Category Archives: Access to care

The tremendous gap in death rates due to NCD

Non communicable diseases (NCD), such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases represent a new epidemic worldwide.

NCD kill more than 36 million people each year. Nine million of all deaths attributed to NCD occur before the age of 60; 90% of these “premature” deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. (WHO fact sheet)

The difference in death rates due to NCD between countries shows once again the major inequities existing around the world  in term of access to prevention and treatment services for the population, for the same diseases.

WHO’s interactive map shows the NCD death rates around the world. access map here

Switzerland :292/100.000 population   USA:  413/100.000

Swaziland: 702/100.000   Haiti: 725/100.000   Laos 680.000/100.000

SORT-IT: public health professionals are asking for it!

When I started writing in this blog I posted a couple of notes related to the development of operational research. A few month later, here I am with a success story!

SORT-IT  (Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative) is a training model designed by The Union and MSF, who joined with the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases(TDR) at the World Health Organization (WHO) to work toward spreading  operational research skills, in order to encourage public health professionals all over the world (and especially in developing countries) to design, implement and publish research outcomes capable to feed national health programs and thus improve health services for people all over the world.

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Ramsay, Harries, Zachariah et al.,The Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative for public health programmes,  Health Action, vol. 4 no. 2, published 21 June 2014

Increasing the use of VCT for HIV through a better education of the general population

Researchers looked at the perception of Kenyan women about voluntary counseling and testing for HIV. Fear of stigma, especially targeting women, is the main reason for not submitting to VCT.

In order to generalize the use of VCT and thus to provide treatment to the ones in need, there should be more emphasis put on education for the general population about HIV.

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Le renoncement aux soins: un patient sur 10 concerné en Suisse Romande

La troisième session de la formation continue “Migration et Santé”, organisée par la PMU a abordé ce sujet qui a été relayé dans plusieurs médias suisses romands, suite aux résultats de l’étude CERESO, portant sur le renoncement aux soins pour des raisons économiques.

Ainsi,  sur la base de questionnaires distribués à 2030 patients dans 47 cabinets médicaux de Suisse romande, l’étude a pu mettre en évidence que 1 patient sur 10 a du renoncer à des soins médicaux (y compris soins dentaires) pour des raisons économiques au cours de l’année précédente.

 Ainsi, «Durant les douze derniers mois, avez-vous eu de la peine à payer les factures de votre ménage ?» est la question-clé qui va permettre au médecin (et aux autres soignants) d’ ouvrir la porte à la discussion avec le patient, concernant son éventuelle difficulté à accéder aux soins nécessaires pour des raisons financières.

Article: Bodenmann, P. et al. (2014). Renoncement aux soins : comment appréhender cette réalité en médecine de premier recours?. Rev Med Suisse, 10, 2258-63.

Tackling inequalities in health for mental health patients

People living with mental illness suffer from many disadvantages in regard with their health status, among others: earlier death, more preventable diseases,  tiresome side effects from medications. In addition to this, when seeking health care they often receive lower quality care compared to other patients.

This article points out the obstacles that people suffering from mental health face in regard of  accessing health care that is adapted to their vulnerabilities.

The main goal of the article is to formulate recommendations for designing health policies that better take into account the needs of mental health patients and thus tackle inequalities in health.

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Soins aux patients migrants : une nouvelle formation en ligne!

L’OFSP vient de publier , dans le cadre du programme “Santé 2020”, un excellent outil de formation disponible gratuitement et en ligne destiné aux infirmiers, aux médecins et au personnel d’accueil.

Interaction et qualité
dans le domaine de la santé

Trois modules de formation avec un test final afin de favoriser des soins de qualité pour tous!

Accéder au module e-learning

Great inequity in health workers distribution around the world

Health workforce shortage is becoming  an urgent problem in high income countries ( including Switzerland). In order to respond to an increasing need,  health workers have been drained from other countries ( including from developing countries).

But when looking at the availability of health workers around the world related to the population needs, there is a great inequity in the distribution of nurses and doctors among countries, which should encourage a more fair distribution of resources and a greater effort in education of health workers across the globe.

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Good news for management of severe malaria

Dr. Terrie Taylor is a medical professor at Michigan State University who spent years  studying malaria in Africa. In 2008 she managed to get a Magnetic resonance imaging machines (MRI’s) donated to her project in order to research the reactions going on in the brain of children suffering from severe malaria. access link here

Severe malaria is the kills 600,000 children under five every year worldwide, mostly in sub-saharan Africa. Taylor and her colleagues used the MRI on dozens of sick patients, and they noticed an unmistakable pattern: Children whose brains swelled dramatically and irreversibly died. Children whose brains did not swell – or swelled, but then returned to a normal size – lived.

This discovery is important because it might dramatically increase the chances for children to survive a severe malaria, by administrating drugs to reduce brain swelling. These drugs (corticosteroid) are in the WHO List of Essential Medicines for Children and are likely to be easily accessible in most health centers in Africa.



Improving health workers’ skills trough short videos

Today I found this great project, aiming at providing short videos ( also suitable for cell phones) about key health care procedures for treatment of newborns. The videos are based on recognized WHO protocols and are tested for comprehension in focus groups. They are available in many languages. I think it’s a great way to pass clear and culturally-adapted short messages to health workers as a complementary tool for training.

Access Global Health Media