Publications by authors named "Joses Muthuri Kirigia"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The discounted value of human lives lost due to COVID-19 in France.

F1000Res 2020;9:1247. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Chandaria School of Business, United States International University - Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.

This study estimates the total discounted value of human lives lost (TDVHL) due to COVID-19 in France as of 14 September 2020. The human capital approach (HCA) model was used to estimate the TDVHL of the 30,916 human lives lost due to COVID-19 in France; i.e., assuming a discount rate of 3% and the national average life expectancy at birth of 83.13 years. To test the robustness of the estimated TDVHL, the model was rerun (a) using 5% and 10% discount rates, while holding the French average life expectancy constant; and (b) consecutively substituting national life expectancy with the world average life expectancy of 73.2 years and the world highest life expectancy of 88.17 years.  The human lives lost had a TDVHL of Int$10,492,290,194, and an average value of Int$339,381 per human life lost. Rerun of the HCA model with 5% and 10% discount rates decreased TDVHL by Int$1,304,764,602 (12.4%) and Int$3,506,938,312 (33%), respectively. Re-calculation of the model with the world average life expectancy decreased the TDVHL by Int$7,750,187,267 (73.87%). Contrastingly, re-estimation of the model with the world's highest life expectancy augmented TDVHL by Int$3,744,263,463 (35.7%). The average discounted economic value per human life lost due to COVID-19 of Int$339,381 is 8-fold the France gross domestic product per person. Such evidence constitutes an additional argument for health policy makers when making a case for increased investment to optimise France's International Health Regulation capacities and coverage of essential health services, and safely managed water and sanitation services.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.26975.1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8082570PMC
May 2021

The Discounted Money Value of Human Life Losses Associated With COVID-19 in Mauritius.

Front Public Health 2020 10;8:604394. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

African Sustainable Development Research Consortium (ASDRC), Nairobi, Kenya.

Mauritius along with other 12 countries in the African Region was identified at the early start of the COVID-19 pandemic as being at high risk due to high volume of international travel, high prevalence of non-communicable diseases and co-morbidities, high population density and significant share of population over 60 years (16%). The objective of this study was to estimate the total discounted money value of human life losses ( ) associated with COVID-19 in Mauritius. The human capital approach (HCA) was used to estimate the of the 10 human life losses linked with COVID-19 in Mauritius as of 16 October 2020. The HCA model was estimated with the national life expectancy of 75.51 years and a discount rate of 3%. A sensitivity analysis was performed assuming (a) 5 and 10% discount rates, and (b) the average world life expectancy of 73.2 years, and the world highest life expectancy of 88.17 years. The money value of human lives lost to COVID-19, at a discounted rate of 3%, had an estimated of Int$ 3,120,689, and an average of Int$ 312,069 per human life lost. Approximately 74% of the accrued to persons aged between 20 and 59 years. Reanalysis of the model with 5 and 10% discount rates, holding national life expectancy constant, reduced the by 19.0 and 45.5%, respectively. Application of the average world life expectancy at 3% discount rate reduced by 13%; and use of the world highest life expectancy at 3% discount rate increased by 50%. The average discounted money value per human life loss associated with COVID-19 is 12-fold the per capita GDP for Mauritius. All measures implemented to prevent widespread community transmission of COVID-19 may have saved the country 837 human lives worth Int$258,080,991. This evidence, conjointly with human rights arguments, calls for increased investments to bridge the existing gaps for achieving universal health coverage by 2030.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.604394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7683431PMC
May 2021

Assessing health system challenges and opportunities for better noncommunicable disease outcomes: the case of Mauritius.

BMC Health Serv Res 2020 Mar 6;20(1):184. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

African Sustainable Development Research Consortium (ASDRC), Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: The objectives of the study reported in this paper were: (a) to score the coverage of core NCD population-based interventions and individual services in Mauritius; (b) to analyse and score the presence of 15 common health system challenges that impede delivery of core NCD interventions and services in Mauritius; and (c) to provide policy recommendations for Mauritius to address health system barriers to delivery of NCD interventions and services.

Methods: The Mauritius country assessment applied the guidelines developed by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe for systematically scoring coverage of NCD interventions and assessing health system challenges for improving NCD outcomes. The assessment used qualitative research design approach.

Results: Of the 24 core population-based interventions for addressing key NCD risk factors, 16.7% were rated extensive, 37.5% moderate and 45.8% limited. Three (20%), 8 (53%) and 4 (27%) of the 15 individual/personal CVD, diabetes and cancer services were rated extensive, moderate and limited respectively. The top five health system challenges hampering scale-up of coverage of population-based NCD interventions in Mauritius were inadequate interagency cooperation; limited application of explicit priority setting approaches; inadequate change management; sub-optimal distribution and mix human resources; insufficient population empowerment; and insufficient political commitment. The top five challenges had average scores of between 3.1 (interagency cooperation) and 2.4 (distribution and mix of human resources). The top five health system challenges constraining expansion in coverage of individual NCD services were limited integration of evidence into practice; limited use of explicit priority-setting approaches; inadequate application of information and technology solutions; insufficient population empowerment; and sub-optimal distribution and mix of human resources. The top five challenges for individual interventions had mean scores varying between 2.6 (integration of evidence into practice) and 1.7 (distribution and mix of human resources).

Conclusions: Mauritius needs to increase its domestic general government investments into the national health system and requisite multi-sectoral action to address the priority health system challenges with a view of bridging the existing gaps in coverage of NCD population-based interventions and individual services.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-5039-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059264PMC
March 2020

Strengthening national health research systems in the WHO African Region - progress towards universal health coverage.

Global Health 2019 07 26;15(1):50. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

Inter-Country Support Team for Eastern & Southern Africa, Health Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization, P.O Box CY 348, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Background: Health challenges and health systems set-ups differ, warranting contextualised healthcare interventions to move towards universal health coverage. As such, there is emphasis on generation of contextualized evidence to solve local challenges. However, weak research capacity and inadequate resources remain an impendiment to quality research in the African region. WHO African Region (WHO AFR) facilitated the adoption of a regional strategy for strengthening national health research systems (NHRS) in 2015. We assessed the progress in strengthening NHRS among the 47 member states of the WHO AFR.

Methods: We employed a cross sectional survey design using a semi structured questionnaire. All the 47member states of WHO AFR were surveyed. We assessed performance against indicators of the regional research strategy, explored facilitating factors and barriers to strengthening NHRS. Using the research barometer, which is a metric developed for the WHO AFR we assessed the strength of NHRS of member states. Data were analysed in Excel Software to calculate barometer scores for NHRS function and sub-function. Thematic content was employed in analysing the qualitative data. Data for 2014 were compared to 2018 to assess progress.

