Village health workers in Bihar, India: an untapped resource in the struggle against kala-azar.

Autor(es): Malaviya P Hasker E Singh RP Van Geertruyden JP Boelaert M Sundar S Fuente:1 Trop Med Int Health;18(2): 188-93, 2013 Feb.

INTRODUCTION: In 2005 a visceral leishmaniasis (VL) elimination initiative was launched on the Indian subcontinent; important components of early case finding and treatment are entrusted to the primary health care system (PHC). In an earlier study in Bihar, India, we discovered some major shortcomings in implementation, in particular related to monitoring of treatment and treatment outcomes. These shortcomings could be addressed through involvement of village health workers. In the current study we assessed knowledge, attitude and practice of these village health workers in relation to VL. Main objective was to assess the feasibility of their involvement in VL control. METHODS: We obtained a list of auxiliary nurses/midwives and accredited social health activists for the highly endemic district of Muzaffarpur. We randomly sampled 100 auxiliary nurses and 100 activists, who were visited in their homes for an interview. Questions were asked on knowledge, attitude and practice related to visceral leishmaniasis and to tuberculosis. RESULTS: Auxiliary nurses and activists know the presenting symptoms of visceral leishmaniasis, they know how it is diagnosed but they are not aware of the recommended first-line treatment. Many are already involved in tuberculosis control and are very well aware of the treatment modalities of tuberculosis, but few are involved in control of visceral leishmaniasis control. They are well organised, have strong links to the primary healthcare system and are ready to get more involved in visceral leishmaniasis control. CONCLUSION: To ensure adequate monitoring of visceral leishmaniasis treatment and treatment outcomes, the control programme urgently needs to consider involving auxiliary nurses and activists.

Asunto(s): Antiprotozoarios/uso terapéutico Agentes Comunitarios de Salud/organización & administración Recursos en Salud/organización & administración Control de Insectos/métodos Leishmaniasis Visceral/prevención & control Auxiliares de Enfermería/organización & administración Servicios Rurales de Salud/organización & administración Adulto Escolaridad Femenino Conocimientos, Actitudes y Práctica en Salud Humanos India/epidemiología Control de Insectos/normas Leishmaniasis Visceral/epidemiología Mediana Edad Salud Pública Resultado del Tratamiento

Categorías: Investigaciones

Barriers to community case management of malaria in Saraya, Senegal: training, and supply-chains.

Autor(es): Blanas DA Ndiaye Y Nichols K Jensen A Siddiqui A Hennig N Fuente:1 Malar J;12: 95, 2013.

BACKGROUND: Health workers in sub-Saharan Africa can now diagnose and treat malaria in the field, using rapid diagnostic tests and artemisinin-based combination therapy in areas without microscopy and widespread resistance to previously effective drugs. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates communities' perceptions of a new community case management of malaria programme in the district of Saraya, south-eastern Senegal, the effectiveness of lay health worker trainings, and the availability of rapid diagnostic tests and artemisinin-based combination therapy in the field. METHODS: The study employed qualitative and quantitative methods including focus groups with villagers, and pre- and post-training questionnaires with lay health workers. RESULTS: Communities approved of the community case management programme, but expressed concern about other general barriers to care, particularly transportation challenges. Most lay health workers acquired important skills, but a sizeable minority did not understand the rapid diagnostic test algorithm and were not able to correctly prescribe arteminisin-based combination therapy soon after the training. Further, few women lay health workers participated in the programme. Finally, the study identified stock-outs of rapid tests and anti-malaria medication products in over half of the programme sites two months after the start of the programme, thought due to a regional shortage. CONCLUSION: This study identified barriers to implementation of the community case management of malaria programme in Saraya that include lay health worker training, low numbers of women participants, and generalized stock-outs. These barriers warrant investigation into possible solutions of relevance to community case management generally.

Asunto(s): Manejo de Caso/organización & administración Agentes Comunitarios de Salud/educación Servicios de Salud/recursos humanos Servicios de Salud/provisión & distribución Malaria/diagnóstico Malaria/quimioterapia Adulto Femenino Grupos Focales Conocimientos, Actitudes y Práctica en Salud Humanos Masculino Mediana Edad Cuestionarios Población Rural Senegal

Categorías: Investigaciones

Implementation challenges of maternal health care in Ghana: the case of health care providers in the Tamale Metropolis

Abstract Background

Achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of improving maternal health has become a focus in recent times for the majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana’s maternal mortality is still high indicating that there are challenges in the provision of quality maternal health care at the facility level. This study examined the implementation challenges of maternal health care services in the Tamale Metropolis of Ghana.

