Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    GeneXpert Machines in Vietnam: Applying an Optimization Model to Improve Use of Diagnostic Equipment to Fight Infectious Diseases
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-08-23) Bathanti, Jacob; Salazar, Elizabeth
    Many governments struggle with how to efficiently, effectively, and equitably allocate medical supplies and equipment. Medical supplies and equipment can be expensive and prone to mismatches in use, context, and the level of expertise needed to operate them. Optimizing allocation is particularly important considering resource scarcity in many developing countries. Therefore, generating evidence to inform efficient, effective, and equitable allocation of medical supplies and equipment to maximize the benefits of scarce and often in-demand resources is crucial for improving medical care around the world. This case study examines how the World Bank financed Investing and Innovating for Grassroots Health Service Delivery project used optimization analysis to determine the best allocation of TB diagnosis machines. Identifying and combining relevant datasets and applying these within a well-defined algorithm, with the agreement of key stakeholders, enabled the national and provincial governments of Vietnam to determine where machines could be placed for maximum impact to enable and promote efficient use of expensive medical equipment.
  • Publication
    Tobacco Excise Taxes and Tobacco Leaf Farming— Key Considerations
    (Washington, DC, 2023-04-17) World Bank
    The Global Tax Program Health Taxes Knowledge Note Series focuses on topics linked to implementation of health taxes, or excise taxes on tobacco, alcoholic drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages. The purpose of this series is to provide policy makers with an overview of relevant issues and feasible policy choices in setting health taxes based on questions that emerge from the field during health tax reforms. This third brief in the series explores growth and domestic demand for tobacco leaf. The knowledge note series is funded under the Health Tax Workstream of the World Bank’s Global Tax Program: https://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/the-global-tax-program
  • Publication
    COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea: Economic and Social Impacts - Insights from the Fifth Round of High Frequency Phone Surveys
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-05-31) World Bank
    The fifth round of the high frequency phone survey (HFPS) interviewed 2,630 households in June 2022 on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, including employment and income, community trust and security and COVID-19 vaccination. It follows four rounds of surveys conducted from June 2020 to December 2021. The previous round of the HFPS (round 4), found that recovery was weak in 2021, with household incomes falling, and highlighted persistently low COVID-19 vaccination rates. While the third wave of COVID-19 was over by June 2022, PNG remains the least vaccinated country in the EAP region and could be vulnerable to future outbreaks of COVID-19. The World Bank estimates that the PNG economy contracted by 3.5 percent in 2020 before returning to positive economic growth of 1 percent in 2021. Stronger economic growth is projected for 2022, of 4 percent. In particular, strong growth is projected for the extractive sector (6.8 percent). However, the trajectory of economic recovery remains highly uncertain.
  • Publication
    Results from Round Three (July 2021) of the Solomon Islands High-Frequency Phone Survey
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-04-01) Johnson, Darcey Jeanne Genou; Naidoo, Darian; Wokker, Christopher Jan; Zheng, Shuwen
    These are four reports covering the July 2021 Solomon Islands phone survey: The first brief presents analysis of the social and food security impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Solomon Islands. While widespread transmission of COVID-19 did not occur in 2021, COVID-19 preparedness measures such as border closures and precautionary public health measures, as well as weak external demand may have had an impact on the welfare of households. The findings in this brief come from the third round of the World Bank’s High Frequency Phone Surveys (HFPS), as well as UNICEF’s Social-Economic Impact Assessment Survey (SIAS). The second brief focuses on household level impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Solomon Islands for the first half of 2021 based on data from the third round of the World Bank’s High Frequency Phone Surveys (HFPS) and UNICEF’s Social-Economic Impact Assessment Survey (SIAS). The survey covered topics including employment and income, COVID-19 vaccination, basic services, food security and nutrition, coping strategies, public services, and public trust and security. While widespread transmission of COVID-19 did not occur in 2021, COVID-19 preparedness measures such as border closures and precautionary public health measures, as well as weak external demand may have had an impact on the welfare of households. The third brief focuses on household-level economic impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Solomon Islands during the first half of 2021, based on data from a High Frequency Phone Survey (HFPS). While widespread transmission of COVID-19 did not occur in 2021, COVID-19 preparedness measures such as border closures and precautionary public health measures, as well as weak external demand may have had an impact on the welfare of households. The annex provides information on the survey methodology. The fourth brief covers COVID-19 Vaccination and Essential Service Access.
