Giving Tuesday – one week to go

#givingtuesday, which falls on Tuesday 28 November this year, is the day to “do good stuff” for a charity or cause you care about.

Last year, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and School community, we raised £1,700 towards scholarships for future leaders in public health.

This year, we are fundraising for scholarships once again!

We will be holding bake sales at LSHTM on 28 November:

Manson Foyer, Keppel Street; 10 am – 1pm

and

Reception, Tavistock Place; 10am – 1pm

If you are in London next Tuesday, come on by to pick up some treats kindly donated by staff and students. All funds raised from the bake sale will go towards scholarships.

If you will not be in London on the day, don’t worry, you can still get involved!

Look out for our emails on the day, and like and share our posts on Facebook and Twitter.

To find out more about #givingtuesday, please visit their website http://www.givingtuesday.org.uk/.

MRC funded PhD studentship opportunity

An MRC-funded PhD studentship is currently being advertised by PSG members on “The role of young women’s fertility desires and intentions on the impact of complex evaluations to prevent HIV”.

Adolescent girls and young women are at a disproportional risk of HIV infection in high burden countries.  LSHTM leads a portfolio of studies to evaluate the impact of ‘DREAMS’, an ambitious initiative by PEPFAR to promote empowerment and reduce new HIV infections among the highest risk young women.

Using cohort and qualitative data from evaluation studies in Kenya, the PhD project will investigate the influence of young women’s fertility desires and intentions on the observed impact of DREAMS.  It will seek to explain whether and how desires to have children (how many and when) help or hinder HIV prevention efforts targeting young women.

You can find more information here.

Posted in Opportunities | Comments Off on MRC funded PhD studentship opportunity

Economic and Social Research Council postdoctoral fellowship competition

The UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership has been allocated three one-year awards for each of the next five years, with the first entry commencing in October 2018.

More information is available on the Doctoral Training Partnership website and the ESRC website.

The closing date is 23rd March 2018.

 

Posted in Opportunities - External | Comments Off on Economic and Social Research Council postdoctoral fellowship competition

The UK ME/CFS Biobank Christmas Appeal

The CureME team is launching the UK ME/CFS Biobank Christmas Appeal to:

Release  samples to researchers around the world, searching for the biomarkers of ME/CFS.

Ensure the long-term sustainability of the Biobank as a resource.

The team has a simple mission – to understand ME/CFS.

The UK ME/CFS Biobank (UKMEB) is the first ME/CFS-specific biobank in Europe, and one of the first in the world. It has collected over 30,000 aliquots (small tubes) of blood from patients with ME/CFS and multiple sclerosis (as well as healthy controls), using rigorous and consistent scientific protocols.

The causes of the disease remain unknown, but up to 250,000 people in the UK (and up to 17 million worldwide) have their lives changed by the condition. Despite the impact it has on lives and families, ME/CFS continues to receive little government funding.

Grants received by the UKMEB do not pay for any release costs, so additional money is needed to accelerate the release of samples to scientists.

The UKMEB is committed to patient participation, and ensures that its research is always informed by and for the benefit of people with ME/CFS.

Any funds donated will enable research into ME/CFS in the most cost-effective manner, with collaborating research projects to be chosen by the UKMEB Guardian Board.

Donations of any amount are welcome. All donations directly support the group’s work, helping enhance and expand our research and ensuring project sustainability.

Your gift could cover freezer storage of one set of blood samples for five years (£5), tubes for one blood draw (£10), a set of laboratory blood tests (£50), or medical equipment for clinical measurements (£2,500).

— £10,000 would enable a further blood sample and data release
— £25,000 would enable the release of samples for two or three studies to be conducted
— £40,000 would sustain the UKMEB for 6 months in its entirety

If you are a UK Taxpayer, your kind donation is Gift Aid eligible.

Donations to the UK ME/CFS Biobank Christmas Appeal can be made via JustGiving.

The UKMEB will report back to all donors on the progress of research projects funded by this appeal.

More information about the UKMEB can be found at www.cureme.lshtm.ac.uk.

Thank you for helping support sustainable ME/CFS research into the future.

Ideas at 7: Taking Stock

By Professor Joanna Schellenberg and Dr Tanya Marchant

The IDEAS journey started back in 2010 when we launched our first activities to support the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in their work to improve maternal and newborn health in Ethiopia, India and Nigeria. A team of 20 researchers and professional support staff from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, set off alongside partners in each country, to find out “what works, why and how” when it comes to improving the health and lives of women and children. Over the next 7 years we generated a wealth of new findings and knowledge, summarised in the Informed Decisions for Actions in Maternal and Newborn Health 2010-2017 Report, and shown on our brand-new website.

Members of the IDEAS team at the 2016 Health Systems Research Conference in Vancouver. Copyright: IDEAS 2016

 

What’s changed since 2010? The world has moved from the era of the Millennium Development Goals with their focus on maternal and child survival, to a focus on universal health coverage with the advent of the Sustainable Development Goals. People around the world are living longer: in sub-Saharan Africa, girls born in 2015 have a life expectancy nearly 4 years more than for those born in 2010. Globally, there were 1.1 million fewer child deaths in 2015 than in 2010, and for every 100,000 live births there were 30 fewer maternal deaths in 2015 than there were in 2010. Despite this progress, maternal and newborn death rates in Nigeria, India and Ethiopia remain among the highest in the world. And just as in 2010, most of these deaths are preventable at low cost.