Methods

Purposive sampling was used to select study participants and qualitative strategies, including in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and review of documents employed for data collection. The study participants included midwives (24) and health managers (4) at the facility level.

Results

The study revealed inadequate in-service training, limited knowledge of health policies by midwives, increased workload, risks of infection, low motivation, inadequate labour wards, problems with transportation, and difficulties in following the procurement act, among others as some of the challenges confronting the successful implementation of the MDGs targeting maternal and child health in the Tamale Metropolis.

Conclusions

Implementation of maternal health interventions should take into consideration the environment or the context under which the interventions are implemented by health care providers to ensure they are successful. The study recommends involving midwives in the health policy development process to secure their support and commitment towards successful implementation of maternal health interventions.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Foreign-born health workers in Australia: an analysis of census data

Abstract Background

Provide an up-to-date national picture of the medical, midwifery and nursing workforce distribution in Australia with a focus on overseas immigration and on production sustainability challenges.

Methods

Using 2006 and 2011 Australian census data, analysis was conducted on medical practitioners (doctors) and on midwifery and nursing professionals.

Results

Of the 70,231 medical practitioners in Australia in 2011, 32,919 (47.3%) were Australian-born, with the next largest groups bring born in South Asia and Southeast Asia. In 2006, 51.9% of medical practitioners were born in Australia. Of the 239,924 midwifery and nursing professionals in Australia, 127,911 (66.8%) were born in Australia, with the next largest groups being born in the United Kingdom and Ireland and in Southeast Asia. In 2006, 69.8% of midwifery and nursing professionals were born in Australia. Western Australia has the highest percentage of foreign-born health workers. There is a higher percentage of Australia-born health workers in rural areas than in urban areas (82% of midwifery and nursing professional in rural areas are Australian-born versus 59% in urban areas). Of the 15,168 additional medical practitioners in Australia between the 2006 and 2011 censuses, 10,452 (68.9%) were foreign-born, including large increases from such countries as India, Nepal, Philippines, and Zimbabwe. We estimate that Australia has saved US$1.7 billion in medical education costs through the arrival of foreign-born medical practitioners over the past five years.

Conclusions

The Australian health system is increasingly reliant on foreign-born health workers. This raises questions of medical education sustainability in Australia and on Australia’s recruitment from countries facing critical shortages of health workers.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Neonatal health in Nepal: analysis of absolute and relative inequalities and impact of current efforts to reduce neonatal mortality

Abstract Background

Nepal has made substantial progress in reducing under-five mortality and is on track to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4, but advances in neonatal health are less encouraging. The objectives of this study were to assess relative and absolute inequalities in neonatal mortality over time, and to review experience with major programs to promote neonatal health.

Methods

Using four nationally representative surveys conducted in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011, we calculated neonatal mortality rates for Nepal and for population groups based on child sex, geographical and socio-economic variables using a true cohort log probability approach. Inequalities based on different variables and years were assessed using rate differences (rd) and rate ratios (rr); time trends in neonatal mortality were measured using the annual rate of reduction. Through literature searches and expert consultation, information on Nepalese policies and programs implemented since 1990 and directly or indirectly attempting to reduce neonatal mortality was compiled. Data on timeline, coverage and effectiveness were extracted for major programs.

Results

The annual rate of reduction for neonatal mortality between 1996 and 2011 (2.8 percent per annum) greatly lags behind the achievements in under-five and infant mortality, and varies across population groups. For the year 2011, stark absolute and relative inequalities in neonatal mortality exist in relation to wealth status (rd = 21.4, rr = 2.2); these are less pronounced for other measures of socio-economic status, child sex and urban–rural residence, ecological and development region. Among many efforts to promote child and maternal health, three established programs and two pilot programs emerged as particularly relevant to reducing neonatal mortality. While these were designed based on national and international evidence, information about coverage of different population groups and effectiveness is limited.

