• Kala-azar control, Uganda [letter]

      Kolaczinski, J H; Worku, D; Chappuis, F; Reithinger, R; Kabatereine, N; Onapa, A; Brooker, S; Malaria Consortium Africa, Kampala, Uganda; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK; Médecins Sans Frontières, Kampala, Uganda; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland; Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda (2007-03)
    • "Kala-Azar is a Dishonest Disease": Community Perspectives on Access Barriers to Visceral Leishmaniasis (Kala-Azar) Diagnosis and Care in Southern Gadarif, Sudan

      Sunyoto, T; Adam, GK; Atia, AM; Hamid, Y; Babiker, RA; Abdelrahman, N; Vander Kelen, C; Ritmeijer, K; Alcoba, G; den Boer, M; et al. (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2018-04-13)
      Early diagnosis and treatment is the principal strategy to control visceral leishmaniasis (VL), or kala-azar in East Africa. As VL strikes remote rural, sparsely populated areas, kala-azar care might not be accessed optimally or timely. We conducted a qualitative study to explore access barriers in a longstanding kala-azar endemic area in southern Gadarif, Sudan. Former kala-azar patients or caretakers, community leaders, and health-care providers were purposively sampled and thematic data analysis was used. Our study participants revealed the multitude of difficulties faced when seeking care. The disease is well known in the area, yet misconceptions about causes and transmission persist. The care-seeking itineraries were not always straightforward: "shopping around" for treatments are common, partly linked to difficulties in diagnosing kala-azar. Kala-azar is perceived to be "hiding," requiring multiple tests and other diseases must be treated first. Negative perceptions on quality of care in the public hospitals prevail, with the unavailability of drugs or staff as the main concern. Delay to seek care remains predominantly linked to economic constraint: albeit treatment is for free, patients have to pay out of pocket for everything else, pushing families further into poverty. Despite increased efforts to tackle the disease over the years, access to quality kala-azar care in this rural Sudanese context remains problematic. The barriers explored in this study are a compelling reminder of the need to boost efforts to address these barriers.
    • Kala-azar outbreak in Libo Kemkem, Ethiopia: epidemiologic and parasitologic assessment.

      Alvar, J; Bashaye, S; Argaw, D; Cruz, I; Aparicio, P; Kassa, A; Orfanos, G; Parreño, F; Babaniyi, O; Gudeta, N; et al. (2007-08)
      In May 2005, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was recognized for the first time in Libo Kemkem, Ethiopia. In October 2005, a rapid assessment was conducted using data from 492 patients with VL treated in the district health center and a household survey of 584 residents of four villages. One subdistrict accounted for 71% of early cases, but the incidence and number of affected subdistricts increased progressively throughout 2004-2005. In household-based data, we identified 9 treated VL cases, 12 current untreated cases, and 19 deaths attributable to VL (cumulative incidence, 7%). Thirty percent of participants were leishmanin skin test positive (men, 34%; women, 26%; P = 0.06). VL was more common in men than women (9.7% versus 4.5%, P < 0.05), possibly reflecting male outdoor sleeping habits. Molecular typing in splenic aspirates showed L. infantum (six) and L. donovani (one). Local transmission resulted from multiple introductions, is now well established, and will be difficult to eradicate.
    • Kaposi's sarcoma in an HIV-positive person successfully treated with paclitaxel

      Dongre, Atul; Montaldo, Chiara (Medknow, 2009-05)
      Epidemic Kaposi's sarcoma is one of the malignant neoplasms, which can develop in HIV-infected patients. Although the prevalence of HIV infection is reported to be high in Asian countries, Kaposi's sarcoma is rarely reported. We report a case of Kaposi's sarcoma involving the skin and oral mucosa along with extensive bilateral lymphedema of lower extremities, treated successfully with paclitaxel and antiretrovirals.
    • 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.
    • Kashin-Beck disease and iodine deficiency in Tibet.

