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Using a theory of change in monitoring, evaluating and steering scale-up of a district-level health management strengthening intervention in Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda – lessons from the PERFORM2Scale consortium

sex, 05/08/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Since 2017, PERFORM2Scale, a research consortium with partners from seven countries in Africa and Europe, has steered the implementation and scale-up of a district-level health management strengthening intervention in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda. This article presents PERFORM2Scale’s theory of change (ToC) and reflections upon and adaptations of the ToC over time. The article aims to contribute to understanding the benefits and challenges of using a ToC-based approach for monitoring and evaluating the scale-up of health system strengthening interventions, because there is limited documentation of this in the literature.

Methods

The consortium held annual ToC reflections that entailed multiple participatory methods, including individual scoring exercises, country and consortium-wide group discussions and visualizations. The reflections were captured in detailed annual reports, on which this article is based.

Results

The PERFORM2Scale ToC describes how the management strengthening intervention, which targets district health management teams, was expected to improve health workforce performance and service delivery at scale, and which assumptions were instrumental to track over time. The annual ToC reflections proved valuable in gaining a nuanced understanding of how change did (and did not) happen. This helped in strategizing on actions to further steer the scale-up the intervention. It also led to adaptations of the ToC over time. Based on the annual reflections, these actions and adaptations related to: assessing the scalability of the intervention, documentation and dissemination of evidence about the effects of the intervention, understanding power relationships between key stakeholders, the importance of developing and monitoring a scale-up strategy and identification of opportunities to integrate (parts of) the intervention into existing structures and strategies.

Conclusions

PERFORM2Scale’s experience provides lessons for using ToCs to monitor and evaluate the scale-up of health system strengthening interventions. ToCs can help in establishing a common vision on intervention scale-up. ToC-based approaches should include a variety of stakeholders and require their continued commitment to reflection and learning on intervention implementation and scale-up. ToC-based approaches can help in adapting interventions as well as scale-up processes to be in tune with contextual changes and stakeholders involved, to potentially increase chances for successful scale-up.

Categorias: Investigaciones

The Mentor-Mothers program in the Nigeria Department of Defense: policies, processes, and implementation

qua, 03/08/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and is one of the countries with the highest rates of new pediatric infections in sub-Saharan Africa. The country faces several challenges in the provision of healthcare services and coverage of Prevention of Mother to child transmission of HIV. In the Nigeria’s Department of Defense, prevention of vertically transmitted HIV infections has been given a boost by utilizing Mentor Mothers to facilitate antiretroviral compliance and retention in care. The aim of this study was to explore those processes and policies that guide the implementation of the Mentor Mothers program for PMTCT of HIV in the Department of Defense in Nigeria as no studies have examined this so far.

Methods

The descriptive, qualitative research approach was utilized. We conducted 7 key informants interviews with 7 purposively selected participants made up of 2 program Directors, 1 Doctor, 1 PMTCT focal Nurse, 1 PMTCT site coordinator, 1 Mentor Mother, and 1 patient from one each of the health facilities of the Army, Navy, Airforce and the Defence Headquarters Medical Centre. Open coding for major themes and sub-themes was done. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results

Findings revealed that the program in the Department of Defense had been modelled after the WHO and implementing partners’ guidelines. Foundational Factors; Leadership; Skill acquisition; and Service Characteristics emerged as processes guiding the implementation of the Mentor-Mothers program in the DoD. These findings supported the Mentor Mother Model, which empowers mothers living with HIV – through education and employment – to promote access to essential PMTCT services and medical care to HIV positive pregnant women.

Conclusion

We concluded that no definitive policy establishes the Mentor Mothers program in the DoD. Working with Doctors, Nurses, local & collaborating partners, and communities in which these hospitals are located, the Mentor Mothers play a pivotal role in the formation, facilitation, and implementation of the MM model to effectively decrease HIV infections in children and reduce child and maternal mortality in women and families they interact with.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Assessing the scalability of a health management-strengthening intervention at the district level: a qualitative study in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda

sab, 30/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

The scale-up of successfully tested public health interventions is critical to achieving universal health coverage. To ensure optimal use of resources, assessment of the scalability of an intervention is recognized as a crucial step in the scale-up process. This study assessed the scalability of a tested health management-strengthening intervention (MSI) at the district level in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda.

