Friday Newsletter
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Dear Centre Leaders,
In today's newsletter:
  • AWI-Gen writing and publications workshop held in SA
  • Kind Reminder: 2016 publications
  • WHO launches global initiative to reduce medication-associated harm 
  • Mental health and urban living in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Causes of Death among children aged 5 to 14 years in Kersa
1. AWI-Gen writing and publications workshop held in SA
Prof. Michele Ramsay
AWI-Gen is a University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and INDEPTH Network Collaborative Centre under the umbrella of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium and aims to study genetic and environmental contributions to susceptibility to cardiometabolic diseases in four African countries (South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Burkina Faso). 

From 3-7 April, they organised a writing and publications workshop, hosted by the Sydney Brenner Institute For Molecular Bioscience at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 23 participants expected to attend under the facilitation of Michele Ramsay and Stuart Ali. The aim of the workshop was to advance and expand the publication agenda of AWI-Gen with the involvement of all the Centres  and the Core. It was a planning and hands-on data analysis workshop with a mixture of disciplines represented among the participants. Read more
2. Kind Reminder: 2016 publications
We have so far received a total of 310 publications for 2016 from 11 member centres. This is lower than the number that we have been compiling over the last three years, which is an average of 500 publications per year. We want to have our final list by 13th April 2017. If your centre has not yet shared their list, kindly do so before that date. As you are aware every year we collate peer-reviewed publications from all centres and we make the list available to a multiplicity of audiences. We do this to increase the visibility of the work of the Network, Centres and individual scientists. Additionally, the list demonstrates to stakeholders and funders that our work is not only relevant locally or nationally, but also internationally.
3. WHO launches global initiative to reduce medication-associated harm 
Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General
WHO recently launched a global initiative to reduce severe, avoidable medication-associated harm in all countries by 50% over the next 5 years. The Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety aims to address the weaknesses in health systems that lead to medication errors and the severe harm that results. It lays out ways to improve the way medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed, and increase awareness among patients about the risks associated with the improper use of medication.
Medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States of America alone. While low- and middle-income countries are estimated to have similar rates of medication-related adverse events to high-income countries, the impact is about twice as much in terms of the number of years of healthy life lost. Many countries lack good data, which will be gathered as part of the initiative. Globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at US$ 42 billion annually or almost 1% of total global health expenditure. Read  more
News from Centres
 1.Ouagadougou HDSS:
    Mental health and urban living in sub-Saharan Africa
Prof. Abderamane Soura, Ouagadougou Centre Leader
In sub-Saharan African cities, the epidemiological transition has shifted a greater proportion of the burden of non-communicable diseases, including mental and behavioral disorder, to the adult population. The burden of major depressive disorder and its social risk factors in the urban sub-Saharan African population are not well understood and estimates vary widely. 

The study published in the paper "Mental health and urban living in sub-Saharan Africa: major depressive episodes among the urban poor in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso" was conducted in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in order to estimate the prevalence of major depressive episodes among adults in this urban setting. It was found out that major depressive disorder is a reality for many urban residents in Burkina Faso and likely urbanites throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Countries in the region should incorporate aspects of mental health prevention and treatment as part of overall approaches to improving health among the region's growing urban populations.
 Read more
2. Kersa HDSS:
Causes of Death among children aged 5 to 14 years in Kersa
Dr. Nega Assefa, Kersa Centre Leader
The global burden of mortality among children is still very huge though its trend has started declining following the improvements in the living standard. It presents serious challenges to the well-being of children in many African countries. Today, Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounts for about 50% of global child mortality. The overall objective of this study "Causes of Death among Children Aged 5 to 14 Years Old from 2008 to 2013 in Kersa Health and Demographic Surveillance System (Kersa HDSS), Ethiopia" was to determine the magnitude and distribution of causes of death among children aged 5 to 14 year olds in the population of Kersa HDSS using verbal autopsy method for the period 2008 to 2013.

The study showed that, in specific causes of death classification severe malnutrition, intestinal infectious diseases and acute lower respiratory infections were the three leading causes of death where, in broad causes of death communicable diseases and injuries were among the leading causes of death. Hence, concerned bodies should take measures to avert the situation of mortality from these causes of death and further inferential analysis into the prevention and management of infectious diseases should also be taken. 
Read more
Policy Engagement and Communications