      Moreno-Reyes, R; Suetens, C; Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Zhu, D; Rivera, M; Boelaert, M; Nève, J; Perlmutter, N; Vanderpas, J; et al. (2001)
      We evaluated iodine and selenium status in 575 children between 5 and 15 years with Kashin-Beck disease from endemic and non-endemic areas. Of these 267 (46%) children had goiter. The proportion of subjects with goiter was higher in the villages with Kashin-Beck disease than in the control village. In the villages with Kashin-Beck disease, 105 (23%) of the subjects had a serum thyrotropin greater than 10 mU/l as compared with 3 (4%) in the control village. The percentages of low serum thyroxine values and low serum tri-iodothyronine were greater in the villages where Kashin-Beck disease was endemic than in the control village. The percentages of low urinary iodine concentration were significantly greater in the subjects with Kashin-Beck disease. The results suggest that in areas where severe selenium deficiency is endemic, iodine deficiency is a risk factor for Kashin-Beck disease.
    • Kashin-Beck osteoarthropathy in rural Tibet in relation to selenium and iodine status.

      Moreno-Reyes, R; Suetens, C; Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Zhu, D; Rivera, M; Boelaert, M; Nève, J; Perlmutter, N; Vanderpas, J; et al. (Massachusetts Medical Society, 1998-10-15)
      BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Kashin-Beck disease is a degenerative osteoarticular disorder that is endemic to certain areas of Tibet, where selenium deficiency is also endemic. Because selenium is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, we studied the relation among the serum selenium concentration, thyroid function, and Kashin-Beck disease in 575 subjects 5 to 15 years of age in 12 villages around Lhasa, Tibet, including 1 control village in which no subject had Kashin-Beck disease. Clinical, radiologic, and biochemical data were collected. RESULTS: Among the 575 subjects, 280 (49 percent) had Kashin-Beck disease, 267 (46 percent) had goiter, and 7 (1 percent) had cretinism. Of the 557 subjects in whom urinary iodine was measured, 66 percent had a urinary iodine concentration of less than 2 microg per deciliter (157 nmol per liter; normal, 5 to 25 microg per deciliter [394 to 1968 nmol per liter]). The mean urinary iodine concentration was lower in subjects with Kashin-Beck disease than in control subjects (1.2 vs. 1.8 microg per deciliter [94 vs. 142 nmol per liter], P<0.001) and hypothyroidism was more frequent (23 percent vs. 4 percent, P=0.01). Severe selenium deficiency was documented in all villages; 38 percent of subjects had serum concentrations of less than 5 ng per milliliter (64 nmol per liter; normal, 60 to 105 ng per milliliter [762 to 1334 nmol per liter]). When age and sex were controlled for in a multivariate analysis, low urinary iodine, high serum thyrotropin, and low serum thyroxine-binding globulin values were associated with an increased risk of Kashin-Beck disease, but a low serum selenium concentration was not. CONCLUSIONS: In areas where severe selenium deficiency is endemic, iodine deficiency is a risk factor for Kashin-Beck disease.
    • Keeping health facilities safe: one way of strengthening the interaction between disease-specific programmes and health systems.

      Harries, Anthony D; Zachariah, Rony; Tayler-Smith, Katie; Schouten, Erik J; Chimbwandira, Frank; Van Damme, Wim; El-Sadr, Wafaa M; International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France. adharries@theunion.org (2010-12)
      The debate on the interaction between disease-specific programmes and health system strengthening in the last few years has intensified as experts seek to tease out common ground and find solutions and synergies to bridge the divide. Unfortunately, the debate continues to be largely academic and devoid of specificity, resulting in the issues being irrelevant to health care workers on the ground. Taking the theme 'What would entice HIV- and tuberculosis (TB)-programme managers to sit around the table on a Monday morning with health system experts', this viewpoint focuses on infection control and health facility safety as an important and highly relevant practical topic for both disease-specific programmes and health system strengthening. Our attentions, and the examples and lessons we draw on, are largely aimed at sub-Saharan Africa where the great burden of TB and HIV ⁄ AIDS resides, although the principles we outline would apply to other parts of the world as well. Health care infections, caused for example by poor hand hygiene, inadequate testing of donated blood, unsafe disposal of needles and syringes, poorly sterilized medical and surgical equipment and lack of adequate airborne infection control procedures, are responsible for a considerable burden of illness amongst patients and health care personnel, especially in resource-poor countries. Effective infection control in a district hospital requires that all the components of a health system function well: governance and stewardship, financing,infrastructure, procurement and supply chain management, human resources, health information systems, service delivery and finally supervision. We argue in this article that proper attention to infection control and an emphasis on safe health facilities is a concrete first step towards strengthening the interaction between disease-specific programmes and health systems where it really matters – for patients who are sick and for the health care workforce who provide the care and treatment.
    • Keeping health staff healthy: evaluation of a workplace initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality from HIV/AIDS in Malawi.