Methods

Qualitative interviews were conducted with intervention users (district health management teams, DHMTs) and implementers of the scale-up of the intervention (national-level actors) in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda, before and 1 year after the scale-up had started. To assess the scalability of the intervention, the CORRECT criteria from WHO/ExpandNet were used during analysis.

Results

The MSI was seen as credible, as regional- and national-level Ministry of Health officials were championing the intervention. While documented evidence on intervention effectiveness was limited, district- and national-level stakeholders seemed to be convinced of the value of the intervention. This was based on its observed positive results regarding management competencies, teamwork and specific aspects of health workforce performance and service delivery. The perceived need for strengthening of management capacity and service delivery showed the relevance of the intervention, and relative advantages of the intervention were its participatory and sustainable nature. Turnover within the DHMTs and limited (initial) management capacity were factors complicating implementation. The intervention was not contested and was seen as compatible with (policy) priorities at the national level.

Conclusion

We conclude that the MSI is scalable. However, to enhance its scalability, certain aspects should be adapted to better fit the context in which the intervention is being scaled up. Greater involvement of regional and national actors alongside improved documentation of results of the intervention can facilitate scale-up. Continuous assessment of the scalability of the intervention with all stakeholders involved is necessary, as context, stakeholders and priorities may change. Therefore, adaptations of the intervention might be required. The assessment of scalability, preferably as part of the monitoring of a scale-up strategy, enables critical reflections on next steps to make the intervention more scalable and the scale-up more successful.

Categorias: Investigaciones

The development of task sharing policy and guidelines in Kenya

sex, 29/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

The global critical shortage of health workers prevents expansion of healthcare services and universal health coverage. Like most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya’s healthcare workforce density of 13.8 health workers per 10,000 population falls below the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of at least 44.5 doctors, nurses, and midwives per 10,000 population. In response to the health worker shortage, the WHO recommends task sharing, a strategy that can increase access to quality health services. To improve the utilization of human and financial health resources in Kenya for HIV and other essential health services, the Kenya Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with various institutions developed national task sharing policy and guidelines (TSP). To advance task sharing, this article describes the process of developing, adopting, and implementing the Kenya TSP.

Case presentation

The development and approval of Kenya’s TSP occurred from February 2015 to May 2017. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allocated funding to Emory University through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Advancing Children’s Treatment initiative. After obtaining support from leadership in Kenya’s MOH and health professional institutions, the TSP team conducted a desk review of policies, guidelines, scopes of practice, task analyses, grey literature, and peer-reviewed research. Subsequently, a Policy Advisory Committee was established to guide the process and worked collaboratively to form technical working groups that arrived at consensus and drafted the policy. The collaborative, multidisciplinary process led to the identification of gaps in service delivery resulting from health workforce shortages. This facilitated the development of the Kenya TSP, which provides a general orientation of task sharing in Kenya. The guidelines list priority tasks for sharing by various cadres as informed by evidence, such as HIV testing and counseling tasks. The TSP documents were disseminated to all county healthcare facilities in Kenya, yet implementation was stopped by order of the judiciary in 2019 after a legal challenge from an association of medical laboratorians.

Conclusions

Task sharing may increase access to healthcare services in resource-limited settings. To advance task sharing, TSP and clinical practice could be harmonized, and necessary adjustments made to other policies that regulate practice (e.g., scopes of practice). Revisions to pre-service training curricula could be conducted to ensure health professionals have the requisite competencies to perform shared tasks. Monitoring and evaluation can help ensure that task sharing is implemented appropriately to ensure quality outcomes.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Experience of a telehealth and education program with maternal and perinatal outcomes in a low-resource region in Colombia

sex, 29/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Introduction

Maternal morbidity and mortality rates associated with perinatal care remain a significant public health concern. Rural populations from low and middle-income countries have multiple barriers to access that contribute to a lack of adherence to prenatal care, and high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. An intervention model based on telehealth and education was implemented between a tertiary high complex care hospital and a second-level hospital from a limited source region.

Objectives

We sought to identify an association in maternal and perinatal care quality indicators after implementing a model based on telehealth and education for patients with obstetric emergencies between two hospitals in a southwestern region of Colombia.

Methods

We conducted an ecological study between 2017 and 2019 to compare before and after obstetric emergency care through telemedicine from a secondary care center (Hospital Francisco de Paula Santander-HFPS) to the referral center (Fundación Valle del Lili-FVL). The intervention included verification visits to determine the installed capacity of care, a concerted improvement plan, and on-site educational training modules in obstetric and perinatal care.

