• 10-year assessment of treatment outcome among Cambodian refugees with sputum smear-positive tuberculosis in Khao-I-Dang, Thailand.

      Sukrakanchana-Trikham, P; Puéchal, X; Rigal, J; Rieder, H L; Médecins sans Frontières Tuberculosis Programme, Khao-I-Dang, Prachinburi, Thailand. (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 1992-12)
      Tuberculosis control among displaced persons is fraught with difficulties to ensure adherence of patients to treatment for a prolonged period of time. In the Khao-I-Dang camp for Cambodian refugees an approach with daily, directly observed treatment throughout the course of 6 months duration was chosen to address the problem. Of a total 929 patients with sputum smear-positive tuberculosis who were enrolled from 1981 to 1990, 5.0% died, 75.5% completed treatment and were bacteriologically cured with a day-to-day adherence of more than 98%, none failed bacteriologically, 19.2% were transferred to another camp where continuation of treatment was guaranteed, and only 0.4% absconded from treatment. These data suggest that the approach to tuberculosis control in this refugee camp was very effective in cutting the chain of transmission of tuberculosis in a highly mobile population and in reducing substantially unnecessary morbidity and mortality.
    • [A foci of Schistosomiasis mekongi rediscovered in Northeast Cambodia: cultural perception of the illness; description and clinical observation of 20 severe cases]

      Biays, S; Stich, A H; Odermatt, P; Long, C; Yersin, C; Men, C; Saem, C; Lormand, J D; Médecins sans Frontières, Suisse. Odermatt_Biays@hotmail.com (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999-10)
      RésuméLa découverte en 1992 d'une population présentant des signes cliniques d'hypertension portale très évoluée a permis la redécouverte d'un foyer de bilharziose 'oublié' pendant plus de vingt ans dans la province de Kracheh au nord-est du Cambodge. Des éléments de la perception culturelle de la maladie par la population et des observations cliniques sur la morbidité grave provoquée par Schistosoma mekongi sont présentés. Les entretiens avec les patients et la population des villages alentours révèlent que la bilharziose a de lourdes conséquences psychosociales: angoisse de la mort, infirmité, invalidité. Les symptômes sont bien identifiés et auraient augmenté ces vingt dernières années. Ils font l'objet de dénominations et de traitements traditionnels spécifiques. Les descriptions cliniques de 20 patients illustrent la pathologie grave observée dans l'hôpital de Sambour, au nord de la province de Kracheh. Elles montrent le pouvoir pathogène de S. mekongi aux différents âges de la vie (de 7 à 58 ans): cachexie, hépatosplénomégalie, retard de croissance et pubertaire, décompensation d'hypertension portale avec ascite et rupture de varices oesophagiennes. L'efficacité du traitement à ces stades avancés de la maladie est inconstant: le suivi des patients sur 30 mois montre que 5 d'entre eux sont décédés, 5 se sont améliorés puis ont récidivés, 3 étaient dans des états stationnaires et 5 se sont nettement améliorés, 2 ont été perdus de vus. Les observations cliniques et les entretiens montrent qu'une pathologie très sévère, aux graves conséquences individuelles et communautaires, est présente dans la province de Kracheh. Cette maladie est liée à une infection par S. mekongi mais l'aggravation des symptômes par d'éventuelles infections associées est à préciser. A un stade avancé de la maladie le pronostic vital est très réservé même après traitement. Ces observations démontrent l'importance d'une intervention globale à long-terme sur toute la population touchée, à des degrés divers, par cette maladie. SUMMARY: In 1992 a foci of Schistosomiasis mekongi was rediscovered in the province of Kracheh in Northeast Cambodia. Severe clinical signs due to portal hypertension, which were frequently observed in this population, allowed the discovery of this 'forgotten' focus. Elements of the perception of the population and clinical observations of 20 severe cases due to S. mekongi infections are presented. Interviews with patients and villagers of the area of Kracheh showed severe psychosocial impact including fear from death, infirmity and invalidity. The symptoms of schistosomiasis were well known by the population and were reported to have increased in frequency in the last two decades. They have received traditional names and specific traditional treatment. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)
    • Acceptability and technical problems of the female condom amongst commercial sex workers in a rural district of Malawi.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Buhendwa, L; Spielmann, M P; Chantulo, A; Bakali, E; Médecins Sans Frontières - Luxembourg, Thyolo district, Thyolo, Malawi. zachariah@internet.lu (2003-10)
      A study was conducted among commercial sex workers (CSWs) in rural southern Malawi, in order to (a) assess the acceptability of the female condom and (b) identify common technical problems and discomforts associated with its use. There were 88 CSWs who were entered into the study with a total of 272 female condom utilizations. Eighty-six (98%) were satisfied with the female condom, 80% preferred it to the male condom and 92% were ready to use the device routinely. Of all the utilizations, the most common technical problem was reuse of the device with consecutive clients, 6% after having washed it, and 2% without any washing or rinsing. The most common discomfort that were reported included too much lubrication (32%), device being too large (16%), and noise during sex (11%). This study would be useful in preparing the introduction of the female condom within known commercial sex establishments in Malawi.
    • Acceptability and Utilisation of Services for Voluntary Counselling [corrected] and Testing and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Kahsey Abera Hospital, Humera, Tigray, Ethiopia.

