EQUINET NEWSLETTER 217 : 01 April 2019

1. Editorial

Global health is anything but healthy – we have to reshape our own future
Barbara Kaim, Training and Research Support Centre, Zimbabwe, Wilson Asibu, Country Minders for People’s Development, Malawi

A little over 20 years ago the health and social inequities within our region and the opportunity to act on them motivated the founders of EQUINET to come together as an ‘equity catalyst’. The intention was to bring together our collective knowledge and experiences and to explore the challenges and possible solutions to the broad range of economic, social and environmental factors that determine the opportunities for and deficits in health in our region. Since then, we have built evidence, analysis and dialogue in different communities across the region on where and how to reclaim the resources for health, including through comprehensive, primary health care oriented, people-centred and publicly-led health systems.

Participating for EQUINET at the fourth People’s Health Assembly (PHA4) in Savar, Bangladesh in November last year we found that the People’s Health Movement (PHM) and the over 1200 participants from 80 countries raised the same demands that we are raising in our region. Yes, there has been growing wealth in the world over the last 20 years, improved access to information and technological innovations, and some people have seen improved life expectancy and falling infant mortality. But the reality is that health is anything but ‘healthy’ at a global level.

As PHM’s Amit Sengupta succinctly put it: “Eight people in the world have more wealth than 50% of the world population. Medicines exist, but only for some. We are seeing massive migration of populations in search of a more secure life. Our planet stands on the edge of destruction, while our health is for sale in the market.” We shared evidence at PHA4 of how the majority of people are not even able to meet their most basic needs for health and of how inequality within and between countries and regions in the world has grown and not fallen over the past decades. .

Why is this? Delegate after delegate at the PHA4 answered this question with a scathing critique of the neoliberal policies that have dominated the world order for the last four decades. From different countries people pointed to how a neoliberal ideology, which favours the unrestricted flow of capital between countries globally, drives minimal government social spending and limits regulations on the activities of private transnational corporations, has massively impacted on the health of people throughout the world.

This situation makes having a strong, vocal World Health Organisation (WHO) important. But in a plenary session at PHA4, David Legge explained the crisis in the WHO. When it was formed in 1948, its main funding came from its member states, who paid ‘assessed contributions’ according to the size of their population and their economy. Since a 1980 vote in the World Health Assembly to freeze assessed contributions, today only 20% of WHO’s budget is from member states – barely enough to cover their administrative costs – while the remaining 80% comes from voluntary contributions from member states, intergovernmental bodies and to a large extent from philanthrocapitalists like the Gates Foundation, often tied to particular programmes.

As a consequence, David raised that WHO’s work is controlled by these external funders rather than by its assembly of member states, affecting its independence and distorting its priorities and the coherence of its programmes. This has had a profound impact on WHO’s ability to support the implementation of comprehensive primary health care as set out in the Alma Ata Declaration and adopted by 134 countries in 1978.

It has also weakened the protection of health by other global actors. Many conversations in the PHA4 were about the impact of trade agreements on health. Jane Kelsey, a New Zealand lawyer, gave a shocking expose on how new generation agreements between countries and multinational investors are often negotiated in secret, preventing legislatures and the public from getting information on or regulating the health impacts of these corporate activities. She cautioned that this practice could lead to longer monopolies for medicines, to kerbing restrictions on standards for food and alcohol and for tobacco labelling, and to limits on governments’ ability to regulate private hospitals. Such agreements have led to situations where foreign investors can sue governments if state regulation in areas such as patents, mining licenses, privatised water contracts and health insurance substantially affect their profits. In 2017 alone 65 such claims were laid against 48 countries, with the sums claimed ranging from USD15million to USD1.5billion. These court cases can act as a form of intimidation of governments who try to put the health and wellbeing of their citizens ahead of corporate interests.

While this situation can leave us feeling despondent, in contrast PHA4 left us energised as we shared experiences of action and resistance from local to international level. At PHA4 we found a growing understanding that if we want change we will have to shape our own future, building alliances between community and civil society groups, academics, civil servants, journalists, international organisations and others.

