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Indigenous medicine and biomedical health care in fragile settings: insights from Burundi

As many anthropological and sociological studies have shown, there are multiple factors contributing to different health-care seeking patterns. Many times, tradicional/ alternative/ complementary medicine is sought precisely because people are not happy with biomedical responses to their situation or considers it more harmful and less effective - depending on the situations - than other approaches to their health problems. And this is not based on 'beliefs', but on their actual experiences.

Indigenous medicine and biomedical health care in fragile settings: insights from Burundi

Taking a collective learning research approach could generate more useful insights on this important issue. The fragmentation of practical medical knowledge suggests we can generate more progress by looking at medical knowledge as a nested set rather than as a hierarchy. At the moment, medical practice is researched and presented as competition between modern medical health practices and traditional medical practices, with an expectation for modern medicine to win this 'Olympic' competition.

re - Indigenous medicine and biomedical health care in fragile settings: insights from Burundi

Two University Dons/academics differed on the question of the causes of cancer, particularly whether cancer can be caused by 'evil spirits'?- one was categoric that there is no such causality whilst the other said there is!

So long as such ambivalence remains in the very place (university) that the public look to for answers to this type of critical questions, confusion shall continue to reign - the public will continue to delay their access to evidence proven health service by going to little researched and understood traditional medicine practitioners / herbalists etc. 

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.

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.

Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage: the Lancet Commission report

In agonising, crippling pain from lung cancer, Mr S came to the palliative care service in Calicut, Kerala, from an adjoining district a couple of hours away by bus. His body language revealed the depth of the suffering. We put Mr S on morphine, among other things. A couple of hours later, he surveyed himself with disbelief. He had neither hoped nor conceived of the possibility that this kind of relief was possible. Mr S returned the next month. Yet, common tragedy befell patient and caregivers in the form of a stock-out of morphine.

Global project to map drug resistance and tackle “superbugs” is launched

The Global Burden of Disease AMR project is a collaboration between the UK government, the UK health research charity the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Oxford, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent research centre at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Over the next four years the project will gather and publish data on the spread and effects of antimicrobial resistance around the world.

Medical Education in Decentralized Settings: How Medical Students Contribute to Health Care in 10 Sub-Saharan African Countries.

PURPOSE: African medical schools are expanding, straining resources at tertiary health facilities. Decentralizing clinical training can alleviate this tension. This study assessed the impact of decentralized training and contribution of undergraduate medical students at health facilities.

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