Showing papers in "Global Health Action in 2016"
TL;DR: Evidence of common correlates suggests that consolidating efforts to address shared risk factors may help prevent both forms of violence and a need for more integrated early intervention on VAC and VAW.
Abstract: Background : The international community recognises violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) as global human rights and public health problems. Historically, research, programmes, and policies on these forms of violence followed parallel but distinct trajectories. Some have called for efforts to bridge these gaps, based in part on evidence that individuals and families often experience multiple forms of violence that may be difficult to address in isolation, and that violence in childhood elevates the risk of violence against women. Methods : This article presents a narrative review of evidence on intersections between VAC and VAW – including sexual violence by non-partners, with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries. Results : We identify and review evidence for six intersections: 1) VAC and VAW have many shared risk factors. 2) Social norms often support VAW and VAC and discourage help-seeking. 3) Child maltreatment and partner violence often co-occur within the same household. 4) Both VAC and VAW can produce intergenerational effects. 5) Many forms of VAC and VAW have common and compounding consequences across the lifespan. 6) VAC and VAW intersect during adolescence, a time of heightened vulnerability to certain kinds of violence. Conclusions : Evidence of common correlates suggests that consolidating efforts to address shared risk factors may help prevent both forms of violence. Common consequences and intergenerational effects suggest a need for more integrated early intervention. Adolescence falls between and within traditional domains of both fields and deserves greater attention. Opportunities for greater collaboration include preparing service providers to address multiple forms of violence, better coordination between services for women and for children, school-based strategies, parenting programmes, and programming for adolescent health and development. There is also a need for more coordination among researchers working on VAC and VAW as countries prepare to measure progress towards 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Keywords: intimate partner violence; sexual violence; child maltreatment; child abuse; adolescents (Published: 20 June 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 31516 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31516
TL;DR: Social characteristics like sex/gender remain hidden from analyses and interpretation in RCTs, with loss of information and embedding of error all along the path from design to interpretation, and therefore to uptake in clinical practice.
Abstract: Background: Although observational data show social characteristics such as gender or socio-economic status to be strong predictors of health, their impact is seldom investigated in randomised cont ...
TL;DR: Mortality and morbidity indicators were worse in slums than elsewhere, however, indicators of access to care and health service coverage were found to be better in slum than in rural communities.
Abstract: Background : It is generally assumed that urban slum residents have worse health status when compared with other urban populations, but better health status than their rural counterparts. This belief/assumption is often because of their physical proximity and assumed better access to health care services in urban areas. However, a few recent studies have cast doubt on this belief. Whether slum dwellers are better off, similar to, or worse off as compared with rural and other urban populations remain poorly understood as indicators for slum dwellers are generally hidden in urban averages. Objective : The aim of this study was to compare health and health-related indicators among slum, rural, and other urban populations in four countries where specific efforts have been made to generate health indicators specific to slum populations. Design : We conducted a comparative analysis of health indicators among slums, non-slums, and all urban and rural populations as well as national averages in Bangladesh, Kenya, Egypt, and India. We triangulated data from demographic and health surveys, urban health surveys, and special cross-sectional slum surveys in these countries to assess differences in health indicators across the residential domains. We focused the comparisons on child health, maternal health, reproductive health, access to health services, and HIV/AIDS indicators. Within each country, we compared indicators for slums with non-slum, city/urban averages, rural, and national indicators. Between-country differences were also highlighted. Results : In all the countries, except India, slum children had much poorer health outcomes than children in all other residential domains, including those in rural areas. Childhood illnesses and malnutrition were higher among children living in slum communities compared to those living elsewhere. Although treatment seeking was better among slum children as compared with those in rural areas, this did not translate to better mortality outcomes. They bear a disproportionately much higher mortality burden than those living elsewhere. Slum communities had higher coverage of maternal health services than rural communities but it was not possible to compare maternal mortality rates across these residential domains. Compared to rural areas, slum communities had lower fertility and higher contraceptive use rates but these differences were reversed when slums were compared to other urban populations. Slum–rural differences in infant mortality were found to be larger in Bangladesh compared to Kenya. Conclusion : Mortality and morbidity indicators were worse in slums than elsewhere. However, indicators of access to care and health service coverage were found to be better in slums than in rural communities. Keywords: slum; rural; urban health; health; comparative analysis (Published: 2 December 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 33163 - http://email@example.com
TL;DR: The current knowledge gaps in school-aged girls’ MHM research are highlighted, opportunities for addressing the dearth of hard evidence limiting the ability of governments, donors, and other agencies to appropriately target resources are identified, and a series of research priorities and methodologies are outlined.
Abstract: Background : A lack of adequate guidance on menstrual management; water, disposal, and private changing facilities; and sanitary hygiene materials in low- and middle-income countries leaves schoolgirls with limited options for healthy personal hygiene during monthly menses. While a plethora of observational studies have described how menstrual hygiene management (MHM) barriers in school impact girls’ dignity, well-being, and engagement in school activities, studies have yet to confirm if inadequate information and facilities for MHM significantly affects quantifiable school and health outcomes influencing girls’ life chances. Evidence on these hard outcomes will take time to accrue; however, a current lack of standardized methods, tools, and research funding is hampering progress and must be addressed. Objectives : Compile research priorities for MHM and types of research methods that can be used. Results : In this article, we highlight the current knowledge gaps in school-aged girls’ MHM research, and identify opportunities for addressing the dearth of hard evidence limiting the ability of governments, donors, and other agencies to appropriately target resources. We outline a series of research priorities and methodologies that were drawn from an expert panel to address global priorities for MHM in schools for the next 10 years. Conclusions : A strong evidence base for different settings, standardized definitions regarding MHM outcomes, improved study designs and methodologies, and the creation of an MHM research consortia to focus attention on this neglected global issue. Keywords: equity; adolescent sexual and reproductive health; menstruation; hygiene; school health (Published: 8 December 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 33032 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.33032
TL;DR: The scientific literature on the use of online social media for sexual health promotion is reviewed, and about a quarter of the publications have identified promising results, and the evidence for positive effects of social media interventions for promoting sexual health is increasing.
