Policy briefs

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    • Improving rational use of antibiotics in childhood upper respiratory tract infections in rural China

      Irrational use of antimicrobials is a serious issue worldwide, especially in China. Additional interventions need to be developed and a health systems approach is urgently needed. Read our policy brief for more on our recommendations to tackle over-prescribing of antivirals for childhood upper respiratory tract infections (URIs).

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    • Decentralising non-communicable disease care in Swaziland: successes, challenges and recommendations from a pilot study

      This policy brief shares recommendations from our 2-year pilot study into decentralising diabetes and hypertension care across Swaziland. Recommendations include allowing nurses to assess uncomplicated patients and revisiting medication contracts to avoid frequent drug stock-outs.

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    • Cardiovascular disease risk reduction in rural China – policy recommendations

      In China, CVD accounts for 38% of total mortality and is predicted to increase significantly. This policy brief shares our findings and recommendations from a pragmatic, cluster randomised controlled trial in Zhejiang province, China. Our study shows that a comprehensive care package at primary healthcare level can lead to better drug adherence, significant reduction in smoking and reduced alcohol and salt intake.

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    • Rational use of antibiotics by community health workers (CHWs) and caregivers in Zambia

      This policy brief shows that community health workers (CHWs) in Zambia are capable of correctly assessing and treating pneumonia symptoms in children. However, to further strengthen the rational use of antibiotics, we recommend improved respiratory rate assessment tools for CHWs.

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    • Assessing and addressing barriers to IPT2 uptake in Uganda

      Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) is recommended by the World Health Organization as one of the 3 key strategies for the prevention and control of malaria in pregnancy. However, our study shows that various issues are hindering the effective provision of antenatal care and IPTp for women in Uganda. This policy brief summarises these obstacles and makes a number of key recommendations, including the development of a job aid for health workers and the introduction of computerised recording and reporting systems at health facilities.

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    • Improving the quality of care at community clinics in rural Bangladesh through new approaches

      Our research shows that there can be substantial benefits to healthcare provision if countries develop tailored materials and training packages for lower-level health workers. Regular refresher training for community health care practitioners, specially-adapted job aids and help to improve communication skills are among the key recommendations from our study

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    • How can public-private partnerships enhance the use of long acting contraceptive methods in Bangladesh?

      Our findings show the public-private partnership model is acceptable and appropriate and increases the use of long acting contraceptive methods. Our recommendations include the need for hands-on training of private medical practitioners (PMPs) to improve their knowledge of family planning services and methods. Proper tracking and disbursement of incentives to PMPs is needed to help keep them motivated and actively referring to family planning centres.

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    • Improving treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis patients – lessons from Shandong Province, China

      A summary of the key policy messages from our research into why MDR-TB patients are experiencing delays and interruptions in their TB treatment and the service improvements that will help address these barriers.

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    • In-country public-private partnerships hold the key to promoting inclusiveness in Dutch trade and international cooperation agenda

      This policy contribution was developed in response to a Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs online consultation. It advocates the extension of the public-private partnership (PPP) model into health service delivery and draws on our work with private and public healthcare providers in Bangladesh.

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    • Why gender mainstreaming is important when planning and implementing health interventions: examples from COMDIS-HSD

      Many of the projects undertaken by COMDIS-HSD have shown the importance of gender mainstreaming during the design and assessment of health interventions. This policy brief outlines some examples and shares our experiences of gender mainstreaming in disease prevention, pre-diagnosis, diagnosis and treatment. It shows that the best way of identifying barriers and solutions to accessing healthcare is to talk directly to some of the women and men involved.

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    • Influencing TB policy and practice in Bangladesh using a Public-Private Mix approach

      Bangladesh is among the top 10 high TB burden countries. This policy brief describes how the involvement of private medical practitioners (PMPs) can substantially increase case finding of infectious TB cases. We found that the 'public-private mix' (PPM) model is highly effective in improving access to and quality of TB care in urban settings and that appropriate protocols, tools and training materials have considerably improved the quality of TB reporting.

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    • Using behaviour change interventions to decrease tobacco use in Nepal

      Nepal has the highest rates of tobacco use in South Asia. While increasing focus is being placed on raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, there are currently no programmes to support people who already use tobacco to quit effectively. Our study recommends integrating tobacco cessation support into the regular health care system to help existing smokers to quit.

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