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global health

Rethinking human resources for health in post-earthquake Nepal

1 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

Attracting, distributing, and retaining health workers remain a challenge in Nepal. In 2011, Nepal had 0.04 doctors and 0.23 nurses per 1000 people, against a World Health Organization benchmark of 2.3 health workers per 1000 people. A survey conducted in 2013 revealed that only about 50% of sanctioned posts for doctors and nurses were filled in district hospitals. Overall, two thirds of sanctioned posts were filled in hospitals and lower level health facilities.

Nepal’s already crippled health system was further aggravated by the 7.8 Richter scale earthquake on 25 April and a strong aftershock of 7.2 on 12 May 2015. A total of 8841 deaths including 18 health workers, 22 309 injuries including 75 health workers, and 117 000 displacements have been reported as of 26 June 2015. more…

The African Journal Partnership Project: Raising the visibility of African medical publishing and research

25 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

navjoyt_ladherFor the past 11 years, the African Journal Partnership Project (AJPP) has paired leading medical journals in the UK and the US with counterparts in Africa, aiming to foster the development of medical publishing in the African continent so that valuable African health and medical research is available to a wider international audience.

The project was started after the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and Fogarty International Center (part of the National Institutes of Health) recognised that there were problems with the availability and dissemination of medical literature in Africa. As the AJPP website explains: “Despite the recognised benefits of health and medical journals to clinical practitioners, Africa’s health and medical journal production and distribution are low and therefore do not make research from endemic areas available to colleagues on the continent or in the international scientific community.” more…

Marge Berer on the global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health

22 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

This week in New York, the zero draft of the outcome document of the post-2015 development agenda, “Transforming Our World,” will be negotiated at the United Nations (UN). The document provides the main framework for the post-2015 development agenda that will be adopted during the UN Summit in September. A post-2015 women’s coalition, coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in the US, has been contributing to the development of these frameworks in support of a comprehensive gender equality strategy which is inclusive, addresses inequalities, and is accountable to all. While the outcome document does highlight women’s rights and gender equality prominently, it is not a given that this focus will remain, since women’s rights are often used as a bargaining chip and dropped during negotiations. more…

Jocalyn Clark: The surprising links between child marriage, climate change, and health

16 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

Jocalyn_Clark1It seems obvious that child marriage—marriage before 18 years of age—would be bad for girls’ health. It risks injury and death due to early pregnancy and abuse, and usually means girls stop going to school.

But the link to climate change is less conspicuous. A new Human Rights Watch report, focused on Bangladesh, which has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world (a full 30% of females in this country are married before 15), sheds light on the role of climate change. Having never thought of adolescent health this way, I find the tripartite fascinating. more…

Salil Patel: Why you should know about global surgery

12 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

salil_patel2More people die from a lack of surgical care than from HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Half of the world’s population face catastrophic financial expenditure due to surgery. With over 90% of people in most low and middle income countries lacking affordable, surgical care, medical students around the world are helping work towards resolving this injustice.

The last time you donated to a medical charity, it probably had no relation to surgery whatsoever. Why should it? To many, surgery is still a luxurious medical intervention reserved for high income countries. Paul Farmer, of Harvard’s School of Public Health, famously described surgery as the “neglected stepchild of global health.” more…

The sustainable development goals: Priorities for the global health community?

9 Jun, 15 | by BMJ

Joseph Millum_2

Joseph Millum

Daniel Sharp

Daniel Sharp

As the 2015 deadline for the attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs) approaches, a UN working group has released a draft proposal for their successors. Among the health related targets of the proposed new sustainable development goals (SDGs) are:

• Reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030
• End preventable deaths of newborns and under 5s by 2030
• End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases by 2030
• Reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by one third by 2030
• Halve deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020
• Achieve universal health coverage for all more…

Ian Barker: Why we should all move to an opt-out system for organ donation

22 May, 15 | by BMJ

ian_barkerOn 1 December 2015, Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce an opt-out system for organ donation. This means that patients will need to actively opt out of organ and tissue donation—otherwise consent will be assumed. This change is significant and one to be welcomed. As an advocate of organ donation, I hope the rest of the UK soon follows suit, having witnessed the benefit of transplantation and the solace it can bring to families involved. more…

Tamzin Furtado: What Global Health Trials has taught us about research capacity building

19 May, 15 | by BMJ

Recently the research community, Global Health Trials, celebrated its fifth anniversary. In five years, Global Health Trials has evolved dramatically as the needs of its audience emerged, and today we reflect on what this process has taught us about the concept of research capacity building in low and middle income countries (LMICs).


Aser García Rada: Migrant access to healthcare in Spain

15 May, 15 | by BMJ

Aser García Rada_BMJAfter two and a half years, Mariano Rajoy´s conservative People´s Party (PP) government in Spain has partially amended their irrational decision to exclude undocumented migrants and other groups from public healthcare access in Spain. Imminent regional and local elections and general elections scheduled for later this year might allow migrants to get some access to healthcare. But not much.

Although Alfonso Alonso, the new minister of health, announced on 31 March that migrants again be granted access to primary care again, they won’t have access to specialized care nor to publicly funded prescription drugs. That means GPs will be able to diagnose cancer, hypertension, or diabetes, but will not be able to offer patients any treatment. more…

Chris​ Simms: Canada’s murdered and missing aboriginals

12 May, 15 | by BMJ

Chris_simsHow would you know and what would it matter if the invisible disappeared? The self-described “invisible” are Canada’s aboriginal women, and the “disappeared” are the 1189 aboriginal women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing since 1980—young aboriginal women being five times more likely to die as a result of violence than non-aboriginal women of the same age.

As to who knows and who cares, grieving families claim few take notice and most don’t care. They cite Prime Minister Steven Harper as a case in point; although he made “safe streets and safe communities” and “putting victims first” top priorities, they do not seem to apply to aboriginals. When asked about the murdered and missing, many of them children, he told national television: “Um, to be honest it’s not high on our radar”—as if to confirm they were literally “invisible.” more…

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