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.
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.
Mobile phones have the potential to improve access to healthcare information and services in low-resourced settings. This study investigated the use of mobile phones among patients with chronic diseases, pregnant women, and health workers to enhance primary healthcare in rural South Africa. Qualitative research was undertaken in Mpumalanga in 2014. Semi structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 113 patients and 43 health workers from seven primary healthcare clinics and one district hospital. Data were thematically analysed.
Healthcare organisations are increasingly providing information and services using digital technologies - online and mobile. But we risk widening health inequalities because the people who most need healthcare are the least likely to be online (in particular older people, people with low incomes, people with lower educational levels, and people in rural areas with poor broadband connectivity).
Health experts in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province warn that persistent rumours that their vaccines actual harm children are hampering efforts to combat polio. Medical professionals report significant resistance from village elders and mullahs, particularly in more remote districts, who claim the injections contain viruses designed by Western governments to deliberately hurt people in the Muslim world.
This systematic review explored risk and crisis communication literature to examine how researchers have evaluated social media use in public crises. Twenty-four full-text articles were reviewed, the majority of which focused on natural disasters (n = 11). Studies were commonly descriptive in design (n = 21), used content analysis (n = 12), and examined the content and structure of messages (n = 18).
We assessed the effect of information sources on Ebola-specific knowledge and behavior during the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. We pooled data from 4 population-based knowledge, attitude, and practice surveys (August, October, and December 2014 and July 2015), with a total of 10,604 respondents.
The main challenge remains the uncompleted effort to properly define what traditional medicine is, where it starts and stops, codifying the huge armamentorium of herbs / medicines, and how it relates to newer terminology like 'alternative medicine', 'complementary medicine' , 'herbal medicine / herbalists', 'Native doctor', etc, etc.
In my opinion, one other contributory factor could be the lack of information on the part of the patient. There are usually unaware of the likely complications of surgery and hence fail to identify these and seek medical attention on time.
The limited resources in terms of staff and facilities also puts pressure on the healthcare personal and they are unable to give information to the patients.