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European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2101593


There is great urgency for action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in fragile settings, which face acute and complex challenges. Yet, the public sector may be limited in its capacity to address these appropriately, with devastating effects on the health of people and environment now and in the future. The challenges to sustainable health require professionals who are trained relevant competences. In 2020, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and Makerere University, Uganda, developed the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health under which a new partnership was established with Benadir University, Somalia, Kinshasa School of Public Health, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tinkr, Norway to develop training on innovation for sustainable health. The aim of “Managing Innovation for Sustainable Health” (MISH) is to strengthen the capacity to contribute to achieving sustainable health through innovation in the public sector. It targets managers in Somalia, DRC and Uganda from the public and private sector, academia, and civil society. It is one year long, part-time and delivered online with one study trip. It features three modules covering Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Health;Multisectoral Collaboration and Implementation Science;and Innovation and Innovation Management. Integration of participants’ learnings into their professional role, mutual learning between participants, and an emphasis on applicability, all underpin the learning strategies of the program. Quality is monitored through expectation surveys, baseline mid and final impact assessments, module and final program evaluations. MISH has trained about 50 managers, 85% of which say that the training was useful. All partners are represented in both operational and strategic organizational bodies of the program. Our model shows what is possible through collaborative online international learning delivered by partnerships defined by teamwork, trust, and a dedication to true impact. Key messages • There is great urgency for action to achieve sustainable health especially in fragile settings. • There is momentum for higher education to leverage the opportunities of the covid-19 to rethink learning for the global challenges.

BMC Public Health ; 22:1-12, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1857750


Background Globally, substance use is a leading contributor to the burden of disease among young people, with far reaching social, economic and health effects. Following a finding of harmful alcohol use among 5-8-year-old children in Mbale District, Uganda, this study aims to investigate community members’ views on early childhood substance use among children below the age of 10 years. Methods In 2016, we conducted eight focus group discussions with 48 parents and 26 key informant interviews with teachers, health workers, alcohol distributors, traditional healers, religious leaders, community leaders and youth workers. We used thematic content analysis. Four participants and two research assistants reviewed and confirmed the findings. Results Alcohol in everyday life: ‘Even children on laps taste alcohol’: Almost all participants confirmed the existence of and concern for substance use before age 10. They described a context where substance use was widespread in the community, especially intake of local alcoholic brews. Children would access substances in the home or buy it themselves. Those living in poor neighbourhoods or slums and children of brewers were described as particularly exposed. Using substances to cope: ‘We don’t want them to drink’: Participants explained that some used substances to cope with a lack of food and resources for childcare, as well as traumatic experiences. This made children in deprived families and street-connected children especially vulnerable to substance use. Participants believed this was a result of seeing no alternative solution. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe the context and conditions of childhood substance use before age 10 in Mbale District, Uganda. The study shows that community members attributed early childhood substance use to a social context of widespread use in the community, which was exacerbated by conditions of material and emotional deprivation. These social determinants for this practice deserve public health attention and intervention.