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1.  Further advances in knowledge on the role of the private sector in health systems 
Health Policy and Planning  2014;29(Suppl 1):i1-i3.
PMCID: PMC4095918  PMID: 25012793
Private sector; health system; low- and middle income countries; private care; public-private partnerships
2.  Syrian refugees, between rocky crisis in Syria and hard inaccessibility to healthcare services in Lebanon and Jordan 
Conflict and Health  2013;7:18.
Around 3% of the world’s population (n = 214 million people) has crossed international borders for various reasons. Since March 2011, Syria has been going through state of political crisis and instability resulting in an exodus of Syrians to neighbouring countries. More than 1 million Syrian refugees are residents of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and North Africa. The international community must step up efforts to support Syrian refugees and their host governments.
PMCID: PMC3848432  PMID: 24004474
Syria; Refugees; Lebanon; Jordan; Access to healthcare
3.  Treatment patterns of childhood diarrhoea in rural Uganda: a cross-sectional survey 
Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death in children under five accounting for 1.8 million deaths yearly. Despite global efforts to reduce diarrhoea mortality through promotion of proper case management, there is still room for ample improvement. In order to seek options for such improvements this study explored the knowledge and practices of diarrhoea case management among health care providers at health centres and drug shops in Uganda.
Records were reviewed for case management and structured interviews concerning knowledge and practices were conducted with the staff at all health centres and at all identified drug shops in the rural district of Namutumba, Uganda.
There was a significant gap between knowledge and documented practices among staff. Antibiotics, antimalarials and antipyretics were prescribed or recommended as frequently as Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). In almost a third of the health facilities, ORS was out of stock. 81% of staff in health centres and 87% of staff in drug shops stated that they prescribed antibiotics for common diarrhoea. Zinc was not prescribed or recommended in any case.
The findings indicate that many children presenting with diarrhoea are inadequately treated. As a result they may not get the rehydration they need and are at risk of potential side effects from unjustified usage of antibiotics. Practices must be improved at health centres and drug shops in order to reduce childhood mortality due to diarrhoeal diseases.
PMCID: PMC3489860  PMID: 23009176
Diarrhoea; Diarrhoea case management; Diarrhoea control; Oral rehydration; Child health; Uganda
4.  Private and public health care in rural areas of Uganda 
In many low and middle income countries, the private sector is increasingly becoming an important source of health care, filling gaps where no or little public health care is available. However, knowledge on the private sector providers is limited The objective of this study was to determine the type and number of different types of health care providers, and the quality, cost and utilization of care delivered by those providers in rural Uganda.
The study was carried out in three rural districts. Methods included (1) mapping of health care providers; (2) a household survey to determine morbidity and health care utilization; (3) a health facility survey to assess quality of care; (4) focus group discussions to get qualitative information on providers and provider choice; and (5) key informant interviews to further explore service characteristics.
95.7% of all 445 facilities surveyed were private while 4.3% were public. Traditional practitioners and general merchandise shops that sold medicines comprised 77.1% of all providers. They had limited infrastructure and skills but were often located in the villages and therefore easily accessible. Among the formal providers there were 4 times as many private for profit providers than public, 76 versus 18. However, most of the private units were one-person drug shops.
In the household survey, 2580 persons were interviewed. 1097 (42%) had experienced illness during the preceding month. Care was sought in 54.1% of the cases. 35.6% were given self-treatment and in 10.3% no action was taken. Of the episodes for which people sought care at a health care facility, 37.0% visited a public health care provider, 39.7% a for profit provider, 11.8% a private not for profit provider, and 10.6% a traditional practitioner. Private for profit facilities were the most popular for ambulatory health care, while public facilities were preferred for more serious conditions and for hospitalization. Traditional practitioners were many but saw relatively few patients. They were mostly used for social problems and limited medical specific conditions.
Private providers play a major role in health care delivery in rural Uganda; reaching a wide client base. Traditional practitioners are many but have as much a social as a medical function in the community. The significance of the private health care sector points to the need to establish a policy that addresses quality and affordability issues and creates a strong regulatory environment for private practice in sub-Saharan Africa.
PMCID: PMC3003635  PMID: 21106099
5.  The Paris Declaration in practice: challenges of health sector aid coordination at the district level in Zambia 
The increasing resources available for and number of partners providing health sector aid have stimulated innovations, notably, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which aim to improve aid coordination. In this, one of the first studies to analyse implementation of aid coordination below national level, the aim was to investigate the effect of the Paris Declaration on coordination of health sector aid at the district level in Zambia.
The study was carried out in three districts of Zambia. Data were collected via interviews with health centre staff, district managers and officials from the Ministry of Health, and from district action plans, financial reports and accounts, and health centre ledger cards. Four indicators of coordination related to external-partner activity, common arrangements used by external partners and predictability of funding were analysed and assessed in relation to the 2010 targets set by the Paris Declaration.
While the activity of external partners at the district level has increased, funding and activities provided by these partners are often not included in local plans. HIV/AIDS support show better integration in planning and implementation at the district level than other support. Regarding common arrangements used for fund disbursement, the share of resources provided as programme-based support is not increasing. The predictability of funds coming from outside the government financing mechanism is low.
Greater efforts to integrate partners in district level planning and implementation are needed. External partners must improve the predictability of their support and be more proactive in informing the districts about their intended contributions. With the deadline for achieving the targets set by the Paris Declaration fast approaching, it is time for the signatories to accelerate its implementation.
PMCID: PMC2701416  PMID: 19505300
6.  Willingness and ability to pay for artemisinin-based combination therapy in rural Tanzania 
Malaria Journal  2008;7:227.
The aim of this study was to analyse willingness to pay (WTP) and ability to pay (ATP) for ACT for children below five years of age in a rural setting in Tanzania before the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) as first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria. Socio-economic factors associated with WTP and expectations on anti-malaria drugs, including ACT, were also explored.
Structured interviews and focus group discussions were held with mothers, household heads, health-care workers and village leaders in Ishozi, Gera and Ishunju wards in north-west Tanzania in 2004. Contingent valuation method (CVM) was used with "take-it-or-leave-it" as the eliciting method, expressed as WTP for a full course of ACT for a child and households' opportunity cost of ACT was used to assess ATP. The study included descriptive analyses with multivariate adjustment for potential confounding factors.
Among 265 mothers and household heads, 244 (92%, CI = 88%–95%) were willing to pay Tanzanian Shillings (TSh) 500 (US$ 0.46) for a child's dose of ACT, but only 55% (49%–61%) were willing to pay more than TSh 500. Mothers were more often willing to pay than male household heads (adjusted odds ratio = 2.1, CI = 1.2–3.6). Socio-economic status had no significant effect on WTP. The median annual non-subsidized ACT cost for clinical malaria episodes in an average household was calculated as US$ 6.0, which would represent 0.9% of the average total consumption expenditures as estimated from official data in 2001. The cost of non-subsidized ACT represented 7.0% of reported total annual expenditure on food and 33.0% of total annual expenditure on health care.
"Rapid effect," "no adverse effect" and "inexpensive" were the most desired features of an anti-malarial drug.
WTP for ACT in this study was less than its real cost and a subsidy is, therefore, needed to enable its equitable affordability. The decision taken in Tanzania to subsidize Coartem® fully at governmental health care facilities and at a consumer price of TSh 300–500 (US$ 0.28–0.46) at special designated shops through the programme of Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs) appears to be well founded.
PMCID: PMC2585589  PMID: 18976453

Results 1-6 (6)