PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-4 (4)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
Authors
more »
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Acceptability and Effectiveness of the Storekeeper-Based TB Referral System for TB Suspects in Sub-Districts of Lilongwe in Malawi 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e39746.
Background
Early access to tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment remains a challenge in developing countries. General use of informal providers such as storekeepers is common. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness and acceptability of a storekeeper-based referral system for TB suspects in urban settings of Lilongwe, Malawi.
Methods
The referral system intervention was implemented in two sub-districts. This was evaluated using a pre and post comparison as well as comparison with a third sub-district designated as the control. The intervention included training of storekeepers to detect and refer clients with chronic cough using predesigned referral letters along with monitoring and supervision. Data from a community based chronic cough survey and an audit of health centre records were used to measure its effectiveness. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were carried out to document acceptability of the intervention with the different stakeholders.
Results
Following the intervention, the mean patient delay appeared lower in the intervention than comparison areas (2.14 weeks (SD 5.8) vs 8.8 weeks (SD 15.1)). However, after adjusting for confounding variables this difference was not significant (p = 0.07). After the intervention the proportion of the population diagnosed with smear positive TB in the intervention sites (1.2 per 1000) was significantly higher than in the comparison area (0.6 per 1000, p<0.01) even after adjusting for sex and age. Qualitative findings suggested that (a) the referral letters triggered health workers to ask patients to submit sputum for TB diagnosis (b) the approach may be sustainable as the referral role was linked to the livelihood of the storekeepers.
Conclusion
The study suggests that the referral system with storekeepers is sustainable and effective in increasing smear positive TB case notification. Studies that assess this approach for control of other diseases along with collection of specimens by storekeepers or similar providers are needed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039746
PMCID: PMC3433456  PMID: 22962575
2.  Towards building equitable health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: lessons from case studies on operational research 
Background
Published practical examples of how to bridge gaps between research, policy and practice in health systems research in Sub Saharan Africa are scarce. The aim of our study was to use a case study approach to analyse how and why different operational health research projects in Africa have contributed to health systems strengthening and promoted equity in health service provision.
Methods
Using case studies we have collated and analysed practical examples of operational research projects on health in Sub-Saharan Africa which demonstrate how the links between research, policy and action can be strengthened to build effective and pro-poor health systems. To ensure rigour, we selected the case studies using pre-defined criteria, mapped their characteristics systematically using a case study development framework, and analysed the research impact process of each case study using the RAPID framework for research-policy links. This process enabled analysis of common themes, successes and weaknesses.
Results
3 operational research projects met our case study criteria: HIV counselling and testing services in Kenya; provision of TB services in grocery stores in Malawi; and community diagnostics for anaemia, TB and malaria in Nigeria. Political context and external influences: in each case study context there was a need for new knowledge and approaches to meet policy requirements for equitable service delivery. Collaboration between researchers and key policy players began at the inception of operational research cycles. Links: critical in these operational research projects was the development of partnerships for capacity building to support new services or new players in service delivery. Evidence: evidence was used to promote policy dialogue around equity in different ways throughout the research cycle, such as in determining the topic area and in development of indicators.
Conclusion
Building equitable health systems means considering equity at different stages of the research cycle. Partnerships for capacity building promotes demand, delivery and uptake of research. Links with those who use and benefit from research, such as communities, service providers and policy makers, contribute to the timeliness and relevance of the research agenda and a receptive research-policy-practice interface. Our study highlights the need to advocate for a global research culture that values and funds these multiple levels of engagement.
doi:10.1186/1478-4505-7-26
PMCID: PMC2789709  PMID: 19939279
3.  The Malawi National Tuberculosis Programme: an equity analysis 
Background
Until 2005, the Malawi National Tuberculosis Control Programme had been implemented as a vertical programme. Working within the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) provides a new environment and new opportunities for monitoring the equity performance of the programme. This paper synthesizes what is known on equity and TB in Malawi and highlights areas for further action and advocacy.
Methods
A synthesis of a wide range of published and unpublished reports and studies using a variety of methodological approaches was undertaken and complemented by additional analysis of routine data on access to TB services. The analysis and recommendations were developed, through consultation with key stakeholders in Malawi and a review of the international literature.
Results
The lack of a prevalence survey severely limits the epidemiological knowledge base on TB and vulnerability. TB cases have increased rapidly from 5,334 in 1985 to 28,000 in 2006. This increase has been attributed to HIV/AIDS; 77% of TB patients are HIV positive. The age/gender breakdown of TB notification cases mirrors the HIV epidemic with higher rates amongst younger women and older men. The WHO estimates that only 48% of TB cases are detected in Malawi. The complexity of TB diagnosis requires repeated visits, long queues, and delays in sending results. This reduces poor women and men's ability to access and adhere to services. The costs of seeking TB care are high for poor women and men – up to 240% of monthly income as compared to 126% of monthly income for the non-poor. The TB Control Programme has attempted to increase access to TB services for vulnerable groups through community outreach activities, decentralising DOT and linking with HIV services.
Conclusion
The Programme of Work which is being delivered through the SWAp is a good opportunity to enhance equity and pro-poor health services. The major challenge is to increase case detection, especially amongst the poor, where we assume most 'missing cases' are to be found. In addition, the Programme needs a prevalence survey which will enable thorough equity monitoring and the development of responsive interventions to promote service access amongst 'missing' women, men, boys and girls.
doi:10.1186/1475-9276-6-24
PMCID: PMC2253525  PMID: 18163918

Results 1-4 (4)