Conclusion

Neonatal mortality varies greatly by socio-demographic variables. This study clearly shows that much remains to be achieved in terms of reducing neonatal mortality across different socio-economic, ethnic and geographical population groups in Nepal. In moving forward it will be important to scale up programs of proven effectiveness, conduct in-depth evaluation of promising new approaches, target unreached and hard-to-reach populations, and maximize use of financial and personnel resources through integration across programs.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Provider perspectives on constraints in providing maternal, neonatal and child health services in the Lao People’s democratic republic: a qualitative study

Abstract Background

To reduce its high maternal and neonatal mortality rate and meet Millennium Development Goals four and five, Lao PDR has adopted a national ‘Strategy and Planning Framework of Implementation of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Services’. This paper reports on implementation constraints identified in three demonstration sites.

Methods

The objectives of this paper are to analyse health worker perceptions of the implementation of the strategy and constraints faced during implementation. A qualitative design was used with interviews conducted at health facilities in three demonstration provinces. Data were collected through key interviews with provincial/district hospital providers (n = 27), health centre staff (n = 8) and village health volunteers (n = 10). Data was analysed informed by Hanson et al’s health system constraint framework.

Results

In each of the demonstration sites, the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health program was generally well-understood and the different activities were being implemented. Perceived implementation constraints related mainly to a mix of supply and demand factors. Supply-side constraints related to inadequate human resources, poor remuneration, weak technical guidance, minimal supervision and limited equipment. Demand-side constraints related mainly to cost, limited access to transport, cultural practices and language. Other constraints related to broader strategic management and cross-sectoral contextual constraints. Contextual constraints included low levels of limited education, women’s position in society and poor transport and communications networks. These factors influenced the implementation process and if not addressed, may reduce the effectiveness of the policy and scale-up.

Conclusion

The Lao PDR has a well-defined Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health program. Analysis of the constraints experienced by service providers in implementing the program however, is essential for scaling-up the initiative. To achieve effective implementation and scale-up a number of concurrent interventions are needed to address identified constraints. More research is needed to identify the optimal combination of interventions to improve these constraints. The broader contextual characteristics require longer-term, cross-sectoral action.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Training for health services and systems research in Sub-Saharan Africa - a case study at four East and Southern African Universities

Abstract Background

The need to develop capacity for health services and systems research (HSSR) in low and middle income countries has been highlighted in a number of international forums. However, little is known about the level of HSSR training in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We conducted an assessment at four major East and Southern African universities to describe: a) the numbers of HSSR PhD trainees at these institutions, b) existing HSSR curricula and mode of delivery, and c) motivating and challenging factors for PhD training, from the trainees’ experience.

Methods

PhD training program managers completed a pre-designed form about trainees enrolled since 2006. A desk review of existing health curricula was also conducted to identify HSSR modules being offered; and PhD trainees completed a self-administered questionnaire on motivating and challenging factors they may have experienced during their PhD training.

Results

Of the 640 PhD trainees enrolled in the health sciences since 2006, only 24 (3.8%) were in an HSSR field. None of the universities had a PhD training program focusing on HSSR. The 24 HSSR PhD trainees had trained in partnership with a university outside Africa. Top motivating factors for PhD training were: commitment of supervisors (67%), availability of scholarships (63%), and training attached to a research grant (25%). Top challenging factors were: procurement delays (44%), family commitments (38%), and poor Internet connection (35%).

Conclusion

The number of HSSR PhD trainees is at the moment too small to enable a rapid accumulation of the required critical mass of locally trained HSSR professionals to drive the much needed health systems strengthening and innovations in this region. Curricula for advanced HSSR training are absent, exposing a serious training gap for HSSR in this region.

Categorías: Investigaciones

A survey of the sociodemographic and educational characteristics of oral health technicians in public primary health care teams in Minas Gerais, Brazil

Abstract Background

To describe some sociodemographic and educational characteristics of oral health technicians (OHTs) in public primary health care teams in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Methods

A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed based on the telephone survey of a representative sample comprising 231 individuals. A pre-tested instrument was used for the data collection, including questions on gender, age in years, years of work as an OHT, years since graduation as an OHT, formal schooling, individual income in a month, and participation in continuing educational programmes. The descriptive statistic was developed and the formation of clusters, by the agglomerative hierarchy technique based on the furthest neighbour, was based on the age, years of work as an OHT, time since graduation as an OHT, formal schooling, individual income in a month, and participation in continuing educational programmes.