Results

There were 102 and 148 patients treated before and after telemedicine implementation respectively. Clinical indicators after model implementation showed a reduction in perinatal mortality of 29%. In addition, a reduction in the need for transfusion of blood products due to postpartum hemorrhage was observed as well as the rate of eclampsia.

Conclusions

Implementing a model based on telehealth and education between secondary and tertiary care centers allowed the strengthening of the security of care in obstetric emergencies and had a positive effect on perinatal mortality.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Does inter-border conflict influence the views of task sharing among community health volunteers in Nigeria? A qualitative study

sab, 23/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Volunteer community health workers are increasingly being engaged in Nigeria, through the World Health Organization’s task sharing strategy. This strategy aims to address gaps in human resources for health, including inequitable distribution of health workers. Recent conflicts in rural and fragile border communities in northcentral Nigeria create challenges for volunteer community health workers to meet their community's increasing health needs. This study aimed to explore the perception of volunteers involved in task sharing to understand factors affecting performance and delivery in such contexts.

Methods

This was a qualitative study conducted in fragile border communities in north central Nigeria. Eighteen audio recorded, semi-structured interviews with volunteers and supervisors were performed. Their perceptions on how task sharing and allocation of tasks affect performance and delivery were elucidated. The transactional social framework was applied during the thematic analysis process to generate an explanatory account of the research data, which was analysed using NVivo software.

Results

Promotive and preventive tasks were shared among the predominantly agrarian respondents. There was a structured task allocation process that linked the community with the health system and mainly cordial relationships were in place. However, there were barriers related to ethnoreligious crises and current conflict, timing of task allocations, gender inequities in volunteerism, shortage of commodities, inadequate incentives, dwindling community support and negative attitudes of some volunteers.

Conclusion

The perception of task sharing was mainly positive, despite the challenges, especially the current conflict. In this fragile context, reconsideration of non-seasonal task allocations within improved community-driven selection and security systems should be encouraged. Supportive supervision and providing adequate and timely renumeration will also be beneficial in this fragile setting.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Black nurses in the nursing profession in Canada: a scoping review

sab, 23/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

With migration occurring over a series of centuries, dating back to the 1600’s, the circumstance regarding Black people in Canada is a complex account. A plethora of social issues and the failure to adequately acknowledge and reconcile historical issues, has resulted in health inequity, disparities and knowledge gaps, related to the Black population in Canada. In nursing, historical records indicate a legacy of discrimination that continues to impact Black nurses. The profession has begun reckoning with anti-Black racism and the residual effects. This scoping review sought to chart the existing evidence on Black nurses in the nursing profession in Canada.

Methods

JBI methodology was used to search peer-reviewed evidence and unpublished gray literature. Sources were considered for inclusion based on criteria outlined in an a priori protocol focusing on: 1) Canada 2) Black nurses and 3) nursing practice. No restrictions were placed on date of publication and language was limited to English and French. All screening and extractions were completed by two independent reviewers.

Results

The database search yielded 688 records. After removing duplicates, 600 titles and abstracts were screened for eligibility and 127 advanced to full-text screening. Eighty-two full-text articles were excluded, for a total of 44 sources meeting the inclusion criteria. Seven sources were identified through gray literature search. Subsequently, 31 sources underwent data extraction. Of the 31 sources, 18 are research (n = 18), six are commentaries (n = 6); one report (n = 1) and six are classified as announcements, memoranda or policy statements (n = 6). The review findings are categorized into five conceptual categories: racism (n = 12); historical situatedness (n = 2); leadership and career progression (n = 7); immigration (n = 4); and diversity in the workforce (n = 4).

