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Lancet Series Examines Health Issues Facing Populations In Southeast Asia

“Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are facing a raft of new health challenges as the disaster-prone region undergoes some of the world’s fastest social change,” according to a series of papers and commentary pieces, published Tuesday in the Lancet, Agence France-Presse reports (1/25). “Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were among the countries surveyed by the journal, which called for universal health coverage especially to protect the poor,” Reuters writes (Lyn, 1/25).

Also In Global Health News: Medical Tourism In Southeast Asia; Cholera, Yellow Fever In Ivory Coast; U.S. Aid To Egypt; Universal Coverage In Mexico; Pneumonia’s Evolution

IRIN Examines Medical Tourism’s Affect In Southeast Asia IRIN examines how “rapid growth in medical tourism” in southeast Asian countries is affecting health systems in the region. According to the WHO, “medical tourism is leading to some highly skilled specialists, as well as other trained medical staff, leaving public health…

Daily Report Global Health Conversations: Reflections On Haiti’s Health System

January 12 marked one year since a major earthquake struck Haiti killing hundreds of thousands and significantly damaging its capital city, Port-au-Prince. To learn more about how the quake has affected health care in Haiti and get a sense of health priorities moving forward, Jaclyn Schiff of the Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report spoke with Wesler Lambert, a Haitian-born physician who has worked with Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante since 1997.

South Sudan Should Use Military As Force For Development

Calestous Juma, an author and professor at Harvard Kennedy School, writes in an East African opinion piece that as South Sudan prepares for independence on July 9, it “is the time” for the country “to chart a new path by defining a new role for its military” by “shift[ing] its military budget to development objectives.”

IRIN Reports On Concerns Over Poor Midwife Training In Senegal

IRIN reports on concerns about the low level of training midwives in Senegal undergo, a topic that was discussed at the launch of the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) State of the World’s Midwives report in Senegal. According to UNFPA, “[p]oorly-regulated, privately-run training schools in Senegal are churning out midwives who do not have a solid grasp of birthing or ante- and post-natal care, causing women and babies to die needlessly,” IRIN writes. There are dozens of midwife training schools in the country, which are supposed to be regulated, but because the government only has two inspectors to monitor the schools, many of them have low standards, said Edwige Adekambi, UNFPA’s joint Senegal director (6/30).

Japan’s Coastal Health Systems Facing Long Rebuilding Process Following Tsunami

The Lancet reports on Japan’s “daunting task of rebuilding hundreds of damaged health facilities” four months after an earthquake and tsunami hit the country. “When the tsunami ripped houses from their foundations and sent cars and other debris miles inland, it also caused widespread damage to the health infrastructure in a region already struggling to fund health services for its large elderly population,” the Lancet writes.

The Essential Role Of Midwives

Mary Ellen Stanton, a senior maternal health advisor at USAID, and Chris Thomas, global health communications and policy advisor at USAID, outline the agency’s work to promote better health outcomes for women and children in the developing world on GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog.

News Outlets Report On Health Landscape In South Sudan

Al Jazeera reports on the public health situation in South Sudan, which gained its independence on Saturday, and profiles Juba Teaching Hospital, the new country’s largest medical center. “A lack of proper primary care facilities in South Sudan means the doctors here are often overworked: Many of the doctors at the hospital come to work seven days a week,” Al Jazeera writes. “The health ministry has plans to open a network of primary care centers – roughly one per 15,000 people – but none are fully operational,” according to the news service. About 80 percent of the medical care in South Sudan is provided by international aid organizations, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Carlstrom, 7/10).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.