We have seen evidence of this in our region. The successful campaign for universal access to antiretrovirals undertaken by the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa in the 1990s, for example, saw such an alliance challenging the ethical basis for restricting global access to medicines. We heard at PHA4 about similar national and global struggles to campaign and litigate on critical issues related to the quality of and access to healthcare, to stop mining interests harming health and to advocate for more democratically led global health governance. These struggles for health are struggles for a more caring world.

EQUINET is taking forward and is part of this in our region. We are building collective ideas and action in a range of areas, including on the health effects of our extractive industries, on food security, on living and social conditions, on comprehensive primary health care and our laws and rights in health. PHA4 showed us how many activists there are in the same struggles in all corners of the world and that working at all levels, locally, nationally, regionally and with our comrades internationally is more important than ever.

Please send feedback or queries on the issues raised in this oped to the EQUINET secretariat: admin@equinetafrica.org. Read more about PHA4 at https://phmovement.org/peoples-health-assembly-dhaka-3/

2. Latest Equinet Updates

Regional EQUINET meeting on health literacy in the mining sector
Harare, Zimbabwe 28-29 March 2019

The Regional EQUINET meeting on health literacy in the mining sector is being held on March 28 and 29 2019 in Harare to discuss health literacy outreach for workers, communities and ex mineworkers in the mining sector. We will be sharing information on the scope of and groups covered in current mining and health capacity building programmes; the methods for and use of the EQUINET health literacy module on Mining and health and co-operation on key upcoming regional processes on health in mining. The meeting involves EQUINET (TARSC, SEATINI); Botswana Federation of Trade Unions; Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Southern African Trade Union Co-ordinating Council, Benchmarks Foundation South Africa, Swaziland Migrant Mineworkers Association, Eswatini and BoLAMA Botswana. For those interested in further follow up health literacy training in the Mining sector being held later in 2019 please contact the EQUINET secretariat.

3. Equity in Health

Assessing changes in social determinants of health inequalities in South Africa: a decomposition analysis
Omotoso K; Koch S: International Journal for Equity in Health17(181) 1-13, 2018

This paper examines how changes in the social determinants of health have impacted health inequalities over the last decade, the second since the end of apartheid. Data was drawn from information on social determinants of health and on health status in the 2004, 2010 and 2014 South African General Household Surveys. The results show that inequalities in ill-health are consistently explained by socio-economic inequalities relating to employment status, while provincial differences in ill health narrowed considerably over the studied periods. Disability inequalities were largely explained by socio-economic inequalities relating to racial groups, educational attainment and provincial differences. The authors indicate that the extent of employment, location and education inequalities suggests the need for improved health care management and further delivery of education and job opportunities.

4. Values, Policies and Rights

Policy review on the management of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia by community health workers in Mozambique
Macuácua S; Sharma S; Valá A; Vidler M; et al: Human Resources for Health 17(15) 1-9, 2019

This review identified health policies related to the role of CHWs in the management of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in Mozambique. It used three methods - policy document review, key informant interview and literature review. Three main themes were identified from the qualitative review as establishment of the community health worker programme and early challenges, revitalization of the community health workers programme and the integration of maternal health in the community health tasks. In 1978, following the Alma Alta Declaration, the Mozambique government brought in legislation establishing primary health care and the community health worker programme. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, this programme was scaled down due to several factors including a prolonged civil war; however, the decision to revitalise the programme was made in 1995. In 2010, a revitalised programme was re-launched and expanded to include the management of common childhood illnesses, detection of warning signs of pregnancy complications, referrals for maternal health and basic health promotion. The study observe that the role of community health workers has evolved over the last 40 years to include care of childhood diseases and basic maternal health counselling, but do not yet include some possible areas, like management of emergency conditions of pregnancy including pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.

