BMJ Global Health
ISSN / EISSN : 2059-7908 / 2059-7908
Published by: BMJ (10.1136)
Total articles ≅ 2,310
Latest articles in this journal
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007124
Elevated rates of tuberculosis in healthcare workers demonstrate the high rate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) transmission in health facilities in high-burden settings. In the context of a project taking a whole systems approach to tuberculosis infection prevention and control (IPC), we aimed to evaluate the potential impact of conventional and novel IPC measures on Mtb transmission to patients and other clinic attendees. An individual-based model of patient movements through clinics, ventilation in waiting areas, and Mtb transmission was developed, and parameterised using empirical data from eight clinics in two provinces in South Africa. Seven interventions—codeveloped with health professionals and policy-makers—were simulated: (1) queue management systems with outdoor waiting areas, (2) ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems, (3) appointment systems, (4) opening windows and doors, (5) surgical mask wearing by clinic attendees, (6) simple clinic retrofits and (7) increased coverage of long antiretroviral therapy prescriptions and community medicine collection points through the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) service. In the model, (1) outdoor waiting areas reduced the transmission to clinic attendees by 83% (IQR 76%–88%), (2) UVGI by 77% (IQR 64%–85%), (3) appointment systems by 62% (IQR 45%–75%), (4) opening windows and doors by 55% (IQR 25%–72%), (5) masks by 47% (IQR 42%–50%), (6) clinic retrofits by 45% (IQR 16%–64%) and (7) increasing the coverage of CCMDD by 22% (IQR 12%–32%). The majority of the interventions achieved median reductions in the rate of transmission to clinic attendees of at least 45%, meaning that a range of highly effective intervention options are available, that can be tailored to the local context. Measures that are not traditionally considered to be IPC interventions, such as appointment systems, may be as effective as more traditional IPC measures, such as mask wearing.
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006025
About 96.3 million children and adolescents aged 0–19 years reside in Nigeria, comprising 54% of the population. Without adequate access to surgery for commonly treatable diseases, many face disability and increased risk of mortality. Due to this population’s unique perioperative needs, increasing access to paediatric surgical care requires a situational evaluation of the distribution of paediatric surgeons and anaesthesiologists. This study’s aim is to identify the percentage of Nigerian youth who reside within 2 hours of paediatric surgical care at the state and national level. The Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Nigeria and the Nigeria Society of Anaesthetists provided surgical and anaesthesia workforce data by state. Health facilities with paediatric surgeons were converted to point locations and integrated with ancillary geospatial layers and population estimates from 2016 and 2017. Catchment areas of 2 hours of travel time around a facility were deployed as the benchmark indicator to establish timely access. Across Nigeria’s 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, the percentage of Nigeria’s 0–19 population residing within 2 hours of a health facility with a paediatric surgical and anaesthesia workforce ranges from less than 2% to 22.7%–30.5%. In 3 states, only 2.1%–4.8% of the population can access a facility within 2 hours, 12 have 4.9%–13.8%, and 8 have 13.9%–22.6%. There is significant variation across Nigerian states regarding access to surgical care, with 69.5%–98% of Nigeria’s 0–19 population lacking access. Developing paediatric surgical services in underserved Nigerian states and investing in the training of paediatric surgical and anaesthesia workforce for those states are key components in improving the health of Nigeria’s 0–19 population and reducing Nigeria’s burden of surgical disease, in line with Nigeria’s National Surgical, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia and Nursing Plan.
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006913
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007195
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), if untreated, carries high morbidity and mortality. A higher incidence of CAH is expected in countries where consanguinity is common, such as in the countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO). CAH is managed through lifelong treatment with fludrocortisone and hydrocortisone. In this analysis, performed in the 22 EMRO countries and territories plus Algeria, we review which countries offer a neonatal screening programme for CAH and describe the barriers and opportunities to access oral fludrocortisone and oral and injectable hydrocortisone. Neonatal CAH screening was only available nationally in Qatar, Kuwait and partially in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. We reviewed the national lists of essential medicines (NEMLs) and found that 13/23 (57%) countries included fludrocortisone and 18/23 (78%) included oral hydrocortisone. Fludrocortisone was not included by any of the low-income countries and oral hydrocortisone was only included by one low-income country. We then contacted paediatric endocrinologists in each country to assess perceived availability of these medicines. Overall, there was a relatively good consistency between inclusion of fludrocortisone and hydrocortisone in the NEML and their actual availability in a country. We propose several mechanisms to improve access, including prequalification by the WHO, a common registration process for groups of countries, pooled procurement, working with local pharmaceutical companies, special access status for medicines not yet registered in a country and compounding. We suggest that access to medicines requires a collaboration between health professionals, families of patients, health authorities, pharmaceutical companies and the WHO.
