The impact of human resources for health on the health outcomes of Chinese people

Abstract

Human resources for health (HRH) is a cornerstone in the medical system. This paper combined data envelopment analysis (DEA) with Tobit regression analysis to evaluate the efficiency of health care services in China over the years between 2007 and 2019. Efficiency was first estimated by using DEA with the choice of inputs and outputs being specific to health care services and residents’ health status. Malmquist index model was selected for estimating the changes in total factor productivity of provinces and exploring whether their performance had improved over the years. Tobit regression model was then employed in which the efficiency score obtained from the DEA computations used as the dependent variable, and HRH was chosen as the independent variables. The results showed that all kinds of health personnel had a significantly positive impact on the efficiency, and more importantly, pharmacists played a critical role in affecting both the provincial and national efficiency. Therefore, the health sector should pay more attention to optimizing allocation of HRH and focusing on professional training of clinical pharmacists.

Categorías: Investigaciones

A national analysis of the pharmacy workforce in Indonesia

Abstract Background

Pharmacists play a fundamental role in healthcare systems and achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through quality primary healthcare service provision. While the World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts a global shortage of health workforce by 2030, mainly affecting low- and middle-income nations (LMICs), limited published literature is found regarding pharmacy workforce capacity in LMICs, including Indonesia. This paper aims to analyse pharmacists’ capacity in Indonesia to identify emerging workforce planning gaps for future workforce planning and policies in Indonesia.

Method

Several data sources were accessed, including a database from the National Pharmacy Committee and the professional leadership body in Indonesia. Descriptive (frequencies, percentages, and mean), correlational and time-series analysis using curve estimation were conducted. Secondary data on the number of programmes, pharmacy students, pharmacy workforce (pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) per province were obtained from the Ministry websites and reports.

Result

There were a total of 77 191 registered pharmacists in Indonesia in 2019. The pharmacists’ pyramid showed a youth bulge as a general indication of market expansion in the education sector correlating to the pharmacy programme’s number and size. There was a variation in pharmacy workforce density and access to pharmacy programmes across islands, which also were strongly correlated. Forecasting estimates that by 2030, women will represent around 86% of pharmacists in Indonesia. More female pharmacists were found working in the hospital and primary healthcare (providing direct services to patients) than male pharmacists. Younger pharmacists worked in the industrial sector, while older pharmacists worked in governmental and educational institutions.

Conclusion

This study signposted workforce planning gaps for policy development in Indonesia, including a need to develop structured training to support early career pharmacists in their practice. There is also a need for better access to professional development programmes designed to support female pharmacists return to the regulated workforce following career breaks. National policy to promote equitable distribution and retention of pharmacists is recommended.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Telehealth Interventions for HIV in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Abstract Purpose of review

This review summarizes technology-based interventions for HIV in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We highlight potential benefits and challenges to using telehealth in LMICs and propose areas for future study.

Recent findings

We identified several models for using telehealth to expand HIV health care access in LMICs, including telemedicine visits for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) services, telementoring programs for providers, and virtual peer-support groups. Emerging data support the acceptability and feasibility of these strategies. However, further investigations are needed to determine whether these models are scalable and sustainable in the face of barriers related to cost, infrastructure, and regulatory approval.

Summary

HIV telehealth interventions may be a valuable approach to addressing gaps along the HIV care cascade in LMICs. Future studies should focus on strategies for expanding existing programs to scale and for assessing long-term clinical outcomes.

Categorías: Investigaciones

A global overview of healthcare workers’ turnover intention amid COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review with future directions

Abstract Background

Globally, the health workforce has long suffered from labour shortages. This has been exacerbated by the workload increase caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Major collapses in healthcare systems across the world during the peak of the pandemic led to calls for strategies to alleviate the increasing job attrition problem within the healthcare sector. This turnover may worsen given the overwhelming pressures experienced by the health workforce during the pandemic, and proactive measures should be taken to retain healthcare workers. This review aims to examine the factors affecting turnover intention among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods

A mixed studies systematic review was conducted. The PubMed, Embase, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science and PsycINFO databases were searched from January 2020 to March 2022. The Joanna Briggs Institute’s Critical Appraisal Tools and the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool version 2018 were applied by two independent researchers to critically appraise the methodological quality. Findings were synthesised using a convergent integrated approach and categorised thematically.

