Jhb DHS Forum – Soweto

 Clinic committees from across Johannesburg came together in Jabulani Civic Centre on 27th November 2015. The meeting was short just focusing on nominations and not the usual reports of different committees. Dr Moosa presented the Chiawelo Community Practice concept (as part of NHI) and progress. There was considerable interest but no time was allowed for questions. The meeting was invited to join the CCP Stakeholder Meeting planned for 8th December 2015


Chiawelo Community Practice reports at Ward Councillor community meeting


 Dr. Moosa addresses 350+ residents in   Ward 15, Soweto called by Cllr Dube to discuss challenges with social grants and the changes with PHC Re- engineering & COPC plans as premised on Chiawelo Community Practice. COPC welcomed but lots of issues with children abuse of grants and unwelcome deductions with BEE service provider.


Luister is a documentary about the lives of students of colour who attend Stellenbosch University, a South African institution of higher learning. In a series of interviews, students recount instances of racial prejudice that they continue to experience in the town of Stellenbosch, and the enormous challenges that they face due to the use of Afrikaans as a language of teaching at the university. Luister is a film about Afrikaans as a language and a culture. It is a film about the continuing racism that exists within a divided society. It is a film about a group of students whose stories have been ignored. Luister is the Afrikaans word for Listen.

The Lancet: Can mass media interventions reduce child mortality?

In February 2015 we highlighted a Lancet paper by HIFA member Will Snell and colleagues: ‘Can mass media interventions reduce child mortality?’ The midline results of this randomised controlled trial (the first of its kind) were highly positive. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is currently doing an endline survey and the final results will be available in early 2016.

Meanwhile, the research group reports two further, related developments – I have extracted text below. The full text is available here:


It is especially encouraging to see health education video for citizens on mobile phones, taking off in Africa as it is already doing in India (thanks to Nand Wadhwani and HealthPhone).

Child survival national campaign (2015-)

In 2014 we secured funding from four organisations (SPRING, Alive & Thrive, Comic Relief and the Vitol Foundation) to scale up our child health campaign from the seven community radio stations covered by the RCT to 28 community radio stations across Burkina Faso (see map below), giving us full national coverage (reaching 14.9m people, or 78% of the population). We began broadcasting radio spots nationwide in May 2015.

‘Viral videos’ mHealth pilot (2014-15)

Since late 2014 we have been running a pilot project in south-western Burkina Faso: ‘viral videos’. Funded by a Grand Challenges Exploration grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project promotes maternal and child health using short entertaining films that can be watched on mobile phones.

People in Burkina Faso are increasingly watching and sharing short videos on their mobile phones. The project taps into this trend by creating ‘viral videos’ in local languages that promote positive maternal and child health behaviours. Each of the films delivers a specific message, such as the benefits of hand washing, and the promotion of treatment-seeking for diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea.

We are currently analysing the initial evaluation results from this pilot and will publish more information soon.

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

Forum 2015 – Access to Health Research – Engaging civil society – James Lind Alliance

‘The James Lind Alliance (JLA) is a non-profit making initiative which was established in 2004. It brings patients, carers and clinicians together to identify and prioritise the Top 10 uncertainties, or ‘unanswered questions’, about the effects of treatments that they agree are most important. The aim of this is to help ensure that those who fund health research are aware of what matters to both patients and clinicians. The JLA method, described in the JLA Guidebook, is designed to lead to changes in the way research funding is granted, with a view to raising awareness of research questions which are of direct relevance and potential benefit to patients and the clinicians who treat them.’


The James Lind Alliance model could perhaps be extended internationally?

Best wishes, Neil

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

Public consultation on the WHO’s ‘Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030’

All WONCA members and member organizations are urged to respond to the online public consultation towards the development of a Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health. In May 2014, the 67th World Health Assembly requested the development of a new global strategy on human resources for health to be considered by the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016. The draft strategy is now open for consultation until 31 August 2015.  It represents a critical component of the WHO strategic vision towards universal health coverage (UHC) in the framework of the post 2015 health development agenda. The draft will also be discussed at various global health events as well as a number of WHO regional technical consultations. This global dialogue will inform the continuing improvement of the draft and a final version to be submitted to the WHO Executive Board in January 2016.  It is vital that the role of family doctors and multidisciplinary primary care teams are highlighted in this strategy, we therefore urge all WONCA members to respond to the consultation. ….more

Int J Equity Health: Critical examination of knowledge to action models and implications for promoting health equity

CITATION: Critical examination of knowledge to action models and implications for promoting health equity

Colleen M. Davison, Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh and Connie Clement.