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006672
Background Global surgery has recently gained prominence as an academic discipline within global health. Authorship inequity has been a consistent feature of global health publications, with over-representation of authors from high-income countries (HICs), and disenfranchisement of researchers from low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). In this study, we investigated authorship demographics within recently published global surgery literature. Methods We performed a systematic analysis of author characteristics, including gender, seniority and institutional affiliation, for global surgery studies published between 2016 and 2020 and indexed in the PubMed database. We compared the distribution of author gender and seniority across studies related to different topics; between authors affiliated with HICs and LMICs; and across studies with different authorship networks. Results 1240 articles were included for analysis. Most authors were male (60%), affiliated only with HICs (51%) and of high seniority (55% were fully qualified specialist or generalist clinicians, Principal Investigators, or in senior leadership or management roles). The proportion of male authors increased with increasing seniority for last and middle authors. Studies related to Obstetrics and Gynaecology had similar numbers of male and female authors, whereas there were more male authors in studies related to surgery (69% male) and Anaesthesia and Critical care (65% male). Compared with HIC authors, LMIC authors had a lower proportion of female authors at every seniority grade. This gender gap among LMIC middle authors was reduced in studies where all authors were affiliated only with LMICs. Conclusion Authorship disparities are evident within global surgery academia. Remedial actions to address the lack of authorship opportunities for LMIC authors and female authors are required.
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006305
Background Vaccine nationalism has become a key topic of discussion during the development, testing, and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Media attention has highlighted the ways that global, coordinated access to vaccines has been limited during the pandemic. It has also exposed how some countries have secured vaccine supply, through bilateral purchase agreements and the way pharmaceutical companies have priced, negotiated, and delivered these supplies. Much of the focus of this debate has been on the vaccine supply ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, but the voices of public opinion have been more limited. Methods We explore the concepts of vaccine nationalism and internationalism from the perspective of vaccine trial participants, using an empirical perspectives study that involved interviews with phase I/II COVID-19 vaccine trial participants in Oxford, UK. We surveyed and interviewed participants between September and October 2020 about their views, motivations and experiences in taking part in the trial. Results First, we show how trial participants describe national and international ideas about vaccination as intertwined and challenge claims that these positions are mutually exclusive or oppositional. Second, we analyse these viewpoints further to show that vaccine nationalism is closely connected with national pride and metaphors of a country’s scientific achievements. Participants held a global outlook and were highly supportive of the prioritisation of vaccines by global need, but many were also pessimistic that such a solution could be possible. Conclusion Trial participants constitute an informed public group, with situated public expertise that the global community could draw on as an expert opinion. We argue that vaccine nationalism is strongly attached to national character and, therefore, it is more difficult for ownership of a vaccine to be though of as international.
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006066
In 2021, many countries have begun distribution of COVID-19 vaccines but are hampered by significant levels of vaccine hesitancy or apathy. Experts recommend that standard health communication campaigns be expanded to include a more holistic approach of behaviourally oriented strategies. We constructed a large-scale Delphi panel of marketing and behavioural science university faculty to assess 12 previously reported US vaccination promotion strategies, asking respondents to assess applicability of the strategy in their country, how efficacy might compare to the USA and recommendations for local adaptations necessary to successful implementation. Separately, we sought to determine whether strategies based on cognitive mechanisms (eg, ‘nudges’) are more readily generalisable than strategies based on social identity. Ninety-two marketing and behavioural science faculty from universities worldwide participated. Globally, all 12 behavioural strategies were validated; a majority of respondents reported that they would or could work well in their country. While all strategies were strongly validated at a global level, specific need for regional adaptation was identified. Also, open-ended responses suggested the addition of three emergent strategies to a global effort. Finally, we see that strategies based on some types of cognitive mechanisms are more readily generalisable across regions than mechanisms based on social identity, however, this is not always true of ‘nudge’ strategies. All 12 strategies are robust to global use and consensus exists on adaptation for optimal efficacy in different regions; specific strategy recommendations are posited. Use of these strategies can accelerate individual country efforts to achieve desired vaccination rates to protect global public health.
