GDP). However, public funding of health services would have to increase substantially. Despite this, universal coverage would result in the most progressive financing system if the additional public funding requirements are generated through a surcharge on taxable income (but not if VAT is increased). The extended private insurance scheme option would be the least progressive and would impose a very high payment burden; total health care payments on average would be 10.7% of household consumption expenditure compared with the universal coverage (6.7%) and status quo (7.5%) options. The least pro-rich distribution of service benefits would be achieved under universal coverage. Universal coverage is affordable and would promote health system equity, but
Adeboye, Bridget; Bermano, Giovanna; Rolland, Catherine
Abstract Obesity and its association with co-morbidities in Africa are on the rise. This systematic review examines evidence of obesity and its association with co-morbidities within the African continent. Comparative studies conducted in Africa on adults 17 years and older with mean body mass index (BMI) ≥ 28 kg/m2 were included. Five electronic databases were searched. Surveys, case–control and cohort studies from January 2000 to July 2010 were evaluated. Of 720 potentially relevant article...
Olejaz, Maria; Juul, Annegrete; Rudkjøbing, Andreas;
The Health Systems in Transition (HiT) series provide detailed descriptions of health systems in the countries of the WHO European Region as well as some additional OECD countries. An individual health system review (HiT) examines the specific approach to the organization, financing and delivery...... of health services in a particular country and the role of the main actors in the health system. It describes the institutional framework, process, content, and implementation of health and health care policies. HiTs also look at reforms in progress or under development and make an assessment of the health...... system based on stated objectives and outcomes with respect to various dimensions (health status, equity, quality, efficiency, accountability)....
Lekhan, Valery; Rudiy, Volodymyr; Richardson, Erica
The HiT profiles are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a health system and of policy initiatives in progress or under development. HiTs examine different approaches to the organization, financing and delivery of health services and the role of the main actors in health systems; describe the institutional framework, process, content and implementation of health and health care policies; and highlight challenges and areas that require more in-depth analysis. The Ukrainian health system has preserved the fundamental features of the Soviet Semashko system against a background of other changes, which are developed on market economic principles. The transition from centralized financing to its extreme decentralization is the main difference in the health system in comparison with the classic Soviet model. Health facilities are now functionally subordinate to the Ministry of Health, but managerially and financially answerable to the regional and local self-government, which has constrained the implementation of health policy and fragmented health financing. Health care expenditure in Ukraine is low by regional standards and has not increased significantly as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) since the mid 1990s; expenditure cannot match the constitutional guarantees of access to unlimited care. Although prepaid schemes such as sickness funds are growing in importance, out-of-pocket payments account for 37.4% of total health expenditure. The core challenges for Ukrainian health care therefore remain the ineffective protection of the population from the risk of catastrophic health care costs and the structural inefficiency of the health system, which is caused by the inefficient system of health care financing. Health system weaknesses are highlighted by increasing rates of avoidable mortality. Recent political impasse has complicated health system reforms and policy-makers face significant challenges in overcoming popular distrust and
Landman, W A; Henley, L D
The principles of equality and equity, respectively in the Bill of Rights and the white paper on health, provide the moral and legal foundations for future health care for children in South Africa. However, given extreme health care need and scarce resources, the government faces formidable obstacles if it hopes to achieve a just allocation of public health care resources, especially among children in need of highly specialised health care. In this regard, there is a dearth of moral analysis ...
Full Text Available Efforts at improving child-health and development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa had focused on the physical health of children due to the neglect of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH policy initiatives. A thorough and broad-based understanding of the prevalent child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors is needed to successfully articulate CAMH policies. In this discourse, we present a narrative on the child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Through an ecological point of view, we identified widespread family poverty, poor availability and uptake of childcare resources, inadequate community and institutional childcare systems, and inadequate framework for social protection for vulnerable children as among the risk and vulnerability factors for CAMH in the region. Others are poor workplace policy/practice that does not support work-family life balance, poor legislative framework for child protection, and some harmful traditional practices. We conclude that an ecological approach shows that child mental-health risks are diverse and cut across different layers of the care environment. The approach also provides a broad and holistic template from which appropriate CAMH policy direction in sub-Saharan Africa can be understood.
Albreht, Tit; Pribakovic Brinovec, Radivoje; Josar, Dusan; Poldrugovac, Mircha; Kostnapfel, Tatja; Zaletel, Metka; Panteli, Dimitra; Maresso, Anna
This analysis of the Slovene health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. The health of the population has improved over the last few decades. While life expectancy for both men and women is similar to EU averages, morbidity and mortality data show persistent disparities between regions, and mortality from external causes is particularly high. Satisfaction with health care delivery is high, but recently waiting times for some outpatient specialist services have increased. Greater focus on preventive measures is also needed as well as better care coordination, particularly for those with chronic conditions. Despite having relatively high levels of co-payments for many services covered by the universal compulsory health insurance system, these expenses are counterbalanced by voluntary health insurance, which covers 95% of the population liable for co-payments. However, Slovenia is somewhat unique among social health insurance countries in that it relies almost exclusively on payroll contributions to fund its compulsory health insurance system. This makes health sector revenues very susceptible to economic and labour market fluctuations. A future challenge will be to diversify the resource base for health system funding and thus bolster sustainability in the longer term, while preserving service delivery and quality of care. Given changing demographics and morbidity patterns, further challenges include restructuring the funding and provision of long-term care and enhancing health system efficiency through reform of purchasing and provider-payment systems. PMID:27467813
This chapter looks to the future through the prism of pilot projects well in progress at the time of this writing: use of a malaria electronic tutorial in Mifumi village, development of a mental health electronic tutorial in northern Uganda, and development of an electronic health management system at Tororo Hospital. Each demonstrates a strategy, rooted in African soil, whose ultimate objective is to improve health through IT and medical informatics. The projects connect users, health professionals, and decision-makers, bringing together interdisciplinary teams. These projects all seek to address the question: Can an information and communication technology (ICT) intervention make a difference in morbidity and mortality in African settings? The findings indicate that not only can these interventions be implemented but can be enhanced with community collaboration, making a positive outcome in terms of community adaptation more likely. Finally, this chapter proposes a health informatics center, a Menlo Park for innovation and entrepreneurship in East Africa in which new ICT inventions and interventions for better health can be created from around the region. PMID:19745472
Mitenbergs, Uldis; Taube, Maris; Misins, Janis; Mikitis, Eriks; Martinsons, Atis; Rurane, Aiga; Quentin, Wilm
This analysis of the Latvian health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health-system performance. Latvia has been constantly reforming its health system for over two decades. After independence in 1991, Latvia initially moved to create a social health insurance type system. However, problems with decentralized planning and fragmented and inefficient financing led to this being gradually reversed, and ultimately the establishment in 2011 of a National Health Service type system. These constant changes have taken place against a backdrop of relatively poor health and limited funding, with a heavy burden for individuals; Latvia has one of the highest rates of out-of-pocket expenditure on health in the European Union (EU). The lack of financial resources resulting from the financial crisis has posed an enormous challenge to the government, which struggled to ensure the availability of necessary health care services for the population and to prevent deterioration of health status. Yet this also provided momentum for reforms: previous efforts to centralise the system and to shift from hospital to outpatient care were drastically accelerated, while at the same time a social safety net strategy was implemented (with financial support from the World Bank) to protect the poor from the negative consequences of user charges. However, as in any health system, a number of challenges remain. They include: reducing smoking and cardiovascular deaths; increasing coverage of prescription pharmaceuticals; reducing the excessive reliance on out-of-pocket payments for financing the health system; reducing inequities in access and health status; improving efficiency of hospitals through implementation of DRG-based financing; and monitoring and improving quality. In the face of these challenges at a time of financial crisis, one further challenge emerges: ensuring adequate funding for the health
Busse, Reinhard; Blümel, Miriam
This analysis of the German health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. In the German health care system, decision-making powers are traditionally shared between national (federal) and state (Land) levels, with much power delegated to self-governing bodies. It provides universal coverage for a wide range of benefits. Since 2009, health insurance has been mandatory for all citizens and permanent residents, through either statutory or private health insurance. A total of 70 million people or 85% of the population are covered by statutory health insurance in one of 132 sickness funds in early 2014. Another 11% are covered by substitutive private health insurance. Characteristics of the system are free choice of providers and unrestricted access to all care levels. A key feature of the health care delivery system in Germany is the clear institutional separation between public health services, ambulatory care and hospital (inpatient) care. This has increasingly been perceived as a barrier to change and so provisions for integrated care are being introduced with the aim of improving cooperation between ambulatory physicians and hospitals. Germany invests a substantial amount of its resources on health care: 11.4% of gross domestic product in 2012, which is one of the highest levels in the European Union. In international terms, the German health care system has a generous benefit basket, one of the highest levels of capacity as well as relatively low cost-sharing. However, the German health care system still needs improvement in some areas, such as the quality of care. In addition, the division into statutory and private health insurance remains one of the largest challenges for the German health care system, as it leads to inequalities. PMID:25115137
Full Text Available Abstract Background Canada is a major recipient of foreign-trained health professionals, notably physicians from South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries. Nurse migration from these countries, while comparatively small, is rising. African countries, meanwhile, have a critical shortage of professionals and a disproportionate burden of disease. What policy options could Canada pursue that balanced the right to health of Africans losing their health workers with the right of these workers to seek migration to countries such as Canada? Methods We interviewed a small sample of émigré South African physicians (n = 7 and a larger purposive sample of representatives of Canadian federal, provincial, regional and health professional departments/organizations (n = 25; conducted a policy colloquium with stakeholder organizations (n = 21; and undertook new analyses of secondary data to determine recent trends in health human resource flows between sub-Saharan Africa and Canada. Results Flows from sub-Saharan Africa to Canada have increased since the early 1990s, although they may now have peaked for physicians from South Africa. Reasons given for this flow are consistent with other studies of push/pull factors. Of 8 different policy options presented to study participants, only one received unanimous strong support (increasing domestic self-sufficiency, one other received strong support (increased health system strengthening in source country, two others mixed support (voluntary codes on ethical recruitment, bilateral or multilateral agreements to manage flows and four others little support or complete rejection (increased training of auxiliary health workers in Africa ineligible for licensing in Canada, bonding, reparation payments for training-cost losses and restrictions on immigration of health professionals from critically underserved countries. Conclusion Reducing pull factors by improving domestic supply and reducing push factors by
... Issue Past Issues From the NIH Director: A Global Health System Past Issues / Spring 2008 Table of ... officials the issues of world health and NIH's global outreach. He spoke with MedlinePlus ' Christopher Klose on ...
Ray, Sunanda; Madzimbamuto, Farai; Fonn, Sharon
Partnerships between civil society groups campaigning for reproductive and human rights, health professionals and others could contribute more to the strengthening of health systems needed to bring about declines in maternal deaths in Africa. The success of the HIV treatment literacy model developed by the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa provides useful lessons for activism on maternal mortality, especially the combination of a right-to-health approach with learning and capacity building, community networking, popular mobilisation and legal action. This paper provides examples of these from South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Uganda. Confidential enquiries into maternal deaths can be powerful instruments for change if pressure to act on their recommendations is brought to bear. Shadow reports presented during UN human rights country assessments can be used in a similar way. Public protests and demonstrations over avoidable deaths have succeeded in drawing attention to under-resourced services, shortages of supplies, including blood for transfusion, poor morale among staff, and lack of training and supervision. Activists could play a bigger role in holding health services, governments, and policy-makers accountable for poor maternity services, developing user-friendly information materials for women and their families, and motivating appropriate human resources strategies. Training and support for patients' groups, in how to use health facility complaints procedures is also a valuable strategy. PMID:22789081
Nxumalo, Nonhlanhla; Goudge, Jane; Thomas, Liz
Introduction: In South Africa, there are renewed efforts to strengthen primary health care and community health worker (CHW) programmes. This article examines three South African CHW programmes, a small local non-governmental organisation (NGO), a local satellite of a national NGO, and a government-initiated service, that provide a range of services from home-based care, childcare, and health promotion to assist clients in overcoming poverty-related barriers to health care. Methods: The compa...
Silal Sheetal P
Full Text Available Abstract Background South Africa’s maternal mortality rate (625 deaths/100,000 live births is high for a middle-income country, although over 90% of pregnant women utilize maternal health services. Alongside HIV/AIDS, barriers to Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care currently impede the country’s Millenium Development Goals (MDGs of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. While health system barriers to obstetric care have been well documented, “patient-oriented” barriers have been neglected. This article explores affordability, availability and acceptability barriers to obstetric care in South Africa from the perspectives of women who had recently used, or attempted to use, these services. Methods A mixed-method study design combined 1,231 quantitative exit interviews with sixteen qualitative in-depth interviews with women (over 18 in two urban and two rural health sub-districts in South Africa. Between June 2008 and September 2009, information was collected on use of, and access to, obstetric services, and socioeconomic and demographic details. Regression analysis was used to test associations between descriptors of the affordability, availability and acceptability of services, and demographic and socioeconomic predictor variables. Qualitative interviews were coded deductively and inductively using ATLAS ti.6. Quantitative and qualitative data were integrated into an analysis of access to obstetric services and related barriers. Results Access to obstetric services was impeded by affordability, availability and acceptability barriers. These were unequally distributed, with differences between socioeconomic groups and geographic areas being most important. Rural women faced the greatest barriers, including longest travel times, highest costs associated with delivery, and lowest levels of service acceptability, relative to urban residents. Negative provider-patient interactions, including staff inattentiveness, turning
Stevens, F; Zee, J. van der
A health care delivery system is the organized response of a society to the health problems of its inhabitants. Societies choose from alternative health care delivery models and, in doing so, they organize and set goals and priorities in such a way that the actions of different actors are effective, meaningful, and socially accepted. From a sociological point of view, the analysis of health care delivery systems implies recognition of their distinct history over time, their specific values an...
Robert J. Fryatt
The paper assesses the options for additional innovative financing that could be considered in South Africa, covering both raising new funds and linking funds to results. New funds could come from: i) the private sector, including the mining and mobile phone industry; ii) from voluntary sources, through charities and foundations; iii) and through further expanding health (sin) levies on products such as tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and drinks. As in other countries, South Africa could ...
Ataguba, John Ele-Ojo; Day, Candy; McIntyre, Di
Background Action on the social determinants of health (SDH) is relevant for reducing health inequalities. This is particularly the case for South Africa (SA) with its very high level of income inequality and inequalities in health and health outcomes. This paper provides evidence on the key SDH for reducing health inequalities in the country using a framework initially developed by the World Health Organization. Objective This paper assesses health inequalities in SA and explains the factors (i.e. SDH and other individual level factors) that account for large disparities in health. The relative contribution of different SDH to health inequality is also assessed. Design A cross-sectional design is used. Data come from the third wave of the nationally representative National Income Dynamics Study. A subsample of adults (18 years and older) is used. The main variable of interest is dichotomised good versus bad self-assessed health (SAH). Income-related health inequality is assessed using the standard concentration index (CI). A positive CI means that the rich report better health than the poor. A negative value signifies the opposite. The paper also decomposes the CI to assess its contributing factors. Results Good SAH is significantly concentrated among the rich rather than the poor (CI=0.008; p<0.01). Decomposition of this result shows that social protection and employment (contribution=0.012; p<0.01), knowledge and education (0.005; p<0.01), and housing and infrastructure (−0.003; p<0.01) contribute significantly to the disparities in good SAH in SA. After accounting for these other variables, the contribution of income and poverty is negligible. Conclusions Addressing health inequalities inter alia requires an increased government commitment in terms of budgetary allocations to key sectors (i.e. employment, social protection, education, housing, and other appropriate infrastructure). Attention should also be paid to equity in benefits from government
John Ele-Ojo Ataguba
Full Text Available Background: Action on the social determinants of health (SDH is relevant for reducing health inequalities. This is particularly the case for South Africa (SA with its very high level of income inequality and inequalities in health and health outcomes. This paper provides evidence on the key SDH for reducing health inequalities in the country using a framework initially developed by the World Health Organization. Objective: This paper assesses health inequalities in SA and explains the factors (i.e. SDH and other individual level factors that account for large disparities in health. The relative contribution of different SDH to health inequality is also assessed. Design: A cross-sectional design is used. Data come from the third wave of the nationally representative National Income Dynamics Study. A subsample of adults (18 years and older is used. The main variable of interest is dichotomised good versus bad self-assessed health (SAH. Income-related health inequality is assessed using the standard concentration index (CI. A positive CI means that the rich report better health than the poor. A negative value signifies the opposite. The paper also decomposes the CI to assess its contributing factors. Results: Good SAH is significantly concentrated among the rich rather than the poor (CI=0.008; p<0.01. Decomposition of this result shows that social protection and employment (contribution=0.012; p<0.01, knowledge and education (0.005; p<0.01, and housing and infrastructure (−0.003; p<0.01 contribute significantly to the disparities in good SAH in SA. After accounting for these other variables, the contribution of income and poverty is negligible. Conclusions: Addressing health inequalities inter alia requires an increased government commitment in terms of budgetary allocations to key sectors (i.e. employment, social protection, education, housing, and other appropriate infrastructure. Attention should also be paid to equity in benefits from
Charlotte Sieberhagen; Sebastiaan Rothmann; Jacobus Pienaar
The aim of this study was to investigate the role that legislation and management standards might play in ensuring occupational health and wellness in South Africa. The Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 determines that an employer must establish and maintain a work environment that is safe and without risk to the health of employees. It seems that there is a lack of guidance in the laws and statutes with regard to dealing with employee health and wellness. A management standards appr...
