Innovations for equity

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

New Directions in Health-Environment Research: Implications for Health Systems

In Global Symposium on Health Systems Research on November 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

BY MICHAEL LOEVINSOHN, GUEST BLOGGER FROM THE STEPS CENTRE

Michael chairing the sessionI chair a session on New Directions in Health-Environment Research: Implications for Health Systems. A bit off the beam of the Global Symposium’s thrust: one of 13 concurrent sessions, perhaps 20 people attend.

Setting the stage, I describe the methodological challenges researchers are tackling to uncover how environmental change, of different kinds, is creating health risks; in identifying developmental processes that are loosening structures of risk and in clarifying how health and other sectors can collaborate to realize these opportunities.    

The first case describes an “unnatural experiment”, the 2001-03 famine and its impact on the evolution of HIV in Malawi. Using existing data, I show how hunger profoundly affected the distribution of HIV and of people by pushing people into survival sex and distress migration. The data also show that hunger was less severe, maize price less volatile and migration and change in HIV prevalence less marked where people had access to robust crops like cassava, alongside the maize staple. Cassava appears to be providing a “prevention dividend”. Read the rest of this entry »

From Montreux – the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

In Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Uncategorized on November 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

BY MICHAEL LOEVINSOHN, GUEST BLOGGER FROM THE STEPS CENTRE

You know you’re a discipline or a significant sub-discipline when you can organize and find funding for a global symposium. Twelve hundred participants from umpteen countries also testify to the self-awareness that marks a field. And the Symposium’s theme is fittingly ambitious: Science to Accelerate Universal Health Coverage.

Charlie Chaplin is in town but can’t make it to the Symposium. He’s buried just down the road. But I wonder what his Little Tramp, bowler-hatted and down-at-heels, would make of it. Would he be considered part of the System? Am I? My interest is in the determinants of disease in the turbulent social, economic and natural environment and what that understanding can contribute especially to prevention. Read the rest of this entry »