Results: WHO AFR member states have made significant progress in strengthening their NHRS. Some of the indicators have either attained or exceeded the 2025 targets. The average regional barometer score improved from 43% in 2014 to 61% in 2018. Significant improvements were registered in the governance of research for health (R4H); developing and sustaining research resources and producing and using research. Financing R4H improved only modestly. Among the constraints are the lengthy ethical clearance processes, weak research coordination mechanisms, weak enforcement of research laws and regulation, inadequate research infrastructure, limited resource mobilisation skills and donor dependence.

Conclusion: There has been significant improvement in the NHRS of member states of the WHO AFRO since the last assessment in 2014. Improvement across the different objectives of the regional research strategy is however varied which compromises overall performance. The survey highlighted the areas with slow improvement that require a concerted effort. Furthermore, the study provides an opportunity for countries to share best practice in areas of excellence.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12992-019-0492-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6660673PMC
July 2019

The monetary value of human lives lost due to neglected tropical diseases in Africa.

Infect Dis Poverty 2017 Dec 18;6(1):165. Epub 2017 Dec 18.

Meru University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 972-60200, Meru, Kenya.

Background: Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are an important cause of death and disability in Africa. This study estimates the monetary value of human lives lost due to NTDs in the continent in 2015.

Methods: The lost output or human capital approach was used to evaluate the years of life lost due to premature deaths from NTDs among 10 high/upper-middle-income (Group 1), 17 middle-income (Group 2) and 27 low-income (Group 3) countries in Africa. The future losses were discounted to their present values at a 3% discount rate. The model was re-analysed using 5% and 10% discount rates to assess the impact on the estimated total value of human lives lost.

Results: The estimated value of 67 860 human lives lost in 2015 due to NTDs was Int$ 5 112 472 607. Out of that, 14.6% was borne by Group 1, 57.7% by Group 2 and 27.7% by Group 3 countries. The mean value of human life lost per NTD death was Int$ 231 278, Int$ 109 771 and Int$ 37 489 for Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 countries, respectively. The estimated value of human lives lost in 2015 due to NTDs was equivalent to 0.1% of the cumulative gross domestic product of the 53 continental African countries.

Conclusions: Even though NTDs are not a major cause of death, they impact negatively on the productivity of those affected throughout their life-course. Thus, the case for investing in NTDs control should also be influenced by the value of NTD morbidity, availability of effective donated medicines, human rights arguments, and need to achieve the NTD-related target 3.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 (on health) by 2030.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40249-017-0379-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733961PMC
December 2017

Space and place for WHO health development dialogues in the African Region.

BMC Health Serv Res 2016 07 18;16 Suppl 4:221. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, B.P. 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: Majority of the countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region are not on track to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals, yet even more ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 3 on heath, have been adopted. This paper highlights the challenges - amplified by the recent Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa - that require WHO and other partners' dialogue in support of the countries, and debate on how WHO can leverage the existing space and place to foster health development dialogues in the Region.

Discussion: To realise SDG 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, the African Region needs to tackle the persistent weaknesses in its health systems, systems that address the social determinants of health and national health research systems. The performance of the third item is crucial for the development and innovation of systems, products and tools for promoting, maintaining and restoring health in an equitable manner. Under its new leadership, the WHO Regional Office for Africa is transforming itself to galvanise existing partnerships, as well as forging new ones, with a view to accelerating the provision of timely and quality support to the countries in pursuit of SDG 3. WHO in the African Region engages in dialogues with various stakeholders in the process of health development. The EVD outbreak in West Africa accentuated the necessity for optimally exploiting currently available space and place for health development discourse. There is urgent need for the WHO Regional Office for Africa to fully leverage the space and place arenas of the World Health Assembly, WHO Regional Committee for Africa, African Union, Regional economic communities, Harmonization for Health in Africa, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African Development Bank, professional associations, and WHO African Health Forum, when it is created, for dialogues to mobilise the required resources to give the African Region the thrust it needs to attain SDG 3.

Conclusions: The pursuit of SDG 3 amidst multiple challenges related to political leadership and governance, weak health systems, sub-optimal systems for addressing the socioeconomic determinants of health, and weak national health research systems calls for optimum use of all the space and place available for regional health development dialogues to supplement Member States' efforts.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1452-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4959356PMC
July 2016

Policy dialogue to improve health outcomes in low income countries: what are the issues and way forward?

BMC Health Serv Res 2016 07 18;16 Suppl 4:217. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Health Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, B.P. 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: This paper has three objectives: to review the health development landscape in the World Health Organization African Region, to discuss the role of health policy dialogue in improving harmonisation and alignment to national health policies and strategic plans, and to provide an analytical view of the critical factors in realising a good outcome from a health policy dialogue process.

Discussion: Strengthening policy dialogue to support the development and implementation of robust and comprehensive national health policies and plans, as well as to improve aid effectiveness, is seen as a strategic entry point to improving health sector results. However, unbalanced power relations, the lack of contextualised and relevant evidence, the diverse interests of the actors involved, and the lack of conceptual clarity on what policy dialogue entails impact the outcomes of a policy dialogue process. The critical factors for a successful policy dialogue have been identified as adequate preparation; secured time and resources to facilitate an open, inclusive and informed discussion among the stakeholders; and stakeholders' monitoring and assessment of the dialogue's activities for continued learning. Peculiarities of low income countries pose a challenge to their policy dialogue processes, including the chaotic-policy making processes, the varied capacity of the actors and donor dependence.

Conclusion: Policy dialogue needs to be appreciated as a complex and iterative process that spans the whole process of policy-making, implementation, review and monitoring, and subsequent policy revisions. The existence of the critical factors for a successful policy dialogue process needs to be ensured whilst paying special attention to the peculiarities of low income countries and potential power relations, and mitigating the possible negative consequences. There is need to be cognisant of the varied capacities and interests of stakeholders and the need for capacity building, and to put in place mechanisms to manage conflict of interest. The likelihood of a favourable outcome from a policy dialogue process will depend on the characteristics of the issue under consideration and whether it is contested or not, and the policy dialogue process needs to be tailored accordingly.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1450-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4959394PMC
July 2016

Global Forum 2015 dialogue on "From evidence to policy - thinking outside the box": perspectives to improve evidence uptake and good practices in the African Region.

BMC Health Serv Res 2016 07 18;16 Suppl 4:215. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Health Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, B. P. 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: The Global Forum 2015 panel session dialogue entitled "From evidence to policy - thinking outside the box" was held on 26 August 2015 in the Philippines to debate why evidence was not fully translated into policy and practice and what could be done to increase its uptake. This paper reports the reasons and possible actions for increasing the uptake of evidence, and highlights the actions partners could take to increase the use of evidence in the African Region.