The IDEAS team has built strong and lasting working relationships with implementation partners. Between 2010 and 2017, we completed nearly 80 technical support activities for implementation partners, from reviews of research protocols to cross-country learning workshops. And we have produced 17 data sets, 27 reports, 19 journal articles, 10 research briefs, and 5 infographics.

Our research focussed on four learning questions:

  • What innovations were implemented and how were they expected to improve maternal and newborn health?

We identified 57 diverse innovations, put in place by 9 implementation partners, with whom we worked to identify anticipated effects of each innovation.

  • Did innovations increase the coverage of life-saving interventions, and if so how and at what cost?

We did cross-sectional household surveys of resident women with a recent birth, of primary health facilities and of front-line health workers, in 2012 and 2015. We found important gains in access to antenatal care and care at birth and, in Ethiopia and Uttar Pradesh, some improvements in the quality of care families received. However, indicators for immediate newborn care lagged behind, and many of the inequities in access to health care were observed to persist. We used qualitative methods to understand how practices were influenced by front-line health workers, and found that in Ethiopia newborn care practices changed through three important factors: (1) Getting the word out: ensuring that the right messages get to families with high coverage and through multiple and trusted channels. (2) A desire to be modern: harmful behaviours and practices can change because families want to be modern, and because knowledge gives them the power to oppose contrary views and (3) Delivering in a facility: facilities provide information and are also responsible for behaviours such as wrapping the baby and early breastfeeding.

Mulu Agdo and her newborn in Ethiopia. Copyright: Paolo Patruno, IDEAS 2015

 

  • How and why does scale-up happen?

We undertook over 200 in-depth interviews and three case studies of successfully scaled-up interventions and identified six critical actions which implementation partners adopted to catalyse innovation scale-up. These included: designing innovations with scale-up in mind; generating evidence on how to implement at scale as well as evidence of impact; harnessing the power of influential individuals who could be instrumental to scale-up; being prepared for and responsive to the policy, health systems and sociocultural context; supporting government in a transition to scale, thus ensuring continuity; and embracing aid effectiveness principles.

  • To what extent did scaled-up innovations affect coverage of lifesaving interventions?

Scale-up takes time, and working at scale brings an additional degree of complexity. Early on in IDEAS we found that health decision-makers at district level in each country shared our interest in data for decision-making. This led us to develop a novel method for assessing implementation strength of scaled-up innovations – the Data Informed Platform for Health. After studying the feasibility in all three countries we carried out an 18-month prototype phase in India. And in Ethiopia, responding to a government request, we are undertaking an evaluation of the national-scale Community Based Newborn Care programme by studying changes in intervention and comparison areas using surveys and qualitative enquiry.

A second phase of IDEAS has started; in which we are working more closely with government in each of the three settings. The research includes improving coverage measurement; tracking progress in coverage of life-saving interventions; supporting the local use of data in decision-making; understanding the mechanisms underlying quality-improvement; and conducting a study of sustainability. You can find out more on our all-new website at IDEAS.

 

About the authors:

Professor Joanna Schellenberg, IDEAS Principal Investigator and Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Tanya Marchant, IDEAS Co-Principal Investigator and Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Website: https://ideas.lshtm.ac.uk/

STEP-BY-STEP: How to measure health worker motivation in Low- and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)

By Jo Borghi (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)

This published paper on ‘How to do (or not to do)… Measuring health worker motivation in surveys in low- and middle-income countries’ aims to provide a practical overview of the steps involved in designing and implementing surveys measuring health worker motivation in LMICs and analysing and interpreting the findings obtained- with the purpose to increase and improve performance in the long run.

Step 1: Conceptualising motivation

Motivation is a complex construct as indicated in this definition: “Work motivation is a set of energetic forces that originate both within as well as beyond an individual’s being, to initiate workrelated behaviour, and to determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration.” (Pinder 2008)

Step 2: Developing and pre-testing a tool

Having selected a conceptualisation of motivation, the first step in developing a survey tool is to identify a set of questions to measure motivation, referred to as a measurement scale

Step 3: Sample size considerations and sampling

Sample size is a further consideration prior to survey administration. The techniques used to assess the validity of the motivation measure (step 5) require certain minimum sample sizes, dependent on the number of dimensions, items and other factors

Step 4: Exploratory data analysis

Once the data have been collected, it is important to start with an exploration of the data, estimating mean and median scores and frequencies for each item, and checking for missing data.

Step 5: Assessing validity of motivation measures

Before using motivation measurements in core analyses, researchers should ensure the measures are valid or that they measured what was intended using exploratory of confirmatory factor analysis.