      Reilley, B; Hiwot, Z G; Mesure, J; Medecins sans Frontieres USA, 333 Seventh Avenue, 2nd floor 1001-5004, New York, USA. (2004-07)
      OBJECTIVES: A study was conducted to assess the acceptability and utilization of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) services in Kahsey Abera Hospital, Humera. METHODS: Retrospective data was taken from hospital consultation logbooks from January 2002 to February 2003, and focus group discussions were conducted in March 2003 in the community. RESULTS: While the services were known and utilization is increasing, important misconceptions about the medical services, disease transmission, and STI treatment persist. Although hospital care was generally considered of high quality, persons often go to pharmacies to self-treat for STIs due to concerns about confidentiality, and the stigma of HIV deters many from wanting to know their serostatus. CONCLUSIONS: Additional education is needed on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and the medical services provided. Education may make use of community health workers or outreach workers in a small group where participants can feel comfortable to ask sensitive questions. HIV/AIDS treatment is planned for the near future and may be significant in reducing HIV/AIDS stigma.
    • Adherence to antiretroviral therapy assessed by drug level monitoring and self-report in cameroon

      Kouanfack, Charles; Laurent, Christian; Peytavin, Gilles; Ciaffi, Laura; Ngolle, Maguy; Nkene, Yvette Mawamba; Essomba, Claudine; Calmy, Alexandra; Mpoudi-Ngolé, Eitel; Delaporte, Eric; et al. (2008-06-01)
      OBJECTIVES: To compare adherence to antiretroviral therapy using drug level monitoring and self-report and to explore the relation between these 2 methods and viral load measurements. METHODS: Sixty patients received a fixed-dose combination of nevirapine, stavudine, and lamivudine in a clinical study in Cameroon. Adherence was assessed every 6 months until month 36 by nevirapine minimal plasma concentration and self-report. Plasma HIV-1 viral load was determined at the same time. Analyses included 159 complete observations. RESULTS: The proportion of patients labeled as "adherent" was significantly lower using nevirapine monitoring (88.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 82.7 to 93.2) than self-report (97.5%, CI: 93.7 to 99.3; P = 0.002). Virologic failure was associated with the nevirapine concentration (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 4.43; P = 0.018) but not with the self-reported adherence (aOR = 0.84; P = 0.9). As compared with the virologic outcome, the sensitivity of nevirapine level monitoring for predicting inadequate adherence was 20.5%, the specificity was 91.7%, the positive predictive value was 44.4%, and the negative predictive value was 78.0%. For self-report, the respective values were 2.6%, 97.5%, 25.0%, and 75.5%. CONCLUSIONS: Drug level monitoring provided a more reliable estimate of adherence than self-report. This method could be used in research settings. Operational research is required to define how to improve the accuracy of the self-report method because it is the most feasible method in clinical practice.
    • Adherence to antiretroviral therapy in patients enrolled in a comprehensive care program in Cambodia: a 24-month follow-up assessment