5. Health equity in economic and trade policies

The health impacts of extractive industry transnational corporations: a study of Rio Tinto in Australia and Southern Africa
Anaf J; Baum F; Fisher M; London L: Globalization and Health 15(13) 1-20, 2019

This research on extractive industries examined Rio Tinto in Australia and Southern Africa to test methods for assessing the health impacts of corporates in high and middle income jurisdictions with different regulatory frameworks. The authors adapted existing Health Impact Assessment methods. Data identifying potential impacts were sourced through media analysis, document analysis, company literature and semi-structured interviews. The data were mapped against a corporate health impact assessment framework which included Rio Tinto’s political and business practices, productions and workforce, social, environmental and economic conditions. Both positive and detrimental aspects of Rio Tinto’s operations were identified. Positive impacts include provision of direct employment under decent working conditions, but countered by an increase in precariousness of employment. Commitments to upholding sustainable development principles are undermined by limited site remediation and other environmental impacts. Positive contributions are made to national and local economies but then undermined by business strategies that include tax minimisation. This study confirmed that it is possible to undertake a corporate health impact assessment on an extractive industry transnational corporation. The different methods provided sufficient information to understand the need to strengthen regulations that are conducive to health; the opportunity for Rio Tinto to extend corporate responsibility initiatives and support their social licence to operate; and for civil society actors to inform their advocacy towards improving health and equity outcomes from transnational corporations operations.

6. Poverty and health

Maternal and newborn health needs for women with walking disabilities; “the twists and turns”: a case study in Kibuku District Uganda
Apolot R; Ekirapa E; Waldman L; Morgan R: International Journal for Equity in Health 18(43) 1-10, 2019

In Uganda 13% of persons have at least one form of disability. This study explores the maternal and newborn health related needs of women with walking disabilities in Kibuku District Uganda. A qualitative study was carried out in September 2017 in three sub-counties of Kibuku district. Four In-depth Interviews among purposively selected women who had walking disabilities and who had given birth within two years from the study date were conducted. The thematic areas explored during analysis included psychosocial, mobility, health facility and personal needs of women with walking disabilities. Data was analyzed manually using framework analysis. The authors found that women with walking disabilities had psychosocial, mobility, special services and personal needs. Psychosocial needs included, partners, communities, families’ and health workers’ acceptance. Mobility needs were associated with transport unsuitability, difficulty in finding transport and high cost of transport. Health facility needs included; infrastructure and responsive health services needs while personal maternal and newborn health needs were; personal protective wear, basic needs and birth preparedness items. Communities, and health workers need to be sensitized on these needs to meet them.

7. Equitable health services

Challenges to hypertension and diabetes management in rural Uganda: a qualitative study with patients, village health team members, and health care professionals
Chang H; Hawley N; Kalyesubula R; Siddharthan T; et al: International Journal for Equity in Health 18(38) 1-14, 2019

This study aimed to understand the challenges in managing hypertension and diabetes care in rural Uganda. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 patients with hypertension and/or diabetes, 11 health care professionals, and 12 community health workers in Nakaseke District, Uganda. Data were coded using NVivo software and analyzed using a thematic approach. The results included patient knowledge gaps regarding the preventable aspects of hypertension and diabetes, mistrust in the Ugandan health care system rather than in individual health care professionals and skepticism from both health care professionals and patients regarding a potential role for village health team members in hypertension and diabetes management. In order to improve hypertension and diabetes management in this setting, the authors recommend taking actions to help patients to understand non communicable diseases as preventable, for health care professionals and patients to advocate together for health system reform regarding medication accessibility, and promotion of education, screening and monitoring activities at community level in collaboration with village health team members.