Results

Most interviewees (97.1%) were female. A monthly income of USD 300.00 to 600.00 was reported by 77.5% of the sample. Having educational qualifications in excess of their role was reported by approximately 20% of the participants. The median time since graduation was six years, and half of the sample had worked for four years as an OHT. Most interviewees (67.6%) reported having participated in professional continuing educational programmes. Two different clusters were identified based on the sociodemographic and educational characteristics of the sample.

Conclusions

The Brazilian OHTs in public primary health care teams in the state of Minas Gerais are mostly female who have had little time since graduation, working experience, and formal schooling sufficient for professional practice.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Implementing large-scale workforce change: learning from 55 pilot sites of allied health workforce redesign in Queensland, Australia

Abstract Background

Increasingly, health workforces are undergoing high-level ‘re-engineering’ to help them better meet the needs of the population, workforce and service delivery. Queensland Health implemented a large scale 5-year workforce redesign program across more than 13 health-care disciplines. This study synthesized the findings from this program to identify and codify mechanisms associated with successful workforce redesign to help inform other large workforce projects.

Methods

This study used Inductive Logic Reasoning (ILR), a process that uses logic models as the primary functional tool to develop theories of change, which are subsequently validated through proposition testing. Initial theories of change were developed from a systematic review of the literature and synthesized using a logic model. These theories of change were then developed into propositions and subsequently tested empirically against documentary, interview, and survey data from 55 projects in the workforce redesign program.

Results

Three overarching principles were identified that optimized successful workforce redesign: (1) drivers for change need to be close to practice; (2) contexts need to be supportive both at the local levels and legislatively; and (3) mechanisms should include appropriate engagement, resources to facilitate change management, governance, and support structures. Attendance to these factors was uniformly associated with success of individual projects.

Conclusions

ILR is a transparent and reproducible method for developing and testing theories of workforce change. Despite the heterogeneity of projects, professions, and approaches used, a consistent set of overarching principles underpinned success of workforce change interventions. These concepts have been operationalized into a workforce change checklist.

Categorías: Investigaciones

The value of survival analyses for evidence-based rural medical workforce planning

Abstract Background

Globally, abundant opportunities exist for policymakers to improve the accessibility of rural and remote populations to primary health care through improving workforce retention. This paper aims to identify and quantify the most important factors associated with rural and remote Australian family physician turnover, and to demonstrate how evidence generated by survival analysis of health workforce data can inform rural workforce policy making.

Methods

A secondary analysis of longitudinal data collected by the New South Wales (NSW) Rural Doctors Network for all family physicians working in rural or remote NSW between January 1st 2003 and December 31st 2012 was performed. The Prentice, Williams and Peterson statistical model for survival analysis was used to identify and quantify risk factors for rural NSW family physician turnover.

Results

Multivariate modelling revealed a higher (2.65-fold) risk of family physician turnover in small, remote locations compared to that in small closely settled locations. Family physicians who graduated from countries other than Australia, United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand, Ireland, and Canada also had a higher (1.45-fold) risk of turnover compared to Australian trained family physicians. This was after adjusting for the effects of conditional registration. Procedural skills and public hospital admitting rights were associated with a lower risk of turnover. These risks translate to a predicted median survival of 11 years for Australian-trained family physician non-proceduralists with hospital admitting rights working in small coastal closely settled locations compared to 3 years for family physicians in remote locations.

Conclusions

This study provides rigorous empirical evidence of the strong association between population size and geographical location and the retention of family physicians in rural and remote NSW. This has important policy ramifications since retention grants for rural and remote family physicians in Australia are currently based on a geographical ‘remoteness’ classification rather than population size. In addition, this study demonstrates how survival analysis assists health workforce planning, such as through generating evidence to assist in benchmarking ‘reasonable’ lengths of practice in different geographic settings that might guide service obligation requirements.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Applying the workload indicators of staffing need (WISN) method in Namibia: challenges and implications for human resources for health policy

Abstract Introduction

As part of ongoing efforts to restructure the health sector and improve health care quality, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) in Namibia sought to update staffing norms for health facilities. To establish an evidence base for the new norms, the MoHSS supported the first-ever national application of the Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) method, a human resource management tool developed by the World Health Organization.