      Spire, Bruno; Carrieri, Patrizia; Sopha, Pal; Protopopescu, Camelia; Prak, Narom; Quillet, Catherine; Ngeth, Chanchhaya; Ferradini, Laurent; Delfraissy, Jean-François; Laureillard, Didier; et al. (2008-05)
      BACKGROUND: The long-term maintenance of antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains an important issue, especially in limited-resource settings where additional barriers exist. A cross-sectional study was performed 24 months after ART initiation for patients treated in Cambodia in order to estimate the prevalence and identify determinants of non-adherence. METHODS: Adults receiving ART for 24 +/- 2 months were considered eligible for the study. Self-reported non-adherence was defined according to an algorithm based on six items. The questionnaire also assessed ART-related side effects and HIV disclosure. HIV-1 RNA plasma viral load was measured using real-time PCR. Multivariate rare events logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent factors associated with non-adherence. RESULTS: A total of 346 patients participated in the study. At 24 months, 95% of patients were adherent, 80% had HIV RNA <40 copies/ml and 75% had CD4+ T-cell counts >200 cells/mm3. Virological success was significantly higher in adherent patients than in non-adherent patients (81% versus 56%, P=0.021). Living in a rural area, limited HIV disclosure and perceived lipodystrophy were independently associated with non-adherence. CONCLUSIONS: At 24 months, adherence to ART was high and explained positive virological outcomes. In order to maintain adherence and long-term virological benefits, special attention should be given to patients living in rural areas, those with lipodystrophy-related symptoms and others who express difficulties disclosing their condition to close family members.
    • Adults receiving HIV care before the start of antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa: patient outcomes and associated risk factors

      Bastard, Mathieu; Nicolay, Nathalie; Szumilin, Elisabeth; Balkan, Suna; Poulet, Elisabeth; Pujades-Rodriguez, Mar (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013-12-15)
      Gaining understanding of the period before antiretroviral therapy (ART) is needed to improve treatment outcomes and to reduce HIV transmission. This study describes the cascade of enrollment in HIV care, pre-ART follow-up, and predictors of mortality and lost to follow-up (LTFU) before ART initiation.
    • 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.
    • Adverse events associated with nevirapine use in pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Ford, N; Calmy, A; Andrieux-Meyer, I; Hargreaves, S; Mills, E J; Shubber, Z; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland. nathan.ford@msf.org (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013-04-24)
      The risk of adverse drug events associated with nevirapine (NVP) is suggested to be greater in pregnant women. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of severe adverse events in HIV-positive women who initiated NVP while pregnant.
    • An ambulance referral network improves access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care in a district of rural Burundi with high maternal mortality

      Tayler-Smith, K; Zachariah, R; Manzi, M; Van den Boogaard, W; Nyandwi, G; Reid, T; De Plecker, E; Lambert, V; Nicolai, M; Goetghebuer, S; et al. (2013-08)
      In 2006, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) established an emergency obstetric and neonatal care (EmONC) referral facility linked to an ambulance referral system for the transfer of women with obstetric complications from peripheral maternity units in Kabezi district, rural Burundi. This study aimed to (i) describe the communication and ambulance service together with the cost; (ii) examine the association between referral times and maternal and early neonatal deaths; and (iii) assess the impact of the referral service on coverage of complicated obstetric cases and caesarean sections.
    • Anthropometric Indices Used for the Diagnosis of Malnutrition in Adolescents and Adults: Review of the Literature