Abstract: Background : In order to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the World Health Organization recommends educating people on sexual health. With more than 2 billion active users worldwide, online social media potentially represent powerful channels for health promotion, including sexual health. Objective : To review the scientific literature on the use of online social media for sexual health promotion. Design : A search was conducted of scientific and medical databases, and grey literature was also included. The selected publications were classified according to their study designs, sexual health promotion main subject, target audience age, and social media use. Results : Fifty-one publications were included; 4 publications presenting randomized intervention studies, 39 non-randomized intervention studies, and 8 observational studies. In 29 publications (56.9%), the main subject of the sexual health promotion was ‘general’ or to increase STI testing. Thirty publications (58.8%) specifically focused on youth or young people (aged 11–29 years). Fourteen publications that used social media either as unique channels for sexual health promotion interventions or as a tool supporting the sexual health promotion reported an effect on behavior (27%), and two of those studies found a reduction in the number of positive chlamydia and gonorrhea cases linked to social media intervention. Forty-four publications (86.3%) involved Facebook in some way. Conclusions : Although billions of people worldwide actively use social media, we identified only 51 publications on the use of social media for promoting sexual health. About a quarter of the publications have identified promising results, and the evidence for positive effects of social media interventions for promoting sexual health is increasing. There is a need for more studies that explicitly discuss their theoretical framework, and that have strong research designs, in order to further increase the evidence base of the field. Keywords : social media; social networking sites; sexual health; health education; health promotion; sexually transmitted infections Citation : Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 32193 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.32193 (Published: 19 September 2016) To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files under ‘Article Tools’
TL;DR: The prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Uganda and Tanzania is high, differs markedly between population groups, and remains undiagnosed in an alarmingly high proportion of individuals, highlighting the need for large-scale, prospective studies to accurately quantify the burden and identify effective intervention and treatment strategies across diverse African populations.
Abstract: Background : The increase in prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa underlines the importance of understanding its magnitude and causes in different population groups We analyzed data from the Africa/Harvard Partnership for Cohort Research and Training (PaCT) studies to determine the prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes and risk factors associated with diabetes Methodology : Participants were randomly selected from peri-urban ( n =297) and rural ( n =200) communities in Uganda, and teachers were recruited from schools ( n =229) in urban Tanzania We used a standardized questionnaire to collect socio-demographic and self-reported disease status including diabetes status Blood glucose was also measured after participants fasted for 8 h We used standard protocols for anthropometric and blood pressure measurement Results : The overall prevalence of diabetes was 101% and was highest in rural Ugandan residents (161%) compared to teachers in Tanzania (83%) and peri-urban Ugandan residents (76%) The prevalence of pre-diabetes was 138% The prevalence of self-reported diabetes was low across all sites, where 68% of participants with diabetes were not captured by self-report In multivariable logistic regression analysis, family history (OR 25, 95% CI: 11, 56) and hypertension (OR 23, 95% CI: 11, 52) were significantly associated with diabetes Conclusions : The prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Uganda and Tanzania is high, differs markedly between population groups, and remains undiagnosed in an alarmingly high proportion of individuals These findings highlight the need for large-scale, prospective studies to accurately quantify the burden and identify effective intervention and treatment strategies across diverse African populations Keywords: non-communicable; risk factors; underdiagnoses; sub-Saharan Africa; Tanzania; Uganda (Published: 23 May 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9: 31440 - http://dxdoiorg/103402/ghav931440
TL;DR: This study finds that a community-based intervention employing community health workers to educate the community in the Home Based Life Saving Skills programme is both feasible and effective in improving male involvement in maternal healthcare.
Abstract: Background : Male involvement in maternal health is recommended as one of the interventions to improve maternal and newborn health. There have been challenges in realising this action, partly due to the position of men in society and partly due to health system challenges in accommodating men. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the effect of Home Based Life Saving Skills training by community health workers on improving male involvement in maternal health in terms of knowledge of danger signs, joint decision-making, birth preparedness, and escorting wives to antenatal and delivery care in a rural community in Tanzania. Design : A community-based intervention consisting of educating the community in Home Based Life Saving Skills by community health workers was implemented using one district as the intervention district and another as comparison district. A pre-/post-intervention using quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the effect of Home Based Life Saving Skills training on male involvement and place of delivery for their partners. The effect of the intervention was determined using difference in differences analysis between the intervention and comparison data at baseline and end line. Results : The results show there was improvement in male involvement (39.2% vs. 80.9%) with a net intervention effect of 41.1% (confidence interval [CI]: 28.5–53.8; p < 0.0001). There was improvement in the knowledge of danger signs during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum periods. The proportion of men accompanying their wives to antenatal and delivery also improved. Shared decision-making for place of delivery improved markedly (46.8% vs. 86.7%), showing a net effect of 38.5% (CI: 28.0–49.1; p < 0.0001). Although facility delivery for spouses of the participants improved in the intervention district, this did not show statistical significance when compared to the comparison district with a net intervention effect of 12.2% (95% CI: −2.8–27.1: p = 0.103). Conclusion : This community-based intervention employing community health workers to educate the community in the Home Based Life Saving Skills programme is both feasible and effective in improving male involvement in maternal healthcare. Keywords: community-based intervention; home-based life saving skills; male involvement; rural Tanzania (Published: 19 January 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 30064 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30064
TL;DR: Community-based interventions integrating strategies such as home visiting and counseling can help to reduce fetal and neonatal mortality in LMIC.
Abstract: Background : Lack of appropriate health care seeking for ill mothers and neonates contributes to high mortality rates. A major challenge is the appropriate mix of strategies for creating demand as well as provision of services. Design : Systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental studies (last search: Jan 2015) to assess the impact of different strategies to improve maternal and neonatal health care seeking in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Results : Fifty-eight experimental [randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, and before-after studies] with 310,652 participants met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analyses from 29 RCTs with a range of different interventions (e.g. mobilization, home visitation) indicated significant improvement in health care seeking for neonatal illnesses when compared with standard/no care [risk ratio (RR) 1.40; 95 confidence interval (CI): 1.17–1.68, 9 studies, n= 30,572], whereas, no impact was seen on health care seeking for maternal illnesses (RR 1.06; 95% CI: 0.92–1.22, 5 studies, n= 15,828). These interventions had a significant impact on reducing stillbirths (RR 0.82; 95% CI: 0.73–0.93, 11 studies, n= 176,683), perinatal deaths (RR 0.84; 95% CI: 0.77–0.90, 15 studies, n= 279,618), and neonatal mortality (RR 0.80; 95% CI: 0.72–0.89, 20 studies, n= 248,848). On GRADE approach, evidence was high quality except for the outcome of maternal health care seeking, which was moderate. Conclusions : Community-based interventions integrating strategies such as home visiting and counseling can help to reduce fetal and neonatal mortality in LMIC. Keywords: health care seeking; maternal health; neonatal health; neonatal mortality; perinatal mortality; developing countries; low- and middle-income countries Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 31408 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31408 Supplementary material : To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files under ‘Article Tools’
TL;DR: An overview of dietary, physical activity, societal and cultural preconceptions that are potentially modifiable obesity-promoting factors in Mexican youth are presented.