Application

The WISN method calculates the number of health workers per cadre, based on health facility workload. It provides two indicators to assess staffing: (1) the gap/excess between current and required number of staff, and (2) the WISN ratio, a measure of workload pressure. Namibian WISN calculations focused on four cadres (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy assistants) and all four levels of public facilities (clinics, health centers, district hospitals, intermediate hospitals). WISN steps included establishing a task force; conducting a regional pilot; holding a national validation workshop; field verifying data; collecting, uploading, processing, and analyzing data; and providing feedback to policy-makers.

Challenges

The task force faced two challenges requiring time and effort to solve: WISN software-related challenges and unavailability of some data at the national level.

Findings

WISN findings highlighted health worker shortages and inequities in their distribution. Overall, staff shortages are most profound for doctors and pharmacists. Although the country has an appropriate number of nurses, the nurse workforce is skewed towards hospitals, which are adequately or slightly overstaffed relative to nurses’ workloads. Health centers and, in particular, clinics both have gaps between current and required number of nurses. Inequities in nursing staff also exist between and within regions. Finally, the requirement for nurses varies greatly between less and more busy clinics (range = 1 to 7) and health centers (range = 2 to 57).

Policy implications

The utility of the WISN health workforce findings has prompted the MoHSS to seek approval for use of WISN in human resources for health policy decisions and practices. The MoHSS will focus on revising staffing norms; improving staffing equity across regions and facility types; ensuring an appropriate skill mix at each level; and estimating workforce requirements for new cadres.

Categorías: Investigaciones

A cycle of brain gain, waste and drain - a qualitative study of non-EU migrant doctors in Ireland

Abstract Background

Ireland is heavily reliant on non-EU migrant health workers to staff its health system. Shortages of locally trained health workers and policies which facilitate health worker migration have contributed to this trend. This paper provides insight into the experiences of non-EU migrant doctors in the Irish health workforce.

Method

In-depth interviews were conducted with 37 non-EU migrant doctors in Ireland in 2011/2012.

Results

Respondents believed they had been recruited to fill junior hospital doctor ‘service’ posts. These posts are unpopular with locally trained doctors due to the limited career progression they provide. Respondents felt that their hopes for career progression and postgraduate training in Ireland had gone unrealised and that they were becoming de-skilled. As a result, most respondents were actively considering onward migration from Ireland.

Discussion & conclusions

Failure to align the expectations of non-EU migrant doctors with the requirements of the health system has resulted in considerable frustration and a cycle of brain gain, waste and drain. The underlying reasons for high mobility into and out of the Irish medical workforce must be addressed if this cycle is to be broken. The heavy reliance on non-EU migrant doctors to staff the medical workforce has distracted from the underlying workforce challenges facing the Irish medical workforce.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Strengthening research capacity through the medical education partnership initiative: the Mozambique experience

Abstract Background

Since Mozambique’s independence, the major emphasis of its higher educational institutions has been on didactic education. Because of fiscal and human resource constraints, basic and applied research activities have been relatively modest in scope, and priorities have often been set primarily by external collaborators. These factors have compromised the scope and the relevance of locally conducted research and have limited the impact of Mozambique’s universities as major catalysts for national development.

Case description

We developed a multi-institutional partnership to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the research environment at Mozambique’s major public universities to identify factors that have served as barriers to the development of a robust research enterprise. Based on this analysis, we developed a multifaceted plan to reduce the impact of these barriers and to enhance research capacity within Mozambique.

Interventions

On the basis of our needs assessment, we have implemented a number of major initiatives within participating institutions to facilitate basic and applied research activities. These have included specialized training programmes, a reorganization of the research administration infrastructure, the development of multiple collaborative research projects that have emphasized local research priorities and a substantial investment in bioinformatics. We have established a research support centre that provides grant development and management services to Mozambique’s public universities and have developed an independent Institutional Review Board for the review of research involving human research subjects. Multiple research projects involving both communicable and non-communicable diseases have been developed and substantial external research support has been obtained to undertake these projects. A sizable investment in biomedical informatics has enhanced both connectivity and access to digital reference material. Active engagement with relevant entities within the Government of Mozambique has aligned institutional development with national priorities.