      Dorlencourt, F; Priem, V; Legros, D; Epicentre, 4 rue St Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. (2000-01)
      The International Dietary Energy Consultative Group, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), has done most of the research conducted in the field of adult malnutrition in the late 1980's. These studies were carried out mainly in populations suffering from chronic malnutrition, and led to the current WHO recommendations for the diagnosis and classification of adult malnutrition. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the gold standard to be used in adults, with the following cut-off points identified: 16.0, 17.0 and 18.5. The good correlation observed between BMI and Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) led to the determination of corresponding cut-off points. However, the very few field studies available in the literature are in favor of a lowering of the BMI cut-off points during nutritional emergencies. Several questions need to be answered through field research, mainly concerning the type of indicator best predicting the risk of death, and the type of indicator to be used in adolescents, pregnant women and older people.
    • 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.
    • Antibiotic Sensitivity of Endemic Shigella in Mbarara, Uganda.

      Legros, D; Ochola, D; Lwanga, N; Guma, G; Epicentre, Kampala, Uganda. (1998-03)
      We analysed the chimio-sensitivity to antibiotics of endemic strains of Shigella isolated in Mbarara district, southwest Uganda. Twenty four strains were isolated, of which none was sensitive to cotrimoxazole and eight (33.4%, 95% CI [15.6-55.3]) to ampicillin, the two antibiotics recommended to treat dysentery during non epidemic periods in Uganda. Two isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and none was resistant to the fluoroquinolones (Ciprofloxacin, Norfloxacin). It is concluded that the results of this survey could be used to facilitate the elaboration of a new treatment protocol to treat endemic dysentery cases in Uganda.
    • Are Rapid Population Estimates Accurate? A Field Trial of Two Different Assessment Methods.

      Grais, R; Coulombier, D; Ampuero, J; Lucas, M; Barretto, A; Jacquier, G; Diaz, F; Balandine, S; Mahoudeau, C; Brown, V; et al. (Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2006-09)
      Emergencies resulting in large-scale displacement often lead to populations resettling in areas where basic health services and sanitation are unavailable. To plan relief-related activities quickly, rapid population size estimates are needed. The currently recommended Quadrat method estimates total population by extrapolating the average population size living in square blocks of known area to the total site surface. An alternative approach, the T-Square, provides a population estimate based on analysis of the spatial distribution of housing units taken throughout a site. We field tested both methods and validated the results against a census in Esturro Bairro, Beira, Mozambique. Compared to the census (population: 9,479), the T-Square yielded a better population estimate (9,523) than the Quadrat method (7,681; 95% confidence interval: 6,160-9,201), but was more difficult for field survey teams to implement. Although applicable only to similar sites, several general conclusions can be drawn for emergency planning.
    • Artemether-Lumefantrine to treat Malaria in pregnancy is associated with reduced placental Haemozoin deposition compared to Quinine in a randomized controlled trial

      Muehlenbachs, Atis; Nabasumba, Carolyn; McGready, Rose; Turyakira, Eleanor; Tumwebaze, Benon; Dhorda, Mehul; Nyehangane, Dan; Nalusaji, Aisha; Nosten, Franois; Guerin, Philippe J; et al. (2012-05-03)
      Data on efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to treat Plasmodium falciparum during pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa is scarce. A recent open label, randomized controlled trial in Mbarara, Uganda demonstrated that artemether-lumefantrine (AL) is not inferior to quinine to treat uncomplicated malaria in pregnancy. Haemozoin can persist in the placenta following clearance of parasites, however there is no data whether ACT can influence the amount of haemozoin or the dynamics of haemozoin clearance.
    • Association between older age and adverse outcomes on antiretroviral therapy: a cohort analysis of programme data from nine countries.

