Basic medical aid could soon be within reach of the poor

THE Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) could allow medical schemes to launch cheap products for low-income workers as early as next year, it emerged on Tuesday at the annual Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) conference. The CMS is a statutory body charged with regulating the medical schemes industry, while the BHF is an industry association for medical schemes and administrators. ….more


Chiawelo Community Practice grows

Sephima Expansion MapWe just switched on today the CCP model of care that applies to half of Ward 11 ±20 000 people (blue) to 4 more wards involving 120 000 people (pink). It went off reasonably smoothly for the first day. We plan to extend range of care and switch other wards on one by one over the next few weeks to cover ±250 000 people in 10 wards totally (green), ±25% of Soweto. Keep your eye on this space!

Depression in children and young people: identification and management in primary, community and secondary care.

Stepped Care

The stepped-care model of depression draws attention to the different needs that depressed children and young people have – depending on the characteristics of their depression and their personal and social circumstances – and the responses that are required from services. It provides a framework in which to organise the provision of services that support both healthcare professionals and patients and their parent(s) or carer(s) in identifying and accessing the most effective interventions (see table below).

Table. The Stepped Care Model

Focus Action Responsibility
Detection Risk Profiling Tier 1
Recognition Identification in presenting children or young people Tiers 2-4
Mild depression (including dysthymia) Watchful waiting
Non-directive supportive therapy/group cognitive behavioural therapy/guided self-help
Tier 1
Tier 1 or 2
Moderate to severe depression Brief psychological therapy
+/– fluoxetine
Tier 2 or 3
Depression unresponsive to/recurrentdepression/psychotic depression Intensive psychological therapy
+/– fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, with an antipsychotic
Tier 3 or 4

See more

Amitriptyline for neuropathic pain in adults

Moore RA, Derry S, Aldington D, et al. Amitriptyline for neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jul 6;7:CD008242. (Review) PMID: 26146793

Amitriptyline has been a first-line treatment for neuropathic pain for many years. The fact that there is no supportive unbiased evidence for a beneficial effect is disappointing, but has to be balanced against decades of successful treatment in many people with neuropathic pain. There is no good evidence of a lack of effect; rather our concern should be of overestimation of treatment effect. Amitriptyline should continue to be used as part of the treatment of neuropathic pain, but only a minority of people will achieve satisfactory pain relief. Limited information suggests that failure with one antidepressant does not mean failure with all. ….more

Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs versus other oral analgesic agents for acute soft tissue injury

Jones P, Dalziel SR, Lamdin R, et al. Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs versus other oral analgesic agents for acute soft tissue injury. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jul 1;7:CD007789. (Review) PMID: 26130144

There is generally low- or very low-quality but consistent evidence of no clinically important difference in analgesic efficacy between NSAIDs and other oral analgesics. There is low-quality evidence of more gastrointestinal adverse effects with non-selective NSAID compared with paracetamol. There is low- or very low-quality evidence of better function and fewer adverse events with NSAIDs compared with opioid-containing analgesics; however, one study dominated this evidence using a now unavailable COX-2 selective NSAID and is of uncertain applicability. Further research is required to determine whether there is any difference in return to function or adverse effects between both non-selective and COX-2 selective NSAIDs versus paracetamol…… more

New online course on implementation research under development

A massive open online course (MOOC) on implementation research is being developed by TDR. The value and utility of this type of research will be introduced through case studies to be presented and interpreted by experienced public health researchers, practitioners and academics.

The content being developed will be free to anyone. This is TDR’s first foray into this type of training, building on materials such as the Implementation Research Toolkit.

Dermot Maher, TDR coordinator of research capacity strengthening, says, “We can reach relatively small groups of people through the usual training methods. However, this new on-line training approach enables us to reach a potentially huge number of people, to help them better understand and apply this important and growing field of research. MOOCs have the potential to revolutionise TDR’s approach to research training.” […]

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA:  

Access to Health Research: Pubmed/Medline

‘MEDLINE is the U.S. National Library of Medicine® (NLM) premier bibliographic database that contains more than 22 million references to journal articles in life sciences with a concentration on biomedicine. A distinctive feature of MEDLINE is that the records are indexed with NLM Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)… [Medline includes] citations from more than 5,600 worldwide journals in about 40 languages… Since 2005, between 2,000-4,000 completed references are added each day… For citations published in 2010 or later, over 40% are for cited articles published in the U.S., about 93% are published in English’

Much research from LMICs has limited visibility because it is published in journals that are not indexed by Pubmed/Medline.

