Since 2013, SJN has partnered with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to share instances of exceptional progress and success in public health (known as “positive deviants”) using research and data produced at IHME. This weekly series highlights a timely example of positive deviance and shows you what locality has seen the most gains. We don’t, however, always know why such successes took place, which is why we look to journalists like you, in hopes that you’ll use these data as inspiration for stories. Run with the data. Report. Research. Find out how these countries are succeeding–and publish what you find with the world.
May 18, 2015
May 8, 2015
A lot of progress has been made against measles, but many around the world remain unlucky when it comes to this deadly and disabling disease. And bad luck, when it comes to infectious disease, travels.
May 4, 2015
Educating women saves lives – and the world is getting better at doing both.
April 27, 2015
Perhaps it isn’t surprising that in Wisconsin, home of Miller Brewing and where bars outnumber grocery stores almost 3 to 1, rates of binge and heavy drinking are on the rise. In 2012, Wisconsin also had some of the highest rates of heavy drinking in the country.
April 10, 2015
The benefits of breastfeeding to the health and development of newborn children are well-documented, with ‘exclusive’ breastfeeding in the first six months of life shown to enhance children’s immunity to infectious disease
April 9, 2015
Like many fields, public health is in the midst of a data revolution: randomized control trials, pay-for-performance and value calculations, all based on data, are changing our ideas about what works and how to finance it.
April 3, 2015
As improving the quality of health services and people’s access to them becomes more of a global priority (especially in the wake of the Ebola crisis), it’s easy to forget that “health” – how we live and die, and how we interact with health systems – rarely happens at the country-level. Global health leaders want to “ensure that every country [have] a robust and resilient health system,” but we also need to look at the wide variations happening within a country to learn from successful, local initiatives.
April 2, 2015
A major objective of many health systems worldwide is to ensure that all people obtain the high-quality health services they need without risk of financial hardship. Achieving this universal health coverage (UHC) requires reducing inequalities within countries as well as between countries. Within-country inequalities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, has therefore become the focus of research. In a recent study published in BMC Medicine, Emmanuela Gakidou from the University of Washington, USA, and colleagues focus on maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) interventions across 72 districts in Zambia. Using data collected over 20 years, they produce the first systematic assessment of trends in this area. Here Gakidou explains their findings and what the implications are, not only for Zambia but also for other sub-Saharan African countries.
A new study reveals that while Zambia has made great progress against malaria over the past decade or so it was losing ground on many other health needs like basic child immunizations and maternal health care.
Interventions for improving maternal and child health have resulted in significant national health gains in Zambia since 1990. However, these national gains mask substantial variations across districts and interventions. Emmanuela Gakidou discusses the findings of her study on this area published today in BMC Medicine.
March 23, 2015
Today is World Tuberculosis Day, a time where international organizations turn a spotlight on the burden of tuberculosis (TB) and heightened action against this deadly disease.
March 6, 2015
Many governments are trying to make it harder for the tobacco industry to do business in their countries.
February 19, 2015
With wars taking place in several regions of the world right now, and regular news accounts of violent deaths in the United States, it seems like it would be easy to tally up the countries where people face the highest likelihood of dying from interpersonal violence.
February 13, 2015
With America’s measles outbreak still spreading to new corners of the country, the public’s response is also become increasingly charged. Families are demanding that schools and pediatricians bar unvaccinated children from their premises. Political debates over how or if immunizations should be mandatory have exploded amid the rising measles case count.
January 30, 2015
When people in rural Uganda or Kenya don’t get the care they need or want, for example, we don’t always know why. Is it because local health facilities don’t stock the medications, or have enough trained medical staff? Did patients have to wait too long for service – or do they think their local health facility isn’t clean or has the services they need, and so they don’t seek care in the first place?
January 29, 2015
If you’re a health worker in Uganda, what do you need in order to provide the best possible care for your patients – people who could be suffering from anything from HIV to broken limbs? You need a range of medicines and other medical supplies, like stethoscopes or blood pressure cuffs. And of course enough medical personnel.
January 22, 2015
For the global health field, 2015 is a year with a lot riding on it. The deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) looms, and deliberations continue about the post-MDG world should approach sustainable development (and what that should even mean). We’re celebrating improved survival in much of the world, yet we’re still struggling to contain Ebola in West Africa and less traditional “public health” problems, such as violence, are on rise in many places.
January 21, 2015
Five years after a massive earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, the crowded capital of Haiti, killing between 160,000 and 200,000 people and displacing more than 1.5 million people to tent camps, there are signs of improvement.
January 16, 2015
We’ve learned that falls are the leading cause of death for elderly Americans, and that this is due in part to the shrinkage of people’s brains as they age – leading to extra risk of “jostling” from falls. In the US, fall prevention has become a major priority for nursing homes nationwide, and the National Institute on Aging has recently embarked on a $30 million dollar study on reducing fall injuries.
January 2, 2015
In The Lancet Global Health, Stephen Resch and colleagues’ study benchmarks 12 countries’ government expenditure on HIV/AIDS. This important research emphasizes that many governments are not meeting spending goals, and in many countries the financing gaps are so great that, even if they met the spending goals, expenditure would still fall short of what is needed (expenditure would cover only 64% of estimated future funding requirements, leaving a gap of around a third of the total US$7.9 billion needed).
Non-communicable diseases today account for nearly 70 percent of all deaths globally, according to the latest results from the Global Burden of Disease study, an ongoing project to measure the impact of disabling and deadly conditions across the world.
December 19, 2014
The GBD researchers, who this year focused on mortality trends between 1990 and 2013, discovered that cirrhosis as a cause of death – which has seldom received much attention as a leading killer – is on the increase even as global interventions targeting infectious diseases have produced major reductions in mortality from some of the more high-profile deadly diseases such as AIDS, malaria or TB.
December 18, 2014
Literally millions of stories can be found in this new body of results (or explored online with IHME’s data visualization suite). Today, we’re taking a deeper dive into a public health success story where the link between policy efforts and improved health outcomes is only tightening: tobacco control, and in particular, Uruguay’s efforts to take on its tobacco epidemic.
A massive cause-of-death study finds that we are living about six years longer than we did in 1990, that child deaths have plummeted thanks to greatly expanded immunizations, among other things, and that non-communicable diseases like diabetes are gaining prominence as top killers largely because of big gains made against infectious diseases.
December 5, 2014
The gravest health threats facing low- and middle-income countries are not the plagues, parasites, and blights that dominate the news cycle and international relief efforts. They are the everyday diseases the international community understands and could address, but fails to take action against. Once thought to be challenges for affluent countries alone, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have emerged as the leading cause of death and disability in developing countries.