Results

Forty-three studies, including 39 quantitative, two qualitative and two mixed methods studies were included in this review. Eighteen were conducted in the Middle East, ten in the Americas, nine in the Asia–Pacific region and six in Europe. Nurses (n = 35) were included in the majority of the studies, while physicians (n = 13), allied health workers (n = 11) and healthcare administrative or management staff (n = 7) were included in a smaller proportion. Five themes emerged from the data synthesis: (1) fear of COVID-19 exposure, (2) psychological responses to stress, (3) socio-demographic characteristics, (4) adverse working conditions, and (5) organisational support.

Conclusions

A wide range of factors influence healthcare workers’ turnover intention in times of pandemic. Future research should be more focused on specific factors, such as working conditions or burnout, and specific vulnerable groups, including migrant healthcare workers and healthcare profession minorities, to aid policymakers in adopting strategies to support and incentivise them to retain them in their healthcare jobs.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Population health trends analysis and burden of disease profile observed in Sierra Leone from 1990 to 2017

Abstract Background

Sierra Leone, in West Africa, is one of the poorest developing countries in the world. Sierra Leone has experienced several recent challenges namely, a civil war from 1991 to 2002, a massive Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2016, followed by floods and landslides in 2017.In this study, we quantified the burden of disease in Sierra Leone over a 27-year period, from 1990 to 2017.

Methodology

In this descriptive study, we analysed secondary data from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. We quantified patterns of burden of disease, injuries, and risk factors in Sierra Leone. We report GBD data and metrics including mortality rates, years of life lost and risk factors for all ages and both sexes from 1990 to 2017.

Results

From 1990 to 2017, trends of mortality rates for all ages and sexes have declined in Sierra Leone although mortality rates remain some of the highest when compared to other developing countries. The burden of communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional (CMNN) diseases are greater than the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) due to the prevalence of endemic diseases in Sierra Leone. The most important CMNNs associated with premature mortality included respiratory infections, neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and HIV-Aids. Life expectancy has increased from 37 to 52 years.

Conclusion

Sierra Leone’s health status is gradually improving following the civil war and Ebola outbreak. Sierra Leone has a double burden of disease with CMNNs leading and NCDs progressively increasing. Despite these challenges, Sierra Leone has promising initiatives and programs pursuing the Universal Health Coverage 2030 Sustainable Developmental Goals Agenda. There is need for accountability of available resources, clear rules and expected roles for non-governmental organisations to ensure a level playing field for all actors to rebuild the health system.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Virtual Campus for Public Health (VCPH): Bringing knowledge to practice

The Virtual Campus for Public Health (VCPH) is the educational platform of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Its objective is to lead strategic collaborative efforts among Member States and other partners to promote the training of human resources for health, for all people everywhere. The VCPH is structured in three nodes (regional, subregional, national) and it responds to the Strategy on Human Resources for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage. It works in coordination with the technical departments at PAHO, with the PAHO/WHO country offices in the Region, as well as with institutions that work on public health education and training. All VCPH courses are open access for participants and reflect PAHO's technical cooperation areas. The VCPH offers courses in PAHO’s four official languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Categorías: Investigaciones

Rehabilitation workforce descriptors: a scoping review

Abstract Background

A comprehensive, accurate description of workforce capacity is important for health service planning, to ensure that health services meet local needs. In many low- to middle-income countries, the government’s service planning ability is barred by the lack of accurate and/or comprehensively-described workforce data. In these low-resource settings, lack of appropriate planning leads to limited or no access to rehabilitation services. Variability in the definitions and scope of rehabilitation professionals further complicates the understanding of rehabilitation services and how it should be planned and delivered. Another challenge to describing the primary rehabilitation workforce capacity, is the lack of standardised and agreed-upon global metrics. These inconsistencies highlight the need for a comprehensive understanding of current practices, which can offer guidance to countries wishing to describe their rehabilitation workforce. This study aimed to scope the range of descriptors and metrics used to describe the rehabilitation workforce and to compare the workforce across countries that used similar descriptors in published reports.

Methods

A scoping review was conducted according to the five-step framework first developed by Arksey and O’Malley. The review included a broad search of literature regarding the rehabilitation workforce and how countries quantify and describe the rehabilitation workforce.