The Medline selection criteria state (inter alia):

– ‘Foreign language journals: Criteria for selection are the same as for those written in English. In order to extend the accessibility of the journal’s content to a wider potential readership, the majority of published articles in the review issues must contain an English-language abstract before the title will be considered for possible indexing.’

– ‘Geographic coverage: The highest quality and most useful journals are selected without regard for place of publication. In order to provide broad international coverage, special attention is given to research, public health, epidemiology, standards of health care, and indigenous diseases. Journals will generally not be selected for indexing if the contents are subjects already well represented in MEDLINE or that are being published for a local audience.’

In practice, the majority of journals published in low- and middle-income countries are not indexed by Medline.

This raises many questions:

Q1.4 How can journals published in LMICs be better supported to achieve the criteria demanded by Medline?

Q1.5 Should the Medline criteria be changed to accommodate more journals from LMICs?

Q1.6 How can non-Medline journals be made visible through alternative indexes? For example, what is the experience of indexing services such as WHO’s African Index Medicus, the Western Pacific Region Index Medicus, Index Medicus of the South East Asia Region and Global Index Medicus, and how can these indexing services be strengthened?

I look forward to learn more from HIFA members – Medline staff, publishers, journal editors, researchers and users of health research. What are your experiences, observations and suggestions for the future?

Best wishes,


Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA:  

mHealth Knowledge: Facilitating Knowledge Management for mHealth by Connecting Global Health Professionals to People, Products, and Ideas

mHealth Knowledge offers users a curated selection of key resources on mHealth. Visitors to the site can review the latest evidence, find program tools and resources, plan mHealth initiatives, and connect with other mHealth practitioners. mHealth Knowledge offers a range of essential resources:

– Applications & Platforms: Browse the latest mobile health applications and software platforms.

– Blogs & News: Connect to current discussion forums, mHealth news sites, and RSS feeds for important global mHealth updates, information, and conversations.

– Capacity Building & Learning: Access the free K4Health mHealth Basics Course, TechChange classes, and other online learning modules.

– Communities of Practice: Find technical working groups and email distribution lists that build capacity, facilitate collaboration, and provide a space for mHealth knowledge sharing.

– Multimedia Content: Find engaging mHealth-related images, videos, audio program files, and SMS messaging.

– Project Repositories: Search our collection of project registries and inventories to find relevant program examples.

– Tools & Guides: Browse essential resources for planning and implementation.

– mHealth Alliance Archive: Tap into the rich collection of reports supporting national digital health systems strengthening from the mHealth Alliance. Our comprehensive database makes it easier for software developers, researchers, program managers, funders, and other key decision makers to quickly get up to speed on current state-of-the-art programs.

To view K4Health’s mHealth portfolio, please visit K4Health’s mHealth page.

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA:  

Forum 2015: Access to research: The role of AuthorAID

Dear HIFA colleagues,

This week we are exploring the question “How can health research from LMICs be made more visible and accessible?”. In our introductory message, we mentioned several programmes and initiatives, and perhaps it would be useful to say a few words about each of them. They are all represented here on HIFA, so I look forward to learn more about them.

The first project we mentioned is AuthorAID: ‘AuthorAID is a global network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries’. ‘The AuthorAID community includes over 10,000 researchers from around the world. If you are looking for help, want to share your expertise or are searching for someone to work with, then the AuthorAID community can help!’ ‘AuthorAID is a pioneering program based at INASP. It is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). AuthorAID helps researchers in developing countries to publish and otherwise communicate their work. It also serves as a wider global forum to discuss and disseminate research.’

We noted that AuthorAID helps (inter alia) to support health researchers in LMICs (including and especially those who speak languages other than English) to write papers for publication. As we can see from the above description, AuthorAID provides a wide range of support and activities for researchers. As far as I know it is the leading (and perhaps the only) example of its kind and is as successful as it is needed.

