South Eastern European Journal of Public Health (SEEJPH - Universität Bielefeld)
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    145 research outputs found

    Reproductive health of medical students: exploring knowledge, experiences, and behaviors

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     Introduction: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) along with unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence, and gender inequality represent a serious risk to reproductive health in adolescent age. Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) plays a central role among public health interventions designed to prepare young people for these challenges. The aim of our research was to examine knowledge, experience, and behaviors regarding reproductive and sexual health among the population of medical students, as well as the possible connection between reproductive health, information, and study success. Material and methods: A total of 186 second-year and 214 fifth-year medical students were included in the study as a convenient sample taken by random selection. We used a questionnaire of the World Health Organization designed for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Data were analyzed with the IMB SPSS 25 software. Results: For the second-year students, primary source of information about sex are conversations with their family and friends (37.6%), while for the fifth-year students it is the faculty curriculum (34.7%). Students with personal experience of STIs showed higher average level of knowledge about STIs and reproductive health (p=0.011). Significant positive correlation between the average grade and the level of knowledge about reproductive health was found (r=0.150; p=0.03). Conclusion: This study has shown the diverse sexual life of young medical students in Serbia, combined with risky habits and attitudes, also similarly represented in the world. Further research is needed in order to formulate public health policies adjusted to the needs of the Serbian youth

    Facing the COVID-19 challenge: When the world depends on effective public health interventions

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    Governance and management of health care institutions in Serbia: An overview of recent developments

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    In order to promote awareness of factors that affect social services, their quality, effectiveness and coverage, the term “governance” is frequently used. However, there is no agreement on definitions, frameworks and how it relates to the health sector. In this overview, two interrelated processes in Serbia will be analyzed: governance and management at the macro-, meso-, and micro level. Key messages are as follows: i) Continue decentralization and support to an effective national decision-making body (Health Council of Serbia) with all relevant stakeholders; ii) Reduce the well-known implementation gap and agree on a binding time frame for reforms, and; iii) Establish obligatory schemes for education and training of managers and support sustainability of state institutional capacity to teach, train and advise on a scientific basis

    Ten years onwards: Comparison of the South Eastern European regional public health strategy 2004 and the South Eastern European 2020 strategy

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    Aim: Regional collaboration has continuously contributed to the development of public health in the South Eastern Europe (SEE) region since 2000 when the Public Health Collaboration in SEE (PH-SEE) was initiated. This article looks into two frameworks for regional collaboration in the area of public health: a framework developed in 2004 by a network of public health professionals and academics, and another one developed by the SEE Health Network as integral part of the SEE 2020 strategy on Jobs and Prosperity in a European Perspective, adopted in 2013. It compares the commonalities and differences of the two frameworks; considers what is still valid and relevant after ten years and which new features have emerged in the new strategy. Methods: A literature review was carried out and a qualitative analysis was applied for the comparison of the two frameworks. Results: Notwithstanding the time gap of nearly ten years, the commonalities between the two regional health strategies are significant. Major consistent goals include: improving equity in health; strengthening human resources for health; improving intersectoral cooperation and governance. The differences between the two regional strategies, including issues around social participation and regional health information systems, are partially due to their different development context. Cross-border policies and quality management have emerged as new or more pronounced topics in the SEE 2020 strategy’s health dimension. Conclusions: Many aspects addressed in the 2004 framework are pertinent with regard to the SEE 2020 health dimension and remain relevant in the current context. The integration of health as part of the economic SEE 2020 strategy reflects a significant paradigm shift and important step forward for public healt

    The Athena SWAN Process to Promote Gender Equity in Third-Level Education in Ireland

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    Introduction: Sexism and misogyny remains an ongoing threat to optimal health and medical services. An important factor in health and medical services is the education and training pipeline into these careers. A substantial body of literature demonstrates the impacts of sexism in third-level education and training institutions developing future health service staff. Athena SWAN accreditation is a benchmark designed to counter such institutional and individual sexist practices in education settings to foster equality. In recent years the Athena SWAN process has expanded to include professional and administrative staff, as well as academics. This process has also evolved to move beyond a narrow focus on gender, to also include other crucial issues such as race, sexuality and gender identity. Methods: This examination is based on the author’s role as a participant observer and critiques the Athena SWAN process in an Institute of Technology in Ireland. Results: This examination identifies a substantial number of deficits in the Athena SWAN process, as well as also identifying institutional resistance strategies to such gender equality work. Conclusion: The current Athena SWAN process in Ireland is critically flawed. Suggested strategies for those engaged in such work into the future are outlined

    Maternal and new-born health policy indicators for low-resourced countries: The example of Liberia

