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What barriers need to be addressed by KT strategies to enhance health equity? By Angela Kisakye

What barriers need to be addressed by KT strategies to enhance health equity?

By Angela Kisakye

The world achieved impressive health gains during the 20th century. However, health worldwide is distributed unevenly, according to socioeconomic status. Unfair and avoidable health inequalities have been termed health inequities. Modern health policy must ensure that poor people are included in the benefits of development1. The first step is to assess barriers and facilitators (or incentives) across socioeconomic factors, e.g. cultural values, preferences, awareness and resources for the relevant audiences (including public, patient, provider, press, policy-maker and private sector).  Barriers and facilitators may operate at different levels, e.g. non-health-care sector, health system, organizational, professional/provider, public/family and individual and these may require a focus on different stakeholders in Knowledge Translation (KT) strategies.

After identifying relevant barriers for specific issues, it is important to prioritize barriers according to whether they are modifiable, which are mission critical and evidence on how best to address them.  To address KT barriers, it is important to choose feasible targeted interventions including evidence based actionable messages, tailored for relevant audiences.  Different interventions may be needed to target different audiences, e.g what works well for policy makers may not work for practitioners. Dissemination, diffusion and application have been classified as important in creating desire for research by users and pushing actionable messages and user friendly summaries to users and bringing together researchers and users to develop mutual trust and skills. 

Methods to develop a friendly front-end for equity measures are needed to assist knowledge management and sharing. Knowledge management and sharing initiatives can be disease specific, audience specific or generic, aiming to share lessons across clinical conditions. Developing, evaluating and sharing KT strategies that work to reach the poor and disadvantaged is essential to work towards enhancing  health equity.

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International Symposium on Community Health workers: 21st to 23rd February 2017: The symposium is organized by Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, UK and the Ministry of Health, Uganda. The theme of the symposium is: Contribution of Community Health Workers in attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  For details about participating in this symposium, please visit

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1. Tugwell, Peter; de Savigny, Don; Hawker, Gillian; Robinson, Vivian. BMJ: British Medical Journal; London 332.7537 (Feb 9, 2006): 358

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