South Eastern European Journal of Public Health (SEEJPH) <p>The South Eastern European Journal of Public Health (SEEJPH) is an open-access international peer-reviewed journal involving all areas of health sciences and public health. Devoted to the global health SEEJPH welcomes submissions of scientists, researchers, and practitioners from all over the world, but particularly pertinent to southern and eastern countries in transition.</p> en-US (Prof. Genc Burazeri PhD) (OJS-Team of Bielefeld University Library) Mon, 16 Aug 2021 17:07:25 +0000 OJS 60 Infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities in Albania <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Aim: </strong>The objective of this study was to assess the current status regarding Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in selected healthcare facilities in Albania in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which continues unabated.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Methods:</strong> A cross-sectional study was conducted in April 2021 including a nationwide representative sample of 505 health professionals working mostly in primary health care centres in Albania (84 men and 421 women; response rate: 95%). A structured questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization was administered online to all participants inquiring about a wide range of measures and practices employed at health facility level for an effective IPC approach. Fisher’s exact test was used to assess potential urban-rural differences in the distribution of characteristics regarding IPC aspects reported by survey participants.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Results: </strong>About 47% of health facilities did not have a designated focal point for IPC issues; the lack of one patient per bed standard was evident in more than one-third of health facilities (37%); and the lack of an adequate distance between patient beds was reported in a quarter of health facilities (which was twice as high among health facilities in urban areas compared to rural areas). Furthermore, water services were always available only in about two-thirds of health facilities (63%), whereas an adequate number of toilets (at least two) was evident in slightly more than half of the health facilities surveyed (53%). Also, one out of four of the health facilities did not have functional hand hygiene stations and/or sufficient energy/power supply. A completely adequate ventilation was evidenced in slightly more than half of the health facilities (51%). Four out of five health facilities had always available materials for cleaning and about half (49%) had always available personal protective equipment. Functional waste collection containers were available in nine out of ten health facilities, of which, four out of five were correctly labelled.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Conclusion: </strong>This study informs about the existing structures, capacities and available resources regarding IPC situation in different health facilities in Albania. Policymakers and decision-makers in Albania and in other countries should prioritize investments regarding IPC aspects in order to meet the basic requirements and adequate standards in health facilities at all levels of care.</p> Gentiana Qirjako, Alketa Qosja, Xheladin Draçini, Najada Çomo, Jolanda Hyska, Albana Fico, Mariana Bukli, Genc Burazeri Copyright (c) 2021 Gentiana Qirjako, Alketa Qosja, Xheladin Draçini, Najada Çomo, Jolanda Hyska, Albana Fico, Mariana Bukli, Genc Burazeri Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Assessment of the training needs and interests among directors of health care services in the Kyrgyz Republic <p><strong>Aim: </strong>An assessment of the training needs and interests of health managers working in the health care facilities of the Kyrgyz Republic was conducted, aiming to tailor and shape future training interventions.</p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong>A rapid assessment was organized among directors of health care services in the Kyrgyz Republic, using a web-based questionnaire. Due to the pandemic situation (COVID-19), it was impossible to involve all healthcare facilities as initially planned. Therefore, a convenient sample of 75 directors was drawn with a response rate of 77.3%, or 58 filled-in questionnaires.</p> <p><strong>Results: </strong>Among respondents, 60.3% were female and 39.7% male managers, with an average age of 53.5 years. Most of the respondents (89.7%) came to a managerial position by direct appointment, while only 10.3% were appointed through competitive process. More than half of health managers (63.8%) do not have any managerial category, and only 25.7% indicated that they have membership in the Association of Health Administrators of Kyrgyzstan<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1">[1]</a>. All respondents reported the need to develop computer skills.</p> <p><strong>Discussion: </strong>There is a high demand in all aspects of the management of health organizations. The respondents are deciding about involvement in management training based on (a) the full range of training' topics, (b) the quality of the training content, and (c) the focus on developing practical skills. The most cited training needs are digital health (E-Health), financing management, planning, and quality control; the interest in distance learning courses is excellent. Almost two-thirds of managers reported that the Ministry of Health and Social Development (MOHSD KR) did not evaluate their work.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion: </strong>The main implications derived from this assessment are related to the culture of lifelong learning among the population of Kyrgyz health managers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Authors’ contributions:</strong> All authors contributed equally.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Conflict of interest:</strong> None declared.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Source of funding: </strong>The project is financed by the Government of Switzerland. The opinions expressed in this publication are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Government of Switzerland.