  • Publication
    Anticipating Large and Widespread Seasonal Deprivation in the Sahel
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2021-11) Lain, Jonathan; Brunelin, Stephanie; Tandon, Sharad
    In addition to being regularly confronted with unpredictable shocks such as floods, droughts, or conflicts, Sahelian households have to deal with the effects of seasonality. This leads to a significant reduction in food and non-food consumption across the season, exposing the poor to transient food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • Publication
    Improving Health Services in Myanmar through Public Financial Management Reform
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08-03) World Bank
    To support socioeconomic development objectives and improve service delivery, the former government of Myanmar issued a public financial management (PFM) reform strategy (2019-2022). Plans were underway to modernize PFM legal and regulatory frameworks, systems, and practices to improve the efficiency of public expenditures and services that are critical for citizens. First Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and then recent political events in Myanmar not only disrupted service delivery, but also emphasized the criticality of public health service delivery. This brief offers a selective overview of a more in-depth assessment of the health sector conducted jointly by the former government and the World Bank in 2020 to support this effort. While it does not take into account the impact of political events that occurred in February 2021, it summarizes the assessment’s central findings and recommendations for enhancing health financing, service delivery, and efficiency at all levels of health care, when the conditions are right. The assessment is based on a large survey of health practitioners, including at the frontlines.
  • Publication
    Are Communities Receiving Appropriate Care?: A Study on the Community Health Worker Program in Mozambique
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) World Bank
    Community involvement in promoting and providing health services is one of the principles underpinning the Mozambique Health sector strategic plan (2014–2024) and the investment case. Community-based health services in Mozambique are primarily provided through the community health workers or Agentes Polivalentes Elementares (APEs). Existing since 1974, the Ministry of Health (MOH) revitalized its APE program in 2010 after setbacks encountered during the civil war (1976–1992). The revitalized program, led by the Department of Health Promotion under the National Directorate of Public Health, seeks to increase the coverage and the quality of services provided, aiming to train and deploy additional APEs across the country, with a primary role in health promotion and disease prevention and a secondary role in curative services. This study seeks to assess the quality of care (QoC) provided by APEs to inform policymaking for the APE program from an evidence-based perspective.
  • Publication
    Health Expenditures in Mozambique, 2014-2018
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) World Bank
    This brief explores trends in health expenditure and resource allocation in Mozambique between 2014 and 2018. It establishes a baseline for future assessments, with the objective of ensuring that resources continue to shift in alignment with the priorities laid out in the 2017 investment case for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH-N). This analysis can be carried out annually using the data produced by routine information and management systems.
  • Publication
    Barriers to Accessing Medical Care in Sub-Saharan Africa in Early Stages of COVID-19 Pandemic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03) Swindle, Rachel; Newhouse, David
    Eighty-two percent of respondents in a sample of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries were able to access medical care despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the remaining 18 percent, about one-third reported that the COVID-19 pandemic impaired their access, either due to lockdown restrictions, facility closures, or fear of contracting the virus. 'Lack of money' was by far the most frequently reported barrier to accessing care across countries, especially for food-insecure households, two-thirds of which cited 'lack of money' as the main healthcare access constraint. Continued monitoring can help shed light on who is most at risk of not being able to access healthcare during crises. This note makes use of newly harmonized data to summarize reasons why respondents in 11 SSA countries were unable to access medical care during early COVID-19 stages.
  • Publication
    Five Ways that COVID-19 Diagnostics Can Save Lives: Prioritizing Uses of Tests to Maximize Cost-Effectiveness
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-02-23) Reed, Tristan; Waites, William; Manheim, David; de Walque, Damien; Vallini, Chiara; Gatti, Roberta; Hallett, Timothy B.
    Supplies of diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus), are still limited in many countries, and there is uncertainty about how to allocate the scarce supply across alternative types of testing (use cases). This Research & Policy Brief quantifies the cost-effectiveness of five alternative diagnostic use cases in terms of tests required per death averted. Across use cases, a single death can be averted by administering 940 to 8,838 tests, implying a large and positive return on investment in all use cases-even assuming a very low value for loss of life. That is, all five use cases pay for themselves many times over. When prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 is high, the most cost-effective uses of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics seem to be clinical triage of patients, at-risk worker screening, and population surveillance. Test-trace-isolate programs and border screening are alsoworthwhile, although they are more resource intensive per death averted if done comprehensively. These latter two interventions become relativelymore cost effective when prevalence is low, and can stop the virus from entering a community completely. While governments should seekwidespread deployment of tests in all five use cases, prioritizing them in this way is likely to maximize the cost-effectiveness of their use. As morecontagious strains emerge, each use case will become more valuable than ever.