Addressing the gender gap in global health leadership – via Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics

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This post was written by Pascale Allotey andoriginally posted on the Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics blog – read more at: http://cambridge.org/gheg-journal

In recognition of International Women’s Day 2016, GHEG is inviting submissions for a themed collection on Women in Global Health.

A core mission of global health is to achieve health equity for all people worldwide. Women, particularly in resource-limited settings, experience a disproportionate burden of disease and mortality due to inequities in access to basic health care, nutrition and education.(1) The imbalance in the health burden between genders is therefore a key focus, addressed by both the Millennium Development Goals and more recently, the Sustainable Development Goals.

However, despite this key goal to address gender inequities within the field of global health, women still occupy less than a quarter of global health leadership roles.(1) Ilona Kickbusch’s recent #WGH100 Twitter campaign to identify women leaders working at the forefront of global health, arose from a frustration with the lack of visibility of women in critical public spaces in the field.(2) Like other industries, the reasons for this imbalance include lack of opportunities, family commitments and lack of confidence. Whilst many institutions have attempted to address these issues, tackling the gender gap in leadership still requires a more proactive strategy.

This year’s theme for International Women’s day is Planet 50-50 by 2030: step it up for gender equality. The goal, spearheaded by UN Women, is to achieve gender equality in the next 15 years – by increasing investment in gender equality, striving for parity for women at all levels of decision-making, eliminating discriminatory legislation, and addressing social norms that perpetuate discrimination against women.(3)

The campaign for equality in leadership is important for reasons other than proportional representation. Research in several settings has shown that women in leadership positions are more likely than their male counterparts to invest in infrastructure and programmes that address women’s concerns.(1) Similarly, policies of women in leadership tend to be more responsive to the needs of women and children and recognise women’s responsibility for decision-making when it comes to the health of their families.(1, 2)

In an attempt to address and explore the issues surrounding gender and leadership in global health, GHEG will be publishing a themed collection on Women in Global Health. We invite submissions that explore, among other things, the current landscape, the potential reasons behind the current gender imbalance in global health roles, suggestions for practice and policy that can catalyse change, and descriptions of effective formal partnerships and campaigns on Women in Global Health. The deadline for this call is the 31st May 2016. To find out more visit: http://journals.cambridge.org/gheg/womenglobalhealth-cfp

 
References
1. Downs JA, Reif LK, Hokororo A, Fitzgerald DW. Increasing women in leadership in global health. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 2014;89(8):1103-7.
2. Devi S. Twitter campaign highlights top women in global health. Lancet (London, England). 2015;385(9965):318.
3. Press release: World leaders agree: We must close the gender gap [press release]. 2015.

Announcing the publication of the first papers in GHEG

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We are delighted to announce the publication of the first papers in Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics. As GHEG is fully Open Access, these papers, and all papers published in the future, are freely accessible online. Here we provide a brief summary of our first three publications.

 A forum for global population health, technological advances and implementation science
 Manjinder Sandhu

A welcome editorial by our Editor in Chief, marking the launch of Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics. Dr Sandhu highlights the strengths of the broad interdisciplinary scope of the journal and its international editorial board and invites the global health community to engage and contribute to the journal so that it becomes a valuable, practical and informative resource.
Read the full article here

 

favicon Study Profile: The Durban Diabetes Study (DDS): a platform for chronic disease research
 Thomas Hird et al.

A study profile of The Durban Diabetes Study (DDS), an on-going population-based cross-sectional survey of an urban black population in Durban, South Africa. The DDS was established to investigate a broad range of lifestyle, medical and genetic factors and their association with diabetes. It provides a rich platform for investigating the distribution, interrelation and aetiology of other chronic diseases and their risk factors, which can be utilised for other research studies.
Read the full article here

 

Favicon long Capitalizing on Natural Experiments in Low- to Middle- Income Countries to Explore Epigenetic Contributions to Disease Risk in Migrant Populations
 J. Jaime Miranda et al.

 

A commentary on the value of epigenetics as a tool for understanding differential disease risk in migrant populations. The authors highlight the merit of exploring migrant chronic disease risk in low- to middle-income countries, particularly in the context of rural-to-urban migration, with increasing urbanisation in this setting.
Read the full article here
More articles will be published in the coming weeks, and you can be notified when new articles are published by signing up to content alerts here. Here’s a preview of what’s coming soon:

  • H3Africa Multi-Centre Study of the Prevalence and Environmental and Genetic Determinants of Type 2 Diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa: Study Protocol
    Kenneth Ekoru et al.
  • Regulatory Developments in the Conduct of Clinical Trials in India
    Dhvani Mehta and Ranjit Roy Chaudhury

GHEG accepts original research articles, brief reports, structured reviews and commentaries as well as protocols, research resources and analysis. We are waiving the Article Processing Charge for all articles submitted to GHEG before the end of 2016. We invite contributions from a range of disciplines:
Epidemiology, Clinical trials, Genetics, Observational studies, Qualitative studies, Anthropological studies, Social science, Community intervention, Health systems, Health services, Population genetics, Population history.
For further information on the journal and how to submit please visit our website. Or if you wish to submit your manuscript directly please visit: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/gheg.

