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Publications

Filtering by Tag: Henry Lucas

Doctoral level research and training capacity in the social determinants of health at universities and higher education institutions in India, China, Oman and Vietnam: a survey of needs

Future Health Systems

Ali F, Shet A, Yan W, Al-Maniri A, Atkins and Lucas H (2017) Doctoral level research and training capacity in the social determinants of health at universities and higher education institutions in India, China, Oman and Vietnam: a survey of needs, Health Research Policy and Systems, 15:76, DOI: 10.1186/s12961-017-0225-5

Research capacity is scarce in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings. Social determinants of health research (SDH) is an area in which research capacity is lacking, particularly in Asian countries. SDH research can support health decision-makers, inform policy and thereby improve the overall health and wellbeing of the population. In order to continue building this capacity, we need to know to what extent training exists and how challenges could be addressed from the perspective of students and staff. This paper aims to describe the challenges involved in training scholars to undertake research on the SDH in four Asian countries – China, India, Oman and Vietnam.

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Beyond pilotitis: taking digital health interventions to the national level in China and Uganda

Future Health Systems

Huang F, Blaschke S and Lucas H (2017) Beyond pilotitis: taking digital health interventions to the national level in China and Uganda, Globalization and Health, 13:49, doi: 10.1186/s12992-017-0275-z

Innovation theory has focused on the adoption of new products or services by individuals and their market-driven diffusion to the population at large. However, major health sector innovations typically emerge from negotiations between diverse stakeholders who compete to impose or at least prioritise their preferred version of that innovation. Thus, while many digital health interventions have succeeded in terms of adoption by a substantial number of providers and patients, they have generally failed to gain the level of acceptance required for their integration into national health systems that would promote sustainability and population-wide application. The area of innovation considered here relates to a growing number of success stories that have created considerable enthusiasm among donors, international agencies, and governments for the potential role of ICTs in transforming weak national health information systems in middle and low income countries. This article uses a case study approach to consider the assumptions, institutional as well as technical, underlying this enthusiasm and explores possible ways in which outcomes might be improved.

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Lessons Learned From Implementing E-Learning for the Education of Health Professionals in Resource-Constrained Countries

Future Health Systems

Gupta M et al (2017) Lessons Learned From Implementing E-Learning for the Education of Health Professionals in Resource-Constrained Countries, The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, Volume 15 Issue 2 2017, (pp144-155)

Abstract

The growing global demand for tertiary education has led to the increased use of e-learning approaches around the world. Demand has increased most rapidly in low and middle income countries (LMICs), which account for half of the students currently enrolled in higher educational institutions (HEIs). But the implementation of e-learning programmes in resource-constrained settings faces many obstacles. This paper explores some of the key issues involved in implementation of e-learning in HEIs involved in the education of health professionals, given the resource constraints within which many institutions have to function. We present case studies of three such LMIC institutions of varying size and primary purpose. The paper suggests use of appropriate ICT infrastructure, both in terms of hardware and software, combined with effective access and bandwidth management policies is crucial to the successful implementation of e-learning courses on health within HEIs based in LMICs.

A Practical Guide to Implementation Research on Health Systems

Future Health Systems

Lucas H and Zwarenstein M (2016) A Practical Guide to Implementation Research on Health Systems, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies

This is an open access resource targeted primarily at post-graduate students intending to undertake field research on health systems interventions in resource-poor environments.

The book consists of twelve chapters addressing theory, methodology, analysis, and influencing policy. Each consists of both original text and links to relevant, open access, web-based journal and multi-media materials, including selected case studies. 

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Distance- and blended-learning in global health research: potentials and challenges

Future Health Systems

Lucas H and Kinsman J (2016) Distance- and blended-learning in global health research: potentials and challenges, Global Health Action, 9:1, DOI:10.3402/gha.v9.33429

It has been argued that in every country, ‘social, educational, technological, and economic development fundamentally depends on the advancement of science through research … and [it] benefits from having a … network of actors engaged in promoting and using scientific research’. This applies in particular to life sciences research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), given that many such countries face the heaviest burdens of disease. However, Langer et al. lamented in 2004, that ‘In the fields of medicine and public health … papers where researchers from developing countries are the sole authors represent a very low proportion of published manuscripts’. The reasons identified for this include: poor access to scientific literature, poor participation in publication-related decision-making processes, and the bias of journals. Much has changed since then, with a dramatic growth in the number of journals addressing public health concerns, many of which are based in LMICs or which include LMIC researchers on their editorial boards. There have been substantial initiatives, most notably Hinari, to provide LMIC researchers with access to the scientific literature. However, though the number of LMIC publications has increased substantially, a recent publication found no LMIC in the top forty countries in terms of publications per capita.

