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Rwanda Public Health Bulletin
Rwanda Public Health Bulletin
ISSN: 2663 - 4643
EISSN: 2663 - 4651


INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS

All works submitted to this bulletin will have to belong to the types of articles stated below:

1. ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Referred to as “Primary Research” pioneer in a determined domain. It can be from various aspects: Clinical features, pathophysiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc...

THE TITLE

The title of the article should be concise and informative. It should contain enough thoughts on the subject.

ABSTRACT

Abstract of 250 words maximum must accompany each manuscript and s divided into 4 paragraphs with the following headings and MeSH keywords:

  1. Introduction: stating the purposes/aims of the work; the research undergone, the hypothesis tested or the procedure evaluated.
  2. Materials and methods: briefly stating what was done and what materials were used, including the number of subjects, the methods to assess the data and to control bias.
  3. Results: Providing key findings of the study, including indicators of statistical significance, actual numbers, as well as percentages.
  4. Conclusion: Summarizing in 1 or 2 sentences the work on the basis of the findings. It emphasizes new and important aspects of the study or observations.
  5. Keywords: Following the abstract. They are 3 to 10 words or short phrases that assist indexers in cross-indexing the article. They should be MeSH terms, and are published with the article.

THE MAIN TEXT

The text of observational and experimental articles is divided into sections with the following headings: Introduction: should always begin the text, and requires brevity and focuses. It conveys the nature and purpose of the work, and quotes the relevant literature. Only strictly pertinent background information is necessary for understanding why the topic is important. We suggest the final paragraph clearly states the hypothesis or purpose of the study.

METHODS

Details of clinical and technical procedures should follow the introduction. A clear description of the selection of the observational or experimental subjects should be given. The identification of all aspects of the study, its reasoning, and the related relevance should be explicitly justified. In case, the study was done in a particular way, the guiding principles should all be clarified. Exclusion and inclusion criteria or partial inclusion, the reliability index, the confidentiality index, the analysis step, and the data collection processes should be also carefully specified. This section should provide sufficient details on the methods, instrumentation, procedures, all drugs and chemicals used (including generic names, doses, routes of administration). It should allow other workers to reproduce the study if necessary..

This section should also state the self-evaluation of the study by: independent/consensus readings blinded or unblended to other information and estimate the fluctuation of recall biases by random ordering of studies.

Be clear about the retrospective or prospective nature of the study. Finally, provide references to established methods, including statistical methods that have been published, forthcoming, or that may not be well known. New description or substantially modified methods may be used however, give reasons for the use of these techniques, and evaluate their limitations. Statistical methods should be described with enough details to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. A general description of methods would be defined in the methods section, whereas a specific statistical method used into analysis would be summarized in the results section. Any general-use of the computer program should be specified, and more details have to be clarified about any randomization issues.

RESULTS:

Logical sequence of presentation of results is required in the text; along with tables, and illustrations. Repetition of data from illustrations into the text should be avoided; however, emphasize or summary of only important observations would be helpful. Avoid the ‘’non-technical use’’ of technical terms in statistics which should be defined and reserved for the right purpose. Moreover, define all those statistical terms aside with or including abbreviations and/or most used symbols. Any complication and/or unexpected finding should be reported and the more possibly explained and the author should report lost to follow up and dropouts from a clinical trial.

DISCUSSION:

Use ample subheadings. Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Avoid repetition of details included in other parts. This section requires the mention of the implication of the findings, and their limitations for future research, involving relating the observations to other relevant studies.

Finally, the conclusions should be linked to the goals of the study; though mostly avoiding:

Unqualified statement not completely supported by the data

Statement on economic benefits and costs unless the report includes economic data and analyses

Claim of priority and alluding to work that has not been completed.

Whereas new hypotheses could be suggested when warranted, but they should be clearly labeled as such and recommendations, when appropriate and needed, may be given.

Acknowledgments:

List all contributors who do not meet the criteria of authorship, such as those who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support; and their respective contribution will be headed as provided. Everybody must have given written permission to be acknowledged. References: References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they were first mentioned in the text. They will be identified in the text, tables, and legends by arabic numbers. This bulletin uses the IEEE style (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) for referencing the citations. It is advised to avoid citations or personal communication unless they provide essential and pertinent information. In all case, the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text.

2. CHECKLIST FOR SURVEILLANCE REPORTS

Disease surveillance summaries are reported following the checklist below:

Title:

Compose a title that includes the name of the health condition, population, time and place.

Abstract

Provide a structured abstract including the following sub- headings: Background; Objectives; Methods; Results; and Conclusion. Introduction

Context:

Summarize the current situation regarding the health condition under surveillance and identify why it is important. Objectives: State the objective of the surveillance report.

Methods

Setting:

Describe the setting, locations and dates of the surveillance period.

Population:

Describe the population under surveillance. Definitions: Provide definitions for each health event under surveillance, including case definitions and any public health interventions.

Information sources:

Describe all data sources, including the objective of any surveillance systems, what data were collected and how data were gathered, transferred and stored. Supplementary data: If appropriate, note where to access supplemental material (e.g., www.opendata.gc.ca).

Data quality, missing data and reporting delays:

Describe how the data quality was assessed. Explain how missing data were addressed. If data is reported by date of diagnosis or symptom onset, include a statement about whether the data for the most recent periods may be revised.

DATA ANALYSIS

Describe any analytical methods used providing sufficient detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to judge its appropriateness and to assess the reported results.

Results

Descriptive

Provide a summary of the descriptive data, including demographics.

