Utah Valley Global Health Group

A blog about global health for those living in Utah Valley and their friends.

Archive for the ‘Evidence-based Global Health’ Category

Global Health Journals

Posted by chads on May 14, 2009

The CORE group has compiled the only list of global health scientific journals that I am aware of. I think it is very helpful. Any other lists out there? Any additions or comments to the list?


Posted in Evidence-based Global Health, Links | 2 Comments »

EpiInfo, SAS, Stata, SPSS

Posted by chads on June 4, 2008

We recently had the following discussion via email, and thought it might be useful to post it for everyone:

I’m fairly new to data management and analysis. I’m currently learning Epi Info for a project, and I know that I’ll be using STATA for BioStats this fall. I just wanted to get a “real-life” feel for which programs have been most useful and/or which are used the most. How often do you use Epi Info? STATA? SPSS? Which, would you say, is most useful? Which should I spend the most time learning? Any other advice?

Kirk Dearden: “I’d avoid EpiInfo. It has some advantages (e.g., it’s free and you can use it to calculate sample size and calculate Z scores for nutritional status) but I find it very cumbersome all around–even for data entry. For data entry I’ve switched to Excel–at least that’s the program I’ve used in my training of aid workers. It too has problems. Better options for more serious data analysis are epihandy (if you’ve got a PDA) and CSPro–both free of charge and much more manageable.

Which software package is best for data analysis is the subject of debate the world over! Of course the big three are SPSS, Stata and SAS. SPSS is great for graphics but I find it too easy to use the menus to conduct analyses. Using menus limits what you can do and–in my mind–is a crutch. SAS is the most powerful of the three though for what any of us is doing, these differences are really negligible. I like Stata because it is very interactive and intuitive. So, I’d say SAS or Stata.”

Ben Crookston: “As for data management and analysis, I think Kirk summed it up quite well. I use SAS a majority of the time, but do use Stata on occasion. If you only plan to do general analyses and don’t intend to do a lot of data management (cleaning, shaping, restructuring, etc.) then I would learn Stata and stick with it. Because I do a lot of data management, I prefer SAS.”

Posted in Evidence-based Global Health, Practical Advice | 12 Comments »

Utah Valley Global Health Group

Posted by chads on October 25, 2007

A few months ago some friends and I started the Utah Valley Global Health Group.  The idea is quite simple:  we were just looking for a place (physical and/or cyber) where people who think that the current global health situation cannot be can get together.  This past meeting, we introduced a four-prong mission:

1.  Encourage collaboration between individuals, institutions, universities, NGOs, and others involved in global health.

2.  Encourage the implementation of evidence-based global health interventions through education.

3. Increase the public’s knowledge of and interest in global health issues through political advocacy, newspaper editorials, activities, etc.

4.  Provide a venue for people recently interested in global health to network, learn of opportunities, get a mentor, etc.

If you have any additions or changes to this “mission statement,” chime in below.

Posted in Announcements, Evidence-based Global Health, Utah Valley Global Health Group | 1 Comment »


Posted by chads on August 18, 2007

I stumbled across this website this morning. Eldis is part of the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, England, and “aims to share the best in development, policy, practice and research.” There are over 18,000 documents free to download from it’s website, and they are organized into over 20 subjects. (I will be visiting health systems often.)

“The aim of Eldis is to:

* support the documentation, exchange and use of evidence-based development knowledge
* communicate this knowledge effectively through a range of appropriately designed services, using the Internet (web and email) as the main communication medium for delivery
* reach audiences of researchers, development practitioners and policy formers at national and international levels
* play a role in the processes of evidence-based policy formation
* provide this information and services free of charge at point of use”

Looks like a great resource!

Posted in Evidence-based Global Health, Health Systems, Links | 2 Comments »

Book Review: Millions Saved

Posted by chads on July 12, 2007

There are few books that I would recommend everyone interested in global health have on their bookshelves. “Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health” by Ruth Levine and the What Works Working Group is one such book.

You see, my experience in global health suggests that the main barrier to success in combating needless suffering and early death in developing countries lies not so much in identifying the need. It seems to me that most people recognize at least superficially the disparities in health globally. The main barrier lies in convincing funders that the cause is worth funding, and in reaching a consensus among those that implement global health programs. A first step in breaking those barriers is to identify prior successes and examine why they were successful. “Millions Saved” does just that.

Ruth Levine and her colleagues at the Center for Global Development have identified a series of 17 successful global health cases – interventions that have actually saved lives. From eradicating small pox world-wide to eliminating measles in Southern Africa, they give us a brief introduction to the scope of the problem, share how the intervention was implemented, and show how and why it was successful. They then share six common characteristics, lessons learned:

  1. Success is possible even in the poorest countries
  2. Governments in poor countries can do the job – and in some cases are the chief funders
  3. Technology, yes – but behavior change, too
  4. International coalitions have worked
  5. Attribution is possible
  6. Success comes in all shapes

The book is a short, easy read at about 150 pages. Each chapter explains a case, and both qualitative and quantitative aspects (with limitations) of the successes are discussed. There is currently a new edition out (I have not yet read it) which is being used in college courses.

“Millions Saved” answers critics, inspires idealists, and reminds those working in the often frustrating field of global health that a healthier world is, in fact, possible. I highly recommend this book.

Posted in Book Reviews, Evidence-based Global Health | 4 Comments »

April 7 Meeting: Micro-Credit and Health

Posted by chads on May 7, 2007

I haven’t posted in over a month for personal reasons: new baby, oral emergency medicine exam, etc. I should be posting more frequently now, but we’ll just have to see…

By just about any measure, the Utah Valley Global Health Group’s first informal dinner was a success. We met on April 7 at Ned and Claralyn Hill’s home. Over 30 people came: students, NGO representatives, LDS missionaries, interested citizens, etc. There was also a wonderful variety of food.

I began the discussion with a 10-minute review of the micro-credit/health literature. In summary, while more research is desperately needed, there is some evidence that suggests that combining health interventions with existing micro-credit is effective. I hope to post a Q&A answering the question “How effective are micro-credit programs that are combined with health interventions?” soon.

Kirk Dearden then gave a summary of his involvement with Food for the Hungry. Kirk is one of the primary investigators with the Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) initiative.

Todd Manwaring finished the discussion from a micro-credit perspective. He introduced various types of micro-finance that involve health, including micro-insurance, and micro franchising. He also recommended the micro-finance gateway. While not peer-reviewed, it does provide thousands of documents that one can download.

We are planning our next informal dinner in the fall, and hope you’ll join us! I will post details here when we make definite plans.

Posted in Announcements, Evidence-based Global Health, Global Health and Mormonism, Utah Valley Global Health Group | Leave a Comment »