Step 6: Measurement Reliability

Reliability refers to the extent to which the measurement scale produces similar results under similar conditions

Step 7: Core Analysis

Once validity and reliability are established, the motivation measure can be used within analysis depending on the objective of the study. If the objective is to describe motivation levels, item responses can be combined into a composite score typically calculated as the arithmetic mean of a health worker responses.  This step also explains how to examine determinants of motivation and changes in motivation over time.

Step 8: Presenting findings

When reporting findings, it is important to be transparent as to the steps taken to generate results and decisions made during this process.

Read the full paper at Health Policy and Planning.

Image credit:  airpix

Constructing a literature search for a systematic review: part 3, putting your search terms together and testing their efficiency

This is the third in a series of posts looking at how to put together a literature search for a systematic review. Part 1 looked at the preparation required before you start putting the search together and gives some background to the project and part 2 looked at how to put together a list of search terms. As it’s been a few weeks since those were published, you might want to have a little look to remind yourself of the project. This part looks at how to string your terms together and test their impact on the results you retrieve.

I am not going to go step-by-step through each concept, as I did in part 2, instead I will describe some of the techniques I use.

Why test your terms?

If you test your terms and try to figure out the contribution they make to the overall search, you can get some idea of how relevant the terms are to the overall search. This also gives you an idea of whether a particular term is ambiguous, ie it is used in more than one context so is likely to return irrelevant results. The purpose is not to give a definitive view of the number of unique references each term contributes to the total number of retrieved results, but to make sure the search is both comprehensive and efficient. Testing your terms allows you to create a search which is as specific and yet sensitive as required.

How I test my terms

Testing individual terms

This is a technique I have refined over the years. I’d be really interested to hear from anyone else who has any other tips and tricks for how to do this.

I start with a list of terms. For example:

Gender inequality/inequity/equality
Gender based inequality
Gender discrimination
Gender-related reasons
Gender relations*
Women adj? social status
Gender* power
Gender norms
Gender roles
Gender-related risk
Gender issues
Relationship dependency
Positive action?
Gender disparity/disparities
Gender sensitive/sensitivity
Social construction of gender
Gender-centred
Gender bias
Gender awareness
Gender differences
Gender imbalance

I noticed that lots of these phrases had the word ‘gender’ in them. I decided to test whether entering only ‘gender’ would result in the return of a large number of irrelevant articles. The advantage of this would be that I wouldn’t have to include all of phrases which might be in the literature (as listed above) and it would save me time as I would not have to try to put together a comprehensive list of phrases. Entering ‘gender*.ti,ab.’ into Ovid Medline gives me 251,970 results, which is way too many to look at to see how the word contributes to my specific search. Therefore I combined it with the MeSH terms for the other concepts. So I constructed this quick search:

  1. child/ or adolescent/ or young adult/
  2. exp “Africa South of the Sahara”/
  3. exp HIV Infections/ or exp HIV/
  4. gender*.ti,ab.
  5. and/1-4

I had a look at the first 50 results this retrieved to see how relevant they were. They were not all relevant, but most of them were. Therefore, I decided to use the more general term.

I did this level of analysis for the other words and phrases I had put together in part 2.

Determining proximity

Often, using a general term to capture a large number of phrases is not viable and in these cases proximity searching is a useful tool. This allows us to search for words which appear close to each other in the text, but not necessarily next to each other. Most databases which offer this feature allow you to specify the maximum number of words which might occur between your required terms. So some testing is necessary to determine the most efficient proximity to use.

To do this, I run a series of searches, increasing the size of the proximity operator each time, then using the Boolean operator NOT to view the references retrieved only by the change.

As an example, I put together the following search:

  1. child/ or adolescent/ or young adult/
  2. exp “Africa South of the Sahara”/
  3. exp HIV Infections/ or exp HIV/
  4. ((financial or cash or pay* or monetary or money or economic or financial) adj1 (transfer* or measure* or
    incentive* or allowance* or exclu* or reform* or gain* or credit or credits or benefit or benefits or support)).ti,ab.
  5. ((financial or cash or pay* or monetary or money or economic or financial) adj2 (transfer* or measure* or
    incentive* or allowance* or exclu* or reform* or gain* or credit or credits or benefit or benefits or support)).ti,ab.
  6. ((financial or cash or pay* or monetary or money or economic or financial) adj3 (transfer* or measure* or
    incentive* or allowance* or exclu* or reform* or gain* or credit or credits or benefit or benefits or support)).ti,ab.
  7. ((financial or cash or pay* or monetary or money or economic or financial) adj4 (transfer* or measure* or
    incentive* or allowance* or exclu* or reform* or gain* or credit or credits or benefit or benefits or support)).ti,ab.
  8. ((financial or cash or pay* or monetary or money or economic or financial) adj5 (transfer* or measure* or
    incentive* or allowance* or exclu* or reform* or gain* or credit or credits or benefit or benefits or support)).ti,ab.
  9. ((financial or cash or pay* or monetary or money or economic or financial) adj6 (transfer* or measure* or
    incentive* or allowance* or exclu* or reform* or gain* or credit or credits or benefit or benefits or support)).ti,ab.
  10. and/1-4
  11. and/1-3,5
  12. and/1-3,6
  13. and/1-3,7
  14. and/1-3,8
  15. and/1-3,9
  16. 11 not 10
  17. 12 not 11
  18. 13 not 12
  19. 14 not 13
  20. 15 not 14

By examining the results on search lines 16 to 20 I can decide which is the most effective proximity search value to use.

