Equitable health services

Seeking equity in maternal health
The Lancet

Inequity in reproductive health between and within countries is well documented, and even where indicators improve, disparities between rich and poor are as likely to be increasing as decreasing. In addition to improving access, it must also be ensured that services are widely used. Because advantaged groups are known to be more apt at using preventive services, the disparity in outcome measures between rich and poor is likely to increase.

Advocating a public health approach to palliative care

National programmes for palliative care offer the most effective means of improving the quality of life for the greatest number of patients and families, even where resources are severely constrained. Palliative care, however, is low on the list of under-resourced governments' health care priorities. What part can advocacy play in raising its profile and promoting its value? According to the World Health Organisation, a public health approach to palliative care has three foundations: Governmental policy: adoption of a national palliative care strategy; Education: training of health care professionals and creating awareness among the general public; Drug availability: assuring the availability of drugs for pain control and symptom management.

Challenging inequity in health

This volume, Challenging Inequities in Health, was conceived as a response to concerns about widening “health gaps” both between and within countries; A disproportionate research focus on inequalities in health in the “North” to the relative neglect of the “South”; and Inadequate analytic tools and pragmatic policies to redress health inequities. Through a collective effort of researchers and practitioners called the Global Health Equity Initiative (GHEI), a set of in-depth country studies and conceptual analyses on health equity were undertaken. The main findings of this effort are presented in this book with the central claim that issues of equity, or distributive justice, deserve primary consideration in health and social policy deliberations.

Barriers to Accessing Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Services: The Situation of Women with Disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia

Researchers examined how well Lusakan health services met the safe motherhood and reproductive health care needs of women with disabilities, using in-depth tape-recorded interviews with 24 women with disabilities and 25 safe motherhood service providers. Social, attitudinal, and physical barriers to accessing safe motherhood and reproductive health services in this particular setting were experienced by the women, such as assumption among reproductive health service providers that women with disabilities will not be sexually active and will not require reproductive health services. Beliefs about transmission of disabilities were also experienced, and nurse-midwives' feared delivery complications in women with physical impairments.