HRHJ recent articles of interest

Improving quality of reproductive health care in Senegal through formative supervision: results from four districts

Siri Suh, Philippe Moreira and Moussa Ly

Human Resources for Health 2007, 5:26doi:10.1186/1478-4491-5-26

Published:

29 November 2007

Background

In Senegal, traditional supervision often focuses more on collection of service statistics than on evaluation of service quality. This approach yields limited information on quality of care and does little to improve providers’ competence. In response to this challenge, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has implemented a program of formative supervision. This multifaceted, problem-solving approach collects data on quality of care, improves technical competence, and engages the community in improving reproductive health care.

Methods

This study evaluated changes in service quality and community involvement after two rounds of supervision in 45 health facilities in four districts of Senegal. We used checklists to assess quality in four areas of service delivery: infrastructure, staff and services management, record-keeping, and technical competence. We also measured community involvement in improving service quality using the completion rates of action plans.

Results

The most notable improvement across regions was in infection prevention. Management of staff, services, and logistics also consistently improved across the four districts. Record-keeping skills showed variable but lower improvement by region. The completion rates of action plans suggest that communities are engaged in improving service quality in all four districts.

Conclusions

Formative supervision can improve the quality of reproductive health services, especially in areas where there is on-site skill building and refresher training. This approach can also mobilize communities to participate in improving service quality.

Public-private options for expanding access to human resources for HIV/AIDS in Botswana

Norbert Dreesch , Jennifer Nyoni, Ontlametse Mokopakgosi, Khumo Seipone, Jean Alfazema Kalilani, Owen Kaluwa and Vincent Musowe

Human Resources for Health 2007, 5:25doi:10.1186/1478-4491-5-25

Published:

19 October 2007

http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/pdf/1478-4491-5-25.pdf

Abstract (provisional)

In responding to the goal of rapidly increasing access to antiretroviral treatment (ART), the government of Botswana undertook a major review of its health systems options to increase access to human resources, one of the major bottlenecks preventing people from receiving treatment. In mid-2004, a team of government and World Health Organization (WHO) staff reviewed the situation and identified a number of public sector scale up options. The team also reviewed the capacity of private practitioners to participate in the provision of ART. Subsequently, the government created a mechanism to include private practitioners in rolling out ART. At the end of 2006, more than 4500 patients had been transferred to the private sector for routine follow up. It is estimated that the cooperation reduced the immediate need for recruiting up to 40 medically qualified staff into the public sector over the coming years, depending on the development of the national standard for the number and duration of patient visits to a doctor per year. Thus welcome relief was brought, while at the same time not exercising a pull factor on human resources for health in the sub-Saharan region.

 Alumni survey of Masters of Public Health (MPH) training at the Hanoi School of Public Health

Linh C Le, Quyen T Bui, Ha T Nguyen and Arie Rotem

Human Resources for Health 2007, 5:24doi:10.1186/1478-4491-5-24

Published:

19 October 2007

http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/pdf/1478-4491-5-24.pdf

Abstract (provisional)

Background

1) To elicit the opinions of the Public Health alumni of the MPH program; 2) To assess the applicability of the knowledge and skills acquired; 3) To identify the frequency of the public health competencies that the alumni performed.

Methods

We requested 187 graduates to complete a self-administered questionnaire and conducted in-depth interviews with 8 alumni as well as a focus group discussion with 14 alumni.

Results

In total 79.1% (148) of the MPH graduates completed and returned the questionnaire. Most alumni (91%) agreed that the MPH curriculum corresponded with the working requirements of public health professionals; and nearly all were satisfied with what they have learnt (96%). Most respondents said that the MPH program enabled them to develop relevant professional skills (95%) and that they were satisfied with the curriculum (90%). Notably fewer respondents (73%) felt that the MPH program structure was balanced and well designed. Most alumni (64.3%) were satisfied with Hanoi School of Public Health (HSPH) full-time lecturers; but even more (83%) were satisfied with visiting lecturers. The most commonly selected of the 34 pre-identified public health competencies were: applying computer skills (66.4%), planning and managing health programs (47.9%), communicating with the community and/or mobilizing the community to participate in health care (43.2%). Overall, the MPH alumni felt that HSPH emphasized research methods at the expense of some management and operational competencies. The most important challenges at work identified by the alumni were insufficient skills in: data analysis, decision making, inter-sectoral cooperation development, English language and training.

Conclusions

The training program should be reviewed and revised to meet the needs of its graduates who enter diverse situations and positions. English language skills were identified as top priority for further emphasis. The training program should comply with a more advanced accreditation system and standards.

The precarious supply of physical therapists across Canada: exploring national trends in health human resources (1991 to 2005)

 Michel D Landry, Thomas C Ricketts and Molly C Verrier

 Human Resources for Health 2007, 5:23doi:10.1186/1478-4491-5-23

Published:

25 September 2007

http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/pdf/1478-4491-5-23.pdf

Abstract

Background

Health Human Resource (HHR) ratios are one measure of workforce supply, and are often expressed as a ratio in the number of health professionals to a sub-set of the population. In this study, we explore national trends in HHR among physical therapists (PTs) across Canada.

Methods

National population data were combined with provincial databases of registered physical therapists in order to estimate the HHR ratio in 2005, and to establish trends between 1991 and 2005.

Results

The national HHR ratio was 4.3 PTs per 10,000 population in 1991, which increased to 5.0 by 2000. In 2005, the HHR ratios varied widely across jurisdictions; however, we estimate that the national average dropped to 4.8 PTs per 10,000. Although the trend in HHR between 1991 and 2005 suggests positive growth of 11.6%, we have found negative growth of 4.0% in the latter 5-years of this study period.

Conclusion

Demand for rehabilitation services is projected to escalate in the next decade. Identifying benchmarks or targets regarding the optimal number of PTs, along with other health professionals working within inter professional teams, is necessary to establish a stable supply of health providers to meet the emerging rehabilitation and mobility needs of an aging and increasingly complex Canadian population.

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