When I searched on “health” on their website, I found lots of requests from health researchers looking for a mentor. This suggests perhaps that the demand is much greater than the supply? I would be grateful to hear from anyone who works with AuthorAID (whether as staff, mentor, mentee, or other capacity) whether this is indeed a challenge, and how this (and any other challenges) might be addressed.

Best wishes, Neil

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA:  

Thank you for featuring AuthorAID ( and, a project primarily to help researchers in developing countries to publish and otherwise communicate their work. As a HIFA member deeply involved in AuthorAID since it began in 2007, I am delighted to reply.

AuthorAID activities include mentorship, online and face-to-face workshops, a resource library, a blog, a discussion list, and small grants to give workshops and present at conferences. As you perceived, many AuthorAID members seeking mentors are health researchers, and the demand for mentors greatly exceeds the supply. I encourage HIFA members who have not yet done so to become AuthorAID mentors. In my view, AuthorAID mentorship is a substantial service and can be highly rewarding. Registering on the AuthorAID website is quick and easy.

We would be grateful as well for other involvement by HIFA members. Examples include responding to questions posed on the AuthorAID discussion list, writing guest blog posts, suggesting or developing materials for the AuthorAID resource library, and translating AuthorAID presentations into additional languages. Those who might like to contribute in such ways can contact me at

HIFA colleagues also can help extend our effort by encouraging others to join AuthorAID and by using AuthorAID resources in their work. The AuthorAID resource library ( contains many presentations and other materials on research communication and related topics. We are pleased to have others use or adapt these items.

My thanks to Neil and others who have been supporting or taking part in AuthorAID. We hope to welcome many more HIFA members as mentors or other participants in the AuthorAID community.

Regards to all,


HIFA profile: Barbara Gastel, a physician specializing in biomedical editing and writing, is a Professor at Texas A&M University, where she coordinates the master’s degree program in science and technology journalism. She plays a lead role in AuthorAID, a project based at INASP. bgastel AT

Webinar on Wednesday about sharing and re-using health content for frontline health workers

I wanted to let you know about a webinar this week on “Sharing and re-using health training content for frontline health workers”.

This webinar is 10:00 – 11:00am EST on Wednesday 22 July.

We would love you to join us! You can register for free here

Hosted by the Better Immunization Data Learning Network, the presenters are mPowering Frontline Health Workers, Digital Campus, Medical Aid Films and Jhpiego.

Summary of webinar

mPowering’s ORB platform ( has recently been launched to help promote the sharing and re-use of openly licensed health worker training content.

The aim of this webinar is to provide an introduction to the platform and why it’s needed; we will provide an overview of the content and explain how resources may be submitted and re-used to increase the availability of high-quality training content to frontline health workers. You will hear about the value mPowering’s partners see in sharing their open source content on ORB, and plans to use the content in upcoming maternal and child health programs.

Learning Outcomes

After the webinar you will:

1. Understand the role of ORB in the mPowering mission to help improve the performance of frontline health workers.

2. Be able to explain what it meant by ‘open source content’ and ‘publishing content under a Creative Commons’ license.

3. Describe how to upload a resource to ORB, and explain the review process used to approve content for the platform.

4. Understand the value for both content developers and implementing organizations for sharing and re-using the content on ORB.

Best wishes


Lesley-Anne Long

Global Director

mPowering Frontline Health Workers

1776 Massachusetts Ave NW |Suite 100 |Washington, D.C. 20036

Work +1.202.835.3154

Cell +1.202.689.4759

Twitter: @mPoweringHealth

ORB: aiming to transform learning for frontline health workers

Online Training: Finding, organizing and using health information

Learn or refresh your skills in finding, organizing and using health information. Below are links to various training material including a training manual for students, researchers and health workers in Africa developed by the Network of African Medical Librarians in Africa.