Discussion: The Global Forum 2015 debate attributed African Region's low uptake of evidence to the big gap in incentives and interests between research for health researchers and public health policy-makers; limited appreciation on the side of researchers that public health decisions are based on multiple and complex considerations; perception among users that research evidence is not relevant to local contexts; absence of knowledge translation platforms; sub-optimal collaboration and engagement between industry and research institutions; lack of involvement of civil society organizations; lack of engagement of communities in the research process; failure to engage the media; limited awareness and debate in national and local parliaments on the importance of investing in research and innovation; and dearth of research and innovation parks in the African Region.

Conclusion: The actions needed in the Region to increase the uptake of evidence in policy and practice include strengthening NHRS governance; bridging the motivation gap between researchers and health policy-makers; restoring trust between researchers and decision-makers; ensuring close and continuous intellectual intercourse among researchers, ministry of health policy-makers and technocrats during the life course of research projects or programmes; proactive collaboration between academia and industry; regular briefings of civil society, media, relevant parliamentary committees and development partners; development of vibrant knowledge translation platforms; development of action plans for implementing research recommendations, preferably in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals; and encouragement of competition on NHRS strengthening and research output and uptake among the countries using a barometer or scorecard to review their performance at various regional ministerial forums and taking into account the lessons learned from the MDG period.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1453-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4959371PMC
July 2016

Developing the African national health research systems barometer.

Health Res Policy Syst 2016 Jul 22;14(1):53. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: A functional national health research system (NHRS) is crucial in strengthening a country's health system to promote, restore and maintain the health status of its population. Progress towards the goal of universal health coverage in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda will be difficult for African countries without strengthening of their NHRS to yield the required evidence for decision-making. This study aims to develop a barometer to facilitate monitoring of the development and performance of NHRSs in the African Region of WHO.

Methods: The African national health research systems barometer algorithm was developed in response to a recommendation of the African Advisory Committee for Health Research and Development of WHO. Survey data collected from all the 47 Member States in the WHO African Region using a questionnaire were entered into an Excel spreadsheet and analysed. The barometer scores for each country were calculated and the performance interpreted according to a set of values ranging from 0% to 100%.

Results: The overall NHRS barometer score for the African Region was 42%, which is below the average of 50%. Among the 47 countries, the average NHRS performance was less than 20% in 10 countries, 20-40% in 11 countries, 41-60% in 16 countries, 61-80% in nine countries, and over 80% in one country. The performance of NHRSs in 30 (64%) countries was below 50%.

Conclusion: An African NHRS barometer with four functions and 17 sub-functions was developed to identify the gaps in and facilitate monitoring of NHRS development and performance. The NHRS scores for the individual sub-functions can guide policymakers to locate sources of poor performance and to design interventions to address them.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12961-016-0121-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4957896PMC
July 2016

Productivity losses associated with tuberculosis deaths in the World Health Organization African region.

Infect Dis Poverty 2016 Jun 1;5(1):43. Epub 2016 Jun 1.

Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: In 2014, almost half of the global tuberculosis deaths occurred in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region. Approximately 21.5 % of the 6 060 742 TB cases (new and relapse) reported to the WHO in 2014 were in the African Region. The specific objective of this study was to estimate future gross domestic product (GDP) losses associated with TB deaths in the African Region for use in advocating for better strategies to prevent and control tuberculosis.

Methods: The cost-of-illness method was used to estimate non-health GDP losses associated with TB deaths. Future non-health GDP losses were discounted at 3 %. The analysis was conducted for three income groups of countries. One-way sensitivity analysis at 5 and 10 % discount rates was undertaken to assess the impact on the expected non-health GDP loss.

Results: The 0.753 million tuberculosis deaths that occurred in the African Region in 2014 would be expected to decrease the future non-health GDP by International Dollars (Int$) 50.4 billion. Nearly 40.8, 46.7 and 12.5 % of that loss would come from high and upper-middle- countries or lower-middle- and low-income countries, respectively. The average total non-health GDP loss would be Int$66 872 per tuberculosis death. The average non-health GDP loss per TB death was Int$167 592 for Group 1, Int$69 808 for Group 2 and Int$21 513 for Group 3.

Conclusion: Tuberculosis exerts a sizeable economic burden on the economies of the WHO AFR countries. This implies the need to strongly advocate for better strategies to prevent and control tuberculosis and to help countries end the epidemic of tuberculosis by 2030, as envisioned in the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40249-016-0138-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4888542PMC
June 2016

Readiness of ethics review systems for a changing public health landscape in the WHO African Region.

BMC Med Ethics 2015 Dec 2;16(1):82. Epub 2015 Dec 2.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: The increasing emphasis on research, development and innovation for health in providing solutions to the high burden of diseases in the African Region has warranted a proliferation of studies including clinical trials. This changing public health landscape requires that countries develop adequate ethics review capacities to protect and minimize risks to study participants. Therefore, this study assessed the readiness of national ethics committees to respond to challenges posed by a globalized biomedical research system which is constantly challenged by new public health threats, rapid scientific and technological advancements affecting biomedical research and development, delivery and manufacture of vaccines and therapies, and health technology transfer.

Methods: This is a descriptive study, which used a questionnaire structured to elicit information on the existence of relevant national legal frameworks, mechanisms for ethical review; as well as capacity requirements for national ethics committees. The questionnaire was available in English and French and was sent to 41 of the then 46 Member States of the WHO African Region, excluding the five Lusophone Member States. Information was gathered from senior officials in ministries of health, who by virtue of their offices were considered to have expert knowledge of research ethics review systems in their respective countries.

Results: Thirty three of the 41 countries (80.5 %) responded. Thirty (90.9 %) of respondent countries had a national ethics review committee (NEC); 79 % of which were established by law. Twenty-five (83.3 %) NECs had secretarial and administrative support. Over 50 % of countries with NECs indicated a need for capacity strengthening through periodic training on international guidelines for health research (including clinical trials) ethics; and allocation of funds for administrative and secretariat support.

Conclusions: Despite the existing training initiatives, the Region still experiences a shortage of professionals trained in health research ethics/ethicists. Committees continue to face various capacity needs especially for evaluating clinical trials, for monitoring ongoing research, database management and for accrediting institutional ethics committees. Given the growing number of clinical trials involving human participants in the African Region, there is urgent need for supporting countries without NECs to establish them; capacity strengthening where they exist; and creation of a regional network and joint ethical review mechanisms, whose membership would be open to all NECs of the Region.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12910-015-0078-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4667412PMC
December 2015

National health research systems in the WHO African Region: current status and the way forward.