My completed first draft search

Below is the first draft of the search I put together in Ovid Medline.

1 (structur* adj1 (driver* or intervention*)).ti,ab. (913)
2 Sex Workers/ (1515)
3 Sex Work/ (5847)
4 sex* work*.ti,ab. (4848)
5 prostitut*.ti,ab. (3584)
6 sex* industr*.ti,ab. (247)
7 escort*.ti,ab. (1074)
8 (sex* adj3 (buy* or commerc*)).ti,ab. (1882)
9 brothel*.ti,ab. (398)
10 (sex* adj5 (mone* or gift* or transaction* or exchange)).ti,ab. (1485)
11 (relations* adj5 transaction*).ti,ab. (155)
12 or/2-11 (12671)
13 exp Alcohol Drinking/ (63011)
14 ((alcohol* or beer or wine or lager or spirit* or drink) adj3 (consum* or unit* or purchas* or use* or intake or
binge)).ti,ab. (81770)
15 drink* rate*.ti,ab. (306)
16 drunk*.ti,ab. (3815)
17 or/13-16 (113052)
18 exp Intimate Partner Violence/ (8183)
19 Domestic Violence/ (5905)
20 Rape/ (6315)
21 Battered Women/ (2610)
22 Stalking/ (161)
23 intimate partner violence.ti,ab. (4361)
24 ipv.ti,ab. (3876)
25 rape*.ti,ab. (9076)
26 (sex* adj3 (aggress* or assault* or attack* or violen* or victimi#ation or revictimi#ation or
re-victimi#ation)).ti,ab. (9650)
27 (batter* adj3 wom#n).ti,ab. (752)
28 ((gender or peer) adj3 violence).ti,ab. (1025)
29 ((date or dating) adj3 (abuse* or abusive or aggress* or assault* or attack or coerc* or injur* or manipulat* or
rape* or violen*)).ti,ab. (1696)
30 ((relationship* or partner* or acquaintance* or non-stranger* or nonstranger*) adj3 (abuse* or abusive or
aggress* or assault* or attack or coerc* or injur* or manipulat* or rape* or violen*)).ti,ab. (11220)
31 ((spous* or husband* or wife* or co-habit* or married or marriage or bride or groom) adj3 (abuse* or abusive or
aggress* or assault* or attack or coerc* or injur* or manipulat* or rape* or violen*)).ti,ab. (1308)
32 ((boyfriend* or boy-friend* or girlfriend* or girl-friend*) adj3 (abuse* or abusive or aggress* or assault* or
attack or coerc* or injur* or manipulat* or rape* or violen*)).ti,ab. (36)
33 stalking.ti,ab. (524)
34 stalker*.ti,ab. (199)
35 or/18-34 (39928)
36 Sex Factors/ (248909)
37 exp Gender Identity/ (18542)
38 Women’s Rights/ (8427)
39 Feminism/ (1989)
40 Social Justice/ (11555)
41 gender*.ti,ab. (237823)
42 ((man or men or wom#n or sex or femini* or masculin* or relations*) adj3 role*).ti,ab. (11098)
43 or/36-42 (471511)
44 exp Poverty/ (38446)
45 socioeconomic factors/ (141289)
46 medical indigency/ (3578)
47 unemployment/ (6339)
48 employment/ (43143)
49 maternal welfare/ (6808)
50 public policy/ (30498)
51 social welfare/ (9147)
52 social security/ (7422)
53 (economic* adj2 (empower* or factor* or barrier* or freedom)).ti,ab. (5680)
54 economic abuse.ti,ab. (31)
55 (access adj3 money).ti,ab. (53)
56 remittance*.ti,ab. (436)
57 voucher*.ti,ab. (1335)
58 food stamp*.ti,ab. (316)
59 reimburse*.ti,ab. (20431)
60 ((prepayment or pre-payment) adj2 (plan* or scheme*)).ti,ab. (140)
61 ((demand-side or results-based) adj2 financing).ti,ab. (43)
62 output-based aid.ti,ab. (9)
63 ((financial or cash or pay* or monetary or money or economic or financial) adj3 (transfer* or measure* or
incentive* or allowance* or exclu* or reform* or gain* or credit or credits or benefit or benefits or support)).ti,ab.
(22985)
64 livelihood support.ti,ab. (18)
65 ((social or health or community) adj2 (insurance or security or welfare)).ti,ab. (45424)
66 ((child or family or maternity) adj2 (benefit* or allowance)).ti,ab. (967)
67 poverty.ti,ab. (17985)
68 low-income.ti,ab. (23634)
69 wealth.ti,ab. (12761)
70 employment.ti,ab. (42827)
71 unemployment.ti,ab. (8065)
72 employed.ti,ab. (239028)
73 unemployed.ti,ab. (6445)
74 (asset* adj3 ownership).mp. [mp=title, abstract, original title, name of substance word, subject heading word,
keyword heading word, protocol supplementary concept word, rare disease supplementary concept word, unique identifier,
synonyms] (116)
75 “standard of living”.ti,ab. (1105)
76 or/44-75 (616110)
77 1 or 12 or 17 or 35 or 43 or 76 [STRUCTURAL BARRIERS] (1165365)
78 Child/ (1598598)
79 Adolescent/ (1905520)
80 Young adult/ (646589)
81 exp Child welfare/ (30448)
82 Child, abandoned/ (515)
83 exp Child, exceptional/ (847)
84 Child, orphaned/ (616)
85 Child hospitalized/ (6359)
86 Child institutionalized/ (1870)
87 Adolescent hospitalized/ (425)
88 Adolescent institutionalized/ (123)
89 homeless youth/ (1158)
90 Minors/ (2514)
91 Students/ (48632)
92 Disabled children/ (5524)
93 child*.ti,ab. (1132843)
94 boy*.ti,ab. (126935)
95 girl*.ti,ab. (121928)
96 (schoolage* or (school adj1 age*)).ti,ab. (17166)
97 schoolchild*.ti,ab. (11922)
98 prepubescen*.ti,ab. (855)
99 pubescen*.ti,ab. (1651)
100 adolescen*.ti,ab. (206752)
101 juvenil*.ti,ab. (66653)
102 underage*.ti,ab. (881)
103 (teen or teens).ti,ab. (8370)
104 teenage*.ti,ab. (17500)