Conclusions

This review reveals the interconnectedness of the five conceptual categories. Racism was a prominent issue woven throughout the majority of the sources. Additionally, this review captures how racism is exacerbated by intersectional factors such as gender, class and nationality. The findings herein offer insight regarding anti-Black racism and discrimination in nursing as well as suggestions for future research including the use of diverse methodologies in different jurisdictions across the country. Lastly, the implications extend to the nursing workforce in relation to enhancing diversity and addressing the ongoing nursing shortage.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Safeguarding equitable HIV service delivery at the health facility-level in a resource-limited setting during the pandemic

sex, 22/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on delivering essential health services, including HIV service delivery. Among the challenges encountered and addressed by the HIV and AIDS Department of the San Lazaro Hospital were ensuring continued access to antiretroviral therapy and ensuring continuity of client education and empowerment. Two years into the pandemic, challenges still ensue, such as protecting health care providers from COVID-19 and regular clinical monitoring of clients. This highlights the importance of urgent action to strengthen the resilience of health systems at all its levels, not only to respond to sudden disturbances, but also to transform and evolve to be able to better face future pandemics.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Improving allocative efficiency from network consolidation: a solution for the health workforce shortage

sex, 15/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Public hospitals are facing a critical shortage of health workers. The area-based network consolidations could be the solution to increase the system capacity for human resources by improving local allocative efficiency.

Methods

This study develops counterfactual simulations for area-based network allocations for the health workforce in 10500 public hospitals in Thailand and examines improvements in allocative efficiency from the health workforce redistribution at different administrative levels such as sub-districts, districts, provinces, and health service areas. The workload per worker is calculated from the output measured by numbers of outpatient and inpatient cases and the input measured by numbers of health workers. Both output and input are weighted with their economic values and controlled for heterogeneity through regression analysis. Finally, this study compares the workload per worker and economic valuation of the area-based networks or ex-ante scenarios with the hospital-level or status quo scenario.

Results

Network consolidations of the sub-district primary-level hospitals within the same district could reduce workload per worker by seven percentage points. Another practical policy option is to consolidate similar hospital levels such as primary, first-level secondary, and mid-level secondary hospitals altogether within the same province which could result in the reduction of the workload per worker by 6–7 percentage points. The total economic value gained from consolidating similar hospital levels within the same province is about 15–18 percentage points of total labor cost in the primary hospitals.

Conclusion

This study illustrates the improvement in allocative efficiency of the health workforce in public hospitals from the area-based network consolidations. The results provide an insightful example of economic gains from efficiently reallocating the medical workforce within the same local areas. Major reforms are required such that the health care delivery units can automate their resources in corresponding to the population's health needs through a strengthening gatekeeping system.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Stock-outs of essential medicines among community health workers (CHWs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): a systematic literature review of the extent, reasons, and consequences

sex, 15/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

This paper explores the extent of community-level stock-out of essential medicines among community health workers (CHWs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and identifies the reasons for and consequences of essential medicine stock-outs.

Methods

A systematic review was conducted and reported in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Five electronic databases were searched with a prespecified strategy and the grey literature examined, January 2006–March 2021. Papers containing information on (1) the percentage of CHWs stocked out or (2) reasons for stock-outs along the supply chain and consequences of stock-out were included and appraised for risk of bias. Outcomes were quantitative data on the extent of stock-out, summarized using descriptive statistics, and qualitative data regarding reasons for and consequences of stock-outs, analyzed using thematic content analysis and narrative synthesis.

Results

Two reviewers screened 1083 records; 78 evaluations were included. Over the last 15 years, CHWs experienced stock-outs of essential medicines nearly one third of the time and at a significantly (p < 0.01) higher rate than the health centers to which they are affiliated (28.93% [CI 95%: 28.79–29.07] vs 9.17% [CI 95%: 8.64–9.70], respectively). A comparison of the period 2006–2015 and 2016–2021 showed a significant (p < 0.01) increase in CHW stock-out level from 26.36% [CI 95%: 26.22–26.50] to 48.65% [CI 95%: 48.02–49.28] while that of health centers increased from 7.79% [95% CI 7.16–8.42] to 14.28% [95% CI 11.22–17.34]. Distribution barriers were the most cited reasons for stock-outs. Ultimately, patients were the most affected: stock-outs resulted in out-of-pocket expenses to buy unavailable medicines, poor adherence to medicine regimes, dissatisfaction, and low service utilization.

Conclusions

Community-level stock-out of essential medicines constitutes a serious threat to achieving universal health coverage and equitable improvement of health outcomes. This paper suggests stock-outs are getting worse, and that there are particular barriers at the last mile. There is an urgent need to address the health and non-health system constraints that prevent the essential medicines procured for LMICs by international and national stakeholders from reaching the people who need them the most.