Global Health in 2015 – via Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics

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This post was written by Anna Louise Barr andoriginally posted on the Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics blog – read more at: http://journals.cambridge.org/gheg

A review of the year’s most notable global health news stories, events and research breakthroughs, and a look towards future challenges in 2016 and beyond.

This year has seen a number of milestones achieved in the fight against infectious diseases. For the first time, a malaria vaccine has been approved and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for pilot implementation. If deemed safe and effective, the vaccine will be a positive step forward in the fight against malaria in Africa, where the specific species that the vaccine targets is most prevalent and is responsible for the deaths of 500,000 people annually. In June, Cuba became the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Furthermore, UNAIDS announced that, globally, the spread of HIV has been halted and reversed, with 15 million people now currently receiving antiretroviral therapy. These two achievements represent an important breakthrough in the prevention of HIV transmission and realising the goal of an AIDS-free generation. In September, WHO announced that Nigeria was no longer a polio-endemic country; just two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan) have yet to stop polio transmission.

In West Africa, transmission of Ebola has ended in Sierra Leone, however, 19 months after the first case was reported, cases are still arising in Guinea and Liberia, and vigilance remains high in the region. Recent studies have detected the virus in semen, and other immune privileged sites, several months after infection, leading to some concern regarding possible sexual transmission of the virus. The risk is deemed low, but considering the unprecedented scale of the epidemic and numbers of survivors, the WHO and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have continued to encourage the promotion of safe sex practices. A vaccine for Ebola has also been developed and is close to approval.

2015 marked the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). During the 15 year initiative, the MDGs successfully galvanised political will, resulting in unprecedented efforts to reduce global poverty. Extreme poverty declined by more than half and reductions were seen in the proportion of undernourished people in developing regions and the number of out-of-school children of primary school age. Globally, the mortality rate of children under-five more than halved and maternal mortality fell by 44% worldwide. Yet not everyone has benefitted equally; the poorest and most disadvantaged in society have quite often been left behind.

The 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were launched this year, hopes to build on the MDGs and address these inequalities. It is an ambitious set of new goals, 17 in total with 169 targets altogether, centred on the vision of development through equality and the implementation of sustainable economic, social and environmental policies. Unlike the MDGs, health no longer takes centre stage, with only goal three, ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’, specifically addressing it. Whilst other goals have health related targets, addressing risk factors such as poor sanitation and malnutrition, there is some concern that there is no coherent vision for health in middle- and high-income countries where the health burden is predominantly from non-communicable diseases; risk factors such as unhealthy diet, obesity and inadequate physical exercise are not addressed.(1) The overall successes of the MDGs inspires hope that the same collective action and funding commitment will be directed towards the SDG agenda maintaining the momentum required to take on the global health challenges ahead.

References

1. Murray CJ. Shifting to Sustainable Development Goals–Implications for Global Health. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;373(15):1390-3.

 

Rethinking Mental Health in Latin America – via Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics

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Mental health disorders are a huge burden for health systems, particularly in low and middle income countries. A new research hub based in Sao Paulo and Lima is exploring the opportunity to use technology to tackle these disorders.

In 2010, mental and substance use disorders were responsible for the greatest number of years of life lost to ill health worldwide.(1) In 2012, the World Health Assembly officially recognised the major contribution of mental disorders to the global non-communicable disease burden.(2) It urged member states to develop a coordinated and comprehensive response towards mental health treatment through their health and social sectors. Worldwide a large treatment gap exists for mental health disorders, particularly in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Insufficient financial resources in LMICs results in inadequate numbers of trained personnel, and a high proportion of patients who do not receive care; 76-85% of people with severe mental health conditions do not receive treatment.(3)

The Latin American Treatment and Innovation Network in Mental Health (LATIN-MH) is a regional hub for research and training in mental health, based in Lima (CRONICAS), Sao Paulo, Chicago and London. Its aim is to find innovative solutions to address the treatment gaps that exist in mental health care. Although undoubtedly a difficult challenge, at CRONICAS we believe that to develop sustainable mental health interventions, health systems must adapt to scarce resources and health inequities, effectively building upon the existing context. We see LATIN-MH as a “disruptive innovation”: a new product that transforms and adds to traditional ones. This innovation is driven by three pillars: (i) building capacity to achieve sustainability, (ii) developing strategic interdisciplinary partnerships, and (iii) integrating effective mental health treatment into primary care and community health systems.

