• 25 years of the WHO essential medicines lists: progress and challenges.

      Laing, R; Waning, B; Gray, A; Ford, N; 't Hoen, E; Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA. richardl@bu.edu <richardl@bu.edu> (Elsevier, 2003-05-17)
      The first WHO essential drugs list, published in 1977, was described as a peaceful revolution in international public health. The list helped to establish the principle that some medicines were more useful than others and that essential medicines were often inaccessible to many populations. Since then, the essential medicines list (EML) has increased in size; defining an essential medicine has moved from an experience to an evidence-based process, including criteria such as public-health relevance, efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness. High priced medicines such as antiretrovirals are now included. Differences exist between the WHO model EML and national EMLs since countries face varying challenges relating to costs, drug effectiveness, morbidity patterns, and rationality of prescribing. Ensuring equitable access to and rational use of essential medicines has been promoted through WHO's revised drug strategy. This approach has required an engagement by WHO on issues such as the effect of international trade agreements on access to essential medicines and research and development to ensure availability of new essential medicines.
    • Accelerating the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis: a Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology Commission.

      Cooke, GS; Andrieux-Meyer, I; Applegate, TL; Atun, R; Burry, JR; Cheinquer, H; Dusheiko, G; Feld, JJ; Gore, C; Griswold, MG; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-02-01)
      Viral hepatitis is a major public health threat and a leading cause of death worldwide. Annual mortality from viral hepatitis is similar to that of other major infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. Highly effective prevention measures and treatments have made the global elimination of viral hepatitis a realistic goal, endorsed by all WHO member states. Ambitious targets call for a global reduction in hepatitis-related mortality of 65% and a 90% reduction in new infections by 2030. This Commission draws together a wide range of expertise to appraise the current global situation and to identify priorities globally, regionally, and nationally needed to accelerate progress. We identify 20 heavily burdened countries that account for over 75% of the global burden of viral hepatitis. Key recommendations include a greater focus on national progress towards elimination with support given, if necessary, through innovative financing measures to ensure elimination programmes are fully funded by 2020. In addition to further measures to improve access to vaccination and treatment, greater attention needs to be paid to access to affordable, high-quality diagnostics if testing is to reach the levels needed to achieve elimination goals. Simplified, decentralised models of care removing requirements for specialised prescribing will be required to reach those in need, together with sustained efforts to tackle stigma and discrimination. We identify key examples of the progress that has already been made in many countries throughout the world, demonstrating that sustained and coordinated efforts can be successful in achieving the WHO elimination goals.
    • Acceptability of new formulations of Corn-Soy Blends and Lipid-based Nutrient Supplements in Province du Passoré, Burkina Faso

      Iuel-Brockdorf, A-S; Dræbel, T A; Fabiansen, C; Cichon, B; Christensen, V B; Yameogo, C; Ritz, C; Olsen, M F; Friis, H (Elsevier, 2015-04-23)
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability of new formulations of six corn-soy blended flours (CSB) and six lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy to be used for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). Furthermore, we wanted to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in Burkina Faso to identify possible barriers that could affect the acceptability of the new formulations of supplementary foods. The study was carried out prior to a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of these new formulations. The study involved an observed test-meal and a three-day take-home ration of the experimental food supplements to 6-30-months-old healthy children, followed by questionnaire-based interviews about the acceptability of these supplements. Interviews and focus group discussions were carried out to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. The results suggest that both LNS and CSB products with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy are equally well accepted among healthy children in rural Burkina Faso based on general appreciation of the supplements and organoleptic properties. All experimental foods received good ratings and there was no significant difference between the foods. However, after the take-home ration, 58% of participants receiving CSB reported having left-overs at the end of the day compared to 37% (n=33) of the participants receiving LNS (p=0.004), suggesting that CSB was not as readily consumed as LNS. Yet, both CSB and LNS products were perceived as easy to administer and the frequency of feeding was estimated to be adequate. The study also found that similar foods, used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, were well appreciated in the study location. LNS were to a higher degree associated with medicine or foods with medicinal properties, but both LNS and CSB were perceived as beneficial to child health.
    • Adapting to the Global Shortage of Cholera Vaccines: Targeted Single Dose Cholera Vaccine in Response to an Outbreak in South Sudan

      Parker, LA; Rumunu, J; Jamet, C; Kenyi, Y; Lino, RL; Wamala, JF; Mpairwe, AM; Ciglenecki, I; Luquero, FJ; Azman, AS; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-01-18)
      Shortages of vaccines for epidemic diseases, such as cholera, meningitis, and yellow fever, have become common over the past decade, hampering efforts to control outbreaks through mass reactive vaccination campaigns. Additionally, various epidemiological, political, and logistical challenges, which are poorly documented in the literature, often lead to delays in reactive campaigns, ultimately reducing the effect of vaccination. In June 2015, a cholera outbreak occurred in Juba, South Sudan, and because of the global shortage of oral cholera vaccine, authorities were unable to secure sufficient doses to vaccinate the entire at-risk population-approximately 1 million people. In this Personal View, we document the first public health use of a reduced, single-dose regimen of oral cholera vaccine, and show the details of the decision-making process and timeline. We also make recommendations to help improve reactive vaccination campaigns against cholera, and discuss the importance of new and flexible context-specific dose regimens and vaccination strategies.
    • Adherence to antiretroviral therapy: supervision or support?