Categorias: Investigaciones

“The emotions were like a roller-coaster”: a qualitative analysis of e-diary data on healthcare worker resilience and adaptation during the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore

sex, 15/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Uncertainties related to COVID-19 have strained the mental health of healthcare workers (HCWs) worldwide. Gaining the ability to adapt and thrive under pressure will be key to addressing this. We explore what characterises risk, vulnerability and resilient responses of HCWs during the early stages of the outbreak in Singapore.

Methods

We undertook qualitative theory-guided thematic analysis of e-diary entries from HCWs who navigated the outbreak from June–August 2020. Data were extracted from a subset of an online survey of n = 3616 participants collected across 9 institutions, including restructured hospitals, hospices and affiliated primary care partners.

Results

N = 663 or 18% submitted qualitative journal entries included for analyses. All professional cadres, local as well as foreign HCWs participated. Themes are reported according to the Loads–Levers–Lifts model of resilience and highlighted in italics. The model assumes that resilience is a dynamic process. Key factors threatening mental health (loading) risk included a notable rise in anxiety, the effects of being separated from loved ones, and experiencing heightened emotions and emotional overload. Bad situations were made worse, prompting vulnerable outcomes when HCWs experienced stigma in the community and effects of “public paranoia”; or under conditions where HCWs ended up feeling like a prisoner with little control or choice when either confined to staff accommodation or placed on quarantine/Stay Home Notices. Those with strife in their place of residence also described already difficult situations at work being aggravated by home life. Protection (lifts) came from being able to muster a sense of optimism about the future or feeling grateful for the pace of life slowing down and having the space to reprioritise. In contrast, when risk factors were present, balancing these in the direction of resilient outcomes was achieved by choosing to re-direct stress into positive narratives, drawing on inner agency, uptake of therapeutic activities, social support as well as faith and prayer and drawing comfort from religious community among other factors.

Conclusion

The Loads–Levers–Lifts model is used to guide analysis to inform intervention designs. Levers promoting resilience through targeting therapies, workplace policies and awareness campaigns accounting for identified loads are proposed.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Maternal mortality in the Middle East and North Africa region – how could countries move towards obstetric transition stage 5?

sex, 08/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Maternal mortality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region decreased significantly between 1990 and 2017. This was uneven, however, with some countries faring much better than others.

Methods

We undertook a trend analysis of Maternal Mortality Ratios (MMRs) of countries in the region in order to understand differences in reduction across countries. Data were extracted from several databases for 23 countries and territories in the region on measures of women’s empowerment, availability of vehicles and human resources for health (as a proxy to the three delays model). We identified factors associated with MMR by grouping countries into five different Stages (I-V) of obstetric transition from high to low MMRs.

Results

Among the four Stage II countries, MMR is associated with “antenatal care coverage (% with at least one visit)” and “medical doctors per 10,000 population”. Among the eight Stage III countries, MMR is associated with “Gender Parity Index in primary and secondary level school enrolment” and with “nursing and midwifery personnel per 10,000 population”. Among the 10 countries and one territory in Stages IV and V, MMR is associated with “GDP per capita”, “nursing and midwifery personnel”, and “motor vehicle ownership/motorization rate”. Two factors were associated with changes in MMR from the period 2006–2010 to 2011–2015: 1) change in adolescent birth rate (r = 0.90, p = 0.005) and 2) Gender Parity Index in primary level school enrolment (r = − 0.51, p = 0.04).

Conclusion

Though impressive reductions in MMR have been achieved across countries in the MENA region since 1990, governments should realize that there exists an opportunity to learn from each other to bring MMRs as close to zero as possible. Immediate steps in the right direction would include investment in human resources for health, particularly nurses and midwives; measures to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health; and greater investments in achieving gender equity in education.

Categorias: Investigaciones

“Raising the curtain on the equality theatre”: a study of recruitment to first healthcare job post-qualification in the UK National Health Service

sex, 08/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

UK equality law and National Health Service (NHS) policy requires racial equality in job appointments and career opportunities. However, recent national workforce race equality standard (WRES) data show that nearly all NHS organisations in the UK are failing to appoint ethnically diverse candidates with equivalent training and qualifications as their white counterparts. This is problematic because workforce diversity is associated with improved patient outcomes and other benefits for staff and organisations.

Aim

To better understand the reasons behind underrepresentation of ethnically diverse candidates in first NHS healthcare jobs post-qualification and to identify any structural or systemic barriers to employment for such groups.

