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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 317-318
Ensuring the universal adoption of health equity assessment toolkit to minimize health inequalities


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Ensuring the universal adoption of health equity assessment toolkit to minimize health inequalities. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:317-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Ensuring the universal adoption of health equity assessment toolkit to minimize health inequalities. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Jun 24];10:317-8. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/2/317/196849
Dear Editor,

Achieving equity has been identified as the key principle to ensure sustainable development, and all the nations have pledged to offer desired range of health services to all to enable a healthy life for individuals from all age-groups.[1] Infact, the principle of equity has been highlighted right from the adoption of Health for All, the Millennium Development Goals, and now even in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).[1],[2]Further, health inequality has been clearly evident across different indicators of maternal and child health care and with regard to the care of the vulnerable population groups, especially those who are staying in remote areas or are from poor financial status.[1],[2]

However, in order to accomplish equity, the prerequisite is to first ascertain the presence of inequality, so that targeted interventions can be planned and implemented, and then monitoring is done strategically to ascertain the progress.[3] In other words, there is an indispensable need to have a nationwide strong health information system, with a provision for comprehensive data collection, analysis, and interpretation of the analyzed data to ascertain the status of various health indicators.[1],[2],[3] Infact, in an attempt to negate the health inequalities, Iran has developed more than 50 indicators in consultation with other concerned stakeholders.[4] Nevertheless, the usefulness of these indicators is eventually analyzed by the political will, financial support, training of the concerned staffs, and a streamlined action plan.[3],[4]

Moreover, the program managers should understand the concept of equity in health and its importance, give attention towards the development and use of health equity indicators, identify the challenges, and devise the micro-plan for the establishment of indicators.[1],[3]Infact, in an attempt to assist developing nations in their monitoring activities towards the health inequalities, the World Health Organization has developed a new software toolkit known as the Health Equity Assessment Toolkit.[3] It uses available data and enables national stakeholders to set priorities and establish equity-based strategies or interventions to enable the comparison between the health indicators within the nations and with other nations.[3] At the same time, there is an additional provision to use data available from other local sources of health information (viz. household surveys, health establishments, census, civil registration, etc.).[3],[4]

Furthermore, the software has a wide usefulness and can be employed in various dimensions of the health, namely coverage of immunization, antenatal care, skilled birth care, contraception, breastfeeding, etc.[3] However, to enhance the usefulness of the software, the need of the hour is to train the officials and employees regarding how to assess the country's inequality data.[3] Nevertheless, at no stage, the social determinants of health should be given less importance, as they play a crucial role in achieving heath equity.[5]

To conclude, in the global mission to achieve the SDGs and to remain committed to the pledge of leaving no one behind, the newly developed software has an immense potential. However, the need is to have a shared understanding among policy makers and other stakeholders to implement it across the entire nation and take prompt actions based on the derived results.

Acknowledgements

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

 
   References Top

1.
Jackson B, Huston P, Advancing health equity to improve health: the time is now. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can 2016;36:17-20.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J, Inequality in health for women, infants, and children: An alarming public health concern. Int J Prev Med 2016;7:10.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health OrganizationUncovering health inequalities: A path towards leaving no one behind; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/features/2016/health-inequalities/en/ [Last accessed on 2016 Apr 30].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Beheshtian M, Khosravi A, Olyaeemanesh A, Malekafzali H, Bonakdar Esfahani S, Hosseiny Ghavamabad L, Developing a household survey tool for health equity: A practical guide in Islamic Republic of Iran. Med J Islam Repub Iran 2015;29:305.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Pedrana L, Pamponet M, Walker R, Costa F, Rasella D, Scoping review: national monitoring frameworks for social determinants of health and health equity. Glob Health Action 2016;9:28831.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd floor, Ammapettai village, Thiruporur ‐ Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196849

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