This section contains resources for MSF and other researchers working in the field. It includes information on MSF's Ethics Review Board and Research Tools.

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Recent Submissions

  • Health Seeking Behaviour in Kamrangirchar

    Jeroen van der Heijden; OCA (2018-09-28)
  • Retrospective mortality survey in the MSF catchment area in Fizi health zone, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Lenglet, Annick; Bil, Karla; Mandelkow, Jantina; MSF-OCA (2018-07-31)
    . OBJECTIVES 2.1. PRIMARY OBJECTIVES To estimate the crude mortality rate for the total population (host and IDP) and for children under five years of age in the health zone of Fizi, South Kivu, DRC, in order to understand the current health status of the population in this catchment area. 2.2. SECONDARY OBJECTIVES  To determine the prevalence of self-reported morbidities in the two weeks preceding the survey in household members;  To determine the frequency and reasons for displacement;  To assess access to health care;  To determine the main causes of deaths during the recall period;  To measure the incidence and types of direct violence experienced by the civilian population;  To evaluate household ownership of basic non-food items;
  • Field Research Survey

    MSF USA; LuxOR; MSF (2018-07-12)
  • The Impact of a Tick-Sheet in Improving Interpretation Accuracy of Chest Radiographs by Non-Specialists in an HIV positive cohort

    Kosack, Cara; Mesic, Anita; Spijker, Saskia; Bonnet, Maryline; Joekes, Elizabeth; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Study objective 3.1 Primary objective To determine if the application of a tick-sheet after four hour training on its use and on CXR interpretation, improves the interpretation accuracy of CXRs for active TB, by nonspecialists, in an HIV-positive cohort. 3.2 Secondary objective To determine whether the application of a tick-sheet reduces the inter-reader variability of CXR interpretation in a group of non-specialists by comparing the inter-reader agreement before and after intervention.
  • Multi-site evaluation of HIV testing algorithms

    Kosack, Cara; Page, Anne-Laure; Shanks, Leslie; Chaillet, Pascale; Beelaert, Greet; Fransen, Katrien; Benson, Tumwesigye T.; Savane, Aboubacar; Nganga, Anne; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Objectives 3.1 Primary objective  To evaluate the overall and site-specific performance of the diagnostic algorithm performed at 6 MSF African program sites (i.e. using RDT results from the program sites) comparing using the diagnostic algorithm with ELISA, LIA, EIA-Ag and DNA-PCR as gold standard. 3.2 Secondary objectives  To evaluate the accuracy (sensitivity, specificity and predictive values) of Orgenics ImmunoComb® II HIV 1&2 Combfirm as an HIV confirmatory test.  To model different HIV RDT testing algorithms in order to define acceptable testing algorithm in each study setting (i.e. using RDT results from reference laboratory).  To determine the inter-user reliability of RDT testing (i.e. program sites vs. reference laboratory)  To evaluate accuracy of each HIV RDT measured by the sensitivity (SN), specificity (SP) and predictive values based on the prevalence of each testing centre.  To evaluate the accuracy of HIV testing using DPS samples for quality control purpose in HIV testing.  To assess whether additional confirmatory testing (i.e. Orgenics ImmunoComb® II HIV 1&2 Combfirm) improves the accuracy of the diagnostic algorithm used at the different study sites.  To perform a descriptive analysis on the differentiation between HIV 1 and 2 of the discriminative RDTs.
  • Review of MSF-OCA surveillance and alert response in Freetown during the Ebola outbreak: lessons learned and challenges

    West, Kim; Greig, Jane; Lokuge, Kamalini; Caleo, Grazia; Stringer, Beverley; Korr, Gerit Solveig; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Aim: To reduce suffering, morbidity and mortality by containing and reducing the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), while preserving human dignity for the affected population in Sierra Leone. Purpose: To reduce and ultimately eliminate the transmission of EVD in a defined catchment population in Freetown. Objectives: • Provide epidemiological technical support to intensify surveillance, supervision of the alert response and enhanced case investigation in the defined area. • Assess and respond to current gaps in infection prevention and control, water and sanitation, and triage in health facilities within the defined area. • Assess community social mobilisation, health promotion, contact tracing and quarantine interventions in the defined area and respond to any gaps through advocacy towards the relevant pillar/organization and/or through direct MSF intervention. • Prioritise MSF and health staff safety & biosecurity at all times • Medical (non-Ebola) and humanitarian needs of the population are monitored, recorded, analysed and responded to through advocacy or MSF action.
  • A randomized trial of AmBisome monotherapy and combination of AmBisome and miltefosine for the treatment of VL in HIV positive patients in Ethiopia followed by secondary VL prophylactic treatment with pentamidine