Finding, organizing and using health information: Online training module

Module One – Information sources [Video] [PDF] [*see note below]

Module Two – Searching Tools [Video] [PDF]

Module Three – Electronic Informationn Searching Techniques [Video] [PDF]

Module Four – Intellectual Property Rights [Video] [PDF]

Module Five – Management of Information [Video] [PDF]

Module Six – Evaluating Electronic Resources [Video] [PDF]

Module Six – (French version) [Video]

Module Seven – Scholarly Communication [Video] [PDF]

Greeetings from former AHILA President [Video]

Summary in Portuguese [Video]

Another good online training source to refresh or learn skills in information literacy and using HINARI among others, is:


Chipo Msengezi,


HIFA profile: Chipo Msengezi is an IT Officer at ITOCA, South Africa. ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) is a capacity building organization aimed at enhancing information and communications (ICT) skills for African librarians, information specialists, scientists, researchers and students in Sub-Sahara Africa. Since Jan 2012 Chipo has also been working as a part time coordinator for AHILA and Phi – organisations working towards the improvement of information exchange and knowledge sharing.  ITOCA, AHILA and Phi are working together in collaborative initiatives with the aim of making a positive difference to health outcomes in Africa.  chipo AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Note from HIFA moderator: To access these videos and PDFs, please visit  ]

USAID’s MCSP and WHO evidence brief: Recommendations for Augmentation of Labour

USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), along with World Health Organization, is excited to introduce our latest evidence brief: Recommendations for Augmentation of Labour.

This evidence brief provides highlights and key messages from the World Health Organization’s 2014 Global Recommendations on the Augmentation of Labor. The goal of the brief is to summarize guidelines for effective interventions for safe augmentation to accelerate their dissemination and use. Additionally, policy and programme actions to incorporate the new guidelines are outlined alongside the recommendations. This brief is intended for policy-makers, programme managers, educators and providers who care for pregnant women.

Find the brief here –

Help us spread the word to others by sharing this email with your networks and sending out a message on social media. Here are a few sample messages that you and your organizations can use:

See brief from @MCSPglobal highlighting KEY msgs from @WHO’s 2014 Global Recommendations on Augmentation of Labour

Can we prevent prolonged labour & tackle prob of high caesarean rates? See BRIEF of @WHO’s Recs for Augment. of Labour

Please contact me if you have any additional questions. Apologies for any cross-posting.



Jillian Rossman

Administrative Coordinator

Maternal and Child Survival Program

USAID Grantee

1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 300

Washington, DC 20036

tel: 202.835.3112

skype: jillrossman

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr

From the American People

Medical Aid Films – community health films now in Luganda

Medical Aid Films is delighted to launch eight new films in Luganda for use by community health workers in Uganda.  The films can be used to build awareness around nutrition, warning signs in pregnancy, newborn care and other essential topics in maternal and child health.

We were delighted to work in partnership with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who run health worker training and community education projects in Uganda.  With their support and the help of local voice artists, we translated and dubbed eight films into the local language, Luganda, to reach many people throughout the community.  They are now available to watch and download for free from our website ­ just follow the links below.

Emere yo obulamu: Abakyala abali embuto kyebetaga okulya (Food for Life: What Pregnant Women Need to Eat)

Emere yo obulamu: Okuyonsa (Food for Life: Breastfeeding)

Emere yo obulamu: Kiki na di lwo liisa omwanawo (Food for Life: What and When to Feed Your Child)

Obuboneero bwo obubenje nga omukyala alilubuuto (Warning Signs in Pregnancy)

Engeri yokulabirira ebujje (How to care for a newborn)

Okumanya Obuboneero bwa kafuuba; ekidukano Nâ Omusujja (Is your child sick? Identifying signs of pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea)

Manya omubiri gwo: Engeri yo kwetegekera olubuto (How to plan a pregnancy)

Okulabirira Nakawere Okwenjawuulo (Focused Antenatal Care)

We would love to hear your feedback about these films ­ please email

Thank you so much to everyone at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and their partners in Uganda who made this possible.

HIFA profile: Josie Gallo is Content Co-ordinator for Medical Aid Films in the United Kingdom. Professional interests: Media for development.       josie AT

Mental Health Toolkit


While working with survivors and victims of domestic abuse, we have learned that many people who have experienced abuse or trauma in their lives also experience mental health issues as a direct effect of what they have been through.  This is why Chayn has created a Mental Health Toolkit available for download by NGOs who support vulnerable individuals of all situations and circumstances. Knowing more about the various psychological conditions that victims of trauma can experience, such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide, and even Stockholm Syndrome, will help NGOs and charities provide better and more effective support.

