Brain and Mind Institute
As life expectancies rise globally, the number of people living with multiple chronic health conditions – commonly referred to as ‘multimorbidity’ – is rising. Multimorbidity has been recognised as especially challenging to respond to in countries whose health systems are under-funded, fragmented, and designed primarily for acute care, including in sub-Saharan Africa. A growing body of research in sub-Saharan Africa has sought to better understand the particular challenges multimorbidity poses in the region and to develop context-sensitive responses. However, with multimorbidity still crystallising as a subject of enquiry, there remains considerable heterogeneity in conceptualising multimorbidity across disciplines and fields, hindering coordinated action. In June 2022, 60 researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders with regional expertise from nine sub-Saharan African countries gathered in Blantyre, Malawi to discuss ongoing multimorbidity research across the region. Drawing on insights from disciplines including epidemiology, public health, clinical medicine, anthropology, history, and sociology, participants critically considered the meaning, singular potential, and limitations of the concept of multimorbidity in sub-Saharan Africa. The workshop emphasised the need to move beyond a disease-centred concept of multimorbidity to one foregrounding patients’ values, needs, and social context; the importance of foregrounding structures and systems rather than behaviour and lifestyles; the value of a flexible (rather than standard) definition of multimorbidity; and the need to leverage local knowledge, expertise, resources, and infrastructure. The workshop further served as a platform for exploring opportunities for training, writing, and ongoing collaboration.
Publication ( Name of Journal)
Wellcome Open Research
Banda, G. T.,
Chandler, C. I.,
Ferrand, R. A.,
(2023). Multimorbidity research in Sub-Saharan Africa: Proceedings of an interdisciplinary workshop. Wellcome Open Research, 8(110).
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/bmi/411
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