Results

Nineteen studies on rehabilitation workforce capacity were identified. All but one (a cross-sectional study) were database reviews. The main descriptors and indicators used to describe the rehabilitation workforce capacity were profession type, age, gender, distributions between urban/rural, level of care, and private/public sectors, absolute count totals, and population-adjusted ratios.

Conclusion

This scoping review provided an overview of descriptors and indicators used to describe the rehabilitation workforce capacity internationally. The study is a first step towards developing standardised descriptors and metrics to quantify the rehabilitation workforce capacity, that will allow for comparison between different settings.

Trial registration

This scoping review protocol has been registered with the Open Science Framework (http://osf.10/7h6xz).

Categorías: Investigaciones

The Development and Validation of a Professional Development Program for Health Professional Educators in Ethiopian Higher Education Context

Abstract

Despite the presence of a common agreement on the importance of integrating professional development (PD) for instructors in higher education (HE), the level of progress made in that regard varies greatly across HE systems around the world. Part of the variation was due to the lack of comprehensive theories and guidelines that leverage efforts to integrate PD issues into HE system. Also, there is limited research regarding the development and revision of PD programs for instructors of health sciences in HE setting. The limited studies primarily lack a comprehensive or all-encompassing framework that capture the complexities of the program development and validation process. Rather, they are essentially impact evaluation studies, examining the short-term and long-term benefits of the programs under studies. This study offers a theoretical rationale and a three-step framework for PD program development and review in HE through presenting a case study of an innovative PD program in the Ethiopian public university context. A three-step approach that consists of curriculum development, an iterative research–based review, and collaborative revision and validation is recommended in this study, to promote a commitment to systematic planning and research-based review and revision in a PD of instructors in HE in Ethiopia and beyond.

Categorías: Investigaciones

The roles of physician associates and advanced nurse practitioners in the National Health Service in the UK: a scoping review and narrative synthesis

Abstract Background

Mid-level practitioners (MLPs), including physician associates (PAs) and advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs), have emerged to address workforce shortages in the UK and perform specific roles in relation to population needs. This has resulted in new ways of working and changes to established professional hierarchies. We conducted a study to investigate the career development, competencies, effectiveness, perceptions, and regulation of PAs and ANPs, with the aim of understanding ways to effectively integrate MLPs into the NHS workforce.

Methods

We conducted a systematic scoping review following PRISMA guidelines. Embase, Medline, the Cochrane database, Pubmed, and CINAHL databases were searched, using terms relating to PAs and ANPs in the UK. A total of 128 studies (60 on PAs and 68 on ANPs) were included in the final analysis. A narrative synthesis, guided by the pre-defined themes and emerging themes, was conducted to bring together the findings.

Results

PAs are educated on a medical model with basic medical skills but lack formal professional regulation and do not have prescribing rights. ANPs are educated on a nurse model with enhanced skills that depend on roles within specific specialities, and their governance is mostly employer-led. PAs are primarily employed in secondary care. ANPs are employed widely in both primary and secondary care. No defined career progression exists for PAs. In contrast, becoming an ANP is a form of career progression within nursing. Both roles were regarded as cost-effective in comparison to doctors performing simple tasks. PAs were less understood compared to ANPs and received a mixed reception from colleagues, which sometimes undermined their professional identity, whereas ANPs were mostly welcomed by colleagues.

Conclusions

Potential ways to better integrate PAs and ANPs into the NHS workforce include further initiatives by regulatory bodies and the NHS to create more awareness and clearer role definitions for MLPs, outline potential for career progression, offer transparency with regard to remuneration, and introduction of prescribing rights. Future research might include more cadres of MLPs and explore the international literature.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Quality of emergency obstetric and newborn care services in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia.

