• Community coverage of an antimalarial combination of artesunate and amodiaquine in Makamba Province, Burundi, nine months after its introduction.

      Gerstl, S; Cohuet, S; Edoh, K; Brasher, C; Lesage, A; Guthmann, J P; Checchi, F; Epicentre, Paris, France. sibylle.gerstl@epicentre.msf.org (BioMed Central, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: In 2003, artesunate-amodiaquine (AS+AQ) was introduced as the new first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Burundi. After confirmed diagnosis, treatment was delivered at subsidized prices in public health centres. Nine months after its implementation a study was carried out to assess whether children below five years of age with uncomplicated malaria were actually receiving AS+AQ. METHODS: A community-based study was conducted in Makamba province. Randomly selected households containing one or more children under five with reported fever onset within fourteen days before the study date were eligible. Case-management information was collected based on caregiver recall. A case definition of symptomatic malaria from observations of children presenting a confirmed malaria episode on the day of the survey was developed. Based on this definition, those children who had probable malaria among those with fever onset in the 14 days prior to the study were identified retrospectively. Treatment coverage with AS+AQ was then estimated among these probable malaria cases. RESULTS: Out of 195 children with fever on the day of the study, 92 were confirmed as true malaria cases and 103 tested negative. The combination of 'loss of appetite', 'sweating', 'shivering' and 'intermittent fever' yielded the highest possible positive predictive value, and was chosen as the case definition of malaria. Out of 526 children who had had fever 14 days prior to the survey, 165 (31.4%) were defined as probable malaria cases using this definition. Among them, 20 (14.1%) had been treated with AS+AQ, 10 with quinine (5%), 68 (41%) received non-malaria treatments, and 67 got traditional treatment or nothing (39.9%). Most people sought treatment from public health centres (23/99) followed by private clinics (15/99, 14.1%). The median price paid for AS+AQ was 0.5 US$. CONCLUSION: AS+AQ was the most common treatment for patients with probable malaria at public health centres, but coverage was low due to low health centre utilisation and apparently inappropriate prescribing. In addition, AS+AQ was given to patients at a price ten times higher than the subsidized price. The availability and proper use of ACTs should be monitored and maximized after their introduction in order to have a significant impact on the burden of malaria.
    • Incidence, Management, and Outcome of Childhood Empyema: A Prospective Study of Children in Cambodian Refugee Camps.

      Fontanet, A L; McCauley, R G; Coyette, Y; Larchiver, F; Bennish, M L; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Paris, France. (Published by: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1993-12)
      To determine the incidence, outcome, and optimal management of empyema, all children less than 15 years of age admitted to Khao-I-Dang Hospital with a diagnosis of empyema during a 23-month period were prospectively studied. Khao-I-Dang Hospital provides care to 137,000 Cambodian children residing in eight refugee camps along the Thai-Cambodian border. Ninety-eight children with empyema were identified, for an annual incidence of 0.37 cases per 1,000 children. All patients had chest tubes inserted on admission, and all were treated with parenteral antibiotics, which included chloramphenicol in 92% of the patients and cloxacillin in 72%. Patients were hospitalized a mean of 30 days, and chest tubes were in place for a mean of 12 days. Surgery was performed on four patients who had bronchopleural fistulas that persisted for more than 14 days. Only one (1%) of the 70 patients treated with cloxacillin required thoracotomy, compared with three (11%) of the 28 patients who did not receive cloxacillin (P = 0.07). In a multiple regression analysis, the presence of pneumatoceles or mediastinal shift on admission chest radiograph, a history of tuberculosis in the family, and an age of more than five years were predictive of a longer duration of chest tube drainage. No patient died in the hospital, and only one patient died in the six months following discharge from the hospital. Chest radiographs that were obtained six months after discharge in 25 patients were all essentially normal, despite marked abnormalities on chest radiographs obtained at discharge. In summary, conservative medical management with the use of chest tubes for these 98 children with empyema resulted in a mortality rate of 1.0%, and should be considered as an effective alternative to the surgical management of patients presenting with this complication.
    • Influence of rapid malaria diagnostic tests on treatment and health outcome in fever patients, Zanzibar: a crossover validation study

      Msellem, Mwinyi I; Mårtensson, Andreas; Rotllant, Guida; Bhattarai, Achuyt; Strömberg, Johan; Kahigwa, Elizeus; Garcia, Montse; Petzold, Max; Olumese, Peter; Ali, Abdullah; et al. (2009-04-28)
      BACKGROUND: The use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for Plasmodium falciparum malaria is being suggested to improve diagnostic efficiency in peripheral health care settings in Africa. Such improved diagnostics are critical to minimize overuse and thereby delay development of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). Our objective was to study the influence of RDT-aided malaria diagnosis on drug prescriptions, health outcomes, and costs in primary health care settings. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a cross-over validation clinical trial in four primary health care units in Zanzibar. Patients of all ages with reported fever in the previous 48 hours were eligible and allocated alternate weeks to RDT-aided malaria diagnosis or symptom-based clinical diagnosis (CD) alone. Follow-up was 14 days. ACT was to be prescribed to patients diagnosed with malaria in both groups. Statistical analyses with multilevel modelling were performed. A total of 1,887 patients were enrolled February through August 2005. RDT was associated with lower prescription rates of antimalarial treatment than CD alone, 361/1005 (36%) compared with 752/882 (85%) (odds ratio [OR] 0.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.03-0.05, p<0.001). Prescriptions of antibiotics were higher after RDT than CD alone, i.e., 372/1005 (37%) and 235/882 (27%) (OR 1.8, 95%CI 1.5-2.2, p<0.001), respectively. Reattendance due to perceived unsuccessful clinical cure was lower after RDT 25/1005 (2.5%), than CD alone 43/882 (4.9%) (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.9, p = 0.005). Total average cost per patient was similar: USD 2.47 and 2.37 after RDT and CD alone, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: RDTs resulted in improved adequate treatment and health outcomes without increased cost per patient. RDTs may represent a tool for improved management of patients with fever in peripheral health care settings. TRIAL REGISTRATION: (Clinicaltrials.gov) NCT00549003.
    • Mortality Among Displaced Former UNITA Members and Their Families in Angola: A Retrospective Cluster Survey.