      Bemelmans, Marielle; van der Akker, Thomas; Pasulani, Olesi; Saddiq Tayub, Nabila; Hermann, Katharina; Mwagomba, Beatrice; Jalasi, Winnie; Chiomba, Harriet; Ford, Nathan; Philips, Mit (2011-01-05)
      ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In Malawi, the dramatic shortage of human resources for health is negatively impacted by HIV-related morbidity and mortality among health workers and their relatives. Many staff find it difficult to access HIV care through regular channels due to fear of stigma and discrimination. In 2006, two workplace initiatives were implemented in Thyolo District: a clinic at the district hospital dedicated to all district health staff and their first-degree relatives, providing medical services, including HIV care; and a support group for HIV-positive staff. METHODS: Using routine programme data, we evaluated the following outcomes up to the end of 2009: uptake and outcomes of HIV testing and counselling among health staff and their dependents; uptake and outcomes of antiretroviral therapy (ART) among health staff; and membership and activities of the support group. In addition, we included information from staff interviews and a job satisfaction survey to describe health workers' opinions of the initiatives. RESULTS: Almost two-thirds (91 of 144, 63%) of health workers and their dependents undergoing HIV testing and counselling at the staff clinic tested HIV positive. Sixty-four health workers had accessed ART through the staff clinic, approximately the number of health workers estimated to be in need of ART. Of these, 60 had joined the support group. Cumulative ART outcomes were satisfactory, with more than 90% alive on treatment as of June 2009 (the end of the study observation period). The availability, confidentiality and quality of care in the staff clinic were considered adequate by beneficiaries. CONCLUSIONS: Staff clinic and support group services successfully provided care and support to HIV-positive health workers. Similar initiatives should be considered in other settings with a high HIV prevalence.
    • Keeping it simple: a gender-specific sanitation tool for emergencies

      de Lange, R; Lenglet, A; Francois Fesselet, J; Gartley, M; Altyev, A; Fisher, J; Shanks, L (Practical Action Publishing, 2014-01)
    • A Killing Disease Epidemic Among Displaced Sudanese Population Identified as Visceral Leishmaniasis.

      de Beer, P; el Harith, A; Deng, L; Semiao-Santos, S J; Chantal, B; van Grootheest, M; Medecins Sans-Frontieres-Holland, Amersterdam, The Netherlands. (Published by: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1991-03)
      A fatal disease epidemic affected the Bentiu area in southern Sudan and led to a mass migration of the Nuer tribe searching for treatment. The initially available information revealed a high mortality rate due to a possible occurrence of tuberculosis, malaria, enteric fever or visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Serological screening of 53 of the most severely affected patients in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an improved direct agglutination test (DAT) revealed positivity for VL. In 39 of those patients, diagnosis was confirmed by identification of Leishmania donovani amastigotes in lymph node or bone-marrow aspirates. In a total of 2714 patients observed, 1195 (44.0%) had clinical symptoms suggesting VL: DAT positive titers (1:3200-greater than or equal to 1:12800) were obtained in 654 (24.1%), of whom 325 were confirmed parasitologically. Forty-two VL cases died before or during treatment, giving a mortality rate of 6.4%. Among the intercurrent infections diagnosed in the VL population (654), respiratory involvements (31.7%) and malaria (10.7%) were most prevalent. With the exception of four (0.6%), all other VL patients (509) responded readily to sodium stibogluconate. The factors initiating the outbreak are discussed. Malnutrition and nomadic movements to potential VL endemic areas appeared to be the most important. HIV infection as a possible predisposition seemed remote considering the clinical and epidemiological similarity to VL occurring in East Africa, adequate humoral response in DAT, and immediate positive response to specific anti-Leishmania chemotherapy.
    • Knockdown and recovery of malaria diagnosis and treatment in Liberia during and after the 2014 Ebola outbreak

