• A Comparison of Cluster and Systematic Sampling Methods for Measuring Crude Mortality.

      Rose, A; Grais, RF; Coulombier, D; Ritter, H; Epicentre, Paris, France. angela.rose@epicentre.msf.org (Published by WHO, 2006-04)
      OBJECTIVE: To compare the results of two different survey sampling techniques (cluster and systematic) used to measure retrospective mortality on the same population at about the same time. METHODS: Immediately following a cluster survey to assess mortality retrospectively in a town in North Darfur, Sudan in 2005, we conducted a systematic survey on the same population and again measured mortality retrospectively. This was only possible because the geographical layout of the town, and the availability of a good previous estimate of the population size and distribution, were conducive to the systematic survey design. RESULTS: Both the cluster and the systematic survey methods gave similar results below the emergency threshold for crude mortality (0.80 versus 0.77 per 10,000/day, respectively). The results for mortality in children under 5 years old (U5MR) were different (1.16 versus 0.71 per 10,000/day), although this difference was not statistically significant. The 95% confidence intervals were wider in each case for the cluster survey, especially for the U5MR (0.15-2.18 for the cluster versus 0.09-1.33 for the systematic survey). CONCLUSION: Both methods gave similar age and sex distributions. The systematic survey, however, allowed for an estimate of the town's population size, and a smaller sample could have been used. This study was conducted in a purely operational, rather than a research context. A research study into alternative methods for measuring retrospective mortality in areas with mortality significantly above the emergency threshold is needed, and is planned for 2006.
    • The efficacy of a mental health program in Bosnia-Herzegovina: impact on coping and general health.

      Mooren, T T M; de Jong, K; Kleber, R J; Ruvic, J; De Vonk, Centrum '45, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands. T.Mooren@Centrum45.nl (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003-01)
      The efficacy of a community-based psychosocial program in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war and immediate postwar years (1994-1999) was described in this article. Ten centers provided various kinds of psychological help in the besieged city of Sarajevo and the towns of Zenica, Travnik, and Vitez. Since 1994, an intensive monitoring system has documented data on clients, interventions, and outcomes. This study focused on the systematic evaluation of counseling interventions aimed to alleviate the distress in wartime. The sample consisted of 3,283 and 1,785 inhabitants of Sarajevo, Zenica, Travnik, and Vitez who filled out the GHQ-28 and IES respectively. Pre- and post-assessments were compared throughout consecutive years (1994-1999) and across age groups and both sexes. Outcomes of these scales reflected very high scores, especially among people between 30 and 40 years of age. Furthermore, intake scores increased in time rather than decreased. Differences between pre- and postmeasurements are highly significant--throughout the years. Analyses revealed substantial proportions of clinically recovered or generally improved individual functioning, although some clients revealed no improvement.
    • Late vaccination reinforcement during a measles epidemic in Niamey, Niger (2003-2004).

      Dubray, C; Gervelmeyer, A; Djibo, A; Jeanne, I; Fermon, F; Soulier, M; Grais, RF; Guerin, P J; Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. Christine.Dubray@epicentre.msf.org (2006-05-01)
      Low measles vaccination coverage (VC) leads to recurrent epidemics in many African countries. We describe VC before and after late reinforcement of vaccination activities during a measles epidemic in Niamey, Niger (2003-2004) assessed by Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS). Neighborhoods of Niamey were grouped into 46 lots based on geographic proximity and population homogeneity. Before reinforcement activities, 96% of lots had a VC below 70%. After reinforcement, this proportion fell to 78%. During the intervention 50% of children who had no previous record of measles vaccination received their first dose (vaccination card or parental recall). Our results highlight the benefits and limitations of vaccine reinforcement activities performed late in the epidemic.
    • Psychological trauma and evidence for enhanced vulnerability for posttraumatic stress disorder through previous trauma among West Nile refugees.

      Neuner, F; Schauer, M; Karunakara, U; Klaschik, C; Robert, C; Elbert, T; Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz and Center for Psychiatry Reichenau, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany. Frank.Neuner@Uni-Konstanz.de (2004)
      BACKGROUND: Political instability and the civil war in Southern Sudan have resulted in numerous atrocities, mass violence, and forced migration for vast parts of the civilian population in the West Nile region. High exposure to traumatic experiences has been particularly prominent in the Ugandan and Sudanese of the West Nile Region, representing an indication of the psychological strain posed by years of armed conflict. METHODS: In this study the impact of traumatic events on the prevalence and severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a random sample of 3.339 Ugandan nationals, Sudanese nationals, and Sudanese refugees (1.831 households) of the West Nile region is assessed. RESULTS: Results show a positive correlation between the number of traumatic events and the number of endorsed PTSD symptoms. Of the 58 respondents who experienced the greatest number of traumatizing experiences, all reported symptoms which met the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: There is a clear dose-effect relationship between traumatic exposure and PTSD in the studied populations with high levels of traumatic events. In this context, it is probable that any individual could develop PTSD regardless of other risk-factors once the trauma load reaches a certain threshold.
    • [Surveillance of the Nutritional Status of the Population in Kinshasa, Zaire (1991-1994)]

      Arbyn, M; Dedeurwaerder, M; Miakala, M; Bikangi, N; Boelaert, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium. (1995-06)
      Six anthropometric surveys using a random cluster sampling design have been organised in the capital of Zaire between November 1991 and March 1994. The prevalence of acute malnutrition fluctuated with the seasons and followed the cyclic movements of food prices on the market. The general tendency was rising. In March '94, 10.7% (95% confidence interval: 8.8-12.9%) of the children was suffering of acute malnutrition. Nevertheless, the standardised prevalence remained stable. This may suggest that the most disadvantaged living at certain poor zones of the city disconnected, while the rest of the population could still manage to maintain their nutritional status. The hypothesis of increasing heterogeneity is supported by the raising of the design-effect.
    • Trypanosoma Brucei Gambiense Trypanosomiasis in Terego County, Northern Uganda, 1996: A Lot Quality Assurance Sampling Survey.

      Hutin, Y; Legros, D; Owini, V; Brown, V; Lee, E; Mbulamberi, D; Paquet, C; Epicentre Office in Uganda, Kampala, Uganda. (Published by: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2004-04)
      We estimated the pre-intervention prevalence of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (Tbg) trypanosomiasis using the lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) methods in 14 parishes of Terego County in northern Uganda. A total of 826 participants were included in the survey sample in 1996. The prevalence of laboratory confirmed Tbg trypanosomiasis adjusted for parish population sizes was 2.2% (95% confidence interval =1.1-3.2). This estimate was consistent with the 1.1% period prevalence calculated on the basis of cases identified through passive and active screening in 1996-1999. Ranking of parishes in four categories according to LQAS analysis of the 1996 survey predicted the prevalences observed during the first round of active screening in the population in 1997-1998 (P < 0.0001, by chi-square test). Overall prevalence and ranking of parishes obtained with LQAS were validated by the results of the population screening, suggesting that these survey methods may be useful in the pre-intervention phase of sleeping sickness control programs.