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Family physician perceptions of climate change, migration, health, and healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : an exploratory study

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Abstract
Although family physicians (FPs) are community-oriented primary care generalists and should be the entry point for the population’s interaction with the health system, they are underrepresented in research on the climate change, migration, and health(care) nexus (hereafter referred to as the nexus). Similarly, FPs can provide valuable insights into building capacity through integrating health-determining sectors for climate-resilient and migration-inclusive health systems, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Here, we explore FPs’ perceptions on the nexus in SSA and on intersectoral capacity building. Three focus groups conducted during the 2019 WONCA-Africa conference in Uganda were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using an inductive thematic approach. Participants’ perceived interactions related to (1) migration and climate change, (2) migration for better health and healthcare, (3) health impacts of climate change and the role of healthcare, and (4) health impacts of migration and the role of healthcare were studied. We coined these complex and reinforcing interactions as continuous feedback loops intertwined with socio-economic, institutional, and demographic context. Participants identified five intersectoral capacity-building opportunities on micro, meso, macro, and supra (international) levels: multi-dimensional and multi-layered governance structures; improving FP training and primary healthcare working conditions; health advocacy in primary healthcare; collaboration between the health sector and civil society; and more responsibilities for high-income countries. This exploratory study presents a unique and novel perspective on the nexus in SSA which contributes to interdisciplinary research agendas and FP policy responses on national, regional, and global levels.
Keywords
climate change, migration, family doctors, Sub-Saharan Africa, primary care, healthcare, health, LANCET COMMISSION

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MLA
Scheerens, Charlotte, et al. “Family Physician Perceptions of Climate Change, Migration, Health, and Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : An Exploratory Study.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, vol. 18, no. 12, 2021, doi:10.3390/ijerph18126323.
APA
Scheerens, C., Bekaert, E., Ray, S., Essuman, A., Mash, B., Decat, P., … Ruyssen, I. (2021). Family physician perceptions of climate change, migration, health, and healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : an exploratory study. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, 18(12). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126323
Chicago author-date
Scheerens, Charlotte, Els Bekaert, Sunanda Ray, Akye Essuman, Bob Mash, Peter Decat, An De Sutter, et al. 2021. “Family Physician Perceptions of Climate Change, Migration, Health, and Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : An Exploratory Study.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH 18 (12). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126323.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Scheerens, Charlotte, Els Bekaert, Sunanda Ray, Akye Essuman, Bob Mash, Peter Decat, An De Sutter, Patrick Van Damme, Wouter Vanhove, Samuel Lietaer, Jan De Maeseneer, Farai Madzimbamuto, and Ilse Ruyssen. 2021. “Family Physician Perceptions of Climate Change, Migration, Health, and Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : An Exploratory Study.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH 18 (12). doi:10.3390/ijerph18126323.
Vancouver
1.
Scheerens C, Bekaert E, Ray S, Essuman A, Mash B, Decat P, et al. Family physician perceptions of climate change, migration, health, and healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : an exploratory study. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. 2021;18(12).
IEEE
[1]
C. Scheerens et al., “Family physician perceptions of climate change, migration, health, and healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : an exploratory study,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, vol. 18, no. 12, 2021.
@article{8711676,
  abstract     = {{Although family physicians (FPs) are community-oriented primary care generalists and should be the entry point for the population’s interaction with the health system, they are underrepresented in research on the climate change, migration, and health(care) nexus (hereafter referred to as the nexus). Similarly, FPs can provide valuable insights into building capacity through integrating health-determining sectors for climate-resilient and migration-inclusive health systems, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Here, we explore FPs’ perceptions on the nexus in SSA and on intersectoral capacity building. Three focus groups conducted during the 2019 WONCA-Africa conference in Uganda were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using an inductive thematic approach. Participants’ perceived interactions related to (1) migration and climate change, (2) migration for better health and healthcare, (3) health impacts of climate change and the role of healthcare, and (4) health impacts of migration and the role of healthcare were studied. We coined these complex and reinforcing interactions as continuous feedback loops intertwined with socio-economic, institutional, and demographic context. Participants identified five intersectoral capacity-building opportunities on micro, meso, macro, and supra (international) levels: multi-dimensional and multi-layered governance structures; improving FP training and primary healthcare working conditions; health advocacy in primary healthcare; collaboration between the health sector and civil society; and more responsibilities for high-income countries. This exploratory study presents a unique and novel perspective on the nexus in SSA which contributes to interdisciplinary research agendas and FP policy responses on national, regional, and global levels.}},
  articleno    = {{6323}},
  author       = {{Scheerens, Charlotte and Bekaert, Els and Ray, Sunanda and Essuman, Akye and Mash, Bob and Decat, Peter and De Sutter, An and Van Damme, Patrick and Vanhove, Wouter and Lietaer, Samuel and De Maeseneer, Jan and Madzimbamuto, Farai and Ruyssen, Ilse}},
  issn         = {{1660-4601}},
  journal      = {{INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH}},
  keywords     = {{climate change,migration,family doctors,Sub-Saharan Africa,primary care,healthcare,health,LANCET COMMISSION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{12}},
  pages        = {{18}},
  title        = {{Family physician perceptions of climate change, migration, health, and healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa : an exploratory study}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126323}},
  volume       = {{18}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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