BACKGROUND: Globally, nearly 295,000 women die every year during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) can avert 75% of maternal mortality if all mothers get quality healthcare. Improving maternal health needs identification and addressing of barriers that limit access to quality maternal health services. Hence, this study aimed to assess the quality of EmONC service and its predictors in Wolaita Zone, southern Ethiopia. METHODOLOGY: A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 14 health facilities. A facility audit was conducted on 14 health facilities, and 423 women were randomly selected to participate in observation of care and exit interview. The Open Data Kit (ODK) platform and Stata version 17 were used for data entry and analysis, respectively. Frequencies and summary statistics were used to describe the study population. Simple and multiple linear regressions were done to identify candidate and predictor variables of service quality. Coefficients with 95% confidence intervals were used to declare the significance and strength of association. Input, process, and output quality indices were created by calculating the means of standard items available or actions performed by each category and were used to describe the quality of EmONC. RESULT: The mean input, process, and output EmONC services qualities were 74.2, 69.4, and 79.6%, respectively. Of the study participants, 59.2% received below 75% of the standard clinical actions (observed quality) of EmONC services. Women's educational status (B = 5.35, 95% C.I: 0.56, 10.14), and (B = 8.38, 95% C.I: 2.92, 13.85), age (B = 3.86, 95% C.I: 0.39, 7.33), duration of stay at the facility (B = 3.58, 95% C.I: 2.66, 4.9), number of patients in the delivery room (B = - 4.14, 95% C.I: - 6.14, - 2.13), and care provider's experience (B = 1.26, 95% C.I: 0.83, 1.69) were independent predictors of observed service quality. CONCLUSION: The EmONC services quality was suboptimal in Wolaita Zone. Every three-in-five women received less than three-fourths of the standard clinical actions. The health system, care providers, and other stakeholders should emphasize improving the quality of care by availing medical infrastructure, adhering to standard procedures, enhancing human resources for health, and providing standard care regardless of women's characteristics.
Categorías: Investigaciones

A qualitative exploration of Ugandan mental health care workers’ perspectives and experiences on sexual and reproductive health of people living with mental illness in Uganda

Abstract Background

People with Mental Illness experience vast sexual and reproductive health challenges due to the affected mental health. Globally, prevalence of mental illness is on the rise with subsequent increase in the number of people with sexual and reproductive challenges warranting urgent public health intervention. However, information on the perceptions and experiences of mental health workers, the key health care providers for this population is generally lacking yet it’s essential for formulation of appropriate policies and public health interventions.

Aim

To explore Ugandan mental health care worker’s perspectives and experiences on the sexual and reproductive health of people living with mental illness in Uganda in order to generate recommendations to the ministry of health on how it can be improved.

Materials and methods

Qualitative study design was employed with utilization of phone call semi-structured in-depth interviews to collect data from 14 mental health workers from Uganda’s National mental referral hospital, Butabika. Purposive sampling and convenience recruitment was done and the collected data was analyzed using Thematic content analysis.

Results

Four themes were generated which included people with Mental illness having normal sexual needs, mental illness effect on sexuality and relationships, practices for safeguarding sexuality of people with mental illness and the barriers encountered in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services at a mental hospital.

Conclusion

People with mental illness experience a multitude of sexual and reproductive health challenges that need public health interventions. However, the integration of sexual and reproductive health services in a mental hospital are not yet successful making people with mental illness to remain with unaddressed health challenges. Policies should therefore be developed and implemented to ensure successful integration of sexual and reproductive health at all mental health service care provision points.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Nigerian stakeholders' perceptions of a pilot tier accreditation system for Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors to expand access to family planning services.

BACKGROUND: Community Pharmacists (CPs) and Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) are often the first point of care for many Nigerians, and when sufficiently trained, they contribute to the expansion of family planning services. Nigeria's task shifting policy and existing regulatory and licensing bodies provide the enabling environment for PPMVs to be stratified and trained. This study explored the perceptions of stakeholders toward the pilot three-tier accreditation system instituted by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria with support from the IntegratE project. METHODS: Two rounds of qualitative phone interviews were conducted among stakeholders in Kaduna and Lagos states in 2020 and 2021. In addition, there were two rounds of phone interviews with CPs and PPMVs (program recipients) from Lagos and Kaduna states. All participants were purposively selected, based on their involvement in the IntegratE project activities. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded using Atlas.ti software. Thematic analysis was conducted. RESULTS: Fifteen stakeholders and 28 program recipients and 12 stakeholders and 30 program recipients were interviewed during the first and second rounds of data collection respectively. The data are presented around three main themes: 1) the pilot three-tier accreditation system; 2) enabling environment; and 3) implementation challenges. The accreditation system that allows for the stratification and training of PPMVs to provide family planning services was perceived in a positive light by majority of participants. The integrated supportive supervision team that included representation from the licensing and regulatory body was seen as a strength. However, it was noted that the licensing process needs to be more effective. Implementation challenges that need to be addressed prior to scale up include bottlenecks in licensing procedures and the deep-rooted mistrust between CPs and PPMVs. CONCLUSION: Scale up of the three-tier accreditation system has the potential to expand access to family planning services in Nigeria. In other resource-poor settings where human resources for health are in short supply and where drug shops are ubiquitous, identifying drug shop owners, training them to offer a range of family planning services, and providing the enabling environment for them to function may help to improve access to family planning services.
Categorías: Investigaciones

