Affordability of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) prevention

This helpdesk reviews key studies on multiple primary and secondary prevention strategies, cardio-vascular disease (CVD) prevention drugs, and cancer prevention and early detection, in order to determine what the evidence says about the affordability of managing NCDs in low income countries. One key document reviewed the WHO Global action plan for the prevention and control of… Read more


Seasonality in South Sudan

Acute malnutrition tends to be highest during the lean season April/May – August. The lean season occurs at the same time as the rainy season, when the incidence of malaria and diarrhoea increases. This creates a double burden of vulnerability. The rainy season also brings logistical constraints to the implementation of nutrition activities, hampering communication… Read more


Evidence on ECD approaches in Malawi

This rapid review looks at the evidence on Early Childhood Development (ECD) models (including integrated approaches) in Malawi and in the Sub-Saharan African region, looking at the impact on child development and learning. Most of the evidence from Malawi focuses on Community Based Childcare Centres (CBCC) which are the main centre based model for ECD… Read more


Learning assessments

This helpdesk report provides a rapid analysis of evidence of the role of large-scale learning assessments (LSEAs) in education systems in low- and middle-income countries. It is divided into five principal sections, each associated with one of the 5 sub-queries set out above. The information and analysis is supplemented by a number of Annexes detailing… Read more


Barriers to scaling-up prevention of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis

The value of syphilis testing in early pregnancy has been gaining recognition in recent years. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of the disease is estimated to be responsible for between 2-4% of all neonatal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study. This makes a clear case for strengthening the prevention of MTCT (PMTCT)… Read more


Improving access to menstrual hygiene products

The market for menstrual hygiene products in developing countries is expanding rapidly, driven both by private demand and by public efforts to improve girls’ educational outcomes and women’s health and dignity. However, many women and girls cannot consistently afford the monthly cost of disposable menstrual products and revert to less hygienic solutions when facing cash… Read more


Rapid analysis of previous famines

This helpdesk reports that defining famine has proved historically challenging. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) provides a common currency for classifying both the magnitude and severity of food insecurity through a set of standardised tools. Despite the standard definition that the IPC provides, there have been several incidents where mass nutrition related mortality… Read more


The Political Economy of NCDs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

There is a growing movement advocating for an increased focus on resourcing the control and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), ie The Lancet NCD Action Group and the NCD Alliance. The proponents of tackling NCDs often quote figures for NCD impact in LMICs without discussing disparities between socio-economic groups. The rapid search for this report… Read more


Effective professional development and training

This helpdesk provides an overview of the literature that focuses on professional development and capacity building. It specifically seeks to explore the evidence on how best to deliver effective professional development and training for technical experts, and how the impact of conferences, seminars, short courses and e-learning can be maximized. There is a range of… Read more


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