    Hailu, Asrat; Diro, Ermias; Kolja, Stille; Ritmeijer, Koert; Yifru, Sisay; Griensven, Johan van; Zijstra, Ed; Dorlo, Thomas; Strub-Wougaft, Nathalie; Bardonneau, Clelia; Ellis, Sally; Alexander, Neal; Edwards, Tansy; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    General Objectives The overall objective of this trial is to identify a safe and effective treatment for VL in HIV coinfected patients. Primary Objective: To evaluate at day 29 assessment the efficacy of a combination regimen of AmBisome® + miltefosine and AmBisome® monotherapy in Ethiopian co-infected HIV + VL patients. Secondary Objectives: 1. To evaluate relapse-free survival at day 390 (after initial cure at day 29 or cure at day 58 after extended treatment). 2. To assess safety of the regimens. Other objectives: 1.To evaluate of viral load and CD4 count in all patients 2. To evaluate the pharmacokinetics of ARV, Ambisome and miltefosine and immune function markers in a subset of patients
  • Predicting Visceral Leishmaniasis in HIV Infected Patients (PreLeisH)

    Griensven, JV; Diro, Ermias; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Aim To study the asymptomatic period preceding the onset of active VL in HIV‐infected individuals from VL endemic regions in Ethiopia as an avenue to develop an evidence‐based screen and treat strategy to prevent progression to active VL.Primary: 1. To estimate the prevalence of asymptomatic Leishmania infection . 2. To estimate the incidence rate of asymptomatic Leishmania infection. 3. To describe the evolution of Leishmania infection markers over time. 4. To estimate the incidence rate of active VL. 5. To identify risk factors associated with the development of active VL. 6. To translate these risk factors into a clinical prognostic tool to identify individuals at high risk to develop active VL within 12 months . Secondary: 1. To identify patterns in host immune markers that are associated with asymptomatic Leishmania infection. 2. To describe the evolution of host immune markers over time. 3. To identify patterns in host immune markers that are associated with treatment failure. 4. To identify patterns in host immune markers that are associated with VL relapse.
  • The perceptions and experiences of health and health seeking behaviour for the community living in the slum areas of Kamrangirchar and Hazaribag, Dhaka, Bangladesh: a qualitative study

    van der Heijden, Jeroen; Stringer, Beverly; Gray, Nell; Kalon, Stobdan; Dada, Martins; Shaheen, Aminur; Akhter, Sadika; Hussian, Enayet; Bishwash, Animesh; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Objectives This study aims to provide a better understanding of community perceptions toward health and health services in order to inform programme strategies: • Describe community and local-level perspectives and opinions on health care provision; • Document gaps, barriers and influences that impact access and acceptance of health care; • Contribute to best practice and development of health policy for this population
  • A prospective, randomized, controlled trial of negative-pressure wound therapy use in conflict-related extremity wounds

