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      An innovation in child health: Globally reaching out to child health professionals

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          Abstract

          Worldwide deaths of children younger than 5 years reduced from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. Much of this decline is attributed to an increase in the knowledge, skills, and abilities of child health professionals. In turn this increase in knowledge, skills, and abilities has been brought about by increased child-health-focused education available to child health professionals. Therefore child-health-focused education must be part of the strategy to eliminate the remaining 6.3 million deaths and to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. This article describes a child-health-focused program that was established in 1992 and operates in 20 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, the Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. The Diploma in Child Health/International Postgraduate Paediatric Certificate (DCH/IPPC) course provides a comprehensive overview of evidence-based current best practice in pediatrics. This includes all subspecialty areas from infectious diseases and emergency medicine through to endocrinology, respiratory medicine, neurology, nutrition, and dietetics. Content is developed and presented by international medical experts in response to global child health needs. Content is provided to students via a combination of learning outcomes, webcasts, lecture notes, personalized study, tutorials, case studies, and clinical practice. One hundred eleven webcasts are provided, and these are updated annually. This article includes a brief discussion of the value and focus of medical education programs; a description of the DCH/IPPC course content, approaches to teaching and learning, course structure and the funding model; the most recent evaluation of the DCH/IPPC course; and recommendations for overcoming the challenges for implementing a multinational child-health-focused program.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Achieving child survival goals: potential contribution of community health workers.

          There is renewed interest in the potential contribution of community health workers to child survival. Community health workers can undertake various tasks, including case management of childhood illnesses (eg, pneumonia, malaria, and neonatal sepsis) and delivery of preventive interventions such as immunisation, promotion of healthy behaviour, and mobilisation of communities. Several trials show substantial reductions in child mortality, particularly through case management of ill children by these types of community interventions. However, community health workers are not a panacea for weak health systems and will need focussed tasks, adequate remuneration, training, supervision, and the active involvement of the communities in which they work. The introduction of large-scale programmes for community health workers requires evaluation to document the impact on child survival and cost effectiveness and to elucidate factors associated with success and sustainability.
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            The health workforce crisis in Bangladesh: shortage, inappropriate skill-mix and inequitable distribution

            Background Bangladesh is identified as one of the countries with severe health worker shortages. However, there is a lack of comprehensive data on human resources for health (HRH) in the formal and informal sectors in Bangladesh. This data is essential for developing an HRH policy and plan to meet the changing health needs of the population. This paper attempts to fill in this knowledge gap by using data from a nationally representative sample survey conducted in 2007. Methods The study population in this survey comprised all types of currently active health care providers (HCPs) in the formal and informal sectors. The survey used 60 unions/wards from both rural and urban areas (with a comparable average population of approximately 25 000) which were proportionally allocated based on a 'Probability Proportion to Size' sampling technique for the six divisions and distribution areas. A simple free listing was done to make an inventory of the practicing HCPs in each of the sampled areas and cross-checking with community was done for confirmation and to avoid duplication. This exercise yielded the required list of different HCPs by union/ward. Results HCP density was measured per 10 000 population. There were approximately five physicians and two nurses per 10 000, the ratio of nurse to physician being only 0.4. Substantial variation among different divisions was found, with gross imbalance in distribution favouring the urban areas. There were around 12 unqualified village doctors and 11 salespeople at drug retail outlets per 10 000, the latter being uniformly spread across the country. Also, there were twice as many community health workers (CHWs) from the non-governmental sector than the government sector and an overwhelming number of traditional birth attendants. The village doctors (predominantly males) and the CHWs (predominantly females) were mainly concentrated in the rural areas, while the paraprofessionals were concentrated in the urban areas. Other data revealed the number of faith/traditional healers, homeopaths (qualified and non-qualified) and basic care providers. Conclusions Bangladesh is suffering from a severe HRH crisis--in terms of a shortage of qualified providers, an inappropriate skills-mix and inequity in distribution--which requires immediate attention from policy makers.
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              Training the health workforce: scaling up, saving lives.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                FMCH
                Family Medicine and Community Health
                FMCH
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                2009-8774
                2305-6983
                July 2016
                August 2016
                : 4
                : 3
                : 35-44
                Affiliations
                1School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, WA, Australia
                2Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW, Australia
                3Hong Kong College of Family Physicians, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, China
                4Department of Genetics, Immunology, Biochemistry and Nutrition, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Aundh Civil Hospital, Sanghavi Phata, Aundh Pune, India
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Russell Jones, PhD, Professor of Clinical Education, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia and Chair DCH/IPPC Education Advisory Group, Tel.: +61-447-997858, E-mail: russell.jones@ 123456ecu.edu.au
                Article
                FMCH.2015.0154
                10.15212/FMCH.2015.0154
                Copyright © 2016 Family Medicine and Community Health

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal page): http://fmch-journal.org/
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