Category Archives: Global Health

Inégalités en santé et minorités ethniques

Autour du monde, l’état de santé des personnes issues de minorités ethniques est moins bon comparé au reste de la population. Les soins de santé accessibles à ces populations sont de moins bonne qualité.

A travers son  rapport 2013, le Minority Rights Group International décrit  les facteurs contribuant aux inégalités en santé et propose des pistes d’intervention afin que les pays puissent mieux répondre aux besoins de l’ensemble de leur population.

accéder à la page ONU web : droits des minorités 

NCD initiatives

In 2011 WHO organized the First global ministerial conference on healthy lifestyles and NCDs control. Based on The Global strategy for the prevention and control of NCDs and its action plan, the conference aimed at supporting Member States to develop and strengthen policies and programmes on healthy lifestyles and NCD prevention. 

The forum report describes the objectives, content and the meeting  outcomes  that would help to move NCD prevention and control forward ( p.19) Here are some key outcomes:

−There was broad agreement that NCD prevention and control is critical to national development (health, social and economic) and effective development cannot occur without addressing NCDs.

– Better epidemiological surveillance of NCDs is critical to demonstrate the extent of the problem and empower government action based on evidence and to monitor progress.

Health systems strengthening, including adequate and well-trained supply of health worker, should focus on integration across disease areas and particularly on community-based primary health care.

Implementing the agreed ‘best buys’, e.g. raising taxes on tobacco and alcohol are key opportunities to reduce risk factors and, potentially, generate revenue that can be used to tackle NCDs


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

Looking at the impact of SORT-IT for health programmes

In order to evaluate the impact of the SORT-IT initiative, Zachariah and colleagues assessed  the changes in health policies and practice following the publications of the module participants.
74% of the studies assessed  (65 out of 88 ) brought an effect on policy and  practice  in one of the following domains: changes in program implementation, adaptation of monitoring tools or changes of existing guidelines. 

Rony Zachariah et al. Research to policy and practice change: is capacity building in operational research delivering the goods? Tropical Medicine & International Health. Volume 19, Issue 9, pages 1068–1075, September 2014

SORT-IT initiative outcomes

The Union reported on three publications about the results of the SORT-IT initiative

  • After the courses, 62% of participants completed a new research project; 50% published another paper; and 43% facilitated at other operational research courses.  A significant proportion of participants continue to engage in operational research after completing a course, providing evidence of the long-term value of this capacity building model.
  • 74% of the studies produced a reported effect that included changes to programme implementation, adaptation of monitoring tools and changes to existing guidelines.

access the Union page

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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