In 1895, poet Joseph Malins described an ill-starred town shadowed by a cliff. Citizens would regularly tumble off the cliff, so the town mercifully pays for a public ambulance. The poet berates the town for not building a fence at the rim of the cliff. As the G20 come together this July in Hamburg, they should take heed and learn the lessons from this fenceless town. Addressing global health security challenges like pandemics and resistance to antibiotics requires not just an ambulance, but a fence too.Read More
Cultivating a positive performance review culture: lessons from the maternal and newborn study in Eastern Uganda
Makerere University School of Public Health recently concluded a four-year intervention aimed at sustainably improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes, implemented in the Eastern Ugandan districts of Kamuli, Pallisa and Kibuku. The intervention - the Maternal and Neonatal Implementation for Equitable Systems Study or MANIFEST - employed a participatory action research approach that has been lauded for increasing sustainability chances. This blog post examines lessons learned from the performance review meetings which were part of the approach.Read More
“Scaling up” is considered as a pertinent and scientific pathway recognized by academia and policy makers to reduce inequalities, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and for universal health coverage. To build upon and learn from the longstanding partnership between Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), a two day conference was held on 7 -8 February in Dhaka, Bangladesh to share diverse perspectives, pathways and learnings from contextual settings to achieve successful scaling up of interventions and collaborations. The conference, in addition to throwing light on the pathways of scaling up of programs through our learnings, also acted as a potential accelerator for collaboration. This blog post shares five critical reflections from the conference mentioned below.
International Women’s Day, women’s health & gender: Four things to consider as health practitioners and researchers
This International Women’s Day, March 8 2017, RinGs consider the relationship between women’s health and gender inequity and identify key points for health practitioners and researchers to consider.Read More
In India, there is a growing interest in partnership driven innovative service delivery models for providing health services to the poor. Consequently, the state and central governments in India have initiated 226 innovative programs of which 43 are through public private partnerships (PPPs). In spite of this interest in PPPs, very few programs have been scaled up to reach a wider population.On one hand, PPPs are lauded as an innovative model for service delivery and multiplicative scale-up that includes multiple actors. On the other hand, it is argued that factors such as inadequate funding, changing political context and PPP modalities like tendering and contracts limit the resources available for development and scale-up of innovations. But the fundamental question is – how can partnerships based on the premise of collaborative functioning that leverages each other’s strengths foster innovative solutions for local problems and drive them to scale?Read More
Ensuring sustainability through working with local resources: lessons from a maternal and newborn study in Eastern Uganda
How sustainable is your intervention? If someone wanted to replicate it, how easy would it be? What happens when the study ends? Will the communities be able to continue with this initiative after the implementers have gone? Ayub Kakaire, FHS PIRU Officer for Uganda, blogs about what working on the Maternal and Neonatal Implementation for Equitable Systems (MANIFEST) study has taught him about how to ensure an intervention is sustainable.Read More
The experience of the West African Ebola epidemic and its devastating impact on health and also the capacity of health services to carry out basic public health functions has led to a growing interest in ways to make health systems more resilient. This is the theme of the forthcoming symposium of the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
It is important to differentiate between the contributions of a health system to social resilience and the factors that make a health system resilient to health crises. Both are important. In fact, the dimensions of the relationship between resilience and health systems are also interlinked.Read More
People-centeredness of a resilient health system – an illustration and few questions for the forthcoming HSR Symposium 2016
Health system and policy researchers and practitioners, civil society, academia and policy makers from around the world will gather in Vancouver, Canada for the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (#HSR2016). The build-up to this biennial conference shows that there is considerable excitement and debate on this year’s symposium theme – Resilient and Responsive Health Systems for a changing world. Can we think of a resilient health system without it being people-centred? The answer is most certainly no.
There are about 7 billion mobile users globally, and no less than 95% of people are covered by at least 2G network. Via smartphones, people have access to over 40,000 health apps. As a result, globally there is much interest in eHealth, especially in addressing various barriers related to access to healthcare. However, from the health equity standpoint, we have to ask, who has access to quality health information through electronic platforms (eHealth)?Read More
While Ebola, Zika and yellow fever may seem like distant threats to most people living in the developed world, the lessons from these global crises should resonate across health services in all countries.
