Critical care handbook for global surgery

Critical care handbook for global surgery, by jgreigshaw  

An open access, online handbook for use in settings where resources are scarce has been compiled by the editors Jacob S. Dreyer and David R. Ball, assisted by Abebe Bekele & Andrew Howard. It aims to supply essential support for the teaching and training of surgical critical care in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions. Printed copies may be obtained through the publisher for a charitable donation.


WHO Call to action to protect health from climate change

“Climate change has the potential to do serious harm to the health of individuals around the world. But tackling climate change could substantially reduce the risks while also improving human health by, for example, delivering cleaner air and healthier cities. That’s why WHO is asking you to support our call to action, with the aim at raising awareness of the health opportunities we can realise by tackling climate change now.

WHO call to action will be presented at the Paris COP and will demand a climate deal that delivers: Scaling up of financing for adaptation to climate change: including public health measures to reduce the risks from extreme weather events, infectious disease, diminishing water supplies, and food insecurity, and Actions that both reduce climate change and improve health, including reducing the number of deaths from cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases that are caused by air pollution (currently over 7 million per annum).

You can take action today by:

  1. Signing the WHO Call to Action. Click here and sign.
  2. Sharing it with your professional networks, friends and family.
  3. Learning more about how acting on climate change could improve human health.

Please spread the word so all efforts are multiplied to ensure health and climate are intertwined and to show that action on climate can result in benefits to human health”.

Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Expert Panel Recording

The Tools for Effective Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Webinar recording is now available.

The free webinar recording includes in-depth discussion about quality research methodology, data collection, culturally-competent and locally-responsible research and evaluation, and pitfalls to avoid.  Please also feel free to forward this message to any friends or colleagues who may also be interested in accessing the free webinar recording.

The webinar’s expert panelists:

  • Juan-Carlos Alegre, Results Management Director, Management Sciences for Health
  • Liz Chamberlain, Impact Manager, Lwala Community Alliance
  • Michael Gyasi, Ophthalmologist and Medical Director, Saint Thomas Eye Center, Ghana
  • Lisa Hirschhorn, Director of Implementation and Improvement Science, Ariadne Labs; Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Kala Mehta, DSc, MPH, Faculty Affiliate, Global Supply Chain Management Forum, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco
  • Jordan Levy, Chief External Relations Officer, Ubuntu Education Fund
  • Moderated by Jennifer Staple-Clark, Founder and CEO, Unite For Sight
  • More Free Webinars: You may access more than 15 past webinar recordings , ranging from Strategies for Improving Health Outcomes to Applying Lessons in Cultural Competency. You may also register for upcoming webinars, including next month’s webinar about Research and Advocacy Initiatives to Curb the Health Impacts of Environmental Contaminants.

Further Explore Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation: For those interested in exploring the topics in greater depth, you may enroll in the Certificate in Global Health Research, or the Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation. For those looking to engage in an immersive global health experience, you may be interested in Unite For Sight’s Global Impact Corps, which also includes research opportunities.

HIFA profile: Jennifer Staple-Clark is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Unite For Sight (

Demand-side interventions for maternal care: evidence of more use, not better outcomes

Please find below a review of maternal care in low- and middle-income countries, which concludes: ‘evidence of more use, not better outcomes’. As a personal comment, this is an indictment of the quality of health care available in hospital facilities. This low quality of care is largely due to the failure of health systems to empower health workers (in adequate numbers) to deliver the services for which they were trained.

CITATION: Demand-side interventions for maternal care: evidence of more use, not better outcomes. Taylor E. Hurst, Katherine Semrau, Manasa Patna, Atul Gawande and Lisa R. Hirschhorn. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2015, 15:297  doi:10.1186/s12884-015-0727-5


Background: Reducing maternal and neonatal mortality is essential to improving population health. Demand-side interventions are designed to increase uptake of critical maternal health services, but associated change in service uptake and outcomes is varied. We undertook a literature review to understand current evidence of demand-side intervention impact on improving utilization and outcomes for mothers and newborn children.