Mixed-methods evaluation of mental healthcare integration into tuberculosis and maternal-child healthcare services of four South African districts
Lovero K; Lammie S; van Zyl A: BMC Health Services Research 19(83), doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-3912-9, 2019

The South African National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan 2013–2020 was adopted to address the country’s substantial burden and inadequate treatment of mental illness. It outlines measures for full integration of mental health services into primary care by 2020. To evaluate progress and challenges in implementation, the authors conducted a mixed-methods assessment of mental health service provision in tuberculosis and maternal-child healthcare services of forty clinics in four districts in South Africa, interviewing district-level program managers (DPMs) and clinic nurses and mental health practitioners (MHPs). DPMs indicated that nurses should screen for mental illness at every patient visit, but only 73% of nurses reported conducting universal screening and 44% reported using a specific screening tool. For patients who screen positive for mental illness, DPMs described a stepped-care approach in which MHPs diagnose patients and then treat or refer them to specialised care. However, only 41% of MHPs indicated that they diagnose mental illness and 82% offer any treatment for mental illness. The challenges to current integration efforts include insufficient funding and material resources, poor coordination at the district administrative level, and low mental health awareness in district administration and the general population. Though some progress has been made toward integration of mental health services into primary care settings, the authors observe that implementation calls for improved district-level administrative coordination, mental health awareness, and financial and material resources.

The NeoTree application: developing an integrated mHealth solution to improve quality of newborn care and survival in a district hospital in Malawi
Crehan C, Kesler E, Nambiar B, Dube Q; et al: British Medical Journal of Global Health. 4(e000860) 1-12, 2019

An integrated mHealth solution was developed to improve quality of newborn care and survival in a district hospital in Malawi. The NeoTree application described in this paper focused on newborn care in low-income facilities, combining data collection by healthcare workers themselves, with interactive decision support and education for improving quality of care. Focus groups explored the acceptability and feasibility of digital health solutions before and after implementation of the NeoTree in the clinical setting. Healthcare workers perceived the NeoTree to be acceptable, feasible and clinically usable. Healthcare workers reported high perceived improvements in quality of newborn care after using the NeoTree on the ward. They described improved confidence in clinical decision-making, clinical skills, critical thinking and standardisation of care. The authors suggest that such an interactive co-development with healthcare workers can create a highly usable interactive admission platform, providing a teaching resource and improving the perceived quality of care delivered by healthcare workers involved in newborn care.

8. Human Resources

A systematic review on occupational hazards, injuries and diseases among police officers worldwide: Policy implications for the South African Police Service
Mona G; Chimbari M; Hongoro C: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 14(2), doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12995-018-0221-x, 2019

Occupational hazards, injuries and diseases are a major concern among police officers, including in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is limited locally relevant literature for guiding policy for police services. A review was done to describe the occupational hazards, injuries and diseases affecting police officers worldwide, in order to benchmark policy implications for local police services. Police officers’ exposure to accident hazards may lead to acute or chronic injuries such as sprains, fractures or fatalities. These hazards may occur during driving, patrol or riot control. Physical hazards such as noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) arise due to exposure to high levels of noise. Exposure to high concentrations of carbon dioxide and general air pollution was associated with cancer, while physical exposure to other chemical substances was linked to dermatitis. There is a risk of exposure to blood borne diseases from needle stick injuries (NSIs) or cuts from contaminated objects. Musculoskeletal disorders can result from driving long distances and lifting heavy objects, while there is also a risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress and burnout.

Stakeholders’ perceptions of policy options to support the integration of community health workers in health systems
Ajuebor O; Cometto G; Boniol M; Akl E: Human Resources for Health 17(13) 1-13, 2019

This study assesses stakeholders’ valuation of acceptability and feasibility of policy options considered for the CHW guideline development. A cross-sectional mixed methods study targeting stakeholders involved directly or indirectly in country implementation of community health workers programmes was conducted in 2017. Data was collected from 96 stakeholders from five World Health Organization regions using an online questionnaire. A Likert scale was used to grade participants’ assessments of the outcomes of interest, and the acceptability and feasibility of policy options were considered. All outcomes of interest were considered by at least 90% of participants as ‘important’ or ‘critical’. Most critical outcomes were ‘improved quality of community health workers health services’ and ‘increased health service coverage. Out of 40 policy options, 35 were considered as ‘definitely acceptable’ and 36 ‘definitely feasible’ by most participants. The least acceptable option was the selection of candidates based on age. The least feasible option was the selection of community health workers with a minimum of secondary education.