Methods

The study was informed by critical theory and the authors’ interdisciplinary perspectives as educators and researchers in the healthcare professions. Data collected from semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 12 nurse and physiotherapy recruiting managers from two NHS trusts in London were analysed using a healthcare workforce equity and diversity conceptual lens we developed from the literature. Using this lens, we devised questions to examine six dimensions of equity and diversity in the interview data from recruiting managers.

Results

Recruiting managers said they valued the benefits of an ethnically diverse workforce for patients and their unit/organisation. However, their adherence to organisational policies for recruitment and selection, which emphasise objectivity and standardisation, acted as constraints to recognising ethnicity as an important issue in recruitment and workforce diversity. Some recruiting managers sense that there are barriers for ethnically diverse candidates but lacked information about workforce diversity, systems for monitoring recruitment, or ways to engage with staff or candidates to talk about these issues. Without this information there was no apparent problem or reason to try alternative approaches.

Conclusion

These accounts from 12 recruiting managers give a ‘backstage’ view into the reasons behind ethnic inequalities in recruitment to first healthcare job in the UK NHS. Adherence to recruitment and selection policies, which aim to support equality through standardisation and anonymisation, appear to be limiting workforce diversity and creating barriers for ethnically diverse candidates to attain the jobs that they are trained and qualified for. The Healthcare Workforce Equity + Diversity Lens we have developed can help to ‘raise the curtain on the equality theatre’ and inform more inclusive approaches to recruitment such as contextualised recruitment or effective allyship between employers and universities.

Categorias: Investigaciones

An equity analysis on the household costs of accessing and utilising maternal and child health care services in Tanzania

sex, 08/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Direct and time costs of accessing and using health care may limit health care access, affect welfare loss, and lead to catastrophic spending especially among poorest households. To date, limited attention has been given to time and transport costs and how these costs are distributed across patients, facility and service types especially in poor settings. We aimed to fill this knowledge gap.

Methods

We used data from 1407 patients in 150 facilities in Tanzania. Data were collected in January 2012 through patient exit-interviews. All costs were disaggregated across patients, facility and service types. Data were analysed descriptively by using means, medians and equity measures like equity gap, ratio and concentration index.

Results

71% of patients, especially the poorest and rural patients, accessed care on foot. The average travel time and cost were 30 minutes and 0.41USD respectively. The average waiting time and consultation time were 47 min and 13 min respectively. The average medical cost was 0.23 USD but only18% of patients paid for health care. The poorest and rural patients faced substantial time burden to access health care (travel and waiting) but incurred less transport and medical costs compared to their counterparts. The consultation time was similar across patients. Patients spent more time travelling to public facilities and dispensaries while incurring less transport cost than accessing other facility types, but waiting and consultation time was similar across facility types. Patients paid less amount in public than in private facilities. Postnatal care and vaccination clients spent less waiting and consultation time and paid less medical cost than antenatal care clients.

Conclusions

Our findings reinforce the need for a greater investment in primary health care to reduce access barriers and cost burdens especially among the worse-offs. Facility’s construction and renovation and increased supply of healthcare workers and medical commodities are potential initiatives to consider. Other initiatives may need a multi-sectoral collaboration.

Categorias: Investigaciones

The determinants of staff retention after Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care training in Kenya: a cross-sectional study

qua, 06/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Introduction

Kenya’s maternal mortality ratio is relatively high at 342/100,000 live births. Confidential enquiry into maternal deaths showed that 90% of the maternal deaths received substandard care with health workforce related factors identified in 75% of 2015/2016 maternal deaths. Competent Skilled Health Personnel (SHP) providing emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) in an enabling environment reduces the risk of adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. The study objective was to identify factors that determine the retention of SHP 1 – 5 years after EmONC training in Kenya.

Methods

A cross-sectional review of EmONC SHP in five counties (Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Garissa, Vihiga and Uasin Gishu) was conducted between January–February 2020. Data was extracted from a training database. Verification of current health facilities where trained SHP were deployed and reasons for non-retention were collected. Descriptive data analysis, transfer rate by county and logistic regression for SHP retention determinants was performed.

