• Nagaland health assessment: High mortality rates and difficulty accessing essential health services in Lahe Township, Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

      Johnson, DC; Incerti, A; Thu Swe, K; Gignoux, E; Shwe Sin Ei, WL; Lwin Tun, T; Htun, C (Public Library of Science, 2019-05-14)
      INTRODUCTION: Lahe Township belongs to Myanmar`s Naga Self-administered Zone, which is one of the most remote and mountainous areas in Myanmar. However, the limited health data available for the region suggests that there could be neglected health needs that require attention. The purpose of this study was to assess the health status of the population of Lahe Township. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design incorporating a two-stage cluster sampling methodology recommended by the WHO was used to conduct a household level survey. In the first stage, 30 village clusters were selected from all villages situated in the Lahe Township through systematic sampling with probability of selection proportional to the population size of each village based on the 2014 Myanmar census. In the second stage, a GPS-based sampling method was used to select 30 households within a village cluster. The head of the household completed the survey for all members of the household. Questionnaires inquired about maternal health, mortality, morbidities, childhood nutritional status, access to health care, and water & sanitation. The resulting data was stratified by urban/rural status. RESULTS: Data was collected on 5,929 individuals living in 879 households, of which 993 individuals (16.7%) were children 5 years old or younger. The median age was 18.0 (IQR 8.0-35.0). Children 15 years old or younger represented 44.7% of the population. 19.8% of households reported at least 1 household member sick during the previous 30 days. The crude mortality rate per 10,000 people per day was 0.58 (95% CI: 0.48-0.69). The under 5 mortality per 10,000 people per day was 0.74 (95% CI: 0.50-1.06). Only 46.7% of households could access a hospital if there was a need. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate a high rate of mortality and the inability to access healthcare in Lahe Township, which should be addressed to prevent further deterioration of health.
    • A national survey of the impact of rapid scale-up of antiretroviral therapy on health-care workers in Malawi: effects on human resources and survival.

      Makombe, S D; Jahn, A; Tweya, H; Chuka, S; Yu, J K L; Hochgesang, M; Aberle-Grasse, J; Pasulani, O; Schouten, E J; Kamoto, K; et al. (WHO, 2007-11)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess the human resources impact of Malawis rapidly growing antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme and balance this against the survival benefit of health-care workers who have accessed ART themselves. METHODS: We conducted a national cross-sectional survey of the human resource allocation in all public-sector health facilities providing ART in mid-2006. We also undertook a survival analysis of health-care workers who had accessed ART in public and private facilities by 30 June 2006, using data from the national ART monitoring and evaluation system. FINDINGS: By 30 June 2006, 59 581 patients had accessed ART from 95 public and 28 private facilities. The public sites provided ART services on 2.4 days per week on average, requiring 7% of the clinician workforce, 3% of the nursing workforce and 24% of the ward clerk workforce available at the facilities. We identified 1024 health-care workers in the national ART-patient cohort (2% of all ART patients). The probabilities for survival on ART at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months were 85%, 81% and 78%, respectively. An estimated 250 health-care workers lives were saved 12 months after ART initiation. Their combined work-time of more than 1000 staff-days per week was equivalent to the human resources required to provide ART at the national level. CONCLUSION: A large number of ART patients in Malawi are managed by a small proportion of the health-care workforce. Many health-care workers have accessed ART with good treatment outcomes. Currently, staffing required for ART balances against health-care workers lives saved through treatment, although this may change in the future.
    • Natural history of a visceral leishmaniasis outbreak in highland Ethiopia

      Herrero, M; Orfanos, G; Argaw, D; Mulugeta, A; Aparicio, P; Parreño, F; Bernal, O; Rubens, D; Pedraza, J; Lima, M A; et al. (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2009-09-01)
      In May 2005, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was recognized for the first time in Libo Kemken, Ethiopia, a highland region where only few cases had been reported before. We analyzed records of VL patients treated from May 25, 2005 to December 13, 2007 by the only VL treatment center in the area, maintained by Médecins Sans Frontières-Ethiopia, Operational Center Barcelona-Athens. The median age was 18 years; 77.6% were male. The overall case fatality rate was 4%, but adults 45 years or older were five times as likely to die as 5-29 year olds. Other factors associated with increased mortality included HIV infection, edema, severe malnutrition, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and vomiting. The VL epidemic expanded rapidly over a several-year period, culminating in an epidemic peak in the last third of 2005, spread over two districts, and transformed into a sustained endemic situation by 2007.
    • Navigating a Mid-Level Gap in Neonatal Resuscitation

