• Delivering paediatric critical care in humanitarian settings

      Umphrey, L; Brown, A; Hiffler, L; Lafferty, N; Garcia, DM; Morton, N; Ogundipe, O (Elsevier, 2018-10-05)
    • Lessons Learned From Helping Babies Survive in Humanitarian Settings.

      Amsalu, R; Schute-Hillen, C; Garcia, DM; Lafferty, N; Morris, CN; Gee, S; Akseer, N; Scudder, E; Sami, S; Barasa, SO; et al. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020-10-01)
      Humanitarian crises, driven by disasters, conflict, and disease epidemics, have profound effects on society, including on people's health and well-being. Occurrences of conflict by state and nonstate actors have increased in the last 2 decades: by the end of 2018, an estimated 41.3 million internally displaced persons and 20.4 million refugees were reported worldwide, representing a 70% increase from 2010. Although public health response for people affected by humanitarian crisis has improved in the last 2 decades, health actors have made insufficient progress in the use of evidence-based interventions to reduce neonatal mortality. Indeed, on average, conflict-affected countries report higher neonatal mortality rates and lower coverage of key maternal and newborn health interventions compared with non-conflict-affected countries. As of 2018, 55.6% of countries with the highest neonatal mortality rate (≥30 per 1000 live births) were affected by conflict and displacement. Systematic use of new evidence-based interventions requires the availability of a skilled health workforce and resources as well as commitment of health actors to implement interventions at scale. A review of the implementation of the Helping Babies Survive training program in 3 refugee responses and protracted conflict settings identify that this training is feasible, acceptable, and effective in improving health worker knowledge and competency and in changing newborn care practices at the primary care and hospital level. Ultimately, to improve neonatal survival, in addition to a trained health workforce, reliable supply and health information system, community engagement, financial support, and leadership with effective coordination, policy, and guidance are required.
    • Thiamine Deficiency in Tropical Pediatrics: New Insights into a Neglected but Vital Metabolic Challenge

      Hiffler, L; Rakotoambinina, B; Lafferty, N; Martinez Garcia, D (Frontiers Media, 2016-06-14)
      In humans, thiamine is a micronutrient prone to depletion that may result in severe clinical abnormalities. This narrative review summarizes current knowledge on thiamine deficiency (TD) and bridges the gap between pathophysiology and clinical presentation by integrating thiamine metabolism at subcellular level with its function to vital organs. The broad clinical spectrum of TD is outlined, with emphasis on conditions encountered in tropical pediatric practice. In particular, TD is associated with type B lactic acidosis and classic forms of beriberi in children, but it is often unrecognized. Other severe acute conditions are associated with hypermetabolism, inducing a functional TD. The crucial role of thiamine in infant cognitive development is also highlighted in this review, along with analysis of the potential impact of TD in refeeding syndrome during severe acute malnutrition (SAM). This review aims to increase clinical awareness of TD in tropical settings where access to diagnostic tests is poor, and advocates for an early therapeutic thiamine challenge in resource-limited settings. Moreover, it provides evidence for thiamine as treatment in critical conditions requiring metabolic resuscitation, and gives rationale to the consideration of increased thiamine supplementation in therapeutic foods for malnourished children.