Abstract: Background : Mexico is a developing country with one of the highest youth obesity rates worldwide; >34% of children and adolescents between 5 and 19 years of age are overweight or obese. Objectives : The current review seeks to compile, describe, and analyze dietary conditions, physical activity, socioeconomic status, and cultural factors that create and exacerbate an obesogenic environment among Mexican youth. Design : A narrative review was performed using PubMed and the Cochrane Library databases, as well as grey literature data from the Mexican government, academics, and statistical reports from nongovernmental organizations, included in electronic formats. Results : The recent socioeconomic and nutritional transition has resulted in reduced healthy meal options at public schools, high rates of sedentary lifestyles among adolescents, lack of open spaces and playgrounds, socioeconomic deprivation, false or misunderstood sociocultural traditional beliefs, misconceptions about health, a high percentage of overweight or obese adults, and low rates of maternal breastfeeding. Some of the factors identified are exacerbating the obesity problem in this population. Current evidence also shows that more policies and health programs are needed for prevention of childhood and adolescent obesity. Mexico presents alarming obesity levels, which need to be curtailed and urgently reversed. Conclusions : The present narrative review presents an overview of dietary, physical activity, societal and cultural preconceptions that are potentially modifiable obesity-promoting factors in Mexican youth. Measures to control these factors need to be implemented in all similar developing countries by governments, policy makers, stakeholders, and health care professionals to tackle obesity in children and young people. Keywords: health determinants; developing countries; childhood obesity; health and environmental change (Published: 18 January 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 29625 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.29625
TL;DR: The level of alcohol use among adults in Uganda is high, and 9.8% of the adult population has an alcohol-use-related disorder, which is higher than in most sub-Saharan African countries.
Abstract: Background : There are limited data on levels of alcohol use in most sub-Saharan African countries. Objective : We analyzed data from Uganda’s non-communicable diseases risk factor survey conducted in 2014, to identify alcohol use prevalence and associated factors. Design : The survey used the World Health Organization STEPS tool to collect data, including the history of alcohol use. Alcohol users were categorized into low-, medium-, and high-end users. Participants were also classified as having an alcohol-use-related disorder if, over the past 12 months, they were unable to stop drinking alcohol once they had started drinking, and/or failed to do what was normally expected of them because of drinking alcohol, and/or needed an alcoholic drink first in the morning to get going after a heavy drinking session the night before. Weighted logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with medium- to high-end alcohol use. Results : Of the 3,956 participants, 1,062 (26.8%) were current alcohol users, including 314 (7.9%) low-end, 246 (6.2%) medium-end, and 502 (12.7%) high-end users. A total of 386 (9.8%) were classified as having an alcohol-use-related disorder. Male participants were more likely to be medium- to high-end alcohol users compared to females; adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=2.34 [95% confidence interval (CI)=1.88–2.91]. Compared to residents in eastern Uganda, participants in central and western Uganda were more likely to be medium- to high-end users; AOR=1.47 (95% CI=1.01–2.12) and AOR=1.89 (95% CI=1.31–2.72), respectively. Participants aged 30–49 years and those aged 50–69 years were more likely to be medium- to high-end alcohol users, compared to those aged 18–29 years, AOR=1.49 (95% CI=1.16–1.91) and AOR=2.08 (95% CI=1.52–2.84), respectively. Conclusions : The level of alcohol use among adults in Uganda is high, and 9.8% of the adult population has an alcohol-use-related disorder.
TL;DR: The risk factors for LBW identified in this study are modifiable and holistic approaches such as health education, maternal nutrition, improvement in socio-economic indices, and increasing the quality and quantity of the antenatal care services are of paramount importance.
Abstract: Background : Low birth weight (LBW) continues to be the primary cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Objective : This study was undertaken to identify the predictors of LBW in Nigeria. Design : The data for this study was extracted from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the National Population Commission. Several questionnaires were used in the survey, some covering questions on pregnancy characteristics. The inclusion criteria include mothers who gave birth to a child 5 years before the interview and aged 15–49 years who were either permanent residents or visitors present in the household on the night before the survey conducted. The birth weight of the infants was recorded from written records from the hospital cards or the mothers’ recall. Results : The prevalence of LBW in this study was 7.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed an adjusted significant odds ratio for mothers from North West region (aOR 10.67; 95% CI [5.83–19.5]), twin pregnancy (aOR 5.11; 95% CI [3.11–8.39]), primiparous mother (aOR 2.08; 95% CI [1.15–3.77]), maternal weight of less than 70 kg (aOR 1.92; 95% CI [1.32–2.78]), and manual paternal employment (aOR 1.91; 95% CI [1.08–3.37]). Conclusions : The risk factors for LBW identified in this study are modifiable. In order to reduce this menace in Nigeria, holistic approaches such as health education, maternal nutrition, improvement in socio-economic indices, and increasing the quality and quantity of the antenatal care services are of paramount importance. Keywords: low birth weight; Nigeria; risk factors; maternal and child health (Published: 19 January 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 28822 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.28822
TL;DR: Intervention through strong labor policies with gender sensitivity is the need of the hour to empower women, avert further health risks, and also enhance productivity for the few million women workers who contribute largely to the country's economy.
Abstract: Background : Health concerns unique to women are growing with the large number of women venturing into different trades that expose them to hot working environments and inadequate sanitation facilities, common in many Indian workplaces. Objective : The study was carried out to investigate the health implications of exposures to hot work environments and inadequate sanitation facilities at their workplaces for women workers. Design : A cross-sectional study was conducted with 312 women workers in three occupational sectors in 2014–2015. Quantitative data on heat exposures and physiological heat strain indicators such as core body temperature (CBT), sweat rate (SwR), and urine specific gravity (USG) were collected. A structured questionnaire captured workers perceptions about health impacts of heat stress and inadequate sanitary facilities at the workplace. Results : Workplace heat exposures exceeded the threshold limit value for safe manual work for 71% women (Avg. wet bulb globe temperature=30°C±2.3°C) during the study period. Eighty-seven percent of the 200 women who had inadequate/no toilets at their workplaces reported experiencing genitourinary problems periodically. Above normal CBT, SwR, and USG in about 10% women workers indicated heat strain and moderate dehydration that corroborated well with their perceptions. Observed significant associations between high-heat exposures and SwR ( t =−2.3879, p =0.0192), inadequate toilet facilities and self-reported adverse heat-related health symptoms ( χ 2 =4.03, p =0.0444), and prevalence of genitourinary issues ( χ 2 =42.92, p =0.0005×10 −7 ) reemphasize that heat is a risk and lack of sanitation facilities is a major health concern for women workers. Conclusions : The preliminary evidence suggests that health of women workers is at risk due to occupational heat exposures and inadequate sanitation facilities at many Indian workplaces. Intervention through strong labor policies with gender sensitivity is the need of the hour to empower women, avert further health risks, and also enhance productivity for the few million women workers who contribute largely to the country’s economy. Keywords : heat stress; sanitation facilities; genitourinary issues To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files under ‘Article Tools’ (Published: 14 September 2016) Citation : Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 31945 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31945
TL;DR: The results show the need to develop and implement strategies to vaccinate all children who contact health services in order to receive other interventions, as well as missed opportunities, which are shown in nearly all countries.