      Dunbar, NK; Richards, EE; Woldeyohannes, D; Van den Bergh, R; Wilkinson, E; Tamang, D; Owiti, P (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2017-06-21)
      Setting: The malaria-endemic country of Liberia, before, during and after the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Objective: To describe the consequences of the Ebola outbreak on Liberia's National Malaria Programme and its post-Ebola recovery. Design: A retrospective cross-sectional study using routine countrywide programme data. Results: Malaria caseloads decreased by 47% during the Ebola outbreak and by 11% after, compared to the pre-Ebola period. In those counties most affected by Ebola, a caseload reduction of >20% was sustained for 12 consecutive months, while this lasted for only 4 consecutive months in the counties least affected by Ebola. Linear regression of monthly proportions of confirmed malaria cases-as a proxy indicator of programme performance-over the pre- and post-Ebola periods indicated that the malaria programme could require 26 months after the end of the acute phase of the Ebola outbreak to recover to pre-Ebola levels. Conclusions: The differential persistence of reduced caseloads in the least- and most-affected counties, all of which experienced similar emergency measures, suggest that factors other than Ebola-related security measures played a key role in the programme's reduced performance. Clear guidance on when to abandon the emergency measures after an outbreak may be needed to ensure faster recovery of malaria programme performance.
    • Knowledge Translation in Africa for 21(st) Century Integrative Biology: The "Know-Do Gap" in Family Planning with Contraceptive Use among Somali Women

      Ahmed, A A; Mohamed, A A; Guled, I A; Elamin, H M; Abou-Zeid, A H (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 2014-10-21)
      Abstract An emerging dimension of 21(st) century integrative biology is knowledge translation in global health. The maternal mortality rate in Somalia is amongst the highest in the world. We set out to study the "know-do" gap in family planning measures in Somalia, with a view to inform future interventions for knowledge integration between theory and practice. We interviewed 360 Somali females of reproductive age and compared university-educated females to women with less or no education, using structured interviews, with a validated questionnaire. The mean age of marriage was 18 years, with 4.5 pregnancies per marriage. The mean for the desired family size was 9.3 and 10.5 children for the university-educated group and the less-educated group, respectively. Importantly, nearly 90% of the university-educated group knew about family planning, compared to 45.6% of the less-educated group. All of the less-educated group indicated that they would never use contraceptives, as compared to 43.5% of the university-educated group. Prevalence of contraceptive use among ever-married women was 4.3%. In the less-educated group, 80.6% indicated that they would not recommend contraceptives to other women as compared to 66.0% of the university-educated group. There is a huge gap between knowledge and practice regarding family planning in Somalia. The attendant reasons for this gap, such as level of education, expressed personal religious beliefs and others, are examined here. For primary health care to gain traction in Africa, we need to address the existing "know-do" gaps that are endemic and adversely impacting on global health. This is the first independent research study examining the knowledge gaps for family planning in Somalia in the last 20 years, with a view to understanding knowledge integration in a global world. The results shall guide policy makers, donors, and implementers to develop a sound family planning policy and program to improve maternal and child health in 21(st) century primary healthcare.
    • Knowledge, Access and Utilization of Bed-Nets Among Stable and Seasonal Migrants in an Artemisinin Resistance Containment Area of Myanmar