Methods: We completed a rapid review of literature in PubMed. Title and abstracts of publications identified from selected search terms were reviewed to identify articles meeting inclusion criteria: demand-side intervention in low or middle-income countries (LMIC), published after September 2004 and before March 2014, study design describing and reporting on >1 priority outcome: utilization (antenatal care visits, facility-based delivery, delivery with a skilled birth attendant) or health outcome measures (maternal mortality ratio (MMR), stillbirth rate, perinatal mortality rate (PMR), neonatal mortality rate (NMR)). Bibliographies were searched to identify additional relevant papers. Articles were abstracted using a standardized data collection template with double extraction on a sample to ensure quality. Quality of included studies was assessed using McMaster University’s Quality Assessment Tool from the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP).

Results: Five hundred and eighty two articles were screened with 50 selected for full review and 16 meeting extraction criteria (eight community mobilization interventions (CM), seven financial incentive interventions (FI), and one with both). We found that demand-side interventions were effective in increasing uptake of key services with five CM and all seven FI interventions reporting increased use of maternal health services. Association with health outcome measures were varied with two studies reporting reductions in MMR and four reporting reduced NMR. No studies found a reduction in stillbirth rate. Only four of the ten studies reporting on both utilization and outcomes reported improvement in both measures.

Conclusions: We found strong evidence that demand-side interventions are associated with increased utilization of services with more variable evidence of their impact on reducing early neonatal and maternal mortality. Further research is needed to understand how to maximize the potential of demand-side interventions to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes including the role of quality improvement and coordination with supply-side interventions.

SELECTED EXTRACTS (selected by Neil PW)

Maternal mortality results in approximately 800 deaths every day.. Since 1990, there has been a 45 % reduction in maternal mortality; however, limited access to quality routine and emergency care during pregnancy and delivery leaves a large number of women at risk of preventable death

The three delays model proposes that mortality can be largely attributed to a 1) delay in the decision to seek care, 2) delay in arrival at a health facility, and 3) delay in the provision of care [3].

The weak association between increased uptake of maternal health services and health outcome measures may be explained by the quality and effectiveness of care received in health facilities [28]. Poor quality care will not translate to better health outcomes even if there is increased utilization of services.

Poor quality of facility-based care has been identified as one of the factors contributing to maternal mortality and morbidity, highlighting the need to simultaneously increase utilization and invest in developing health systems that can offer quality care to meet the increased demand for services

in a study in rural Tanzania by Kruk et al., 40 % of women who delivered in a facility bypassed their nearest facility. One of the reasons cited for this choice was perception of poor quality care

more work is needed to understand the contextual factors associated with the variable impact on maternal and neonatal mortality and the potential role of simultaneous investment in supply side factors, [4] such as staff, medical equipment and supplies, referral systems and quality of care delivered.

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

A vital role for science-based traditional medicine in Africa

In early 2015, clinical trials of a 1000 year-old Anglo-Saxon eye remedy established that it was almost 100% effective at wiping out the MRSA bacteria. The main ingredients of the remedy? Onion, garlic and wine. “We were blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was,” said Dr Freya Harrison of the University of Nottingham’s faculty of medicine and health sciences….more

Terrorists do not emerge spontaneously; they are a product of despair


If we are to effectively tackle terrorism, there needs to be some truth-telling, historical perspective and a genuine desire to get to the heart of the beast. We must acknowledge that terrorist organisations are often a product of real or perceived injustices and are borne out of a sense of desperation. And they are often supplied with arms by the very forces that claim to be fighting them….more

The roots of terror


Yes, the attacks in Paris were brutal. But what of the terror that has been instigated in the name of empire? Is it less of terror to bomb cities, villages and country-sides? Is the control and manipulation of the financial world a morally justifiable act? Are ‘free trade’ agreements free when they subjugate poor nations to terms that essentially destroy them? Is the blatant theft of the resources of the Global South moral? ….more

Three New Briefs Highlight Achievements in West and Central Africa

The USAID | DELIVER PROJECT recently issued three new briefs highlighting its work improving contraceptive security in West and Central Africa. Each brief is available in English and French.

