• 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.
    • The 2012 world health report 'no health without research': the endpoint needs to go beyond publication outputs.

      Zachariah, Rony; Reid, Tony; Ford, Nathan; Van den Bergh, Rafael; Dahmane, Amine; Khogali, Mohammed; Delaunois, Paul; Harries, Anthony D; Operational Research Unit, Medical Department, Operational Centre Brussels, Medecins sans Frontieres, MSF- Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Germany; Medecins sans Frontieres, Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Molecular and Cellular Interactions, Flemish Institute of Biotechnology, Brussels, Belgium; Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium;Medecins sans Frontieres, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Operational Centre Brussels, Medecins sans Frontieres- Luxembourg (Direction General), Luxembourg, Germany; International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Centre for Operational Research, Paris, France; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK. (2012-08-16)
    • The 2014–2015 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Hands On

      Vetter, P; Dayer, JA; Schibler, M; Allegranzi, B; Brown, D; Calmy, A; Christie, D; Eremin, S; Hagon, O; Henderson, D; Iten, A; Kelley, E; Marais, F; Ndoye, B; Pugin, J; Robert-Nicoud, H; Sterk, E; Tapper, M; Siegrist, CA; Kaiser, L; Pittet, D (BioMed Central, 2016-05-05)
      The International Consortium for Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) organises a biannual conference (ICPIC) on various subjects related to infection prevention, treatment and control. During ICPIC 2015, held in Geneva in June 2015, a full one-day session focused on the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa. This article is a non-exhaustive compilation of these discussions. It concentrates on lessons learned and imagining a way forward for the communities most affected by the epidemic. The reader can access video recordings of all lectures delivered during this one-day session, as referenced. Topics include the timeline of the international response, linkages between the dynamics of the epidemic and infection prevention and control, the importance of community engagement, and updates on virology, diagnosis, treatment and vaccination issues. The paper also includes discussions from public health, infectious diseases, critical care and infection control experts who cared for patients with EVD in Africa, in Europe, and in the United Sates and were involved in Ebola preparedness in both high- and low-resource settings and countries. This review concludes that too little is known about the pathogenesis and treatment of EVD, therefore basic and applied research in this area are urgently required. Furthermore, it is clear that epidemic preparedness needs to improve globally, in particular through the strengthening of health systems at local and national levels. There is a strong need for culturally sensitive approaches to public health which could be designed and delivered by social scientists and medical professionals working together. As of December 2015, this epidemic killed more than 11,000 people and infected more than 28,000; it has also generated more than 17,000 survivors and orphans, many of whom face somatic and psychological complications. The continued treatment and rehabilitation of these people is a public health priority, which also requires an integration of specific medical and social science approaches, not always available in West Africa.
    • 2017 Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Northern Democratic Republic of Congo

      Nsio, J; Kapetshi, J; Makiala, S; Raymond, F; Tshapenda, G; Boucher, N; Corbeil, J; Okitandjate, A; Mbuyi, G; Kiyele, M; Mondonge, V; Kikoo, MJ; Van Herp, M; Barboza, P; Petrucci, R; Benedetti, G; Formenty, P; Muzinga, BM; Kalenga, OI; Ahuka, S; Fausther-Bovendo, H; Ilunga, BK; Kobinger, GP; Muyembe, JJT (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-03)
      Background In 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded its eighth Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, approximately 3 years after the previous outbreak. Methods Suspect cases of EVD were identified on the basis of clinical and epidemiological information. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis or serological testing was used to confirm Ebola virus infection in suspected cases. The causative virus was later sequenced from a RT-PCR–positive individual and assessed using phylogenetic analysis. Results Three probable and 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of EVD were recorded between 27 March and 1 July 2017 in the DRC. Fifty percent of cases died from the infection. EVD cases were detected in 4 separate areas, resulting in > 270 contacts monitored. The complete genome of the causative agent, a variant from the Zaireebolavirus species, denoted Ebola virus Muyembe, was obtained using next-generation sequencing. This variant is genetically closest, with 98.73% homology, to the Ebola virus Mayinga variant isolated from the first DRC outbreaks in 1976–1977. Conclusion A single spillover event into the human population is responsible for this DRC outbreak. Human-to-human transmission resulted in limited dissemination of the causative agent, a novel Ebola virus variant closely related to the initial Mayinga variant isolated in 1976–1977 in the DRC.
    • 25 years of the WHO essential medicines lists: progress and challenges.

