In this issue of World Health & Population (WHP), we continue with the series of reports on health issues faced by rural-to-urban migrants in China. These papers are based upon the ongoing research by Xiaoming Li, Bonita Stanton and others affiliated with Johns Hopkins, Wayne State, Beijing Normal and Nanjing universities. The paper by Li et al. addresses social stigma and mental health needs of rural-to-urban migrants, and lays out a framework for future research. We hope to continue offering the output from their ongoing and important research through WHP.
Other papers in this issue represent a somewhat eclectic mix of
research from five different countries: Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Sudan. From the DRC is a
well-written paper by Nkosi and associates reporting focus group
results on caregiver burden associated with HIV/AIDS. Although the
situation they report is grim and seemingly unaddressable, at least
in the short run, their research is nonetheless important for
raising our awareness of the problem, and, once again, pointing out
the complexity of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Chandrashekhar et al.
present highly focused outcomes research on cataract surgery in
rural South India, and strong recommendations with regard to
"quality versus quantity" in terms of procedures. The authors are
concerned that the incentives for cataract surgery are skewed
towards doing the maximum number of cases versus achieving good
outcomes in the maximum number of times. Prasartkul and
Vapattanawong look at death registration data in Thailand and posit
very credibly why there is under-reporting. They also make some
interesting and reasonable policy recommendations with regard to
reforming the death registration process; however, the most useful
take-away for researchers and policy-makers outside of Thailand is
that you can credibly use survey data to validate secondary data,
even in developing country situations. Doocy and Burnham, from
Johns Hopkins University, provide an interesting discussion of
assessment of socioeconomic status (SES) in the context of food
insecurity in Ethiopia. In particular, they correlate various
measures of SES with physical well-being as measured by mid-upper
arm circumference (MUAC), and conclude that income, education and
housing quality are better indicators of SES than home or land
ownership. Uneke et al. describe the public health implications of
bacterial infection and growing antibiotic resistance among school
children infected with schistosomiasis in Nigeria. Although this
paper is more clinically focused than most for WHP, the issues
around antibiotic resistance are important to surface. Finally, the
paper by Ali et al. is notable by its addressing a relatively
untouched area: pharmacist manpower issues in a developing country.
Pharmacists provide a much more critical primary care role in many
developing countries than they do in North America or Western
Europe. Ali and his colleagues designed and conducted a survey that
looked at the movement between the public and private sector of
pharmacists in Sudan. Although remarkably narrow in its focus, the
survey and research efforts and results are nonetheless quite
We hope the mix of papers in this issue is engaging to our
readers, and the contributing authors and editorial staff of WHP
are interested in any comments or suggestions you might have.
Please feel free to write or e-mail us.
About the Author(s)
John E. Paul, PhD
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