Introduction Disease amenable to surgical intervention accounts for 11–15 % of world disability and there is increasing interest in surgery as a global public health issue. National Health Strategic Plans (NHSPs) reflect countries’ long-term health priorities, plans and targets. These plans were analysed to assess the prioritisation of surgery as a public health issue in Africa. Methods NHSPs of 43 independent Sub-Saharan African countries available in the public domain in March 2014 in Frenc...
Chipayeni Mtonga; Anyangwe, Stella C. E.
Health systems played a key role in the dramatic rise in global life expectancy that occurred during the 20th century, and have continued to contribute enormously to the improvement of the health of most of the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s population. The health workforce is the backbone of each health system, the lubricant that facilitates the smooth implementation of health action for sustainable socio-economic development. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the density of the health workforce...
Tibbits, Melissa K.; Smith, Edward A.; Caldwell, Linda L.; Flisher, Alan J.
This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of the HealthWise South Africa HIV and substance abuse prevention program at impacting adolescents' polydrug use and sexual risk behaviors. HealthWise is a school-based intervention designed to promote social-emotional skills, increase knowledge and refusal skills relevant to substance use and…
L.E. Coffeng (Luc)
markdownabstract__Abstract__ Onchocerciasis is a tropical disease endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa, Yemen, and parts of Latin America, and is caused by the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus, which is found exclusively in humans. Adult specimens of this roundworm reside in subcutaneous and deep-tis
The Water in Africa Project was realized over a 2-year period by a team of Peace Corps volunteers, World Wise Schools (WWS) classroom teachers, and WWS staff members. As part of an expanded, detailed design, resources were collected from over 90 volunteers serving in African countries, photos and stories were prepared, and standards-based learning…
Murauskiene, Liubove; Janoniene, Raimonda; Veniute, Marija; van Ginneken, Ewout; Karanikolos, Marina
This analysis of the Lithuanian health system reviews the developments in organization and governance, health financing, health-care provision, health reforms and health system performance since 2000.The Lithuanian health system is a mixed system, predominantly funded from the National Health Insurance Fund through a compulsory health insurance scheme, supplemented by substantial state contributions on behalf of the economically inactive population amounting to about half of its budget. Public financing of the health sector has gradually increased since 2004 to 5.2 per cent of GDP in 2010.Although the Lithuanian health system was tested by the recent economic crisis, Lithuanias counter-cyclical state health insurance contribution policies (ensuring coverage for the economically inactive population) helped the health system to weather the crisis, and Lithuania successfully used the crisis as a lever to reduce the prices of medicines.Yet the future impact of cuts in public health spending is a cause for concern. In addition, out-of-pocket payments remain high (in particular for pharmaceuticals) and could threaten health access for vulnerable groups.A number of challenges remain. The primary care system needs strengthening so that more patients are treated instead of being referred to a specialist, which will also require a change in attitude by patients. Transparency and accountability need to be increased in resource allocation, including financing of capital investment and in the payer provider relationship. Finally, population health,albeit improving, remains a concern, and major progress can be achieved by reducing the burden of amenable and preventable mortality. PMID:23902994
Ousman, Kevin; Polomano, Rosemary C; Seloilwe, Esther; Odero, Theresa; Tarimo, Edith; Mashalla, Yohana J; Voss, Joachim G; O'Malley, Gabrielle; Chapman, Susan A; Gachuno, Onesmus; Manabe, Yukari; Nakanjako, Damalie; Sewankambo, Nelson; Urassa, David; Wasserheit, Judith N; Wiebe, Douglas J; Green, Wendy; Farquhar, Carey
HIV continues to challenge health systems, especially in low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. A qualified workforce of transformational leaders is required to strengthen health systems and introduce policy reforms to address the barriers to HIV testing, treatment, and other HIV services. The 1-year Afya Bora Consortium Fellowship in Global Health capitalizes on academic partnerships between African and U.S. universities to provide interprofessional leadership training through classroom, online, and service-oriented learning in 5 countries in Africa. This fellowship program prepares health professionals to design, implement, scale-up, evaluate, and lead health programs that are population-based and focused on prevention and control of HIV and other public health issues of greatest importance to African communities and health service settings. Afya Bora nurse fellows acquire leadership attributes and competencies that are continuously and systematically tested during the entire program. This multinational training platform promotes interprofessional networks and career opportunities for nurses. PMID:27086192
Iwelunmor, Juliet; Airhihenbuwa, Collins O; Cooper, Richard; Tayo, Bamidele; Plange-Rhule, Jacob; Adanu, Richard; Ogedegbe, Gbenga
Background In West Africa, hypertension, once rare, has now emerged as a critical health concern and the trajectory is upward and factors are complex. The true magnitude of hypertension in some West African countries, including in-depth knowledge of underlying risk factors is not completely understood. There is also a paucity of research on adequate systems-level approaches designed to mitigate the growing burden of hypertension in the region. Aims In this review, we thematically synthesize a...
Stevens, F.; Zee, J. van der
A health care delivery system is the organized response of a society to the health problems of its inhabitants. Societies choose from alternative health care delivery models and, in doing so, they organize and set goals and priorities in such a way that the actions of different actors are effective,
Robert J. Fryatt
Full Text Available The paper assesses the options for additional innovative financing that could be considered in South Africa, covering both raising new funds and linking funds to results. New funds could come from: i the private sector, including the mining and mobile phone industry; ii from voluntary sources, through charities and foundations; iii and through further expanding health (sin levies on products such as tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and drinks. As in other countries, South Africa could earmark some of these additional sources for investment in interventions and research to reduce unhealthy behaviors and influence the determinants of health. South Africa could also expand innovative linking of funds to improve overall performance of the health sector, including mitigating the risks for non-state investment and exploring different forms of financial incentives for providers and patients. All such innovations would require rigorous monitoring and evaluation to assess whether intended benefits are achieved and to look for unintended consequences.
Chevreul, Karine; Berg Brigham, Karen; Durand-Zaleski, Isabelle; Hernandez-Quevedo, Cristina
This analysis of the French health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. The French population has a good level of health, with the second highest life expectancy in the world for women. It has a high level of choice of providers, and a high level of satisfaction with the health system. However, unhealthy habits such as smoking and harmful alcohol consumption remain significant causes of avoidable mortality. Combined with the significant burden of chronic diseases, this has underscored the need for prevention and integration of services, although these have not historically been strengths of the French system. Although the French health care system is a social insurance system, it has historically had a stronger role for the state than other Bismarckian social insurance systems. Public financing of health care expenditure is among the highest in Europe and out-of-pocket spending among the lowest. Public insurance is compulsory and covers the resident population; it is financed by employee and employer contributions as well as increasingly through taxation. Complementary insurance plays a significant role in ensuring equity in access. Provision is mixed; providers of outpatient care are largely private, and hospital beds are predominantly public or private non-profit-making. Despite health outcomes being among the best in the European Union, social and geographical health inequities remain. Inequality in the distribution of health care professionals is a considerable barrier to equity. The rising cost of health care and the increasing demand for long-term care are also of concern. Reforms are ongoing to address these issues, while striving for equity in financial access; a long-term care reform including public coverage of long-term care is still pending. PMID:26766545
Hofmarcher, Maria M; Quentin, Wilm
This analysis of the Austrian health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health-care provision, health reforms and health-system performance. The Austrian health system provides universal coverage for a wide range of benefits and high-quality care. Free choice of providers and unrestricted access to all care levels (general practitioners, specialist physicians and hospitals) are characteristic features of the system. Unsurprisingly, population satisfaction is well above EU average. Income-related inequality in health has increased since 2005, although it is still relatively low compared to other countries. The health-care system has been shaped by both the federal structure of the state and a tradition of delegating responsibilities to self-governing stakeholders. On the one hand, this enables decentralized planning and governance, adjusted to local norms and preferences. On the other hand, it also leads to fragmentation of responsibilities and frequently results in inadequate coordination. For this reason, efforts have been made for several years to achieve more joint planning, governance and financing of the health-care system at the federal and regional level. As in any health system, a number of challenges remain. The costs of the health-care system are well above the EU15 average, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of GDP. There are important structural imbalances in healthcare provision, with an oversized hospital sector and insufficient resources available for ambulatory care and preventive medicine. This is coupled with stark regional differences in utilization, both in curative services (hospital beds and specialist physicians) and preventative services such as preventive health check-ups, outpatient rehabilitation, psychosocial and psychotherapeutic care and nursing. There are clear social inequalities in the use of medical services, such as preventive health check-ups, immunization or dentistry
Full Text Available Veterinary education commenced in South Africa in 1920 at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in South Africa in association with the Transvaal University College, now the University of Pretoria. Sir Arnold Theiler, Director of Veterinary Research and Education, was the first Dean. Today there are 46 veterinary training institutions in Africa of which 21 are in sub-Saharan Africa.Veterinary services are indispensable to the sustained health and wellbeing of animals and humans, and agricultural economies of countries worldwide. Veterinary education, postgraduate training, and research, and adequate numbers of veterinarians, are essential to satisfy the millennium development goals, the objectives of NEPAD and the African Union, and the agreements regulating international trade.
incl Table of Contents, Complete supplement
Background South Africa is experiencing a demographic and epidemiological transition with an increase in population aged 50 years and older and rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases. This, coupled with high HIV and tuberculosis prevalence, puts an already weak health service under greater strain. Objective To measure self-reported chronic health conditions and chronic disease risk factors, including smoking and alcohol use, and to establish their association with health care use in a...
Rosen, Bruce; Waitzberg, Ruth; Merkur, Sherry
Israel is a small country, with just over 8 million citizens and a modern market-based economy with a comparable level of gross domestic product per capita to the average in the European Union. It has had universal health coverage since the introduction of a progressively financed statutory health insurance system in 1995. All citizens can choose from among four competing, non-profit-making health plans, which are charged with providing a broad package of benefits stipulated by the government. Overall, the Israeli health care system is quite efficient. Health status levels are comparable to those of other developed countries, even though Israel spends a relatively low proportion of its gross domestic product on health care (less than 8%) and nearly 40% of that is privately financed. Factors contributing to system efficiency include regulated competition among the health plans, tight regulatory controls on the supply of hospital beds, accessible and professional primary care and a well-developed system of electronic health records. Israeli health care has also demonstrated a remarkable capacity to innovate, improve, establish goals, be tenacious and prioritize. Israel is in the midst of numerous health reform efforts. The health insurance benefits package has been extended to include mental health care and dental care for children. A multipronged effort is underway to reduce health inequalities. National projects have been launched to measure and improve the quality of hospital care and reduce surgical waiting times, along with greater public dissemination of comparative performance data. Major steps are also being taken to address projected shortages of physicians and nurses. One of the major challenges currently facing Israeli health care is the growing reliance on private financing, with potentially deleterious effects for equity and efficiency. Efforts are currently underway to expand public financing, improve the efficiency of the public system and constrain
Hong Esther S; Zeeb Hajo; Repacholi Michael H
Abstract Background Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is a genetically inherited autosomal recessive condition and OCA2, tyrosine-positive albinism, is the most prevalent type found throughout Africa. Due to the lack of melanin, people with albinism are more susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure. This population must deal with issues such as photophobia, decreased visual acuity, extreme sun sensitivity and skin cancer. People with albinism also face social discrimin...
Abstract Purpose – How do economic prosperity, health expenditure, savings, price-stability, demographic change, democracy, corruption-control, press-freedom, government effectiveness, human development, foreign-aid, physical security, trade openness and financial liberalization play-out in the fight against health-worker crisis when existing emigration levels matter? Despite the acute concern of health-worker crisis in Africa owing to emigration, lack of relevant data has made the subject...
Caldwell, Linda L.; Patrick, Megan E.; SMITH, EDWARD A.; Palen, Lori-Ann; WEGNER, LISA
This study investigates changes in self-reported motivation for leisure due to participation in HealthWise, a high school curriculum aimed at decreasing risk behavior and promoting health behavior. Participants were 2,193 mixed race adolescents (M = 14 years old) from 9 schools (4 intervention, 5 control) near Cape Town, South Africa. Students in the HealthWise school with the greatest involvement in teacher training and implementation fidelity reported increased intrinsic and identified moti...
Full Text Available Background: Job satisfaction is an important determinant of health worker motivation, retention, and performance, all of which are critical to improving the functioning of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. A number of small-scale surveys have measured the job satisfaction and intention to leave of individual health worker cadres in different settings, but there are few multi-country and multi-cadre comparative studies. Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the job satisfaction and intention to leave of different categories of health workers in Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. Methods: We undertook a cross-sectional survey of a stratified cluster sample of 2,220 health workers, 564 from Tanzania, 939 from Malawi, and 717 from South Africa. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire, which included demographic information, a 10-item job satisfaction scale, and one question on intention to leave. Multiple regression was used to identify significant predictors of job satisfaction and intention to leave. Results: There were statistically significant differences in job satisfaction and intention to leave between the three countries. Approximately 52.1% of health workers in South Africa were satisfied with their jobs compared to 71% from Malawi and 82.6% from Tanzania (χ2=140.3, p<0.001. 18.8% of health workers in Tanzania and 26.5% in Malawi indicated that they were actively seeking employment elsewhere, compared to 41.4% in South Africa (χ2=83.5, p<0.001. The country differences were confirmed by multiple regression. The study also confirmed that job satisfaction is statistically related to intention to leave. Conclusions: We have shown differences in the levels of job satisfaction and intention to leave between different groups of health workers from Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. Our results caution against generalising about the effectiveness of interventions in different contexts and
Ferre, Francesca; de Belvis, Antonio Giulio; Valerio, Luca; Longhi, Silvia; Lazzari, Agnese; Fattore, Giovanni; Ricciardi, Walter; Maresso, Anna
Italy is the sixth largest country in Europe and has the second highest average life expectancy, reaching 79.4 years for men and 84.5 years for women in 2011. There are marked regional differences for both men and women in most health indicators, reflecting the economic and social imbalance between the north and south of the country. The main diseases affecting the population are circulatory diseases, malignant tumours and respiratory diseases. Italy's health care system is a regionally based national health service that provides universal coverage largely free of charge at the point of delivery. The main source of financing is national and regional taxes, supplemented by copayments for pharmaceuticals and outpatient care. In 2012, total health expenditure accounted for 9.2 percent of GDP (slightly below the EU average of 9.6 percent). Public sources made up 78.2 percent of total health care spending. While the central government provides a stewardship role, setting the fundamental principles and goals of the health system and determining the core benefit package of health services available to all citizens, the regions are responsible for organizing and delivering primary, secondary and tertiary health care services as well as preventive and health promotion services. Faced with the current economic constraints of having to contain or even reduce health expenditure, the largest challenge facing the health system is to achieve budgetary goals without reducing the provision of health services to patients. This is related to the other key challenge of ensuring equity across regions, where gaps in service provision and health system performance persist. Other issues include ensuring the quality of professionals managing facilities, promoting group practice and other integrated care organizational models in primary care, and ensuring that the concentration of organizational control by regions of health-care providers does not stifle innovation. PMID:25471543
Mariam, Damen Haile; Asnake, Mengistu
This commentary discusses the historical development, organization and activities of the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), a professional civil society organization that operates on the principles of protection of public interest and professional standards in health in areas of health development in Ethiopia. The important roles played by the EPHA in health training, research and policy advocacy have been highlighted. Some of the important health system interventions that have been effected in the country through the influence and active participation of the Association have also been pointed out. As an active member of the Executive Board of the World Federation of Public Health Associations, EPHA serves as a role model for public health professional associations in the African Region with regard to increasing their influence in health policy and interventions within their respective countries. PMID:21370778
Dimova, Antoniya; Rohova, Maria; Moutafova, Emanuela; Atanasova, Elka; Koeva, Stefka; Panteli, Dimitra; van Ginneken, Ewout
In the last 20 years, demographic development in Bulgaria has been characterized by population decline, a low crude birth rate, a low fertility rate, a high mortality rate and an ageing population. A stabilizing political situation since the early 2000s and an economic upsurge since the mid-2000s were important factors in the slight increase of the birth and fertility rates and the slight decrease in standardized death rates. In general, Bulgaria lags behind European Union (EU) averages in most mortality and morbidity indicators. Life expectancy at birth reached 73.3 years in 2008 with the main three causes of death being diseases of the circulatory system, malignant neoplasms and diseases of the respiratory system. One of the most important risk factors overall is smoking, and the average standardized death rate for smoking-related causes in 2008 was twice as high as the EU15 average. The Bulgarian health system is characterized by limited statism. The Ministry of Health is responsible for national health policy and the overall organization and functioning of the health system and coordinates with all ministries with relevance to public health. The key players in the insurance system are the insured individuals, the health care providers and the third party payers, comprising the National Health Insurance Fund, the single payer in the social health insurance (SHI) system, and voluntary health insurance companies (VHICs). Health financing consists of a publicprivate mix. Health care is financed from compulsory health insurance contributions, taxes, outofpocket (OOP) payments, voluntary health insurance (VHI) premiums, corporate payments, donations, and external funding. Total health expenditure (THE) as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 5.3% in 1995 to 7.3% in 2008. At the latter date it consisted of 36.5% OOP payments, 34.8% SHI, 13.6% Ministry of Health expenditure, 9.4% municipality expenditure and 0.3% VHI. Informal payments in the health
De Pietro, Carlo; Camenzind, Paul; Sturny, Isabelle; Crivelli, Luca; Edwards-Garavoglia, Suzanne; Spranger, Anne; Wittenbecher, Friedrich; Quentin, Wilm
This analysis of the Swiss health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. The Swiss health system is highly complex, combining aspects of managed competition and corporatism (the integration of interest groups in the policy process) in a decentralized regulatory framework shaped by the influences of direct democracy. The health system performs very well with regard to a broad range of indicators. Life expectancy in Switzerland (82.8 years) is the highest in Europe after Iceland, and healthy life expectancy is several years above the European Union (EU) average. Coverage is ensured through mandatory health insurance (MHI), with subsidies for people on low incomes. The system offers a high degree of choice and direct access to all levels of care with virtually no waiting times, though managed care type insurance plans that include gatekeeping restrictions are becoming increasingly important. Public satisfaction with the system is high and quality is generally viewed to be good or very good. Reforms since the year 2000 have improved the MHI system, changed the financing of hospitals, strengthened regulations in the area of pharmaceuticals and the control of epidemics, and harmonized regulation of human resources across the country. In addition, there has been a slow (and not always linear) process towards more centralization of national health policy-making. Nevertheless, a number of challenges remain. The costs of the health care system are well above the EU average, in particular in absolute terms but also as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) (11.5%). MHI premiums have increased more quickly than incomes since 2003. By European standards, the share of out-of-pocket payments is exceptionally high at 26% of total health expenditure (compared to the EU average of 16%). Low and middle-income households contribute a greater share of their income to
The complete IMS verification system for primary and auxiliary seismic together with that of radionuclide, hydroacoustic and infrasound is plotted on a global map and Africa in particular showing its status. IMS situation in East and Southern Africa is included
Kim J Brolin Ribacke
Full Text Available As Sierra Leone celebrates the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD outbreak, we can begin to fully grasp its impact on already weak health systems. The EVD outbreak in West Africa forced many hospitals to close down or reduce their activity, either to prevent nosocomial transmission or because of staff shortages. The aim of this study is to assess the potential impact of EVD on nationwide access to obstetric care in Sierra Leone.Community health officers collected weekly data between January 2014-May 2015 on in-hospital deliveries and caesarean sections (C-sections from all open facilities (public, private for-profit and private non-profit sectors offering emergency obstetrics in Sierra Leone. This was compared to official data of EVD cases per district. Logistic and Poisson regression analyses were used to compute risk and rate estimates. Nationwide, the number of in-hospital deliveries and C-sections decreased by over 20% during the EVD outbreak. The decline occurred early on in the EVD outbreak and was mainly attributable to the closing of private not-for-profit hospitals rather than government facilities. Due to difficulties in collecting data in the midst of an epidemic, limitations of this study include some missing data points.Both the number of in-hospital deliveries and C-sections substantially declined shortly after the onset of the EVD outbreak. Since access to emergency obstetric care, like C-sections, is associated with decreased maternal mortality, many women are likely to have died due to the reduced access to appropriate care during childbirth. Future research on indirect health effects of health system breakdown should ideally be nationwide and continue also into the recovery phase. It is also important to understand the mechanisms behind the deterioration so that important health services can be reestablished.