Conclusions

Although multiple challenges remain, over the past 3 years significant progress has been made towards establishing conditions within which a broad range of basic, translational and clinical and public health research can be undertaken. Ongoing development of this research enterprise will enhance capacity to address critical locally relevant research questions and will leverage resources to accelerate the development of Mozambique’s national universities.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Turn-over rate of academic faculty at the College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University: a 20-year analysis (1991 to 2011)

Abstract Background

Faculty turn-over affects both workers and organizations. Turnover of faculty and researchers is increasing alarmingly and costing the universities and the country at large. Fast turnover of health professionals from the health system and from academic institutions has recently received substantial attention from both academia and health sector managers. This paper calculates the faculty turnover rate at the College of Health Sciences of Addis Ababa University during the period of September 1991 to August 2011.

Methods

The study was conducted at the College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University. Retrospective analysis of employee records was done. All records of the faculty that were working in the College during the 20-year period, starting from September 1991 to August 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Data were collected from the employee records accessed from the College’s human resources database and supplemented by payroll sheets and different reports. A structured checklist was used to extract the required data from the database. The crude turnover rate for academic faculty was calculated.

Results

Within the 20-year period of September 1991 to August 2011, a total of 120 faculty members left. The overall turn-over rate was 92.8 %. The rate in the most recent five years (172 %) is 8.5 times higher than the rate for the first five years (20 %). The average retention period before the termination of an employment contract was 4.9 years. The top five departments where employment contracts were relatively higher include: Nursing 15 (15.6 %), Internal Medicine 12 (12.5%), Public Health 10 (10.4%), Pediatrics 9 (9.4%) and Surgery 9 (9.4%). About two thirds (66.6%) of the faculty who were leaving were at the ranks of assistant professorship and above.

Conclusion

This study revealed that outflow of faculty has been continuously increasing in the period reviewed. This implies that the College had been losing highly skilled professionals with considerably higher costs in monetary terms. In this regard, an urgent response is required to retain or significantly decrease the outflow of faculty. Different motivation and retention mechanisms should be identified and implemented. Various modalities of faculty development programs should also be initiated.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Right time, right place: improving access to health service through effective retention and distribution of health workers

Abstract

This editorial introduces the 'Right time, Right place: improving access to health service through effective retention and distribution of health workers’ thematic series. This series draws from studies in a range of countries and provides new insights into what can be done to improve access to health through more effective human resources policies, planning and management. The primary focus is on health workforce distribution and retention.

Categorías: Investigaciones

National program for family planning and primary health care Pakistan: a SWOT analysis

Abstract Background

The National Program for Family Planning and Primary Healthcare was launched in 1994. It is one of the largest community based programs in the world, providing primary healthcare services to about 80 million people, most of which is rural poor. The program has been instrumental in improving health related indicators of maternal and child health in the last two decades.

Methods

SWOT analysis was used by making recourse to the structure and dynamics of the program as well as searching the literature.

SWOT analysis

Strengths of the program include: comprehensive design of planning, implementation and supervision mechanisms aided by an MIS, selection and recruitments processes and evidence created through improving health impact indicators. Weaknesses identified are slow progress, poor integration of the program with health services at local levels including MIS, and de-motivational factors such as job insecurity and non-payment of salaries in time. Opportunities include further widening the coverage of services, its potential contribution to health system research, and its use in areas other than health like women empowerment and poverty alleviation. Threats the program may face are: political interference, lack of funds, social threats and implications for professional malpractices.

Conclusion

Strengthening of the program will necessitate a strong political commitment, sustained funding and a just remuneration to this bare foot doctor of Pakistan, the Lady Health Worker.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Widening disparity in the geographic distribution of pediatricians in Japan

Abstract Background

The shortage of physicians in Japan is a serious concern, particularly in specialties like pediatrics. The purpose of this study was to investigate recent changes in the geographic distribution of pediatricians and the factors underlying this change.

Methods

We investigated the numerical changes in the pediatrician workforce (2002 to 2007) per 100,000 of the population under the age of 15 years in 369 secondary medical areas throughout Japan, using attributive variables such as population size, social and economic status, and pediatric service delivery. We performed principal component analysis and multiple regression analysis.

Results

We obtained two principal components: one that reflected the degree of urbanization and another that reflected the volume of pediatric service delivery. Only the first component score was positively correlated with an increased pediatrician workforce per 100,000 of the population under the age of 15 years. We classified the secondary medical areas into four groups using component scores. The increase in pediatrician workforce during this period was primarily absorbed into the two groups with higher levels of urbanization, whereas the two rural groups exhibited little increase. Pediatricians aged 50 to 59 years increased in all four groups, whereas pediatricians aged 30 to 39 years decreased in the two rural groups and increased in the two urban groups.

