• Anesthesia Provision in Disasters and Armed Conflicts

      Trelles Centurion, M; Van Den Bergh, R; Gray, H (Springer, 2017)
      Disasters and armed conflicts are characterized by high numbers of trauma cases, and occur mainly in developing countries where the healthcare response is already impaired, resulting in an inadequate response. Aside of the trauma cases, other surgical health conditions are also still present and require urgent care. Surgical care needs are different from context to context and depend on local means and capabilities.
    • Anthropometry and Clinical Features of Kashin-Beck Disease in Central Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Suetens, C; De Maertelaer, V; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins Sans Frontières, Département Médical, Bruxelles, Belgium. (Springer, 2001)
      We compared two different populations living in central Tibet with the purpose of establishing standard values for different anthropometric parameters in a rural population. Later on, these values were used as references for a similar study on a KBD population. One group (KBD) (n=1,246) came from the endemic areas, and the other group, serving as the control population (n=815), came from non-endemic areas. Both groups included children and adults and were of the Mongoloid type; they were farmers or semi-nomads. Height, weight, segment length, joint perimeter, joint diameter, joint movement were recorded. Also more subjective information such as general feeling of tiredness, rapid fatigue at work, work limitation, joint pain, muscle weakness, muscular atrophy, dwarfism, flatfoot, and waddling gate was also collected. Those variables were compared between the two groups.
    • Association Between Gender, Surgery and Mortality for Patients Treated at Médecins Sans Frontières Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

      Tounsi, LL; Daebes, HL; Warnberg, MG; Jaweed, M; Mamozai, BA; Nasim, M; Drevin, G; Trelles, M; von Schreeb, J (Springer, 2019-05-07)
      INTRODUCTION: There is paucity of literature describing type of injury and care for females in conflicts. This study aimed to describe the injury pattern and outcome in terms of surgery and mortality for female patients presenting to Médecins Sans Frontières Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and compare them with males. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study retrospectively analysed patient data from 17,916 patients treated at the emergency department in Kunduz between January and September 2015, before its destruction by aerial bombing in October the same year. Routinely collected data on patient characteristics, injury patterns, triage category, time to arrival and outcome were retrieved and analysed. Comparative analyses were conducted using logistic regression. RESULTS: Females constituted 23.6% of patients. Burns and back injuries were more common among females (1.4% and 3.3%) than among males (0.6% and 2.0%). In contrast, open wounds and thoracic injuries were more common among males (10.1% and 0.6%) than among females (5.2% and 0.2%). Females were less likely to undergo surgery (OR 0.60, CI 0.528-0.688), and this remained significant after adjustment for age, nature of injury, triage category, multiple injuries and delay to arrival (OR 0.80, CI 0.690-0.926). Females also had lower unadjusted odds of mortality (OR 0.49, CI 0.277-0.874), but this was not significant in the adjusted analysis (OR 0.81, CI 0.446-1.453). CONCLUSION: Our main findings suggest that females seeking care at Kunduz Trauma Centre arrived later, had different injury patterns and were less likely to undergo surgery as compared to males.
    • Clinical Manifestations of Kashin-Beck Disease in Nyemo Valley, Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Lan, Z Y; Suetens, C; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. (Springer, 1997)
      Clinical manifestations of Kashin-Beck disease have been studied in Central Tibet. Statistical analysis of physical signs allowed a definition of the clinical diagnosis and a scale for the functional severity for the disease to be drawn up. This classification is used for the assessment of patients who received palliative physical treatment. A group of 136 patients have been examined and their disabled joints classified according to pain, bony enlargement and restriction of movement. 57% were between 20 and 35 years of age. The patients mainly complained about their distal weightbearing joints. The clinical evolution of the disease is described from childhood to adult life.
    • Effects of Physical Therapy on Patients with Kashin-Beck Disease in Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Suetens, C; Begaux, F; De Maertelaer, V; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins Sant Frontières, Département Médical, Brussels, Belgium. francoise.mathieu@msf.be (Springer, 2001)
      A clinical trial of physical therapy treatment for patients suffering from Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) has been carried out in Tibet. One-hundred and thirty-five patients with Kashin-Beck disease were allocated to either physical therapy (72 patients) or prescription of multivitamins (63 patients). The patients were followed for 4 years. This study suggested a beneficial effect of physical treatment.
    • Epidemiological Support for a Multifactorial Aetiology of Kashin-Beck Disease in Tibet.

      Suetens, C; Moreno-Reyes, R; Chasseur, C; Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Haubruge, E; Durand, M; Nève, J; Vanderpas, J; Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium. carl.suetens@ihe.be (Springer, 2001)
      We carried out a cross-sectional study in 12 rural villages in order to identify the risk factors for Kashin-Beck disease in Tibet. Children aged 5-15 years (n=575) were examined and their corresponding houses were visited. Samples were collected in order to study fungal contamination of stored grain and the organic matter content of drinking water. Multivariate analysis was performed using logistic regression and population attributable fractions were computed to estimate the impact of each factor. The following variables were independently associated with the disease: age, gender, low socio-economic status, indicators of a poorly diversified diet, iodine deficiency and small water container size (with higher organic matter levels in small containers). Selenium deficiency was severe in all study subjects. The degree of fungal contamination of barley grain was related to the highest percentage of cases (65%) in a sample of the study population. Higher urinary iodine levels were not associated with decreasing prevalence rates when Alternaria sp. was isolated. The data that we report supports the hypothesis that Kashin-Beck disease occurs as a consequence of oxidative damage to cartilage and bone cells when associated with decreased antioxidant defence. Another mechanism that may coexist is bone remodelling stimulated by thyroid hormones whose actions can be blocked by certain mycotoxins.
    • Kashin-Beck Disease and Drinking Water in Central Tibet.