    Alga, Andreas; Bashaireh, Khaldoon; Wong, Sidney; Lundgren, Kalle; von Schreeb, Johan; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Extremity wounds and fractures constitute the majority of conflict-related traumatic injuries, both for civilians (1) and combatants (2). Conflict-related injuries often result in soft and boney tissue being contaminated with foreign material, generally leading to secondary infection (3,4). Negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is widely used in the treatment of wounds and is considered to promote wound healing and prevent infectious complications. The technique involves the application of a wound dressing through which a negative pressure is applied. Any wound and tissue fluid is drawn away from the area and collected into a canister. Due to a plastic film overlaying the wound the risk of wound contamination is reduced. NPWT is supported for use in a range of surgical applications, including after or in between debridements as a bridge to definite closure of soft tissue wounds (5). The technique has previously been used in the treatment of acute conflict-related wounds with satisfactory results (6–8). Cochrane reviews of NPWT for the treatment of chronic wounds (9) and surgical wounds (10) were inconclusive due to the lack of suitably powered, high-quality trials. A recent systematic review of randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) of NPWT for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds concluded there is a lack of evidence and that good RCTs are needed (11). For the use in limb trauma, NPWT is considered suitable for complex soft tissue injuries (12). NPWT appears to be an effective and safe adjunctive treatment of high-energy combat wounds but existing results are retrospective and lack follow-up (13). The support of RCTs is needed to establish best treatment strategies. Summary of potential risks and benefits Both treatment methods (NPWT and conventional dressings) are well established and used in Jordan for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds. As neither of the two treatment modalities are known to be better in terms of outcome neither patient group may be regarded as receiving preferential treatment. NPWT is generally considered a safe treatment method. Potential benefits are shortened healing time and fewer infectious complications. Potential risks are pain, mainly associated with dressing changes (14) and bleeding, predominantly minor bleeding from granulation tissue (15). Conventional wound dressing has the potential benefit of being a safe treatment method used for many years. Since this method permits air into the wound there is a potential risk of contamination and the development of wound infection. Objectives We aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of NPWT in the treatment of traumatic extremity wounds in a context associated with a high level of contamination and infection.
  • Secondary prophylaxis of visceral leishmaniasis relapses in HIV co-infected patients using pentamidine as a prophylactic agent: a prospective cohort study

    Diro, Ermias; Griensven, Johan van; Woldegebreal, Teklu; Belew, Zewdu; Taye, Melese; Yifru, Sisay; Davidson, Robert N.; Balasegaram, Manica; Lynen, Lut; Boelaert, Marleen; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    2.1 OBJECTIVES 2.1.1 General objective: To document the effectiveness, safety and feasibility of monthly PM secondary prophylaxis (PSP) in VL/HIV co-infected patients that have documented parasite clearance after VL treatment when used for prevention of VL relapse. 2.1.2 Specific objectives of the primary study period 2.1.2.1 Primary objectives In VL/HIV co-infected patients that have documented parasite clearance after VL treatment: - to assess the effectiveness of PSP in terms of preventing relapse and death; - to assess the safety of PSP in terms of drug-related serious adverse events or permanent drug discontinuations due to adverse events; - to assess the feasibility of PSP in terms of number of patients compliant to therapy during the first year of monthly PM secondary prophylaxis. 2.1.2.2 Secondary objectives; In VL/HIV co-infected patients that have documented parasite clearance after VL treatment: - to assess the safety of PSP in terms of: - drug-related non-serious adverse events - serious adverse events (drug-related or not) - to assess the feasibility of PSP in terms of: - number of treatment interruptions/discontinuations, - number of therapeutic interventions needed to treat adverse drug reactions
  • Determination of the most accurate diagnostic approach for the diagnosis of human brucellosis in Lankien, South-Sudan

    Kosack, Cara; Page, Anne-Laure; Moriyon, Ignacio; Zuniga, Amaia; Conde, Raquel; Laku, Richard; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    3. Objectives 3.1 Primary objective To estimate the diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predicative values and likelihood ratios) of the modified RBT method and the rapid diagnostic test developed by the KIT tests performed (if commercially available) at Institute for Tropical Health (ITH), the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain for the diagnosis of brucellosis. Specimens collected in an endemic region (South Sudan) will be used and characterized at the ITH at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain with undiluted RBT, SAT, Coombs test, Brucellacapt and when necessary an indirect ELISA used as the reference tests. 3.2 Secondary objectives • To assess the diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predicative values and likelihood ratios) of the Rose Bengal test (Spinreact, Spain) at the study site. • To assess inter-user agreement of the RB test performed on site and at ITH. • To optimize the buffer used in the RBT using characterized sera available at ITH and evaluate the diagnostic performance of the modified method with serum dilution using specimens collected in this study. To date the buffer conditions are those used for diagnosis in cattle and they have not been optimized for diagnosis in humans. In fact, the conditions used in the Brucellacapt (i.e. a special buffer at pH 5.0) also render all antibodies agglutinating. Therefore, some simple modifications of the RBT conditions (i.e. pH and ionic strength) may improve the performance of RBT and produce a similarly simple but better test. • To estimate the diagnostic performance of an ‘in-house’ latex-agglutination test against Brucella-specific cytosoluble proteins. • To describe the clinical characteristics of brucellosis suspects and confirmed cases • To assess/identify risk factors for brucellosis in the study population
  • Prevalence of depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress related symptoms in the Kashmir Valley – a cross sectional study, 2015.

