• Data Sharing in a Humanitarian Organization: The Experience of Médecins Sans Frontières

      Karunakara, Unni (Public Library of Science, 2013-12-10)
      Open data and data sharing are essential for maximizing the benefits that can be obtained from institutional and research datasets [1]. In 2012, the medical humanitarian organization Me´decins Sans Frontieres (MSF) decided to adopt a data sharing policy for routinely collected clinical and research data (http://www.msf.org.uk/msf-data-sharing). Here we describe the policy’s principles, practicalities,and development process. We hope this paper will encourage and help other humanitarian and nongovernmental organizations to share their data with public health researchers for the benefit of the populations with which they work.
    • Do we need a world health insurance to realise the right to health?

      Ooms, G; Derderian, K; Melody, D; Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium. gorik.ooms@brussels.msf.org (Public Library of Science, 2006-12)
    • A Global Biomedical R&D Fund and Mechanism for Innovations of Public Health Importance

      Balasegaram, Manica; Bréchot, Christian; Farrar, Jeremy; Heymann, David; Ganguly, Nirmal; Khor, Martin; Lévy, Yves; Matsoso, Precious; Minghui, Ren; Pécoul, Bernard; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2015-05-11)
      Bernard Pécoul and colleagues call for the establishment of a global biomedical R&D fund as a key priority of the G7 summit in June 2015.
    • Health development versus medical relief: the illusion versus the irrelevance of sustainability.

      Ooms, G; Belgian section of Médecins Sans Frontières. ooms@brussels.msf.org (Public Library of Science, 2006-08)
    • 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.
    • Medicines without doctors: why the Global Fund must fund salaries of health workers to expand AIDS treatment.

      Ooms, G; Van Damme, W; Temmerman, M; Belgian section of Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium. gorik.ooms@brussels.msf.org (Public Library of Science, 2007-04)
    • 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.
    • An Open Source Pharma Roadmap

      Balasegaram, M; Kolb, P; McKew, J; Menon, J; Olliaro, P; Sablinski, T; Thomas, Z; Todd, MH; Torreele, E; Wilbanks, J (Public Library of Science, 2017-04-18)
      In an Essay, Matthew Todd and colleagues discuss an open source approach to drug development.
    • What's coming for health science and policy in 2018? Global experts look ahead in their field

      Swaminathan, S; Room, RS; Ivers, LC; Hillis, G; Grais, RF; Bhutta, ZA; Byass, P (Public Library of Science, 2018-01-30)
      In PLOS Medicine's first editorial of 2018, editorial board members and other leading researchers share their hopes, pleas, concerns, and expectations for this year in health research and policy.