WHO Africa advances African science by promoting peer-reviewed research — a global issue
WHO’s Africa Office has published research findings in 25 peer-reviewed journals in an attempt to address research disparities, as part of the 2030 SDG Agenda of ‘leaving no one behind’ and the move towards universal health coverage. announced. Credit: WHO
  • by Ruru Maina (Nairobi)
  • interpress service

of officeThrough the Universal Health Coverage Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases (UCN) cluster, we address a range of health challenges, including zoonotic disease risks, in countries ranging from Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria. and announces about the disease and conducts research. Infectious and non-communicable diseases and public health approaches to reducing the burden of disease in Africa.

This research is of vital importance to the African continent, says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa.

“The WHO Africa Region has perhaps one of the highest burdens of disease globally. This has always been exacerbated by poverty, but in the decade before COVID-19, poverty However, these gains have now been reversed not only by COVID-19 but also by a series of severe shocks from 2020 to 2022,” said Matshidiso, Regional Director for Africa. Dr Moeti told IPS.

“Key threats include climate change, global instability, slowing economic growth and conflict. This is why we, at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, are taking steps to strengthen health systems towards universal health coverage. It is increasingly important to focus on the core promise of the 2030 SDG Agenda, which is to leave no one behind.

by Ending disease in Africa: responding to communicable and non-communicable diseases 2023 report The report, published in April, enabled WHO scientists to publish their research in respected journals such as Social Sciences and Humanities Open, and is estimated to be just 2% of the world’s total. Supported efforts to increase scientific research output in Africa.

Works are also published in open access journals such as the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and are freely accessible to the scientific community and the general public.

In addition to scientific publications based in Africa, Nigerian Journal of Parasitologyhighlighted the need to support the role that local publications can play in improving science in Africa and, in turn, addressing global research imbalances.

“A country’s ability to create, acquire, translate and apply scientific and technological advances is a key determinant of its socio-economic and industrial development. Many of Africa’s current and future health challenges are , can only be addressed by conducting research on population-based approaches to effective disease prevention and control and translating them into policy and practice,” the report says in the study’s introduction.

“Despite Africa’s disproportionate disease burden, the region generated 0.7 percent of global research in 2000, 1.3 percent in 2014, and more recently an estimated 2 percent. UCN Cluster and partners published over 25 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals in 2023 as part of efforts to address global research imbalances and ensure regional representation in academic literature .”

In Ghana, a WHO team conducted a ‘community-based cross-sectional study’ investigating the incidence of skin ulcers, highlighting the importance of integrating multiple skin diseases into a common research platform. This was shown in the survey results. pro swanMeanwhile, in Tanzania, “spatiotemporal modeling” of routine health facility data was undertaken to better guide community-based malaria interventions on the mainland.

Some of the papers are examples of “operational and implementation research” undertaken to ensure the successful introduction and adaptation of evidence-based interventions in both clinical and public health settings on the African continent, the WHO said. Africa says.

These include findings from an impact evaluation of a school-based preventive chemotherapy program for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminth In Angola, the drugs used were found to have little effect on controlling the disease. These findings show that Tropical diseases ignored by PLOS.

“This highlights the need for a comprehensive understanding of individual, community, and environmental factors associated with transmission and consideration of community-wide control programs,” they concluded.

Springer Nature’s Malaria Journal published a team study on the treatment-seeking behavior of parents of children with malaria-related fever in Malawi. This study captures the need for targeted health interventions among people living in low-socioeconomic communities and areas far from health care facilities.

In Nigeria, an article based on the experience in Nigeria using a new schistosomiasis community data analysis tool developed by UCN Cluster highlights the usefulness of this tool for strategic planning purposes and recommends that this tool be used to improve the effectiveness of this disease. It has enabled us to deploy across Africa for management purposes. . Flukes (trematodes) of the genus Schistosoma are the main cause of the acute and chronic parasitic disease schistosomiasis.

Research on health policy and systems. The aim is to better understand how “collective health goals” are achieved. This was done through a variety of disciplines, including economics, sociology, anthropology, political science, and public health.

One such magazine article was published by Elsevier. Open social sciences and humanitiesexamines 50 years of infectious disease outbreaks on the continent and recommends that concerted public health action can help reduce outbreaks, as well as drawing important conclusions about disease preparedness and prevention efforts. I’m leading it out.

Crucially, experts have undertaken the task of ‘knowledge translation’, the application of knowledge by different actors to bring about the benefits of global and regional innovations in strengthening health systems and improving health. is.

“In the African context, knowledge translation typically includes aspects of localization that take into account local perspectives and approaches and the influence of social, cultural, political, environmental and health system contexts on the impact of interventions. ”explains the expert.

In 2023, the UCN cluster translated and localized several global knowledge products for use in Africa. This includes products related to oral diseases, which affect approximately 44 percent of the region’s population.

The document says the latest updates on management for Africa are due to the “fastest increase in oral diseases globally in the past 30 years”, although spending on treatment remains “very low” in Africa. He says there is a need to share information.

Apart from scientific research, the report also shows that Mauritius has become the first country in Africa to fully implement the WHO’s suite of tobacco control measures, and that at the same time WHO and Africa have has announced that it has launched an initiative to support better access to treatment. We provide care services in Ivory Coast, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Equally important, WHO Africa is working with Nigerian authorities to introduce the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into routine immunization schedules, reaching more than 7 million girls, which is one of the first vaccinations for HPV vaccination in Africa. This is the highest number of times.

In January 2024, Algeria successfully “stopped” the transmission of schistosomiasis and became the third country to be certified as malaria-free, after no cases were reported in the country for the past three years. A success story has emerged in Cape Verde.

Note: This article is brought to you by IPS Noram in collaboration with INPS Japan. Soka Gakkai International Discussions are underway with ECOSOC.

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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All rights reservedSource: Interpress Service

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