      Umphrey, L; Blennow, M; Breindahl, M; Brown, A; Roehr, CC; Saugstad, OD; Thio, M; Trevisanuto, D (Karger Publishers, 2018-08-22)
    • Navigating the risks of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services in Kibera, Kenya: Barriers to engaging and remaining in care

      Thomson, KA; Telfer, B; Opondo Awiti, P; Munge, J; Ngunga, M; Reid, A (Public Library of Science, 2018-01-24)
      Within the first year of implementation, 43% of women who tested HIV positive at their first antenatal care visit were no longer retained and being followed in the free prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV program offered by the Kenyan Ministry of Health and Médecins Sans Frontières in the informal settlement of Kibera, Nairobi. This study aimed to explore barriers to enrolling and remaining engaged in PMTCT services throughout the pregnancy and postpartum periods. Qualitative data from 31 focus group discussions and 35 in-depth interviews across six stakeholder groups that included women, men, and PMTCT service providers were analyzed. Using an inductive exploratory approach, four researchers coded the data and identified key themes. Five themes emerged from the data that may influence attrition from PMTCT service in this setting: 1) HIV in the context of Kibera, 2) knowledge of HIV status, 3) knowledge of PMTCT, 4) disclosure of HIV status, and 5) male partner support for PMTCT services. A new HIV diagnosis during pregnancy immediately triggered an ongoing risk assessment of perceived hazards in the home, community, and clinic environments that could occur as a result of female participation in PMTCT services. Male partners were a major influence in this risk assessment, but were generally unaware of PMTCT services. To preserve relationships with male partners, meet community expectations of womanhood, and maintain confidentiality while following recommendations of healthcare providers, women had to continuously weigh the risks and benefits of PMTCT services and interventions. Community-based HIV testing and PMTCT education, male involvement in antenatal care, and counseling customized to assist each woman in her own unique risk assessment, may improve uptake of and retention in care and optimize the HIV prevention benefit of PMTCT interventions.
    • Near real-time forecasting for cholera decision making in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

      Pasetto, D; Finger, F; Camacho, A; Grandesso, F; Cohuet, S; Lemaitre, JC; Azman, AS; Luquero, FJ; Bertuzzo, E; Rinaldo, A (Public Library of Science, 2018-05-16)
      Computational models of cholera transmission can provide objective insights into the course of an ongoing epidemic and aid decision making on allocation of health care resources. However, models are typically designed, calibrated and interpreted post-hoc. Here, we report the efforts of a team from academia, field research and humanitarian organizations to model in near real-time the Haitian cholera outbreak after Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, to assess risk and to quantitatively estimate the efficacy of a then ongoing vaccination campaign. A rainfall-driven, spatially-explicit meta-community model of cholera transmission was coupled to a data assimilation scheme for computing short-term projections of the epidemic in near real-time. The model was used to forecast cholera incidence for the months after the passage of the hurricane (October-December 2016) and to predict the impact of a planned oral cholera vaccination campaign. Our first projection, from October 29 to December 31, predicted the highest incidence in the departments of Grande Anse and Sud, accounting for about 45% of the total cases in Haiti. The projection included a second peak in cholera incidence in early December largely driven by heavy rainfall forecasts, confirming the urgency for rapid intervention. A second projection (from November 12 to December 31) used updated rainfall forecasts to estimate that 835 cases would be averted by vaccinations in Grande Anse (90% Prediction Interval [PI] 476-1284) and 995 in Sud (90% PI 508-2043). The experience gained by this modeling effort shows that state-of-the-art computational modeling and data-assimilation methods can produce informative near real-time projections of cholera incidence. Collaboration among modelers and field epidemiologists is indispensable to gain fast access to field data and to translate model results into operational recommendations for emergency management during an outbreak. Future efforts should thus draw together multi-disciplinary teams to ensure model outputs are appropriately based, interpreted and communicated.
    • NECT is next: implementing the new drug combination therapy for Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness.

