April 7th is World Health Day

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes April 7th as World Health Day. The right to health for millions around the world is under threat which is why this year's theme is "My health, My right."

The WHO recognizes health as a fundamental human right, and over 140 countries have enshrined this principle in their constitutions. Yet, this right remains unrealized for billions. A staggering 4.5 people lacked access to essential health services in 2021.

In this blog, we'll delve deeper into these issues by exploring five research papers published by JMIR Publications journals. These papers explore various aspects of health equity and access, shedding light on the challenges and potential solutions towards achieving a world where everyone can enjoy their fundamental right to health.

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1. Haque G, Asif F, Ahmed FA, et al. Assessment of patient safety in a low-resource health care system: Proposal for a Multimethod study. JMIR Research Protocols. 2024;13. doi:10.2196/50532

 This study aims to assess the status of patient safety in a health care system within a low-resource setting, using a multipronged, multimethod approach of standardized methodologies adapted to the local setting.


2. Vasudevan L, Ostermann J, Thielman N, et al. Leveraging Community Health Workers and a responsive digital health system to improve vaccination coverage and timeliness in resource-limited settings: Protocol for a cluster randomized type 1 effectiveness-implementation hybrid study. JMIR Research Protocols. 2024;13. doi:10.2196/52523

This protocol describes a type 1 effectiveness-implementation hybrid study to evaluate Chanjo Kwa Wakati (timely vaccination in Kiswahili), a community-based digital health intervention to improve vaccination timeliness. The intervention combines human resources (community health workers), low-cost digital strategies (electronic communication, digital case management, and task automation), a vaccination knowledge intervention, and insights from behavioral economics (reminders and incentives) to promote timely childhood vaccinations


3. Aboye GT, Simegn GL, Aerts J-M. Assessment of the barriers and enablers of the use of mHealth systems in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the perceptions of patients, physicians, and health care executives in Ethiopia: Qualitative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2024;26. doi:10.2196/50337

 The overall aim of this study was to identify the barriers and enablers for using mHealth systems in Sub-Saharan Africa from the perspectives of patients, physicians, and health care executives.

4. Loeb T, Willis K, Velishavo F, et al. Leveraging routinely collected program data to inform extrapolated size estimates for key populations in Namibia: Small area estimation study. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance. 2024;10. doi:10.2196/48963

To systematically generate regional size estimates for FSW and MSM in Namibia, we used a consensus-informed estimation approach with local stakeholders that included the integration of routinely collected HIV program data provided by key populations’ HIV service providers.



5. Sharma Y, Saha A, Goldsack JC. Defining the dimensions of diversity to promote inclusion in the digital era of Health Care: A lexicon. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance. 2024;10. doi:10.2196/51980

The pandemic provided a stark reminder of the inequities faced by populations historically marginalized by the health care system and accelerated the adoption of digital health technologies to drive innovation. Digital health technologies’ purported promises to reduce inefficiencies and costs, improve access and health outcomes, and empower patients add a new level of urgency to health equity. As conventional medicine shifts toward digital medicine, we have the opportunity to intentionally develop and deploy digital health technologies with an inclusion focus. The first step is ensuring that the multiple dimensions of diversity are captured. We propose a lexicon that encompasses elements critical for implementing an inclusive approach to advancing health care quality and health services research in the digital era.

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