Collaboration with the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to Improve Contraceptive Security summarizes some of the achievements resulting from the project’s strategic partnership with WAHO, and demonstrates how these achievements have led to greater support for contraceptive security.

Health Logistics Students Gain Valuable Quantification Skills discusses the project’s collaboration with the National School of Public Health in Burkina Faso to develop and teach a training course in quantification of health products for the school’s two-year master’s degree program in health logistics.

Early Warning System for Contraceptives in West and Central Africa Improves Supply Availability is an updated project brief that outlines how the Early Warning System for contraceptives has improved the visibility and monitoring of contraceptive stock status, and mitigated critical contraceptive stock imbalances in the project’s 13 target countries.

Together, these three briefs provide an introduction to some of the project’s work in West and Central Africa. For more information, see the West and Central Africa Overview.

Download the briefs:

Developing Countries Fellowship Opportunity JBI

If you work in a developing country, or know colleagues who work in developing countries and who may be interested in an evidence-based clinical fellowship from the Joanna Briggs Institute, please refer them to the information below. All costs (travel, course fees, conference attendance, accommodation, living expenses) are covered. For a video of past fellows, visit the following link:

CALL FOR APPLICANTS: The Joanna Briggs Institute Developing Countries Clinical Fellowships 2016


The Joanna Briggs Institute ( is an international not-for-profit, research and development centre within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Our international collaboration includes more than 70 groups and entities across the world.  Of these, many groups are situated in less-resourced settings such as Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana and Uganda.

The Joanna Briggs Institute collaborates with these groups where language, technology, geography and finance present significant challenges to the provision of healthcare. We are working with these groups to create an appropriate knowledge base to support health decisions and to make this knowledge readily available in developing countries.

The Joanna Briggs Foundation ( has been established to raise funds that enable health professionals from developing countries to undertake the JBI Clinical Fellowship program. The JBI Evidence-Based Clinical Fellowship Program is a six-month work place, evidence-based, implementation program involving 2 x ten-day intensive training workshops in the Joanna Briggs Institute in Adelaide, and conducting a work place evidence implementation project in the intervening months.

JBI Clinical Fellowship

Applicants must be health professionals currently working in their home country, with access to a clinical setting. They must be able to identify a topic of interest in an area in which they would like to conduct a baseline clinical audit, implement evidence based strategies, and then conduct a follow-up clinical audit aimed at assessing outcomes. Past projects have included topics such as: (see attached examples)

– Improving management of primary postpartum hemorrhage in birthing women

– Hand hygiene practice among healthcare workers in the acute hospital setting

– Diagnosis of tuberculosis in children under five years of age

The Joanna Briggs Institute Clinical Fellowship Program offers participants an opportunity to learn how to:

– Develop and engage in processes to further develop their leadership skills and strengths

– Discuss and describe the effectiveness of current approaches to the implementation of evidence based practice

– Critique current evidence implementation strategies

– Act as an agent of change, conduct clinical audits and develop and implement strategies to implement evidence based practice

– Preparation of a publication and submission to a peer reviewed journal.

It is hoped that by undertaking this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to improve health outcomes in their regions and to lead others in this important area of health improvement.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must possess good English skills (spoken and written), and be prepared to give presentations regarding their project to sponsors and academic staff.  They will be supported by a JBI Research Fellow who will act as a facilitator over the 6 months of the program. Applicants must be a health professional or working in health and have access to a clinical setting. Applicants from Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia are strongly encouraged to apply.


This grant will cover travel to and from Adelaide for both the first and second weeks of the Clinical Fellowship Program, and the provision of basic meals and accommodation in the Royal Adelaide Hospital Residential facility. In addition, participants will be able to attend the JBI 20th Anniversary three-day Conference in November 2016.


Call for Applications opened: November 2015

Applications close: February 1 2016

Successful applicants notified: March 2016

First intensive training block in Adelaide, South Australia: June 20-29 2016

Second intensive training block in Adelaide, South Australia: November 9-18 2016

How to apply:

Please visit the link below for further details and the application form.