      Laing, R; Waning, B; Gray, A; Ford, N; 't Hoen, E; Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA. richardl@bu.edu <richardl@bu.edu> (Elsevier, 2003-05-17)
      The first WHO essential drugs list, published in 1977, was described as a peaceful revolution in international public health. The list helped to establish the principle that some medicines were more useful than others and that essential medicines were often inaccessible to many populations. Since then, the essential medicines list (EML) has increased in size; defining an essential medicine has moved from an experience to an evidence-based process, including criteria such as public-health relevance, efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness. High priced medicines such as antiretrovirals are now included. Differences exist between the WHO model EML and national EMLs since countries face varying challenges relating to costs, drug effectiveness, morbidity patterns, and rationality of prescribing. Ensuring equitable access to and rational use of essential medicines has been promoted through WHO's revised drug strategy. This approach has required an engagement by WHO on issues such as the effect of international trade agreements on access to essential medicines and research and development to ensure availability of new essential medicines.
    • 2nd Doctors Without Borders Pediatric Days, Dakar December 15-16, 2017

      Kadir, A; Hiffler, L; Nejat, S; Garcia, DM (John Libbey Eurotext, 2018-02-01)
    • A Drug Dosage Table is a Useful Tool to Facilitate Prescriptions of Antiretroviral Drugs for Children in Thailand.

      Ponnet, M; Frederix, K; Petdachai, W; Wilson, D; Eksaengsri, A; Zachariah, R; Médecins Sans Frontières, Bangkok, Thailand. (2005-06)
      Scaling up of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for children in countries like Thailand will require decentralization and management by non-specialist doctors. We describe (a) the formulation of a standardized drug dosage table to facilitate antiretroviral drug (ARV) prescriptions for children, (b) the acceptability of such a table among doctors and (c) the safety and efficacy of drug doses in the table. Acceptability was assessed using a questionnaire. Safety and efficacy were assessed on the basis of incidence of adverse effects and virological response to treatment, respectively. Of all doctors (n=18), 17 (94%) found that the table was practical to use, avoided miscalculations and made them more confident with prescriptions. Of 49 children prescribed ARVs, less than 5% had adverse side-effects. All ARV-naïve children achieved undetectable viral loads within six months of ART. In our setting, a standardized drug dosage table provided a simple and reliable tool that facilitated ARV prescriptions for children.
    • [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)
    • A Survey on Vaccine Efficacy in the City of Bongor (Chad) and its Operational Consequences for the Vaccination Program

      Luthi, J; Kessler, W; Boelaert, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Bruxelles, Belgique. (Published by WHO, 1997)
      A measles epidemic occurred in the city of Bongor, Chad, from 22 September 1993 to 26 June 1994. A total of 792 patients were hospitalized, with a case fatality rate of 5.2%. After the epidemic, the district management team evaluated the expanded programme on immunization (EPI). Through a cluster survey the attack rate was estimated to be 29.1% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 20.4-37.8%) for the age group 12-59 months (n = 206). For this same age group, the measles immunization coverage was estimated to be 44.2% (95% CI = 34.6-53.8%) and the vaccine efficacy 9.5% (95% CI = 0-41.5%). Several flaws in the logistic handling of the vaccines and especially in the cold chain were identified. These results indicated a serious management problem in the EPI, which the district team then immediately started to rectify. The method used to estimate the immunization coverage and efficacy in the study is rapid and low cost. Also, it is feasible at the district level and permits identification of management problems in the EPI.
    • Abolishing user fees for children and pregnant women trebled uptake of malaria-related interventions in Kangaba, Mali.

      Ponsar, Frédérique; Van Herp, Michel; Zachariah, Rony; Gerard, Séco; Philips, Mit; Jouquet, Guillaume; Analysis and advocacy unit, Médecins sans Frontieres, Brussels Operational Centre, Brussels, Belgium. fredponsar@hotmail.com (2011-11)
      Malaria is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in children under 5 in Mali. Health centres provide primary care, including malaria treatment, under a system of cost recovery. In 2005, Médecins sans Frontieres (MSF) started supporting health centres in Kangaba with the provision of rapid malaria diagnostic tests and artemisinin-based combination therapy. Initially MSF subsidized malaria tests and drugs to reduce the overall cost for patients. In a second phase, MSF abolished fees for all children under 5 irrespective of their illness and for pregnant women with fever. This second phase was associated with a trebling of both primary health care utilization and malaria treatment coverage for these groups. MSF's experience in Mali suggests that removing user fees for vulnerable groups significantly improves utilization and coverage of essential health services, including for malaria interventions. This effect is far more marked than simply subsidizing or providing malaria drugs and diagnostic tests free of charge. Following the free care strategy, utilization of services increased significantly and under-5 mortality was reduced. Fee removal also allowed for more efficient use of existing resources, reducing average cost per patient treated. These results are particularly relevant for the context of Mali and other countries with ambitious malaria treatment coverage objectives, in accordance with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. This article questions the effectiveness of the current national policy, and the effectiveness of reducing the cost of drugs only (i.e. partial subsidies) or providing malaria tests and drugs free for under-5s, without abolishing other related fees. National and international budgets, in particular those that target health systems strengthening, could be used to complement existing subsidies and be directed towards effective abolition of user fees. This would contribute to increasing the impact of interventions on population health and, in turn, the effectiveness of aid.
    • Accelerating the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis: a Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology Commission.

