Over the past two years we have examined the impact of mobile technology among a sample of smallholder farmers and traders in Zimbabwe. One of our findings indicates the extent to which mobile phones have become so addictive in ways that undermine relationships and even potential income. If a poor farmer spends the equivalent of a goat to buy airtime monthly but cannot see the value of the information gained through calling or sms, it's difficult to conclude that mobile phones are beneficial. In most cases, those using mobile phones regularly have not moved out of poverty better than those
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.
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.
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.
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.
I don't know how we can go beyond journals. In addition to the fact that journals fulfil a limited need, many African health practitioners are too overwhelmed to seat down and write an article on their daily experiences & tie this with broad health literature. If we limit knowledge sharing to journals and their rigorous reviewing processes, we miss a lot of real-time 'truths'. Emphasis on journals suggest the written word is the only way knowledge about health issues can travel.
All my career years in WHO (over 29 years) I always believed that the electronic publishing should not replace paper based publishing. They should complement each other. Publishers who think that electronic publishing should replace paper publishing are wrong. I made this position very clear and implemented it when I was director in WHO.
Najeeb al-Shorbaji hit the nail on the head last year when he wrote in a submission to this email list: "Health workers and most practitioners in the field do not need scientific articles written by academicians. They need practical information, best practices, case studies, stories from the field, lessons learned and guidance on how to do things".
At Africa Health journal, that is precisely what we have tried to do since launch in October 1978.