      Mills, Edward J; Lester, Richard; Ford, Nathan; Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Médecins Sans Frontiers, Geneva, Switzerland; Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, University of Cape Town, South Africa (Elsevier, 2012-02)
      We are entering a new phase in the strategic use of antiretroviral drugs. In addition to dramatically reducing HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality, these drugs have recently shown an important effect in reducing HIV incidence and transmission.
    • Advances in imaging chest tuberculosis: blurring of differences between children and adults

      Andronikou, S; Vanhoenacker, F M; De Backer, A I; Medecins Sans Frontiers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Radiology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Radiology, Sint-Maarten Hospital, Duffel-Mechelen, Belgium; University Hospital Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium; Department of Radiology, Sint-Lucas Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; (Elsevier, 2009-12-01)
      This article reviews the ongoing role of imaging in the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) and its complications. A modern imaging classification of TB, taking into account both adults and children and the blurring of differences in the presentation patterns, must be absorbed into daily practice. Clinicians must not only be familiar with imaging features of TB but also become expert at detecting these when radiologists are unavailable. Communication between radiologists and clinicians with regard to local constraints, patterns of disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection rates, and imaging parameters relevant for management (especially in drug resistance programs) is paramount for making an impact with imaging, and preserving clinician confidence. Recognition of special imaging, anatomic and vulnerability differences between children and adults is more important than trying to define patterns of disease exclusive to children.
    • Aid and safety for Guinea's refugees.

      Rostrup, M; Ford, N; Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK. (Elsevier, 2001-04-07)
    • AIDS: patent rights versus patient's rights.

      Chirac, P; von Schoen-Angerer, T; Kasper, T; Ford, N; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France. (Elsevier, 2000-08-05)
    • Angola's suffering behind a pretence of normality.

      Stokes, C; Ford, N; Sanchez, O; Perrin, J M; Poncin, M; Joly, M; Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK. (Elsevier, 2000-12-16)
    • Antibiotic Resistance in West Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

      Bernabé, K; Langendorf, C; Ford, N; Ronat, J; Murphy, R (Elsevier, 2017-07-01)
      Growing data suggest that antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are common in low and middle-income countries. This review summarizes the microbiology of key bacterial syndromes encountered in West Africa and estimates the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that could compromise first-line empirical treatment.
    • Antimalarial efficacy of chloroquine, amodiaquine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and the combinations of amodiaquine + artesunate and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine + artesunate in Huambo and Bie provinces, central Angola.

      Guthmann, J P; Ampuero, J; Fortes, F; Van Overmeir, C; Gaboulaud, V; Tobback, S; Dunand, J; Saraiva, N; Gillet, P; Franco, J; et al. (Elsevier, 2005-07)
      We studied three antimalarial treatments in Caala and Kuito, Angola, in 2002 and 2003. We tested chloroquine (CQ), amodiaquine (AQ) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Caala, and AQ, SP and the combinations AQ+artesunate (AQ+AS) and SP+artesunate (SP+AS) in Kuito. A total of 619 children (240 in Caala, 379 in Kuito) with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria were followed-up for 28 days, with PCR genotyping to distinguish recrudescence from reinfection. PCR-corrected failure proportions at day 28 were very high in the CQ group (83.5%, 95% CI 74.1-90.5), high in the SP groups (Caala: 25.3%, 95% CI 16.7-35.8; Kuito: 38.8%, 95% CI 28.4-50.0), around 20% in the AQ groups (Caala: 17.3%, 95% CI 10.0-27.2; Kuito: 21.6%, 95% CI 14.3-30.6) and very low in the artemisinin-based combination groups (1.2%, 95% CI 0.0-6.4 for each combination AQ+AS and SP+AS). These results show that CQ and SP are no longer efficacious in Caala and Kuito and that the moderate efficacy of AQ is likely to be compromised in the short term if used as monotherapy. We recommend the use of AQ with AS, though this combination might not have a long useful therapeutic life because of AQ resistance.
    • Artesunate and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine combinations for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Uganda: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