      La Grange, M; Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Suetens, C; Durand, M C; Médecins Sans Frontiéres, Brussels, Belgium. (Springer, 2001)
      A cross-sectional survey was carried out in order to study the relationship between Kashin-Beck disease and drinking water. The average volume of the water containers was larger in families unaffected by the disease. Organic material was measured by ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy. The UV absorbency was significantly lower in drinking water of unaffected families. Thus, the organic material in drinking water may play a role in the pathogenesis of Kashin-Beck disease.
    • Paediatric radiology seen from Africa. Part I: providing diagnostic imaging to a young population

      Andronikou, S; McHugh, K; Abdurahman, N; Khoury, B; Mngomezulu, V; Brant, W E; Cowan, I; McCulloch, M; Ford, N; Radiology Department, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Gauteng, South Africa; Radiology Department, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK; Radiology Department, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Radiology Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA; Radiology Department, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand; Evelyna Children's Hospital, London, UK; Public Health/Access, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Cape Town, South Africa (Springer, 2011-06-09)
      Paediatric radiology requires dedicated equipment, specific precautions related to ionising radiation, and specialist knowledge. Developing countries face difficulties in providing adequate imaging services for children. In many African countries, children represent an increasing proportion of the population, and additional challenges follow from extreme living conditions, poverty, lack of parental care, and exposure to tuberculosis, HIV, pneumonia, diarrhoea and violent trauma. Imaging plays a critical role in the treatment of these children, but is expensive and difficult to provide. The World Health Organisation initiatives, of which the World Health Imaging System for Radiography (WHIS-RAD) unit is one result, needs to expand into other areas such as the provision of maintenance servicing. New initiatives by groups such as Rotary and the World Health Imaging Alliance to install WHIS-RAD units in developing countries and provide digital solutions, need support. Paediatric radiologists are needed to offer their services for reporting, consultation and quality assurance for free by way of teleradiology. Societies for paediatric radiology are needed to focus on providing a volunteer teleradiology reporting group, information on child safety for basic imaging, guidelines for investigations specific to the disease spectrum, and solutions for optimising imaging in children.
    • Perceptions and Health-Seeking Behaviour for Mental Illness Among Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Community Members in Wadi Khaled, North Lebanon: A Qualitative Study

      Al Laham, D; Ali, E; Mousally, K; Nahas, N; Alameddine, A; Venables, E (Springer, 2020-01-21)
      This is a qualitative exploration of the perceptions of mental health (MH) and their influence on health-seeking behaviour among Syrian refugees and the Lebanese population in Wadi Khaled, a rural area of Lebanon bordering Syria. Eight focus group discussions and eight key informant interviews were conducted with male and female Syrian refugees and Lebanese community members from March to April 2018. MH illness was associated with stigma, shame and fear among both populations. Beliefs surrounding mental illness were strongly linked to religious beliefs, including Jinn. Religious healers were considered the first line of help for people with mental illnesses, and were perceived as culturally acceptable and less stigmatizing than MH professionals. It is essential for MH professionals to build trust with the communities in which they work. Collaboration with religious healers is key to identifying MH symptoms and creating referral pathways to MH professionals in this context.
    • Saving the World, or Saving One Life at a Time?

      Delaunay, S (Springer, 2016-01-11)
    • South African General Surgeon Preparedness for Humanitarian Disasters

      Chu, KM; Karjiker, P; Naidu, P; Kruger, D; Taylor, A; Trelles, M; Dominguez, L; Rayne, S (Springer, 2018-12-06)
      Background Humanitarian medical organizations provide surgical care for a broad range of conditions including general surgical (GS), obstetric and gynecologic (OBGYN), orthopedic (ORTHO), and urologic (URO) conditions in unstable contexts. The most common humanitarian operation is cesarean section. The objective of this study was to identify the proportion of South African general surgeons who had operative experience and current competency in GS, OBGYN, ORTHO, and URO humanitarian operations in order to evaluate their potential for working in humanitarian disasters. Methods This was a cross-sectional online survey of South African general surgeons administered from November 2017–July 2018. Rotations in OBGYN, ORTHO, and URO were quantified. Experience and competency in eighteen humanitarian operations were queried. Results There were 154 SA general surgeon participants. Prior to starting general surgery (GS) residency, 129 (83%) had OBGYN, 125 (81%) ORTHO, and 84 (54%) URO experience. Experience and competency in humanitarian procedures by specialty included: 96% experience and 95% competency for GS, 71% experience and 51% com- petency for OBGYN, 77% experience and 66% competency for ORTHO, and 86% experience and 81% competency for URO. 82% reported training, and 51% competency in cesarean section. Conclusions SA general surgeons are potentially well suited for humanitarian surgery. This study has shown that most SA general surgeons received training in OBGYN, ORTHO, and URO prior to residency and many maintain competence in the corresponding humanitarian operations. Other low- to middle-income countries may also have broad-based surgery training, and the potential for their surgeons to offer humanitarian assistance should be further investigated.