World Health & Population

World Health & Population 8(2) April 2006 : 3-3.doi:10.12927/whp.2006.19947

From the Editor-in-Chief

John E. Paul


This issue of World Health & Population (WHP) features two excellent and interesting papers examining health issues faced by rural-to-urban migrants in China. Rural-to-urban migration is a critical and growing problem throughout the world, for which most countries are very ill-prepared. Insights from one setting, therefore, may well be useful and applicable elsewhere. Xiaoming Li, Yan Hong and associates, in both China and the United States, have implemented an important research program in this area, with support from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and critical collaboration/support from Beijing Normal University and Nanjing University. Specifically, Hong et al. in "Too Costly to be Ill," report on qualitative (e.g., focus group) research where their team conducted in-depth interviews of 90 rural-to-urban migrants, uncovering gaps and barriers to healthcare-seeking behaviour by migrants. In the second paper, "Health Indicators and Geographic Mobility," Li et al. analyze data from a survey of over 4,200 rural-to-urban migrants, migrating either to Beijing or Nanjing. Living conditions, employment status, general health (measured by the SF-12), depression and substance abuse were examined through multivariate techniques. Both risky health behaviours and barriers to healthcare for rural-to-urban migrants were identified. Finally, Professor Wen Chen of Fudan University a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of WHP provides a commentary and important perspective on these two papers. We are glad to offer these papers and the insight from Professor Chen on such an important issue.
Other papers in this issue continue the reporting on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria through submissions by researchers at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR). Manafa et al. report results from a knowledge, attitudes and practice (KAP) survey of nearly 6,000 households in Lagos State showing a change in attitudes attributable to educational campaigns, but not, unfortunately, significant changes in behaviours. Adeneye et al. look at barriers to antiretroviral therapy (ART) through questioning HIV-positive patients seeking care at the NIMR. This paper presents interesting data pointing to the better estimates of ART affordability and willingness-to-pay estimates.

Rounding out this issue are two papers demonstrating the applicability of highly sophisticated methodological approaches in analysis of data in diverse healthcare settings. Makepeace and Pal apply sequential analysis of the West Bengal National Family Health Survey to look at the impact of the length of time between births on subsequent child mortality. Cox Proportional Hazard Ratios are calculated providing empirical support for the risks of too-close spacing of children. Ro and Lee use LISREL to analyze a household production function model to estimate how a mother's education influences her time allocation for child care, and the subsequent health outcomes of the child. Their data is from a Korean Family Household survey. A third copy by Young et al. uses data from the Matlab Health and Socio-economic Survey to examine how adults in rural Bangladesh use healthcare services.

The contributing authors and editorial staff of WHP are interested in any comments or suggestions you might have on the papers or journal. Please feel free to write or e-mail us.

About the Author(s)

John E. Paul, PhD


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