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Drug-resistant tuberculosis control in China: progress and challenges

Future Health Systems

Long Q, Qu Y, and Lucas H (2016) Drug-resistant tuberculosis control in China: progress and challenges, Infect Dis Poverty. 2016; 5: 9. doi: 10.1186/s40249-016-0103-3

Abstract

Background: China has the second highest caseload of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the world. In 2009, the Chinese government agreed to draw up a plan for MDR-TB prevention and control in the context of a comprehensive health system reform launched in the same year.

Discussion: China is facing high prevalence rates of drug-resistant TB and MDR-TB. MDR-TB disproportionally affects the poor rural population and the highest rates are in less developed regions largely due to interrupted and/or inappropriate TB treatment. Most households with an affected member suffer a heavy financial burden because of a combination of treatment and other related costs. The influential Global Fund programme for MDR-TB control in China provides technical and financial support for MDR-TB diagnosis and treatment. However, this programme has a fixed timeline and cannot provide a long term solution. In 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in cooperation with the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, started to develop innovative approaches to TB/MDR-TB management and case-based payment mechanisms for treatment, alongside increased health insurance benefits for patients, in order to contain medical costs and reduce financial barriers to treatment. Although these efforts appear to be in the right direction, they may not be sufficient unless (a) domestic sources are mobilized to raise funding for TB/MDR-TB prevention and control and (b) appropriate incentives are given to both health facilities and their care providers.

Summary: Along with the on-going Chinese health system reform, sustained government financing and social health protection schemes will be critical to ensure universal access to appropriate TB treatment in order to reduce risk of developing MDR-TB and systematic MDR-TB treatment and management.

Disparity in reimbursement for tuberculosis care among different health insurance schemes: evidence from three counties in central China

Future Health Systems

Pan Y, Chen S, Chen M, Zhang P, Long Q, Xiang L, and Lucas H (2016) Disparity in reimbursement for tuberculosis care among different health insurance schemes: evidence from three counties in central China, Infect Dis Poverty. 2016; 5: 7. doi: 10.1186/s40249-016-0102-4

Health inequity is an important issue all around the world. The Chinese basic medical security system comprises three major insurance schemes, namely the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI), the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI), and the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS). Little research has been conducted to look into the disparity in payments among the health insurance schemes in China. In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the disparity in reimbursements for tuberculosis (TB) care among the abovementioned health insurance schemes.

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Factors that determine catastrophic expenditure for tuberculosis care: a patient survey in China

Future Health Systems

Zhou C, Long Q, Chen J, Xiang L, Li Q, Tang S, Huang F, Sun Q, and Lucas H (2016) Factors that determine catastrophic expenditure for tuberculosis care: a patient survey in China, Infect Dis Poverty. 2016; 5: 6. doi:  10.1186/s40249-016-0100-6

Tuberculosis (TB) often causes catastrophic economic effects on both the individual suffering the disease and their households. A number of studies have analyzed patient and household expenditure on TB care, but there does not appear to be any that have assessed the incidence, intensity and determinants of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) relating to TB care in China. That will be the objective of this paper.

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Non-medical financial burden in tuberculosis care: a cross-sectional survey in rural China

Future Health Systems

Li Q, Jiang W, Wang Q, Shen Y, Gao J, Sato KD, Long Q, and Lucas H (2016) Non-medical financial burden in tuberculosis care: a cross-sectional survey in rural China, Infect Dis Poverty. 2016; 5: 5. doi:  10.1186/s40249-016-0101-5

Treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in China is partially covered by national programs and health insurance schemes, though TB patients often face considerable medical expenditures. For some, especially those from poorer households, non-medical costs, such as transport, accommodation, and nutritional supplementation may be a substantial additional burden. In this article the authors aim to evaluate these non-medical costs induced by seeking TB care using data from a large scale cross-sectional survey.

 

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Are free anti-tuberculosis drugs enough? An empirical study from three cities in China

Future Health Systems

Chen S, Zhang H, Pan Y, Long Q, Xiang L, Yao L and Lucas H (2015) Are free anti-tuberculosis drugs enough? An empirical study from three cities in China, Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 4:47, doi:10.1186/s40249-015-0080-y

Tuberculosis (TB) patients in China still face a number of barriers in seeking diagnosis and treatment. There is evidence that the economic burden on TB patients and their households discourages treatment compliance.  Data were collected using a questionnaire survey, key informant interviews and focus group discussions with TB patients to gain an understanding of the economic burden of TB and implications of this burden for treatment compliance.

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Accelerating learning for pro-poor health markets

Future Health Systems

Given the rapid evolution of health markets, learning is key to promoting the identification and uptake of health market policies and practices that better serve the needs of the poor. However there are significant challenges to learning about health markets. We discuss the different forms that learning takes, from the development of codified scientific knowledge, through to experience-based learning, all in relationship to health markets.

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Catastrophic out-of-pocket payment for healthcare and implications for household coping strategies: evidence from West Bengal, India'

Future Health Systems

Using data from a household survey in West Bengal, the purpose of this paper is to identify the relative risks of catastrophic healthcare expenditures for different types of health need, and the impact of such expenditure on household coping strategies. It concludes that Catastrophic health spending is an important problem for the population in West Bengal. More attention is needed on the poverty-inducing effects of long-term expenditures on chronic illness, given that existing schemes only address hospitalization.