Abstract: Background : An estimated 23 million infants are still not being benefitted from routine immunization services. We assessed how many children failed to be fully immunized even though they or their mothers were in contact with health services to receive other interventions. Design : Fourteen countries with Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys carried out after 2000 and with coverage for DPT (Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine below 70% were selected. We defined full immunization coverage (FIC) as having received one dose of BCG (bacille Calmette-Guerin), one dose of measles, three doses of polio, and three doses of DPT vaccines. We tabulated FIC against: antenatal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA), postnatal care for the mother (PNC), vitamin A supplementation (VitA) for the child, and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed-net (ITN). Missed opportunities were defined as the percentage of children who failed to be fully immunized among those receiving one or more other interventions. Results : Children who received other health interventions were also more likely to be fully immunized. In nearly all countries, FIC was lowest among children born to mothers who failed to attend ANC, and highest when the mother had four or more ANC visits Cote d’Ivoire presented the largest difference in FIC: 54 percentage points (pp) between having four or more ANC visits and lack of ANC. SBA was also related with higher FIC. For instance, the coverage in children without SBA was 36 pp lower than for those with SBA in Nigeria. The largest absolute difference on FIC in relation to PNC was observed for Ethiopia: 31 pp between those without and with PNC. FIC was also positively related with having received VitA. The largest absolute difference was observed in DR Congo: 41 pp. The differences in FIC among whether or not children slept under ITN were much smaller than for other interventions. Haiti presented the largest absolute difference: 16 pp. Conclusions : Our results show the need to develop and implement strategies to vaccinate all children who contact health services in order to receive other interventions. Keywords: vaccines; vaccination; immunization; child health; health services (Published: 3 May 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 30963 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30963 Supplementary files: To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files under ‘Article Tools’
TL;DR: A previously developed mathematical model on importations of dengue was applied to estimate the number of ZikV importations into Europe, based on the travel volume, the probability of being infected at the time of travel, the population size of Brazil, and the estimated incidence of ZIKV infections.
Abstract: Background : Given the interconnectivity of Brazil with the rest of the world, Zika virus (ZIKV) infections have the potential to spread rapidly around the world via viremic travellers. The extent of spread depends on the travel volume and the endemicity in the exporting country. In the absence of reliable surveillance data, we did mathematical modelling to estimate the number of importations of ZIKV from Brazil into Europe. Design : We applied a previously developed mathematical model on importations of dengue to estimate the number of ZIKV importations into Europe, based on the travel volume, the probability of being infected at the time of travel, the population size of Brazil, and the estimated incidence of ZIKV infections. Results : Our model estimated between 508 and 1,778 imported infections into Europe in 2016, of which we would expect between 116 and 355 symptomatic Zika infections; with the highest number of importations being into France, Portugal and Italy. Conclusions : Our model identified high-risk countries in Europe. Such data can assist policymakers and public health professionals in estimating the extent of importations in order to prepare for the scale up of laboratory diagnostic assays and estimate the occurrence of Guillain–Barre Syndrome, potential sexual transmission, and infants with congenital ZIKV syndrome. Keywords: Zika virus; travel; importations; Brazil; Europe (Published: 17 May 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9: 31669 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31669
TL;DR: There is a clear need for further research on the links between climate change and health, particularly to research in and by those countries in which health will be mostly affected and capacity to adapt is least.
Abstract: Background : Climate change has been recognized as both one of the biggest threats and the biggest opportunities for global health in the 21st century. This trend review seeks to assess and characterize the amount and type of scientific literature on the link between climate change and human health. Design : We tracked the use of climate-related terms and their co-occurrence with health terms during the 25 years since the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, from 1990 to 2014, in two scientific databases and in the IPCC reports. We investigated the trends in the number of publications about health and climate change through time, by nature of the health impact under study, and by geographic area. We compared the scientific production in the health field with that of other sectors on which climate change has an impact. Results : The number of publications was extremely low in both databases from 1990 (325 and 1,004, respectively) until around 2006 (1,332 and 4,319, respectively), which has since then increased exponentially in recent years (6,079 and 17,395, respectively, in 2014). However, the number of climate change papers regarding health is still about half that of other sectors. Certain health impacts, particularly malnutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), remain substantially understudied. Approximately two-thirds of all published studies were carried out in OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), predominantly in Europe and North America. Conclusions : There is a clear need for further research on the links between climate change and health. This pertains particularly to research in and by those countries in which health will be mostly affected and capacity to adapt is least. Specific undertreated topics such as NCDs, malnutrition, and mental health should gain the priority they deserve. Funding agencies are invited to take note of and establish calls for proposals accordingly. Raising the interest in this research area in young scientists remains a challenge and should lead to innovative courses for large audiences, such as Massive Open Online Courses. Keywords : literature review; IPCC; NCDs; infectious diseases; malnutrition; respiratory diseases (Published: 21 June 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 30723 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30723 Supplementary material: To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files under ‘Article Tools’
TL;DR: A number of factors amenable to health service intervention associated with neonatal deaths in normal and low birthweight infants, including maternal knowledge of danger signs, response to health problems noted by parents in the first month, early initiation of breastfeeding, and delivery at home are identified.
