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Health inequalities in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

Edited by:
Zlatko Nikoloski: LSE Health, UK 

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 5 March 2024


International Journal for Equity in Health is calling for submissions to our Collection on Health inequalities in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

We are looking for theoretical, review, and empirical submissions that critically study health system inequality through an interdisciplinary perspective, or focuses on inequalities from the perspective of epidemiology, health economics, health policy, or that applies social science disciplines and methods.

This Collection supports and amplifies research related to the following Sustainable Development Goals: 3 – Good Health and Well-being, 4 – Quality Education, and 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation.

Image credit: © KasiaJanus / Getty Images / iStock

Meet the Guest Editors

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Zlatko Nikoloski: LSE Health, UK

Zlatko Nikoloski is Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at LSE’s Department of Health Policy. He is a development econ­omist and his research interests revolve around the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

More specifically, Dr Nikoloski’s work includes articles on universal healthcare coverage and out of pocket healthcare payments, access to child/maternal healthcare interventions as well as risk factors and the economic burden of non-communicable diseases. He has also significantly contributed to policy work conducted by the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF and UNWOMEN around issues of poverty and access to health.

Expertise Details:
SDGs; access to healthcare; cost of non-communicable diseases; OOP; catastrophic healthcare expenditure

About the Collection

In 2015 the United Nations and the rest of the international community committed themselves to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030. The said agenda aimed to significantly improve progress towards achieving the 17 agreed SDGs, ranging from reducing poverty and eradicating hunger to improving the environment and institutions across the globe. Needless to say, health (through the SDG3) is at the core of the Agenda 2030. The various targets and indicators within SDG3 aim to improve the overall health outcomes, from reducing child and maternal mortality, to reducing deaths due to consumption of demerit goods (e.g. tobacco and alcohol). Achieving SDG3 also entails acknowledging the interconnectedness and the spill-over effects arising from the rest of the development goals. For example, education (SDG4) is considered as one of the key determinants of health outcomes; while access to clean water and sanitation (SDG6) significantly contributes to reduction in child mortality. Needless to say, progress in achieving, in particular SDG3, has been uneven both, across and within countries, further amplifying the existing health inequalities, both in terms of access to healthcare as well as health outcomes. Against this background, the IJEH is launching a Collection devoted to articles that will shed further light onto some of the inequities in health that exist across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. MENA is a particularly interesting region to study the concept of health inequity as it includes countries at various level of economic development: low income, lower and upper middle income as well as high income countries. Moreover, the region encompasses countries that have emerged, are emerging from or have been significantly affected by conflict, which, doubtless, has an impact on health outcomes. Finally, the region provides ample space for studying the concept of health inequalities through the anthropological lens of gender inequality. This Collection is looking for theoretical, review, and empirical submissions that critically study health system inequality through an interdisciplinary perspective, or focuses on inequalities from the perspective of epidemiology, health economics, health policy, or that applies social science disciplines and methods. Specific areas of interest might include but are not limited to:

(i) Inequalities in health outcomes, both between and within countries. This area could also include work on correlates/determinants of health outcomes, relevant for the region (e.g., the role of conflict, the role of epidemiological transitions and the increasing importance of NCD – non communicable diseases).

(ii) Inequality in access to healthcare as well as barriers to healthcare access that limit progress towards equitable access to healthcare. Some of the barriers could include: the role of education (in particular health education), gendered norms, socio-economic status, migration status. 

(iii) Building on (ii) above, explore the role of healthcare infrastructure (both, physical and healthcare staff) in reducing inequity in healthcare access. Some of the topics could include: the availability of primary healthcare and its role in reaching difficult to reach people, the availability of healthcare staff, including female workers. 

(iv) The role of healthcare financing (both, domestic and international) in reducing the inequality in access to healthcare (and therefore improving health outcomes). 

(v) Health system governance which includes participation of vulnerable groups decision-making, as well as the impact that unstable or failed democracies can have on health systems.

(vi) Inequality in access to medications and medicinal products including the role of new technologies.

The International Journal for Equity in Health and the guest editors would like to promote the inclusion of early career researchers, practitioners, and other non-academic contributors, and will be able to provide additional support to what is usually given during peer-review within BMC journals. Because of this, a two-round process will take place.

Please submit long structured abstracts of maximum 500 words as a Word document to editorial_ijeh@gmail.com by March 2024. Submission must include an introduction/background, aim, methods, findings, and conclusion. Please include title and list of co-authors and their affiliations. Submissions should be made in English.

Following evaluation, selected authors will be invited to submit full papers using International Journal for Equity in Health online submission system by 5 March 2024, for full peer-review. Editorial support will be provided for selected authors prior to the submission of the papers.

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes theoretical, review, and empirical submissions. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Health inequalities in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer-review process. The peer-review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.