• Adherence to Artemisinin Combination Therapy for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

      Siddiqui, M Ruby; Willis, Andrew; Bil, Karla; Singh, Jatinder; Mukomena Sompwe, Eric; Ariti, Cono (F1000Research, 2015-02-24)
      Between 2011 and 2013 the number of recorded malaria cases had more than doubled, and between 2009 and 2013 had increased almost 4-fold in MSF-OCA (Médecins sans Frontières - Operational Centre Amsterdam) programmes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The reasons for this rise are unclear. Incorrect intake of Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) could result in failure to treat the infection and potential recurrence. An adherence study was carried out to assess whether patients were completing the full course of ACT. One hundred and eight malaria patients in Shamwana, Katanga province, DRC were visited in their households the day after ACT was supposed to be completed. They were asked a series of questions about ACT administration and the blister pack was observed (if available). Sixty seven (62.0%) patients were considered probably adherent. This did not take into account the patients that vomited or spat their pills or took them at the incorrect time of day, in which case adherence dropped to 46 (42.6%). The most common reason that patients gave for incomplete/incorrect intake was that they were vomiting or felt unwell (10 patients (24.4%), although the reasons were not recorded for 22 (53.7%) patients). This indicates that there may be poor understanding of the importance of completing the treatment or that the side effects of ACT were significant enough to over-ride the pharmacy instructions. Adherence to ACT was poor in this setting. Health education messages emphasising the need to complete ACT even if patients vomit doses, feel unwell or their health conditions improve should be promoted.
    • Assessing the prevalence of malnutrition in tribal children using MUAC as a screening tool

      Qureshi, M; Qureshi, I; Syed, A; Kokku, S B (F1000Research, 2015-01-27)
    • Characteristics, utilisation and influence of viewpoint articles from the Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT IT) – 2009-2020

      Khogali, M; Tayler-Smith, K; Harries, AD; Zachariah, R; Kumar, A; Davtyan, H; Satyanarayana, S; Denisiuk, O; van Griensven, J; Reid, A; et al. (F1000Research, 2021-03-21)
      Background: The Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (SORT IT) teaches the practical skills of conducting and publishing operational research (OR) to influence health policy and/or practice. In addition to original research articles, viewpoint articles are also produced and published as secondary outputs of SORT IT courses. We assessed the characteristics, use and influence of viewpoint articles derived from all SORT IT courses. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving all published viewpoint articles derived from the SORT IT courses held from August 2009 - March 2020. Characteristics of these papers were sourced from the papers themselves and from SORT-IT members involved in writing the papers. Data on use were sourced from the metrics provided on the online publishing platforms and from Google Scholar. Influence on policy and practice was self-assessed by the authors of the papers and was performed only for papers deemed to be ‘calls for action’. Results: A total of 41 viewpoint papers were published. Of these, 15 (37%) were ‘calls for action’. In total, 31 (76%) were published in open-access journals and the remaining 10 in delayed access journals. In 12 (29%) of the papers, first authors were from low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Female authors (54%) were included in 22, but only four (10%) and two (5%) of first and last authors respectively, were female. Only seven (17%) papers had available data regarding online views and downloads. The median citation score for the papers was four (IQR 1-9). Of the 15 ‘call for action’ papers, six influenced OR capacity building, two influenced policy and practice, and three influenced both OR capacity building within SORT IT and policy and practice. Conclusion: Viewpoint articles generated during SORT IT courses appear to complement original OR studies and are valued contributors to the dissemination of OR practices in LMICs.
    • Prevalence of malaria infection among under five year tribal children residing in malaria endemic forest villages

      Qureshi, Ihtesham; Qureshi, Mohtashim; Gudepu, Rohit; Arlappa, Nimmathota (F1000Research, 2014-11-20)
    • Risks and seasonal pattern for mortality among hospitalized infants in a conflict-affected area of Pakistan, 2013-2016. A retrospective chart review.

      van Deursen, B; Lenglet, A; Ariti, C; Hussain, B; Karsten, J; Roggeveen, H; Price, D; Fernhout, J; Abdi, A; Carrion Martin, AI (F1000Research, 2019-06-24)
      Background: In recent years, Médecins Sans Frontières has observed high mortality rates among hospitalized infants in Pakistan. We describe the clinical characteristics of the infants admitted between 2013 and 2016 in order to acquire a better understanding on the risk factors for mortality. Methods: We analyzed routinely collected medical data from infants (<7 months) admitted in Chaman and Dera Murad Jamali (DMJ) hospitals. The association between clinical characteristics and mortality was estimated using Poisson regression. Results: Between 2013 and 2016, 5,214 children were admitted (male/female ratio: 1.60) and 1,178 (23%) died. Days since admission was associated with a higher risk of mortality and decreased with each extra day of admission after seven days. The first 48 hours of admission was strongly associated with a higher risk of mortality. A primary diagnosis of tetanus, necrotizing enterocolitis, prematurity, sepsis and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy were strongly associated with higher rates of mortality. We observed an annual peak in the mortality rate in September. Conclusions: The first days of admission are critical for infant survival. Furthermore, the found male/female ratio was exceedingly higher than the national ratio of Pakistan. The observed seasonality in mortality rate by week has not been previously reported. It is fully recommended to do further in-depth research on male/female ratio differences and the reasons behind the annual peaks in mortality rate by week.
    • Seasonal upsurge of pneumococcal meningitis in the Central African Republic

      Crellen, T; Rao, VB; Piening, T; Zeydner, J; Siddiqui, MR (F1000Research, 2018-10-19)
      A high incidence of bacterial meningitis was observed in the Central African Republic (CAR) from December 2015 to May 2017 in three hospitals in the northwest of the country that are within the African meningitis belt. The majority of cases were caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (249/328; 75.9%), which occurred disproportionately during the dry season (November-April) with a high case-fatality ratio of 41.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 33.0, 50.8%). High rates of bacterial meningitis during the dry season in the meningitis belt are typically caused by Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcal meningitis), and our observations suggest that the risk of contracting S. pneumoniae (pneumococcal) meningitis is increased by the same environmental factors. Cases of meningococcal meningitis (67/328; 20.4%) observed over the same period were predominantly type W and had a lower case fatality rate of 9.6% (95% CI 3.6, 21.8%). Due to conflict and difficulties in accessing medical facilities, it is likely that the reported cases represented only a small proportion of the overall burden and that there is high underlying prevalence of S. pneumoniae carriage in the community. Nationwide vaccination campaigns in the CAR against meningitis have been limited to the use of MenAfriVac, which targets only meningococcal meningitis type A. We therefore highlight the need for expanded vaccine coverage to prevent additional causes of seasonal outbreaks.