9. Public-Private Mix

Universal Health Coverage, Primary Health Care and the role of the Private Sector
Ozano K; Simkhada P; Porcellato L; Khatri R: Health Systems Global, 2019

This report provides an overview of the discussions around Primary Health Care (PHC) and the private sector, which took place during the 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research 2018: Advancing health systems for all in the SDG era. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and how health systems are working to deliver this global goal by 2030 was a major theme of the conference. Discussions were captured through session data capture and semi-structured interviews. 26 conference rapporteurs captured data in 93 sessions; and 21 interviews were conducted with policy makers, implementers and practitioners from the public and private sector. The discussions referred to initiatives to better engage, train and support small private providers such as community pharmacists to broaden their role and regulate their prescribing to develop safer PHC services. Urgent policy level exploration was called for on public-private links to achieve comprehensive PHC and UHC and clear mechanisms and legal frameworks for strategic purchasing and regulation that consider the power of purchasing medicines and supplies across countries within geographic regions.

10. Resource allocation and health financing

Distribution of out of pocket health expenditures in a sub-Saharan Africa country: evidence from the national survey of household standard of living, Côte d’Ivoire
Attia-Konan A; Oga A; Touré A: BMC Research Notes 12(25), doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-019-4048-z, 2019

This research aimed to identify the determinants of out of pocket (OOP) health expenditures in the Ivory Coast population in Abidjan, a rural and an urban area. The authors used data from the 2015 standard households living survey conducted by the National Institute of Statistics. About 13.3% of the participants experienced OOP expenditures on health with a mean expenditure of US$29. There were significant differences in the self-reported OOP between the three areas. People in Abidjan spent an average of 1.6 and 1.5 times more than those in the rural and urban areas respectively. Hospitalisation is the highest expenditure item in terms of money spent, while medicines are the most common item of expenditure in terms of frequency, regardless of the place of residence. Female gender, high social economic status and large household size increase OOP health expenditure significantly in all areas of residence while having insurance reduces it.

Sustainable financing options for mental health care in South Africa: findings from a situation analysis and key informant interviews
Docrat S; Lund C; Chisholm D: International Journal of Mental Health Systems 13(4) https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-019-0260-4, 2019

South Africa faces a need to understand how existing reforms may be leveraged to incorporate the objectives of the National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan (MHPF) and financed in a context of fiscal constraint. The authors conducted a situational analysis followed by in depth interviews with a range of expert national stakeholders. Although the MHPF is said to be consistent with ongoing efforts toward the implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI), there is clear evidence of discordance between the MHPF and the NHI. The most promising strategies for sustainable mental health financing call for increased decentralization of resources to primary and community mental health services and active integration of mental health into ongoing NHI implementation in district hospitals. The authors suggest several ways in which existing reforms may be leveraged to incorporate the objectives of the MHPF and achieve better mental health outcomes for South Africans, but this needs a costed investment case, projecting potential resource requirements and returns on investment of a strong service platform. In the longer-term, they argue that the NHI benefit package must be expanded to include comprehensive mental health services at all levels, with measures to incentivise quality of care.

‘Soda taxes work’
Green A: Health-E News, February 2019

South Africa’s version of a soda tax, called the Health Promotion Levy, will turn one-year-old in April. It was introduced to fight soaring rates of costly health conditions like obesity and diabetes. According to the Healthy Living Alliance’s (Heala) Sbongile Nkosi, excessive consumption of sugary beverages is “a major cause of obesity” and “also increases the risk of diabetes, liver and kidney damage, heart disease and some cancers”. Nkosi also criticised the beverage industry which, she said, “have specifically targeted poor communities who have the least access to quality health services”. In his budget speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that the local tax on sugary drinks would be increased slightly in order to account for inflation. But Heala is pushing for the taxation rate to be doubled to bring the country in line with WHO guidelines.

