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Journal: Global health action


Achieving a fair and equitable distribution of health in the population while progressing toward universal health coverage (UHC) is a key focus of health policy in Vietnam. This paper describes health barriers experienced by women (and children by inference) in Vietnam, and measures how UHC, with reference to maternal health services and child mortality rates, is affected by selected social determinants of health (SDH), termed ‘barriers’.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Healthcare, Public health, Mortality rate, Demography, Illness


Male involvement in maternal health is recommended as one of the interventions to improve maternal and newborn health. There have been challenges in realising this action, partly due to the position of men in society and partly due to health system challenges in accommodating men. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the effect of Home Based Life Saving Skills training by community health workers on improving male involvement in maternal health in terms of knowledge of danger signs, joint decision-making, birth preparedness, and escorting wives to antenatal and delivery care in a rural community in Tanzania.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Healthcare, Childbirth, Infant, Improve, Obstetrics, Gender


There is limited knowledge about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive migrants and their experiences in the Swedish health care system. It is necessary to increase our knowledge in this field to improve the quality of care and social support for this vulnerable group of patients.

Concepts: HIV, AIDS, Health care, Health care provider, Health economics, Medicine, Health, Genome


The 5S method is a lean management tool for workplace organization, with 5S being an abbreviation for five Japanese words that translate to English as Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. In Senegal, the 5S intervention program was implemented in 10 health centers in two regions between 2011 and 2014.

Concepts: Morpheme, Vowel, Chinese language, Manufacturing, Lean manufacturing, Japanese language, Lean concepts, Kaizen


Given the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge negative impacts it is causing, researching on COVID-19-related issues is very important for designing proactive and comprehensive public health interventions to fight against the pandemic. We describe the characteristics of COVID-19 patients detected in the two phases of the epidemic in Vietnam. Data used in this paper were mainly obtained from the official database of the Ministry of Health of Vietnam. Descriptive statistics were carried out using Stata 16 software. As of 18 May 2020, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases detected in Vietnam was 324, 16 cases from 4 cities and provinces in the first phase (during 20 days, 0.8 cases detected per day) and 308 cases from 35 cities, provinces in the second phase (during 76 days, 4.1 cases detected per day). Vietnam has mobilized its entire political system to fight the COVID-19 and achieved some initial successes. We found both similarities and differences between the two phases of the COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam. We demonstrated that the situation of the COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam is getting more complicated and unpredictable.


In 2008 nine African Universities and four African research institutions, in partnership with non-African institutions started the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) to strengthen doctoral training and research capacity on health in Africa. This study describes particular aspects of the CARTA program that promotes collaboration between the PhD fellows in the program, and determines the patterns of collaborative publications that resulted from the intervention. We reviewed program monitoring and evaluation documents and conducted a bibliometric analysis of 806 peer-reviewed publications by CARTA fellows published between 2011 and 2018. Results indicate that recruiting multidisciplinary fellows from various institutions, encouraging registration of doctoral-level fellows outside home institutions, and organizing joint research seminars stimulated collaborative research on health-related topics. Fellows collaborated among themselves and with non-CARTA researchers. Fellows co-authored 75 papers (10%) between themselves, of which 53 (71%) and 42 (56%) included fellows of different cohorts and different disciplines respectively, and 19 (25%) involved fellows of different institutions. CARTA graduates continued to publish with each other after graduating - 11% of the collaborative publications occurred post-graduation - indicating that the collaborative approach was maintained after exiting from the program. However, not all fellows contributed to publishing collaborative papers. The study recommends concerted effort towards enhancing collaborative publications among the CARTA fellows, both doctoral and post-doctoral, which can include holding research exchange forums and collaborative grant-writing workshops.


Initial observations showed that people with chronic noncommunicable diseases were at heightened risk of severe COVID-19 and adverse outcomes. Subsequently, data from various countries have revealed obesity as an independent and significant factor, with people who are overweight/have obesity significantly more likely to be hospitalized, require ICU treatment, and to die. Notably, this additional risk applies to younger people relative to the general COVID-19 risk profile. This paper sets out the evidence of greater risk of poor COVID outcomes for people who are overweight/have obesity, indication of reduced treatment and support for obesity self-management where it existed prior to COVID-19, and highlights the dearth of specific guidance and measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 upon people with obesity. We identify the health, social and economic impacts that this specific vulnerability creates relative to COVID-19 outcomes. Reduced national and global pandemic resilience due to high obesity prevalence should spur governments and funders to provide urgent specific protection and support for people with overweight/obesity, and to commission rapid research to identify effective prevention and reduction measures. We set out priorities for action on obesity to begin compensating for years of underfunding and inadequate policy attention in the face of escalating obesity across countries of all income groups and world regions.


Mexico is a developing country with one of the highest youth obesity rates worldwide; >34% of children and adolescents between 5 and 19 years of age are overweight or obese.

Concepts: Cancer, Nutrition, Obesity, Overweight, Adipose tissue, Mexico, Bariatrics


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected many countries with increasing morbidity and mortality. Interestingly, many of the actions and policies adopted in countries are linked to the social determinants of health (SDH). The SDH are critical determinants of health and health inequalities that are not directly within the health sector. Policies such as social distancing, good hygiene, avoiding large gatherings, cancelling of social and sports events, using personal protective equipment, schools and restaurants closure, country lockdown, etc. are not necessarily within the health sector but have been promoted to prevent and attenuate COVID-19 infection rates significantly. The SDH that serve to reduce morbidity will forestall or substantially reduce the pressure on many weak health systems in developing countries that cannot cope with increased hospitalisation and intensive health care. This paper argues that one of the most critical social determinants of health (i.e. effective crisis and risk communication), is crucial in many developing countries, including those with fewer confirmed coronavirus cases. We note that the effectiveness of many of the other SDH in reducing the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic hinges on effective communication, especially crisis and risk communication. Although many countries are adopting different communication strategies during the COVID-19 crisis, effective crisis and risk communication will lead to building trust, credibility, honesty, transparency, and accountability. The peculiarity of many developing countries in terms of regional, cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity is an essential consideration in ensuring effective crisis and risk communication. Developing countries facing significant poverty and disease burden cannot afford to handle the burgeoning of COVID-19 infections and must take preventive measures seriously. Thus, we submit that there is a need to intensify SDH actions and ensure that no one is left behind when communicating crisis and risk to the population to address the COVID-19 pandemic.


Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a public health problem and one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. Recently practitioners and researchers have taken an interest in community participation as a strategy for preventing VAWG. Despite the recent enthusiasm however, there has been little articulation of how participation in VAWG prevention programmes mobilises communities to challenge social norms and prevent VAWG.