      Grein, T; Checchi, F; Escribà, J; Tamrat, A; Karunakara, U; Stokes, C; Brown, V; Legros, D; Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. (2003-09-20)
      OBJECTIVE: To measure retrospectively mortality among a previously inaccessible population of former UNITA members and their families displaced within Angola, before and after their arrival in resettlement camps after ceasefire of 4 April 2002. DESIGN: Three stage cluster sampling for interviews. Recall period for mortality assessment was from 21 June 2001 to 15-31 August 2002. SETTING: Eleven resettlement camps over four provinces of Angola (Bié, Cuando Cubango, Huila, and Malange) housing 149 000 former UNITA members and their families. PARTICIPANTS: 900 consenting family heads of households, or most senior household members, corresponding to an intended sample size of 4500 individuals. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Crude mortality and proportional mortality, overall and by period (monthly, and before and after arrival in camps). RESULTS: Final sample included 6599 people. The 390 deaths reported during the recall period corresponded to an average crude mortality of 1.5/10 000/day (95% confidence interval 1.3 to 1.8), and, among children under 5 years old, to 4.1/10 000/day (3.3 to 5.2). Monthly crude mortality rose gradually to a peak in March 2002 and remained above emergency thresholds thereafter. Malnutrition was the leading cause of death (34%), followed by fever or malaria (24%) and war or violence (18%). Most war victims and people who had disappeared were women and children. CONCLUSIONS: This population of displaced Angolans experienced global and child mortality greatly in excess of normal levels, both before and after the 2002 ceasefire. Malnutrition deaths reflect the extent of the food crisis affecting this population. Timely humanitarian assistance must be made available to all populations in such conflicts.
    • A Novel Electronic Algorithm using Host Biomarker Point-of-Care tests for the Management of Febrile Illnesses in Tanzanian children (e-POCT): A randomized, controlled non-inferiority trial

      Keitel, K; Kagoro, F; Samaka, J; Masimba, J; Said, Z; Temba, H; Mlaganile, T; Sangu, W; Rambaud-Althaus, C; Gervaix, A; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2017-10-23)
      The management of childhood infections remains inadequate in resource-limited countries, resulting in high mortality and irrational use of antimicrobials. Current disease management tools, such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) algorithm, rely solely on clinical signs and have not made use of available point-of-care tests (POCTs) that can help to identify children with severe infections and children in need of antibiotic treatment. e-POCT is a novel electronic algorithm based on current evidence; it guides clinicians through the entire consultation and recommends treatment based on a few clinical signs and POCT results, some performed in all patients (malaria rapid diagnostic test, hemoglobin, oximeter) and others in selected subgroups only (C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, glucometer). The objective of this trial was to determine whether the clinical outcome of febrile children managed by the e-POCT tool was non-inferior to that of febrile children managed by a validated electronic algorithm derived from IMCI (ALMANACH), while reducing the proportion with antibiotic prescription.
    • Rapid malaria diagnostic tests vs. clinical management of malaria in rural Burkina Faso: safety and effect on clinical decisions. A randomized trial

      Bisoffi, Zeno; Sirima, Bienvenu Sodiomon; Angheben, Andrea; Lodesani, Claudia; Gobbi, Federico; Tinto, Halidou; Van den Ende, Jef; Centre for Tropical Diseases, Sacro Cuore Hospital, Negrar (Verona), Italy; Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Medecins sans Frontieres, Democratic Republic of Congo; Centre Muraz, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; Projet AnKaHeresso, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; Department of Clinical Sciences, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium (2009-02-15)
      OBJECTIVES: To assess if the clinical outcome of patients treated after performing a Rapid Diagnostic Test for malaria (RDT) is at least equivalent to that of controls (treated presumptively without test) and to determine the impact of the introduction of a malaria RDT on clinical decisions. METHODS: Randomized, multi-centre, open clinical trial in two arms in 2006 at the end of the dry and of the rainy season in 10 peripheral health centres in Burkina Faso: one arm with use of RDT before treatment decision, one arm managed clinically. Primary endpoint: persistence of fever at day 4. Secondary endpoints: frequency of malaria treatment and of antibiotic treatment. RESULTS: A total of 852 febrile patients were recruited in the dry season and 1317 febrile patients in the rainy season, and randomized either to be submitted to RDT (P_RTD) or to be managed presumptively (P_CLIN). In both seasons, no significant difference was found between the two randomized groups in the frequency of antimalarial treatment, nor of antibiotic prescription. In the dry season, 80.8% and 79.8% of patients with a negative RDT were nevertheless diagnosed and treated for malaria, and so were 85.0% and 82.6% negative patients in the rainy season. In the rainy season only, both diagnosis and treatment of other conditions were significantly less frequent in RDT positive vs. negative patients (48.3% vs. 61.4% and 46.2% vs. 59.9%, P = 0.00 and 0.00, respectively). CONCLUSION: Our study was inconclusive on RDT safety (clinical outcome in the two randomized groups), because of an exceedingly and unexpectedly low compliance with the negative test result. Further research is needed on best strategies to promote adherence and on the safety of a test based strategy compared with the current, presumptive treatment strategy.