Results

A total of 927 SHP were trained from 2014–2019. Most SHP trained were nurse/midwives (677, 73%) followed by clinical officers (151, 16%) and doctors (99, 11%). Half (500, 54%) of trained SHP were retained in the same facility. Average trained staff transfer rate was 43%, with Uasin Gishu lowest at 24% and Garissa highest at 50%. Considering a subset of trained staff from level 4/5 facilities with distinct hospital departments, only a third (36%) of them are still working in relevant maternity/newborn/gynaecology departments. There was a statistically significant difference in transfer rate by gender in Garissa, Vihiga and the combined 5 counties (p < 0.05). Interval from training in years (1 year, AOR = 4.2 (2.1–8.4); cadre (nurse/midwives, AOR = 2.5 (1.4–4.5); and county (Uasin Gishu AOR = 9.5 (4.6- 19.5), Kilifi AOR = 4.0 (2.1–7.7) and Taita Taveta AOR = 1.9 (1.1–3.5), p < 0.05, were significant determinants of staff retention in the maternity departments.

Conclusion

Retention of EmONC trained SHP in the relevant maternity departments was low at 36 percent. SHP were more likely to be retained by 1-year after training compared to the subsequent years and this varied from county to county. County policies and guidelines on SHP deployment, transfers and retention should be strengthened to optimise the benefits of EmONC training.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Towards the achievement of universal health coverage in the Democratic Republic of Congo: does the Country walk its talk?

seg, 04/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract

In 2009, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) started its journey towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This study examines the evolution of financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators in the context of the commitment of DRC to UHC. To measure the effects of such a commitment on financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators, we analyse whether changes have occurred over the last two decades and, if applicable, when these changes happened. Using five variables as indicators for the measurement of the financial risk protection component, there as well retained three indicators to measure health outcomes. To identify time-related effects, we applied the parametric approach of breakpoint regression to detect whether the UHC journey has brought change and when exactly the change has occurred.

Although there is a slight improvement in the financial risk protection indicators, we found that the adopted strategies have fostered access to healthcare for the wealthiest quantile of the population while neglecting the majority of the poorest. The government did not thrive persistently over the past decade to meet its commitment to allocate adequate funds to health expenditures. In addition, the support from donors appears to be unstable, unpredictable and unsustainable. We found a slight improvement in health outcomes attributable to direct investment in building health centres by the private sector and international organizations. Overall, our findings reveal that the prevention of catastrophic health expenditure is still not sufficiently prioritized by the country, and mostly for the majority of the poorest. Therefore, our work suggests that DRC’s UHC journey has slightly contributed to improve the financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators but much effort should be undertaken.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Correlates of turnover intention among nursing staff in the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review

seg, 04/07/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

During the COVID-19 pandemic, shortage of nursing staff became even more evident. Nurses experienced great strain, putting them at risk to leave their jobs. Individual and organizational factors were known to be associated with nurses’ turnover intention before the pandemic. The knowledge of factors associated with turnover intention during the pandemic could help to foster nurses’ retention. Therefore, this review aims to identify factors associated with nurses’ turnover intention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods

After a systematic search of six databases, the resulting records were screened in a two-step process based on pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The included quantitative studies were synthesized qualitatively due to their methodological heterogeneity.

Results

A total of 19 articles were included in the analysis. Individual factors such as health factors or psychological symptoms and demographic characteristics were associated with nurses’ turnover intention. Organizational factors associated with turnover intention were e.g., caring for COVID-19 patients, low job control or high job demands, and moral distress. Resilience and supporting leadership could mitigate adverse associations with turnover intention.

Conclusions

The results help to identify high-risk groups according to individual factors and to develop possible interventions, such as trainings for nurses and their superiors, addressing individual and organizational factors. Future research should focus on longitudinal designs applying carefully defined concepts of turnover intention.

Categorias: Investigaciones

Patient experiences and preferences for antiretroviral therapy service provision: implications for differentiated service delivery in Northwest Ethiopia

seg, 27/06/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Understanding the experiences, needs, preferences, and behaviors of people living with HIV (PLHIV) are critical to tailor HIV treatment. However, there is limited empirical evidence in Ethiopia on the views of PLHIV regarding their experiences with current antiretroviral therapy (ART) services and preferred models of HIV treatment. Hence, this study aimed to explore the patients’ experiences of taking medications and preferences for ART service provision in Northwest Ethiopia.