Chastonay, Philippe; Zesiger, Véronique; Moretti, Roberto; Cremaschini, Marco; Bailey, Rebecca; Wheeler, Erika; Mattig, Thomas; Avocksouma, Djona Atchenemou; Kabengele Mpinga, Emmanuel
Background Shortage of a competent public health workforce is as a worldwide problem. The situation is especially bad in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2008, the World Health Organization and the Global Health Workforce Alliance launched a call for proposals for a public health training programme with an emphasis on health workforce development specifically targeting Africa. Our article presents the development, implementation and evaluation of an e-learning Master of Advanced Studies in Public Healt...
Grace W Mwai
Full Text Available Introduction: The provision of HIV treatment and care in sub-Saharan Africa faces multiple challenges, including weak health systems and attrition of trained health workers. One potential response to overcome these challenges has been to engage community health workers (CHWs. Methodology: A systematic literature search for quantitative and qualitative studies describing the role and outcomes of CHWs in HIV care between inception and December 2012 in sub-Saharan Africa was performed in the following databases: PubMed, PsychINFO, Embase, Web of Science, JSTOR, WHOLIS, Google Scholar and SAGE journals online. Bibliographies of included articles were also searched. A narrative synthesis approach was used to analyze common emerging themes on the role and outcomes of CHWs in HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa. Results: In total, 21 studies met the inclusion criteria, documenting a range of tasks performed by CHWs. These included patient support (counselling, home-based care, education, adherence support and livelihood support and health service support (screening, referral and health service organization and surveillance. CHWs were reported to enhance the reach, uptake and quality of HIV services, as well as the dignity, quality of life and retention in care of people living with HIV. The presence of CHWs in clinics was reported to reduce waiting times, streamline patient flow and reduce the workload of health workers. Clinical outcomes appeared not to be compromised, with no differences in virologic failure and mortality comparing patients under community-based and those under facility-based care. Despite these benefits, CHWs faced challenges related to lack of recognition, remuneration and involvement in decision making. Conclusions: CHWs can clearly contribute to HIV services delivery and strengthen human resource capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. For their contribution to be sustained, CHWs need to be recognized, remunerated and integrated in wider
Full Text Available For various reasons, Southern Africa may be considered the playground as well as the thinking tank for many theories and practices in the natural resources management field. History has contributed to reshape conservation practices through colonial times, and recent wars have led to the relocation of people from their homelands and the appropriation by people of previously protected areas due to socio-economic pressures. Contemporary practices stemming from sustainable development have not yielded the expected results in resolving critical socio-economic stresses that impact on environmental health. Furthermore, human health has deteriorated in remote rural areas due to the failures of governance systems and the perpetration of non-participatory models for natural resources management, especially conservation. This paper seeks to explore how two relatively new approaches, Disaster Risk Reduction and One Health, can together tap into the theoretical and practical gaps left by previous paradigms in order to instill a sustainable development approach that can benefit both people and natural resources in remote and poor rural areas.
Vladescu, Cristian; Scintee, Silvia Gabriela; Olsavszky, Victor; Hernandez-Quevedo, Cristina; Sagan, Anna
This analysis of the Romanian health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. The Romanian health care system is a social health insurance system that has remained highly centralized despite recent efforts to decentralize some regulatory functions. It provides a comprehensive benefits package to the 85% of the population that is covered, with the remaining population having access to a minimum package of benefits. While every insured person has access to the same health care benefits regardless of their socioeconomic situation, there are inequities in access to health care across many dimensions, such as rural versus urban, and health outcomes also differ across these dimensions. The Romanian population has seen increasing life expectancy and declining mortality rates but both remain among the worst in the European Union. Some unfavourable trends have been observed, including increasing numbers of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses and falling immunization rates. Public sources account for over 80% of total health financing. However, that leaves considerable out-of-pocket payments covering almost a fifth of total expenditure. The share of informal payments also seems to be substantial, but precise figures are unknown. In 2014, Romania had the lowest health expenditure as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) among the EU Member States. In line with the government's objective of strengthening the role of primary care, the total number of hospital beds has been decreasing. However, health care provision remains characterized by underprovision of primary and community care and inappropriate use of inpatient and specialized outpatient care, including care in hospital emergency departments. The numbers of physicians and nurses are relatively low in Romania compared to EU averages. This has mainly been attributed to the high rates of workers emigrating abroad over the
Landman, W A; Henley, L D
The new South African constitution commits the government to guarantee "basic health services" for every child under 18. Primary health care for pregnant women and children under six and elements of essential primary health care have received priority. At present, there is little analysis of the moral considerations involved in making choices about more advanced or costly health care which may, arguably, also be "basic". This paper illustrates some of the tensions in setting priorities for a ...
Olejaz, Maria; Juul Nielsen, Annegrete; Rudkjøbing, Andreas; Okkels Birk, Hans; Krasnik, Allan; Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina
Denmark has a tradition of a decentralized health system. However, during recent years, reforms and policy initiatives have gradually centralized the health system in different ways. The structural reform of 2007 merged the old counties into fewer bigger regions, and the old municipalities likewise. The hospital structure is undergoing similar reforms, with fewer, bigger and more specialized hospitals. Furthermore, a more centralized approach to planning and regulation has been taking place over recent years. This is evident in the new national planning of medical specialties as well as the establishment of a nationwide accreditation system, the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme, which sets national standards for health system providers in Denmark. Efforts have also been made to ensure coherent patient pathways - at the moment for cancer and heart disease - that are similar nationwide. These efforts also aim at improving intersectoral cooperation. Financially, recent years have seen the introduction of a higher degree of activity-based financing in the public health sector, combined with the traditional global budgeting.A number of challenges remain in the Danish health care system. The consequences of the recent reforms and centralization initiatives are yet to be fully evaluated. Before this happens, a full overview of what future reforms should target is not possible. Denmark continues to lag behind the other Nordic countries in regards to some health indicators, such as life expectancy. A number of risk factors may be the cause of this: alcohol intake and obesity continue to be problems, whereas smoking habits are improving. The level of socioeconomic inequalities in health also continues to be a challenge. The organization of the Danish health care system will have to take a number of challenges into account in the future. These include changes in disease patterns, with an ageing population with chronic and long-term diseases; ensuring sufficient staffing
Fuller, Colin W.; Junge, Astrid; Amaning, Jacob; Kaijage, Rogasian R.; Kaputa, John; Magwende, George; Pambo, Prince; Dvorak, Jiri
Objective: To assess the effectiveness of the FIFA 11 for Health programme in increasing children's knowledge about communicable and non-communicable diseases in five countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Method: A prospective five-cohort study was implemented in schools in Ghana (17), Malawi (12), Namibia (11), Tanzania (18) and Zambia (11). The…
Berhe, Derbew F.; Taxis, Katja; Haaijer-Ruskamp, Flora M.; Mol, Peter G.M.
Background: Inappropriate drug use is a major global challenge. In Africa, it may be even more widespread for a number of reasons, especially limited resources. Drugs may be prescribed by health care professionals (HCPs) who have received little training on drug benefits, but especially risks. Objec
Hedlund, Frank Huess
South Africa.The study explores two main avenues of integration. First, integrating through better planning, focussing at the tools and procedures in use by Danced for project management -- integrating occupational health and safety into the project specification, so to speak.Second, integrating...
Martin, Jose Antonio Rodriguez
In this article we present a new composite index of child health, applied to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of Africa, one of the areas of the planet most castigated by poverty. Our index has been constructed attending to the variables defined in the Goals of the Millennium Declaration. For this purpose we will use the P2 distance method for…
Tatar, Mehtap; Mollahaliloğlu, Salih; Sahin, Bayram; Aydin, Sabahattin; Maresso, Anna; Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina
Turkey has accomplished remarkable improvements in terms of health status in the last three decades, particularly after the implementation of the Health Transformation Program (HTP (Saglikta Donus, um Programi)). Average life expectancy reached 71.8 for men and 76.8 for women in 2010. The infant mortality rate (IMR) decreased to 10.1 per 1000 live births in 2010, down from 117.5 in 1980. Despite these achievements, there are still discrepancies in terms of infant mortality between rural and urban areas and different parts of the country, although these have been diminishing over the years. The higher infant mortality rates in rural areas can be attributed to low socioeconomic conditions, low female education levels and the prevalence of infectious diseases. The main causes of death are diseases of the circulatory system followed by malignant neoplasms. Turkeys health care system has been undergoing a far-reaching reform process (HTP) since 2003 and radical changes have occurred both in the provision and the financing of health care services. Health services are now financed through a social security scheme covering the majority of the population, the General Health Insurance Scheme (GHIS (Genel Saglik Sigortasi)), and services are provided both by public and private sector facilities. The Social Security Institution (SSI (Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu)), financed through payments by employers and employees and government contributions in cases of budget deficit, has become a monopsonic (single buyer) power on the purchasing side of health care services. On the provision side, the Ministry of Health (Saglik Bakenligi) is the main actor and provides primary, secondary and tertiary care through its facilities across the country. Universities are also major providers of tertiary care. The private sector has increased its range over recent years, particularly after arrangements paved the way for private sector provision of services to the SSI. The most important reforms since
Full Text Available There has been an unprecedented increase in population ageing resulting in the increase in prevalence of various health conditions, including disability and associated risk factors. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and predictors of functional status and disability amongst older South Africans. Little is known about disability amongst older South Africans because most previous health research has focused on younger individuals and infectious diseases. We conducted a national population-based cross-sectional study with a sample of 3840 subjects aged 50 years or older in South Africa. Multivariable regression analysis was performed in order to assess the association of social factors, health variables and functional disability. Overall, 37.2%of the respondents had moderate or severe and/or very severe functional disability, this being higher amongst women. The highest disability was found for the mobility, cognition and participation domains. In all domains, except for the self-care domain, women had a higher disability prevalence. Multivariable analysis amongst men revealed that older age, having some or primary education, being from Indian or Asian race, having chronic conditions, physical inactivity and a lower quality of life were associated with functional disability. Amongst women, older age, as well as having chronic conditions and a lower quality of life, were associated with functional disability. This study has implications for health-sector strategic plans aimed at preventing disabilities, ensuring access to curative and rehabilitative care. This study forms an evidence base upon which future policies and health care management systems can be based.
Kyei-Nimakoh, Minerva; Carolan-Olah, Mary; McCann, Terence V
Background Since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2000, the global community has intensified efforts to reduce adverse maternal health outcomes, especially, in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these efforts, there is an increasing concern that the decline in maternal deaths has been less than optimal, even for women who receive birthing care in health facilities. High maternal deaths have been attributed to a variety of issues such as poor quality of c...
Kuo, Caroline; Operario, Don
In South Africa, an estimated 2.5 million children have been orphaned by AIDS and other causes of adult mortality. Although there is a growing body of research on the well-being of South African orphaned children, few research studies have examined the health of adult individuals caring for children in HIV endemic communities. The cross-sectional survey assessed prevalence of general health and functioning (based on Short-Form 36 version 2 scale), depression (based on Center for Epidemiologic...
Dorélien, Audrey M.
Birth month is broadly predictive of both under-five mortality rates and stunting throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Observed factors, such as mother's age at birth and educational status, are correlated with birth month but are not the main factors underlying the relationship between birth month and child health. Accounting for maternal selection via a fixed-effects model attenuates the relationship between birth month and health in many SSA countries. In the remaining countries, t...
Despite a growing awareness of Africans’ vulnerability to climate change, there is relatively little empirical evidence published about the effects of climate on population health in Africa. This review brings together some of the generalised predictions about the potential continent-wide effects of climate change with examples of the relatively few locally documented population studies in which climate change and health interact. Although ecologically determined diseases such as malari...
Drought is Africa's primary natural disaster and a pervasive source of income risk for poor households. This paper documents the long-run health effects of early life exposure to drought and investigates an important source of heterogeneity in these effects. Combining birth cohort variation in South African Census data with cross-sectional and temporal drought variation, I estimate long-run health impacts of drought exposure among Africans confined to homelands during apartheid. Drought expos...
Alemnji, G. A.; Zeh, C.; Yao, K; Fonjungo, P. N.
OBJECTIVES Efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic have underscored the fragile and neglected nature of some national health laboratories in Africa. In response, national and international partners and various governments have worked collaboratively over the last several years to build sustainable laboratory capacities within the continent. Key accomplishments reflecting this successful partnership include the establishment of the African-based World Health Organization Regional Office for Af...
Faye, Adama; Fournier, Pierre; Diop, Idrissa; Philibert, Aline; Morestin, Florence; Dumont, Alexandre
Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, lack of motivation and job dissatisfaction have been cited as causes of poor healthcare quality and outcomes. Measurement of health workers' satisfaction adapted to sub-Saharan African working conditions and cultures is a challenge. The objective of this study was to develop a valid and reliable instrument to measure satisfaction among health professionals in the sub-Saharan African context. Methods: A survey was conducted in Senegal and Mali in 2011 among 9...
Labonté, Ronald; Sanders, David; Mathole, Thubelihle; Crush, Jonathan; Chikanda, Abel; Dambisya, Yoswa; Runnels, Vivien; Packer, Corinne; Mackenzie, Adrian; Murphy, Gail Tomblin; Bourgeault, Ivy Lynn
Background This paper arises from a four-country study that sought to better understand the drivers of skilled health worker migration, its consequences, and the strategies countries have employed to mitigate negative impacts. The four countries—Jamaica, India, the Philippines, and South Africa—have historically been “sources” of skilled health workers (SHWs) migrating to other countries. This paper presents the findings from South Africa. Methods The study began with a scoping review of the ...