11. Equity and HIV/AIDS

Factors affecting the acceptability of isoniazid preventive therapy among healthcare providers in selected HIV clinics in Nairobi County, Kenya: a qualitative study
Wambiya E; Atela M; Eboreime E: Infectious Diseases 8(12), doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024286, 2018

Despite being globally recommended as an effective intervention in tuberculosis (TB) prevention among people living with HIV, isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) implementation remains limited, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This study explored the factors influencing the acceptability of IPT among healthcare providers in selected HIV clinics in Nairobi County, Kenya, a high HIV/TB burden country. A qualitative study was conducted using in-depth interviews with healthcare providers in selected HIV clinics in Nairobi County, Kenya. Provider acceptability of IPT was influenced by the organisational context, provider training, perceptions of its efficacy, the clarity of IPT guidelines and procedures and the work environment. Inadequate high-level commitment and support for the IPT programme by programme managers and policy-makers were found to be the major barriers to successful IPT implementation. The authors argue for expanded engagement by policy-makers and IPT programme managers with providers and patients, as well as on-the-job design specific actions to support providers in implementation.

What do the implementation outcome variables tell us about the scaling-up of the antiretroviral treatment adherence clubs in South Africa? A document review.
Mukumbang F; Zaida Orth Z; van Wyk B: Health Research Policy and Systems 17(28) 1-12, 2019

This study reviewed the effectiveness of the rollout of the antiretroviral adherence clubs in South Africa. The authors did a thematic analysis of 32 documents on the adherence clubs programme found in various databases from December 2017 to July 2018. The analysis showed that adherence clubs were highly acceptable as they decongested clinics, increased social support for patients and had a low cost of implementation. Evidence suggests that the model was effective in improving adherence to antiretroviral treatment and retention in care. Based on the success of the clubs in the Western Cape, adherence clubs are currently being implemented in all of the other South African provinces. The challenges include acquiring additional resources and support and the efficient use of available resources. They can be addressed by increasing communication between stakeholders and fostering a culture of learning between facilities, and the authors recommend this as the programme expands.

12. Governance and participation in health

Why the world needs an African ecofeminist future
Kelleher F: African Arguments, March 2019

The author points to how women and feminist activists are on the front line of the battle for ecological sustainability on the continent. Their everyday struggles, commitment, and willingness to envision a future in which justice, equity and rights harmonise with environmental sovereignty is said to have the potential to save us all. Wangari Maathai and her Green Belt Movement are said to epitomise the essence of African ecofeminism and the collective activism that defines it. As the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2004, Maathai highlighted the close relationship between African feminism and African ecological activism, which challenge both the patriarchal and neo-colonial structures undermining the continent. Lesser -known activists, however, have also long been at the intersection of gender, economic, and ecological justice. Ruth Nyambura of the African Eco Feminist Collective, for example, uses radical and African feminist traditions to critique power, challenge multinational capitalism, and re-imagine a more equitable world. Organisations like African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction (WoMin) campaign against the devastation of extractive industries. Meanwhile, localised organising is also resisting ecologically-damaging corporatisation: in South Africa, Women Mapella residents fought off land grabs by mining companies; in Ghana, the Concerned Farmers Association, led largely by women, held mining companies accountable for pollution of local watersheds; and in Uganda, women of the Kizibi community seed bank are preserving local biodiversity in the face of the commercialisation of seeds by corporate multinationals. From Ghana to South Africa and beyond, women-organised seed-sharing initiatives continue to resist corporatisation. Activists like Mariama Sonko in Senegal continue to lead on agroecological farming initiatives for localised and sustainable food production. The author argues that the crisis of Africa’s current trajectory is a crisis of visioning: the inability of the continent’s leaders to imagine a process of development less destructive, more equitable, less unjust, more uniquely African, and – quite simply – more exciting. The positions, passions, and holistic approaches offered by African ecofeminism are argued to provide key ingredients for an alternative to the capital-centric ideals of economic growth that have defined progress so far.

