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Impact of economic adjustments/crisis on health

Analysis: Because you are doing a country case study, you can do either a descriptive or evaluative analysis. You need to present the country’s economic and demographic data; e.g., poverty and population data. For a minimum of such data, see for instance table 1 in this paper. In the preface to their edited book, Gatti and Boggio discuss a matrix tool to help determine optimal allocation of scare resources. Your paper must include this matrix. Think of the matrix as a way to organize your information. In order to do so, you need to have a good comprehension of the disease burden of the country of your choice (include the top 10 diseases); the burden of disease must be presented for the two critical measures (mortality and morbidity – morbidity data must include incidence, prevalence and DALYs). For data for all countries you should check the WHO World Health Statistics 2015. Other WHO key data sources are the Global Health Observatory (GHO) and the WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS). Other sources for country disease/health profiles are the Demographic and Health Surveys. You can also search the WHO websites for country “Statistical Profile”, for instance here is one on Kenya from the WHO-AFRO (Africa Region) office; The source page for other country profiles for the Africa region is this:

To present the matrix, you must have country data for each of the dimensions; for “medical products, vaccines and technologies” check for instance extent of use of diagnostic tools such as mammograms, CT scans (see a book on med techs accessible freely here); for vaccines you need data on population vaccinated for the major diseases, for vaccine information, check the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). For health financing data, check the National Health Accounts reports, some countries have them and some may not; and some may be old data. Feel free to add columns for totals, e.g., total healthcare workers, total health spending.

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DATA: In addition to such sources, you should also check individual country sources. Note: your data must be from credible sources and they must be the latest data.

Content and format: The Paper is more than a reflection of what you have learnt from the course. It should be more exploratory, rather than a typical research paper. The key goal is to assess the interplay between development processes and health; so try to examine what has happened in your country in recent years, you can even go back 30 years or so. Look particularly at GDP data, population growth data, health status data (LE, IMR and MM R) and health financing data. Look at the trends, at the allocation of resources across diseases. The paper should have proper subheadings for the different sections addressed. Your paper should be well referenced; you already have instructions on format and citation and those should be adhered to.

Length and due date: The length of the Term Paper should be between 2000 and 2500 words (charts, tables and bibliography are not counted).

Discuss the major concepts such as:

–          “Health policy and Definitions of health” within the specific country policy or legislation; in this section you should state the country’s health policy and its main features (the health policy will be contained in a specific government document such as a policy paper or health strategy);

–          “Milestones” (can you find data about health conditions in your country of choice 50 years back? Include analysis of the demographic and epidemiological transitions);

–          “Burden of disease” (BOD) (incidence, prevalence, mortality, DALYs)

–          “Health and development”, relations between (look for example at HDI indicators – do they match the country’s GDP levels?);

–          “Social and political determinants” of health (look at specific indicators such as political history and organization, the country’s health and social development policies);

–          “Inequalities and poverty” (what definitions are used in the specific country, what are the major indicators, what are the numbers, what populations are most vulnerable, and what are the main vulnerabilities?);

–          “Diseases impact” at the macro level (what are the impacts of leading diseases on the country’s economic and demographic development?);

–          “Barriers to health access” (what are the country’s health spending – look at the overall government spending on health, per capita spending, household spending, etc, find data in country’s NHA and present in a table – if literature is available, what are the costs of accessing healthcare for some of the main diseases you identify in the BOD section?);

–          “Impact of economic adjustments/crisis on health” (can you identify any sources that provides information on how economic changes have affected the country’s health status and developments?) (We are considering this section in lesson 10.)

–          “Globalization and health” (what are the globalization impacts (positive/negative) of health in your country?) (This will be our last topic for the course.)

Remember you have limited word length and so what you need to do is to a good summary-overview that shows you have a thorough understanding of your country with regard to the above areas. If it makes sense to you to organize your material into the above sections you can certainly do that (note some sections may be collapsed), but I certainly want to see those areas are presented in your paper. And you MUST stick to 100% of the guidelines. Your paper will be penalized for any non-observance.

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