• Anthropometry and Clinical Features of Kashin-Beck Disease in Central Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Suetens, C; De Maertelaer, V; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins Sans Frontières, Département Médical, Bruxelles, Belgium. (Springer, 2001)
      We compared two different populations living in central Tibet with the purpose of establishing standard values for different anthropometric parameters in a rural population. Later on, these values were used as references for a similar study on a KBD population. One group (KBD) (n=1,246) came from the endemic areas, and the other group, serving as the control population (n=815), came from non-endemic areas. Both groups included children and adults and were of the Mongoloid type; they were farmers or semi-nomads. Height, weight, segment length, joint perimeter, joint diameter, joint movement were recorded. Also more subjective information such as general feeling of tiredness, rapid fatigue at work, work limitation, joint pain, muscle weakness, muscular atrophy, dwarfism, flatfoot, and waddling gate was also collected. Those variables were compared between the two groups.
    • Clinical Manifestations of Kashin-Beck Disease in Nyemo Valley, Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Lan, Z Y; Suetens, C; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. (Springer, 1997)
      Clinical manifestations of Kashin-Beck disease have been studied in Central Tibet. Statistical analysis of physical signs allowed a definition of the clinical diagnosis and a scale for the functional severity for the disease to be drawn up. This classification is used for the assessment of patients who received palliative physical treatment. A group of 136 patients have been examined and their disabled joints classified according to pain, bony enlargement and restriction of movement. 57% were between 20 and 35 years of age. The patients mainly complained about their distal weightbearing joints. The clinical evolution of the disease is described from childhood to adult life.
    • Epidemiology and mortality of burns in a general hospital of Eastern Sri Lanka.

      Laloë, V; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France. veronique.laloe@bigfoot.com (Elsevier, 2002-12)
      This 2-year prospective study examined the epidemiology and mortality of 345 patients admitted with burn injuries. Sixty-four percent of all burns were accidental in nature and at least 25% were self-inflicted. The rest were due to assaults or had a doubtful cause. The median age was 22 years. Forty-one percent of the accidents were due to the fall of a homemade kerosene bottle lamp. The main cause was flames, followed by scalds. Females outnumbered males in all categories of burns except cases of assault, and suffered from a higher mortality. Most at risk of accidental burns were children between 1 and 4 years, who suffered primarily from scalds. Self-inflicted burns were most common among women aged 20-29 years. The overall median total body surface area (TBSA) burned was 16%. Self-inflicted and 'doubtful' burns were much more extensive and more often fatal than accidental ones. The overall mortality rate was 27%. Burns involving more than 50% of the body surface area were invariably fatal. Mortality was highest in the elderly and in the 20-29 years age group. Burns were the first single cause of mortality in the surgical wards. The case is made for the establishment of more Burns Units.
    • [In Vivo Drug Sensitivity of Plasmodium Falciparum in the Tabou Region of Ivory Coast]

      Villadary, I; Paquet, C; Hemelsdael, E; Blanchard, G; Saki, Z M; Epicentre, Paris. (1997)
      Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is one of the major health problems in West-Africa, mainly affecting young children. This situation is further complicated by the emergence and rapid progression of resistance to chloroquine, the recommended first line treatment. In order to document the level of resistance of P. falciparum to chloroquine, pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine (Fansidar) and quinine, we performed a survey in Tabou district, Côre d'Ivoire, from June to August 1995. This area has been hosting some 100,000 Liberian refugees since September 1994. Children aged 1 to 15 years old attending the dispensary with a complain of fever or suspected malaria, were included into the study, diagnosed and followed for 7 days according to the WHO Standard Field (in vivo) Tests. Overall proportion of P. falciparum resistant to chloroquine reached 45.1% and was made of 34.3% type II and 10.8% type III resistance. Being less than 5 years of age and having received a lower dose of drug were 2 factors associated with the risk of resistance to chloroquine. Levels of R II resistance to pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and quinine (3-day treatment) were respectively 5.4% and 4.2%. No R III resistance was found in neither pyrimethaminelsulfadoxine or quinine treatment groups. These results challenge the current chloroquine-based first line malaria treatment in Côre d'Ivoire. Alternative based on pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine could be considered, especially in high risk populations during transient situation (refugees). However, elaborating new treatment policy must take into consideration cost, side-effects, compliance and acceptability. Further studies are needed to evaluate the cost-benefit of alternative strategies.
    • 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.
    • Treatment and seroconversion in a cohort of children suffering from recent chronic Chagas infection in Yoro, Honduras

      Escribà, Josep M; Ponce, Elisa; Romero, Alberto de Dios; Viñas, Pedro Albajar; Marchiol, Andrea; Bassets, Glòria; Palma, Pedro Pablo; Lima, M Angeles; Zúniga, Concepción; Ponce, Carlos; et al. (2009-11-01)
      Between 1999-2002, Médécins Sans Frontières-Spain implemented a project seeking to determine the efficacy and safety of benznidazole in the treatment of recent chronic Chagas disease in a cohort of seropositive children in the Yoro Department, Honduras. A total of 24,471 children were screened for Trypanosoma cruzi IgG antibodies through conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) on filter paper. Recombinant ELISA (0.93% seroprevalence) showed 256 initially reactive cases, including 232 confirmed positive cases. Of these, 231 individuals were treated with benznidazole (7.5 mg/kg/day) for 60 days and were followed with a strict weekly medical control and follow-up protocol. At the end of the project, 229 patients were examined by the Honduras Secretariat of Health for post-treatment serological assessments; 88.2% seroconverted after 18 months and 93.9% seroconverted after three years. No differences were found in the seroconversion rates according to age or sex. Most of the side effects of the treatment were minor. These results support the argument that in areas where T. cruzi I is predominant and in areas affected by T. cruzi II, when vector transmission has been interrupted, Chagas disease diagnosis and treatment are feasible, necessary and ethically indisputable.