Building leadership and managerial capacity for maternal and newborn health services

Abstract Background

Strengthening leadership and management is important for building an effective and efficient health system. This paper presents the findings from a L&M capacity building initiative which was implemented as part of a larger study aimed at improving maternal and newborn outcomes within primary health facilities in the Morogoro, Tanzania.

Methods

The initiative, involving 30 stakeholders from 20 primary health facilities, 4 council health management teams and the regional health management team in the Morogoro region, provided leadership and managerial training through two 5-day in-person workshops, onsite mentoring, and e-learning modules. The initiative was evaluated using a pre-post design. Quantitative instruments included the ‘Big Results Now’ star-rating assessments and a team-developed survey for health providers/managers. The ‘Big Results Now’ star-rating assessments, conducted in 2018 (19 facilities) and 2021 (20 facilities), measured overall facility leadership and management capability, with comparisons of star-ratings from the two time-points providing indication of improvement. The survey was used to measure 3 key leadership indicators - team climate, role clarity/conflict and job satisfaction. The survey was completed by 97 respondents at baseline and 100 at follow up. Paired t-tests were used to examine mean score differences for each indicator. Triangulated findings from focus groups with 99 health providers and health management team members provided support and context for quantitative findings.

Results

Star-ratings increased in 15 (79%) of 19 facilities, with the number of facilities achieving the target of 3 plus stars increasing from 2 (10%) in 2018 to 10 (50%) in 2021, indicating improved organizational performance. From the survey, team climate, job satisfaction and role clarity improved across the facilities over the 3 project years. Focus group discussions related this improvement to the leadership and managerial capacity-building.

Conclusion

Improved leadership and managerial capacity in the participating health facilities and enhanced communication between the health facility, council and regional health management teams created a more supportive workplace environment, leading to enhanced teamwork, job satisfaction, productivity, and improved services for mothers and newborns. Leadership and managerial training at all levels is important for ensuring efficient and effective health service provision.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Reimagining India’s Health System: Technology Levers for Universal Health Care

Abstract

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the inadequacies of our current health systems and rekindled the debate around universal health care, the Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System was launched in late 2020. As a part of the commission, we articulated how technology can enable universal health care. We begin by stating the foundational values—a set of normative statements—that should underpin the use of technology in our health systems. Then, after summarising the paradigm shifts necessary to achieve citizen-centred universal health care, we articulate five ‘technology levers’ to enable those shifts. Finally, we describe the intersections and synergies between technology and the other pillars of health systems, namely, human resources, financing, governance and citizens’ engagement.

Categorías: Investigaciones

The prevalence of onchocerciasis in Africa and Yemen, 2000–2018: a geospatial analysis

Abstract Background

Onchocerciasis is a disease caused by infection with Onchocerca volvulus, which is transmitted to humans via the bite of several species of black fly, and is responsible for permanent blindness or vision loss, as well as severe skin disease. Predominantly endemic in parts of Africa and Yemen, preventive chemotherapy with mass drug administration of ivermectin is the primary intervention recommended for the elimination of its transmission.

Methods

A dataset of 18,116 geo-referenced prevalence survey datapoints was used to model annual 2000–2018 infection prevalence in Africa and Yemen. Using Bayesian model-based geostatistics, we generated spatially continuous estimates of all-age 2000–2018 onchocerciasis infection prevalence at the 5 × 5-km resolution as well as aggregations to the national level, along with corresponding estimates of the uncertainty in these predictions.

Results

As of 2018, the prevalence of onchocerciasis infection continues to be concentrated across central and western Africa, with the highest mean estimates at the national level in Ghana (12.2%, 95% uncertainty interval [UI] 5.0–22.7). Mean estimates exceed 5% infection prevalence at the national level for Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.