Health Res Policy Syst 2015 Oct 30;13:61. Epub 2015 Oct 30.

Research, Publications and Library Services Programme, Health Systems & Services Cluster, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: A number of resolutions of the World Health Assembly and the WHO Regional Committee for Africa call upon African countries and their development partners to make the required investments in national health research systems (NHRS) to generate knowledge and promote its use in tackling priority public health challenges. Implementation of these resolutions is critical for Africa to progress with the rest of the world in achieving the post-2015 health sustainable development goal. This study assesses the current status of some NHRS components in the 47 countries of the WHO African Region, identifies the factors that enable and constrain NHRS, and proposes the way forward.

Methods: To track progress in NHRS components and for comparison, a questionnaire that was used in NHRS surveys in 2003 and 2009 was administered in all 47 countries in the African Region. The national health research focal persons were responsible for completing the questionnaire, which had been hand-delivered to them by the WHO country office staff in charge of research, who also briefed them on the survey, went through the questionnaire for clarity, and sought their informed consent.

Results: All the 47 countries responded to the questionnaire, but some did not answer all questions. Of the countries responding to various questions 49 % (23/47) had a national health research policy; 47 % (22/47) had a health strategic plan; 40 % (19/47) had legislation governing research; 53 % (25/47) had a national health research priority agenda; 51 % (24/47) reported having a functional NHRS and a national health research management forum; 91 % (43/47) had an ethical review committee; 49 % (23/47) had hospitals with ethical review committees to review clinical research proposals; 51 % (24/47) had a scientific review committee; 62 % (29/47) had health institutions with scientific review committees; 83 % (39/47) had a national health research focal point; 51 % (24/47) had a health research programme; 55 % (26/47) had a national health or medical research institute or council; 93 % (41/44) had at least one university faculty of health sciences that conducted health research; and 33 % (15/46) had a knowledge translation platform. Forty-seven percent of countries reported having a budget line for research for health in the ministry of health budget. Between 2003 and 2014, the countries with a functional NHRS increased from 30 % to 51 %.

Conclusion: Compared with 2003 and 2009 surveys, our survey found many countries to have made progress in strengthening some of the functions of their NHRS. However, there remains an urgent need for countries without NHRS to establish them and for others to improve the functionality and efficiency of every NHRS component. This is necessary for the national governments to effectively execute their leadership and governance of NHRS and to create an enabling environment within which research for health can flourish.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12961-015-0054-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4628337PMC
October 2015

Indirect costs associated with deaths from the Ebola virus disease in West Africa.

Infect Dis Poverty 2015 Oct 29;4:45. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.

Background: By 28 June 2015, there were a total of 11,234 deaths from the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in five West African countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Sierra Leone). The objective of this study was to estimate the future productivity losses associated with EVD deaths in these West African countries, in order to encourage increased investments in national health systems.

Methods: A cost-of-illness method was employed to calculate future non-health (NH) gross domestic product (GDP) (NHGDP) losses associated with EVD deaths. The future non-health GDP loss (NHGDPLoss) was discounted at 3 %. Separate analyses were done for three different age groups (< =14 years, 15-44 years and = >45 years) for the five countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone) affected by EVD. We also conducted a one-way sensitivity analysis at 5 and 10 % discount rates to gauge their impacts on expected NHGDPLoss.

Results: The discounted value of future NHGDPLoss due to the 11,234 deaths associated with EVD was estimated to be Int$ (international dollars) 155,663,244. About 27.86 % of the loss would be borne by Guinea, 34.84 % by Liberia, 0.10 % by Mali, 0.24 % by Nigeria and 36.96 % by Sierra Leone. About 27.27 % of the loss is attributed to those aged under 14 years, 66.27 % to those aged 15-44 years and 6.46 % to those aged over 45 years. The average NHGDPLoss per EVD death was estimated to be Int$ 17,473 for Guinea, Int$ 11,283 for Liberia, Int$ 25,126 for Mali, Int$ 47,364 for Nigeria and Int$ 14,633 for Sierra Leone.

Conclusion: In spite of alluded limitations, the estimates of human and economic losses reported in this paper, in addition to those projected by the World Bank, show that EVD imposes a significant economic burden on the affected West African countries. That heavy burden, coupled with human rights and global security concerns, underscores the urgent need for increased domestic and external investments to enable Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (and other vulnerable African countries) to develop resilient health systems, including core capacities to detect, assess, notify, verify and report events, and to respond to public health risks and emergencies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40249-015-0079-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625462PMC
October 2015

National health research system in Malawi: dead, moribund, tepid or flourishing?

BMC Health Serv Res 2015 Mar 31;15:126. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

Research, Publications and Library Services Programme, Health Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: Several instruments at both the global and regional levels to which countries in the WHO African Region are party call for action by governments to strengthen national health research systems (NHRS). This paper debates the extent to which Malawi has fulfilled this commitment.

Discussion: Some research literature has characterized African research - and by implication NHRS - as moribund. In our view, the Malawi government, with partner support, has made effort to strengthen the capacities of individuals and institutions that generate scientific knowledge. This is reflected in the Malawi national NHRS index (MNSR4HI) of 51%, which is within the 50%-69% range, and thus, it should be characterized as tepid with significant potential to flourish. Governance of research for health (R4H) has improved with the promulgation of the Malawi Science and Technology Act in 2003. However, lack of an explicit R4H policy, a strategic plan and a national R4H management forum undermines the government's effectiveness in overseeing the operation of the NHRS. The mean index of 'governance of R4H' sub-functions was 67%, implying that research governance is tepid. Malawi has a national health research focal point, an R4H program, and four public and 11 private universities. The average index of 'creating and sustaining resources' sub-functions was 48.6%, meaning that R4H human and infrastructural resources can be considered to be in a moribund state. The average index of 'producing and using research' sub-functions of 50.4% implies that production and utilization of research findings in policy development and public health practice can best be described as tepid. Efforts need to be intensified to boost national research productivity. Over the five financial years 2011-2016 the government plans to spend 0.26% of its total health budget on R4H. The mean index of 'financing' sub-functions of 23.6% is within the range of 1-49%, which is considered moribund. A functional NHRS is a prerequisite for the achievement of the health system goal of universal health coverage. Malawi, like majority of African countries, needs to invest more in strengthening R4H governance, developing and sustaining R4H resources, and producing and using research findings.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-0796-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392748PMC
March 2015

Investing in health systems for universal health coverage in Africa.