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eHealth and mHealth initiatives in Bangladesh: A scoping study

Future Health Systems

The health system of Bangladesh is haunted by challenges of accessibility and affordability. Despite impressive gains in many health indicators, recent evidence has raised concerns regarding the utilization, quality and equity of healthcare. In the context of new and unfamiliar public health challenges including high population density and rapid urbanization, eHealth and mHealth are being promoted as a route to cost-effective, equitable and quality healthcare in Bangladesh. The aim of this paper is to highlight such initiatives and understand their true potential.

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Engaging with Health Markets in Low and Middle-Income Countries

Future Health Systems

Many low and middle-income countries have pluralistic health systems with a variety of providers of health-related goods and services in terms of their level of training, their ownership (public or private) and their relationship with the regulatory system. The development of institutional arrangements to influence their performance has lagged behind the spread of these markets. This paper presents a framework for analysing a pluralistic health system. 

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E-health and M-health in Bangladesh: Opportunities and Challenges

Future Health Systems

There is growing enthusiasm amongst analysts of global health for the possibilities opened up by the rapid spread of mobile phone coverage. This includes substantially increasing access to health-related information and advice and to expert medical consultations.This report presents a snapshot of how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are influencing health system development in Bangladesh.

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Real Time Monitoring for the Most Vulnerable: Concepts and Methods

Future Health Systems

In assessing the value of different approaches to real-time monitoring for the most vulnerable, an initial requirement is to set out a conceptual framework that provides at least some degree of clarity as to what precisely is meant by ‘real time’, ‘monitoring’ and ‘vulnerable’ – all terms that can be highly context-specific. That is the first task addressed here. The second is to consider potential sources of data that might be used to undertake real-time monitoring and assess their advantages and disadvantages for the present purpose. Four general approaches are considered – community-based participatory monitoring, sentinel sites, routine data systems and rapid surveys – and selected examples from the literature are given to illustrate the potential use and limitations of their applications.
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Real Time Monitoring and the New Information Technologies

Future Health Systems

Debates as to the potential role of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in monitoring the wellbeing of vulnerable groups is often bedevilled by the failure of two principal actors – social researchers and technical experts – to address the other’s concerns or even to use language that is comprehensible to the other side. The aim here is to unpick some of the technical language relevant in this context and provide a brief introductory guide to some aspects of the current, rapidly changing and highly diverse ICT environment.

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Introduction: Real Time Monitoring for the Most Vulnerable – Investing in Common Guidance for Equity and Quality

Future Health Systems

Growth in the use of real-time digital information for monitoring has been rapid in developing countries across all the social sectors, and in the health sector has been remarkable. Commonly these Real Time Monitoring (RTM) initiatives involve partnerships between the state, civil society, donors and the private sector. This article proposes the development of an effective learning and action agenda centred on the adoption of common guidance.
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Socioeconomic development as an intervention against malaria: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Future Health Systems

The aim of this systematic review was to assess whether socioeconomic development can contribute to malaria control. Of 4696 studies reviewed, 20 met the criteria for inclusion in the qualitative analysis, and 15 of these reported the necessary data for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The odds of malaria infection were higher in the poorest children than in the least poor children (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] 1·66, 95% CI 1·35–2·05, p<0·001,I2=68%; adjusted OR 2·06, 1·42–2·97, p<0·001, I2=63%), an effect that was consistent across subgroups. Although we would not recommend discontinuation of existing malaria control efforts, we believe that increased investment in interventions to support socioeconomic development is warranted, since such interventions could prove highly effective and sustainable against malaria in the long term.
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Transforming Health Markets in Asia and Africa: Improving quality and access for the poor

Future Health Systems

There has been a dramatic spread of health markets in much of Asia and Africa over the past couple of decades. This has substantially increased the availability of health-related goods and services in all but the most remote localities, but it has created problems with safety, efficiency and cost. The effort to bring order to these chaotic markets is almost certain to become one of the greatest challenges in global health. This book documents the problems associated with unregulated health markets and presents innovative approaches that have emerged to address them. It outlines a framework that researchers, policy makers and social entrepreneurs can use to analyse health market systems and assess the likely outcome of alternative interventions. The book presents a new way of understanding highly marketised health systems, applies this understanding to an analysis of health markets in countries across Asia and Africa and identifies some of the major new developments for making these markets perform better in meeting the needs of the poor. It argues that it is time to move beyond ideological debates about the roles of public and private sectors in an ideal health system and focus more on understanding the operation of these markets and developing practical strategies for improving their performance. This book is ideal reading for researchers and students in public health, development studies, public policy and administration, health economics, medical anthropology, and science and technology studies. It is also a valuable resource for policy makers, social entrepreneurs, and planners and managers in public and private sector health systems, including pharmaceutical companies, aid agencies, NGOs and international organisations.
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