Conclusions

Our analysis suggests that onchocerciasis infection has declined over the last two decades throughout western and central Africa. Focal areas of Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Uganda continue to have mean microfiladermia prevalence estimates exceeding 25%. At and above this level, the continuation or initiation of mass drug administration with ivermectin is supported. If national programs aim to eliminate onchocerciasis infection, additional surveillance or supervision of areas of predicted high prevalence would be warranted to ensure sufficiently high coverage of program interventions.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Quality of emergency obstetric and newborn care services in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Abstract Background

Globally, nearly 295,000 women die every year during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) can avert 75% of maternal mortality if all mothers get quality healthcare. Improving maternal health needs identification and addressing of barriers that limit access to quality maternal health services. Hence, this study aimed to assess the quality of EmONC service and its predictors in Wolaita Zone, southern Ethiopia.

Methodology

A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 14 health facilities. A facility audit was conducted on 14 health facilities, and 423 women were randomly selected to participate in observation of care and exit interview. The Open Data Kit (ODK) platform and Stata version 17 were used for data entry and analysis, respectively. Frequencies and summary statistics were used to describe the study population. Simple and multiple linear regressions were done to identify candidate and predictor variables of service quality. Coefficients with 95% confidence intervals were used to declare the significance and strength of association. Input, process, and output quality indices were created by calculating the means of standard items available or actions performed by each category and were used to describe the quality of EmONC.

Result

The mean input, process, and output EmONC services qualities were 74.2, 69.4, and 79.6%, respectively. Of the study participants, 59.2% received below 75% of the standard clinical actions (observed quality) of EmONC services. Women’s educational status (B = 5.35, 95% C.I: 0.56, 10.14), and (B = 8.38, 95% C.I: 2.92, 13.85), age (B = 3.86, 95% C.I: 0.39, 7.33), duration of stay at the facility (B = 3.58, 95% C.I: 2.66, 4.9), number of patients in the delivery room (B = − 4.14, 95% C.I: − 6.14, − 2.13), and care provider’s experience (B = 1.26, 95% C.I: 0.83, 1.69) were independent predictors of observed service quality.

Conclusion

The EmONC services quality was suboptimal in Wolaita Zone. Every three-in-five women received less than three-fourths of the standard clinical actions. The health system, care providers, and other stakeholders should emphasize improving the quality of care by availing medical infrastructure, adhering to standard procedures, enhancing human resources for health, and providing standard care regardless of women’s characteristics.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Provision of injectable contraceptives by community health workers in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of safety, acceptability and effectiveness

Abstract Background

Injectable contraceptives are the most popular method of contraception in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), but their availability in clinical settings has been severely limited, despite the scarcity of health care providers and limited access to health facilities. WHO and USAID have endorsed the community-based distribution of injectable contraceptives as a promising option for improving access to family planning services and expanding the method mix for women who want to limit the number of births. Studies have shown that community health workers (CHWs) can provide women with injectable contraceptives that meet acceptable quality standards. The goal of this study is to identify, evaluate and synthesize evidence supporting the use of community-based administration of injectable contraceptives in SSA.

Methods

This review's guidance was based on a previously developed protocol. Nine international electronic databases and the websites of organizations known to support community-based reproductive health initiatives in SSA were searched systemically. Experts in this area were also contacted for the identification of unpublished literature and ongoing studies. The reference lists of eligible studies were reviewed. The Effective Public Practice Project tool was used to assess the quality and risk of bias in eligible studies. Data were extracted and analysed using a custom data extraction form and a narrative synthesis.

Results

The search strategy identified a total of 1358 studies with 12 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. One unpublished study was provided by an expert making a total of 13 studies. The results showed that irrespective of the study designs, well-trained CHWs can competently administer injectable contraceptives safely and community-based delivery of injectable contraceptives is acceptable in SSA. Also, the use of community health workers in the provision of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate expanded access to inhabitants of hard-to-reach areas and led to an overall uptake of injectable contraceptives as well as family planning. Studies that compared CHWs to clinic-based providers revealed equivalent or higher levels of performance in favour of CHWs.