At the G7 meeting in Ise-Shima, Japan, and the world health assembly in Geneva this week, world leaders and health policymakers have a prime opportunity to take action. They need to lead the way in shaping health systems that can cope with both public health emergencies and the longer-term challenges of ensuring access to affordable health services for all.Read More
Launched this week is a major report on tackling the growing resistance to antibiotics by the UK Government and the Wellcome Trust. The authors of this blog post fully support its call for the G20 and the UN to take the lead in building a global coalition for action to address this urgent issue, and urge world leaders to consider the unmet needs of the poorest as central to a solution.
As the World Health Assembly and the G7 Summit meet next week, their recommendations must recognise that very large numbers of people still do not have access to antibiotic treatment when they have an infection. Action on antibiotic resistance should not undermine the continuing need to ensure everyone has access to the medicines they require to live full and healthy lives - a goal which has not yet been consistently reached outside of richer countries.Read More
Communitization of Health: Reflections from IIHMR – FHS on climate health research to policy at the SOCHARA meet, Bangalore
In April 2016, FHS IIHMR presented their research on ‘Climate, Society and Health - Research to policy’ at a workshop in Bangalore, India examining complexities, at both the macro and micro level, of ensuring that climate health research informs polity. The workshop - which was attended by academics, post graduate students and civil society members with thematic expertise in agriculture, climate, food security and child rights - was being conducted to mark the silver jubilee celebrations of SOCHARA - an NGO committed to a community health approach to addressing public health problems.Read More
We set out to leave for Ghoramara - one of the islands of the Sagar block of the Indian Sundarbans in the southern part of West Bengal - as a part of the IIHMR University – FHS study on climatic uncertainties and child health. As I sat in the bottom deck of the ferry travelling the hour long journey from Kakdwip to Ghoramara, I began to read the documents shared by the Panchayat on the island. The island, home to a population of 5000 people, is surrounded by rivers from all corners. It has no primary health facility but a sub-centre and ten anganwadi centres. It is popularly called the sinking island because the rising sea levels due to global warming and climatic events had leached a major portion of the island in the last few decades. A report by Centre for Science and Environment stated that over 25 years, Ghoramara’s land mass has been eaten away by the advancing sea – from 9 sq km to just about 4.7 sq km. I wondered what it meant for people living all their lives in a village and watching it gradually leach out.Read More
Research in gender and ethics: Building stronger health systems (RinGs) recently conducted a seminar at DFID with the goal of answering the question, “What is the role of gender and ethics in building stronger health systems?” This blog post by Tessa Hewitt of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine outlines the importance of gender analysis in health systems research, and highlights the discussion at the DFID seminar.Read More
How can Rural Medical Practitioners (RMPs) improve health service delivery in the hard-to-reach areas in the Sundarbans? IIHMR Researcher, Rittika Bramhachari explores how incorporating RMPs can help India to reach Universal Health Coverage.Read More
Raising finances for Universal Health Care coverage: Experiences from one of the world’s poorest countries
On Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho, FHS Uganda Country Coordinator, reflects on what Uganda needs to do in order to finance universal healthcare in Uganda.Read More
Annie Wilkinson, IDS Post-Doctoral Researcher and FHS team member, writes on the challenges of addressing anti-microbial resistance for World Antibiotic Awareness Week.Read More
Long term research is integral to understanding and responding to the deepest development challenges, including those that are now in the public consciousness, such as the current refugee crisis. As the Department for International Development (DFID) reviews its partnerships and develops a new research strategy, this blog post by Sara Bennett, David Peters, Abbas Buiyah and Tom Barker reinforce why DFID should maintain and improve its investment in long term research.Read More
How can the use of photos help to influence decision-makers? Shibaji Bose, FHS PIRU Officer at IIHMR blogs about how women in the Indian Sundarbans used Photovoice - a visual action research technique - to demonstrate to decision makers the challenges that they face in gaining access to health services.Read More
How do research funders decide what types of research to fund? And how do they account for the ethical implications of their choice? Or do they not care? Dr Adnan Hyder writes following a workshop in Oxford exploring the ethics of priority setting for health research.Read More