The methodology underpinning the PHG Foundation Health Needs Assessment Toolkit for Congenital Disorders has been published online in the Journal of Public Health.
The eight page exposition of the Toolkit, its aims, development and purpose is written by the Toolkit developers, led by Luis Nacul and comprising staff of the PHG Foundation, University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
PHG Foundation Director, Hilary Burton said:
I am proud of the passion, commitment and sheer expertise shown by the PHG Foundation in putting together this comprehensive resource. By publishing our introductory methodological paper, the Journal of Public Health has made the Toolkit accessible to a worldwide audience – not only the facts, important though they are, but also the methods of health needs assessment and strategic planning that are so deeply embedded in the UK Public Health system.
The Toolkit as a resource for galvanising action
In 2010, the WHO called for action to tackle the increasing burden on health and health services arising from birth defects. The PHG Foundation Health Needs Assessment Toolkit for Congenital Disorders enables users without epidemiological or public health expertise to undertake health needs assessment as a prerequisite for strategic planning in relation to congenital disorders in their country or region. It guides users through a selection of topics (including both clinical conditions and relevant health services), the collection and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative information, assessment of the potential effects of selected interventions, and planning and prioritization of actions to reduce the risk or prevalence of congenital disorders.
The importance of such a Toolkit is highlighted by its inclusion as a resource in the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office Prevention and Control of Birth Defects: strategic framework 2013-2017 report
. The Toolkit specifically supports the collation of evidence-based information to facilitate political commitment, policy formulation and programme development and the high-level advocacy for birth defects programmes as listed under the first strategic direction in the WHO report