Corresponding author: Colleen M Davison: davisonc@queensu.ca

International Journal for Equity in Health 2015, 14:49  doi:10.1186/s12939-015-0178-7

Published: 29 May 2015


ABSTRACT (provisional)

Introduction: Knowledge and effective interventions exist to address many current global health inequities. However, there is limited awareness, uptake, and use of knowledge to inform action to improve the health of disadvantaged populations. The gap between knowledge and action to improve health equity is of concern to health researchers and practitioners. This study identifies and critically examines the usefulness of existing knowledge to action models or frameworks for promoting health equity.

Methods: We conducted a scoping review of existing literature to identify knowledge to action (KTA) models or frameworks and critiqued the models using a health equity support rubric.

Results: We identified forty-eight knowledge to action models or frameworks. Six models scored between eight and ten of a maximum 12 points on the health equity support rubric. These high scoring models or frameworks all mentioned equity-related concepts. Attention to multisectoral approaches was the factor most often lacking in the low scoring models. The concepts of knowledge brokering, integrative processes, such as those in some indigenous health research, and Ecohealth applied to KTA all emerged as promising areas.

Conclusions: Existing knowledge to action models or frameworks can help guide knowledge translation to support action on the social determinants of health and health equity. There is a need to further test existing models or frameworks. This process should be informed by participatory and integrative research. There is room to develop more robust equity supporting models.

I was interested to read this new paper that identifies and assesses 48 knowledge to action models. I would propose consideration of a 49th model: the HIFA model, described here: http://www.hifa2015.org/about/the-strategy-for-achieving-our-goal/

The HIFA model puts the emphasis on the fundamental processes of production, publication, indexing, synthesis, repurposing and availing of healthcare knowledge – all with a systems-thinking perspective to better understand and address the drivers and barriers to the availability and use of healthcare information in low- and middle-income countries. The model was originally described in The Lancet in 2004, in the paper ‘Can we achieve health information for all by 2015?’ http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(04)16681-6/fulltext

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

BMJ: Televised medical talk shows – what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations

Citizens worldwide receive much if not most of their health information from the mass media (and, increasingly, from social media). This paper below relates to a Canadian medical talk show on television. Is anyone aware of any comparable research in low and middle income countries?

BMJ. 2014 Dec 17;349:g7346. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7346.

Televised medical talk shows – what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study.

Korownyk C et al.



Objective: To determine the quality of health recommendations and claims made on popular medical talk shows.

Design: Prospective observational study.

Setting: Mainstream television media.

Sources: Internationally syndicated medical television talk shows that air daily (The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors).

Interventions: Investigators randomly selected 40 episodes of each of The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors from early 2013 and identified and evaluated all recommendations made on each program. A group of experienced evidence reviewers independently searched for, and evaluated as a team, evidence to support 80 randomly selected recommendations from each show.

Main outcomes measures: Percentage of recommendations that are supported by evidence as determined by a team of experienced evidence reviewers. Secondary outcomes included topics discussed, the number of recommendations made on the shows, and the types and details of recommendations that were made.

Results: We could find at least a case study or better evidence to support 54% (95% confidence interval 47% to 62%) of the 160 recommendations (80 from each show). For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%. For recommendations in The Doctors, evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%. Believable or somewhat believable evidence supported 33% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 53% on The Doctors. On average, The Dr Oz Show had 12 recommendations per episode and The Doctors 11. The most common recommendation category on The Dr Oz Show was dietary advice (39%) and on The Doctors was to consult a healthcare provider (18%). A specific benefit was described for 43% and 41% of the recommendations made on the shows respectively. The magnitude of benefit was described for 17% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 11% on The Doctors. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest accompanied 0.4% of recommendations.