Conclusions

The trends of the pediatrician workforce increase generally kept pace with urbanization, but were not associated with the original pediatrician workforce supply. The geographic distribution of pediatricians showed rapid concentration in urban areas. This trend was particularly pronounced among female pediatricians and those aged 30 to 39 years. Given that aging pediatricians in rural areas are not being replaced by younger doctors, these areas will likely face new crises when senior physicians retire.

Categorías: Investigaciones

For more than love or money: attitudes of student and in-service health workers towards rural service in India

Abstract Background

While international literature on rural retention is expanding, there is a lack of research on relevant strategies from pluralistic healthcare environments such as India, where alternate medicine is an integral component of primary care. In such contexts, there is a constant tug of war in national policy on “Which health worker is needed in rural areas?” and “Who can, realistically, be got there?” In this article, we try to inform this debate by juxtaposing perspectives of three cadres involved in primary care in India—allopathic, ayurvedic and nursing—on rural service. We also identify key incentives for improved rural retention of these cadres.

Methods

We present qualitative evidence from two states, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh. Eighty-eight in-depth interviews with students and in-service personnel were conducted between January and July 2010. Generic thematic analysis techniques were employed, and the data were organized in a framework that clustered factors linked to rural service as organizational (salary, infrastructure, career) and contextual (housing, children’s development, safety).

Results

Similar to other studies, we found that both pecuniary and non-pecuniary factors (salary, working conditions, children’s education, living conditions and safety) affect career preferences of health workers. For the allopathic cadre, rural primary care jobs commanded little respect; respondents from this cadre aimed to specialize and preferred private sector jobs. Offering preferential admission to specialist courses in exchange for a rural stint appears to be a powerful incentive for this cadre. In contrast, respondents from the Ayurvedic and nursing cadres favored public sector jobs even if this meant rural postings. For these two cadres, better salary, working and rural living conditions can increase recruitment.

Conclusions

Rural retention strategies in India have predominantly concentrated on the allopathic cadre. Our study suggests incentivizing rural service for the nursing and Ayurvedic cadres is less challenging in comparison to the allopathic cadre. Hence, there is merit in strengthening rural incentive strategies for these two cadres also. In our study, we have developed a detailed framework of rural retention factors and used this for delineating India-specific recommendations. This framework can be adapted to other similar contexts to facilitate international cross-cadre comparisons.

Categorías: Investigaciones

Associations between employee and manager gender: impacts on gender-specific risk of acute occupational injury in metal manufacturing

Abstract Background

Prior research has shown increased risk of injury for female employees compared to male employees after controlling for job and tasks, but have not explored whether this increased risk might be moderated by manager gender. The gender of one’s manager could in theory affect injury rates among male and female employees through their managers’ response to an employee’s psychosocial stress or through how employees differentially report injuries. Other explanations for the gender disparity in injury experience, such as ergonomic factors or differential training, are unlikely to be impacted by supervisor gender. This study seeks to explore whether an employee’s manager’s gender modifies the effect of employee gender with regards to risk of acute injury.

Methods

A cohort of employees and managers were identified using human resources and injury management data between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2007 for six facilities of a large US aluminum manufacturing company. Cox proportional hazards models were employed to examine the interaction between employee gender and whether the employee had female only manager(s), male only manager(s), or both male and female managers on injury risk. Manager gender category was included as a time varying covariate and reassessed for each employee at the midpoint of each year.

Results

The percentage of departments with both female and male managers increased dramatically during the study period due to corporate efforts to increase female representation in management. After adjustment for fixed effects at the facility level and shared frailty by department, manager gender category does not appear to moderate the effect of employee gender (p = 0.717). Manager category was not a significant predictor (p = 0.093) of time to first acute injury. Similarly, having at least one female manager did not modify the hazard of injury for female employees compared to males (p = 0.899) and was not a significant predictor of time to first acute injury (p = 0.601).

Conclusions

Prior findings suggest that female manufacturing employees are at higher risk for acute injury compared to males; this analysis suggests that this relationship is not affected by the gender of the employee’s manager(s).

Categorías: Investigaciones

Páginas