There are striking disparities in the provision of mental health care between rich and poor countries. In low- and middle-income countries more than 75% of people with serious mental health conditions receive inadequate care, despite substantial disability and functional impairment. A new Cochrane partnership, Cochrane Global Mental Health, will support the production, dissemination, access, and use of systematic reviews in mental health globally.
Dietary risk factors are among the leading contributors to the global burden of disease. Recognizing the need for nutrition policies and interventions to tackle such risk factors, 2016 to 2025 is the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition. Cochrane has a strong track record of producing systematic reviews of the evidence supporting nutrition policies and interventions. This call to action focuses on how Cochrane could reshape evidence synthesis and use for nutrition policy. The recent establishment of a Cochrane Nutrition Field provides an opportunity to progress this call to action.
Cochrane Global Ageing aims to promote the quality, dissemination, accessibility, applicability and impact of Cochrane Reviews towards optimizing the health and wellbeing of older people everywhere. Our mission is to connect people within and outside Cochrane and facilitate sharing of knowledge and experiences related to global ageing and health that are relevant and accessible to consumers, review editors, authors, specialists, policy makers, educators, commissioners, and funders.
The Cochrane Review of deworming populations in endemic areas, first published in 1998 and updated most recently in 2015 has attracted increasingly vociferous opposition to its findings. A new systematic review and network meta-analysis of deworming strategies by researchers working within the Campbell Collaboration supports the Cochrane Review findings. There is no dispute that treating children infected with worms is worthwhile, but the findings of the two systematic reviews together provide a strong case against the current population-wide programmes.
The leishmaniases are a group of diseases caused by infection with protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. They affect the poorest of the poor and are associated with malnutrition, wars, displacement, poor housing, illiteracy, gender discrimination, lack of resources, and environmental changes. The infection is transmitted by bites from sandﬂies infected with the parasite. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers leishmaniasis to be one of the most serious parasitic diseases, and the World Health Assembly has advocated that authorities should address the major factors underlying the failure to control the disease.
The July 2012 issue of The Cochrane Library included an update of a Cochrane Review on deworming drugs for soil-transmitted intestinal worms in children. The review hadn't been updated in four years and although a number of new trials had been found, the update didn't radically change the conclusions -- that there is a lack of high-quality evidence that community-based deworming programmes improve outcomes. The updated review also included summary of findings tables that presented the quality of evidence for each of the main outcomes using the GRADE methodology. Given the global investment in deworming programmes it’s not surprising that there was debate and differing opinion on the conduct of the review and its findings.
Following several major heatwaves in Europe and the USA, there has been an increased interest in health protection measures to reduce the impacts of such extreme weather events on human health. Heatwaves are also an issue for mass gatherings and heatwave planning has been incorporated into the preparation for the Olympics this month.
The Cochrane Collaboration is a leader in the preparation of high-quality systematic reviews, but they are prepared and available mainly in the English language. This alone greatly undermines the potential of Cochrane Reviews as building blocks for decision-making in many low- and middle-income countries, including those in Africa, where evidence about the benefits and harms of healthcare interventions is needed urgently.
Evidence Aid, a global initiative that arose within The Cochrane Collaboration, aims to promote the scientific output from systematic reviews to improve the outcomes of people affected by natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies. Special Collections of short summaries of Cochrane Reviews are available on The Cochrane Library, and the whole content of The Cochrane Library has been made freely accessible to some of the areas affected by disasters.
On 10 August 2011, the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development of the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with other departments, launched a new web-based resource tool designed to assist key players worldwide in making informed decisions on the most effective actions in response to the different forms of malnutrition and for improving the health and nutrition of populations globally.
Malaria remains a major cause of illness and death in Africa and other endemic, and often resource-limited, settings. Most cases of malaria are uncomplicated but can quickly turn into severe, often fatal, episodes in vulnerable individuals if not promptly diagnosed and effectively treated.
On January 24 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) executive board awarded The Cochrane Collaboration the status of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in official relations with the WHO, establishing a partnership with formalised communication between the two organisations. In this editorial we reflect on the importance of this step and the opportunities that it implies.
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is associated with excess mortality and morbidity and has been the subject of several systematic reviews. A new Cochrane Review published in December 2010 on vitamin A supplementation (VAS) for preventing morbidity and mortality in children aged 6 months to 5 years concludes that VAS is effective in reducing the risk of all-cause mortality by 24% compared with no treatment.
As if a natural disaster was not enough, Vibrio cholerae emerged to make the situation worse in post-flood Pakistan, and for the first time since the 1960s in post-earthquake Haiti. How do we, as researchers, policy-makers and human beings, respond to such situations? In response to the tsunami on 26 December 2004, concerned reviewers within The Cochrane Collaboration established Evidence Aid – an initiative that pools together systematic reviews that might be useful to disaster response agencies and decision-makers in crisis situations...
At the recently concluded Colloquium of the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations, The Cochrane Collaboration announced that from October 2010, 500 million internet users living in 42 countries with a gross national per capita income of US$ 1250–US$ 3500 will have free direct access to the resources in The Cochrane Library. This initiative is an expansion of the policy introduced in 2007 allowing free one-click access to The Cochrane Library in 67 countries with a gross national income per capita of less than US$ 1250...