105 (youth or youths).ti,ab. (49372)
106 (transition adj4 adult*).ti,ab. (2757)
107 early adult*.ti,ab. (5285)
108 emerging adult*.ti,ab. (1156)
109 young adult*.ti,ab. (69912)
110 young person.ti,ab. (767)
111 young people.ti,ab. (19536)
112 child*.jw. (132699)
113 adolescen*.jw. (33558)
114 youth*.jw. (1614)
115 school*.jw. (16323)
116 or/78-115 [ADOLESCENTS] (3473581)
117 exp HIV/ (93993)
118 exp HIV Infections/ (267375)
119 hiv.ti,ab. (260587)
120 “hiv1”.ti,ab. (799)
121 “hiv2”.ti,ab. (156)
122 “hiv type 1”.ti,ab. (3762)
123 “hiv type 2”.ti,ab. (180)
124 human immunodeficiency virus.ti,ab. (76090)
125 human immunedeficiency virus.ti,ab. (4)
126 human immuno-deficiency virus.ti,ab. (205)
127 human immune-deficiency virus.ti,ab. (290)
128 (human immun* adj3 deficiency virus).ti,ab. (499)
129 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.ti,ab. (15244)
130 acquired immunedeficiency syndrome.ti,ab. (10)
131 acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome.ti,ab. (111)
132 acquired immune-deficiency syndrome.ti,ab. (5338)
133 (acquired immun* adj3 deficiency syndrome).ti,ab. (5488)
134 or/117-133 [HIV] (352040)
135 Benin/ (1323)
136 (Benin or Dahomey).ti,ab. (2576)
137 Burkina Faso/ (2839)
138 (Burkina Faso or Burkina Fasso or Upper Volta).ti,ab. (3172)
139 Burundi/ (610)
140 Burundi.ti,ab. (634)
141 Central African Republic/ (728)
142 (Central African Republic or Ubangi-Shari).ti,ab. (816)
143 Chad/ (633)
144 Chad.ti,ab. (875)
145 Comoros/ (264)
146 (Comoros or Comoro Islands or Mayotte or Iles Comores).ti,ab. (443)
147 “Democratic Republic of the Congo”/ (3679)
148 ((democratic republic adj2 congo) or belgian congo or zaire).ti,ab. (3493)
149 Eritrea/ (263)
150 Eritrea.ti,ab. (350)
151 Ethiopia/ (9687)
152 Ethiopia.ti,ab. (8506)
153 Gambia/ (2372)
154 Gambia.ti,ab. (2030)
155 Guinea/ (883)
156 (Guinea not (New Guinea or Guinea Pig* or Guinea Fowl)).ti,ab. (3055)
157 Guinea-Bissau/ (873)
158 (Guinea-Bissau or Portuguese Guinea).ti,ab. (867)
159 Liberia/ (1045)
160 Liberia.ti,ab. (1111)
161 Madagascar/ (3006)
162 (Madagascar or Malagasy Republic).ti,ab. (3579)
163 Malawi/ (4349)
164 (Malawi or Nyasaland).ti,ab. (4652)
165 Mali/ (2145)
166 Mali.ti,ab. (2691)
167 Mozambique/ (1964)
168 (Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa).ti,ab. (2409)
169 Niger/ (1062)
170 (Niger not (Aspergillus or Peptococcus or Schizothorax or Cruciferae or Gobius or Lasius or Agelastes or
Melanosuchus or radish or Parastromateus or Orius or Apergillus or Parastromateus or Stomoxys)).ti,ab. (2501)
171 Rwanda/ (1965)
172 (Rwanda or Ruanda).ti,ab. (1994)
173 Senegal/ (5304)
174 senegal.ti,ab. (4603)
175 Sierra Leone/ (1269)
176 Sierra Leone.ti,ab. (1463)
177 Somalia/ (1397)
178 Somalia.ti,ab. (1033)
179 South Sudan/ (57)
180 south sudan.ti,ab. (282)
181 Tanzania/ (9904)
182 (Tanzania or Zanzibar).ti,ab. (9392)
183 Togo/ (996)
184 (Togo or Togolese Republic).ti,ab. (1109)
185 Uganda/ (10326)
186 Uganda.ti,ab. (9874)
187 Zimbabwe/ (5435)
188 (Zimbabwe or Rhodesia).ti,ab. (4830)
189 Cameroon/ (4768)
190 Cameroon.ti,ab. (4954)
191 Cape Verde/ (152)
192 (Cape Verde or Cabo Verde).ti,ab. (439)
193 Congo/ (1649)
194 (congo not ((democratic republic adj3 congo) or congo red or crimean-congo)).ti,ab. (2070)
195 Cote d’Ivoire/ (2874)
196 (Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast).ti,ab. (3080)
197 Ghana/ (6550)
198 (Ghana or Gold Coast).ti,ab. (6649)
199 Kenya/ (14067)
200 kenya.ti,ab. (13101)
201 Lesotho/ (373)
202 (Lesotho or Basutoland).ti,ab. (509)
203 Mauritania/ (401)
204 Mauritania.ti,ab. (482)
205 Nigeria/ (26312)
206 Nigeria.ti,ab. (20104)
207 Atlantic Islands/ (734)
208 (sao tome adj2 principe).ti,ab. (104)
209 Sudan/ (4528)
210 (Sudan not south sudan).ti,ab. (5923)
211 Swaziland/ (466)
212 Swaziland.ti,ab. (611)
213 Zambia/ (3954)
214 (Zambia or Northern Rhodesia).ti,ab. (3820)
215 Angola/ (853)
216 Angola.ti,ab. (1013)
217 Botswana/ (1538)
218 (Botswana or Bechuanaland or Kalahari).ti,ab. (1796)
219 Equatorial Guinea/ (228)
220 (Equatorial Guinea or Spanish Guinea).ti,ab. (334)
221 Gabon/ (1368)
222 (Gabon or Gabonese Republic).ti,ab. (1413)
223 Mauritius/ (512)
224 (Mauritius or Agalega Islands).ti,ab. (724)
225 Namibia/ (893)
226 Namibia.ti,ab. (1012)
227 South Africa/ (37567)
228 South Africa.ti,ab. (23223)
229 Seychelles/ (330)
230 Seychelles.ti,ab. (538)
231 “africa south of the sahara”/ or africa, central/ or africa, eastern/ or africa, southern/ or africa, western/
(18745)
232 (“africa south of the sahara” or sub-saharan africa or central africa or eastern africa or southern africa or
western africa).ti,ab. (19782)
233 or/135-232 [SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA] (218039)
234 77 and 116 and 134 and 233 (5134)