13. Monitoring equity and research policy

More talk than action: gender and ethnic diversity in leading public health universities
Khan M; Lakha F; Tan M; Singh S; et al: The Lancet 393 (1071), 594-600, 2019

Improving the career progression of women and ethnic minorities in public health universities has been a longstanding challenge. The authors believe it might be addressed by including staff diversity data in university rankings. In this study, findings from a mixed methods investigation of gender-related and ethnicity-related differences in career progression at the 15 highest ranked social sciences and public health universities in the world are presented. The study revealed that clear gender and ethnic disparities remain at the most senior academic positions, despite numerous diversity policies and action plans reported. In all universities, representation of women declined between middle and senior academic levels, despite women outnumbering men at the junior level. Ethnic-minority women might have a magnified disadvantage because ethnic-minority academics constitute a small proportion of junior-level positions and the proportion of ethnic-minority women declines along the seniority pathway.

14. Useful Resources

Abantu Book Festival as an archive of the future
Coetzee C: Africa is a Country, 2019

Abantu, South Africa, celebrates black intellectual labour and reading cultures. Abantu inter-connects reading and activist work. The third edition of the Abantu Book Festival took place in Soweto in December 2018 adds to a growing collection of images, videos, blog posts, Facebook (Abantu Book Festival) and Twitter updates (@abantu) of a vibrant black literary culture with long histories.

STAR: supporting authors in emerging regions to access journals for free
Taylor and Francis, 2019

Special Terms for Authors and Researchers (STAR) is a Taylor and Francis initiative developed to provide authors and researchers in emerging regions with free access to articles from their leading international and regional journals across subject areas. Those in eligible countries can register for one voucher, per person, per year. Free access will expire after the fiftieth article or twelve months after registration. It is possible to request more accesses after the fiftieth article

15. Jobs and Announcements

Accelerating universal health coverage: a call for papers
Deadline for submissions: 15 June 2019

This issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation will explore policy options and country experiences on how to expand population coverage, service coverage and financial protection. The editors welcome manuscripts that capture knowledge and experience in addressing bottlenecks and root causes of stagnation that hamper successful UHC advancement. Papers which present an analysis of breakthroughs in health systems that have been conducive to rapid expansion of coverage are encouraged. Papers should focus on, for example, implementation science in health systems, innovative health financing, strategic purchasing, UHC and primary health care, the role of the private sector, policy coherence across government levels (particularly in decentralized health systems), the role of innovative technology and the design and use of health information. Best practices in good governance for health, based on transparency and accountability, would also be useful to learn how vested interests that hamper progress towards UHC are countered in different socioeconomic and political contexts. Comparative cross-country analyses are encouraged.

African Diaspora Support to African Universities: Call for Senior African Diaspora Academics to serve in the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa College of Mentors
Deadline for applications: 30 April 2019

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York is implementing an African Academic Diaspora Support to African Universities Program. In the early part of 2019, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa intends to recruit 50 doctoral students in the social science and humanities from accredited public universities in Africa and place them under the College to benefit from the mentorship program. As part of this initiative, CODESRIA intends to recruit 15 senior academics from the Diaspora to complement existing academics who are already serving in the College of Mentors. Selected mentors and mentees will be brought together at a ‘College of mentors’ summer institute scheduled to take place in August 2019. The institute will provide the opportunity for mentors and mentees to get to interact directly learn more about each other’s research interests and get to establish supervisory unions on the basis of shared interests. The call specifically targets senior African Diaspora in the social sciences, humanities and higher education studies based at universities in North America, Europe or Asia. African academics based at universities or other higher education and research institutions in Africa but outside of their own countries may also apply. Mentors will be compensated with a modest honorarium after a midterm review of the project. African academics in the Diaspora wishing to be considered should send detailed current CV’s and a brief note expressing interest to serve in the College.