Conclusions: Recommendations made on medical talk shows often lack adequate information on specific benefits or the magnitude of the effects of these benefits. Approximately half of the recommendations have either no evidence or are contradicted by the best available evidence. Potential conflicts of interest are rarely addressed. The public should be skeptical about recommendations made on medical talk shows. Additional details of methods used and changes made to study protocol.

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

No need for economic Codesa, says Makhura

NOTHING is stopping government from achieving social and economic transformation in SA, except the relative will to implement state policies, Gauteng premier David Makhura said on Thursday evening. Mr Makhura was speaking during a panel discussion on the University of SA’s (Unisa’s) Pretoria campus. The discussion topic was: Is it time for an economic Codesa? ….more

MEC wants rollout of CCP to Gauteng

The MEC for Health in Gauteng went also to Chiawelo Community Practice (led by a family physician) and got a full brief on it. Look here for more. She listened intently and then said that CCP must be rolled out across the province of Gauteng. She summoned the acting District Family Physician, Dr Jimmy Akii, and the senior district management team of Johannesburg that same evening to a meeting the next morning where she wanted a plan for rollout. She says that rollout must occur to other wards in Chiawelo, in key sites led by family physicians and then in support of all Ward-based Outreach Teams in Johannesburg. Family physicians met this morning to discuss this and plan a planning meeting on Monday next and then a presentation of proposal for way forward in Johannesburg to the monthly meeting of the district management team (extended to all facility managers)  next week Wednesday.

Young Muslims Are Inviting You to Draw Muhammad

Did you know that Muhammad is the most common name in the world? The chances are you know a Muhammad or know somebody who knows one. Muslim American activist Amani al-Khatahtbeh, who runs the popular blog MuslimGirl.net, is fighting Islamaphobia by inviting people to draw a picture of their friends who are called Muhammad. The campaign is in response to the inflammatory Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest organized by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) in Garland, Texas, on Sunday night. Participants there were invited to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad, which Muslims consider offensive.



Join Wonca Africa Conference from all over the world

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 8.39.10 AMYou have the chance to join the 4th Wonca Africa Regional Conference in Accra, Ghana from today till Saturday from all over the world. See #WoncaAfrica2015 on Twitter for regular tweets and check out this discussion group on Google Plus http://bit.ly/1RbSwVa. Details of Google Hangouts, where you can join us live for the opening and closing from your office/home, will be posted later on Twitter. Akwaaba (Welcome)!!

See Wonca Africa Conference Programme Overview and welcome from HOC Chairman below. You can also see the Final Program AfriWon Preconference 2015.

Dear Delegate,

Today marks the beginning of the 4th Wonca Africa Regional Conference in Accra.

If you have already arrived in Ghana, Akwaaba!

Wonca World President Michael Kidd and Wonca CEO Garth Manning have been in Ghana since Monday 4th May.

I have attached the programme overview to enable you navigate for the day

The detailed programme will be in the brochure when you receive it.

Registrations starts at 1pm prompt on the second floor of the GIMPA executive conference centre opposite rooms A255 and A238. The director of our Secretariat is Mrs Hetty Laing. Feel free to direct your enquiries to her and her team as needed. The secretariat is based in room A238. LOC members will be in black or red Wonca branded T-shirts. Approach then for directions at all times.

Accompanying persons will receive their registration pack which contains a programme of their activities. They are also welcome. There will be a day tour for them on Friday from 8am-2pm. Those who maybe interested can join for a fee of $60.00 (or Ghc 240.00).       HAWT tours will also be registering for various tours from 7th May. They will be close to the registration desk so ask of them and get to know Ghana!

AfriWon (Young Family Doctors of Africa) will have a meeting at 9am.

Best wishes and thanks for coming to Ghana.

Dr Henry Lawson

Chair, HOC, 4th Wonca Africa Regional Conference

President-Elect, Wonca Africa Region

“Great minds discuss IDEAS;

    Average minds discuss EVENTS;

        but small minds discuss PEOPLE!!!”





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