I sent a copy of this, plus a link to an EndNote library containing the 5134 papers to the rest of the project team for discussion and possible edits. The editing process will be covered in part 4.

Let them thrive! World Prematurity Day 2017

By Victoria Ponce, MARCH centre

Today, 17th November, is World Prematurity Day, a global event which aim is to increase awareness of premature birth, newborn health and the devastating impact that it can have on families. By supporting Every Newborn Action Plan, World Prematurity Day aims to stimulate international action towards the Sustainable Development Goal to end all preventable newborn and child deaths by 2030.

WHO defines prematurity or preterm birth as a baby being born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Many premature births happen spontaneously and without identifiable reason, however, some common causes are multiple pregnancies, infections and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Every year, more than 1 in 10 babies, equivalent to approximately 15 million, are born prematurely. Of those, nearly 1 million die from preterm birth complications such as apnea, respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice, and intraventricular haemorrhage, making prematurity the leading cause of death in children under the age of five.

Babies who survive preterm birth are at increased risk of lifelong disability and can suffer from a range of health issues including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, cerebral palsy, asthma, vision and hearing loss, intestinal problems, and infections like pneumonia and meningitis.

Even though prematurity is a global problem, reports show stark inequalities in the global distribution of preterm deaths, with most of deaths concentrated in low and middle-income countries and more than half of all deaths occur in just three countries: India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The majority of these deaths could be prevented with provision of currently available cost-effective interventions aimed at increasing access to antenatal healthcare, improving provision of good quality midwife-led care, and increasing access to essential medicines, oxygen, Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), and health information. According to WHO’s recommendations for a positive pregnancy experience, investing in and promoting the midwife-led continuity of care, which provides care from the same midwife during pregnancy, birth and early parenting period, could reduce significantly the risk of preterm birth.

