The International Health Regulations (2005) bound the member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) to initiate epidemiological investigations of disease outbreaks and to notify WHO within 24 hours of their detection if the event is deemed to constitute public health emergency of international concern. The Japan International Cooperation Agency started the Amhara Regional Infectious Disease Surveillance Project to strengthen the surveillance and response system in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia in 2008. The objectives of the study were to review the project activities and to share the experiences and lessons learned in 22 districts of the North and South Gondar and West Gojjam Zones from mid-2012 through 2014.
We conducted training for district surveillance officers and focal point personnel at health centres (HCs), monitoring visits to district health offices and HCs, held review meetings on surveillance, and provided technical assistance in outbreak investigations. We evaluated the project activities in terms of the timeliness of the surveillance reports submitted by the health facilities, provision of technical assistance in outbreak investigations, and the number of training sessions held for the surveillance personnel.
The timeliness of submission of surveillance reports had improved to almost 100% at end of 2014 compared with before the review period (about 68%). From the third quarter of 2013, we conducted monitoring visits to 59 HCs every semester. We were involved in 11 outbreak investigations of measles, anthrax, pertussis, neonatal tetanus, and typhoid fever. We held a total of 25 training sessions for district surveillance officers and HC focal points.
The project successfully strengthened the surveillance and response system. We recommend that the Amhara Regional Health Bureau maintain its commitment to the system in terms of human resources and funding. Training for surveillance officers and focal points should be conducted periodically.
To obtain information regarding the current state of obesity and its underlying lifestyle habits and environment in Bangkok.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in two study sites, a university and a community health center in Pyatai district in Bangkok. By opportunity sampling, a total of 45 adults (10 males and 35 females, aged 20 to 84 years) participated.
Anthropometric measurements were taken, and a one to one interview was conducted with a questionnaire to obtain lifestyle behavior data, and 11-item Food Diversity Score Kyoto (FDSK-11) was used to obtain dietary diversity.
The present study showed a high mean BMI (26.98) among participants in both study sites, and the prevalence of overweight and obesity were higher than the results seen in previous studies. Higher food diversity was significantly related to the frequency of eating out, and that of exercise. Moreover, participants who had higher food diversity tended to have higher BMI.
The present study indicated that high prevalence of overweight and obesity in both sexes in both study sites. According to the previous study, the more variety of food they took, the less BMI they had. However, the present study showed the opposite. Generally having a variety of food is recommended as healthy dietary habit, however unless we care about the balance and the amount, having too much energy-dense food may contribute to overweight and obesity. Rapid economic growth and urbanization changed people’s lifestyles and eating habits. Current typical diet consists of animal meat and rice rather than the vegetables and rice which Thai people took past. Strategies to give people nutritional education seem to be needed.
In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in place of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), constituted a historical landmark. Previously, developed nations provided developing nations with substantial aid for the implementation of the MDGs that entailed measurable and limited targets. Among these targets, health was prioritized, accounting for 28.6% of the total targets. The new SDGs, by contrast, entail 17 goals and 169 targets that apply not just to developing nations, but also to developed nations. The proportion of health targets (7.7%) in the SDGs, being a quarter of that in the MDGs, appears to indicate lower prioritization of health. However, health remains central for the achievement of the SDGs, given a total of 23 health-related targets associated with other goals such as no poverty, nutrition, and sanitation. Additionally, a “Health in all Policies” approach can be likely adopted for the SDGs to facilitate the implementation of effective interventions for improving social, environmental, and economical determinants of health. Decision makers may find it difficult to comprehend the objectives of the SDGs because of their ‘universality’ and obscure focus in relation to sustainable development targets. This paper presents concepts and approaches aimed at fostering ‘convergence’ to overcome these deficiencies. Health-related examples of convergence include ‘universal health coverage (UHC)’ and ‘gland convergence (GC)’. A myriad of stakeholders, with contrasting opinions and ideas, participated in the SDG formulation process. This has resulted in the inclusion of diverse contemporary health issues that are socially significant such as non-communicable diseases, mental health, substance abuse, and road traffic accidents. Competing specialists’ claims that prioritize particular diseases, saying “my disease is more important than your disease”, have probably contributed to the diversity of SDG targets. UHC and GC will play crucial roles in the future realization of the SDGs.
The vertical program to control tuberculosis in the 1950’s through 1960’s helped the development of the horizontal program of Universal Health Coverage launched in 1961 in Japan. Vertical and horizontal intervention do not compete each other but collaborate with each other. The same should be true for the present day context of global health, namely vertical intervention for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria control and the horizontal UHC intervention.
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