      Yun, O; Priotto, G; Tong, J; Flevaud, L; Chappuis, F; Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, New York, New York, USA; Epicentre, Paris, France; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland; Médecins Sans Frontières, Barcelona, Spain; Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland (2010-05-25)
    • The Need to Accelerate Access to New Drugs for Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis

      Cox, H; Furin, J J; Mitnick, C D; Daniels, C; Cox, V; Goemaere, E (World Health Organization, 2015-07-01)
      Approximately half a million people are thought to develop multidrug-resistant tuberculosis annually. Barely 20% of these people currently receive recommended treatment and only about 10% are successfully treated. Poor access to treatment is probably driving the current epidemic, via ongoing transmission. Treatment scale-up is hampered by current treatment regimens, which are lengthy, expensive, poorly tolerated and difficult to administer in the settings where most patients reside. Although new drugs provide an opportunity to improve treatment regimens, current and planned clinical trials hold little promise for developing regimens that will facilitate prompt treatment scale-up. In this article we argue that clinical trials, while necessary, should be complemented by timely, large-scale, operational research that will provide programmatic data on the use of new drugs and regimens while simultaneously improving access to life-saving treatment. Perceived risks - such as the rapid development of resistance to new drugs - need to be balanced against the high levels of mortality and transmission that will otherwise persist. Doubling access to treatment and increasing treatment success could save approximately a million lives over the next decade.
    • Neglect of a Neglected Disease in Italy: The Challenge of Access-to-Care for Chagas Disease in Bergamo Area

      Repetto, Ernestina Carla; Zachariah, Rony; Kumar, Ajay; Angheben, Andrea; Gobbi, Federico; Anselmi, Mariella; Al Rousan, Ahmad; Torrico, Carlota; Ruiz, Rosa; Ledezma, Gabriel; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2015-09)
      Chagas disease (CD) represents a growing problem in Europe; Italy is one of the most affected countries but there is no national framework for CD and access-to-care is challenging. In 2012 Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started an intervention in Bergamo province, where many people of Latin American origin (PLAO) are resident. A new model-of-care for CD, initiated by Centre for Tropical Diseases of Sacro Cuore Hospital, Negrar (CTD), the NGO OIKOS and the Bolivian community since 2009 in the same area, was endorsed. Hereby, we aim to describe the prevalence of CD and the treatment management outcomes among PLAO screened from 1st June 2012 to 30th June 2013.
    • A neglected disease of humans: a new focus of visceral leishmaniasis in Bakool, Somalia.

      Marlet, M V L; Wuillaume, F; Jacquet, D; Quispe, K W; Dujardin, J C; Boelaert, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Dupréstraat 94, B-1090 Brussels, Belgium. (Elsevier, 2008-02-07)
      Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was observed in children in Bakool region, Somalia, an area where VL has not been reported before. We describe the extent of the problem in this war- and famine-stricken area. A retrospective analysis was done of all cases admitted to a VL treatment centre between July 2000 and August 2001. Patients with longstanding fever, splenomegaly and a positive direct agglutination test (DAT; titre > 1:3200) were treated as suspected VL cases. A rapid epidemiological and entomological assessment was performed in the area. Species identification was attempted from blood samples by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of cysteine proteinase B genes. In 1 year, 230 serologically-positive cases were diagnosed as VL, and response to therapy was good in 91.6% of the 225 treated with sodium stibogluconate. Parasitological confirmation was attempted and obtained in 2 cases. Parasites were found to be most similar to Sudanese and Ethiopian reference strains of the Leishmania donovani complex. In a serological survey of 161 healthy displaced persons, 15% were positive by the leishmanin skin test and 3 (2%) were positive by the DAT. The sandfly captures showed Phlebotomus martini and P. vansomerenae. VL seems to be a longstanding and serious health problem in Bakool region. Food insecurity might have contributed to the emergence and detection of VL in this area.
    • Neglected Diseases of Global Importance.

      Ford, N; Torreele, E; Drugs for Neglected Disease Group/Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland. (2001-12-19)
    • Neglected tests for neglected patients.

      Usdin, M; Guillerm, M; Chirac, P; MSF Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, 4 rue St Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. (2006-05-18)
    • Neighborhood-Targeted and Case-Triggered Use of a Single Dose of Oral Cholera Vaccine in an Urban Setting: Feasibility and Vaccine Coverage

      Parker, L; Rumunu, J; Jamet, C; Kenyi, Y; Lino, R; Wamala, J; Mpairwe, A; Muller, V; Llosa, A; Uzzeni, F; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2017-06-08)
      In June 2015, a cholera outbreak was declared in Juba, South Sudan. In addition to standard outbreak control measures, oral cholera vaccine (OCV) was proposed. As sufficient doses to cover the at-risk population were unavailable, a campaign using half the standard dosing regimen (one-dose) targeted high-risk neighborhoods and groups including neighbors of suspected cases. Here we report the operational details of this first public health use of a single-dose regimen of OCV and illustrate the feasibility of conducting highly targeted vaccination campaigns in an urban area.
    • Nevirapine or efavirenz for tuberculosis and HIV coinfected patients: exposure and virological failure relationship