Kind Regards,


Dr Zachary Munn

Director of Transfer Science

Learning and Teaching Coordinator

The Joanna Briggs Institute

The University of Adelaide

T: +61 8 8313 3642 | F: +61 8 8313 4881

W: |

New Online course: Designing E-Learning for Health

I would like to bring to your attention a new free online course available via FutureLearn. It is called Designing E-learning for Health and is run by the University of Nottingham.

Here is a brief description:

ABOUT THE COURSE: Healthcare is a vast and constantly changing global sector. We all have a stake in it, so it is vital that both professionals and patients not only have access to accurate information, but also to the stories and experiences of real people.

Translate real-life experiences into effective e-learning

As educators, we know that bringing these voices to life in e-learning will make it more effective, but this also poses challenges:

How do we translate real-life experiences into e-learning?

How can our e-learning tell powerful stories?

What methods can we use to design high quality and reusable e-learning resources?

And how can we best get our concepts and ideas across to multiple audiences?

It starts in February 2016 and more information is available here:

Best Wishes

Deborah Jackson

HIFA profile: Deborah Jackson is the HIFA Country Representative Coordinator and is based in Finstock, Oxfordshire, UK.

TED Talk on Health Systems and Decisions

I have the pleasure to announce that my TED Talk organised at LSHTM is now online. In this Talk, I explain that it is important to distinguish between the complicated and complex. I introduce three key elements: information, decisions and social networks that allow people to respond more quickly in changing environments and allow health systems to thrive.

I hope you enjoy it:

Kind regards

Karl Blanchet

Lecturer in Health Systems Research

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Phone: 0044 2079588392

Mobile: 0044 7815797906

Room 324, Tavistock Place


Dear colleagues


We have pleasure in announcing publication of the latest WONCA Annual Report, covering the period from July 2014 to June 2015.  Inevitably this report can only provide a snapshot of the huge amount of work that is carried out by WONCA team and our members around the world. The report is available to download in PDF version from our website

We hope that you find this report useful and make it available to as many of your individual members as possible.

With best regards

Dr Garth Manning

Chief Executive Officer


Patient Information Forum (PIF)

Please find some information to add to our entry on the HIFA Directory.

The Patient Information Forum (PIF) is the UK membership organisation and network for people working in, and involved with, health and care information and support.  

The Patient Information Forum is committed to improving the healthcare experience of patients and the public. We do this by supporting individuals and organisations to provide clearly communicated, evidence based health and care information and support, which is accessible and developed with its users.



Many thanks

Kind regards


Nicole Naylor | Joint Head of Operations

Patient Information Forum (PIF)

483 Green Lanes, London  N13 4BS

NHI work founders on slow spending

Last week the parliamentary portfolio committee on health, discussing how the Department of Health had spent its budget in the 2014-2015 financial year, said it spent 83% of a R76- million grant aimed at improving medicine supply and providing primary health care. It also spent only 21% of a second grant of R388-million. The 2014-2015 under-expenditure equalled R305-million – up from a R291-million under-expenditure in the 2013-2014 financial year….more

WHO Recommendations for Prevention and Treatment of Maternal Peripartum Infections

USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) along with World Health Organization is excited to introduce our latest evidence brief, WHO Recommendations for Prevention and Treatment of Maternal Peripartum Infections.

This evidence brief provides highlights and key messages from World Health Organization’s recommendations for prevention and treatment of maternal peripartum infections, including policy and program implications for translating the guidelines into action at the country level. The ultimate goal of the WHO recommendations is to improve quality of care and to reduce preventable death and disability associated with peripartum infection for mothers and newborns. This brief is intended for policy-makers, programme managers, educators and providers.

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 sample Twitter messages that you and your organizations can use. Share these messages yourself or forward this email to your communications / social media staff.

See @MCSPglobal brief w/ key msgs from @WHO’s recs for prevention & treatment of maternal peripartum infections

Bacterial infection around time of birth acct for 1/10 of #maternal deaths. Learn more from @WHO & @MCSPglobal brief