Global evidence, local adaptation (GELA): Enhancing evidence-informed guideline recommendations for newborn and young child health in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa
2University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
3Stellenbosch University, South Africa
4Stiftelsen MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem, Norway
5Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway
6Cochrane, United Kingdom
7South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
Background: Despite progress in the health of newborns and children, most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have not met the Sustainable Development Goals for under-five mortality. Consequences of COVID-19 are being felt on health systems and services, further hampering healthcare delivery to children alongside growing poverty, hunger and inequity. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are needed to bridge the gap between research evidence and practice directly impacting patient care, health system funding and access to health services.
Objectives: The Global Evidence, Local Adaptation (GELA) project is working with ministries of health in South Africa, Nigeria and Malawi to maximise the impact of research through increasing decision-makers’ and researchers’ capacity to use global research to develop locally relevant CPGs for newborn and child health.
Methods: From 2023 to 2025, we are implementing a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary research and capacity strengthening programme, adaptation methodology and digital platforms to support authoring delivery for contextually rich CPGs. This is delivered through partnerships with national CPG groups, including policy makers, epidemiologists and civil society representatives.
Results: A 3-year project was successfully initiated in all countries. Steering Group members and Guideline Development Panelists were identified and are participating in various project-related activities. Recently, the teams completed a landscape analysis of CPGs in newborn and child health and concluded the priority-setting process identifying three topics for new CPGs for newborn and child health per country. Monitoring and evaluation activities are using a variety of approaches including integrated knowledge translation, observation of CPG groups and evaluation of capacity needs for decision-makers.
Conclusions: Overall, the project is on course to achieve its targets with priority topics identified and CPG groups being convened. Our success is enabled through a project team of African and international leaders in the field of evidence-based healthcare and CPG methods who have partnered with national ministries in Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa, the World Health Organization headquarters (WHO HQ) and the Afro regional office and civil society groups. Ongoing evaluation will help us learn which aspects work well to reduce waste and save resources for our settings and may be scalable to other countries like ours.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Yes.