Call for abstracts: Special issue of Critical Public Health ‘Public health activism in changing times: Re-locating collective agency’
Deadline for applications: 1 May 2019

The special issue will examine emerging new forms of public health activism, and associated novel sources of collective agency, that are evolving in the fight for health-enabling conditions. Attention to structural forms of power, and the strengths and weaknesses of individual agency have long been cornerstones of critical public health, rooted in a long-established structure-agency binary. The editors seek to disrupt this binary by calling for papers that draw attention to alternative, distributed, networked, disruptive, bottom-up sources of agency that characterise emerging new forms of activism. New and resurgent social movements include attention to issues of anti-austerity, disability rights, new feminisms, defence of public services, housing justice, urban regeneration, anti-racism and advocacy targeting commercial determinants of health. Alternative forms of health-enhancing agency and efforts to connect grassroots collective agency to traditional axes of power are emerging. Papers on any of these, or other, locations of collective agency with potential for innovative public health activism would all be suited to the special issue. The editors invite papers from the full range of public health disciplines, exploring the possibilities of public health activism in contemporary conditions, especially papers with strong empirical bases in studies of recent/contemporary activism. Creative responses to crisis are most often generated in practice rather than theory, and papers rooted in activist and collaborative praxis are particularly welcome.

French Institute for Research in Africa: Fieldwork Grants 2019
Deadline for applications: 28 April 2019

IFRA-Nairobi invites applications for fieldwork grants from Masters and PhD students who conduct research in social sciences and humanities in the East African region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and Eastern Congo). IFRA will prioritize support to the following research themes: workers, labour, and employment; decolonizing knowledge and practices in the social sciences; and gender & LGBT in words and in practice. These research areas target studies on workers in industries, in factories and on plantations in East Africa, focusing on working conditions, workers relations (considering gendered issues), workers/employers relations, organized protest or consent, the growth of a working class culture, entertainment and reading practices, political consciousness, etc. Both case-study approaches and comparative approaches are welcome. Read more at the website.

Urban Studies Foundation International Fellowships
Deadline for applications: 7 May 2019

Applications are invited for an International Fellowship for early to mid-career urban scholars from the Global South, on any theme pertinent to a better understanding of urban realities in the Global South. The Fellowship covers the costs of a sabbatical period at a university of the candidate’s choice in the Global North or South for the purpose of writing up the candidate’s existing research findings in the form of publishable articles or a book under the guidance of a chosen mentor in their field of study. Funding is available for a period ranging between 3-9 months. Applicants must be early to mid-career urban scholars with a PhD obtained within the preceding 10 years who currently work in a university or other research institution within the Global South. Candidates must also be nationals of a country in the Global South, defined here as countries on the OECD’s current ODA recipient list (2018-2020). Preference may be given to candidates from least or low-income countries but middle-income countries on the list are not excluded if the need for support is justified. The candidate must make suitable arrangements to be mentored by a suitably experienced senior urban scholar at the candidate’s chosen research institution.


Contact EQUINET at admin@equinetafrica.org and visit our website at www.equinetafrica.org
Website: http://www.equinetafrica.org/newsletter

SUBMITTING NEWS: Please send materials for inclusion in the EQUINET NEWS to admin@equinetafrica.org Please forward this to others.

SUBSCRIBE: The Newsletter comes out monthly and is delivered to subscribers by e-mail. Subscription is free. To subscribe, visit http://www.equinetafrica.org/content/subscribe
The information on subscribers is used only to email the newsletter to subscribers.

This newsletter is produced under the principles of 'fair use'. We strive to attribute sources by providing direct links to authors and websites. When full text is submitted to us and no website is provided, we make the text available as provided. The views expressed in this newsletter, including the signed editorials, do not necessarily represent those of EQUINET or the institutions in its steering committee. While we make every effort to ensure that all facts and figures quoted by authors are accurate, EQUINET and its steering committee institutions cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies contained in any articles. Please contact admin@equinetafrica.org immediately regarding any issues arising.