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New ILO Report: The World Needs More Rural Health Workers, a Lot More

On April 27, a new report released by the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) made a distressing finding: without adequate numbers of health workers, especially in rural areas, more than half of the world’s rural population—and more than three-quarters of the rural population in Africa—will go without access to effective health care in 2015.The report, entitled Global Evidence on Inequities in Rural Health Protection, was the ILO’s response to observable trends in economic disinvestment and neglect in rural health systems around the world.More than half the world’s rural population will go without effective health care in 2015. Now, with this report indicating that nearly 56% of the world’s rural population—and 83% of Africa’s rural population—live without critical health care access, the ILO has provided powerful evidence to demonstrate why strengthening the rural health workforce is imperative to filling this gap.According to the report, inadequate numbers of rural health workers is one of most crippling determinants of poor access to health services in rural areas across the globe. While approximately half of the world’s population resides in rural areas, only 23% of the health workforce is stationed here.This amounts to a deficit of approximately 7 million health workers in rural areas, comprising the vast majority of the ILO’s estimated 10.3 million global health worker deficit.*“Health workers are a prerequisite for access to health care. Without skilled health workers, no quality health services can be delivered to those in need,” asserts this report.So what do the recorded health workforce shortages mean for people’s access to life-saving health services?ILO research provides a grim response to this question: precisely because of these health workforce deficits, 50% of rural areas and 24% of urban areas lack access to the essential health services they need. 77% of Africa’s rural residents lack essential health coverage.

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Can extended cost-effectiveness analysis guide scale-up of essential health services?

Appropriate ways to prioritise investments in health services has always been a challenge for countries, with various devices used based on whether whether the rationale is mainly economic or social. The present health focus calls for both a social and economic perspective, since universal health coverage dimensions are built from both viewpoints. In their Article in The Lancet Global Health, Stéphane Verguet and colleagues present interesting perspectives about the prioritisation of services as countries move towards universal health coverage.

Cynthia GoldsmithThis colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image.Where is Ebola virus found in nature?The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.

With Many U.S.-Built Ebola Treatment Units Empty, Health Officials Draw Lessons From Epidemic…

New York Times: Empty Ebola Clinics in Liberia Are Seen as Misstep in U.S. Relief Effort “…The [U.S. military’s] emphasis on constructing [Ebola] treatment centers — so widely championed last year — ended up having much less impact than the inexpensive, nimble measures taken by residents to halt the outbreak, many officials say. Liberia could…More

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New ILO Report: The World Needs More Rural Health Workers, a Lot More

800px-Community_health_worker_gives_a_vaccination_in_Odisha_state,_India_(8380317750)

On April 27, a new report released by the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) made a distressing finding: without adequate numbers of health workers, especially in rural areas, more than half of the world’s rural population—and more than three-quarters of the rural population in Africa—will go without access to effective health care in 2015.The report, entitled Global Evidence on Inequities in Rural Health Protection, was the ILO’s response to observable trends in economic disinvestment and neglect in rural health systems around the world.More than half the world’s rural population will go without effective health care in 2015. Now, with this report indicating that nearly 56% of the world’s rural population—and 83% of Africa’s rural population—live without critical health care access, the ILO has provided powerful evidence to demonstrate why strengthening the rural health workforce is imperative to filling this gap.According to the report, inadequate numbers of rural health workers is one of most crippling determinants of poor access to health services in rural areas across the globe. While approximately half of the world’s population resides in rural areas, only 23% of the health workforce is stationed here.This amounts to a deficit of approximately 7 million health workers in rural areas, comprising the vast majority of the ILO’s estimated 10.3 million global health worker deficit.*“Health workers are a prerequisite for access to health care. Without skilled health workers, no quality health services can be delivered to those in need,” asserts this report.So what do the recorded health workforce shortages mean for people’s access to life-saving health services?ILO research provides a grim response to this question: precisely because of these health workforce deficits, 50% of rural areas and 24% of urban areas lack access to the essential health services they need. 77% of Africa’s rural residents lack essential health coverage.


