SCIH Update Health Themes of the Future: Non-Communicable Diseases and Beyond


SCIH Update Health Themes of the Future: Non-Communicable Diseases and Beyond
SCIH Update
Summer 2011
Swiss Centre for International Health
Health Themes of the Future:
Non-Communicable Diseases and Beyond
The Swiss Public Health Conference, August 25-26, Basel, Switzerland “Chronic
Illnesses – A Global Challenge” will soon be upon us. Nicolaus Lorenz, Deputy
Director of the Swiss TPH, Director of the SCIH and Chair of the Public Health
Schweiz special interest group on Global Health, will moderate the workshop
“Health Themes of the Future: Non-Communicable Diseases and Beyond”.
Claudia Kessler, Deputy Director of the SCIH and Head of the Sexual and
Reproductive Health Unit (SRHU) will present work done by her and her team for
Medicus Mundi Switzerland (MMS) and the Swiss Agency for Development and
Cooperation (SDC) to review trends in international health and the relevance of
non-communicable diseases. A panel consisting of Andreas Loebell of the SDC,
Peter Beyer of the WHO, Ilona Kickbusch of the Graduate Institute Geneva and Claudia Kessler of the Swiss
TPH will open the issue for discussion. Additionally, Claudio Zaugg of the SCIH Health Technology and
Telemedicine Unit (HTTU), whose master thesis on Health Technology Management was selected among
the five best submitted to the conference in the fields of International, and Public Health since 2009, will
present his work in the “Masterpiece Forum in Public Health” session on August 25, 16:15 to 17:30. Visit the
conference website for more information and to register, or see page 15 of the conference programme for
more details on the SCIH presentation. We look forward to seeing you there!
Is There a Simple Financing Solution
for Health System Sustainability?
The Medicus Mundi Switzerland Bulletin 120, in addressing the topic of public
health for the impoverished and the very complicated question of how to create
sustainable health systems, presents the contributions made at this year’s Swiss
TPH Spring Symposium “Improving Access through Effective Health
Financing” organised by the Health Systems and Economics Unit (HSEU) of the
SCIH. For the full manuscript, please see the Bulletin on the MMS website or
download the pdf version. sto
WHO Health Systems Guidance Handbook
This July, the Guidelines International Network newsletter features an article on the World Health
Organization’s (WHO) Health Systems Guidance Handbook developed by the Systems Performance and
Monitoring Unit (SPMU) of the SCIH. The Handbook documents how health systems research can be
translated into useful guidance for health system policy making, as well as adapting approaches and
methods currently used in clinical guidelines and knowledge translation. Questions like, “Is evidence on
health systems robust enough?”, “Should implementation issues be prominent when developing guidance?”,
“Is ‘research’ evidence enough?” are explored. The full Handbook will be published in time for the upcoming
Cochrane Colloquium in Madrid (October 2011). For further details contact Xavier Bosch-Capblanch at
[email protected].
The Egypt-Swiss Radiology Project Remains Strong After the Revolution
After the Revolution in Egypt earlier this year, HTTU colleagues report that the project is moving along
reasonably well considering the drastic political changes and the overall difficult economic downturn. An
external evaluation was conducted on behalf of the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to assess
the performance of the current project phase (ending September this year) and to investigate whether a third
project phase with a focus on digital imaging technologies (digital radiology and tele-radiology) would be
feasible. The evaluation outcome was good, and SECO is planning to enter the third phase of the project.
GAVI Knowledge Bank Project Phase I in Review
The manuscript describing the first phase of the GAVI Knowledge Bank project headed by the SPMU, “Do
existing research summaries on health systems match immunisation managers' needs in middle- and lowincome countries? Analysis of GAVI health systems strengthening support”, has been published in the BMC
Public Health Journal this July. From 44 health systems strengthening proposals submitted to GAVI in 2007
and 2008, the identified topics, coverage of these topics by existing systematic reviews and use of nationwide surveys with vaccination data were analysed to justify the needs identified in the proposals. The
manuscript concludes that, “Relevant, high quality research summaries were found for few of the topics
identified by managers. Few proposals used national surveys evidence to identify barriers to vaccination.
Researchers generating or adapting evidence about health systems need to be more responsive to
managers' needs. Use of available evidence from local or national surveys should be strongly encouraged.”