There is often stigma attached to preterm birth and babies, which can reduce care-seeking behaviours. In particular, fatalism – the idea that preterm babies are not as valuable as other babies, and that they won’t be able to survive even if they access care – can limit the impact of interventions aimed at prematurity. Interventions that raise awareness of the value of small and preterm babies and that promote the idea that they can survive and thrive with proper care can help to reduce fatalism and increase care-seeking behaviours.

A lack of respectful care during and after pregnancy and childbirth can also reduce care seeking behaviours during labour, increasing the risk of preterm birth complications. A minimum of eight antenatal contacts are recommended by the WHO to reduce perinatal mortality and preterm birth complications. To complete this, women must feel respected in their care, and health workers must be empowered to provide respectful care.

Prioritising investment in preterm birth prevention and care has many benefits for other areas of maternal and child health, and presents a solid case for economic investment. Investing in respectful and good quality preterm birth care and prevention can lead to improvements in maternal and newborn health as well as contributing to wider global development.

Show your support for this year’s World Prematurity Day by wearing purple, hanging a sock line, taking the KMC challenge, spreading the message, and by joining the conversation @worldprematurityday #worldprematurityday #LetThemThrive

Image Copyright: Bliss  – https://www.bliss.org.uk/

IDEAS at 7: Taking Stock

Written by Joanna Schellenberg and Tanya Marchant

The IDEAS journey started back in 2010 when we launched our first activities to support the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in their work to improve maternal and newborn health in Ethiopia, India and Nigeria. A team of 20 researchers and professional support staff from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, set off alongside partners in each country, to find out “what works, why and how” when it comes to improving the health and lives of women and children. Over the next 7 years we generated a wealth of new findings and knowledge, summarised in the Informed Decisions for Actions in Maternal and Newborn Health 2010-2017 Report, and shown on our brand-new website.

What’s chMulu Agdo and her newborn in Ethiopia. Copyright Paolo PatrunoIDEAS 2015anged since 2010? The world has moved from the era of the Millennium Development Goals with their focus on maternal and child survival, to a focus on universal health coverage with the advent of the Sustainable Development Goals. People around the world are living longer: in sub-Saharan Africa, girls born in 2015 have a life expectancy nearly 4 years more than for those born in 2010. Globally, there were 1.1 million fewer child deaths in 2015 than in 2010, and for every 100,000 live births there were 30 fewer maternal deaths in 2015 than there were in 2010. Despite this progress, maternal and newborn death rates in Nigeria, India and Ethiopia remain among the highest in the world. And just as in 2010, most of these deaths are preventable at low cost.

The IDEAS team has built strong and lasting working relationships with implementation partners. Between 2010 and 2017, we completed nearly 80 technical support activities for implementation partners, from reviews of research protocols to cross-country learning workshops. And we have produced 17 data sets, 27 reports, 19 journal articles, 10 research briefs, and 5 infographics.

Our research focussed on four learning questions:

What innovations were implemented and how were they expected to improve maternal and newborn health?

We identified 57 diverse innovations, put in place by 9 implementation partners, with whom we worked to identify anticipated effects of each innovation.

Did innovations increase the coverage of life-saving interventions, and if so how and at what cost?

We did cross-sectional household surveys of resident women with a recent birth, of primary health facilities and of front-line health workers, in 2012 and 2015. We found important gains in access to antenatal care and care at birth and, in Ethiopia and Uttar Pradesh, some improvements in the quality of care families received. However, indicators for immediate newborn care lagged behind, and many of the inequities in access to health care were observed to persist. We used qualitative methods to understand how practices were influenced by front-line health workers, and found that in Ethiopia newborn care practices changed through three important factors: (1) Getting the word out: ensuring that the right messages get to families with high coverage and through multiple and trusted channels. (2) A desire to be modern: harmful behaviours and practices can  change because families want to be modern, and because knowledge gives them the power to oppose contrary views and (3) Delivering in a facility: facilities provide information and are also responsible for behaviours such as wrapping the baby and early breastfeeding.

How and why does scale-up happen?

We undertook over 200 in-depth interviews and three case studies of successfully scaled-up interventions and identified six critical actions which implementation partners adopted to catalyse innovation scale-up. These included: designing innovations with scale-up in mind; generating evidence on how to implement at scale as well as evidence of impact; harnessing the power of influential individuals who could be instrumental to scale-up; being prepared for and responsive to the policy, health systems and sociocultural context; supporting government in a transition to scale, thus ensuring continuity; and embracing aid effectiveness principles.

To what extent did scaled-up innovations affect coverage of lifesaving interventions?

Scale-up takes time, and working at scale brings an additional degree of complexity. Early on in IDEAS we found that health decision-makers at district level in each country shared our interest in data for decision-making. This led us to develop a novel method for assessing implementation strength of scaled-up innovations – the Data Informed Platform for Health. After studying the feasibility in all three countries we carried out an 18-month prototype phase in India. And in Ethiopia, responding to a government request, we are undertaking an evaluation of the national-scale Community Based Newborn Care programme by studying changes in intervention and comparison areas using surveys and qualitative enquiry.