      Cooke, GS; Andrieux-Meyer, I; Applegate, TL; Atun, R; Burry, JR; Cheinquer, H; Dusheiko, G; Feld, JJ; Gore, C; Griswold, MG; Hamid, S; Hellard, ME; Hou, J; Howell, J; Jia, J; Kravchenko, N; Lazarus, JV; Lemoine, M; Lesi, OA; Maistat, L; McMahon, BJ; Razavi, H; Roberts, TR; Simmons, B; Sonderup, MW; Spearman, WC; Taylor, BE; Thomas, DL; Waked, I; Ward, JW; Wiktor, SZ (Elsevier, 2019-02-01)
      Viral hepatitis is a major public health threat and a leading cause of death worldwide. Annual mortality from viral hepatitis is similar to that of other major infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. Highly effective prevention measures and treatments have made the global elimination of viral hepatitis a realistic goal, endorsed by all WHO member states. Ambitious targets call for a global reduction in hepatitis-related mortality of 65% and a 90% reduction in new infections by 2030. This Commission draws together a wide range of expertise to appraise the current global situation and to identify priorities globally, regionally, and nationally needed to accelerate progress. We identify 20 heavily burdened countries that account for over 75% of the global burden of viral hepatitis. Key recommendations include a greater focus on national progress towards elimination with support given, if necessary, through innovative financing measures to ensure elimination programmes are fully funded by 2020. In addition to further measures to improve access to vaccination and treatment, greater attention needs to be paid to access to affordable, high-quality diagnostics if testing is to reach the levels needed to achieve elimination goals. Simplified, decentralised models of care removing requirements for specialised prescribing will be required to reach those in need, together with sustained efforts to tackle stigma and discrimination. We identify key examples of the progress that has already been made in many countries throughout the world, demonstrating that sustained and coordinated efforts can be successful in achieving the WHO elimination goals.
    • 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.
    • Acceptability of new formulations of Corn-Soy Blends and Lipid-based Nutrient Supplements in Province du Passoré, Burkina Faso

      Iuel-Brockdorf, A-S; Dræbel, T A; Fabiansen, C; Cichon, B; Christensen, V B; Yameogo, C; Ritz, C; Olsen, M F; Friis, H (Elsevier, 2015-04-23)
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability of new formulations of six corn-soy blended flours (CSB) and six lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy to be used for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). Furthermore, we wanted to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in Burkina Faso to identify possible barriers that could affect the acceptability of the new formulations of supplementary foods. The study was carried out prior to a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of these new formulations. The study involved an observed test-meal and a three-day take-home ration of the experimental food supplements to 6-30-months-old healthy children, followed by questionnaire-based interviews about the acceptability of these supplements. Interviews and focus group discussions were carried out to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. The results suggest that both LNS and CSB products with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy are equally well accepted among healthy children in rural Burkina Faso based on general appreciation of the supplements and organoleptic properties. All experimental foods received good ratings and there was no significant difference between the foods. However, after the take-home ration, 58% of participants receiving CSB reported having left-overs at the end of the day compared to 37% (n=33) of the participants receiving LNS (p=0.004), suggesting that CSB was not as readily consumed as LNS. Yet, both CSB and LNS products were perceived as easy to administer and the frequency of feeding was estimated to be adequate. The study also found that similar foods, used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, were well appreciated in the study location. LNS were to a higher degree associated with medicine or foods with medicinal properties, but both LNS and CSB were perceived as beneficial to child health.
    • Acceptance of anti-retroviral therapy among patients infected with HIV and tuberculosis in rural Malawi is low and associated with cost of transport.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Manzi, M; Gomani, P; Teck, R; Philips, M; Firmenich, P; Medecins sans Frontieres, Medical Department (Operational Research), Brussels Operational Center, Brussels, Belgium. zachariah@internet.lu (Public Library of Science, 2006)
      BACKGROUND: A study was conducted among newly registered HIV-positive tuberculosis (TB) patients systematically offered anti-retroviral treatment (ART) in a district hospital in rural Malawi in order to a) determine the acceptance of ART b) conduct a geographic mapping of those placed on ART and c) examine the association between "cost of transport" and ART acceptance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A retrospective cross-sectional analysis was performed on routine program data for the period of February 2003 to July 2004. Standardized registers and patient cards were used to gather data. The place of residence was used to determine road distances to the Thyolo district hospital. Cost of transport from different parts of the district was based on the known cost for public transport to the road-stop closest to the patient's residence. Of 1,290 newly registered TB patients, 1,003(78%) underwent HIV-testing of whom 770 (77%) were HIV-positive. 742 of these individuals (pulmonary TB = 607; extra-pulmonary TB = 135) were considered eligible for ART of whom only 101(13.6%) accepted ART. Cost of transport to the hospital ART site was significantly associated with ART acceptance and there was a linear trend in association between cost and ART acceptance (chi(2) for trend = 25.4, P<0.001). Individuals who had to pay 50 Malawi Kwacha (1 United States Dollar = 100 Malawi Kwacha, MW) or less for a one-way trip to the Thyolo hospital were four times more likely to accept ART than those who had to pay over 100 MW (Adjusted Odds ratio = 4.0, 95% confidence interval: 2.0-8.1, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: ART acceptance among TB patients in a rural district in Malawi is low and associated with cost of transport to the centralized hospital based ART site. Decentralizing the ART offer from the hospital to health centers that are closer to home communities would be an essential step towards reducing the overall cost and burden of travel.
    • Access to Care for Non-Communicable Diseases in Mosul, Iraq Between 2014 and 2017: A Rapid Qualitative Study.