Data Quality

Report on data quality (e.g., completeness, missing data, under reporting)

Analytic data

Provide a summary of the analysis including (when indicated) estimates of trends. When applicable, point estimates should include appropriate indicators of measurement error such as 95% confidence intervals (e.g., average annual percentage change used to describe trends or odds ratios used to describe subgroup differences).

Figures

Create the minimum number of figures to highlight key results. Create a title that includes person, time and place.

Discussion

Key results

Summarize key results with reference to study objectives

Comparison

Consider these findings in relation to the current literature. Strengths and weaknesses: Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the study (data quality, completeness, sources of potential bias). Interpretation and generalizability: Provide a cautious overall interpretation of results considering objectives, limitations, multiplicity of analyses, results from similar studies and other relevant evidence.

Conclusion: Ensure conclusions address objective and follow from the results.

3. PUBLIC HEALTH NOTICES / OUTBREAK REPORTS

Following the Center for Disease Control recommendations, for PH notices and outbreak reports to be published they need to cover all four components as stated below:

INTRODUCTION:

Generally, the introductory paragraph should begin with 1 to 3 sentences establishing the existence of the outbreak or underlying public health problem (e.g., “On January 2, 2008, the Nevada State Health Division contacted CDC concerning surveillance reports received regarding two persons recently diagnosed with acute hepatitis C.”). The introductory paragraph also usually contains: a) a statement that an investigation was conducted, when and by whom; b) the most important finding(s); c) the actions taken to stem the outbreak; and d) a statement of the public health implications and actions that should be taken in response to the investigation. Investigation and results: First, present the initial investigation and its findings. This might include: 1) a description of the setting and a statement of how the outbreak came to the attention of health authorities; 2) a clinical description of the index case or initial cases; 3) initial key test results; and 4) hypothesis generation activities and results. Next, summarize the full investigation, including: case definition, case-finding activities, method of investigation, and results. Cases should be counted and described by clinical characteristics, treatment, and outcome, as well as time, place, and person descriptive results. Next, present the methods and results of any analytic epidemiologic studies (e.g., cohort or case-control studies). Finally, provide the results of any relevant microbiologic, genetic, or toxicologic results, followed by the results of any testing of environmental samples. Public health response: When appropriate, a brief description summarizing any public health interventions taken and the results of the interventions follows.

DISCUSSION:

Same as for a Full Report, except that a Limitations paragraph might not be required for an Outbreak Report.

4. POLICY BRIEFS

This bulletin will use guidelines on reporting/publishing policy notes as they are suggested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). As the CDC defines them; Policy Notes are intended to announce new official policies or recommendations (e.g., from ACIP or CDC). These reports can be thought of as briefs. Maximum word count at submission is 1,400 words. Up to three tables, figures, or boxes may be included. Policy Notes contain no Discussion or Limitations, and a summary box is not required. Although policy notes or brief might vary, following is a rough guide of what basic notes should have: Introduction: The introductory paragraph should be limited to 150–200 words. It might contain all or some of the following components: a brief introductory statement orienting the reader to the topic and placing it in context, a brief description of the public health problem, a brief statement of the rationale for the policy or recommendation, mention of the most important parts of the policy or recommendations, and one or two sentences stating the conclusions and the public health implications of the new policy or recommendations.

BACKGROUND:

The Policy Note should include a paragraph after the introduction that summarizes background information relevant to the policy or recommendation that can help the reader understand the context and need for the policy or recommendation.

Methods:

Should include a summary of the methods used to establish the policy or recommendation, including answers to some or all of these questions: Who was involved in the production of the guidelines or recommendations, and how? What evidence base was considered? What was the rationale for considering this evidence base? Was other evidence excluded from consideration and, if so, why? Rationale and evidence: The Policy Note should provide a concise review of the rationale for the policy or recommendation and a descriptive review of the scientific evidence used to establish it. It should include an explanation of how the policy or recommendation adds to, or differs from, relevant policies or recommendations established previously. Presentation of the policy or recommendation: The policy or recommendation should state clearly when it takes effect and to whom and under what circumstances it applies.

DISCUSSION OR COMMENT

The Policy Note should comment on the likely impact of the new policy or recommendation and plans for assessment of the policy or recommendation

5. CASE REPORTS

These are reports of an individual patient on their symptoms, treatment reactions on a disease or condition of interest. These reports normally focus on unusual reactions or occurrences. Similar to other research reports, case reports might include a literature review of previous similar. Case reports might also address positive patient outcome on particular treatment guidelines or individual impact of a particular intervention. These are mainly used for educational and decision-making purposes. Case reports are normally reported following a checklist found at the CARE Guidelines

6. CASE STUDIES

We recommend authors to follow the “EQUATOR Network” for ample explanations and guidelines in the writing of such articles. They have to be well-described case studies on health care interventions of public health concern. These could be:

Rigorous assessments of processes and program interventions.

Recommendations on possible health interventions.

Never on individual patient (= case report)

7. COMMENTARIES / OPINION / METHODOLOGY ARTICLES

We recommend authors to follow the “EQUATOR Network” for ample explanations and guidelines in the writing of such articles. Though these articles are moderated, they should be:

Short, focused, opinionated to previous articles or any subject related to the journal entirely.

Contemporary and focusing on specific issues.

Franc critics to the journal are bravely motivated and would be as much as possible published.

Are normally up to 800 words.

8. FORMATTING THE MANUSCRIPT

Please note that Articles which are not correctly formatted will be returned to the authors

Format text

Style: No Spacing, Single column, Single Spacing
Font: Single Spacing, Times New Roman - size 12
Titles: Capitals and bold, size 14

Format tables

Times New Roman, Font size 9 No vertical lines. Horizontal lines in the table can be removed
No table should be larger than a single A4 page.
Footnote should be size 9 and italic

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