Full Text Available Background: The South African government intends to contract with ‘accredited provider groups’ for capitated primary care under National Health Insurance (NHI. South African solo general practitioners (GPs are unhappy with group practice. There is no clarity on the views of GPs in group practice on contracting to the NHI.Objectives: To describe the demographic and practice profile of GPs in group practice in South Africa, and evaluate their views on NHI, compared to solo GPs.Methods: This was a descriptive survey. The population of 8721 private GPs in South Africa with emails available were emailed an online questionnaire. Descriptive statistical analyses and thematic content analysis were conducted.Results: In all, 819 GPs responded (568 solo GPs and 251 GPs in groups. The results are focused on group GPs. GPs in groups have a different demographic practice profile compared to solo GPs. GPs in groups expected R4.86 million ($0.41 million for a hypothetical NHI proposal of comprehensive primary healthcare (excluding medicines and investigations to a practice population of 10 000 people. GPs planned a clinical team of 8 to 12 (including nurses and 4 to 6 administrative staff. GPs in group practices saw three major risks: patient, organisational and government, with three related risk management strategies.Conclusions: GPs can competitively contract with NHI, although there are concerns. NHI contracting should not be limited to groups. All GPs embraced strong teamwork, including using nurses more effectively. This aligns well with the emergence of family medicine in Africa.Keywords: Capitation, human resource, primary health care, family medicine, South Africa, health systems
There is broad agreement that government has an important role to play in the development of human capital, especially in health and education. Multilateral organizations, such as the World Bank, commonly call for public sector investment in human resources but the use of health spending to combat unemployment remains controversial. This article examines public sector expenditures in health and focuses on three arguments: 1) public goods; 2) investment in human capital; and 3) Keynesian spending in periods of high unemployment. PMID:10538669
Global mental health is primarily concerned with reducing inequalities in the access to health care and health outcomes for people with mental illness within and between countries (1). Reducing the vast treatment gap and promoting the rights of people with mental illness to live with dignity are major goals of adherents of the field such as the Movement for Global Mental Health (www.globalmentalhealth.org). In this context, the thesis by Abbo summarised in her PhD Review paper in Global Healt...
Full Text Available Background: South Africa is experiencing a demographic and epidemiological transition with an increase in population aged 50 years and older and rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases. This, coupled with high HIV and tuberculosis prevalence, puts an already weak health service under greater strain. Objective: To measure self-reported chronic health conditions and chronic disease risk factors, including smoking and alcohol use, and to establish their association with health care use in a rural South African population aged 50 years or older. Methods: The Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE, in collaboration with the INDEPTH Network and the World Health Organization, was implemented in the Agincourt sub-district in rural northeast South Africa where there is a long-standing health and socio-demographic surveillance system. Household-based interviews were conducted in a random sample of people aged 50 years and older. The interview included questions on self-reported health and health care use, and some physical measurements, including blood pressure and anthropometry. Results: Four hundred and twenty-five individuals aged 50 years or older participated in the study. Musculoskeletal pain was the most prevalent self-reported condition (41.7%; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 37.0–46.6 followed by hypertension (31.2%; 95% CI 26.8–35.9 and diabetes (6.1%; 95% CI 4.1–8.9. All self-reported conditions were significantly associated with low self-reported functionality and quality of life, 57% of participants had hypertension, including 44% of those who reported normal blood pressure. A large waist circumference and current alcohol consumption were associated with high risk of hypertension in men, whereas in women, old age, high waist–hip ratio, and less than 6 years of formal education were associated with high risk of hypertension. Only 45% of all participants reported accessing health care in the last 12 months. Those who reported
H. L. Sithole
Full Text Available Objective: There is currently very little or no research being done in South Africa on eye health promotion. Also, there is no evidence of any existing eye health promotion policy in the South African primary health care system. The purpose of this paper therefore is to highlight the lack of an integrated eye health promotion policy in the South African primary health care system.Approach: A literature review of research databases was conducted to identify research done in the previous years pertinent to eye health promotion in South Africa. Also, documents were requested from the South African National Department of Health to ascertain claims of any existing guidelines on eye care. It was found that these documents included the national guidelines on prevention of blindness, refractive error screening for persons 60 years and older, cataract surgery in South Africa, management and control of eye conditions at primary level.Although there is currently no integrated eye health promotion policy in South Africa, the fragmented national guidelines represent the existing policies on eye health promotion. The custodians of these policies are the eye care coordinators located in each of the nine provinces.Conclusion: Although there are eye care coordinators in each province, there is no evidence of any eye health promotion activities being done in those provinces. Also, only one province out of nine has dedicated health promotion personnel that are not only focusing on eye health matters. This greatly compromises the initiatives of eliminating avoidable blindness. It is therefore recommended that an integrated eye health promotion model be developed so that it may form part of the South African primary health care system. (S Afr Optom 201069(4 200-206
Richardson, Erica; Malakhova, Irina; Novik, Irina; Famenka, Andrei
This analysis of the Belarusian health system reviews the developments in organization and governance, health financing, healthcare provision, health reforms and health system performance since 2008. Despite considerable change since independence, Belarus retains a commitment to the principle of universal access to health care, provided free at the point of use through predominantly state-owned facilities, organized hierarchically on a territorial basis. Incremental change, rather than radical reform, has also been the hallmark of health-care policy, although capitation funding has been introduced in some areas and there have been consistent efforts to strengthen the role of primary care. Issues of high costs in the hospital sector and of weaknesses in public health demonstrate the necessity of moving forward with the reform programme. The focus for future reform is on strengthening preventive services and improving the quality and efficiency of specialist services. The key challenges in achieving this involve reducing excess hospital capacity, strengthening health-care management, use of evidence-based treatment and diagnostic procedures, and the development of more efficient financing mechanisms. Involving all stakeholders in the development of further reform planning and achieving consensus among them will be key to its success. PMID:24334702
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To improve the treatment of MDR-TB and HIV co-infected patients, we investigated the relationship between health system performance and patient treatment outcomes at 4 decentralised MDR-TB sites. METHODS: In this mixed methods case study which included prospective comparative data, we measured health system performance using a framework of domains comprising key health service components. Using Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficients we quantified the direction and magnitude of the association between health system performance and MDR-TB treatment outcomes. Qualitative data from participant observation and interviews analysed using systematic text condensation (STC complemented our quantitative findings. FINDINGS: We found significant differences in treatment outcomes across the sites with successful outcomes varying from 72% at Site 1 to 52% at Site 4 (p<0.01. Health systems performance scores also varied considerably across the sites. Our findings suggest there is a correlation between treatment outcomes and overall health system performance which is significant (r = 0.99, p<0.01, with Site 1 having the highest number of successful treatment outcomes and the highest health system performance. Although the 'integration' domain, which measured integration of MDR-TB services into existing services appeared to have the strongest association with successful treatment outcomes (r = 0.99, p<0.01, qualitative data indicated that the 'context' domain influenced the other domains. CONCLUSION: We suggest that there is an association between treatment outcomes and health system performance. The chance of treatment success is greater if decentralised MDR-TB services are integrated into existing services. To optimise successful treatment outcomes, regular monitoring and support are needed at a district, facility and individual level to ensure the local context is supportive of new programmes and implementation is according to guidelines.
Anell, Anders; Glenngård, Anna H; Merkur, Sherry
Life expectancy in Sweden is high and the country performs well in comparisons related to disease-oriented indicators of health service outcomes and quality of care. The Swedish health system is committed to ensuring the health of all citizens and abides by the principles of human dignity, need and solidarity, and cost-effectiveness. The state is responsible for overall health policy, while the funding and provision of services lies largely with the county councils and regions. The municipalities are responsible for the care of older and disabled people. The majority of primary care centres and almost all hospitals are owned by the county councils. Health care expenditure is mainly tax funded (80%) and is equivalent to 9.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) (2009). Only about 4% of the population has voluntary health insurance (VHI). User charges fund about 17% of health expenditure and are levied on visits to professionals, hospitalization and medicines. The number of acute care hospital beds is below the European Union (EU) average and Sweden allocates more human resources to the health sector than most OECD countries. In the past, the Achilles heel of Swedish health care included long waiting times for diagnosis and treatment and, more recently, divergence in quality of care between regions and socioeconomic groups. Addressing long waiting times remains a key policy objective along with improving access to providers. Recent principal health reforms over the past decade relate to: concentrating hospital services; regionalizing health care services, including mergers; improving coordinated care; increasing choice, competition and privatization in primary care; privatization and competition in the pharmacy sector; changing co-payments; and increasing attention to public comparison of quality and efficiency indicators, the value of investments in health care and responsiveness to patients needs. Reforms are often introduced on the local level, thus the pattern of
This article synthesizes new data about the outflow of Africa's wealth, to reveal structural factors behind the continent's ongoing underdevelopment. The flow of wealth out of sub-Saharan Africa to the North occurs primarily through exploitative debt and finance, phantom aid, capital flight, unfair trade, and distorted investment. Although the resource drain from Africa dates back many centuries--beginning with unfair terms of trade, amplified through slavery, colonialism, and neocolonialism--today, neoliberal (free market) policies are the most direct causes of inequality and poverty. They tend to amplify preexisting class, race, gender, and regional disparities and to exacerbate ecological degradation. Reversing this outflow is just one challenge in the struggle for policy measures to establish a stronger funding base for the health sector. PMID:17436991
Bedrosian, Sara R; Young, Cathy E; Smith, Laura A; Cox, Joanne D; Manning, Craig; Pechta, Laura; Telfer, Jana L; Gaines-McCollom, Molly; Harben, Kathy; Holmes, Wendy; Lubell, Keri M; McQuiston, Jennifer H; Nordlund, Kristen; O'Connor, John; Reynolds, Barbara S; Schindelar, Jessica A; Shelley, Gene; Daniel, Katherine Lyon
During the response to the 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease (Ebola) epidemic in West Africa, CDC addressed the disease on two fronts: in the epidemic epicenter of West Africa and at home in the United States. Different needs drove the demand for information in these two regions. The severity of the epidemic was reflected not only in lives lost but also in the amount of fear, misinformation, and stigma that it generated worldwide. CDC helped increase awareness, promoted actions to stop the spread of Ebola, and coordinated CDC communication efforts with multiple international and domestic partners. CDC, with input from partners, vastly increased the number of Ebola communication materials for groups with different needs, levels of health literacy, and cultural preferences. CDC deployed health communicators to West Africa to support ministries of health in developing and disseminating clear, science-based messages and promoting science-based behavioral interventions. Partnerships in West Africa with local radio, television, and cell phone businesses made possible the dissemination of messages appropriate for maximum effect. CDC and its partners communicated evolving science and risk in a culturally appropriate way to motivate persons to adapt their behavior and prevent infection with and spread of Ebola virus. Acknowledging what is and is not known is key to effective risk communication, and CDC worked with partners to integrate health promotion and behavioral and cultural knowledge into the response to increase awareness of the actual risk for Ebola and to promote protective actions and specific steps to stop its spread. The activities summarized in this report would not have been possible without collaboration with many U.S. and international partners (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/partners.html). PMID:27386834
Odek, Willis Omondi
People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) in developing countries can live longer due to improved treatment access, and a deeper understanding of determinants of their quality of life is critical. This study assessed the link between social capital, operationally defined in terms of social networks (group-based and personal social networks) and access to network resources (access to material and non-material resources and social support) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among 554 (55% female) adults on HIV treatment through South Africa's public health system. Female study participants were involved with more group-based social networks but had fewer personal social networks in comparison to males. Access to network resources was higher among females and those from larger households but lower among older study participants. Experience of social support significantly increased with household economic status and duration at current residence. Social capital indicators were unrelated to HIV disease status indicators, including duration since diagnosis, CD4 count and viral load. Only a minority (13%) of study participants took part in groups formed by and for predominantly PLHIV (HIV support groups), and participation in such groups was unrelated to their mental or physical health. Personal rather than group-linked social networks and access to network resources were significantly associated with mental but not physical health, after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. The findings of limited participation in HIV support groups and that the participation in such groups was not significantly associated with physical or mental health may suggest efforts among PLHIV in South Africa to normalise HIV as a chronic illness through broad-based rather than HIV-status bounded social participation, as a strategy for deflecting stigma. Further research is required to examine the effects of HIV treatment on social networking and participation
Woods, David Lawrance
A high standard of newborn care, especially at a primary level, is needed to address the neonatal mortality rate in South Africa. The current approach to continuing training of health-care workers uses traditional methods of centralised teaching by formal tutors away from the place of work. This is no longer affordable, achievable or desirable, particularly in rural areas. An innovative system of self-directed learning by groups of nurses caring for mothers and their newborn infants uses specially prepared course books without the need for trainers. Using self-study supported by peer discussion groups, nurses can take responsibility for their own professional growth. This builds competence, confidence and a sense of pride. Since 1993, the Perinatal Education Programme has provided continuing learning opportunities for thousands of nurses in Southern Africa. A number of prospective trials have demonstrated that study groups can significantly improve knowledge and understanding, attitudes, clinical skills and quality of care provided to mothers and infants. A recent review of 10,000 successful participants across a wide range of provinces, ages and home languages documented the success of the project. Using a question-and-answer format to promote problem-solving, case studies, simple skills workshops and multiple choice tests, each module addresses common conditions with appropriate care practices such as thorough drying at birth, delayed cord-clamping, skin-to-skin care, breast feeding, basic resuscitation, correct use of oxygen therapy, hand-washing, blood glucose monitoring and promotion of parental bonding. The training material is now also available free of charge on an on-line website as well as being presented as e-books which can be downloaded onto personal computers, tablet readers and smart phones. This is supplemented by regular SMS text messages providing nurses with relevant 'knowledge bites'. All nurses caring for newborn infants now have easy
The Health Systems in Transition (HiT) profiles are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a health system and of policy initiatives in progress or under development. HiTs examine different approaches to the organization, financing and delivery of health services and the role of the main actors in health systems; describe the institutional framework, process, content and implementation of health and health care policies; and highlight challenges and areas that require more in-depth analysis. The health status of the Greek population has strongly improved over the last few decades and seems to compare relatively favourably with other OECD and European Union (EU) countries. The health system is a mixture of public integrated, public contract and public reimbursement models, comprising elements from both the public and private sectors and incorporating principles of different organizational patterns. Access to services is based on citizenship as well as on occupational status.The system is financed by the state budget, social insurance contributions and private payments.The largest share of health expenditure constitutes private expenditure, mainly in the form of out of pocket payments which is also the element contributing most to the overall increase in health expenditure. The delivery of health care services is based on both public and private providers. The presence of private providers is more obvious in primary care,especially in diagnostic technologies, private physicians' practices and pharmaceuticals. Despite success in improving the health of the population, the Greek health care system faces serious structural problems concerning the organization, financing and delivery of services. It suffers from the absence of cost-containment measures and defined criteria for funding, resulting in sickness funds experiencing economic constraints and budget deficits. The high percentage of private expenditure goes against the principle of fair
Gilbert, Tal; Gilbert, Leah
This paper reviews some of the multiple influences on health issues in South Africa, placing them in the context of globalisation. By examining the complexity of factors, both domestic and global, which impact on these issues, it questions the extent to which global patterns in areas such as health policy, HIV/AIDS, health care pluralism, and neo-liberal macroeconomic policy have played out in South Africa. The identification of some of the multiple and complex forces in each case reveals a relatively consistent story of global pressures interacting with domestic realities, with some recognizably local results. There is no doubt that a full and nuanced understanding of health in South Africa requires an appreciation of developments in the global political economy, international organizations such as the WHO and World Bank, and forces which operate outside of institutions. In each case, however, the specific opportunities available to actors within the country, as well as the relative power of those actors, should be given their due consideration in analysing their potential impact on health matters. PMID:15036812
Senkubuge, Flavia; Modisenyane, Moeketsi; Bishaw, Tewabech
Background: The rising burden of disease and weak health systems are being compounded by the persistent economic downturn, re-emerging diseases, and violent conflicts. There is a growing recognition that the global health agenda needs to shift from an emphasis on disease-specific approaches to strengthening of health systems, including dealing with social, environmental, and economic determinants through multisectoral responses.Methods: A review and analysis of data on strengthening health se...
Ringard, Ånen; Sagan, Anna; Sperre Saunes, Ingrid; Lindahl, Anne Karin
Norways five million inhabitants are spread over nearly four hundred thousand square kilometres, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. It has enjoyed several decades of high growth, following the start of oil production in early 1970s, and is now one of the richest countries per head in the world. Overall, Norways population enjoys good health status; life expectancy of 81.53 years is above the EU average of 80.14, and the gap between overall life expectancy and healthy life years is around half the of EU average. The health care system is semi decentralized. The responsibility for specialist care lies with the state (administered by four Regional Health Authorities) and the municipalities are responsible for primary care. Although health care expenditure is only 9.4% of Norways GDP (placing it on the 16th place in the WHO European region), given Norways very high value of GDP per capita, its health expenditure per head is higher than in most countries. Public sources account for over 85% of total health expenditure; the majority of private health financing comes from households out-of-pocket payments.The number of practitioners in most health personnel groups, including physicians and nurses, has been increasing in the last few decades and the number of health care personnel per 100 000 inhabitants is high compared to other EU countries. However, long waiting times for elective care continue to be a problem and are cause of dissatisfaction among the patients. The focus of health care reforms has seen shifts over the past four decades. During the 1970s the focus was on equality and increasing geographical access to health care services; during the 1980s reforms aimed at achieving cost containment and decentralizing health care services; during the 1990s the focus was on efficiency. Since the beginning of the millennium the emphasis has been given to structural changes in the delivery and organization of health care and to policies
Full Text Available Abstract Background While decentralized and integrated primary mental healthcare forms the core of mental health policies in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs, implementation remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to understand how the use of a common implementation framework could assist in the integration of mental health into primary healthcare in Ugandan and South African district demonstration sites. The foci and form of the services developed differed across the country sites depending on the service gaps and resources available. South Africa focused on reducing the service gap for common mental disorders and Uganda, for severe mental disorders. Method A qualitative post-intervention process evaluation using focus group and individual interviews with key stakeholders was undertaken in both sites. The emergent data was analyzed using framework analysis. Results Sensitization of district management authorities and the establishment of community collaborative multi-sectoral forums assisted in improving political will to strengthen mental health services in both countries. Task shifting using community health workers emerged as a promising strategy for improving access to services and help seeking behaviour in both countries. However, in Uganda, limited application of task shifting to identification and referral, as well as limited availability of psychotropic medication and specialist mental health personnel, resulted in a referral bottleneck. To varying degrees, community-based self-help groups showed potential for empowering service users and carers to become more self sufficient and less dependent on overstretched healthcare systems. They also showed potential for promoting social inclusion and addressing stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses of people with mental disorders in both country sites. Conclusions A common implementation framework incorporating a community collaborative multi-sectoral, task shifting
Istepanian, Robert; Laxminarayan, Swamy; Pattichis, Constantinos S.