      Baxter, LM; Eldin, MS; Al Mohammed, A; Saim, M; Checchi, F (BioMed Central, 2018-12-29)
      During June 2014 to April 2017, the population of Mosul, Iraq lived in a state of increasing isolation from the rest of Iraq due to the city's occupation by the Islamic State group. As part of a study to develop a generalisable method for estimating the excess burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in conflict-affected settings, in April-May 2017 we conducted a brief qualitative study of self-reported care for NCDs among 15 adult patients who had fled Mosul and presented to Médecins Sans Frontières clinics in the Kurdistan region with hypertension and/or diabetes. Participants reported consistent barriers to NCD care during the so-called Islamic State period, including drug shortages, insecurity and inability to afford privately sold medication. Coping strategies included drug rationing. By 2016, all patients had completely or partially lost access to care. Though limited, this study suggests a profound effect of the conflict on NCD burden.
    • Access to CD4 Testing for Rural HIV Patients: Findings from a Cohort Study in Zimbabwe

      Vogt, Florian; Tayler-Smith, Katie; Bernasconi, Andrea; Makondo, Eliphas; Taziwa, Fabian; Moyo, Buhlebenkosi; Havazvidi, Liberty; Satyanarayana, Srinath; Manzi, Marcel; Khogali, Mohammed; Reid, Anthony (Public Library of Science, 2015-06-17)
      CD4 cell count measurement remains an important diagnostic tool for HIV care in developing countries. Insufficient laboratory capacity in rural Sub-Saharan Africa is frequently mentioned but data on the impact at an individual patient level are lacking. Urban-rural discrepancies in CD4 testing have not been quantified to date. Such evidence is crucial for public health planning and to justify new yet more expensive diagnostic procedures that could circumvent access constraints in rural areas.
    • Access to diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease/infection in endemic and non-endemic countries in the XXI century.

      Villa, L; Morote, S; Bernal, O; Bulla, D; Albajar-Vinas, P; Médicos Sin Fronteras, Barcelona, Catalunya, Espana. (2007-10-30)
      In this article, Médicos Sin Fronteras (MSF) Spain faces the challenge of selecting, piecing together, and conveying in the clearest possible way, the main lessons learnt over the course of the last seven years in the world of medical care for Chagas disease. More than two thousand children under the age of 14 have been treated; the majority of whom come from rural Latin American areas with difficult access. It is based on these lessons learnt, through mistakes and successes, that MSF advocates that medical care for patients with Chagas disease be a reality, in a manner which is inclusive (not exclusive), integrated (with medical, psychological, social, and educational components), and in which the patient is actively followed. This must be a multi-disease approach with permanent quality controls in place based on primary health care (PHC). Rapid diagnostic tests and new medications should be available, as well as therapeutic plans and patient management (including side effects) with standardised flows for medical care for patients within PHC in relation to secondary and tertiary level, inclusive of epidemiological surveillance systems.
    • Access to drugs: the case of Abbott in Thailand.

      Cawthorne, P; Ford, N; Wilson, D; Kijtiwatchakul, K; Purahong, W; Tianudom, N; Nacapew, S; Médecins Sans Frontières, 533 Mooban Nakorn Thai 14, Ladprao (2007-06)