BMC Int Health Hum Rights 2014 Oct 28;14:28. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Research, Publications and Library Services Programme, Health Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, B.P. 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: This study focused on the 47 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region. The specific objectives were to prepare a synthesis on the situation of health systems' components, to analyse the correlation between the interventions related to the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and some health systems' components and to provide overview of four major thrusts for progress towards universal health coverage (UHC).

Methods: The WHO health systems framework and the health-related MDGs were the frame of reference. The data for selected indicators were obtained from the WHO World Health Statistics 2014 and the Global Health Observatory.

Results: African Region's average densities of physicians, nursing and midwifery personnel, dentistry personnel, pharmaceutical personnel, and psychiatrists of 2.6, 12, 0.5, 0.9 and 0.05 per 10 000 population were about five-fold, two-fold, five-fold, five-fold and six-fold lower than global averages. Fifty-six percent of the reporting countries had fewer than 11 health posts per 100 000 population, 88% had fewer than 11 health centres per 100 000 population, 82% had fewer than one district hospital per 100 000 population, 74% had fewer than 0.2 provincial hospitals per 100 000 population, and 79% had fewer than 0.2 tertiary hospitals per 100 000 population. Some 83% of the countries had less than one MRI per one million people and 95% had fewer than one radiotherapy unit per million population. Forty-six percent of the countries had not adopted the recommendation of the International Taskforce on Innovative Financing to spend at least US$ 44 per person per year on health. Some of these gaps in health system components were found to be correlated to coverage gaps in interventions for maternal health (MDG 5), child health (MDG 4) and HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria (MDG 6).

Conclusions: Substantial gaps exist in health systems and access to MDG-related health interventions. It is imperative that countries adopt the 2014 Luanda Commitment on UHC in Africa as their long-term vision and back it with sound policies and plans with clearly engrained road maps for strengthening national health systems and addressing the social determinants of health.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12914-014-0028-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4422225PMC
October 2014

Indirect cost of maternal deaths in the WHO African Region in 2010.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2014 Aug 31;14:299. Epub 2014 Aug 31.

Research, Publications and Library Services Programme, Health Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: An estimated 147,741 maternal deaths occurred in 2010 in 45 of the 47 countries in the African Region of the World Health Organization (WHO). The objective of this study was to estimate the indirect cost of maternal deaths in the Region to provide data for use in advocacy for increased domestic and external investment in multisectoral policy interventions to curb maternal mortality.

Methods: This study used the cost-of-illness method to estimate the indirect cost of maternal mortality, i.e. the loss in non-health gross domestic product (GDP) attributable to maternal deaths. Estimates on maternal mortality for 2010 from Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2010 published by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank were used in these calculations. Values for future non-health GDP lost were converted into their present values by applying a 3% discount rate. One-way sensitivity analysis at 5% and 10% discount rates assessed the impact on non-health GDP loss. Indirect cost analysis was undertaken for the countries, categorized under three income groups. Group 1 consisted of nine high and upper middle income countries, Group 2 of 12 lower middle income countries, and Group 3 of 26 low income countries. Estimates for Seychelles in Group 1 and South Sudan in Group 3 were not provided in the source used.

Results: The 147,741 maternal deaths that occurred in 45 countries in the African Region in 2010 resulted in a total non-health GDP loss of Int$ 4.5 billion (PPP). About 24.5% of the loss was in Group 1 countries, 44.9% in Group 2 countries and 30.6% in Group 3 countries. This translated into losses in non-health GDP of Int$ 139,219, Int$ 35,440 and Int$ 16,397 per maternal death, respectively, for the three groups. Using discount rates of 5% and 10% reduced the total non-health GDP loss by 19.1% and 47.7%, respectively.

Conclusion: Maternal mortality is responsible for a noteworthy level of non-health GDP loss among the countries in the African Region. There is urgent need, therefore, to increase domestic and external investment to scale up coverage of existing cost-effective, multisectoral women's health interventions to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-14-299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164751PMC
August 2014

Ownership and technical efficiency of hospitals: evidence from Ghana using data envelopment analysis.

Cost Eff Resour Alloc 2014 Apr 8;12(1). Epub 2014 Apr 8.

African Development Bank, OSHD,3, BP323, Tunis, Belvedere, Tunisia.

Background: In order to measure and analyse the technical efficiency of district hospitals in Ghana, the specific objectives of this study were to (a) estimate the relative technical and scale efficiency of government, mission, private and quasi-government district hospitals in Ghana in 2005; (b) estimate the magnitudes of output increases and/or input reductions that would have been required to make relatively inefficient hospitals more efficient; and (c) use Tobit regression analysis to estimate the impact of ownership on hospital efficiency.

Methods: In the first stage, we used data envelopment analysis (DEA) to estimate the efficiency of 128 hospitals comprising of 73 government hospitals, 42 mission hospitals, 7 quasi-government hospitals and 6 private hospitals. In the second stage, the estimated DEA efficiency scores are regressed against hospital ownership variable using a Tobit model. This was a retrospective study.

Results: In our DEA analysis, using the variable returns to scale model, out of 128 district hospitals, 31 (24.0%) were 100% efficient, 25 (19.5%) were very close to being efficient with efficiency scores ranging from 70% to 99.9% and 71 (56.2%) had efficiency scores below 50%. The lowest-performing hospitals had efficiency scores ranging from 21% to 30%.Quasi-government hospitals had the highest mean efficiency score (83.9%) followed by public hospitals (70.4%), mission hospitals (68.6%) and private hospitals (55.8%). However, public hospitals also got the lowest mean technical efficiency scores (27.4%), implying they have some of the most inefficient hospitals.Regarding regional performance, Northern region hospitals had the highest mean efficiency score (83.0%) and Volta Region hospitals had the lowest mean score (43.0%).From our Tobit regression, we found out that while quasi-government ownership is positively associated with hospital technical efficiency, private ownership negatively affects hospital efficiency.

Conclusions: It would be prudent for policy-makers to examine the least efficient hospitals to correct widespread inefficiency. This would include reconsidering the number of hospitals and their distribution, improving efficiency and reducing duplication by closing or scaling down hospitals with efficiency scores below a certain threshold. For private hospitals with inefficiency related to large size, there is a need to break down such hospitals into manageable sizes.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1478-7547-12-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4108084PMC
April 2014

Health care seeking patterns and determinants of out-of-pocket expenditure for malaria for the children under-five in Uganda.

Malar J 2013 May 31;12:175. Epub 2013 May 31.

Health Systems and Services Cluster, WHO Uganda Office, Kampala, Uganda.

Background: The objectives of this study were to assess the patterns of treatment seeking behaviour for children under five with malaria; and to examine the statistical relationship between out-of-pocket expenditure (OOP) on malaria treatment for under-fives and source of treatment, place of residence, education and wealth characteristics of Uganda households. OOP expenditure on health care is now a development concern due to its negative effect on households' ability to finance consumption of other basic needs.

