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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Lancet: Several articles on health in China and HIFA2015

As well as highlighting some very useful papers, the post below c/o HIFA2015 is also an appeal as follows:

HIFA currently has only eight members in China (compared with 510 in India and 655 in Nigeria), and we would welcome more. If you have contacts with health professionals, researchers and/or policymakers in China, please invite them to join us at www.hifa2015.org

Dear HIFA members,

This week's Lancet includes several articles on health in China. One of them explores the challenge of evidence-based public health policy. Here is the citation and selected extracts:

Fan Jiang, Jun Zhang, Xiaoming Shen. Towards evidence-based public health policy in China.
The Lancet, Volume 381, Issue 9882, Pages 1962 - 1964, 8 June 2013 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61083-1

'In China, most biomedical and even public health research stops at publication. We believe that completing a public health study is not the end of the process, but, in many cases, marks the beginning of the next phase in which research results are applied to solve real-life problems. Efforts are warranted to raise such awareness among researchers and policy makers.'

'A clear, streamlined system is crucial to promote evidence-based public health policy at a large scale. Several mechanisms might be useful. First, a platform for bilateral communication between researchers and policy makers is needed to improve mutual understanding and to establish an effective and efficient dialogue channel. In addition to informal public meetings and knowledge brokers, rapidly spreading social media has been shown to be a very useful means to obtain feedback.11, 12 [...] Although still early in a long journey, China is moving towards evidence-based public health policy.4 With the right knowledge, attitude, and practice, adequate investment in the capability and capacity of implementation, and an efficient system, this goal will be reached.'
[The editor of HIFA2015 also mailed the following to the list]

A Comment in The Lancet makes an observation that is highly relevant to global health professionals, and especially those who undertake systematic reviews (which are often limited to papers in English):
'Any attempt to analyse global data needs to access work published in Chinese. This need is not straightforward to address, but the east-west collaboration of Chan and colleagues is exemplary. The western, anglophone hegemony in the generation and dissemination of research is coming to an end. This change creates challenges for peer review and synthesis of knowledge, but western investigators should no more assume that their Chinese counterparts have published high quality research in English than vice versa.'
Martin J Prince. Dementia in China: east-west collaboration bears fruit. The Lancet, Volume 381, Issue 9882, Pages 1967 - 1968, 8 June 2013.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60770-9 Cite or Link Using DOI

The full text is freely available, after free online registration.

Best wishes,

HIFA2015 profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA2015 campaign and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network

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