M-health can be defined as the "emerging mobile communications and network technologies for healthcare systems.' This book paves the path toward understanding the future of m-health technologies and services and also introducing the impact of mobility on existing e-health and commercial telemedical systems. M-Health: Emerging Mobile Health Systems presents a new and forward-looking source of information that explores the present and future trends in the applications of current and emerging wireless communication and network technologies for different healthcare scenaria.
Macharia William M
Full Text Available Abstract Background We systematically reviewed existing national child health research priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the processes used to determine them. Methods Collaborators from a purposive sample of 20 WHO-AFRO Region countries, assisted by key informants from a range of governmental, non-governmental, research and funding organisations and universities, identified and located potentially eligible prioritisation documents. Included documents were those published between 1990 and 2002 from national or nationally accredited institutions describing national health research priorities for child health, alone or as part of a broader report in which children were a clearly identifiable group. Laboratory, clinical, public health and policy research were included. Two reviewers independently assessed eligibility for inclusion and extracted data. Results Eight of 33 potentially eligible reports were included. Five reports focused on limited areas of child health. The remaining three included child-specific categories in reports of general research priorities, with two such child-specific categories limited to reproductive health. In a secondary analysis of Essential National Health Research reports that included children, though not necessarily as an identifiable group, the reporting of priorities varied markedly in format and numbers of priorities listed, despite a standard recommended approach. Comparison and synthesis of reported priorities was not possible. Conclusion Few systematically developed national research priorities for child health exist in sub-Saharan Africa. Children's interests may be distorted in prioritisation processes that combine all age groups. Future development of priorities requires a common reporting framework and specific consideration of childhood priorities.
Ahmedov, Mohir; Azimov, Ravshan; Mutalova, Zulkhumor; Huseynov, Shahin; Tsoyi, Elena; Rechel, Bernd
Uzbekistan is a central Asian country that became independent in 1991 with the break-up of the Soviet Union. Since then, it has embarked on several major health reforms covering health care provision, governance and financing, with the aim of improving efficiency while ensuring equitable access. Primary care in rural areas has been changed to a two-tiered system, while specialized polyclinics in urban areas are being transformed into general polyclinics covering all groups of the urban population. Secondary care is financed on the basis of past expenditure and inputs (and increasingly self-financing through user fees), while financing of primary care is increasingly based on capitation. There are also efforts to improve allocative efficiency, with a slowly increasing share of resources devoted to the reformed primary health care system. Health care provision has largely remained in public ownership but nearly half of total health care expenditure comes from private sources, mostly in the form of out-of-pocket expenditure. There is a basic benefits package, which includes primary care, emergency care and care for certain disease and population categories. Yet secondary care and outpatient pharmaceuticals are not included in the benefits package for most of the population, and the reliance on private health expenditure results in inequities and catastrophic expenditure for households. While the share of public expenditure is slowly increasing, financial protection thus remains an area of concern. Quality of care is another area that is receiving increasing attention. PMID:25689490
Louw, Julia S.; Mabaso, Musawenkosi; PELTZER, Karl
Introduction Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health challenge in South Africa. However, little attention is paid to the impact of health related quality of life (HRQL) among TB patients at the beginning and at the end of TB treatment. This study assesses factors associated with HRQL among tuberculosis patients in three high risk provinces in South Africa. Methods A prospective cohort study was conducted at primary health care settings. Patients completed the HRQL social fun...
The shrinking size and weight of electronic circuitry has given rise to a new generation of smart clothing that enables biological data to be measured and transmitted. As the variation in the number and type of deployable devices and sensors increases, technology must allow their seamless integration so they can be electrically powered, operated, and recharged over a digital pathway. Nyx Illuminated Clothing Company has developed a lightweight health monitoring system that integrates medical sensors, electrodes, electrical connections, circuits, and a power supply into a single wearable assembly. The system is comfortable, bendable in three dimensions, durable, waterproof, and washable. The innovation will allow astronaut health monitoring in a variety of real-time scenarios, with data stored in digital memory for later use in a medical database. Potential commercial uses are numerous, as the technology enables medical personnel to noninvasively monitor patient vital signs in a multitude of health care settings and applications.
Objectives The study aimed to assess the oral health promotion services provided as part of the maternal and child health (MCH) services in the Tshwane Health District, Pretoria, South Africa. Methods The research design was a descriptive cross-sectional study using a modified standard questionnaire. The population was drawn from the parents/caregivers (PCGs) and the MCH nurses at seven clinics during June 2012 and June 2013 in Pretoria. Results The nurses’ response rate was 83%; average age ...
Seims, Sara; Khadduri, Rolla
Recent studies on development aid from European donors revealed that their funding of the health sector in sub-Saharan Africa rarely includes performance measures suitable for tracking operational progress in improving sexual and reproductive health and rights. Analysis of health sector agreements verifies this. Particularly lacking are metrics related to four critically important areas: (1) reducing mortality and morbidity from unsafe abortion, (2) preventing and treating gender-based violence, (3) reducing unwanted pregnancies among the poorest women, and (4) reducing unwanted pregnancies among adolescents. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, the authors interviewed 85 experts in health service delivery, ministries of health, human rights, development economics and social science from sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the United States. We asked them to identify measures to assess progress in these areas, and built on their responses to propose up to four practical performance measures for each of the areas, for inclusion in health sector support agreements. These measures are meant to supplement, not replace, current population-based measures such as changes in maternal mortality ratios. The feasibility of using these performance measures requires political commitment from donors and governments, investment in baseline data, and expanding the role of sexual and reproductive health and rights civil society in determining priorities. PMID:23245424
Eleanor E. MacPherson
Full Text Available Background: Gender inequalities are important social determinants of health. We set out to critically review the literature relating to gender equity and sexual and reproductive health (SRH in Eastern and Southern Africa with the aim of identifying priorities for action. Design: During November 2011, we identified studies relating to SRH and gender equity through a comprehensive literature search. Results: We found gender inequalities to be common across a range of health issues relating to SRH with women being particularly disadvantaged. Social and biological determinants combined to increase women's vulnerability to maternal mortality, HIV, and gender-based violence. Health systems significantly disadvantaged women in terms of access to care. Men fared worse in relation to HIV testing and care with social norms leading to men presenting later for treatment. Conclusions: Gender inequity in SRH requires multiple complementary approaches to address the structural drivers of unequal health outcomes. These could include interventions that alter the structural environment in which ill-health is created. Interventions are required both within and beyond the health system.
Canada is a high-income country with a population of 33 million people. Its economic performance has been solid despite the recession that began in 2008. Life expectancy in Canada continues to rise and is high compared with most OECD countries; however, infant and maternal mortality rates tend to be worse than in countries such as Australia, France and Sweden. About 70% of total health expenditure comes from the general tax revenues of the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Most public revenues for health are used to provide universal medicare (medically necessary hospital and physician services that are free at the point of service for residents) and to subsidise the costs of outpatient prescription drugs and long-term care. Health care costs continue to grow at a faster rate than the economy and government revenue, largely driven by spending on prescription drugs. In the last five years, however, growth rates in pharmaceutical spending have been matched by hospital spending and overtaken by physician spending, mainly due to increased provider remuneration. The governance, organization and delivery of health services is highly decentralized, with the provinces and territories responsible for administering medicare and planning health services. In the last ten years there have been no major pan-Canadian health reform initiatives but individual provinces and territories have focused on reorganizing or fine tuning their regional health systems and improving the quality, timeliness and patient experience of primary, acute and chronic care. The medicare system has been effective in providing Canadians with financial protection against hospital and physician costs. However, the narrow scope of services covered under medicare has produced important gaps in coverage and equitable access may be a challenge in these areas. PMID:23628429
Full Text Available The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and determinants of chronic non-communicable disease (NCD risk factors in a rural community in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.This survey was conducted using the WHO "STEPwise approach to the surveillance of non-communicable diseases" (STEPS methodology. Participants were residents of the Dikgale HDSS site and standardised international protocols were used to measure behavioural risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable intake and, physical activity and physical characteristics (weight, height, waist and hip circumferences and blood pressure-BP. Fasting blood glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol and HDL-C were determined in 732 participants. Data were analysed using STATA 12 for Windows.The prevalence of current smokers amongst the participants was 13.7%, of which 81.3% were daily smokers. Alcohol was consumed by 16.3% of the participants. The majority of participants (88.6% had low daily intake of fruit and vegetables and low physical activity (66.5%. The prevalence of hypertension amongst the participants was 38.2%. Overweight, obesity and high waist circumference were prevalent in females. The cardio-metabolic risk profile was not significantly different between men and women. People who were older than 40 years, overweight or obese and those who consumed alcohol were more likely to be hypertensive. Smoking was associated significantly with older age, males, never married and divorced people. Alcohol consumption was associated with older age, males, low educational status and low income.High levels of risk factors for NCDs among adults in the Dikgale HDSS suggest an urgent need for health interventions to control these risk factors at the population level in order to reduce the prevalence of NCDs.
Berman, Peter; Bitran, Ricardo
Health system strengthening and reform are often necessary actions to achieve better outcomes. The World Bank's 2007 strategy for health, nutrition, and population emphasizes the importance of health system strengthening for results. This paper proposes 'health systems analysis' as a distinct methodology that should be developed and practiced in the design of policies and programs for heal...
Yadav, Sankalp; Rawal, Gautam
The epidemic of Ebola virus disease has claimed many lives. The impact of this disease is evident in the mental health of the survivors. The mere drafting of policies will not help; rather execution at the ground level is essential. There is an urgent need, to focus on the ways by which the sufferings should be reduced. The present article throws light on this grave problem in Africa. PMID:26557543
Newton Paul N; Green Michael D; Mildenhall Dallas C; Plançon Aline; Nettey Henry; Nyadong Leonard; Hostetler Dana M; Swamidoss Isabel; Harris Glenn A; Powell Kristen; Timmermans Ans E; Amin Abdinasir A; Opuni Stephen K; Barbereau Serge; Faurant Claude
Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a major public health problem. A vital component of malaria control rests on the availability of good quality artemisinin-derivative based combination therapy (ACT) at the correct dose. However, there are increasing reports of poor quality anti-malarials in Africa. Methods Seven collections of artemisinin derivative monotherapies, ACT and halofantrine anti-malarials of suspicious quality were collected in 2002/10 in eleven African coun...
Newton Paul N
Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a major public health problem. A vital component of malaria control rests on the availability of good quality artemisinin-derivative based combination therapy (ACT at the correct dose. However, there are increasing reports of poor quality anti-malarials in Africa. Methods Seven collections of artemisinin derivative monotherapies, ACT and halofantrine anti-malarials of suspicious quality were collected in 2002/10 in eleven African countries and in Asia en route to Africa. Packaging, chemical composition (high performance liquid chromatography, direct ionization mass spectrometry, X-ray diffractometry, stable isotope analysis and botanical investigations were performed. Results Counterfeit artesunate containing chloroquine, counterfeit dihydroartemisinin (DHA containing paracetamol (acetaminophen, counterfeit DHA-piperaquine containing sildenafil, counterfeit artemether-lumefantrine containing pyrimethamine, counterfeit halofantrine containing artemisinin, and substandard/counterfeit or degraded artesunate and artesunate+amodiaquine in eight countries are described. Pollen analysis was consistent with manufacture of counterfeits in eastern Asia. These data do not allow estimation of the frequency of poor quality anti-malarials in Africa. Conclusions Criminals are producing diverse harmful anti-malarial counterfeits with important public health consequences. The presence of artesunate monotherapy, substandard and/or degraded and counterfeit medicines containing sub-therapeutic amounts of unexpected anti-malarials will engender drug resistance. With the threatening spread of artemisinin resistance to Africa, much greater investment is required to ensure the quality of ACTs and removal of artemisinin monotherapies. The International Health Regulations may need to be invoked to counter these serious public health problems.
Branson, Nicola; Ardington, Cally; Leibbrandt, Murray
This paper analyzes whether children born to teen mothers in Cape Town, South Africa are disadvantaged in terms of their health outcomes because their mother is a teen. Exploiting the longitudinal nature of the Cape Area Panel Study, we assess whether observable differences between teen mothers and slightly older mothers can explain why first-born children of teen mothers appear disadvantaged. Our balanced regressions indicate that observed characteristics cannot explain the full extent of di...
Džakula, Aleksandar; Sagan, Anna; Pavić, Nika; Lonćčarek, Karmen; Sekelj-Kauzlarić, Katarina
Croatia is a small central European country on the Balkan peninsula, with a population of approximately 4.3 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of 62% of the European Union (EU) average (expressed in purchasing power parity; PPP) in 2012. On 1 July 2013, Croatia became the 28th Member State of the EU. Life expectancy at birth has been increasing steadily in Croatia (with a small decline in the years following the 1991 to 1995 War of Independence) but is still lower than the EU average. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the population has increased during recent years and trends in physical inactivity are alarming. The Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF), established in 1993, is the sole insurer in the mandatory health insurance (MHI) system that provides universal health coverage to the whole population. The ownership of secondary health care facilities is distributed between the State and the counties. The financial position of public hospitals is weak and recent reforms were aimed at improving this. The introduction of concessions in 2009 (public private partnerships whereby county governments organize tenders for the provision of specific primary health care services) allowed the counties to play a more active role in the organization, coordination and management of primary health care; most primary care practices have been privatized. The proportion of GDP spent on health by the Croatian government remains relatively low compared to western Europe, as does the per capita health expenditure. Although the share of public expenditure as a proportion of total health expenditure (THE) has been decreasing, at around 82% it is still relatively high, even by European standards. The main source of the CHIFs revenue is compulsory health insurance contributions, accounting for 76% of the total revenues of the CHIF, although only about a third of the population (active workers) is liable to pay full health care contributions. Although the breadth and scope
Shah, Sonal; Rollins, Nigel C; Bland, Ruth
The aim of the study was to conduct a rapid assessment of breastfeeding knowledge amongst health workers in an area of high HIV prevalence. A cross-sectional survey using semi-structured questionnaires and problem-based scenarios was carried out. Responses were compared to those recommended in the World Health Organization (WHO) Breastfeeding Counselling Course. The setting was a rural area of KwaZulu Natal, with a population of 220 000 people. At the time of the study approximately 36 per cent of pregnant women were HIV-infected and no programme to prevent mother-to-child transmission was in place. A convenient sample of 71 healthcare workers (14 doctors, 25 professional nurses, 16 staff nurses, and 16 community health workers) were included in the study. Over 50% of respondents had given breastfeeding advice to clients over the previous month. However, there were significant discrepancies in breastfeeding knowledge compared to WHO recommendations. Ninety-three per cent (n = 13) of doctors knew that breastfeeding should be initiated within 30 min of delivery, but 71 per cent (n = 10) would recommend water, and 50 per cent (n = 7) solids to breastfed infants under 6 months of age. Fifty-seven per cent (n = 8) considered glucose water necessary for neonatal jaundice, constipation, and for infants immediately after delivery. Only 44 per cent (n = 7) of staff nurses and 56 per cent (n = 14) of professional nurses knew that breastfeeding should be on demand. The majority would recommend water, formula milk, and solids to breastfed infants under 6 months of age, and glucose water for neonatal jaundice and immediately after delivery. Knowledge of community health workers differed most from WHO recommendations: only 37 per cent (n = 6) knew that breastfeeding should be initiated within 30 min of delivery, 68 per cent (n = 11) thought breastfeeding should be on schedule and not on demand, and the majority would recommend supplements to infants under 6 months of age. Few
Lala, S G; Britz, R; Botha, J; Loveland, J
Paediatric liver transplantation (PLT) is the only therapeutic option for many children with end-stage chronic liver disease or irreversible fulminant hepatic failure, and is routinely considered as a therapy by paediatric gastroenterologists and surgeons working in developed countries. In South Africa (SA), a PLT programme has been available at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town since November 1991, and another has rapidly developed at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg over the past decade. However, for most children with progressive chronic liver disease who are reliant on the services provided at state facilities in SA, PLT is not an option because of a lack of resources in a mismanaged public health system. This article briefly outlines the services offered at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital--which is typical of state facilities in SA--and proposes that resources be allocated to establish an innovative, nationally funded centre that would enable greater numbers of children access to a PLT programme. PMID:26038799
Leonard E.G. Mboera
Full Text Available In sub-Saharan Africa, communicable diseases (CDs are the leading public health problems and major causes of morbidity and mortality. CDs result in significant individual suffering, disrupting daily life, threatening livelihoods and causing one-third of the years lost to illness or death worldwide. This paper aims to analyse the current strategies in the control and prevention of CDs in sub-Saharan Africa and proposes an ecohealth approach in relation to current changing epidemiological profiles. Whilst in recent years the burden of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria have helped to mobilise large amounts of funding and expertise to help address them, many CDs, particularly those affecting the poor, have been neglected. People living in rural areas are also likely to be politically marginalised and living in degraded environments. They often lack assets, knowledge and opportunities to gain access to health care or protect themselves from infections. New diseases are also emerging at unprecedented rates and require attention. Many CDs are rooted in environmental and livelihood conditions and mediated by social and individual determinants. It is now increasingly recognised that a much broader, coordinated and multi-sectoral ecohealth approach is required to address CDs in sub-Saharan Africa. An ecohealth approach has been shown to be more robust in public health interventions than the traditional medical approach. The approach helps to generate an understanding of ecosystem factors that influence the emergence and spread of both old and new diseases, considers temporal and spatial dimensions of disease infection and allows systems thinking. In conclusion, establishing intersectoral and multisectoral linkages is important to facilitate joint efforts to address CDs at the national, district and community levels.