Methods: The 2009 Uganda Malaria Indicator Survey was the source of data on treatment seeking behaviour for under-five children with malaria, and patterns and levels of OOP expenditure for malaria treatment. Binomial logit and Log-lin regression models were estimated. In logit model the dependent variable was a dummy (1=incurred some OOP, 0=none incurred) and independent variables were wealth quintiles, rural versus urban, place of treatment, education level, sub-region, and normal duty disruption. The dependent variable in Log-lin model was natural logarithm of OOP and the independent variables were the same as mentioned above.

Results: Five key descriptive analysis findings emerge. First, malaria is quite prevalent at 44.7% among children below the age of five. Second, a significant proportion seeks treatment (81.8%). Third, private providers are the preferred option for the under-fives for the treatment of malaria. Fourth, the majority pay about 70.9% for either consultation, medicines, transport or hospitalization but the biggest percent of those who pay, do so for medicines (54.0%). Fifth, hospitalization is the most expensive at an average expenditure of US$7.6 per child, even though only 2.9% of those that seek treatment are hospitalized.The binomial logit model slope coefficients for the variables richest wealth quintile, Private facility as first source of treatment, and sub-regions Central 2, East central, Mid-eastern, Mid-western, and Normal duties disrupted were positive and statistically significant at 99% level of confidence. On the other hand, the Log-lin model slope coefficients for Traditional healer, Sought treatment from one source, Primary educational level, North East, Mid Northern and West Nile variables had a negative sign and were statistically significant at 95% level of confidence.

Conclusion: The fact that OOP expenditure is still prevalent and private provider is the preferred choice, increasing public provision may not be the sole answer. Plans to improve malaria treatment should explicitly incorporate efforts to protect households from high OOP expenditures. This calls for provision of subsidies to enable the private sector to reduce prices, regulation of prices of malaria medicines, and reduction/removal of import duties on such medicines.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-12-175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680323PMC
May 2013

Health financing in the African Region: 2000-2009 data analysis.

Int Arch Med 2013 Mar 6;6(1):10. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: In order to raise African countries probability of achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015, there is need to increase and more efficiently use domestic and external funding to strengthen health systems infrastructure in order to ensure universal access to quality health care. The objective of this paper is to examine the changes that have occurred in African countries on health financing, taking into account the main sources of funding over the period 2000 to 2009.

Methods: Our analysis is based on the National Health Accounts (NHA) data for the 46 countries of the WHO African Region. The data were obtained from the WHO World Health Statistics Report 2012. Data for Zimbabwe was not available. The analysis was done using Excel software.

Results: Between 2000 and 2009, number of countries spending less than 5% of their GDP on health decreased from 24 to 17; government spending on health as a percentage of total health expenditure increased in 31 countries and decreased in 13 countries; number of countries allocating at least 15% of national budgets on health increased from 2 to 4; number of countries partially financing health through social security increased from 19 to 21; number of countries where private spending was 50% and above of total health expenditure decreased from 29 (64%) to 23 (51%); over 70% of private expenditure on health came from household out-of-pocket payments (OOPS) in 32 (71%) countries and in 27 (60%) countries; number of countries with private prepaid plans increased from 29 to 31; number of countries financing more than 20% of their total health expenditure from external sources increased from 14 to 19; number of countries achieving the Commission for Macroeconomics and Health recommendation of spending at least US$34 per person per year increased from 11 to 29; number of countries achieving the International Taskforce on Innovative Financing recommendation of spending at least US$44 per person per year increased from 11 to 24; average per capita total expenditure on health increased from US$35 to US$82; and average per capita government expenditure on health grew from US$ 15 to US$ 41.

Conclusion: Whilst the African Region (AFR) average government expenditure on health as a per cent of THE increased by 5.4 per cent, the average private health expenditure decreased by the same percentage between 2000 and 2009. The regional average OOPS as a per cent of private expenditure on health increased by 4.9 per cent. The average external resources for health as a percentage of THE increased by 3.7 per cent. Even though on average the quantity of health funds have increased, we cannot judge from the current study the extent to which financial risk protection, equity and efficiency has progressed or regressed.In 2009 OOPS made up over 20% of total expenditure on health in 34 countries. Evidence shows that where OOPS as a percentage of total health expenditure is less than 20%, the risk of catastrophic expenditure is negligible. Therefore, there is urgent need for countries to develop health policies that address inequities and health financing models that optimize the use of health resources and strengthen health infrastructure. Increased coverage of prepaid health-financing mechanisms would reduce over-reliance on potentially catastrophic and impoverishing out-of-pocket payments.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1755-7682-6-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3607963PMC
March 2013

National health financing policy in Eritrea: a survey of preliminary considerations.

BMC Int Health Hum Rights 2012 Aug 28;12:16. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Unlabelled:

Background: The 58th World Health Assembly and 56th WHO Regional Committee for Africa adopted resolutions urging Member States to ensure that health financing systems included a method for prepayment to foster financial risk sharing among the population and avoid catastrophic health-care expenditure. The Regional Committee asked countries to strengthen or develop comprehensive health financing policies. This paper presents the findings of a survey conducted among senior staff of selected Eritrean ministries and agencies to elicit views on some of the elements likely to be part of a national health financing policy.

Methods: This is a descriptive study. A questionnaire was prepared and sent to 19 senior staff (Directors) in the Ministry of Health, Labour Department, Civil Service Administration, Eritrean Confederation of Workers, National Insurance Corporation of Eritrea and Ministry of Local Government. The respondents were selected by the Ministry of Health as key informants.

Results: The key findings were as follows: the response rate was 84.2% (16/19); 37.5% (6/16) and 18.8% said that the vision of Eritrean National Health Financing Policy (NHFP) should include the phrases 'equitable and accessible quality health services' and 'improve efficiency or reduce waste' respectively; over 68% indicated that NHFP should include securing adequate funding, ensuring efficiency, ensuring equitable financial access, protection from financial catastrophe, and ensuring provider payment mechanisms create positive incentives to service providers; over 80% mentioned community participation, efficiency, transparency, country ownership, equity in access, and evidence-based decision making as core values of NHFP; over 62.5% confirmed that NHFP components should consist of stewardship (oversight), revenue collection, revenue pooling and risk management, resource allocation and purchasing of health services, health economics research, and development of human resources for health; over 68.8% indicated cost-sharing, taxation and social health insurance as preferred revenue collection mechanisms; and 68.75% indicated their preferred provider payment mechanism to be a global (lump sum) budget.