    Housen, Tambri; Shah, Showkat; Janes, Simon; Pintaldi, Govanni; Lenglet, Annick; Ariti, Cono; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Objectives 1.5 Primary objective To estimate prevalence of mental health related problems, specifically depression/anxiety and posttraumatic stress symptoms in the Kashmir Valley and to determine the accessibility to mental health services. 1.6 Specific objectives • Using validated screening tools determine the percentage of people with depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms in Kashmir; • To correlate scores obtained on validated mental health screening tools with individual psychiatric evaluations using the mini international neuropsychiatric interview (MINI); • To explore local knowledge and perceptions of mental illness in Kashmir; • To determine the level of access to mental heath services across Kashmir; • To identify mental health service needs perceived by the Kashmiri community. 1.7 Goal To provide an updated insight into current mental health needs in Kashmir, which will help MSF to increase relevance and impact of current activities in Kashmir and to advocate for supportive programming and policy review.
  • Malnutrition, morbidity and vaccination coverage in Bokoro District, Chad, 2016 (Final Survey) 1613C

    Lenglet, Annick; Vernier, Larissa; Monge, Susana; White, Kate; Sang, Sibylle; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    3 OBJECTIVES 3.1 PRIMARY OBJECTIVES To estimate the impact of an integrated program targeted at preventing malnutrition on children under 5 years of age in Bokoro district. 3.2 SECONDARY OBJECTIVES - To describe the population in terms of age breakdown, sex, household composition etc. - To estimate overall mortality rate and under 5 mortality rate - To estimate the prevalence of severe and global acute malnutrition (SAM and GAM) in the under 5 year age group and in children between 6 and 23 months that are the specific target of MSF prevention activities; - To estimate the coverage of insecticide treated bednets in the community; - To estimate the coverage of soap and hygiene practices in the community - To estimate coverage of plumpydoz (nutritional food) in children between 6 months and 2 years of age and to investigate practices around plumpydoz.
  • Exploring the experiences of returned Ebola Virus Disease workers from the United Kingdom

    Cooper, Jane; Falade, Bankole; Mannell, Jenevieve; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    A brief summary of MSF EVD programmes & workers MSF has been running EVD programmes including Treatment Centres in affected countries since early 2014, and currently employs 325 international and around 4150 national staff . MSF protocols to deliver care and control transmission, and to ensure and monitor the health of workers, were available, based on experience in previous outbreaks over many years. In the latter part of 2014, other organisations and national governments established programmes in, and/or sent volunteer workers to, affected countries. In parallel, national protocols for the monitoring of returned workers, and the screening of travellers, have been established in many countries. MSF international workers have, to date, numbered some [insert] in total. Infection of MSF workers has been relatively rare, being reported in [insert] international workers, and [insert] national workers; [insert] of the latter have died. Most cases in national workers have been attributed to exposures in the community. No cases of infection due to secondary transmission from infected MSF international workers have been identified. [check]. To date, [insert] MSF international workers have returned to the UK; [insert] of these have undertaken more than one mission. No UK returnees have been infected [check] Overall aim: To describe and explore the experiences of UK EVD workers during the period following their return Specific objectives: 1. To explore experiences, perceptions, and views of interactions with family and friends 2. To explore experiences, perceptions, and views of interactions with the general public 3. To explore experiences, perceptions, and views of interactions with colleagues and managers in returning to work 4. To explore experiences, perceptions, and views of public opinion and media coverage 5. To explore experiences, perceptions, and views of policy implementation 6. To identify potential lessons, and areas for potential future research, relevant to the management of staff and programmes
  • Malnutrition, morbidity and vaccination coverage in Bokoro District, Chad, 2016 (Mid Term Survey).