The Toolkit was written and approved by a team of Psychologists and includes information from several well-trusted sources to ensure the high quality of the information provided. It can be used in any way you think your organisation will benefit from it. Some examples of applications include: as a training tool, in therapy, as web content, printed off as pamphlets for your local area.

The Toolkit is under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license so if you are a professional or organisation who works with survivors, please use, remix & distribute this guide as you see fit but attributions to CHAYN for the original work will be most appreciated.


be well,


Nand Wadhwani

The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust  |

Laying the Foundation for Combating Malnutrition in India

Now that we can, we must!

MCAI Maternal & Child Hospital Health Care Books available for sale, as free PDFs, and as free HTML versions

MCAI is delighted to announce that our textbook (Maternal & Child Health Care: a practical manual for hospitals worldwide) and related pocketbook (Pocket Book of Hospital Care for Maternal Emergencies including Major Trauma and Neonatal Resuscitation) are now available to access free of charge from our website  as PDFs and HTML versions. For those with possibly slow speed internet, MCAI has developed a portal where the PDFs and HTML versions can be easily accessed, downloaded or read, whatever the internet speed:

On our main website, there is also the option to purchase hard copies of both books for those who can afford to do so. MCAI is committed to health information for all and we hope that you find the contents of both books, in all of the available formats, helpful in your work.

Here is more information:

Written and reviewed by over 100 experts from around the world, including several HIFA members, the textbook is written specifically for health workers treating pregnant women and adolescents, their newborn infants, and children admitted to hospitals in countries all over the world. Based on the latest evidence, including Cochrane Reviews and WHO Guidelines, the textbook identifies an internationally applicable, minimum standard of care in poorly-resourced hospitals and reflects the management of problems often inherent in resource-limited countries.

The pocketbook is a summarised version of the maternal and neonatal resuscitation sections of the textbook. It compliments the reference textbook but is also a stand-alone product.

Although intended to be most helpful to health workers working in low-income settings, the textbook and pocketbook contain up to date evidence based material of value world-wide.

In order to maximise access to the contents of both books, MCAI has made available on our websites and (for those with low internet speeds) PDFs of the different component sections of the whole textbook up to around 1 MB in size. Larger sections of the textbook and the whole of the pocketbook can also be downloaded as PDFs for those who have reasonable internet download speeds.

Following a suggestion from a HIFA member, MCAI is also making HTML versions of the textbook sections available to help improve access to those with poor quality internet, where download speeds may make downloading PDFs prohibitively slow.  Several sections of the textbook are already available as HTML and MCAI is working hard to have all sections available in this format within the next week or so.

MCAI is also selling the textbook and pocketbook on our website for those who can afford to buy them. The proceeds from any sales will enable MCAI to print more hard copies of both books to be provided free of charge to health workers based in frontline public hospitals in low-income or conflict-affected countries, in which hard copies of the book are a much needed and valued resource.  To date, MCAI has provided and distributed free-of-charge 2569 textbooks and 246 Pocketbooks to health workers in 33 low-income or conflict-affected countries.  The sale of 1 textbook enables MCAI to print and distribute (including packaging and shipping costs) up to 4 copies of the textbook to health workers in such settings.

If you think that you and your colleagues qualify to receive free copies of the textbook and / or the pocket books, please contact MCAI through <>  or through <> or email one of us directly and we will send you a criteria form to complete.

We hope you find the contents of both books in all their formats helpful and please widely distribute through your networks.

Professor David Southall OBE, MD, FRCPCH and Dr Rhona MacDonald MBChB, MRCGP, MPH, DCH, DRCOG Honorary Medical and Executive Directors.  MCAI, 1 Columba Court,

Laide IV22 2NL, UK

Telephone: 0044 (0) 7710 674003 and  

Registered as a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) No. SC043467

HIFA profile: David Southall is a retired Professor of Paediatrics and Honorary Medical Director of Maternal and Childhealth Advocacy International (MCAI)    He is also on the board of the International Child Health Group email: director AT