Conclusion: This study succeeded in gathering the preliminary views of senior staff of selected Eritrean ministries and agencies regarding the likely elements of the NHFP, i.e. the vision, objectives, components, provider payment mechanisms, and health financing agency and its governance. In addition to stakeholder surveys, it would be helpful to inform the development of the NHFP with other pieces of evidence, including cost-effectiveness analysis of health services and interventions, financial feasibility analysis of financing options, a survey of the political and professional acceptability of financing options, national health accounts, and equity analyses.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-698X-12-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3517356PMC
August 2012

Impact of malaria morbidity on gross domestic product in Uganda.

Int Arch Med 2012 Mar 22;5(1):12. Epub 2012 Mar 22.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: The burden of malaria is a key challenge to both human and economic development in malaria endemic countries. The impact of malaria can be categorized from three dimensions, namely: health, social and economic. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of malaria morbidity on gross domestic product (GDP) of Uganda.

Methods: The impact of malaria morbidity on GDP of Uganda was estimated using double-log econometric model. The 1997-2003 time series macro-data used in the analysis were for 28 quarters, i.e. 7 years times 4 quarters per year. It was obtained from national and international secondary sources.

Results: The slope coefficient for Malaria Index (M) was -0.00767; which indicates that when malaria morbidity increases by one unit, while holding all other explanatory variables constant, per capita GDP decreases by US$0.00767 per year. In 2003 Uganda lost US$ 49,825,003 of GDP due to malaria morbidity. Dividing the total loss of US$49.8 million by a population of 25,827,000 yields a loss in GDP of US$1.93 per person in Uganda in 2003.

Conclusion: Malaria morbidity results in a substantive loss in GDP of Uganda. The high burden of malaria leads to decreased long-term economic growth, and works against poverty eradication efforts and socioeconomic development of the country.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1755-7682-5-12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402997PMC
March 2012

Malaria control in the African Region: perceptions and viewspoints on proceedings of the Africa Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).

BMC Proc 2011 Jun 13;5 Suppl 5:S3. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, B,P, 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: In 2009 a total of 153,408 malaria deaths were reported in Africa. Eleven countries showed a reduction of more than 50% in either confirmed malaria cases or malaria admissions and deaths in recent years. However, many African countries are not on track to achieve the malaria component of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6. The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) working session at the 15th African Union Summit discussed the bottlenecks to achieving MDG 6 (specifically halting and beginning to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015), success factors, and what countries needed to do to accelerate achievement of the MDG. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the proceedings of the ALMA working session.

Methods: Working methods of the session included speeches and statements by invited speakers and high-level panel discussions.

Discussion: The main bottlenecks identified related to the capacity of the health systems to deliver quality care and accessibility issues; need for strong, decentralized malaria-control programmes with linkages with other health and development sectors, the civil society and private sector entities; benefits of co-implementation of malaria control programmes with child survival or other public health interventions; systematic application of integrated promotive, preventive, diagnostic and case management interventions with full community participation; adapting approaches to local political, socio-cultural and administrative environments.The following prerequisites for success were identified: a clear vision and effective leadership of national malaria control programmes; high level political commitment to ensure adequate capacity in expertise, skill mix and number of managers, technicians and service providers; national ownership, intersectoral collaboration and accountability, as well as strong civil society and private sector involvement; functional epidemiological surveillance systems; and levering of African Union and regional economic communities to address the cross-border dimension of malaria control.It was agreed that countries needed to secure adequate domestic and external funding for sustained commitment to malaria elimination; strengthen national malaria control programmes in the context of broader health system strengthening; ensure free access to long-lasting insecticide treated nets and malaria diagnosis and treatment for vulnerable groups; strengthen human resource capacity at central, district and community levels; and establish strong logistics, information and surveillance systems.

Conclusion: It is critically important for countries to have a clear vision and strategy for malaria elimination; effective leadership of national malaria control programmes; draw lessons from other African countries that have succeeded to dramatically reduce the burden of malaria; and sustain funding and ongoing interventions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1753-6561-5-S5-S3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3254897PMC
June 2011

Health financing in Africa: overview of a dialogue among high level policy makers.

BMC Proc 2011 Jun 13;5 Suppl 5:S2. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, B,P, 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: Even though Africa has the highest disease burden compared with other regions, it has the lowest per capita spending on health. In 2007, 27 (51%) out the 53 countries spent less than US$50 per person on health. Almost 30% of the total health expenditure came from governments, 50% from private sources (of which 71% was from out-of-pocket payments by households) and 20% from donors. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the proceedings of the African Union Side Event on Health Financing in the African continent.

Methods: Methods employed in the session included presentations, panel discussion and open public discussion with ministers of health and finance from the African continent.

Discussion: The current unsatisfactory state of health financing was attributed to lack of clear vision and plan for health financing; lack of national health accounts and other evidence to guide development and implementation of national health financing policies and strategies; low investments in sectors that address social determinants of health; predominance of out-of-pocket spending; underdeveloped prepaid health financing mechanisms; large informal sectors vis-à-vis small formal sectors; and unpredictability and non-alignment of majority of donor funds with national health priorities.Countries need to develop and adopt a comprehensive national health policy and a costed strategic plan; a comprehensive evidence-based health financing strategy; allocate at least 15% of the national budget to health development; use GFATM and PEPFAR funds for health systems strengthening; strengthen intersectoral collaboration to address health determinants; advocate among donors to implement the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and its Accra Agenda for Action; ensure universal access to health services for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children aged under five years; strengthen financial management capacities; and develop prepaid health financing systems, especially health insurance to complement tax funding.In addition, countries need to institutionalize national health accounts; undertake feasibility studies of various health financing mechanisms; and document and share best practices in health financing.

Conclusion: There was consensus that every country ought to have an evidence-based comprehensive health financing strategy with a road map for attaining universal health service coverage vision; and increase physical and financial access by pregnant women, lactating mothers and by children under five years to quality health services.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1753-6561-5-S5-S2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3254896PMC
June 2011

Perceptions and viewpoints on proceedings of the Fifteenth Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union Debate on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Development, 25-27 July 2010, Kampala, Uganda.

BMC Proc 2011 Jun 13;5 Suppl 5:S1. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, B,P, 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: Out of 358000 maternal deaths that occurred globally in 2008, 57.8% occurred in continental Africa. Africa had a maternal mortality ratio of 590 compared to 14 in developed regions, 68 in Latin America and Caribbean, and 190 in Asia. This article reflects on the discussions held during the Fifteenth Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union on the reasons why the maternal mortality ratio is so high in Africa and what can be done to reduce it.