Methods

A phenomenological study design was employed. In this study, stable and 18 years old and above PLHIVs, who had been using ART service at four public hospitals and two health centers in East Gojjam, West Gojjam and Awi zones, and Bahir Dar city administration of Amhara National Regional State, Northwest Ethiopia, were purposively selected. Fifteen in-depth interviews were conducted from July 2021 to September 2021 to collect data. ATLAS.ti version 9 software was used for coding translated transcripts. A thematic analysis approach was employed.

Findings

Participants in this study had reported positive and negative experiences in receiving ART services and also varied preferences toward ART service features. The study identified five themes on experiences for ART service and 15 attributes of ART service characteristics. The identified themes were stigma, time, availability of drugs and providers, costs for clinic visits, and provider-patient interaction. The fifteen attributes were buddy system, ART refill (individualized or group), ART packaging and labeling, drug formulation and administration, ART room labeling, distance, location of service, preferences on involvement in treatment decision-making, the person providing ART refills, provider’s attitude, spatial arrangement of ART room, time of health facility operation, time spent at clinics, and total cost of the visit.

Conclusions

The results raise awareness for the positive and negative experiences of patients informing us about barriers and supporting factors in ART service provision. They open up the potential for HIV treatment service improvement. The preferences of PLHIVs toward ART service delivery features were heterogeneous. Policy and program efforts should tailor ART services that suit patients’ needs and priorities in Ethiopia. Future research should further assess the reasons for patients’ distrust of the community ART delivery models.

Categorias: Investigaciones

“Not shifting, but sharing”: stakeholders' perspectives on mental health task-shifting in Indonesia

sex, 24/06/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

Task-shifting, the distribution of tasks among health workers to address health workforce shortage, has been widely used to tackle mental health treatment gaps. However, its implementation in Indonesia has still been rarely explored. This study aimed to explore stakeholders’ perspectives on the implementation of mental health task-shifting to nurses in Indonesia's primary health care.

Methods

An exploratory descriptive approach using in-depth interviews and focused group discussions (FGDs) was used. The study involved 19 stakeholders from the government's ministry directorates, professional organisations, and mental health practitioners. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

Results

Three themes emerged namely, task-shifting feasibility and acceptability, shared task implementation, and nurse role enhancement issues, with 14 sub-themes.

Conclusions

Task-shifting on mental health issues in the eye of Indonesian stakeholders is viewed as a matter of sharing and collaboration. Implementation of task-shifting in Indonesia may require policies in place and political will across stakeholders. Further scrutiny on task-shifting implementation is needed by considering the local context and national environment.

Categorias: Investigaciones

‘You say you are a TB doctor, but actually, you do not have any power’: health worker (de)motivation in the context of integrated, hospital-based tuberculosis care in eastern China

qui, 23/06/2022 - 00:00
Abstract Background

In China, tuberculosis (TB) care, traditionally provided through the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), has been integrated into ‘designated’ public hospitals at County level, with hospital staff taking on delivery of TB services supported by CDC staff. Little is known about the impact of this initiative on the hospital-based health workers who were delegated to manage TB. Drawing on a case study of two TB ‘designated’ hospitals in Zhejiang province, we explored factors influencing hospital-based health workers’ motivation in the context of integrated TB service delivery.

Methods

We conducted 47 in-depth interviews with health officials, TB/hospital managers, clinicians, radiologists, laboratory staff and nurses involved in the integrated model of hospital-based TB care. Thematic analysis was used to develop and refine themes, code the data and assist in interpretation.

Results

Health workers tasked with TB care in ‘designated’ hospitals perceived their professional status to be low, related to their assessment of TB treatment as lacking need for professional skills, their limited opportunities for professional development, and the social stigma surrounding TB. In both sites, the integrated TB clinics were under-staffed: health workers providing TB care reported heavy workloads, and expressed dissatisfaction with a perceived gap in their salaries compared with other clinical staff. In both sites, health workers were concerned about poor infection control and weak risk management assessment systems.

Conclusions

Inadequate attention to workforce issues for TB control in China, specifically the professional status, welfare, and development as well as incentivization of infectious disease control workers has contributed to dissatisfaction and consequently poor motivation to serve TB patients within the integrated model of TB care. It is important to address the failure to motivate health workers and maximize public good-oriented TB service provision through improved government funding and attention to the professional welfare of health workers providing TB care in hospitals.

Categorias: Investigaciones

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