Ebola: what lessons for the International Health Regulations?

With more than 3000 deaths since the first case was confirmed in March, 2014, the international community has recognised Ebola as a public health emergency of international concern and a clear threat to global health security. It is the subject of a high-level UN Security Council resolution, and has triggered the creation of a UN… Read more




Public health surveillance in the United States: evolution and challenges

In its 1988 report, a committee of the Institute of Medicine highlighted assessment as one of the three core functions of public health along with policy development and assurance. The committee recommended that every public health agency regularly and systematically collect, assemble, analyse, and make available information on the health of the community, including statistics… Read more




Retention of female volunteer community health workers in Dhaka urban slums: a prospective cohort study

Volunteer community health workers (CHWs) are a key approach to improving community-based maternal and child health services in developing countries. BRAC, a large Bangladeshi non-governmental organisation, has employed female volunteer CHWs in its community-based health programs since 1977, recently including its Manoshi project, a community-based maternal and child health intervention in the urban slums of… Read more




Evaluation of concern Kenya’s korogocho emergency and food security cash transfer initiative: final report

The Korogocho cash transfer initiative was intended to transfer Ksh 1,500 on a monthly basis to 2400 households, using a mobile phone bank transfer system common in Kenya and known as M-PESA. The main initiative ran from November 2009 to July 2010 (eight months of transfers), though some bed-ridden households continue to receive transfers. The initiative… Read more




Public–private mix for tuberculosis care and control: a systematic review

Public–private mix (PPM), recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), was introduced to cope with the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic worldwide. In many developing countries, PPM has played a powerful role in TB control, while in others it has failed to meet expectations. Thus, a systematic review was conducted to determine the mechanisms used by global… Read more




Community mobilization in Mumbai slums to improve perinatal care and outcomes: a cluster randomized controlled trial

Improving maternal and newborn health in low-income settings requires both health service and community action. Previous community initiatives have been predominantly rural, but India is urbanising. While working to improve health service quality, we tested an intervention in which urban slum-dweller women’s groups worked to improve local perinatal health. Facilitating urban community groups was feasible, and… Read more




Who serves the urban poor? A geospatial and descriptive analysis of health services in slum settlements in Dhaka, Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the health risks of unplanned urbanisation are disproportionately shouldered by the urban poor. Key findings of the paper include: unlike rural areas, organised systems of primary care provision are lacking in urban Bangladesh, and apart from limited services through non-government organisation, is altogether absent in urban slums; informal private-for-profit providers have strategically filled… Read more




Strategies to reduce exclusion among populations living in urban slum settlements in Bangladesh

The health and rights of populations living in informal or slum settlements are key development issues of the 21st century. As of 2007, the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas. More than one billion of these people, or one in three city-dwellers, live in inadequate housing with no or a few basic resources…. Read more




Enhancing urban safety and security: global report on human settlements, 2007

This report addresses three major threats to the safety and security of cities: crime and violence; insecurity of tenure and forced evictions; and natural and human-made disasters. It analyses worldwide trends with respect to each of these threats, paying particular attention to their underlying causes and impacts, as well as to the good policies and best… Read more




Humanitarian crises in urban areas: are area-based approaches to programming and coordination the way forward?

The humanitarian landscape is changing. The world is urbanising rapidly and natural disasters and displacement crises will increasingly occur in urban settings. The size and complexity of towns and cities requires different approaches to delivering assistance, compared to approaches deployed in remote, rural areas or in refugee camps. Humanitarian organisations must adapt to this new… Read more




Making cities smoke-free

Exposure of non-smokers and smokers to second-hand tobacco smoke causes cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and childhood illness including cot death and asthma. Worldwide, 600 000 people are estimated to die annually as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS). Despite international commitments to eliminate exposure to tobacco smoke, only 11 per cent of the world’s population… Read more




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