Mboera, Leonard E G; Mfinanga, Sayoki G; Karimuribo, Esron D; Rumisha, Susan F; Sindato, Calvin
In sub-Saharan Africa, communicable diseases (CDs) are the leading public health problems and major causes of morbidity and mortality. CDs result in significant individual suffering, disrupting daily life, threatening livelihoods and causing one-third of the years lost to illness or death worldwide. This paper aims to analyse the current strategies in the control and prevention of CDs in sub-Saharan Africa and proposes an ecohealth approach in relation to current changing epidemiological profiles. Whilst in recent years the burden of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria have helped to mobilise large amounts of funding and expertise to help address them, many CDs, particularly those affecting the poor, have been neglected. People living in rural areas are also likely to be politically marginalised and living in degraded environments. They often lack assets, knowledge and opportunities to gain access to health care or protect themselves from infections. New diseases are also emerging at unprecedented rates and require attention. Many CDs are rooted in environmental and livelihood conditions and mediated by social and individual determinants. It is now increasingly recognised that a much broader, coordinated and multi-sectoral ecohealth approach is required to address CDs in sub-Saharan Africa. An ecohealth approach has been shown to be more robust in public health interventions than the traditional medical approach. The approach helps to generate an understanding of ecosystem factors that influence the emergence and spread of both old and new diseases, considers temporal and spatial dimensions of disease infection and allows systems thinking. In conclusion, establishing intersectoral and multisectoral linkages is important to facilitate joint efforts to address CDs at the national, district and community levels. PMID:25004929
terms of values and norms. This paper focuses on South Africa as member of the BRICS. It is the newest member of the BRICS, accepted December 2010, and is dwarfed by the other BRICS countries both in terms of size of its population and its economy to an extent that it can be questioned why it has been...... accepted into the BRICS. This paper will argue that the explanation has to be found at the political level, where South Africa claims to be representing Africa in BRICS. The paper examines South Africa’s role in Africa and scrutinises to what extent South Africa has got the backing of the Sub...
Full Text Available Background: This article provided an analysis of gender inequality, health expenditure and its relationship to maternal mortality.Objective: The objective of this article was to explore gender inequality and its relationship with health expenditure and maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA. A unique analysis was used to correlate the Gender Inequality Index (GII, Health Expenditure and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR. The GII captured inequalities across three dimensions – Reproductive health, Women empowerment and Labour force participation between men and women. The GII is a composite index introduced by the UNDP in 2010 and corrects for the disadavanatges of the other gender indices. Although the GII incorporates MMR in its calculation, it should not be taken as a substitute for, but rather as complementary to, the MMR.Method: An exploratory and descriptive design to a secondary documentary review using quantitative data and qualitative information was used. The article referred to sub-Saharan Africa, but seven countries were purposively selected for an in-depth analysis based on the availability of data. The countries selected were Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique,South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.Results: Countries with high gender inequality captured by the gender inequality index were associated with high maternal mortality ratios as compared with countries with lower gender inequality, whilst countries that spend less on health were associated with higher maternal deaths than countries that spend more.Conclusion: A potential relationship exists between gender inequality, health expenditure, and maternal mortality. Gender inequalities are systematic and occur at the macro, societal and household levels.
Rispel, Laetitia C; de Sousa, César A D Palha; Molomo, Boitumelo G
The global resurgence of interest in the social determinants of health provides an opportunity for determined action on unacceptable and unjust health inequalities that exist within and between countries. This paper reviews three categories of social inclusion policies: cash-transfers; free social services; and specific institutional arrangements for programme integration in six selected countries--Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. The policies were appraised as part of the Social Exclusion Knowledge Network (SEKN) set up under the auspices of the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The paper highlights the development landscape in sub-Saharan Africa and presents available indicators of the scale of inequity in the six countries. A summary of the policies appraised is presented, including whether or what the impact of these policies has been on health inequalities. Cross-cutting benefits include poverty alleviation, notably among vulnerable children and youths, improved economic opportunities for disadvantaged households, reduction in access barriers to social services, and improved nutrition intake. The impact of these benefits, and hence the policies, on health status can only be inferred. Among the policies reviewed, weaknesses or constraints were in design and implementation. The policy design weaknesses include targeting criteria, their enforcement and latent costs, inadequate participation of the community and failure to take the cultural context into account. A major weakness of most policies was the lack of a monitoring and evaluation system, with clear indicators that incorporate system responsiveness. The policy implementation weaknesses include uneven regional implementation with rural areas worst affected; inadequate or poor administrative and implementation capacity; insufficient resources; problems of fraud and corruption; and lack of involvement of civil servants, exacerbating
Doherty, Jane E
International evidence shows that, if poorly regulated, the private health sector may lead to distortions in the type, quantity, distribution, quality and price of health services, as well as anti-competitive behaviour. This article provides an overview of legislation governing the for-profit private health sector in East and Southern Africa. It identifies major implementation problems and suggests strategies Ministries of Health could adopt to regulate the private sector more effectively and in line with key public health objectives. This qualitative study was based on a document review of existing legislation in the region, and seven semi-structured interviews with individuals selected purposively on the basis of their experience in policymaking and legislation. Legislation was categorized according to its objectives and the level at which it operates. A thematic content analysis was conducted on interview transcripts. Most legislation focuses on controlling the entry of health professionals and organizations into the market. Most countries have not developed adequate legislation around behaviour following entry. Generally the type and quality of services provided by private practitioners and facilities are not well-regulated or monitored. Even where there is specific health insurance regulation, provisions seldom address open enrolment, community rating and comprehensive benefit packages (except in South Africa). There is minimal control of prices. Several countries are updating and improving legislation although, in most cases, this is without the benefit of an overarching policy on the private sector, or reference to wider public health objectives. Policymakers in the East and Southern African region need to embark on a programme of action to strengthen regulatory frameworks and instruments in relation to private health care provision and insurance. They should not underestimate the power of the private health sector to undermine efforts for increased
Full Text Available Abstract Background Diabetes prevalence is increasing globally, and Sub-Saharan Africa is no exception. With diverse health challenges, health authorities in Sub-Saharan Africa and international donors need robust data on the epidemiology and impact of diabetes in order to plan and prioritise their health programmes. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the epidemiological trends and public health implications of diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Methods We conducted a systematic literature review of papers published on diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa 1999-March 2011, providing data on diabetes prevalence, outcomes (chronic complications, infections, and mortality, access to diagnosis and care and economic impact. Results Type 2 diabetes accounts for well over 90% of diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa, and population prevalence proportions ranged from 1% in rural Uganda to 12% in urban Kenya. Reported type 1 diabetes prevalence was low and ranged from 4 per 100,000 in Mozambique to 12 per 100,000 in Zambia. Gestational diabetes prevalence varied from 0% in Tanzania to 9% in Ethiopia. Proportions of patients with diabetic complications ranged from 7-63% for retinopathy, 27-66% for neuropathy, and 10-83% for microalbuminuria. Diabetes is likely to increase the risk of several important infections in the region, including tuberculosis, pneumonia and sepsis. Meanwhile, antiviral treatment for HIV increases the risk of obesity and insulin resistance. Five-year mortality proportions of patients with diabetes varied from 4-57%. Screening studies identified high proportions (> 40% with previously undiagnosed diabetes, and low levels of adequate glucose control among previously diagnosed diabetics. Barriers to accessing diagnosis and treatment included a lack of diagnostic tools and glucose monitoring equipment and high cost of diabetes treatment. The total annual cost of diabetes in the region was estimated at US$67.03 billion
Injuries are common and on increase in most developing countries, including sub-Saharan Africa. A large proportion of the injuries are caused by road traffic accidents, falls, burns, assaults, bites, stings and other animal-related injuries, poisonings, drownings/near-drownings and suicide. Globally, injuries are responsible for about five per cent of the total mortality, and the overall global annual costs were estimated in the late 1980s at around 500 billion US dollars. The burden and pattern of injuries in Africa and other developing areas are poorly known and not well studied. The incidence is on the increase, partly due to rapid growth of motorised transport and to expansion of industrial production without adequate safety precautions. This is a review of data on various kinds of injuries in developing countries with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. A computerised search of the relevant literature published between 1985 and 1998 was conducted and a manual search of journals publishing texts on health in low-income countries and in tropical environments was also done. A few studies on injury prevention policy and on research related to injury epidemiology and prevention have also been identified and included. It is concluded that in a relatively typical East African area with a total mortality rate of 1,300/100,000/year, injuries are likely to cause around 100 of these deaths. The corresponding total rate of significant injuries is estimated at 40,000/100,000/year with a breakdown as tabulated below. [table: see text] Although a few surveys and other investigations of injuries have been conducted over the years, injury epidemiology and control remain under-researched and relatively neglected subject areas. Much needs to be done. Collection and analysis of injury data need to be standardised, for example regarding age groups, gender disaggregation and severity. Injuries and accidents should be subdivided in at least road traffic injury, fall, burn, assault
Full Text Available Abstract Low-income countries with high HIV/AIDS burdens in sub-Saharan Africa must deal with severe shortages of qualified human resources for health. This situation has triggered the renewed interest in community health workers, as they may play an important role in scaling-up antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS by taking over a number of tasks from the professional health workers. Currently, a wide variety of community health workers are active in many antiretroviral treatment delivery sites. This article investigates whether present community health worker programmes for antiretroviral treatment are taking into account the lessons learnt from past experiences with community health worker programmes in primary health care and to what extent they are seizing the new antiretroviral treatment-specific opportunities. Based on a desk review of multi-purpose community health worker programmes for primary health care and of recent experiences with antiretroviral treatment-related community health workers, we developed an analytic framework of 10 criteria: eight conditions for successful large-scale antiretroviral treatment-related community health worker programmes and two antiretroviral treatment-specific opportunities. Our appraisal of six community health worker programmes, which we identified during field work in Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda in 2007, shows that while some lessons from the past have been learnt, others are not being sufficiently considered and antiretroviral treatment-specific opportunities are not being sufficiently seized. In particular, all programmes have learnt the lesson that without adequate remuneration, community health workers cannot be retained in the long term. Yet we contend that the apparently insufficient attention to issues such as quality supervision and continuous training will lead to decreasing quality of the programmes over time. The life experience of people living with HIV/AIDS is still a relatively
Full Text Available Background: The increase in disease burden has continued to weigh upon health systems in Africa. The role of the laboratory has become increasingly critical in the improvement of health for diagnosis, management and treatment of diseases. In response, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO and its partners created the WHO AFRO Stepwise Laboratory (Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA program.SLIPTA implementation process: WHO AFRO defined a governance structure with roles and responsibilities for six main stakeholders. Laboratories were evaluated by auditors trained and certified by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. Laboratory performance was measured using the WHO AFRO SLIPTA scoring checklist and recognition certificates rated with 1–5 stars were issued.Preliminary results: By March 2015, 27 of the 47 (57% WHO AFRO member states had appointed a SLIPTA focal point and 14 Ministers of Health had endorsed SLIPTA as the desired programme for continuous quality improvement. Ninety-eight auditors from 17 African countries, competent in the Portuguese (3, French (12 and English (83 languages, were trained and certified. The mean score for the 159 laboratories audited between May 2013 and March 2015 was 69% (median 70%; SD 11.5; interquartile range 62–77. Of these audited laboratories, 70% achieved 55% compliance or higher (2 or more stars and 1% scored at least 95% (5 stars. The lowest scoring sections of the WHO AFRO SLIPTA checklist were sections 6 (Internal Audit and 10 (Corrective Action, which both had mean scores below 50%.Conclusion: The WHO AFRO SLIPTA is a process that countries with limited resources can adopt for effective implementation of quality management systems. Political commitment, ownership and investment in continuous quality improvement are integral components of the process.Keywords: WHO/AFRO; Strengthening Laboratory Quality Improvement Towards Accreditation
Sirintrapun, S Joseph; Artz, David R
This article provides surgical pathologists an overview of health information systems (HISs): what they are, what they do, and how such systems relate to the practice of surgical pathology. Much of this article is dedicated to the electronic medical record. Information, in how it is captured, transmitted, and conveyed, drives the effectiveness of such electronic medical record functionalities. So critical is information from pathology in integrated clinical care that surgical pathologists are becoming gatekeepers of not only tissue but also information. Better understanding of HISs can empower surgical pathologists to become stakeholders who have an impact on the future direction of quality integrated clinical care. PMID:26851670
Full Text Available Many diseases in Africa can be prevented with appropriate public health interventions. This study aimed to assess the bibliometric characteristics of public health related research articles published by researchers in African institutions from 1991 to 2005. Data used in this study were obtained from the online version of the ISI Web of Science: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-Expanded. Articles published between 1991 and 2005 that had the phrase ‘public health’ in the title, author keywords or abstract, and had at least one author whose contact address was in an African country, were selected for analysis. The annual number of public health related articles published by African researchers significantly increased from 28 articles in 1991 to 135 articles in 2005, a 382% increase. International collaboration also increased: from 45% of articles having international collaborators during 1991–1995, to 52% during1996–2000, and to 67% during 2001–2005. Collaborations were mostly with European and North American countries. Keywords, subject categories and collaboration patterns of articles varied across regions, reflecting differences in needs and collaboration networks. Public health related research output, as well as international collaborations, have been increasing in Africa. Regional variation observed in this study may assist policymakers to facilitate the advancement of public health research in different regions of Africa, and could be useful for international organisations in identifying needs and to allocate research funding. Future bibliometric analyses of articles published by African researchers, can consider conducting regional comparisons using standardised methods, as well as describing the overall patterns, in order to provide a more comprehensive view of their bibliometric characteristics.
Francis B Zotor
Full Text Available The objective of this cross-sectional study was a comprehensive nutrition and health assessment to provide a basis for future intervention strategies for an elderly population attending a day-care centre. Socio-demographic, health and 24-hour recall dietary intake questionnaires were administered and anthropometric and biochemical measurements taken. The results indicate that the majority of respondents had an income of between R501 and R1 000 (South African rand per month and most of them reported an occasional lack of funds to meet basic household needs, confirming the presence of food insecurity. Daily dietary intakes (mean±Standard Deviation [SD] of the women were 5 395±2 946 kJ energy, 47±27 g protein, 28±21 g fat and 196±123 g carbohydrates compared to 8 641±3 799 kJ, 86±48 g, 49±32 g and 301±139 g of the men, respectively. The majority (83.6% of the women were overweight (body mass index [BMI] >25 or obese (BMI > 30 whilst 78% had a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC of > 21.7 cm. Mean intakes of micronutrients were low in comparison to reference standards and serum zinc levels were suboptimal. Obesity, hypertension and raised total serum cholesterol levels indicated an increased risk for coronary heart disease. It can be concluded that a low income, household food insecurity and risk factors associated with malnutrition and non-communicable diseases were prevalent in this elderly population. Opsomming Die doelwit van hierdie dwarssnitstudie was ‘n omvattende bepaling van voeding- en gesondheidstatus om as basis te dien vir toekomstige intervensie-strategieë vir ’n groep bejaardes wat ’n dagsentrum besoek. Sosiodemografiese, gesondheid- en 24-uur herroep-dieetinname vraelyste is voltooi en antropometriese en biochemiese metings is geneem. Die resultate het bevestig dat die meerderheid respondente ‘n maandelikse inkomste van tussen R501 en R1 000 (Suid-Afrikaanse rand gehad het. Die meeste het ‘n geldtekort vir
Lambert, Helen; Wood, Kate
This paper provides a comparative analysis of modes of dialogue, non-verbal communication and embodied action relating to sex and health in two contrasting countries-India and South Africa-which have the world's two most heavily HIV-affected populations (in terms of numbers of people living with HIV). Drawing on material derived from multiple studies, including ethnographic and other forms of qualitative and multi-disciplinary research, the paper identifies commonalities as well as differences in communication relating to sex and sexual health in these diverse settings. The paper considers: first, how and by whom sex is and is not talked about, in public discourse and private conversation; second, how sexual intention and desire are communicated through indirect, non-verbal means in everyday life; and third, how references to sexuality and the sexual body re-enter within a more explicit set of indigenous discourses about health (rather than 'sexual health' per se), such as semen loss in India and womb 'dirtiness' in South Africa. The concluding section reflects on the implications of a comparative analysis such as this for current policy emphases on the importance of promoting verbal communication skills as part of 'life skills' for HIV prevention. PMID:16864220
Full Text Available Background: When developing intervention research, it is important to explore issues from the community perspective. Interventions that promote adolescent health in South Africa are urgently needed, and Project Ntshembo (‘hope’ aims to improve the health of young women and their offspring in the Agincourt sub-district of rural northeast South Africa, actively using stakeholder involvement throughout the research process. Objective: This study aimed to determine adolescent health priorities according to key stakeholders, to align stakeholder and researcher priorities, and to form a stakeholder forum, which would be active throughout the intervention. Design: Thirty-two stakeholders were purposefully identified as community members interested in the health of adolescents. An adapted Delphi incorporating face-to-face discussions, as well as participatory visualisation, was used in a series of three workshops. Consensus was determined through non-parametric analysis. Results: Stakeholders and researchers agreed that peer pressure and lack of information, or having information but not acting on it, were the root causes of adolescent health problems. Pregnancy, HIV, school dropout, alcohol and drug abuse, not accessing health services, and unhealthy lifestyle (leading to obesity were identified as priority adolescent health issues. A diagram was developed showing how these eight priorities relate to one another, which was useful in the development of the intervention. A stakeholder forum was founded, comprising 12 of the stakeholders involved in the stakeholder involvement process. Conclusions: The process brought researchers and stakeholders to consensus on the most important health issues facing adolescents, and a stakeholder forum was developed within which to address the issues. Stakeholder involvement as part of a research engagement strategy can be of mutual benefit to the researchers and the community in which the research is taking place.