Abstract: Background : Similar to global trends, neonatal mortality has fallen only slightly in Indonesia over the period 1990–2010, with a high proportion of deaths in the first week of life. Objective : This study aimed to identify risk factors associated with neonatal deaths of low and normal birthweight infants that were amenable to health service intervention at a community level in a relatively poor province of Indonesia. Design : A matched case–control study of neonatal deaths reported from selected community health centres ( puskesmas ) was conducted over 10 months in 2013. Cases were singleton births, born by vaginal delivery, at home or in a health facility, matched with two controls satisfying the same criteria. Potential variables related to maternal and neonatal risk factors were collected from puskesmas medical records and through home visit interviews. A conditional logistic regression was performed to calculate odds ratios using the clogit procedure in Stata 11. Results : Combining all significant variables related to maternal, neonatal, and delivery factors into a single multivariate model, six factors were found to be significantly associated with a higher risk of neonatal death. The factors identified were as follows: neonatal complications during birth; mother noting a health problem during the first 28 days; maternal lack of knowledge of danger signs for neonates; low Apgar score; delivery at home; and history of complications during pregnancy. Three risk factors (neonatal complication at delivery; neonatal health problem noted by mother; and low Apgar score) were significantly associated with early neonatal death at age 0–7 days. For normal birthweight neonates, three factors (complications during delivery; lack of early initiation of breastfeeding; and lack of maternal knowledge of neonatal danger signs) were found to be associated with a higher risk of neonatal death. Conclusion : The study identified a number of factors amenable to health service intervention associated with neonatal deaths in normal and low birthweight infants. These factors include maternal knowledge of danger signs, response to health problems noted by parents in the first month, early initiation of breastfeeding, and delivery at home. Addressing these factors could reduce neonatal deaths in low resource settings. Keywords: neonatal death; risk factors; matched case–control study; maternal health and neonatal health; Indonesia (Published: 16 February 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 30445 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30445
TL;DR: Although the overall level of child malnutrition was improved in Vietnam, there were significant differences in under-five child malnutrition that favored those who were more advantaged in socioeconomic terms.
Abstract: Background : Child malnutrition is not only a major contributor to child mortality and morbidity, but it can also determine socioeconomic status in adult life. The rate of under-five child malnutrition in Vietnam has significantly decreased, but associated inequality issues still need attention. Objective : This study aims to explore trends, contributing factors, and changes in inequalities for under-five child malnutrition in Vietnam between 2000 and 2011. Design : Data were drawn from the Viet Nam Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey for the years 2000 and 2011. The dependent variables used for the study were stunting, underweight, and wasting of under-five children. The concentration index was calculated to see the magnitude of child malnutrition, and the inequality was decomposed to understand the contributions of determinants to child malnutrition. The total differential decomposition was used to identify and explore factors contributing to changes in child malnutrition inequalities. Results : Inequality in child malnutrition increased between 2000 and 2011, even though the overall rate declined. Most of the inequality in malnutrition was due to ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The total differential decomposition showed that the biggest and second biggest contributors to the changes in underweight inequalities were age and socioeconomic status, respectively. Socioeconomic status was the largest contributor to inequalities in stunting. Conclusions : Although the overall level of child malnutrition was improved in Vietnam, there were significant differences in under-five child malnutrition that favored those who were more advantaged in socioeconomic terms. The impact of socioeconomic inequalities in child malnutrition has increased over time. Multifaceted approaches, connecting several relevant ministries and sectors, may be necessary to reduce inequalities in childhood malnutrition. Keywords: trend; malnutrition; inequality; decomposition; Vietnam (Published: 29 February 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 29263 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.29263 This paper is part of the Special Issue: Millennium Development Goals in Vietnam: the Progress and Social Determinants . More papers from this issue can be found at www.globalhealthaction.net
TL;DR: Findings from the study may help the health care providers to change their attitudes toward women survivors of domestic violence and result in improved services for them and their newborns.
Abstract: Background: Domestic violence during pregnancy has detrimental effects on the health of the mother and the newborn. Antenatal care provides a 'window of opportunity' to identify and assist victims ...
TL;DR: The African/Asian Regional Capacity Development (ARCADE) in Health Systems and Services Research (HSSR) and Research on Social Determinants of Health (RSDH) implemented from 2011 to 2015 improved both the capacity of junior researchers and the research environment in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Abstract: Background : Research capacity enhancement is needed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) for improved health, wellbeing, and health systems’ development. In this article, we discuss two capacity-building projects, the African/Asian Regional Capacity Development (ARCADE) in Health Systems and Services Research (HSSR) and Research on Social Determinants of Health (RSDH), implemented from 2011 to 2015. The two projects focussed on providing courses in HSSR and social determinants of health research, and on developing collaborations between universities, along with capacity in LMIC universities to manage research grant submissions, financing, and reporting. Both face-to-face and sustainable online teaching and learning resources were used in training at higher postgraduate levels (Masters and Doctoral level). Design : We collated project meeting and discussion minutes along with project periodic reports and deliverables. We extracted key outcomes from these, reflected on these in discussions, and summarised them for this paper. Results : Nearly 55 courses and modules were developed that were delivered to over 920 postgraduate students in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Junior researchers were mentored in presenting, developing, and delivering courses, and in preparing research proposals. In total, 60 collaborative funding proposals were prepared. The consortia also developed institutional capacity in research dissemination and grants management through webinars and workshops. Discussion : ARCADE HSSR and ARCADE RSDH were comprehensive programmes, focussing on developing the research skills, knowledge, and capabilities of junior researchers. One of the main strengths of these programmes was the focus on network building amongst the partner institutions, where each partner brought skills, expertise, and diverse work cultures into the consortium. Through these efforts, the projects improved both the capacity of junior researchers and the research environment in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Keywords: capacity building; health determinants; global health (Published: 6 October 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 30524 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30524 This paper is part of the Special Issue: Capacity building in global health research: is blended learning the answer? More papers from this issue can be found at http://www.globalhealthaction.net
TL;DR: The effect of low maternal age on child height restriction from 0 to 11 months occurred in half the countries studied after adjusting for confounders, and the latter is considered to be the most likely.
Abstract: Background : The association of early maternal birthing age with smaller children has been widely observed. However, it is unclear if this is due to confounding by factors such as socioeconomic status, or the age at which child growth restriction first occurs. Objective : To examine the effect of early maternal birthing age on the first-born child’s height-for-age in a sample of developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Design : Cross-sectional data from Demographic Health Surveys from 18 countries were used, to select the first-born child of mothers aged 15–24 years and a range of potential confounding factors, including maternal height. Child length/height-for-age z -scores (HAZs) was estimated in age bands of 0–11, 12–23, 24–35, 36–47, and 48–59 months; HAZ was first compared between maternal age groups of 15–17, 18–19, and 20–24 years. Results : 1) There were significant bivariate associations between low child HAZ and young maternal age (71 of 180 possible cases; at p <0.10), but the majority of these did not persist when controlling for confounders (41 cases, 23% of the 180). 2) For children <12 months, when controlling for confounders, three out of seven Asian countries showed a significant association between lower infant HAZ and low maternal age, as did six out of nine African countries (15–17 or 15–19 years vs. the older group). 3) The association (adjusted) continued after 24 months in 12 of the 18 countries, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 4) The stunting differences for children between maternal age groups were around 9 percentage points (ppts) in Asia, 14 ppts in Africa, and 10 ppts in Latin America. These data do not show whether this is due to, for example, socioeconomic factors that were not included, an emerging effect of intrauterine growth restriction, or the child feeding or caring behaviors of young mothers. The latter is considered to be the most likely. Conclusions : The effect of low maternal age on child height restriction from 0 to 11 months occurred in half the countries studied after adjusting for confounders. Poorer growth continuing after 24 months in children of younger mothers was observed in all regions, but needs further research to determine the causes. The effects were about double (in stunting prevalence terms) in Africa, where there was an increase in 10 ppts in stunting for children of young mothers. Keywords: child malnutrition; adolescent pregnancy; age at first childbirth; growth; Demographic Health Surveys (Published: 15 November 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 31171 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31171
TL;DR: There is a need to revise health care policy and practice in Uganda to consider the health needs of older people, particularly as the numbers of people living into older age with HIV and other chronic conditions are increasing.