      Phyo Than, W; Oo, T; Wai, K; Thi, A; Owiti, P; Kumar, B; Deepak Shewade, H; Zachariah, R (BioMed Central, 2017-09-14)
      Myanmar lies in the Greater Mekong sub-region of South-East Asia faced with the challenge of emerging resistance to artemisinin combination therapies (ACT). Migrant populations are more likely than others to spread ACT resistance. A vital intervention to reduce malaria transmission, resistance spread and eliminate malaria is the use of bed nets. Among seasonal and stable migrants in an artemisinin resistance containment region of Myanmar, we compared a) their household characteristics, b) contact with health workers and information material, and c) household knowledge, access and utilization of bed nets.
    • Knowledge, attitude and practices of snakebite management amongest health workers in Cameroon: Need for continuous training and capacity building

      Taieb, F; Dub, T; Madec, Y; Tondeur, L; Chippaux, JP; Lebreton, M; Medang, R; Foute, FNN; Tchoffo, D; Potet, J; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2018-10-25)
      Snakebite has only recently been recognized as a neglected tropical disease by the WHO. Knowledge regarding snakebites and its care is poor both at the population level, and at the health care staff level. The goal of this study was to describe the level of knowledge and clinical practice regarding snakebite among health care staff from Cameroon.
    • Knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to antibiotic use in Paschim Bardhaman District: A survey of healthcare providers in West Bengal, India.

      Nair, M; Tripathi, S; Mazumdar, S; Mahajan, R; Harshana, A; Pereira, A; Jimenez, C; Halder, D; Burza, S (Public Library of Science, 2019-05-31)
      INTRODUCTION: Antibiotic misuse is widespread and contributes to antibiotic resistance, especially in less regulated health systems such as India. Although informal providers are involved with substantial segments of primary healthcare, their level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices is not well documented in the literature. OBJECTIVES: This quantitative study systematically examines the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of informal and formal providers with respect to antibiotic use. METHODS: We surveyed a convenience sample of 384 participants (96 allopathic doctors, 96 nurses, 96 informal providers, and 96 pharmacy shopkeepers) over a period of 8 weeks from December to February using a validated questionnaire developed in Italy. Our team created an equivalent, composite KAP score for each respondent in the survey, which was subsequently compared between providers. We then performed a multivariate logistic regression analysis to estimate the odds of having a low composite score (<80) based on occupation by comparing allopathic doctors (referent category) with all other study participants. The model was adjusted for age (included as a continuous variable) and gender. RESULTS: Doctors scored highest in questions assessing knowledge (77.3%) and attitudes (87.3%), but performed poorly in practices (67.6%). Many doctors knew that antibiotics were not indicated for viral infections, but over 87% (n = 82) reported prescribing them in this situation. Nurses, pharmacy shopkeepers, and informal providers were more likely to perform poorly on the survey compared to allopathic doctors (OR: 10.4, 95% CI 5.4, 20.0, p<0.01). 30.8% (n = 118) of all providers relied on pharmaceutical company representatives as a major source of information about antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate poor knowledge and awareness of antibiotic use and functions among informal health providers, and dissonance between knowledge and practices among allopathic doctors. The nexus between allopathic doctors, pharmaceutical company representatives, and informal health providers present promising avenues for future research and intervention.
    • Knowledge, Awareness and Practices of Incident Cases of Dengue in Chandigarh