      Greig, Jane; Casas, Esther C; O'Brien, Daniel P; Mills, Edward J; Ford, Nathan; Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK. jane.greig@london.msf.org (2012-07-31)
      Recent studies have highlighted the increased risk of adverse outcomes among older patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART). We report on the associations between older age and adverse outcomes in HIV/AIDS antiretroviral programmes across 17 programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Barriers to prompt and effective treatment of malaria in northern Sri Lanka.

      Reilley, B; Abeyasinghe, R; Pakianathar, M V; Medecins sans Frontieres, Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2002-09)
      BACKGROUND: For the past 18 years, northern Sri Lanka has been affected by armed ethnic conflict. This has had a heavy impact on displacement of civilians, health delivery services, number of health professionals in the area and infrastructure. The north of Sri Lanka has a severe malaria burden, with less than 5% of the national population suffering 34% of reported cases. Health care providers investigated treatment-seeking behaviour and levels of treatment failure believed to be the result of lack of adherence to treatment. METHODS: Pre- and post-treatment interviews with patients seeking treatment in the outpatient department (OPD) and focus groups. RESULTS: A total of 271 persons completed interviews: 54.4% sought treatment within 2 days of the onset of symptoms, and 91.9% self-treated with drugs with prior to seeking treatment, mainly with paracetamol. Self-treatment was associated with delaying treatment (RR 3.55, CI 1.23-10.24, P=0.002). In post-treatment interviews, self-reported default was 26.1%. The main reasons for not taking the entire regimen were side-effects (57.6%) and disappearance of symptoms (16.7%). Focus groups indicated some lack of confidence in chloroquine treatment and prophylaxis, and scant enthusiasm for prevention methods. CONCLUSIONS: A number of factors contribute to a lack of access and a lower quality of care for malaria: lack of medical staff and facilities because of the fighting; lack of confidence in treatment, and perception of malaria as a routine illness. Prevention efforts need to take into account certain beliefs and practices to be successful.
    • Behavioural characteristics, prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and antibiotic susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in men with urethral discharge in Thyolo, Malawi.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Nkhoma, W; Arendt, V; Nchingula, D; Chantulo, A; Chimtulo, F; Kirpach, P; Médecins sans Frontières-Luxembourg, Thyolo District, Malawi. zachariah@internet.lu (Elsevier, 2008-01-25)
      A study was carried out in 2000/2001 in a rural district of Malawi among men presenting with urethral discharge, in order to (a) describe their health-seeking and sexual behaviour, (b) determine the prevalence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis, and (c) verify the antibiotic susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae. A total of 114 patients were entered into the study; 61% reported having taken some form of medication before coming to the sexually transmitted infections clinic. The most frequent alternative source of care was traditional healers. Sixty-eight (60%) patients reported sexual encounters during the symptomatic period, the majority (84%) not using condoms. Using ligase chain reaction on urine, N. gonorrhoeae was detected in 91 (80%) and C. trachomatis in 2 (2%) urine specimens. Forty five of 47 N. gonorrhoeae isolates produced penicillinase, 89% showing multi-antimicrobial resistance. This study emphasizes the need to integrate alternative care providers and particularly traditional healers in control activities, and to encourage their role in promoting safer sexual behaviour. In patients presenting with urethral discharge in our rural setting, C. trachomatis was not found to be a major pathogen. Antimicrobial susceptibility surveillance of N. gonorrhoeae is essential in order to prevent treatment failures and control the spread of resistant strains.
    • Burundi: childbirth in a developing country.

      Chadney, S; Médecins Sans Frontières. (2006-05)
    • Cascade of HIV Care and Population Biral Suppression in a High-Burden Region of Kenya

      Maman, D; Zeh, C; Mukui, I; Kirubi, B; Masson, S; Opolo, V; Szumilin, E; Riche, B; Etard, JF (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2015-07-31)
      Direct measurement of antiretroviral treatment (ART) program indicators essential for evidence-based planning and evaluation - especially HIV incidence, population viral load, and ART eligibility - is rare in sub-Saharan Africa.