      Bhatt, N B; Baudin, E; Meggi, B; da Silva, C; Barrail-Tran, A; Furlan, V; Grinsztejn, B; Bonnet, M; Taburet, A-M (Oxford University Press, 2014-09-18)
      We describe nevirapine and efavirenz exposure on and off tuberculosis treatment and consequences for virological efficacy and tolerance in patients included in the ANRS 12146/12214-CARINEMO trial.
    • Nevirapine versus Efavirenz for patients co-infected with HIV and Tuberculosis: A Randomised Non-Inferiority Trial

      Bonnet, Maryline; Bhatt, Nilesh; Baudin, Elisabeth; Silva, Carlota; Michon, Christophe; Taburet, Anne-Marie; Ciaffi, Laura; Sobry, Agnès; Bastos, Rui; Nunes, Elizabete; et al. (2013-02-19)
      BACKGROUND: In countries with a high incidence of HIV and tuberculosis co-infection, nevirapine and efavirenz are widely used as antiretroviral therapy but both interact with antituberculosis drugs. We aimed to compare efficacy and safety of a nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy (started at full dose) with an efavirenz-based regimen in co-infected patients. METHODS: We did a multicentre, open-label, randomised, non-inferiority trial at three health centres in Maputo, Mozambique. We enrolled adults (≥18 years) with tuberculosis and previously untreated HIV infection (CD4 cell counts <250 cells per μL) and alanine aminotransferase and total bilirubin concentrations of less than five times the upper limit of normal. 4-6 weeks after the start of tuberculosis treatment, we randomly allocated patients (1:1) with central randomisation, block sizes of two to six, and stratified by site and CD4 cell count to nevirapine (200 mg twice daily) or efavirenz (600 mg once daily), plus lamivudine and stavudine. The primary endpoint was virological suppression at 48 weeks (HIV-1 RNA <50 copies per mL) in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug (intention-to-treat population); death and loss to follow-up were recorded as treatment failure. The non-inferiority margin for the difference of efficacy was 10%. We assessed efficacy in intention-to-treat and per-protocol populations and safety in all patients who received study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00495326. FINDINGS: Between October, 2007, and March, 2010, we enrolled 285 patients into each group. 242 (85%) patients in the nevirapine group and 233 (82%) patients in the efavirenz group completed follow-up. In the intention-to-treat population, 184 patients (64·6%, 95% CI 58·7-70·1) allocated nevirapine achieved virological suppression at week 48, as did 199 patients (69·8%, 64·1-75·1) allocated efavirenz (one-sided 95% CI of the difference of efficacy 11·7%). In the per-protocol population, 170 (70·0%, 63·8-75·7) of 243 patients allocated nevirapine achieved virological suppression at week 48, as did 194 (78·9%, 73·2-83·8) of 246 patients allocated efavirenz (one-sided 95% CI 15·4%). The median CD4 cell count at randomisation was 89 cells per μL. 15 patients substituted nevirapine with efavirenz and six patients substituted efavirenz with nevirapine. 20 patients allocated nevirapine (7%) had grade 3-4 increase of alanine aminotransferase compared with 17 patients allocated efavirenz (6%). Three patients had severe rash after receipt of nevirapine (1%) but no patients did after receipt of efavirenz. 18 patients in the nevirapine group died, as did 17 patients in the efavirenz group. INTERPRETATION: Although non-inferiority of the nevirapine-regimen was not shown, nevirapine at full dose could be a safe, acceptable alternative for patients unable to tolerate efavirenz. FUNDING: French Research Agency for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis (ANRS).
    • Nevirapine- and efavirenz-associated hepatotoxicity under programmatic conditions in Kenya and Mozambique.