    Lenglet, Annick; Monge, Susana; Ndumbi, Patricia; Nyarwangu, Justin; Hamdan, Musa; Cramond, Vanessa; Sang, Sibylle; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    3 OBJECTIVES 3.1 PRIMARY OBJECTIVES To estimate the impact of an integrated program targeted at preventing malnutrition on children under 5 years of age in Bokoro district. 3.2 SECONDARY OBJECTIVES - To describe the population in terms of age breakdown, sex, household composition etc. - To estimate overall mortality rate and under 5 mortality rate - To estimate the prevalence of severe and global acute malnutrition (SAM and GAM) in the under 5 year age group and in children between 6 and 23 months that are the specific target of MSF prevention activities; - To estimate the coverage of insecticide treated bednets in the community; - To estimate the coverage of soap and hygiene practices in the community - To estimate coverage of plumpydoz (nutritional food) in children between 6 months and 2 years of age and to investigate practices around plumpydoz.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness and burden of diabetes care in a complex humanitarian emergency setting in Mweso, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 2015

    Caleo, Grazia; Ngadjo, Cyril; Roberts, Bayard; Kitembo, Augustin Wika; Jobanputra, Kiran; Perel, Pablo; de la Croix, Jean; Sadique, Zia; de Wit, Marit; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    Executive summary Background: Since 2008 Médecins Sans Frontières-Operational Centre Amsterdam (MSF-OCA) has been working in Mweso health zone, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In collaboration with the local Ministry of Health (MoH), MSF-OCA supports the Hospital in Mweso and 4 out of 23 Primary Health Care clinics. Mweso Hospital routinely treats diabetic patients presenting with acute complications and in need of treatment (insulin and/or oral treatment). Since 2011, this has been extended to the out-patient clinic, but without clinical guidance or standard operating procedures (SOP), nor specifically trained staff. The Mweso project reports increasing numbers of patients with diabetes and diabetes-related complications, and requested from MSF-OCA to implement a formal diabetes service to improve quality of care for Diabetics. Rationale: A new model of diabetes care was implemented by MSF-OCA in Mweso in March 2015. The model (Integrated Diabetic Clinic within an Outpatient Department (IDC-OPD)) is based on simplified context-adapted clinical guidelines, clinical SOPs, adapted patient counselling & support materials, medications from World Health Organization(WHO) Essential Medicines list, and one-off staff training by a Diabetologist. This represents an opportunity to evaluate and refine this model of diabetes care to support its application in comparable settings. Furthermore there is an opportunity to benchmark diabetes burden in the MSF Catchment area and measure its diabetes care coverage in the area. Overall aim: To evaluate IDC-OPD in Mweso health zone, North Kivu, DRC. The specific objectives are to examine: • The reach (coverage) of the diabetes service to the intended target population. • The effectiveness of IDC-OPD in improving diabetes outcomes (fasting blood glucose and complications) • Adoption / acceptance of IDC-OPD by staff and patients • Implementation of IDC-OPD in terms of consistency/fidelity, adaptation and costs • Maintenance of IDC-OPD in patients and programme over time.
  • Health Service Access Survey among Non-camp Syrian Refugees in Irbid Governorate, Jordan

    Rehr, Manuela; Shoaib, Muhammad; Deprade, Anais; Lenglet, Annick; Ait-Bouziad, Idriss; Altarawneh,Mohammad; Alshafee, Abdel Razzaq; Gabashneh, Sadeq; MSF-OCA (2018-07)
    2. OBJECTIVES 2.1. PRIMARY OBJECTIVES • To determine the level of access to health care services for Syrian refugees living out-of-camp in Irbid governorate, Jordan. 2.2. SECONDARY OBJECTIVES • To describe the socio-demographic characteristics of the surveyed population including age, gender, disabilities, time living in Jordan, living conditions, and legal status • To describe the economic situation of the surveyed households with regards to income & income sources, dependency on humanitarian assistance, household expenditures and direct and indirect expenditures on health • To characterize health care utilization of non-camp Syrian refugees including frequency & type of services used as well as the main reasons for requiring medical care • To estimate coverage with the most crucial health services such as vaccination coverage of under 5-year-old children, coverage with services for non-communicable diseases and maternal health coverage. • To estimate the coverage of MSF services including specifically NCD care as well as ANC and child health care • To estimate health service needs by estimating the household- prevalence of NCDs as well as the birth rate. • To identify barriers to accessing general-, as well as specialized health care services with regards to economic constraints, barriers resulting from knowledge gaps as well as limitations in accessibility and/or acceptability of existing services. • To identify risk factors for not accessing general and specialized health services as needed. • To estimate retrospectively the crude mortality rate (CMR) and specific mortality rates for the total population and for children under five years of age (U5MR).

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