Abstract: Background : Data on the prevalence of chronic conditions, their risk factors, and their associations with disability in older people living with and without HIV are scarce in sub-Saharan Africa. Objectives : In older people living with and without HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: 1) to describe the prevalence of chronic conditions and their risk factors and 2) to draw attention to associations between chronic conditions and disability. Methods : Cross-sectional individual-level survey data from people aged 50 years and over living with and without HIV were analyzed from three study sites in Uganda. Diagnoses of chronic conditions were made through self-report, and disability was determined using the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS). We used ordered logistic regression and calculated predicted probabilities to show differences in the prevalence of multiple chronic conditions across HIV status, age groups, and locality. We used linear regression to determine associations between chronic conditions and the WHODAS. Results : In total, 471 participants were surveyed; about half the respondents were living with HIV. The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and eye problems (except for those aged 60–69 years) was higher in the HIV-positive participants and increased with age. The prevalence of diabetes and angina was higher in HIV-negative participants. The odds of having one or more compared with no chronic conditions were higher in women (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.3) and in those aged 70 years and above (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2–3.6). Sleep problems (coefficient 14.2, 95% CI 7.3–21.0) and depression (coefficient 9.4, 95% CI 1.2–17.0) were strongly associated with higher disability scores. Conclusion : Chronic conditions are common in older adults and affect their functioning. Many of these conditions are not currently addressed by health services in Uganda. There is a need to revise health care policy and practice in Uganda to consider the health needs of older people, particularly as the numbers of people living into older age with HIV and other chronic conditions are increasing. Keywords: Africa; aging; aging disability; HIV/AIDS; older adults; non-communicable diseases; Uganda (Published: 24 May 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9: 31098 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31098
TL;DR: The findings showed that the proportion of diarrheal morbidity among under-5 children varied considerably across the cohorts of birth from 10 to 35% and suggests the need to fight against diarrheals on both the local and community levels across villages.
Abstract: Background : Diarrheal diseases are a major cause of child mortality and one of the main causes of medical consultation for children in sub-Saharan countries. This paper attempts to determine the risk factors and neighborhood inequalities of diarrheal morbidity among under-5 children in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa over the period 1990–2013. Design : Data used come from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) waves conducted in Burkina Faso (1992–93, 1998–99, 2003, and 2010), Mali (1995, 2001, 2016, and 2012), Nigeria (1990, 1999, 2003, 2008, and 2013), and Niger (1992, 1998, 2006, and 2012). Bivariate analysis was performed to assess the association between the dependent variable and each of the independent variables. Multilevel logistic regression modelling was used to determine the fixed and random effects of the risk factors associated with diarrheal morbidity. Results : The findings showed that the proportion of diarrheal morbidity among under-5 children varied considerably across the cohorts of birth from 10 to 35%. There were large variations in the proportion of diarrheal morbidity across countries. The proportions of diarrheal morbidity were higher in Niger compared with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria. The risk factors of diarrheal morbidity varied from one country to another, but the main factors included the child’s age, size of the child at birth, the quality of the main floor material, mother’s education and her occupation, type of toilet, and place of residence. The analysis shows an increasing trend of diarrheal inequalities according to DHS rounds. In Burkina Faso, the value of the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was 0.04 for 1993 DHS and 0.09 in 2010 DHS; in Mali, the ICC increased from 0.04 in 1995 to 0.16 in 2012; in Nigeria, the ICC increased from 0.13 in 1990 to 0.19 in 2013; and in Niger, the ICC increased from 0.07 in 1992 to 0.11 in 2012. Conclusions : This suggests the need to fight against diarrheal diseases on both the local and community levels across villages. Keywords: diarrheal morbidity; neighborhood inequalities; under-5 mortality; sub-Saharan Africa; Demographic and Health Survey (Published: 11 May 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 30166 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30166 Supplementary files: To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files under ‘Article Tools’
TL;DR: The virtual elimination target of a 0.1% incidence rate in adults will be difficult to achieve, and interventions that address the infectiousness of patients after ART initiation will be particularly critical to achieving long-term HIV incidence declines in South Africa.
Abstract: Background : The goal of virtual elimination of horizontal and mother-to-child HIV transmission in South Africa (SA) has been proposed, but there have been few systematic investigations of which interventions are likely to be most critical to reducing HIV incidence. Objective : This study aims to evaluate SA’s potential to achieve virtual elimination targets and to identify which interventions will be most critical to achieving HIV incidence reductions. Design : A mathematical model was developed to simulate the population-level impact of different HIV interventions in SA. Probability distributions were specified to represent uncertainty around 32 epidemiological parameters that could be influenced by interventions, and correlation coefficients ( r ) were calculated to assess the sensitivity of the adult HIV incidence rates and mother-to-child transmission rates (2015–2035) to each epidemiological parameter. Results : HIV incidence in SA adults (ages 15–49) is expected to decline from 1.4% in 2011–2012 to 0.29% by 2035 (95% CI: 0.10–0.62%). The parameters most strongly correlated with future adult HIV incidence are the rate of viral suppression after initiating antiretroviral treatment (ART) ( r =−0.56), the level of condom use in non-marital relationships ( r =−0.40), the phase-in of intensified risk-reduction counselling for HIV-positive adults ( r =0.29), the uptake of medical male circumcision ( r =−0.24) and the phase-in of universal ART eligibility ( r =0.22). The paediatric HIV parameters most strongly associated with mother-to-child transmission rates are the relative risk of transmission through breastfeeding when the mother is receiving ART ( r =0.70) and the rate of ART initiation during pregnancy ( r =−0.16). Conclusions : The virtual elimination target of a 0.1% incidence rate in adults will be difficult to achieve. Interventions that address the infectiousness of patients after ART initiation will be particularly critical to achieving long-term HIV incidence declines in South Africa. Keywords: HIV/AIDS; mathematical model; South Africa (Published: 8 June 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9: 30314 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30314
TL;DR: It is revealed that cigarette ads were perceived as encouraging youths to smoke and that smoking status was consistently associated with perception of cigarette ads targeted at youths, attitude toward TAPS, and susceptibility as well as smoking friends and family.