      Chu, K M; Manzi, M; Zuniga, I; Biot, M; Ford, N P; Rasschaert, F; Zachariah, R; South African Medical Unit, Médecins Sans Frontières Johannesburg, PO Box 32117, Braamfontein 2017, South Africa. kathryn.chu@joburg.msf.org (2012-06)
      To describe the frequency, risk factors, and clinical signs and symptoms associated with hepatotoxicity (HT) in patients on nevirapine- or efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy (ART), we conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of patients attending the ART clinic in Kibera, Kenya, from April 2003 to December 2006 and in Mavalane, Mozambique, from December 2002 to March 2007. Data were collected on 5832 HIV-positive individuals who had initiated nevirapine- or efavirenz-based ART. Median baseline CD4+ count was 125 cells/μL (interquartile range [IQR] 55-196). Over a median follow-up time of 426 (IQR 147-693) days, 124 (2.4%) patients developed HT. Forty-one (54.7%) of 75 patients with grade 3 HT compared with 21 (80.8%) of 26 with grade 4 had associated clinical signs or symptoms (P = 0.018). Four (5.7%) of 124 patients with HT died in the first six months compared with 271 (5.3%) of 5159 patients who did not develop HT (P = 0.315). The proportion of patients developing HT was low and HT was not associated with increased mortality. Clinical signs and symptoms identified 50% of grade 3 HT and most cases of grade 4 HT. This suggests that in settings where alanine aminotransferase measurement is not feasible, nevirapine- and efavirenz-based ART may be given safely without laboratory monitoring.
    • Nevirapine-associated early hepatotoxicity: incidence, risk factors, and associated mortality in a primary care ART programme in South Africa.

      Chu, Kathryn M; Boulle, Andrew M; Ford, Nathan; Goemaere, Eric; Asselman, Valerie; Van Cutsem, Gilles; South African Medical Unit, Médecins Sans Frontières, Johannesburg, South Africa. kathryn.chu@joburg.msf.org (2010-02)
      BACKGROUND: The majority of antiretroviral treatment programmes in sub-Saharan Africa are scaling up antiretroviral treatment using a fixed dose first-line antiretroviral regimen containing stavudine, lamivudine, and nevirapine. One of the primary concerns with the use of this regimen is nevirapine-associated hepatotoxicity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Study participants were 1809 HIV-infected, antiretroviral naïve adults initiating nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy between November 2002 and December 2006. The primary outcome was early hepatotoxicity. Secondary outcomes were associations with hepatotoxicity and mortality at six months. The cumulative proportion of early hepatotoxicity ranged from 1.0-2.0% giving an incidence-rate at 102 days of 3.6-7.6 per 100 person-years. Median time to hepatotoxicity was 32 (IQR 28-58) days. At 12 weeks, only 8% of patients had alanine aminotransferase monitoring at all the time-points recommended by national guidelines. No association was found between age, gender, baseline CD4 count, concurrent tuberculosis infection, prior participation in a prevention of mother-to-child-transmission program, or baseline weight and early hepatotoxicity. There was no association between early hepatotoxicity and mortality. CONCLUSIONS: The cumulative proportion of early hepatotoxicity in nevirapine based antiretroviral therapy was low in this resource-constrained setting. Hepatotoxicity was not associated with mortality. Frequent routine monitoring of alanine aminotransferase proved difficult to implement in this public sector primary care programme. Focused monitoring in the first month may be a more cost-effective and pragmatic option in settings with limited resources. Correlation with clinical signs and symptoms may allow future alanine aminotransferase testing to be dictated by clinical criteria.
    • New and Repurposed Drugs for Pediatric Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis. Practice-based Recommendations

      Harausz, E; Garcia-Prats, A; Seddon, J; Schaaf, H; Hesseling, A; Achar, J; Bernheimer, J; Cruz, A; D'Ambrosio, L; Detjen, A; et al. (American Thoracic Society, 2017-05-15)
      It is estimated that 33,000 children develop multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) each year. In spite of these numbers, children and adolescents have limited access to the new and repurposed MDR-TB drugs. There is also little clinical guidance for the use of these drugs and for the shorter MDR-TB regimen in the pediatric population. This is despite the fact that these drugs and regimens are associated with improved interim outcomes and acceptable safety profiles in adults. This review fills a gap in the pediatric MDR-TB literature by providing practice-based recommendations for the use of the new (delamanid and bedaquiline) and repurposed (linezolid and clofazimine) MDR-TB drugs and the new shorter MDR-TB regimen in children and adolescents.
    • New approaches to filling the gap in tuberculosis drug discovery.

      Casenghi, M; Cole, S; Nathan, C F; Médecins Sans Frontières, Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, Geneva. martina.casenghi@geneva.msf.org (Public Library of Science, 2007-11-06)