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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. 

Commercialization of traditional medicine and Universal Health Coverage (8) Regulation of health care (3)

Herbal medicine has been accepted as a component of global health. The current investment going into research and development of herbal products is unprecedented. It is very sad to note that in country like Nigeria where over 80% of her population relies on herbs for daily health needs, only few of such herbs have been validated using research. In a recent study conducted in Ibadan, it was discovered that of the herbal products evaluated, only about 20% of the products were validated using clinical trial. In spite of this, over 80% of the manufacturers made various treatment claims.

Commercialization of traditional medicine and Universal Health Coverage

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.

Experiences and perceptions of online continuing professional development among clinicians in sub-Saharan Africa

Slow internet connection is a big challenge for health workers, researchers, authors and policy makers  in LMICs. Equally, if not bigger, is the challenge of cost of the internet access  especially if one tries to download materials. Reliability and consistency of connection adds to the list especially when using conferencing tools like Skype, etc. The light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that only a few years ago ( in 1995 only a handful of people had emails in Nigeria) we never thought that we would even be where we are today.

Barriers and facilitators to health information exchange in low- and middle-income country settings: a systematic review

The exchange and use of health information can help healthcare professionals and policymakers make informed decisions on ways of improving patient and population health. Many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have however failed to embrace the approaches and technologies to facilitate health information exchange (HIE). We sought to understand the barriers and facilitators to the implementation and adoption of HIE in LMICs.

Systematic Reviews (49) Q3 What is the role of SRs versus local research? (7)

There are problems with relying mainly on local evidence when the local researh culture is weak, mainly observational, and often not peer reviewed. The whole architecture of reading, writing and publishing is faulty because the demands of 'publish or perish' encourages quantity rather than quality. Scholarship is better when it is global / international in scope and scrutiny. Context is important but before localising content it is even more important that the fundamentals meet international best practice.

Systematic Reviews (48) Q3 What is the role of SRs versus local research? (6)

In my work on cancer policy in Abia State of Nigeria, I find that policymakers rely more on local evidence. They are more inclined to reviewing evidence about 'here and now', rather than 'over there'. The case of systematic reviews becomes more important when considering potential policy options.

When was Nigeria moved out of free HINARI? It is a disaster, if true! (6)

The truth is that many institutions in Nigeria, particularly the public ones, do not have vast resources and their library users wholly rely on HINARI for access to publications.

Hypertension, ignorance and access to helpful information

There is a huge ignorance gap on health information as a whole in Nigeria, different studies done have shown inadequacies in the knowledge of people on different health issues. Hypertension is also an often misunderstood issue with regards to its causes and treatments. A lot of patients in Nigeria who have been diagnosed of hypertension are not compliant with their drugs, in a lot of cases this is due to them not understanding how management of hypertension works, the next time some of them appear in the clinic, they would have been down with complications.


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