How is research knowledge translated into policies? Findings from studies of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia treatment and malaria control in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) often face scarcity of resources and high disease burdens. Research has identified effective and affordable interventions for many of the health problems in these countries (WHO, 2002). Decisions made on the basis of research evidence may not be only cost saving  (Garner et al., 1998) but also life saving (Volmink et al., 2004). Often, however, effective interventions are not translated into national policy or are not implemented. For example, in many settings magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) is not recommended nor available for treatment of eclampsia and preeclampsia, despite being the most effective intervention (Aaserud et al., 2005).

For many other health issues clear evidence is not available on the most effective and appropriate interventions. Here the scaling up of interventions may be more problematic, and policy makers may need to make judgements on applicability of the available evidence to particular settings. How they weigh up  different types of evidence in making such decisions is not clearly understood.

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Date: 
Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - 13:07