</p> Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic, Sanja Matovic-Miljanovic, Chinara Seitalieva, Tatyana Makarova, Gulgun Murzalieva, Kanatbek Kozhokeev Copyright (c) 2021 Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic, Sanja Matovic-Miljanovic, Chinara Seitalieva, Tatyana Makarova, Gulgun Murzalieva, Kanatbek Kozhokeev Sun, 05 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 COVID-19 pandemic providing a window of opportunity for higher education: Case study of a three-country teaching-learning experience <p><strong>Aim:</strong> Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has been causing unprecedented challenges to higher education by disrupting traditional face-to-face teaching as well as international mobility of students, faculty and staff. The factual knock-out of established modes of teaching and learning and the restriction of international travel called for rapid action and a shift towards remote learning and teaching.</p> <p><strong>Methods:</strong> Within the framework of a pragmatic approach, global health faculty from Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany and York University in Canada, including a small group of public health students from Cluj in Romania, established a globally networked learning environment. Between November and December 2020, a total of 147 students participated in joint virtual lectures and international collaborative group projects. To capture the acceptance and effectiveness of the innovative didactic experience, a semi-structured student survey was conducted directly after the last session.</p> <p><strong>Results:</strong> The overall rating of internet-based cross-university teaching-learning was positive: Students reported benefits of an enriched learning experience through the sharing of different perspectives, approaches and debates with international professors and peers. Success and overcoming challenges for collaboration among students depended strongly on the level of coordination relating to time differences and expectations.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong> The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that transnational inter-university teaching-learning is feasible, provides a beneficial pedagogic option and points promising ways to the future.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Conflict of interest: </strong>None declared.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Acknowledgements:</strong> We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Prof. Dr. Kai Michelsen and Prof. Dr. Marius I. Ungureanu to the development of the three-country teaching-learning experience.</p> Mathieu JP Poirier, Julie Hard, Jens Holst Copyright (c) 2021 Mathieu JP Poirier, Julie Hard, Jens Holst Mon, 22 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The Athena SWAN Process to Promote Gender Equity in Third-Level Education in Ireland <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: Sexism and misogyny remains an ongoing threat to optimal health and medical services. An important factor in health and medical services is the education and training pipeline into these careers. A substantial body of literature demonstrates the impacts of sexism in third-level education and training institutions developing future health service staff. Athena SWAN accreditation is a benchmark designed to counter such institutional and individual sexist practices in education settings to foster equality. In recent years the Athena SWAN process has expanded to include professional and administrative staff, as well as academics. This process has also evolved to move beyond a narrow focus on gender, to also include other crucial issues such as race, sexuality and gender identity.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: This examination is based on the author’s role as a participant observer and critiques the Athena SWAN process in an Institute of Technology in Ireland.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: This examination identifies a substantial number of deficits in the Athena SWAN process, as well as also identifying institutional resistance strategies to such gender equality work.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The current Athena SWAN process in Ireland is critically flawed. Suggested strategies for those engaged in such work into the future are outlined.</p> <p><strong>Conflict of interest: </strong>None declared.</p> Frank Houghton Copyright (c) 2021 Frank Houghton Tue, 12 Oct 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Learning from the pandemic, building increased international cooperation <p>The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a fragile preparation by countries and regions for epidemic events, exposing exacerbated nationalisms in pandemic mitigation and control actions. Both conditions decisively compromise the effectiveness and efficiency of pandemic control capacity. It is important to develop frameworks that help overcome frailties in response to epidemics.</p> <p>Based on a thematic literature review and discussions with multiple national and international entities an attempt was made to build a tool for responding to future epidemics, the Pandemic Preparation Framework (2PF).</p> <p>The proposed 2PF tool is aligned with the <em>Sendai Framework</em> for Disaster Risk Reduction and with international bodies, such as the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). It aims to be a framework for operationalizing these agreements.</p> <p>The response to pandemics must be based essentially on international action and closer collaboration between countries and regions.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Acknowledgments: </strong>The authors acknowledge Diogo Franco of the USP-ICS/UCP scientific secretariat for his support in this article.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Authors’ contribution:</strong> The authors contributed equally to this article.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Conflict of interest: </strong>None declared.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Sources of funding: </strong>None declared.</p> Henrique Lopes, John Middleton Copyright (c) 2021 Henrique Lopes, John Middleton Sun, 26 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Recovery and resilience plan and health: The Italian experience Giuseppe La Torre Copyright (c) 2021 Giuseppe La Torre Mon, 16 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0000