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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.

Countdown to 2030: tracking progress towards universal coverage for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health

Building upon the successes of Countdown to 2015, Countdown to 2030 aims to support the monitoring and measurement of women's, children's, and adolescents' health in the 81 countries that account for 95% of maternal and 90% of all child deaths worldwide. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the rate of decline in prevalence of maternal and child mortality, stillbirths, and stunting among children younger than 5 years of age needs to accelerate considerably compared with progress since 2000.

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.

Ethics in public health: call for shared moral public health literacy

Public Health (PH) in Europe has become much more vocal about its moral understandings since 1992. The rising awareness that PH issues were inseparable from issues of human rights and social justice almost self-evidently directed the agenda of EUPHA and the European Public Health (EPH)-conferences. Problems of cultural and behavioural change, and environmental issues on a global scale were also added.

Open Access Scholarly Journal Publishing in Chinese

'The research literature on open access (OA) publishing has mainly dealt with journals publishing in English, and studies focusing on OA journals in other languages are less common. This article addresses this gap via a case study focusing on Chinese-language OA journals. It starts with the identification of the major characteristics of this market, followed by eight semi-structured interviews to explore the key motivations behind Chinese-language OA publishing and perceived barriers.

Research capacity in Africa—will the sun rise again?

The Lancet Global Health and The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology attended the SACORE Annual Scientific Meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, in March, 2016. The enthusiasm and hard work of the students, the quality of presentations of both students and external keynote speakers, and the strong support by faculty were impressive. Many of the research projects were of high quality, although doubtless some could have benefited from more thought regarding appropriate questions to ask to contribute meaningfully to knowledge gaps in Africa.

Where is the policy in health policy and systems research agenda?

In the last 15 years there has been considerable growth in the amount of – and funding for – healtalth policy and systems research. However, research addressing health policy decision-making, across all stages of the policy process, has been relatively neglected....

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