Due to the lack of Ebola outbreak early warning alert, preparedness, surveillance and response systems, the most deadly, complex and largest ever seen Ebola war has been devastating West African communities. The unparalleled Ebola tsunami has prompted interrogations into, and uncertainties about, the effectiveness and efficiency of national, regional and international community's illed- responses using conventional humanitarian control and containment approaches and methods. The late humanitarian and local non-government organisations emergency responses and challenges to curb transmission dynamics and stop the ongoing spread in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa have led to an unprecedented toll of 14,413 reported Ebola cases in eight countries since the outbreak began, with 5,177 reported deaths including 571 health-care workers and 325 died as 14 November 2014. These indications the need of further evaluation of monitoring as substantial proportion of infections outside the context of Ebola epicentres, Ebola health centres treatment and care, infection prevention and control quality assurance checks in these countries. At the same time, exhaustive efforts should target ensuring an sufficient supply of optimal personal protective equipment (PPE) to all Ebola treatment facilities, along with the provision of training and relevant guidelines to limit to the minimum possible level of risk. The continent hosts a big proportion of the world's wealth, yet its people live in abject poverty, with governments unable to feed and govern them effectively, and who are condemned to endure even darker moments with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Institutionalisation of practical and operational non-conventional emergency response models efficient health systems, and tailored programmes can clearly support to prevent, control and eventually stamp out Ebola geo-distribution in addition to population mental health services that are requisite to address the massive range of the
Miquel Reynés Ramón
Full Text Available Studies and analysis of African educational systems’ performance do not pay much attention to the role of families; to the value they give to school and to how this may affect their decisions. By contrast, there are numerous researches focused on the most subjective elements of the relation between families and school: the attitudes, meanings and representations families, separately or as members of a social class or ethnic group, have of school. In this paper we will give five examples, drawn on sociological and anthropological studies, of different schooling practices and family representations of school. These are examples situated in different contexts and geographical areas that will allow us to appreciate the level of heterogeneity of family-school relationships in Africa and that may contribute to make us think otherwise the evolution of these educational systems.
Full Text Available Background: Mid-level medical workers play an important role in health systems and hold great potential for addressing the human resource shortage, especially in low- and middle-income countries. South Africa began the production of its first mid-level medical workers – known as clinical associates – in small numbers in 2008. Objective: We describe the way in which scopes of practice and course design were negotiated and assess progress during the early years. We derive lessons for other countries wishing to introduce new types of mid-level worker. Methods: We conducted a rapid assessment in 2010 consisting of a review of 19 documents and 11 semi-structured interviews with a variety of stakeholders. A thematic analysis was performed. Results: Central to the success of the clinical associate training programme was a clear definition and understanding of the interests of various stakeholders. Stakeholder sensitivities were taken into account in the conceptualisation of the role and scope of practice of the clinical associate. This was achieved by dealing with quality of care concerns through service-based training and doctor supervision, and using a national curriculum framework to set uniform standards. Conclusions: This new mid-level medical worker can contribute to the quality of district hospital care and address human resource shortages. However, a number of significant challenges lie ahead. To sustain and expand on early achievements, clinical associates must be produced in greater numbers and the required funding, training capacity, public sector posts, and supervision must be made available. Retaining the new cadre will depend on the public system becoming an employer of choice. Nonetheless, the South African experience yields positive lessons that could be of use to other countries contemplating similar initiatives.
J. W. De Jager
Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to determine the levels of satisfaction in respect of pre identified internal marketing-related variables in a large provincial hospital in South Africa. Problem investigated: Low job satisfaction is often cited as a major cause of high turnover among health care providers worldwide. Likewise the Public Health Care Industry in South Africa is facing complex employee retention issues. In determining the reasons for high turnover an interest in evaluating employee satisfaction among health care providers has increased. Measuring components of job satisfaction will assist not only the health care organisations' management to understand hospital culture, but also to compile an effective internal marketing plan and strategy. Design/Methodology/Approach: A staff satisfaction survey was conducted amongst staff members at a provincial hospital in the Tshwane region, South Africa. Attitudes of staff on pre-identified staff satisfaction variables were assessed. These variables were employed to implement an internal marketing strategy. A list of variables was formulated after an extensive literature study had been conducted. A total of 416 staff members voluntarily completed a self-administered questionnaire. A five-point Likert type scale was used to measure the levels of satisfaction on staff-related issues, with a view to addressing issues in the internal marketing strategy. Findings : It was evident that the management principles currently employed by the management team were a cause for concern among staff members. Based on the analysis that identified the satisfaction variables best it was clear that management should take immediate steps to address the following issues : Clarification of hospital goals \\ objectives; Understanding the goals of the respective departments; The functioning of the Human resource department; Functioning of the overall hospital management; andImplications: This paper aims to present a
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To describe findings from an external quality assessment programme involving laboratories in Africa that routinely investigate epidemic-prone diseases. METHODS: Beginning in 2002, the Regional Office for Africa of the World Health Organization (WHO invited national public health laboratories and related facilities in Africa to participate in the programme. Three surveys comprising specimens and questionnaires associated with bacterial enteric diseases, bacterial meningitis, plague, tuberculosis and malaria were sent annually to test participants' diagnostic proficiency. Identical surveys were sent to referee laboratories for quality control. Materials were prepared, packaged and shipped in accordance with standard protocols. Findings and reports were due within 30 days. Key methodological decisions and test results were categorized as acceptable or unacceptable on the basis of consensus feedback from referees, using established grading schemes. FINDINGS: Between 2002 and 2009, participation increased from 30 to 48 Member States of the WHO and from 39 to 78 laboratories. Each survey was returned by 64-93% of participants. Mean turnaround time was 25.9 days. For bacterial enteric diseases and meningitis components, bacterial identification was acceptable in 65% and 69% of challenges, respectively, but serotyping and antibiotic susceptibility testing and reporting were frequently unacceptable. Microscopy was acceptable for 73% of plague challenges. Tuberculosis microscopy was satisfactorily performed, with 87% of responses receiving acceptable scores. In the malaria component, 82% of responses received acceptable scores for species identification but only 51% of parasite quantitation scores were acceptable. CONCLUSION: The external quality assessment programme consistently identified certain functional deficiencies requiring strengthening that were present in African public health microbiology laboratories.
Full Text Available South Africa is a society characterised by deep inequalities structured along racial, geographical and socio-economic lines. Since 1994 the new democratic government has instituted a number of large-scale policies and programmes with explicit pro-equity objectives. Although these have improved access to health care and other social resources for the poor, their equity impact has been constrained by a macro-economic policy context that has dictated fiscal restraint, and by an accompanying orientation that has privileged technical over developmental considerations. This article briefly analyses the above factors and policies and proposes an approach that focuses on equity in allocation of health resources in relation to need. It suggests that while measurement of such inequities is fundamental to pro-equity policies, the implementation of such policies requires, in addition to technically efficacious interventions, both advocacy initiatives, and communication with and involvement of affected communities in promotion of health equity.
Full Text Available Africa is the continent where the social and health situation is of greatest concern, and where progress on the Millennium Development Goals is the slowest. Access to global assistance for health is complex, as it is channeled through new funding mechanisms: global public-private partnerships or “innovative” financing. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the effectiveness of this aid, which is growing in volume, depends on a more equitable distribution between different countries on the same continent, or among patients with different pathologies, on financial resources as well as technical expertise, and on a evidence-based allocation of funding, using objective criteria such as epidemiological data, the efficacy of the chosen treatments, the population profile, the effectiveness and efficiency of selected interventions, etc. It is our opinion that food insecurity, including in urban areas, and unequal access to global health aid – combined with Africa’s unprecedented demographic growth and with the global financial and economic crisis effects– threaten the African continent political stability, particularly in the French-speaking Africa. To avoid the situation deteriorating still further, France and Europe, who have a historic responsibility towards this part of the world, must ensure that the human and financial resources allocated to global initiatives – channels these institutions favour to the detriment of bilateral aid – also benefit the most deprived populations living in French-speaking African countries.
Full Text Available Stroke is a leading cause of death and a major cause of disability globally. Individuals with physical disabilities, including thosewho have suffered a stroke are at risk of secondary complications due to the impact of their disability, which may be exacerbated by their lifestylechoices. The aim of the present study was to determine the health riskbehaviours and factors that influence these behaviours of stroke patients inthe Metropole Region of the Western Cape, South Africa. A cross – sectionalsurvey, utilizing a self-administered questionnaire on a convenient sampleof 417 stroke patients, was used to collect data. A sub-sample of 10 parti-cipants was purposively selected for in-depth, face-to-face interviews.Approximately forty percent (40.3% of the participants did not engage in physical exercise. While 30.2% smoked only9% abused alcohol. A significant association was found between age and smoking (p<0.002. Information gathered in the in-depth interviews revealed factors that influenced the behaviours of the participants. These factors includedlack of financial resources and lack of access to information. As participants were found to be at risk of secondarycomplications because of poor lifestyle choices, there is a clear need to implement health promotion programmes topromote well-ness enhancing behaviours in order to enhance the quality of health of patients who have suffered astroke in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Marten, Robert; McIntyre, Diane; Travassos, Claudia; Shishkin, Sergey; Longde, Wang; Reddy, Srinath; Vega, Jeanette
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) represent almost half the world's population, and all five national governments recently committed to work nationally, regionally, and globally to ensure that universal health coverage (UHC) is achieved. This analysis reviews national efforts to achieve UHC. With a broad range of health indicators, life expectancy (ranging from 53 years to 73 years), and mortality rate in children younger than 5 years (ranging from 10·3 to 44·6 deaths per 1000 livebirths), a review of progress in each of the BRICS countries shows that each has some way to go before achieving UHC. The BRICS countries show substantial, and often similar, challenges in moving towards UHC. On the basis of a review of each country, the most pressing problems are: raising insufficient public spending; stewarding mixed private and public health systems; ensuring equity; meeting the demands for more human resources; managing changing demographics and disease burdens; and addressing the social determinants of health. Increases in public funding can be used to show how BRICS health ministries could accelerate progress to achieve UHC. Although all the BRICS countries have devoted increased resources to health, the biggest increase has been in China, which was probably facilitated by China's rapid economic growth. However, the BRICS country with the second highest economic growth, India, has had the least improvement in public funding for health. Future research to understand such different levels of prioritisation of the health sector in these countries could be useful. Similarly, the role of strategic purchasing in working with powerful private sectors, the effect of federal structures, and the implications of investment in primary health care as a foundation for UHC could be explored. These issues could serve as the basis on which BRICS countries focus their efforts to share ideas and strategies. PMID:24793339
Full Text Available Abstract Periodic epidemics of malaria are a major public health problem for many sub-Saharan African countries. Populations in epidemic prone areas have a poorly developed immunity to malaria and the disease remains life threatening to all age groups. The impact of epidemics could be minimized by prediction and improved prevention through timely vector control and deployment of appropriate drugs. Malaria Early Warning Systems are advocated as a means of improving the opportunity for preparedness and timely response. Rainfall is one of the major factors triggering epidemics in warm semi-arid and desert-fringe areas. Explosive epidemics often occur in these regions after excessive rains and, where these follow periods of drought and poor food security, can be especially severe. Consequently, rainfall monitoring forms one of the essential elements for the development of integrated Malaria Early Warning Systems for sub-Saharan Africa, as outlined by the World Health Organization. The Roll Back Malaria Technical Resource Network on Prevention and Control of Epidemics recommended that a simple indicator of changes in epidemic risk in regions of marginal transmission, consisting primarily of rainfall anomaly maps, could provide immediate benefit to early warning efforts. In response to these recommendations, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network produced maps that combine information about dekadal rainfall anomalies, and epidemic malaria risk, available via their Africa Data Dissemination Service. These maps were later made available in a format that is directly compatible with HealthMapper, the mapping and surveillance software developed by the WHO's Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Department. A new monitoring interface has recently been developed at the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI that enables the user to gain a more contextual perspective of the current rainfall estimates by comparing them to
Grover-Kopec, Emily; Kawano, Mika; Klaver, Robert W; Blumenthal, Benno; Ceccato, Pietro; Connor, Stephen J
Periodic epidemics of malaria are a major public health problem for many sub-Saharan African countries. Populations in epidemic prone areas have a poorly developed immunity to malaria and the disease remains life threatening to all age groups. The impact of epidemics could be minimized by prediction and improved prevention through timely vector control and deployment of appropriate drugs. Malaria Early Warning Systems are advocated as a means of improving the opportunity for preparedness and timely response. Rainfall is one of the major factors triggering epidemics in warm semi-arid and desert-fringe areas. Explosive epidemics often occur in these regions after excessive rains and, where these follow periods of drought and poor food security, can be especially severe. Consequently, rainfall monitoring forms one of the essential elements for the development of integrated Malaria Early Warning Systems for sub-Saharan Africa, as outlined by the World Health Organization. The Roll Back Malaria Technical Resource Network on Prevention and Control of Epidemics recommended that a simple indicator of changes in epidemic risk in regions of marginal transmission, consisting primarily of rainfall anomaly maps, could provide immediate benefit to early warning efforts. In response to these recommendations, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network produced maps that combine information about dekadal rainfall anomalies, and epidemic malaria risk, available via their Africa Data Dissemination Service. These maps were later made available in a format that is directly compatible with HealthMapper, the mapping and surveillance software developed by the WHO's Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Department. A new monitoring interface has recently been developed at the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) that enables the user to gain a more contextual perspective of the current rainfall estimates by comparing them to previous seasons and
Muller, Alexandra; Hughes, Tonda L.
Background Over the past two decades research on sexual and gender minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender; LGBT) health has highlighted substantial health disparities based on sexual orientation and gender identity in many parts of the world. We systematically reviewed the literature on sexual minority women’s (SMW) health in Southern Africa, with the objective of identifying existing evidence and pointing out knowledge gaps around the health of this vulnerable group in this region....
Wright, Caradee Y.; Mary Norval; Beverley Summers; Lester Davids; Gerrie Coetzee; Matthew O. Oriowo
Photoprotection messages and ‘SunSmart’ programmes exist mainly to prevent skin cancers and, more recently, to encourage adequate personal sun exposure to elicit a vitamin D response for healthy bone and immune systems. Several developed countries maintain intensive research networks and monitor solar UV radiation to support awareness campaigns and intervention development. The situation is different in sub-Saharan Africa. Adequate empirical evidence of the impact of solar UV radiation on hum...