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    Aim: Over the past two decades, two catastrophic events caused a steep decline in health services in Liberia: the long-lasting civil war (1989-2003) and the weak response of the health system to the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) outbreak (2013-2015). In early 2015 The Liberian Government reacted and developed a strategic health policy framework. This paper reviews that framework with a focus on maternal and newborn health. Methods: The study is designed as a narrative review executed during the second half of 2017 in Monrovia. It takes advantage of triangulation, derived from recent international and national documents, relevant literature, and available information from primary and secondary sources and databases. Results: In 2015 the severely compromised health system infrastructure included lack of functional refrigerators, low availability of vaccines and child immunization guidelines, high stock-out rates, and an absence of the cold chain minimum requirements in 46% of health facilities. The public health workforce on payroll during 2014/15 included only 117 physicians. Skilled birth attendance as an indicator of maternal health services performance was 61%. Presently, approximately 4.5 women die each day in Liberia due to complications of pregnancy, delivery, and during the post-partum period, equalling about 1,100 women per 100,000 live births. Of particular note is the adolescent birth rate of 147 per 1000 women aged 15-19 years, three times higher than the world average of 44. Additionally, with a neonatal mortality rate of 19.2 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births, Liberia stands higher than the world average as well. The high mortality rates are caused by multiple factors, including a delay in recognition of complications and the need for medical care, the time it takes to reach a health facility due to a lack of suitable roads and transportation, and a delay in receiving competent care in the health facilities. Conclusions: The fact that performance is above average for some indicators and far below for other points to unexplained discrepancies and a mismatch of international and national definitions or validity of data. Therefore, it is recommended to concentrate on the core of tracer indicators adopted at the global level for Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals to enable a permanent update of relevant information for policymaking and adjustment. At present all health policy documents miss a thorough application of the SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely), notably missing in most documents are realistic and detailed budgeting and obligatory timelines for set targets

    Does health sector aid matter? Evidence from time-series data analysis in Ethiopia

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    Aims: Development assistance for health is an important part of financing health care in developing countries. In spite of the increasing volumes in absolute terms in development assistance for health, there are controversies on their effect on health outcomes. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the effect of development assistance for health on health status in Ethiopia. Methods: Using dynamic time series analytic approach for the period 1978-2013, this paper examines whether development assistance for health has contributed for health status change in Ethiopia. While life expectancy at birth was used as a measure of health status, vector error correction model was used for the analysis. Results: Development assistance for health expenditure (lagged one and two years) had a significant positive effect on life expectancy at birth in Ethiopia. Other things being equal, a 1% increase in per capita development assistance for health leads to 0.026 years improvement in life expectancy at birth (P<0.001) in the immediate year following the period of assistance, and 0.008 years (P=0.025) in the immediate two years following the provision of assistance. Conclusion: This study indicates that, seemingly, development assistance for health has significant favourable effect in improving health status in Ethiopia. The policy implication of this finding is development assistance for the health should continue as an interim means to an end. &nbsp

    Enhancing health system’s governance through demographic and health surveys in transitional European countries: The example of Albania

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    To inform policymakers well, there is a need to promote different types of health examination surveys as additional sources of valuable information which, otherwise, would not be available through routine/administrative statistics. This is especially important for former communist countries of South Eastern Europe including Albania, where the existing health information system (HIS) is weak. Among many efforts to strengthen the HIS in Albania, there is currently a commitment to undertake a second round of a nationwide Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). This survey will involve a nationwide representative sample of about 17,000 private households, where all women aged 15-59 years and their respective partners will be interviewed and examined. Externally, the upcoming Albanian DHS will contribute to the European Union accession requirements regarding provision of standardized and valid health information. Furthermore, the DHS will considerably enhance the core functions of the Albanian health system in line with the WHO recommendations. Internally, the DHS will promote societal participation and responsibility in transitional Albania. Importantly, the forthcoming survey will promote good governance including transparency, accountability and health system responsiveness. Also, the DHS will allow for collection of internationally valid and standardized baseline socio-demographic and health information for: assessment of future national trends; monitoring and evaluation of health programs and interventions; evidencing health disparities and inequities; and cross-national comparisons between Albania and different countries of the European Region. Ultimately, findings of the DHS will enable rational decision-making and evidence-based policy formulation in Albania including appropriate planning, prioritization and sound resource allocation. However, transfer of the information collected and implementation in public health policies and interventional programs is rather challenging for most of the countries, particularly for transitional post-communist countries of South Eastern Europe including Albania.   &nbsp

    THE GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH CURRICULUM: Specific Global Health Competences

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    The 2nd edition of the Global Public Health Curriculum has been published in the South Eastern European Journal of Public Health, end of 2016 as a special volume (editors Ulrich Laaser & Florida Beluli) at: The curriculum targets the postgraduate education and training of public health professionals including their continued professional development (CPD). However, specific competences for the curricular modules remained to be identified in a more systematic approach. To that end from the international literature the following references have been used as a general orientation:A) Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) Resource Group, GHEC Committee, India: Global health essential core competencies. At: Dias M. Et al.: Global Health Competencies for UK Health Professionals. TECHNICAL REPORT · SEPTEMBER 2015. At: Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH): The Global Health Competency model. At: World Health Organisation (WHO): WHO GLOBAL COMPETENCY MODEL. At: Jogerst K et al.: Identifying Interprofessional Global Health Competencies for 21st Century. At:

    E-health and m-health: Great potentials for health and wellbeing, but also for harmonization and European integration in health

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    South Eastern European Journal of Public Health (SEEJPH - Universität Bielefeld) is based in Germany
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