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007632
In 1985, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) created a standardised set of criteria for authorship.1 The central principle underlying these criteria is that authorship is an intellectual activity that entails contributions to ideas (eg, conceptualising a study and framing the research question), analyses (eg, formulating the analysis approach/framework and/or performing the actual analysis), writing (and revising the manuscript) and ownership (of the study or research project). The ICMJE criteria have been broadly adopted by biomedical and health journals, including those focused on global health research. They have also been revised over time to accommodate emerging issues and concerns: for example, recognising author roles such as data acquisition (2000 revision)2 and the need for all authors to be accountable for the work (2013 revision).3
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006358
Introduction Diet and nutrition are leading causes of global morbidity and mortality. Our study aimed to identify and synthesise evidence on the association between food environment characteristics and diet, nutrition and health outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), relevant to urban settings, to support development and implementation of appropriate interventions. Methods We conducted a comprehensive search of 9 databases from 1 January 2000 to 16 September 2020 with no language restrictions. We included original peer-reviewed observational studies, intervention studies or natural experiments conducted in at least one urban LMIC setting and reporting a quantitative association between a characteristic of the food environment and a diet, nutrition or health outcome. Study selection was done independently in duplicate. Data extraction and quality appraisal using the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute checklists were completed based on published reports using a prepiloted form on Covidence. Data were synthesised narratively. Results 74 studies met eligibility criteria. Consistent evidence reported an association between availability characteristics in the neighbourhood food environment and dietary behaviour (14 studies, 10 rated as good quality), while the balance of evidence suggested an association with health or nutrition outcomes (17 of 24 relevant studies). We also found a balance of evidence that accessibility to food in the neighbourhood environment was associated with diet (10 of 11 studies) although evidence of an association with health outcomes was contradictory. Evidence on other neighbourhood food environment characteristics was sparse and mixed. Availability in the school food environment was also found to be associated with relevant outcomes. Studies investigating our other primary outcomes in observational studies of the school food environment were sparse, but most interventional studies were situated in schools. We found very little evidence on how workplace and home food environments are associated with relevant outcomes. This is a substantial evidence gap. Conclusion ‘Zoning’ or ‘healthy food cart’ interventions to alter food availability may be appropriate in urban LMIC. PROSPERO registration number CRD42020207475.
BMJ Global Health, Volume 6; https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004596
Introduction Air pollution through cooking on open fires or inefficient cookstoves using biomass fuels has been linked with impaired lung health and with over 4 million premature deaths per annum. However, use of cleaner cookstoves is often sporadic and there are indications that longer-term health benefits are not prioritised by users. There is also limited information about how recipients of cookstoves perceive the health benefits of clean cooking interventions. We therefore conducted a qualitative study alongside the Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS). Methods Qualitative methods and the participatory methodology Photovoice were used in an in-depth examination of health perceptions and understandings of CAPS trial participants. Fifty participants in five CAPS intervention villages collected images about cooking. These were discussed in village-level focus groups and in interviews with 12 representative participants. Village community representatives were also interviewed. Four female and eight male CAPS fieldworkers took part in gender-specific focus groups and two female and two male fieldworkers were interviewed. A thematic content approach was used for data analysis. Results We found a disconnect between locally situated perceptions of health and the biomedically focused trial model. This included the development of potentially harmful understandings such as that pneumonia was no longer a threat and potential confusion between the symptoms of pneumonia and malaria. Study participants perceived health and well-being benefits including: cookstoves saved bodily energy; quick cooking helped maintain family harmony. Conclusion A deeper understanding of narratives of health within CAPS showed how context-specific perceptions of the health benefits of cookstoves were developed. This highlighted the conflicting priorities of cookstove intervention researchers and participants, and unintended and potentially harmful health understandings. The study also emphasises the importance of including qualitative explorations in similar complex interventions where potential pathways to beneficial (and harmful) effects, cannot be completely explicated through biomedical models alone.