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GHM Emerging Issue Brief: Menstrual hygiene

Until recently, menstrual hygiene has been a forgotten global health challenge even though there is evidence of serious negative impacts of poor menstrual hygiene on girls’ and women’s health, social lives and education. Supplying girls and women with proper methods and knowledge to manage their menstruations should be a major global health concern, underline authors Thilde Rheinländer and Mary Wachira in the Global Health Minders Emerging Issue Brief: Menstrual Hygiene: An ancient – but ignored Global Health problem of all women.

Photo credit: Erich Ogoso/IRIN

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Interview with Ugandan nurse: ‘Six times I fought a war against Ebola – and beat it’

I had a chance to interview one of the most experienced Ebola nurses in Africa, who had just returned from Liberia. He tells his unique story about the numerous outbreaks he helped to stop and shares his powerful but simple suggestions about global and local preparedness – from a rare practical and comparative perspective. Among his recommendations are: Better selection of health workers, practical training, better management, sharing of experience and closer government attention to social practices and gatherings are essentials…..and prepare for the unexpected, this thing can happen anywhere.

Text by Morten Sodemann

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Seminar: Ebola – lessons learned and future perspectives

For almost a year the international community has been engaged in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Various old and new actors from Denmark are involved in the mission. The insurmountable and complex scope of the epidemic calls for a massive and innovative response. The time is now right to discuss successes, challenges, the multiactor approach and a lot of other relevant questions that have evolved during the past year.

The Danish Network for Health and Development has invited the most important actors that have been involved in the Ebola response to create a forum where relevant knowledge can be shared amongst actors and stakeholders. Two main questions will be in focus throughout the seminar:

  • What has led to the current state of the response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and thoughts/plans on further steps to stop the epidemic?
  • What are lessons learned to prepare for and respond to future large-scale and sustained outbreaks and emergencies?

The seminar takes place on 6 March 2015 at the Islands Brygge Kulturhus.

Download the invitation here.

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Link: Enabling dynamic partnerships through joint degrees

A new article about research partnerships: Enabling Dynamic Partnerships through Joint Degrees between Low- and High-Income Countries for Capacity Development in Global Health Research: Experience from the Karolinska Institutet/Makerere University Partnership. The article is available at PLOS Medicine

Summary Points:

  • Partnerships between universities in high- and low-income countries have the potential to increase research capacity in both settings.
  • We describe a partnership between the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Makerere University in Uganda that includes a joint PhD degree program and sharing of scientific ideas and resources.
  • Ten years of financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has enabled 44 graduated PhD students and more than 500 peer-reviewed articles, the majority with a Ugandan as first author.
  • The collaborative research environment is addressing Ugandan health and health system priorities, in several cases resulting in policy and practice reforms.
  • Even though all Ugandan PhD graduates have remained in the country and 13 have embarked on postdoc training, remaining institutional challenges include developing functioning research groups, grant writing, network building at Makerere, and continued funding on both sides of the partnership.

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GHM Controversial Issue Brief: Paris and Beyond

Progress towards the application of the internationally agreed development principles (Rome 2003; Paris 2005; Accra 2008, and Busan 2011) continues to be unsatisfactory. After a decade it is time to reflect on how partner development assistance structures could be improved to achieve better development impact, write Diederike Geelhoed and Kirsten Havemann in a GHM Controversial Issue Brief titled, Paris and Beyond, A Critical Look at Development Support to the 
 Health Sector in Mozambique.

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Link: Lessons for Global Health from Chatham House

Interesting research paper from Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which is an independent policy institute based in London: ‘Lessons for Global Health from Global Environmental Governance‘. The paper responds to question How should global health’s institutional architecture be matched with its governance needs? by drawing lessons from the field of global environmental governance and highlights three lessons:

  1. Coordination among the institutions of a complex and crowded governance system does not depend on grand overarching structures. Coordination can also be achieved through decentralized management and through decisions made within each institution or by institutional stakeholders. Synergy, however, can come at the cost of subordinating a given objective to stronger political or normative forces.
  2. Scientific knowledge is not only a precondition for action but actually coevolves with it, necessitating institutional structures that protect its independence from politics, while simultaneously facilitating a productive interaction.
  3. The effectiveness of global governance depends on states having both sufficient governmental capacity and the political will to forge national policy coherence in support of implementation.

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GHM Controversial Issue Brief: New potential for fighting inequality

In a GHM Controversial Issue Brief, Knud Vilby argues, that there is a new potential for fighting inequality in global health research and health assistance, because poor countries are financing a bigger share of their domestic health costs than before and health assistance from international institutional donors has grown considerably. The new situation should give the official assistance a chance to focus on reducing inequality and reaching the most vulnerable, including focusing on better utilisation of already existing research results and neglected problems. There is a momentum for rethinking official aid, if there is a will to do so.

Read the Controversial Issue Brief A new potential for fighting inequality in global health research and health assistance.

Photo credit: Eva-Lotta Jansson/IRIN

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