      Priotto, G; Kabakyenga, J K; Pinoges, L; Ruiz, A; Eriksson, T; Coussement, F; Ngambe, T; Taylor, W R J; Perea, W; Guthmann, J P; et al. (Elsevier, 2008-01-25)
      Drug-resistant malaria is spreading in Africa. The few available drugs might be safeguarded if combined with an artemisinin derivative. We investigated the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of 2 combinations of artesunate with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in a mesoendemic region in Uganda with SP resistance, from September 1999 to June 2000. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 420 children aged 6-59 months with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria were assigned SP alone (25 mg/kg sulfadoxine, 1.25 mg/kg pyrimethamine) or combined with artesunate (AS; 4 mg/kg/d) for either 1 d (SPAS1) or 3 d (SPAS3). Children were followed-up for 28 d. Day 14 cure rates were 84.6% (99/117) with SPAS3 and 61.9% (73/118) with SPAS1 compared with 55.8% (86/154) with SP. Corresponding day 28 results were 74.4% (87/117) and 45.2% (52/115) compared with 40.5% (62/153). A significant improvement was obtained with the addition of 3 d, but not 1 d, of artesunate (risk ratio [RR] = 1.5, 95% CI 1.3-1.8 at 14 d and RR = 1.8, 95% CI 1.5-2.3 at 28 d). Both AS regimens achieved significantly faster parasite clearance and lower gametocyte carriage. All drug regimens were well tolerated, but SP alone was ineffective. Treatment efficacy improved with SPAS3 but the cure rate at day 28 was modest. The combinations were well tolerated and safe. In areas where SP resistance is prevalent other combinations should be considered.
    • Assessment of international medical evacuations in Macedonia.

      Kelly, M; Bedell, R; Davis, A; Ford, N; Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam. (Elsevier, 1999-12-11)
    • Assessment of three new parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pan-pLDH) tests for diagnosis of uncomplicated malaria.

      Fogg, C; Twesigye, R; Batwala, V; Piola, P; Nabasumba, C; Kiguli, J; Mutebi, F; Hook, C; Guillerm, M; Moody, A; et al. (Elsevier, 2008-01)
      A study to assess the diagnostic capabilities of three parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pan-pLDH) tests, Vistapan), Carestart and Parabank), was conducted in Uganda. An HRP2 test, Paracheck-Pf), and a Giemsa-stained blood film were performed with the pLDH tests for outpatients with suspected malaria. In total, 460 subjects were recruited: 248 with positive blood films and 212 with negative blood films. Plasmodium falciparum was present in 95% of infections. Sensitivity above 90% was shown by two pLDH tests, Carestart (95.6%) and Vistapan (91.9%), and specificity above 90% by Parabank (94.3%) and Carestart (91.5%). Sensitivity decreased with low parasitaemia (chi(2) trend, P<0.001); however, all tests achieved sensitivity >90% with parasitaemia > or =100/microl. All tests had good inter-reader reliability (kappa>0.95). Two weeks after diagnosis, 4-10% of pLDH tests were still positive compared with 69.7% of the HRP2 tests. All tests had similar ease of use. In conclusion, two pLDH tests performed well in diagnosing P. falciparum malaria, and all pLDH tests became negative after treatment more quickly than the HRP2. Therefore the rapid test of choice for use with artemisinin-combination therapies in this area would be one of these new pLDH tests.
    • Attacks on Civilians and Hospitals Must Stop

      Trelles, M; Stewart, BT; Kushner, AL (Elsevier, 2016-03-21)
    • Attacks on Civilians and Hospitals Must Stop

      Trelles, M; Stewart, BT; Kushner, AL (Elsevier, 2016-05-01)
      On Oct 3, 2015, a US airstrike hit Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF's) Kunduz Trauma Centre in Afghanistan; 42 lives, including 14 MSF hospital staff, were lost.1 The 92-bed hospital was the only facility with essential trauma care capabilities for hundreds of thousands of people living in northern Afghanistan; those who continue to live amid conflict will critically miss it. The attack was a violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions, a war crime, and an incursion on the sanctity of humanitarian action globally.
    • Averted Health Burden Over 4 Years at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Prior to its Closure in 2015

      Trelles, M; Stewart, B T; Hemat, H; Naseem, M; Zaheer, S; Zakir, M; Adel, E; Van Overloop, C; Kushner, A L (Elsevier, 2016-07)
    • Avoiding Catastrophes: Seeking Synergies Among the Public Health, Environmental Protection, and Human Security Sectors

      Stoett, P; Daszak, P; Romanelli, C; Machalaba, C; Behringer, R; Chalk, F; Cornish, S; Dalby, S; de Souza Dias, BF; Iqbal, Z; et al. (Elsevier, 2016-10-04)
    • Beauty and the beast.

      Cox, H; Isles, S; Médecins Sans Frontières, 7 Ganges Street, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria. helenscox@yahoo.com.au (Elsevier, 2003-01)
    • Bedaquiline and delamanid in combination for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis

      Mohr, E; Ferlazzo, G; Hewison, C; De Azevedo, V; Isaakidis, P (Elsevier, 2019-05-01)
      Here we report on the final outcomes for the cohort of 28 patients from Armenia, India, and South Africa who initiated regimens containing the combination of bedaquiline and delamanid from January to August, 2016, for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in our cohort study.1 The median duration on combination treatment was 12 months (interquartile range [IQR] 5·9–20·0); 17 (61%) of 28 patients received the combination for more than 6 months.