A second phase of IDEAS has started; in which we are working more closely with government in each of the three settings. The research includes improving coverage measurement; tracking progress in coverage of life-saving interventions; supporting the local use of data in decision-making; understanding the mechanisms underlying quality-improvement; and conducting a study of sustainability. You can find out more on our all-new website at IDEAS.

About the authors:

Professor Joanna Schellenberg, IDEAS Principal Investigator and Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Tanya Marchant, IDEAS Co-Principal Investigator and Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Website: https://ideas.lshtm.ac.uk/

Images courtesy of the IDEAS team

NEW ISSUE – Community Eye Health Journal: Retinopathy of prematurity: it is time to take action

Community Eye Health Journal Volume 30 | Issue 99 | 2017

CEHJ Issue Number 99

Opening the eyes of eye care practitioners to prevent blindness in premature babies

Compelled to lower the incidence of global blindness, the Community Eye Health Journal has brought twelve international experts together to create a special issue on retinopathy of prematurity – a preventable cause of childhood blindness worldwide. Thanks to the generous support of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, paper copies of the issue will be distributed to over 18,000 eye care professionals in over 184 countries.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a significant cause of blindness among children worldwide, but is almost entirely preventable and treatable. Premature babies are often given oxygen in incubators to help them survive, but over-administration of oxygen can be highly toxic to their blood vessels, including those in the retina. Over-exposure to oxygen during the first few hours and days after birth is a major cause of ROP, as is infection.

In countries that have only recently introduced services to save the lives of preterm babies, a lack of knowledge about ROP and its treatment means that many of the babies who survive will become blind or visually impaired.

At the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the International Centre for Eye Health produce an international eye health publication that has been delivering up-to-date, easy-to-understand and practical eye care information to front-line eye care professionals for nearly thirty years: the Community Eye Health Journal.

In this latest issue, twelve global experts in ROP have come together to bridge this gap and put up-to-date ROP knowledge and guidance in the hands of ophthalmologists, optometrists, neonatal clinicians, and nurses responsible for the care of preterm babies. Together with the Community Eye Health Journal team, and under the expert guidance of Professor Clare Gilbert, these experts have created a comprehensive guide to ROP in a single 24-page issue of the journal. It includes information about what neonatologists, nurses and parents can do in the crucial days and weeks after birth, and covers the classification, screening and treatment of ROP. Communicating and working with parents is also emphasised, as parents are an important part of the team: they can provide care during their child’s stay in the neonatal unit, and bring their child back for follow-up eye examinations after discharge, if required. An article with clear images and simple text has therefore been included to help clinicians and nurses advise parents on the importance of timely intervention to prevent blindness.

The Community Eye Health Journal is supported solely by donations from charitable organisations. At present, the budget allows for just three out of the four issues per year to be printed and distributed to the 18,000+ readers of the international edition – the fourth issue is only published online. However, thanks to the generous support of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, over 18,000 copies of this issue has been printed and distributed. These are now on their way to front-line eye care practitioners in 184 countries worldwide. In addition, the articles will be translated into Spanish for the Community Eye Health Journal Latin American edition (which is distributed online) and will also be adapted for the South Asia edition, thereby reaching several thousand more readers in these regions.

Read the ROP issue online: www.cehjournal.org

Clare Gilbert and George SmithCaption: Professor Clare Gilbert (right) shares the ROP issue with George Smith (left) from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

About retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)

Visual loss and blindness from retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is not reversible but can be almost entirely prevented. ROP can only develop in preterm babies, as the blood vessels in their retinas are not yet fully developed at birth. ROP is more likely to develop if these babies receive too much oxygen, acquire infection, do not gain enough weight, or are otherwise unstable in the first few days and weeks of life.

About the Community Eye Health Journal

The Community Eye Health Journal is a quarterly publication for ophthalmologists, doctors and mid-level personnel (nurses, clinical officers and cataract surgeons) working in low- and middle-income countries worldwide. Every year, three out of four issues of the international edition are posted to over 18,000 readers in 184 countries, free of charge. More than 5,000 individuals receive our email newsletter, and PDF copies are available online in HTML and on PDF for free download. Visit www.cehjournal.org.

Each issue has a specific topic. Topics are adapted and/or translated to create editions for Latin America, Francophone Africa, and South Asia, which together reach an additional 8,000 readers.

The journal is published by the International Centre for Eye Health: iceh.lshtm.ac.uk based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: lshtm.ac.uk

About the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is a charitable foundation established in 2012 to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s sixty-year contribution to the Commonwealth. The Trust is working with the Government of India, the Public Health Foundation of India and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to increase awareness of the condition across India and develop programmes to detect and treat ROP, and so prevent more young children from needlessly going blind. Visit www.jubileetribute.org

The journal teamCaption (left to right): Lance Bellers (Designer), Elmien Wolvaardt Ellison (Editor), and Anita Shah (Editorial Assistant)

Contacts:

Professor Clare Gilbert (consulting editor)  +44 (0)20 7958-8332

Elmien Wolvaardt Ellison (editor) +44 789 734-6728

Posted in News | Comments Off on NEW ISSUE – Community Eye Health Journal: Retinopathy of prematurity: it is time to take action