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What Now? Questions to ask after a terminal diagnosis

Following research with more than 600 people living with a terminal illness or caring for someone at the end of life, Compassion in Dying has published an innovative new booklet: What now? Questions to ask after a terminal diagnosis. 'What now? is designed to help people ask questions and find the information they need, so that they can make informed decisions about their treatment and care – helping them to live well in the time they have left. 'What now?

Factors influencing implementation of interventions to promote birth preparedness and complication readiness

Background: The recent WHO report on health promotion interventions for maternal and newborn health recommends birth preparedness and complications readiness interventions to increase the use of skilled care at birth and to increase timely use of facility care for obstetric and newborn complications. However, these interventions are complex and relate strongly to the context in which they are implemented. In this article we explore factors to consider when implementing these interventions.

Local research in Africa: a glimpse at possibilities in Niger

At the core of the conclusions reached by the Lancet Commission on the future of health in sub-Saharan Africa published last September is a sense of possibility for what Africans can and must accomplish to level their populations' health with the rest of the world's by 2030. Among the key requirements are the home-bred, tailored solutions that a greater local research capacity and leadership would produce to respond to the challenges ahead. At the first Epicentre Niger Scientific Day held in Niamey on January 25, there were signs that the message is on point and the optimism justified.

Making waves: can radio reduce child mortality?

In The Lancet Global Health, Sophie Sarrassat and colleagues report on the first cluster randomised controlled trial of a radio intervention to reduce child mortality. The study is exceptional in its design and ambition: a systematic review of 111 mass media interventions to improve child survival found that only 32 used moderate to strong evaluation designs and only one measured an actual health outcome.2This elegant Burkinabé trial bucks all trends.

Effect of a mass radio campaign on family behaviours and child survival in Burkina Faso: a repeated cross-sectional, cluster-randomised trial.

Background: Media campaigns can potentially reach a large audience at relatively low cost but, to our knowledge, no randomised controlled trials have assessed their effect on a health outcome in a low-income country. We aimed to assess the effect of a radio campaign addressing family behaviours on all-cause post-neonatal under-5 child mortality in rural Burkina Faso.

Open up access to advance healthcare

Within a context categorised by an already small emergency medicine research output, one in six African emergency care publications is inaccessible to African researchers.

This was the finding of a paper published by Associate (now visiting) Professor Stevan Bruijns together with two undergraduate health science students, Mmapheladi Mosly Maesela and Suniti Sinha.

The research was conducted during Bruijns’s special study module with the second-year students.

The case for a regional approach to publication impact

Healthcare-related research is largely regional. Put simply, this is because disease burdens differ between world regions. Even global burdens, such as ischaemic heart disease and cancer, display distinctive characteristics in certain regions that are not seen in others. Regional differences in infrastructure, resources and human capital further compound the differences seen, as they affect the way in which the local scientific community can interact with the local disease burden. As such, it seems fair to assume that healthcare-related research ought to be regionally distributed.

Qualitative evidence to improve guidelines and health decision-making

As governments are developing schemes for universal health coverage (UHC) and progressing towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs), they need relevant and context-sensitive evidence to support different policies and interventions. Decision-makers are increasingly using qualitative evidence to understand various socioeconomic contexts, health systems and communities.

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