Conclusions

The CHWs can competently provide injectable contraceptives within SSA communities if appropriately trained and supervised. Hence, SSA policymakers should give this initiative due consideration as a way of improving access to family planning services.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Women’s contribution to medicine in Bahrain: leadership and workforce

Abstract Background

Women make up a significant proportion of workforce in healthcare. However, they remain underrepresented in leadership positions relating to healthcare for a multitude of reasons: balancing personal and work duties, favoritism toward men, lack of support from colleagues and mentors, as well as other factors. This study aims to recognize the contribution made by women in the Bahraini healthcare sector by determining the gender distribution in Bahrain’s medical schools, government hospitals, Ministry of Health, and National Health Regulatory Authority.

Methods

Data were collected from the Bahraini Ministry of Health, National Health Regulatory Authority, Salmaniya Medical Complex, King Hamad University Hospital, Bahrain Defence Force Royal Medical Services, the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences in the Arabian Gulf University, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Bahrain. Only physicians who held a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and a valid license to practice from NHRA were eligible to participate. Descriptive statistics were used to derive the frequencies and percentages of physicians with the following leadership positions: (1) top administrative positions (e.g., Chief executive officer); (2) heads of departments; (3) heads of committees; and (4) academic positions (e.g., Professor). Data were also collected from the two medical schools in Bahrain to see the trend in female enrollment into medical schools since 2004.

Results

The results of the study indicated that leadership positions were mostly held by males in Bahrain (59.4% vs. 40.6%). However, Bahraini males and females equally dominated academic positions. Male physicians also dominated surgical specialties; however, female Bahraini physicians slightly surpassed male Bahraini physicians at the specialist and consultant levels (female to male: 11.9% vs. 10.4% and 33.2% vs. 30.4%, respectively). Furthermore, more females were reported to have general licenses. A trend analysis since 2004 showed that female medical students’ representation was higher than males over the years.

Conclusions

This study highlights the increasing trend of women’s participation and contribution to medicine in Bahrain. The data indicated continued growth in the number of female medical students and physicians. As such, it is likely that females will have a bigger impact on healthcare in the future with potential to hold more leadership positions in Bahrain.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Factors shaping good and poor nurse-client relationships in maternal and child care: a qualitative study in rural Tanzania

Abstract Background

Evidence indicates that poor nurse-client relationships within maternal and child health (MCH) continues to impact trust in formal healthcare systems, service uptake, continuity with care and MCH outcomes. This necessitates contextualized innovative solutions that places both nurses and clients at the forefront as agents of change in optimizing intervention designs and implementation. This study explored nurses and clients’ perspectives on the factors shaping nurse-client relationships in MCH care to generate evidence to guide subsequent steps of human centered design (HCD) that involve designing effective strategies for improving therapeutic relationships in Shinyanga, Tanzania.

Methods

Qualitative descriptive design was employed. About 9 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and 12 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with purposefully selected nurses and midwives, women attending MCH services and administrators were conducted using semi-structured interview guides in Swahili language. Data were transcribed and translated simultaneously, managed using Nvivo Software and analyzed thematically.

Results

Factors shaping nurse-client relationships were heuristically categorized into nurse, client and health system factors. Nurse contributors of poor relationship ranged from poor reception and hospitality, not expressing care and concern, poor communication and negative attitudes, poor quality of services, job dissatisfaction and unstable mental health. Client contributors of poor relationship include being ‘much know’, late attendance, non-adherence to procedures and instructions, negative attitudes, poor communication, inadequate education and awareness, poverty, dissatisfaction with care, faith in traditional healers and unstable mental health. Health system contributors were inadequate resources, poor management practices, inadequate policy implementation and absence of an independent department or agency for gathering and management of complaints. Suggestions for improving nurse-client relationship included awards and recognition of good nurses, improving complaints mechanisms, continued professional development, peer to peer learning and mentorship, education and sensitization to clients, improving service quality and working conditions, improving renumeration and incentives, strengthening nursing school’s student screening and nursing curriculum and improving mental health for both nurses and clients.

Conclusions

The factors shaping poor nurse- client relationships appear to extend beyond nurses to both clients and healthcare facilities and system. Implementation of effective interventions for addressing identified factors considering feasibility and acceptance to both nurses and clients using novel strategies such as HCD could pave the way for employing good nurse-client relationships as a tool for improving performance indicators and health outcomes within MCH care.

Categorías: Investigaciones

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