International Community Must Invest More In Vaccines, Reduce Gaps In Access

Huffington Post: The Steps It Will Take to Get Every Child Vaccinated Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “…The global health community must work together in three major ways to reach our immunization targets. We must ensure that vaccine supplies are affordable and sustainable. We must continue to…More


Open Letter to The Media, re: Nepal Earthquake

Aid workers, you know how this goes. In approximately one year, the media is going too be all up in our grill. Why? Because after a gazillion dollars in aid, Kathmandu will still not look like Singapore; some people will still be living in tents (as opposed to two-storey modular homes with Direct TV and […]


Incentives for non-physician health professionals to work in the rural and remote areas of…

Background: Successfully motivating and retaining health workers is critical for the effective performance of health systems.


USAID Announces New Approach To Purchasing, Distributing Medicines, Supplies

USAID: New Global Health Approach to Reach Millions More People with Lifesaving Medicines “The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today a new approach to purchasing and distributing life-saving medicine and health supplies. USAID will use data analytics and innovative tools to drive-down the price of medicines and increase delivery speed. As funding for…More


New York Times Letters To The Editor Address U.S., International Responses To Ebola Epidemic

New York Times: Letters to the Editor: The American Response to Ebola Multiple authors Multiple authors, including Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID; Sebastian Kevany, a research associate at the Institute for Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy at UCSF; and Jonathan Quick, president and chief executive of Management Sciences…More


USAID Supports Programs To Prevent, Treat, Eliminate NTDs

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Ending the ‘Neglect’ in Neglected Tropical Diseases Rabab Pettitt, a senior communications advisor at USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, and Katherine Sanchez, a knowledge manager for USAID’s END in Africa Project, managed by FHI360, discuss USAID’s efforts to end neglected tropical diseases through the support of the delivery of preventive drug treatments, “support…More


Can extended cost-effectiveness analysis guide scale-up of essential health services?

Image doctorinteraction.png

Appropriate ways to prioritise investments in health services has always been a challenge for countries, with various devices used based on whether whether the rationale is mainly economic or social. The present health focus calls for both a social and economic perspective, since universal health coverage dimensions are built from both viewpoints. In their Article in The Lancet Global Health, Stéphane Verguet and colleagues present interesting perspectives about the prioritisation of services as countries move towards universal health coverage.


News Outlets Highlight 60th Anniversary Of Salk Polio Vaccine, Report On Microneedle Patch…

CNN: 60 years after a vaccine, new technology may finally eradicate polio “Over the last few years, we’ve been close to eradicating worldwide polio without full success. However, a new medical technology, an easily applied microneedle patch, could be the key to that goal. The biggest challenge standing in the way of eradicating polio has…More


With Many U.S.-Built Ebola Treatment Units Empty, Health Officials Draw Lessons From Epidemic…

Cynthia GoldsmithThis colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image.Where is Ebola virus found in nature?The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.

New York Times: Empty Ebola Clinics in Liberia Are Seen as Misstep in U.S. Relief Effort “…The [U.S. military’s] emphasis on constructing [Ebola] treatment centers — so widely championed last year — ended up having much less impact than the inexpensive, nimble measures taken by residents to halt the outbreak, many officials say. Liberia could…More


Seeing the Big Picture Just Became Easier with Ultrasound

MDG Women Deliver maternal health

Providing high quality antenatal care for expectant Mothers is a fundamental part of ensuring a safe delivery, and a healthy mom postpartum. In order to do that, some innovative products have been introduced for low resource settings. There’s no denying the importance of ultrasound technology during pregnancy. However, until fairly recently, it has been out of reach for many caregivers due to high cost, or complex application. We’re very pleased to announce that has all changed


‘New Architecture For Global Health Delivery’ Should Result From Ebola Epidemic

New York Times: Yes, We Were Warned About Ebola Bernice Dahn, chief medical officer of Liberia’s Ministry of Health; Vera Mussah, director of county health services in Liberia’s Ministry of Health; and Cameron Nutt, Ebola response adviser to Paul Farmer at Partners in Health “The conventional wisdom among public health authorities is that the Ebola…More


Africa Must Prepare for Aging Population Now

elder

As countries like Japan and Italy prepare for the challenges of the current aging population, African countries are focusing on the need for youth empowerment. Read More


Six principles to enhance health workforce flexibility

This paper proposes approaches to breaking down the boundaries that reduce the ability of the health workforce to respond to population needs, or workforce flexibility.Accessible health services require sufficient numbers and types of skilled workers to meet population needs.


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