Health Systems Research in leprosy control-what contributions can it make?
The paper describes a Health Systems Research (HSR) training pro gramme which took place at the All Africa Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Rehabilitation Training Centre (ALERT) in Ethiopia. The training consisted of three stages: an initial workshop focussing on protocol development, followed by a fieldwork period and a data analysis and report writing workshop. Twenty participants, divided over four groups, took part in the training and carried out the research alongside their day to-day
... y to-day professional commitments. Three of the projects were concerned with prevention of disabilities, one with integration of the leprosy programme into the general health services. Based on the findings of their research, each group produced a set of recommendations and a plan of action for the implementation of these recommendations. The contribution of HSR to leprosy control is discussed. Health Systems Research (HSR) is a type of research that is concerned with improving people's health by enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system as an integral part of the overall process of socio-economic development. More specifically, HSR may be used to help solve practical problems that are encountered by health programme managers, health staff and/or community members. Problems that can be addressed through HSR may be related to the delivery of specific health services; to proper use or targeting of resources, such as human resources, physical structures, materials and finance; and to the relative merits and demerits of certain health policies or programmes. The main characteristics of HSR are: • it is problem based and has a strong orientation towards seeking fe asible, practical and affordable solutions to these problems;