For the full article see:
E-Learning Africa Conference and Exhibition
Approximately 1750 participants, of whom 80% were African, attended the eLearning Africa Conference in
Dar es Salaam. A broad range of topics and themes covering many sectors and all levels of educational
systems, modern teaching and training approaches, technical implementations (instructional design,
curricula development, learning management systems and authoring tools) of eLearning, policy questions
etc., were showcased. The hype of this year's conference was the use and applicability of mobile phones for
learning in resource constraints settings to bridge the knowledge gap. Many African countries see the
widespread availability of mobile phones as an opportunity to reach their population and disseminate
knowledge. The Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH), partners of the Swiss TPH, had
an exhibition booth to promote the work done in the joint TTCIH / HTTU / Swiss TPH Teaching & Training
projects: ICATT (IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) Computerized Adaptation and Training
Tool), and East African Telemedicine and eLearning. It also provided an opportunity to connect with national
and international stakeholders in Teaching & Training. The take home message was that eLearning is an
important issue - and a reality today. You can either be part of it now, or lose touch… and the Swiss TPH
does not intend to lose touch.
Web-Based Inventory System for Medical Devices in Moldova
“Better Information, Better Decisions, Better Care- Introducing a Web-Based Inventory System for Medical
Devices in Moldova” is the title of an HTTU publication presented at the International Conference on
Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering organised by the Moldovan Academy of Science under the
auspices of the Humbolt Foundation (July 7-8, 2011 in Chisinau). The manuscript reviews the transformation
of the management of medical devices infrastructure in the area of Perinatology towards web-based
technologies. The Government of Moldova has recently made the decision to scale-up the approach to
national level for all sectors of curative care.
Monitoring & Evaluation Guidelines for Ghana
The HSEU is pleased to report the successful launch of the CostBenefit Analysis (CBA) model for the Employee Wellbeing
Programme (EWP) supported by the German International
Cooperation (GIZ) Ghana Regional Coordination Unit for HIV & TB
Swiss TPH, Socinstrasse 57, Post Box, 4002 Basel, Switzerland, T +41 61 284 81 11, F +41 61 284 81 01,
(ReCHT). Patrick Hanlon presented the model, based on the CBA study undertaken in Accra in the first half
of this year, to members of the GIZ ReCHT team and several of their public and private partners of the EWP
in a two day workshop. Over twenty participants were able to familiarise themselves through presentations
and practical exercises with the functionality and flexibility of the tool, which puts the power of the
epidemiologist at the finger tips of employers. The tool facilitates the creation of interventions to maintain and
improve the health of their employees, their families and their communities. The model then calculates the
cost-benefit ratio and the net benefit for each intervention in helping to make the business case for investing
in employee health and wellbeing. The model is set to be generalised and translated for use in many
different settings and countries in the coming months in collaboration with the GIZ Sector Initiative “Applied
Research in Health Programmes of German Development Cooperation”.
Newly Awarded
Health Information Systems Project in Lucerne
The Canton of Lucerne’s Psychiatric Care unit has awarded the HTTU a
contract to design an information system to facilitate a patient registry, and
Methadone and Heroin treatment regiments for drug addicts. The HTTU,
with support from the Biostatistics and Computational Sciences unit of the
Swiss TPH Epidemiology and Public Health Department, will coordinate
the project design phase, and initiate resource planning integrating open
source tools used by the Institute.
Health Promotion and System Strengthening (HPSS) Project
We are pleased to announce the signing of the contract for a mandate to implement the HPSS project in the
Dodoma Region of Tanzania. The first phase of the project will be funded by the Swiss Government through
the SDC with 8.8M Swiss Francs over a 3.5 year period. It supports the Government of Tanzania in an
integrated systems development approach and will pilot innovative methods in seven districts of the Dodoma
Region. Major components of the project are:
Health promotion: developing activities to address major health problems at community level
Health insurance development: transforming Community Health Funds into viable social health
insurance schemes
Comprehensive supply-side health systems strengthening, including support for management of
finances, medicines, equipment and infrastructure
Mainstreaming of gender, HIV/AIDS and social inclusion, as well as comprehensive operational
research for all project activities
The HSEU will head the project, integrating the skills and expertise of all four units of the SCIH, and will be
backstopped by the Epidemiology and Public Health Department of the Swiss TPH. Strategic partnerships
with the Micro-Insurance Academy, Bonn/Delhi and the Ifakara Health Institute, Dar es Salaam, will further
strengthen the project team. His Excellency, the Ambassador of Switzerland and the Honorary Minister of
Health, Tanzania will officially launch the Project in Dodoma on August 19, 2011.
Joining the SCIH
Fabian Rohner joined the SPMU on July 1 as a local Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) expert in the Local
Fund Agent (LFA) team in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He will also support LFA services in Mali.
Aljona Gerasimova joined the HTTU this July to support Natalia Riabtseva (previously the Head of M&E) in
leading the Ukrainian-Swiss Mother and Child Health Programme office in Kyiv after the departure of Andrey
Solodarenko. Aljona will take the administrative lead and Natalia the programme content lead.
Jochen Bitzer will support the SPMU in its LFA services relating to Syria, and the West Bank and Gaza from
July 18 to December 16, initially conducting an on site data verification in the West Bank and Gaza.
Please join us in welcoming our new colleagues and congratulating those taking on new challenges.
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