Methods: Methods employed included panel and open public discussions among the Heads of State and Government of the African Union. The article uses the WHO health systems strengthening framework, which consists of six pillars (information systems, leadership and governance, health workforce, financing, and medical products, vaccines and technologies, and health services) to describe the proceedings of the discussions.

Discussion: The high maternal mortality ratios in countries were attributed to weak national health information systems; leadership and governance challenges related to poverty, health illiteracy, poor transport networks and communications infrastructure, risky cultural practices, armed conflicts and domestic violence, dearth of women empowerment; inadequate levels of skilled birth attendants; inadequate domestic and external funding; stock-outs of consumable inputs; and limited coverage of maternal and child health interventions.In order to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4 and 5, the Heads of State and Government recommended that countries should make maternal deaths notifiable and institutionalize maternal death audits; develop, fund and implement policies and strategies geared at improving maternal, newborn and child health; accelerate inter-sectoral action to address the broad health determinants; increase the number of skilled birth attendants; fulfil commitment to allocate at least 15% of the national budget to the health sector and allocate adequate resources to prevent stock-outs of essential medicines and reproductive health commodities; leverage health promotion approaches to raise national awareness; and ensure that there is a health centre within a radius of four kilometres equipped to provide good quality integrated maternal, newborn and child health services.

Conclusions: There was consensus among the discussants that there was urgent need to speed up actions for strengthening health systems to improve coverage of maternal, newborn and child health services; and to address broad determinants of women, newborn and children's health for sustained improvements in health and other development goals.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1753-6561-5-S5-S1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3254895PMC
June 2011

The essence of governance in health development.

Int Arch Med 2011 Mar 28;4:11. Epub 2011 Mar 28.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, B,P, 06, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: Governance and leadership in health development are critically important for the achievement of the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other national health goals. Those two factors might explain why many countries in Africa are not on track to attain the health MDGs by 2015. This paper debates the meaning of 'governance in health development', reviews briefly existing governance frameworks, proposes a modified framework on health development governance (HDG), and develops a HDG index.

Discussion: We argue that unlike 'leadership in health development', 'governance in health development' is the sole prerogative of the Government through the Ministry of Health, which can choose to delegate (but not abrogate) some of the governance tasks. The general governance domains of the UNDP and the World Bank are very pertinent but not sufficient for assessment of health development governance. The WHO six domains of governance do not include effective external partnerships for health, equity in health development, efficiency in resource allocation and use, ethical practises in health research and service provision, and macroeconomic and political stability. The framework for assessing health systems governance developed by Siddiqi et al also does not include macroeconomic and political stability as a separate principle. The Siddiqi et al framework does not propose a way of scoring the various governance domains to facilitate aggregation, inter-country comparisons and health development governance tracking over time.This paper argues for a broader health development governance framework because other sectors that assure human rights to education, employment, food, housing, political participation, and security combined have greater impact on health development than the health systems. It also suggests some amendments to Siddigi et al's framework to make it more relevant to the broader concept of 'governance in health development' and to the WHO African Region context.

Summary: A strong case for broader health development governance framework has been made. A health development governance index with 10 functions and 42 sub-functions has been proposed to facilitate inter-country comparisons. Potential sources of data for estimating HDGI have been suggested. The Governance indices for individual sub-functions can aid policy-makers to establish the sources of weak health governance and subsequently develop appropriate interventions for ameliorating the situation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1755-7682-4-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072323PMC
March 2011

Health challenges in Africa and the way forward.

Int Arch Med 2008 Dec 18;1(1):27. Epub 2008 Dec 18.

Division of Health Systems and Services Development, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Africa is confronted by a heavy burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Cost-effective interventions that can prevent the disease burden exist but coverage is too low due to health systems weaknesses. This editorial reviews the challenges related to leadership and governance; health workforce; medical products, vaccines and technologies; information; financing; and services delivery. It also provides an overview of the orientations provided by the WHO Regional Committee for Africa for overcoming those challenges. It cautions that it might not be possible to adequately implement those orientations without a concerted fight against corruption, sustained domestic and external investment in social sectors, and enabling macroeconomic and political (i.e. internally secure) environment.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1755-7682-1-27DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2615747PMC
December 2008

Can countries of the WHO African Region wean themselves off donor funding for health?

Bull World Health Organ 2008 Nov;86(11):889-92; discussion 893-5

Division of Health Systems and Services Development, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, the Congo.

More than 20% of total health expenditure in 48% of the 46 countries in the WHO African Region is provided by external sources. Issues surrounding aid effectiveness suggest that these countries ought to implement strategies for weaning off aid dependency. This paper broaches the following question: what are some of the strategies that countries of the region can employ to wean off donor funding for health? Five strategies are discussed: reduction in economic inefficiencies; reprioritizing public expenditures; raising additional tax revenues; increased private sector involvement in health development; and fighting corruption.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649560PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/blt.08.054932DOI Listing
November 2008

The cost of health professionals' brain drain in Kenya.

BMC Health Serv Res 2006 Jul 17;6:89. Epub 2006 Jul 17.

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.

Background: Past attempts to estimate the cost of migration were limited to education costs only and did not include the lost returns from investment. The objectives of this study were: (i) to estimate the financial cost of emigration of Kenyan doctors to the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA); (ii) to estimate the financial cost of emigration of nurses to seven OECD countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Portugal, UK, USA); and (iii) to describe other losses from brain drain.

Methods: The costs of primary, secondary, medical and nursing schools were estimated in 2005. The cost information used in this study was obtained from one non-profit primary and secondary school and one public university in Kenya. The cost estimates represent unsubsidized cost. The loss incurred by Kenya through emigration was obtained by compounding the cost of educating a medical doctor and a nurse over the period between the average age of emigration (30 years) and the age of retirement (62 years) in recipient countries.

Results: The total cost of educating a single medical doctor from primary school to university is 65,997 US dollars; and for every doctor who emigrates, a country loses about 517,931 US dollars worth of returns from investment. The total cost of educating one nurse from primary school to college of health sciences is 43,180 US dollars; and for every nurse that emigrates, a country loses about 338,868 US dollars worth of returns from investment.

Conclusion: Developed countries continue to deprive Kenya of millions of dollars worth of investments embodied in her human resources for health. If the current trend of poaching of scarce human resources for health (and other professionals) from Kenya is not curtailed, the chances of achieving the Millennium Development Goals would remain bleak. Such continued plunder of investments embodied in human resources contributes to further underdevelopment of Kenya and to keeping a majority of her people in the vicious circle of ill-health and poverty. Therefore, both developed and developing countries need to urgently develop and implement strategies for addressing the health human resource crisis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-6-89DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1538589PMC
July 2006
-->