About G-I-N Africa
Clinical guidelines are frontline tools that help healthcare service providers to be more efficient in patient care. Because guidelines are usually evidence informed, it helps bring evidence to the patient’s bedsides which would have been otherwise searched for by the clinician.
History of the African Community
Africa currently suffers from a lack of healthcare workers, however several knowledge translation centres are beginning to emerge which focus on developing the evidence relevant to Africa. African authors are currently leading high quality research and systematic reviews that suit the African context. The stage is therefore set for guidelines to be developed or adapted with an African perspective which means guidelines will have a bigger impact within this setting.
As in other low and middle income countries, implementing guidelines within African health systems is very challenging due to the complexity and variety of health financing approaches. High percentages of out of pocket payments mean that healthcare tends to be profit driven in the private sector while public sectors have lots of informal payments. This however highlights the importance of guideline implementation and regulations to ensure these guidelines are followed by healthcare workers.
The guidance provided by the essential drug list can be thought of as one of the successes of guidelines for drug supplies in resource limited settings. This guidance has facilitated access to essential medicine to millions in Africa despite the pressure from branded drugs pharmaceutical companies.
Guidelines are presently being introduced by development agencies in collaboration with ministries of health. Their development and implementation are not very coordinated and not all can be verified to be evidence informed. There is therefore a need for leadership in guidelines development, adaptation and implementation within the African scientific community.
The story so far
Following the G-I-N Melbourne conference, attending African delegates have been awakening to the need for more involvement in guidelines development, adaptation and implementation within the African context. This has also led to an increase in the number of African G-I-N members.
The African G-I-N Regional Group has been created to assist the African community with a repository of guidelines relevant to Africa as well as supporting development, adaptation and implementation of guidelines relevant to Africa.
The group seeks to build its governance structures by February 2015; assess the capacity of African scientific community in guidelines development, adaptation and implementation by June 2015. Thereafter the group will seek to take leadership in guidelines production and use in Africa.
A planning committee has been set up consisting of:
- Okwen Patrick Mbah
- Tamara Kredo
- Fergus MacBeth
- Sue Huckson
A steering committee is currently being developed.
Please watch this space for more information on the progress of this group.
What is the purpose of G-I-N Africa?
G-I-N Africa is a regional community of clinical practice guideline developers, users and other stakeholders from the African continent who are interested in improving the effectiveness, rigor and efficiency of guideline development, adaptation, dissemination, implementation and performance measurement. Through a series of educational webinars, regional training conferences, social media and special events, G-I-N Africa facilitates discussion, partnerships, collaboration and ongoing information sharing within the African guideline community.
As one of the Guideline International Network’s regional communities, G-I-N Africa enhances and promotes relationships between G-I-N and the African guideline community, interacts with other G-I-N regional communities and workgroups, encourages membership in G-I-N.
- Provide a network for African guideline users, developers, and other stakeholders to form partnerships and discuss regional guideline issues
- Facilitate partnerships, collaboration and ongoing information sharing through educational webinars, regional training conferences, social media opportunities and special events
- Improve the effectiveness, rigour and efficiency of guideline development, adaptation, dissemination, implementation and performance measurement
- Enhance and promote relationships between G-I-N and the African community
- Interact with G-I-N groups to encourage feedback and avoid duplicating efforts
How are community activities or topics identified?
Members of the G-I-N Africa Community are encouraged to submit ideas, topics, or specific clinical questions for consideration by the broader membership. Prioritisation of activities is undertaken by the steering group.