S, Abrahams-Gessel; Denman, CA; TA, Gaziano; NS, Levitt; T, Puoane
The integration of community health workers (CHWs) into primary and secondary prevention functions in health programs and services delivery in Mexico and South Africa has been demonstrated to be effective. Task-sharing related to adherence and treatment, from nurses to CHWs, has also been effectively demonstrated in these areas. HIV/AIDS and TB programs in South Africa have seen similar successes in task-sharing with CHWs in the areas of screening for risk and adherence to treatment. In the area of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), there is a policy commitment to integrating CHWs into primary health care programs at public health facilities in both Mexico and South Africa in the areas of reproductive health and infant health. Yet current programs utilizing CHWs are not integrated into existing primary health care services in a comprehensive manner for primary and secondary prevention of NCDs. In a recently completed study, CHWs were trained to perform the basic diagnostic function of primary screening to assess the risk of suffering a CVD-related event in the community using a non-laboratory risk assessment tool and referring persons at moderate to high risk to local government clinics, for further assessment and management by a nurse or physician. In this paper we compare the experience with this CVD screening study to successful programs in vaccination, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and TB specifically to identify the barriers we identified as limitations to replicating these programs in the area of CVD diagnosis and management. We review barriers impacting the effective translation of policy into practice, including scale up issues; training and certification issues; integrating CHW to existing primary care teams and health system; funding and resource gaps. Finally, we suggest policy recommendations to replicate the demonstrated success of programs utilizing task-sharing with CHWs in infectious diseases and reproductive health, to integrated programs in NCD
In recent years, most countries in Africa have seen a steep rise in the use of addictive substances beyond relatively basic forms of traditional drug use. At the same time majority of countries are witnessing a gradual decline in quality of health services particularly in the public health sector du
Olivier, Jill; Tsimpo, Clarence; Gemignani, Regina; Shojo, Mari; Coulombe, Harold; Dimmock, Frank; Nguyen, Minh Cong; Hines, Harrison; Mills, Edward J; Dieleman, Joseph L; Haakenstad, Annie; Wodon, Quentin
At a time when many countries might not achieve the health targets of the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 agenda for sustainable development is being negotiated, the contribution of faith-based health-care providers is potentially crucial. For better partnership to be achieved and for health systems to be strengthened by the alignment of faith-based health-providers with national systems and priorities, improved information is needed at all levels. Comparisons of basic factors (such as magnitude, reach to poor people, cost to patients, modes of financing, and satisfaction of patients with the services received) within faith-based health-providers and national systems show some differences. As the first report in the Series on faith-based health care, we review a broad body of published work and introduce some empirical evidence on the role of faith-based health-care providers, with a focus on Christian faith-based health providers in sub-Saharan Africa (on which the most detailed documentation has been gathered). The restricted and diverse evidence reported supports the idea that faith-based health providers continue to play a part in health provision, especially in fragile health systems, and the subsequent reports in this Series review controversies in faith-based health care and recommendations for how public and faith sectors might collaborate more effectively. PMID:26159398
Full Text Available Abstract Introduction TB and HIV co-morbidity amount to a massive burden on healthcare systems in many countries. This study investigates health related quality of life among tuberculosis (TB, TB retreatment and TB-HIV co-infected public primary health care patients in three districts in South Africa. Methods A cross sectional study was conducted among 4900 TB patients who were in the first month of anti-TB treatment in primary public health care clinics in three districts in South Africa. Quality of life was assessed using the social functioning (SF-12 Health Survey through face to face interviews. Associations of physical health (Physical health Component Summary = PCS and mental health (Mental health Component Summary = MCS were identified using logistic regression analyses. Results The overall physical and mental health scores were 42.5 and 40.7, respectively. Emotional role, general health and bodily pain had the lowest sub-scale scores, while energy and fatigue and mental health had the highest domain scores. Independent Kruskal–Wallis tests found significant positive effects of being TB-HIV co-infected on the domains of mental health functioning, emotional role, energy and fatigue, social function and physical role, while significant negative effects were observed on general health, bodily pain and physical function. In multivariable analysis higher educational, lower psychological distress, having fewer chronic conditions and being HIV negative were significantly positively associated with PCS, and low poverty, low psychological distress and being HIV positive were positively significantly associated with MCS. Conclusion TB and HIV weaken patients’ physical functioning and impair their quality of life. It is imperative that TB control programmes at public health clinics design strategies to improve the quality of health of TB and HIV co-infected patients.
Louis S. Jenkins
Full Text Available Background: The theme of the 2014 Southern African Rural Health Conference was ‘Building resilience in facing rural realities’. Retaining health professionals in South Africa is critical for sustainable health services. Only 12% of doctors and 19% of nurses have been retained in the rural areas. The aim of the workshop was to understand from health practitioners why they continued working in their rural settings.Conference workshop: The workshop consisted of 29 doctors, managers, academic family physicians, nurses and clinical associates from Southern Africa, with work experience from three weeks to 13 years, often in deep rural districts. Using the nominal group technique, the following question was explored, ‘What is it that keeps you going to work every day?’ Participants reflected on their work situation and listed and rated the important reasons for continuing to work.Results: Five main themes emerged. A shared purpose, emanating from a deep sense of meaning, was the strongest reason for staying and working in a rural setting. Working in a team was second most important, with teamwork being related to attitudes and relationships, support from visiting specialists and opportunities to implement individual clinical skills. A culture of support was third, followed by opportunities for growth and continuing professional development, including teaching by outreaching specialists. The fifth theme was a healthy work-life balance.Conclusion: Health practitioners continue to work in rural settings for often deeper reasons relating to a sense of meaning, being part of a team that closely relate to each other and feeling supported.
Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Chibarabada, Tendai; Modi, Albert
Whereas sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty and food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. There is also a need to develop and promote the use of metrics that capture aspects of water, agriculture, food and nutrition. This review identified nutritional water productivity as a suitable index for measuring the impact of a water-food-nutrition-health nexus. Socio-economic factors are also considered as they influence food choices in rural communities. An argument for the need to utilise the region's agrobiodiversity for addressing dietary quality and diversity was established. It is concluded that a model for improving nutrition and health of poor rural communities based on the water-food-nutrition-health nexus is possible. PMID:26751464
Hild, S.; Sieste, M.; Barth, A.; Rudinskaya, J. [Beak Consultants GmbH, Freiberg (Germany); Croukamp, L.; Roos, M. [Council for Geoscience (CGS), Pretoria (South Africa)
The Witwatersrand Water Ingress Project at the Council for Geoscience, South Africa (CGS) deals with an inventory, a risk assessment and the development of rehabilitation strategies for abandoned mining sites in the Witwatersrand Mining Basin. The main focus is the prevention of water ingress and to understand the future decanting scenario. An Information Management System consisting of both a relational database and an application for the Witwatersrand Water Ingress Project is established for accessing and managing all project-related data. This easy to use application makes the data available to all staff at the CGS via several modules as well as a GIS-component for accessing and querying spatial data. This will enable the scientists to derive further knowledge of the water flowing processes by directly using all of the existing up-to-date data. Many additional functions, such as the support for map printing on demand, extensive possibilities for inquiries, data import and export, diagrams and a GIS-viewer for spatial inquiries do complete the system. (orig.)
Full Text Available Robert Basaza1,3, George Pariyo2, Bart Criel31Ministry of Health Uganda, Kampala, Uganda; 2Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management, Makerere University school of Public Health, New Mulago Hospital Complex, Kampala, Uganda; 3Institute of Tropical Medicine Nationalestraat 155, B-2000 Antwerp, BelgiumBackground: The three East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya are characterized by high poverty levels, population growth rates, prevalence of HIV/AIDS, under-funding of the health sector, poor access to quality health care, and small health insurance coverage. Tanzania and Kenya have user-fees whereas Uganda abolished user-fees in public-owned health units.Objective: To provide comparative description of community health insurance (CHI schemes in three East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya and thereafter provide a basis for future policy research for development of CHI schemes. Methods: An analytical grid of 10 distinctive items pertaining to the nature of CHI schemes was developed so as to have a uniform lens of comparing country situations of CHI. Results and conclusions: The majority of the schemes have been in existence for a relatively short time of less than 10 years and their number remains small. There is need for further research to identify what is the mix and weight of factors that cause people to refrain from joining schemes. Specific issues that could also be addressed in subsequent studies are whether the current schemes provide financial protection, increase access to quality of care and impact on the equity of health services financing and delivery. On the basis of this knowledge, rational policy decisions can be taken. The governments thereafter could consider an option of playing more roles in advocacy, paying for the poorest, and developing an enabling policy and legal framework.Keywords: community health insurance, low enrolment, policy and Africa
Alcalde-Rabanal, Jacqueline Elizabeth; Lazo-González, Oswaldo; Nigenda, Gustavo
This paper describes the health conditions in Peru and, with greater detail, the Peruvian health system, including its structure and coverage, its financial sources, its physical, material and human resources, and its stewardship functions. It also discusses the activities developed in the information and research areas, as well as the participation of citizens in the operation and evaluation of the health system. The article concludes with a discussion of the most recent innovations, including the Comprehensive Health Insurance, the Health Care Enterprises system, the decentralization process and the Local Committees for Health Administration. The main challenge confronted by the Peruvian health system is the extension of coverage to more than I0% of the population presently lacking access to basic health care. PMID:21877089
de Lange, Naydene; Mitchell, Claudia
South Africa has been experiencing an epidemic of gender-based violence (GBV) for a long time and in some rural communities health workers, who are trained to care for those infected with HIV, are positioned at the forefront of addressing this problem, often without the necessary support. In this article, we pose the question: How might cultural production through media making with community health workers (CHWs) contribute to taking action to address GBV and contribute to social change in a rural community? This qualitative participatory arts-based study with five female CHWs working from a clinic in a rural district of South Africa is positioned as critical research, using photographs in the production of media posters. We offer a close reading of the data and its production and discuss three data moments: CHWs drawing on insider cultural knowledge; CHWs constructing messages; and CHWs taking action. In our discussion, we take up the issue of cultural production and then offer concluding thoughts on 'beyond engagement' when the researchers leave the community. PMID:27080871
Collinson, Mark A
This article is a review of the PhD thesis of Mark Collinson, titled, 'Striving against adversity: the dynamics of migration, health and poverty in rural South Africa'. The findings show that in rural South Africa, temporary migration has a major impact on household well-being and health. Remittances from migrants make a significant difference to socioeconomic status (SES) in households left behind by the migrant. For the poorest households the key factors improving SES are government grants and female temporary migration, while for the less poor it is male temporary migration and local employment. Migration is associated with HIV but not in straightforward ways. Migrants that return more frequently may be less exposed to outside partners and therefore less implicated in the HIV epidemic. There are links between migration and mortality patterns, including a higher risk of dying for returnee migrants compared with permanent residents. A mother's migration impacts significantly on child survival for South African and former refugee parents, but there is an additional mortality risk for children of Mozambican former refugees. It is recommended that national censuses and surveys account for temporary migration when collecting information on household membership, because different migration types have different outcomes. Without discriminating between different migration types, the implications for sending and receiving communities will remain lost to policy-makers. PMID:20531981
Owusu-Addo, Ebenezer; Andre M. N. Renzaho; Mahal, Ajay S.; Smith, Ben J
Background There is increasing pressure to address the social determinants of health (SDoH) and health inequities through the implementation of culturally acceptable interventions particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where health outcomes are generally poor. Available evaluation research on cash transfers (CTs) suggests that the programs may influence the wider determinants of health in SSA; yet, there has been no attempt to synthesize the evidence regarding their contribution to tackling...
Full Text Available Structured interviews using a questionnaire were conducted to gather information on socioeconomic aspects, health, nutrition, breeding and management of working equids in 3 study areas of Moretele 1 near Hammanskraal, North West Province, South Africa. The questionnaire addressed questions about the role of animals with a focus on donkeys used for work in these areas. Extension and animal health officers and donkey owners participated. The analysis highlights the use of donkeys for transport of water, wood and people; that ticks, wounds and harness sores are the conditions reported most frequently by owners; and that the range for the body condition score index of 2.7-4.0 suggests that an overall adequate level of nutrition and management is maintained in the donkeys in these villages.
Mulder, Nicola J; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; Alami, Raouf; Benkahla, Alia; Brandful, James; Doumbia, Seydou; Everett, Dean; Fadlelmola, Faisal M; Gaboun, Fatima; Gaseitsiwe, Simani; Ghazal, Hassan; Hazelhurst, Scott; Hide, Winston; Ibrahimi, Azeddine; Jaufeerally Fakim, Yasmina; Jongeneel, C Victor; Joubert, Fourie; Kassim, Samar; Kayondo, Jonathan; Kumuthini, Judit; Lyantagaye, Sylvester; Makani, Julie; Mansour Alzohairy, Ahmed; Masiga, Daniel; Moussa, Ahmed; Nash, Oyekanmi; Ouwe Missi Oukem-Boyer, Odile; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Panji, Sumir; Patterton, Hugh; Radouani, Fouzia; Sadki, Khalid; Seghrouchni, Fouad; Tastan Bishop, Özlem; Tiffin, Nicki; Ulenga, Nzovu; Adebiyi, Marion; Ahmed, Azza E; Ahmed, Rehab I; Alearts, Maaike; Alibi, Mohamed; Aron, Shaun; Baichoo, Shakuntala; Bendou, Hocine; Botha, Gerrit; Brown, David; Chimusa, Emile; Christoffels, Alan; Cornick, Jennifer; Entfellner, Jean-Baka Domelevo; Fields, Chris; Fischer, Anne; Gamieldien, Junaid; Ghedira, Kais; Ghouila, Amel; Ho Sui, Shannan; Isewon, Itunuoluwa; Isokpehi, Raphael; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Kamng'ona, Arox; Khetani, Radhika S; Kiran, Anmol; Kulohoma, Benard; Kumwenda, Benjamin; Lapine, Dan; Mainzer, Liudmila Sergeevna; Maslamoney, Suresh; Mbiyavanga, Mamana; Meintjes, Ayton; Mlyango, Flora Elias; Mmbando, Bruno; Mohammed, Somia A; Mpangase, Phelelani; Msefula, Chisomo; Mtatiro, Siana Nkya; Mugutso, Dunfunk; Mungloo-Dilmohammud, Zahra; Musicha, Patrick; Nembaware, Victoria; Osamor, Victor Chukwudi; Oyelade, Jelili; Rendon, Gloria; Salazar, Gustavo A; Salifu, Samson Pandam; Sangeda, Raphael; Souiai, Oussema; Van Heusden, Peter; Wele, Mamadou
The application of genomics technologies to medicine and biomedical research is increasing in popularity, made possible by new high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies and improved data analysis capabilities. Some of the greatest genetic diversity among humans, animals, plants, and microbiota occurs in Africa, yet genomic research outputs from the continent are limited. The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative was established to drive the development of genomic research for human health in Africa, and through recognition of the critical role of bioinformatics in this process, spurred the establishment of H3ABioNet, a pan-African bioinformatics network for H3Africa. The limitations in bioinformatics capacity on the continent have been a major contributory factor to the lack of notable outputs in high-throughput biology research. Although pockets of high-quality bioinformatics teams have existed previously, the majority of research institutions lack experienced faculty who can train and supervise bioinformatics students. H3ABioNet aims to address this dire need, specifically in the area of human genetics and genomics, but knock-on effects are ensuring this extends to other areas of bioinformatics. Here, we describe the emergence of genomics research and the development of bioinformatics in Africa through H3ABioNet. PMID:26627985
Mulder, Nicola J.; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; Alami, Raouf; Benkahla, Alia; Brandful, James; Doumbia, Seydou; Everett, Dean; Fadlelmola, Faisal M.; Gaboun, Fatima; Gaseitsiwe, Simani; Ghazal, Hassan; Hazelhurst, Scott; Hide, Winston; Ibrahimi, Azeddine; Jaufeerally Fakim, Yasmina; Jongeneel, C. Victor; Joubert, Fourie; Kassim, Samar; Kayondo, Jonathan; Kumuthini, Judit; Lyantagaye, Sylvester; Makani, Julie; Mansour Alzohairy, Ahmed; Masiga, Daniel; Moussa, Ahmed; Nash, Oyekanmi; Ouwe Missi Oukem-Boyer, Odile; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Panji, Sumir; Patterton, Hugh; Radouani, Fouzia; Sadki, Khalid; Seghrouchni, Fouad; Tastan Bishop, Özlem; Tiffin, Nicki; Ulenga, Nzovu
The application of genomics technologies to medicine and biomedical research is increasing in popularity, made possible by new high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies and improved data analysis capabilities. Some of the greatest genetic diversity among humans, animals, plants, and microbiota occurs in Africa, yet genomic research outputs from the continent are limited. The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative was established to drive the development of genomic research for human health in Africa, and through recognition of the critical role of bioinformatics in this process, spurred the establishment of H3ABioNet, a pan-African bioinformatics network for H3Africa. The limitations in bioinformatics capacity on the continent have been a major contributory factor to the lack of notable outputs in high-throughput biology research. Although pockets of high-quality bioinformatics teams have existed previously, the majority of research institutions lack experienced faculty who can train and supervise bioinformatics students. H3ABioNet aims to address this dire need, specifically in the area of human genetics and genomics, but knock-on effects are ensuring this extends to other areas of bioinformatics. Here, we describe the emergence of genomics research and the development of bioinformatics in Africa through H3ABioNet. PMID:26627985
Almost 14% of the electricity generated by the national energy supplier (Eskom) in South Africa is sold directly to the mining sector and almost 20% is utilized directly by the compressed air systems of the mining sector. The industrial compressed air systems in South Africa therefore have a substantial impact on the environment in terms of emissions output. In this paper a solar powered compressor is installed parallel to an existing industrial compressed air system. The environmental (emiss...
The sociology and economics of the conduct of international e-health technology transfers (IeTTs) is examined. Most African countries are perennial recipients with variations in their domestic e-health utilisation, development and implementation. We identify, explore, and demonstrate how complex and interlinked global, continental, national and subnational actions and institutions condition their national e-health implementations. Multidisciplinary literatures are from national e-health i...