Posts or Comments 28 May 2023

Monthly Archive for "November 2011"

Community &Treatment Bill Brieger | 08 Nov 2011

Urban Community Case Management: valuable or redundant?

Today I shared a link to a new publication on the Tropical Disease Research (TDR) website entitled, “Community case management of malaria in urban settings,” to members of our Malaria Update Listserve (see link at right).  A major conclusion from the multi-country study in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana and Malawi was …

The use of the ACT (Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy) unit dose pre-pack is feasible and acceptable. When CMDs (Community Medicine Distributors) are properly trained, the community is properly sensitised and pre-packed drugs are provided either free or sold at an affordable cost, the quality of services delivered by CMDs and adherence by caregivers are similar to those seen in rural CCMm settings. The proportion of cases seen by CMDs, however, tended to be lower than was generally seen in rural CCMm. Urban CCMm is feasible, but it struggles against other sources of established healthcare providers.

One member of the listserve responded by raising a question about access and quality to malaria treatment services in urban settings. Jim Ricca from Jhpiego’s office in Maputo made the point that …

I’m interested to know why CCM was done in an urban setting where geographic access should not be a problem. If other access issues were a problem for people using facility-based services (e.g., cost, cultural/linguistic barriers), then I wonder why these barriers to use of facility based services were not addressed instead of moving to community-based services.

In places I’ve seen CCM implemented, the planners took great pains to do a situation analysis beforehand to see where there were geographic access problems for use of facility-based services and it was there that the CCM services were implemented. As much of an advocate as I am of community-based services, if CB services are the answer for ALL the shortcomings of the current health system, is there any sense having facility-based services at all?

TDR has led the way in operational research over the years and has been trying out community engagement strategies or community directed interventions (CDI) in a variety of settings – rural, urban, nomadic, migratory, etc. The question about the value of CDI when one could hopefully improve the quality of existing health services is certainly valid. But a basic question has been whether the willingness of rural community members to volunteer will work in urban areas where ‘community’ is much more diffuse. Even if the CDI approach does not translate culturally into diverse, anomic urban settings, access to care in urban areas, there are other challenges such as the plethora of provider types.

pmv-in-kano-sm.jpgJim is right that there have been studies about urban access that show geography is not the main issue – there may be social and financial barriers as well as perceptions of quality barriers.  To complicate the picture these issues must be addressed not only in the public sector but with private clinics and patent medicine shops.These private formal and informal sources usually provide desirable options like convenient hours, convenient locations and the ability to purchase on credit that the public sector does not.

While these private provider must be considered in any effort to improve the quality of health care in urban areas, they are also elusive. From experience in Nigerian cities, I can vouch that registries of private clinics and medicine shops are out of date and incomplete.  These entities may fail to register in the first place, move location or go out of business, and noe one seems to be responsible for updating the list.  In Kaduna, for example, an effort to study medicine shops started with a state ministry registry of 200 shops for the whole state and found by going street by street over 500 shops in one half of Kaduna alone. These providers too need to be considered as part of the total picture, and quality assurance mechanisms must be extended to them -if only we can find them.

So the answer to the basic question – is community volunteerism in the delivery of health services really necessary in urban area? – does depend not only on whether the volunteer spirit works in an urban setting, but whether quality services are already or potentially accessible thus, negating the need for community members delivering services.

A different model may be appropriate – that is the Community Navigator. Such a volunteer would help community members find the right care and get there. The Navigator could also serve as a patient advocate once she or he arrives at the point of service with their neighbors in tow.

Urban and rural settings differ dramatically in terms of culture, economy and social structure – we need to find the right community engagement model for each.

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Advocacy &Funding Bill Brieger | 01 Nov 2011

Protecting USG Funding for Global Health

The Global Health Council’s Malaria Round Table shared the information that follows.  Reducing the already tiny USG commitment to international development would not only be mean-spirited, but would jeopardize global security.

This Thursday, November 3rd, the Senate is likely to begin consideration of the State & Foreign Operations bill, probably as part of a “mini-bus” package with other components of the FY2012 Budget. With the current Continuing Resolution set to expire on November 18th the Senate is under pressure to pass a bill to fund the government over the next fiscal year.

The Senate State/Foreign Operations bill is $5 billion higher than the House number, including a $700 million higher mark for global health. We need to do all we can to protect this higher funding level for global health and international affairs.

Call your Senator and urge them to protect funding for global and international affairs, and oppose all cutting amendments on the State, Foreign Operations bill during floor consideration and rejection of all harmful policy riders.

Talking Points

·         For less than 1% of our federal budget millions of lives are impacted each year. U.S. investments in global health have:

    • Treated more than 3 million people living with HIV and prevent HIV transmission among millions more;
    • Cut  the number of malaria cases by more than 50% in 43 countries in the last 10 years;
    • Contributed to immunizing more than 100 million children each year;
    • Treated 10 million people with tuberculosis;
    • Delivered more than 255 million treatments to approximately 60 million people  for neglected tropical diseases;
    • Increased the number of skilled birth attendants present during deliveries; and
    • Supported research to develop and deliver new vaccines, drugs, and other critical health tools.

    ·         Further cuts to global health and international affairs programs would put lives at stake, threaten our diplomatic standing in the world, and put thousands of current and future American jobs in jeopardy. 

    Putting Lives at Stake:

    For every 5% cut to global health funding from FY 11:

    ·         69,360 fewer HIV-positive women will receive prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services which means 13,178 more infants infected with HIV annually and 4,393 more infant deaths (before the age of one) due to HIV-related causes

    ·         189,165 orphans and vulnerable children will lose food, education, and livelihood assistance

    ·         181,161 people will not receive treatment

    ·         876,642 fewer bed nets will be provided through the President’s Malaria Initiative

    ·         2 million fewer people will receive ACT treatment for malaria through the President’s Malaria Initiative

    ·         20,043 fewer people with TB will receive treatment 488,368 fewer pentavalent vaccines for children will be available through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations which means 6,105 more deaths from preventable childhood diseases.

    For every 10% cut to bilateral global health funding from FY 11 means:

    ·         Over 1 million (1,028,330) fewer children could receive low-cost antibiotics to treat pneumonia – the leading killer of kids under five

    ·         1.6 (1,623,165) million fewer children could receive oral rehydration salts that can help save many of the 1.2 million who die needlessly from diarrhea.

    ·         More than 900,000 (910,158)children could not be immunized against measles, tetanus, and pertussis

    ·         3.7 million fewer women and couples receiving contraceptive services and supplies

    ·         1.2 million more unintended pregnancies

    ·         510,000 more unplanned births

    ·         3,200 more maternal deaths and over 14,000 more orphans

    ·         Over 500,000 people would be at risk for blindness and the opportunity to actually eliminate a neglected tropical disease (ochocerciasis) in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2015 would be missed.


    Global Health dollars support American jobs.

    ·         In 2005, global health activities generated $1.5 billion in Washington state and created or sustained more than 14,125 jobs.

    ·         In 2007, the global health sector supported more than 7,000 jobs and $508 million in salaries and wages in North Carolina.

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