      Kaur, R; Rajvanshi, H (Advanced Research Publications, 2019-12-23)
      Introduction: Dengue is an endemic disease in India. Epidemics occur every year with incidence rising every year. Since 2010, Chandigarh has seen Dengue epidemics every year but the toll of reported confirmed cases has been very low. A study was undertaken to assess knowledge, awareness and practices among those who had already been diagnosed with dengue and followed up multiple times by Multipurpose Health Workers (MPHWs) at their homes. This study was conducted when both authors were post-graduate scholars at the Department of Public Health at Manipal Academy of Higher Education.Objective: To ascertain knowledge, awareness and practices regarding dengue among incident dengue cases of 2016 in Chandigarh. Methods: Retrospective Cohort study was conducted among the incident cases of dengue reported in 2016. The line list of cases was obtained from health department. Each household was visited once and face to face interviews were conducted with those willing to participate from January 2017 to March 2017. Using a modified WHO (World Health Organisation) questionnaire, 149 interviews were completed and analysed using descriptive analytical tools. Results: Data from the 149 interviews (57 males and 92 females) was used for primary analysis. Only 58.4% respondents were aware about dengue before diagnosis and 63.1% knew of its vector while only 10.1% were aware of the national programme and services available to them. Use of mosquito net was negligible (3.4%), even in rural areas. Screens on doors and windows were more common in urban area of Chandigarh. Conclusion: Since the study was conducted among incident cases, even after multiple visits conducted by MPHWs to the houses of these respondents, the knowledge regarding dengue was lower than expected.
    • Konzo Outbreak Among Refugees From Central African Republic in Eastern region, Cameroon

      Ciglenečki, I; Eyema, R; Kabanda, C; Taafo, F; Mekaoui, H; Urbaniak, V; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland; Médecins Sans Frontières, Yaounde, Cameroon (2010-06)
      Konzo is a spastic paraparesis of sudden onset, linked to the exclusive consumption of insufficiently processed bitter cassava as staple food combined with low protein intake. Around 60,000 refugees from the Central African Republic sought refuge in villages in eastern Cameroon between 2005 and 2007. Médecins Sans Frontières was providing nutritional and medical assistance in the villages affected by displacement. We describe cases of konzo seen at the mobile clinics organized in these villages. Basic information including demographic data, history and clinical presentation was recorded for each konzo patient. All patients were given nutritional supplements, and selected cases were referred for physiotherapy to a rehabilitation center. A total of 469 patients were diagnosed with konzo. The majority (80%) were refugees. Children and women of reproductive age predominated. Most of the patients developed symptoms after 2007 in a seasonal pattern with most of the cases occurring during the dry winter season. Most of the patients complained about walking difficulties and weight loss and had exaggerated lower limb reflexes and muscle wasting on observation. Eastern Cameroon is an area with konzo. More effort needs to be put into preventive and educational measures. In addition, timely balanced food rations have to be provided to refugees.
    • Konzo Outbreak, in the South-West of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1996.

      Bonmarin, I; Nunga, M; Perea, W; Epicentre, 8 rue St Sabin, Paris, France. i.bonmarin@invs.sante.fr (Published by Oxford University Press, 2002-08)
      In August 1996, cases of poliomyelitis were reported in Kahemba zone, in the south-west of the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo. The diagnosis was reviewed and charged to Konzo, a spastic paraparesis attributed to food cyanide intoxication. In order to describe the phenomena, a community-based survey took place and found 237 people affected. The highest prevalence was found in the most isolated part of the zone. The patients suffered from an isolated non-progressive spastic paraparesis of abrupt onset. Children and women were the most affected groups, especially women after childbirth. Most of the patients developed the disease after 1990 with 101 cases in 1996. Cassava processing was the same over time and in all the villages. The study did not fully explain the increased number of cases in 1996 but suggested that complementary investigations regarding micronutrient intakes, especially vitamin A, would be necessary.
    • The kynurenine pathway of tryptophan catabolism, CD4+ T-cell recovery, and mortality among HIV-infected Ugandans initiating antiretroviral therapy.

      Byakwaga, Helen; Boum, Yap; Huang, Yong; Muzoora, Conrad; Kembabazi, Annet; Weiser, Sheri D; Bennett, John; Cao, Huyen; Haberer, Jessica E; Deeks, Steven G; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2014-08-01)
      Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection-induced indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO) expression in activated monocytes and dendritic cells catabolizes tryptophan to kynurenine and other downstream catabolites that inhibit T-cell proliferation and interleukin 17 (IL-17) production. The prognostic significance of this pathway in treated HIV disease is unknown.