Abstract: Background : Previous studies have reported an association between cigarette advertising and smoking behavior. Although this has been reported extensively in the West, it has been reported less in Southeast Asian countries that have not completely banned tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship (TAPS). Indonesia is the only ASEAN country that has not ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, so TAPS regulation is limited. This study aimed to assess the association between youths’ perceptions of cigarette ads and smoking initiation. Design : We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 2,115 high school students aged 13–18 years in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to gauge the perception of cigarette ads and initiation to smoking. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) between the perception of cigarette ads and smoking initiation, adjusting for sociodemographic and psychosocial variables. The sociodemographic variables included in the final model were age and sex. Results : The final multivariate model showed an association between perception of tobacco ads encouraging youths to smoke and smoking initiation (OR 2.70) and current smoking (OR 7.63). Attitude toward TAPS was associated with smoking initiation (OR 1.51) and current smoking (OR 3.32). Exposure to cigarette ads had an association with smoking initiation only (OR 1.27) and did not have an association with current smoking. Having friends and family who smoked was associated with smoking initiation and current smoking in the final multivariate model. Smoking initiation and current smoking were also related to the susceptibility to smoke. Conclusions : This study revealed that cigarette ads were perceived as encouraging youths to smoke and that smoking status was consistently associated with perception of cigarette ads targeted at youths, attitude toward TAPS, and susceptibility as well as smoking friends and family. Regulations to ban TAPS, particularly cigarette ads for preventing youths from smoking, should be adopted rapidly in Indonesia, where tobacco control remains limited. Keywords: perception; cigarette ads; smoking status; Indonesia (Published: 29 August 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9: 30914 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30914
TL;DR: Close monitoring of weight and MUAC gain to assess nutritional improvement with due emphasis given to children with lower admission weight, children of age 3 years and above and marasmic children will have a positive effect on treatment duration and outcome.
Abstract: Background : The outpatient therapeutic care program (OTP) of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) has been decentralized to health post level in Ethiopia since 2008–2009. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding treatment outcomes and factors related to the duration of stay on treatment after its decentralization to health post level. Objective : This study was aimed to assess treatment outcome and factors affecting time to recovery in children with SAM treated at OTP. Design : Health facility–based retrospective cohort study was conducted using data from 348 patient cards. The outcome variable was time to recovery. Descriptive analysis was done using percentages for categorical data and mean/median for continuous variables. A robust method of analyzing time to event data, the Cox proportional-hazard regression, was used. All statistical tests in this study are declared significant at p< 0.05. Result : 89.1% of children with kwashiorkor and 69.4% of children with marasmus were recovered. Of the total children studied, 22% were readmitted cases. The median time of recovery was 35 days for children with kwashiorkor and 49 days for children with marasmus. Children older than 3 years were 33% less likely to achieve nutritional recovery [adjusted hazard ratio, AHR=0.67, 95% confidence interval, CI (0.46, 0.97)]. Similarly, marasmic children stayed longer on treatment [AHR=0.42, 95% CI (0.32, 0.56)]. However, children who gained Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) ≥ 0.24 mm/day were 59% more likely to recover faster [AHR=1.59, 95% CI (1.23, 2.06)]. Conclusions : Close monitoring of weight and MUAC gain to assess nutritional improvement with due emphasis given to children with lower admission weight, children of age 3 years and above and marasmic children will have a positive effect on treatment duration and outcome. Keywords: time to recovery; severe acute malnutrition; outpatient therapeutic care; health post; Southern Ethiopia (Published: 8 July 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 30704 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30704
TL;DR: Significant disparities currently exist among SSA countries in genomics research capacity, which underscores the need to focus on developing local capacity, especially among those affiliated with SSA universities where there are more opportunities for teaching and research.
Abstract: Background : The poor genomics research capacity of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) could prevent maximal benefits from the applications of genomics in the practice of medicine and research The objective of this study is to examine the author affiliations of genomic epidemiology publications in order to make recommendations for building local genomics research capacity in SSA Design : SSA genomic epidemiology articles published between 2004 and 2013 were extracted from the Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) database Data on authorship details, country of population studied, and phenotype or disease were extracted Factors associated with the first author, who has an SSA institution affiliation (AIAFA), were determined using a Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis Results : The most commonly studied population was South Africa, accounting for 311%, followed by Ghana (106%) and Kenya (75%) About one-tenth of the papers were related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer (61%) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) (43%) Fewer than half of the first authors (469%) were affiliated with an African institution Among the 238 articles with an African first author, over three-quarters (798%) belonged to a university or medical school, 168% were affiliated with a research institute, and 34% had affiliations with other institutions Conclusions : Significant disparities currently exist among SSA countries in genomics research capacity South Africa has the highest genomics research output, which is reflected in the investments made in its genomics and biotechnology sector These findings underscore the need to focus on developing local capacity, especially among those affiliated with SSA universities where there are more opportunities for teaching and research Keywords: capacity building; genomics; health research; sub-Saharan Africa; bibliometric analysis (Published: 12 May 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 31026 - http://dxdoiorg/103402/ghav931026 Supplementary material: To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files under ‘Article Tools’
TL;DR: How problematic constructions of masculinity and femininity are (re)produced but also challenged within a range of different families is revealed and has important implications for promoting gender equality and therefore for disrupting violence and sexual risk as gendered health issues.
Abstract: Background : High rates of violence and HIV have been documented within the South African context. Constructions of masculinity and femininity that position men as dominant and highly sexually active and women as subordinate and acquiescent have been found to contribute towards gender inequality. This inequality is in turn related to negative health consequences, specifically violence against women, children, and other men, as well as sexual risk. Within this context it becomes important to explore how problematic constructions of gender are being (re)produced and how these constructions are being challenged. Families have been identified as key sites in which gender is both constructed and enacted on a daily basis and it is within this space that children are first exposed to notions of gender. Objective : This article draws from a study that was intended to expand on the limited understandings of the ways in which gender (in)equality is constructed and conveyed within the context of South African families on an everyday basis. Design : Children and parents in 18 families from a range of different material and cultural backgrounds were interviewed about the meanings and practices of gender within their homes. Data were analysed using a Foucauldian discourse analysis. Results : The data reveal how problematic constructions of masculinity and femininity are (re)produced but also challenged within a range of different families. Gender and gender (in)equality are therefore routinely accomplished in complex ways. Conclusions : These findings have important implications for promoting gender equality and therefore for disrupting violence and sexual risk as gendered health issues. Keywords: violence; HIV; gender; families; South Africa (Published: 9 June 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9: 31122 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31122
TL;DR: Financial incentives used in the reform formed a significant part of health workers’ income and influenced their job motivation, suggesting PBF is more likely to succeed when income, training needs, and the desire for a sense of community service are addressed and institutionalized within the health system.