LATIN-MH combines the innovative use of task shifting and technology to address the mental health treatment gap. Task shifting at the level of healthcare providers and patients’ self-management has been successfully shown to increase child survival rates and maternal health.(4) Furthermore, the growing implementation of e-health and m-health interventions has played an important role in changing unhealthy habits or lifestyles.(5)

Our research component is centred on assessing the feasibility of using a technologically driven nurse assisted intervention (CONEMO) for people with co-morbid depression and diabetes/hypertension to reduce symptoms of depression. The intervention is a 6-week programme based on behavioural activation, an approach which works by engaging patients in activities that improve their mood. Implementing this smartphone application shifts tasks to nurses and smartphones by taking advantage of the huge mobile phone penetration in the region.(6) This is hugely important in settings where staff shortages exist. At the same time, the project builds research capacity within Peru and Brazil by providing a framework for hands-on mentoring and training for junior investigators who will form part of the new cohort of public health researchers. The success of the intervention is currently being evaluated.

We hope that this model will be sustainable and will help improve the management of mental health in the long-term in order to overcome the barriers preventing us from achieving universal access to mental health care and improved population mental wellbeing.

CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Global Health Initiative under the contract ‘Global Health Activities in Developing Countries to Combat Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases’.

References
1. Whiteford HA, Degenhardt L, Rehm J, Baxter AJ, Ferrari AJ, Erskine HE, et al. Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet (London, England). 2013;382(9904):1575-86.
2. WHO (World Health Organisation). The global burden of mental disorders and the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level. Geneva: WHO, 2012.
3. WHO (World Health Organisation). 10 facts on mental health 2014 [cited 2015]. Available from: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/mental_health_facts/en/.
4. Lewin S, Munabi-Babigumira S, Glenton C, Daniels K, Bosch-Capblanch X, van Wyk BE, et al. Lay health workers in primary and community health care for maternal and child health and the management of infectious diseases. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2010(3):Cd004015.
5. WHO (World Health Organisation). mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies: second global survey on eHealth. Geneva: WHO, 2011.
6. GSMA Intelligence. The Mobile Economy; Latin America 2014. London: 2014.

 

This post was originally posted on the Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics blog – read more at: http://journals.cambridge.org/gheg

Cambridge launch new open access journal – Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics

GHG blog image - cover

Cambridge unveils new Open Access journal – Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics (GHEG)

Cambridge University Press is delighted to announce a major new open access journal, Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics (GHEG), dedicated to publishing and disseminating research that addresses and increases understanding of global and population health issues through the application of population science, genomics and applied technologies.

Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics is the Press’s second Open Access journal in the field of global health, joining Global Mental Health which launched in 2014. Spanning both non-communicable and communicable diseases, GHEG will specifically integrate epidemiology, genomics and related technological advances in the global health context. Topics relevant to GHEG will include studies, methods and resources relating to global population health, disease aetiology, variation in disease susceptibility, drug resistance and surveillance, health care and health care systems, pharmacogenomics and stratified medicine, as well as the challenges of implementing new developments into clinical practice and the community, globally. In addition to more traditional Original Research and Review Articles, GHEG will support submission of Resources and Analyses that provide a framework for integrating and facilitating genomics and global health studies.

The Editor-in-Chief of GHEG is Dr Manjinder Sandhu, head of the Global Health Group based at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The international Editorial team includes recognised leaders in global health, epidemiology and genomics from around the world who have taken a lead in shifting attention and action to global health and populations, as well as a wider Editorial Board that will reflect and emphasize the broad scope of the field.

Dr Sandhu said, “I am committed to making GHEG an innovative, engaging and practical resource for the global health research community through which we can publish new scientific research, exchange ideas within and across our related disciplines and share resources to facilitate efforts to increase our understanding of human health and shape effective disease management worldwide.”

Professor Alex Brown, Deputy Director of the South Australia Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and one of the journal’s Associate Editors commented, “I am delighted to be involved with GHEG, an exciting venture which recognises the relevance and importance of the work being undertaken in the field of global health, epidemiology and genomics and the widespread benefits to be gained by applying technological advances and innovations to research into population health including within disadvantaged population groups. By facilitating discussion and encouraging the sharing of resources GHEG looks to actively support contributions in these areas.”

Katy Christomanou, Publishing Director for STM Journals at Cambridge University Press, added, “This launch affirms our long-term commitment in the global health field and reflects our strong investment in maintaining and extending our successful presence in this area. We are highly enthusiastic at the prospect of working alongside such an outstanding editorial team.”

Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics will be hosted on Cambridge’s industry-leading platform, Cambridge Journals Online (CJO). The Journal will benefit from a range of the latest author services including article level usage metrics and Altmetric data. In addition, for articles submitted during 2015 and 2016, Cambridge University Press will waive all article processing charges.

For more information please visit the journal website: journals.cambridge.org/gheg

 

Cambridge launch new open access journal – Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics

GHEG cover_final2

Cambridge unveils new Open Access journal – Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics (GHEG)

Cambridge University Press is delighted to announce a major new open access journal, Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics (GHEG), dedicated to publishing and disseminating research that addresses and increases understanding of global and population health issues through the application of population science, genomics and applied technologies.

Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics is the Press’s second Open Access journal in the field of global health, joining Global Mental Health which launched in 2014. Spanning both non-communicable and communicable diseases, GHEG will specifically integrate epidemiology, genomics and related technological advances in the global health context. Topics relevant to GHEG will include studies, methods and resources relating to global population health, disease aetiology, variation in disease susceptibility, drug resistance and surveillance, health care and health care systems, pharmacogenomics and stratified medicine, as well as the challenges of implementing new developments into clinical practice and the community, globally. In addition to more traditional Original Research and Review Articles, GHEG will support submission of Resources and Analyses that provide a framework for integrating and facilitating genomics and global health studies.

The Editor-in-Chief of GHEG is Dr Manjinder Sandhu, head of the Global Health Group based at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The international Editorial team includes recognised leaders in global health, epidemiology and genomics from around the world who have taken a lead in shifting attention and action to global health and populations, as well as a wider Editorial Board that will reflect and emphasize the broad scope of the field.

Dr Sandhu said, “I am committed to making GHEG an innovative, engaging and practical resource for the global health research community through which we can publish new scientific research, exchange ideas within and across our related disciplines and share resources to facilitate efforts to increase our understanding of human health and shape effective disease management worldwide.”

Professor Alex Brown, Deputy Director of the South Australia Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and one of the journal’s Associate Editors commented, “I am delighted to be involved with GHEG, an exciting venture which recognises the relevance and importance of the work being undertaken in the field of global health, epidemiology and genomics and the widespread benefits to be gained by applying technological advances and innovations to research into population health including within disadvantaged population groups. By facilitating discussion and encouraging the sharing of resources GHEG looks to actively support contributions in these areas.”

Katy Christomanou, Publishing Director for STM Journals at Cambridge University Press, added, “This launch affirms our long-term commitment in the global health field and reflects our strong investment in maintaining and extending our successful presence in this area. We are highly enthusiastic at the prospect of working alongside such an outstanding editorial team.”

Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics will be hosted on Cambridge’s industry-leading platform, Cambridge Journals Online (CJO). The Journal will benefit from a range of the latest author services including article level usage metrics and Altmetric data. In addition, for articles submitted during 2015 and 2016, Cambridge University Press will waive all article processing charges.

For more information please visit the journal website: journals.cambridge.org/gheg

A new journal from Cambridge – Global Mental Health

 

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Cambridge University Press announces a major new open access journal, Global Mental Health (GMH), focusing on mental health research and issues from the global perspective.

GMH seeks to cultivate the emerging discipline of Global Mental Health. It will provide a forum for the publication of new perspectives and paradigms developing in this field, with a particular focus on four key aspects: Interventions; Etiology; Policy and Systems; and Teaching and Learning. Original Research Papers, both quantitative and qualitative, which contribute to advancing a global discourse in any of these areas will be particularly welcome.

Editor-in-Chief Gary Belkin, New York University, said, “Mental health is finally becoming established within the global health and emerging social development agendas.  Staying on those agendas will mean succeeding at closing treatment gaps to an order of a billion people with unmet needs through prevention, promotion, the right social and economic policies, and smart treatment delivery design.  All of these strategies will be shaped by the need to act on the deep connections that mental and behavioral health and emotional wellbeing have with social outcomes and other health conditions.  As the new field of Global Mental Health emerges, it needs to offer tools and a knowledge base that live up to the demands and ambition of this scope of action and impact. It needs to accelerate the participation and integration of other disciplines and fields under the umbrella of Global Mental Health, rather than emerge as another niche field. Developing a global point of view on mental health in these ways, and substantially enlarging the reach and diversity of the community of scholars and implementers who contribute to and learn from it, is what this new journal is about.”

 

Katy Christomanou, Publishing Director for STM Journals at Cambridge University Press added: “GMH appears at a time when health, development, and social policy are evolving within a global framework. New perspectives and innovative ways of approaching problems and their solutions are constantly emerging. This journal will provide a forum for sharing knowledge amongst the growing international research community in this evolving field.  The launch of GMH complements the Press’ publishing programme and reflects our commitment to growth across health sciences including psychology and psychiatry.”

Find out more about our new journal here.

 

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