METHODS: A qualitative method was employed. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with married men, community health officers, community health volunteers and community leaders. The participants were selected using purposive, quota and snowball sampling techniques. The study used thematic analysis for analysing the data.
RESULTS: The study shows varying involvement of men, some were directly involved in feminine gender roles; others used their female relatives and co-wives to perform the women's roles that did not have space for them. They were not necessarily indifferent towards maternal healthcare, rather, they were involved in the spaces provided by the traditional gender division of labour. Amongst other things, the perpetuation and reinforcement of traditional gender norms around pregnancy and childbirth influenced the nature and level of male involvement.
CONCLUSIONS: Sustenance of male involvement especially, husbands and CHVs is required at the household and community levels for positive maternal outcomes. Ghana Health Service, health professionals and policy makers should take traditional gender role expectations into consideration in the planning and implementation of maternal health promotion programmes.
METHODS: A total of 135 students from three undergraduate year levels of the MBBS degree at UAMC, Dhaka, Bangladesh, undertook study tours (community-based teaching, CBT) as a part of a community medicine course and visited a medical college, two rural health centres and a meteorology centre in the Cox's Bazar district, 400 km from Dhaka city. A questionnaire was used to assess the perceptions of students regarding the administration, organisation and learning experiences of the study tours. Students were required to write reports, present their findings and answer questions in their examinations related to the study tours and CBT.
RESULTS: The majority of the students agreed or strongly agreed that the tour was a worthwhile (93%) and enjoyable (95%) learning experience that helped them to understand rural health issues (91%). More than half of the students reported that the study tours increased their awareness about common rural health problems (54%) and provided a wider exposure to medicine (61%). Only 41% of students reported that the study tour increased their interest in undertake training in a rural area. A substantial number of students also expressed their concerns about the planning, length, resources, finance and organisation of the study tours.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the study tours had a positive effect, enhancing students' awareness and understanding of common rural health problems. As study tours failed to increase the motivation of the students (approximately 60%) to work in rural areas, CBT in the medical curriculum should be reviewed and implemented using effective and evidence-based models to promote interest among medical students to work in rural and underserved or unserved areas.
METHODOLOGY: This is a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent cataract surgery in Kuala Pilah Cluster Hospitals between 2010 and 2017. A total of 2539 records of patients were reviewed. Patients were assigned into two groups: Group 1 (2010-2012)- before the programme (2010-2012) and Group 2 (2015-2017) after the introduction of the programme.
RESULTS: There was a significant increase in number of cataract cases in the district hospital after the cluster initiative. The mean age of patients undergoing cataract surgery was similar in both groups. The common comorbidities were hypertension (Group 1=57.3%; Group 2=70.8%) and diabetes mellitus (Group 1=40.6%; Group 2=51.1%). In 2010-2012, most of the patients were one eye blind (34.4%), whereas in 2015-2017 majority of patients presented with vision better than 6/18 (43.5%). The proportion of patients with cataract blindness reduced from 6% in 2010-2012 to 4.3% in 2015-2017 (p<0.01).
CONCLUSION: There is a significant decrease in percentage of patients with cataract blindness and low vision after the introduction of Kuala Pilah Cluster Hospital Program. We believe that that cluster hospital system is effective in improving accessibility to eye care and therefore increases the cataract detection rate.