Abstract: Background : Financial incentives are widely used in performance-based financing (PBF) schemes, but their contribution to health workers’ incomes and job motivation is poorly understood. Cambodia undertook health sector reform from the middle of 2009 and PBF was employed as a part of the reform process. Objective : This study examines job motivation for primary health workers (PHWs) under PBF reform in Cambodia and assesses the relationship between job motivation and income. Design : A cross-sectional self-administered survey was conducted on 266 PHWs, from 54 health centers in the 15 districts involved in the reform. The health workers were asked to report all sources of income from public sector jobs and provide answers to 20 items related to job motivation. Factor analysis was conducted to identify the latent variables of job motivation. Factors associated with motivation were identified through multivariable regression. Results : PHWs reported multiple sources of income and an average total income of US$190 per month. Financial incentives under the PBF scheme account for 42% of the average total income. PHWs had an index motivation score of 4.9 (on a scale from one to six), suggesting they had generally high job motivation that was related to a sense of community service, respect, and job benefits. Regression analysis indicated that income and the perception of a fair distribution of incentives were both statistically significant in association with higher job motivation scores. Conclusions : Financial incentives used in the reform formed a significant part of health workers’ income and influenced their job motivation. Improving job motivation requires fixing payment mechanisms and increasing the size of incentives. PBF is more likely to succeed when income, training needs, and the desire for a sense of community service are addressed and institutionalized within the health system. Keywords: job motivation; health workers; performance-based financing; health reform; financial incentives; Cambodia (Published: 17 June 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 31068 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31068
TL;DR: It is concluded that a comprehensive national effort is needed to stem the tide of the growing burden of diabetes mellitus type 2 and its complications in Nepal.
Abstract: Background and objectives : Diabetes has become an increasingly prevalent and severe public health problem in Nepal. The Nepalese health system is struggling to deliver comprehensive, quality treatment and services for diabetes at all levels of health care. This study aims to review evidence on the prevalence, cost and treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 and its complications in Nepal and to critically assess the challenges to be addressed to contain the epidemic and its negative economic impact. Design : A comprehensive review of available evidence and data sources on prevalence, risk factors, cost, complications, treatment, and management of diabetes mellitus type 2 in Nepal was conducted through an online database search for articles published in English between January 2000 and November 2015. Additionally, we performed a manual search of articles and reference lists of published articles for additional references. Results : Diabetes mellitus type 2 is emerging as a major health care problem in Nepal, with rising prevalence and its complications especially in urban populations. Several challenges in diabetes management were identified, including high cost of treatment, limited health care facilities, and lack of disease awareness among patients. No specific guideline was identified for the prevention and treatment of diabetes in Nepal. Conclusions : We conclude that a comprehensive national effort is needed to stem the tide of the growing burden of diabetes mellitus type 2 and its complications in Nepal. The government should develop a comprehensive plan to tackle diabetes and other non-communicable diseases supported by appropriate health infrastructure and funding. Keywords: diabetes mellitus type 2; diabetes complications; costs; low-income country; health care; Nepal (Published: 18 October 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 31704 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.31704
TL;DR: A country assessment tool and user's manual, based on fundamental principles, have been developed to support countries to assess the privacy, confidentiality, and security of personal health information at facility, data warehouse/repository, and national levels.
Abstract: Background : As increasing amounts of personal information are being collected through a plethora of electronic modalities by statutory and non-statutory organizations, ensuring the confidentiality and security of such information has become a major issue globally. While the use of many of these media can be beneficial to individuals or populations, they can also be open to abuse by individuals or statutory and non-statutory organizations. Recent examples include collection of personal information by national security systems and the development of national programs like the Chinese Social Credit System. In many low- and middle-income countries, an increasing amount of personal health information is being collected. The collection of personal health information is necessary, in order to develop longitudinal medical records and to monitor and evaluate the use, cost, outcome, and impact of health services at facility, sub-national, and national levels. However, if personal health information is not held confidentially and securely, individuals with communicable or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) may be reluctant to use preventive or therapeutic health services, due to fear of being stigmatized or discriminated against. While policymakers and other stakeholders in these countries recognize the need to develop and implement policies for protecting the privacy, confidentiality and security of personal health information, to date few of these countries have developed, let alone implemented, coherent policies. The global HIV response continues to emphasize the importance of collecting HIV-health information, recently re-iterated by the Fast Track to End AIDS by 2030 program and the recent changes in the Guidelines on When to Start Antiretroviral Therapy and on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV . The success of developing HIV treatment cascades in low- and middle-income countries will require the development of National Health Identification Systems. The success of programs like Universal Health Coverage, under the recently ratified Sustainable Development Goals is also contingent on the availability of personal health information for communicable and non-communicable diseases. Design : Guidance for countries to develop and implement their own guidelines for protecting HIV-information formed the basis of identifying a number of fundamental principles, governing the areas of privacy, confidentiality and security. The use of individual-level data must balance maximizing the benefits from their most effective and fullest use, and minimizing harm resulting from their malicious or inadvertent release. Discussion : These general principles are described in this paper, as along with a bibliography referring to more detailed technical information. A country assessment tool and user’s manual, based on these principles, have been developed to support countries to assess the privacy, confidentiality, and security of personal health information at facility, data warehouse/repository, and national levels. The successful development and implementation of national guidance will require strong collaboration at local, regional, and national levels, and this is a pre-condition for the successful implementation of a range of national and global programs. Conclusion : This paper is a call for action for stakeholders in low- and middle-income countries to develop and implement such coherent policies and provides fundamental principles governing the areas of privacy, confidentiality, and security of personal health information being collected in low- and middle-income countries. Keywords: personal health information; privacy laws; confidentiality; security; stigma; discrimination; ethics; SDGs; Big Data (Published: 23 November 2016) Responsible Editor: Peter Byass, Umea University, Sweden. To access the supplementary material for this article, please see Supplementary files in the column to the right (under ‘Article Tools’) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 32089 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.32089