Global reach of Family Medicine and Community Health
The Editor-in-Chief for Family Medicine and Community Health, Professor Wei Wang and publisher of Planetary Health Weekly, Dr David Zuckus coordinated the July 2016 special issue focusing on the global reach of primary care and community health services. In this issue, eight articles address this topic by reporting research on child health (Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, the Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe), maternal health (Nepal), psychological processes (China), sedentary lifestyle (Jordan), training medical undergraduates (India), and ecology, plans, and reforms regarding a health care system (Malaysia). A discussion on care for aged ethnic minorities in China is also presented.
Authors contributing to this issue come from Edith Cowan University and University of Sydney, Australia; Ryerson University, Canada; Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology, Capital Medical University, Yunnan College of Business Management and Yunnan University of Traditional Medicine, China; The Chinese University of Hong Kong, College of Family Physicians and Kwong Wah Hospital, Hong Kong; Ashwani Ayruvedic Hospital, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and Velammal Medical College Hospital & Research Institute, India; Ministry of Health, Jordan; James Cook University, Singapore; University of Dongola, Sudan; University of Western Cape, South Africa; and University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. The issue includes two original research articles, two reviews, one commentary, a case study on community postings for medical undergraduates and two papers focusing specifically on health care in China.
The first featured work in this issue is a commentary on: "An innovation in child health: Globally reaching out to child health professionals". The authors, Russell Jones, Kathryn Currow, Mary Kwong and Pramila Menon note how worldwide deaths of children younger than 5 years reduced from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. This paper discusses the Diploma in Child Health/International Postgraduate Paediatric Certificate program and shows how it offers an inexpensive, cost-effective, proven strategy for effectively improving the child and maternal health knowledge, skills, and abilities of a broad range of child health professionals in developing and first-world countries.
The second featured work is by Bingxin Wang and Kenneth Mark Greenwood and looks at "'Face' and psychological processes of laid-off workers in transitional China"). The authors explore the psychological experiences of laid-off workers in contemporary transitional China. Four themes underline the psychological processes of these laid-off workers and these are characterized by Chinese culture and its philosophy: feeling of loss is dominated by their loss of face (diu mianzi), physical pain is a somatization of their mental painfulness, their fatalism is traced back to the Chinese ancient theocratic concept of Tian Ming, and their acceptance of reality to their final making face (zhen mianzi) is sourced from both Confucianism and Daoism.
Other articles published in the issue include the following:
Ghazi F. Sharkas, Tayseer Saheb, Kamal Arqoub and Raja Haddadin: "Sedentary lifestyle among adults in Jordan, 2007". The authors used data from the behavioral risk factors surveillance survey conducted in Jordan in 2007 in this original research and found that most Jordanian adults have a sedentary lifestyle, which emphasizes that there is a public health problem. The authors recommended a national survey to gain updated data followed by an applicable national plan enabling people to practice a healthier lifestyle.
Another item of original research is by Nicolette Vanessa Roman, Serena Ann Isaacs, Charl Davids and Xin-Cheng Sui entitled "How well are families doing? A description of family well-being in South Africa" As a result of South Africa's unique sociopolitical history and diverse cultures, the South African family is neither simple to describe nor easy to understand. This study used a descriptive survey design and looked at perceived parenting styles, family functioning, family satisfaction and family resilience.
In "How well are families doing? A description of family well-being in". Andrea Sebastian, Mohamed Ali Alzain, Collins Otieno Asweto, Gehendra Mahara, Xiuhua Guo, Manshu Song, Youxin Wang and Wei Wang write about Malaysia's plans to achieve developed nation status by 2020. Malaysia has risen beyond and above the status as a Southeast Asian country and is an example to many countries. However, there is still a need for solutions to key challenges such as lack of access to water, sanitation, and proper waste management in rural areas, and the rapid rise in the cost of living.
Gehendra Mahara, Jill Barr, Janeeta Thomas, Wei Wang and Xiuhua Guo penned a commentary on "Maternal health and its affecting factors in Nepal", where the main aim of this article was to critically evaluate and explore the situation of maternal health in Nepal based on published or unpublished governmental or nongovernmental organization's scientific reports regarding maternal health. The authors found there were several direct or indirect causes and affecting factors of maternal death in Nepal, which are preventable.
In a case study on "Training medical undergraduates in the core disciplines of community medicine through community postings – an experience from India" Hemant Deepak Shewade, Chinnakali Palanivel and Kathiresan Jeyashree discuss the development of a community posting program within the framework of community medicine core disciplines at a primary health centre attached to a teaching hospital in Puducherry, India.
The section on China Focus contains the article by Bingxin Wang and Kenneth Mark Greenwood, and also the following item:
In "Long-term care for aged ethnic minority people in Yunnan, China: Understanding the situation" authors Kaining Zhang, David Zakus and Chuqun Gao discuss how China is one of the fastest ageing counties in the world and details the efforts of the Chinese government to support this population. The authors surveyed an ethic minority group and found that most were being cared for by family. Therefore it was felt there is an urgent need to reexamine the allocation of public resources for the aged.
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