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This is a qualitative exploration of the perceptions of mental health (MH) and their influence on health-seeking behaviour among Syrian refugees and the Lebanese population in Wadi Khaled, a rural area of Lebanon bordering Syria. Eight focus group discussions and eight key informant interviews were conducted with male and female Syrian refugees and Lebanese community members from March to April 2018. MH illness was associated with stigma, shame and fear among both populations. Beliefs surrounding mental illness were strongly linked to religious beliefs, including Jinn. Religious healers were considered the first line of help for people with mental illnesses, and were perceived as culturally acceptable and less stigmatizing than MH professionals. It is essential for MH professionals to build trust with the communities in which they work. Collaboration with religious healers is key to identifying MH symptoms and creating referral pathways to MH professionals in this context.
Data Types:
  • Other
Data Types:
  • Other
BACKGROUND: Noma is an orofacial gangrene that rapidly disintegrates the tissues of the face. Little is known about noma, as most patients live in underserved and inaccessible regions. We aimed to assess the descriptive language used and beliefs around noma, at the Noma Children's Hospital in Sokoto, Nigeria. Findings will be used to inform prevention programs. METHODS: Five focus group discussions (FGD) were held with caretakers of patients with noma who were admitted to the hospital at the time of interview, and 12 in-depth interviews (IDI) were held with staff at the hospital. Topic guides used for interviews were adapted to encourage the natural flow of conversation. Emergent codes, patterns and themes were deciphered from the data derived from IDI's and FGDs. RESULTS: Our study uncovered two main themes: names, descriptions and explanations for the disease, and risks and consequences of noma. Naming of the disease differed between caretakers and heath care workers. The general names used for noma illustrate the beliefs and social system used to explain the disease. Beliefs were varied; participant responses demonstrate a wide range of understanding of the disease and its causes. Difficulty in accessing care for patients with noma was evident and the findings suggest a variety of actions taking place before reaching a health center or health worker. Patient caretakers mentioned that barriers to care included a lack of knowledge regarding this medical condition, as well as a lack of trust in seeking medical care. Participants in our study spoke of the mental health strain the disease placed on them, particularly due to the stigma that is associated with noma. CONCLUSIONS: Caretaker and practitioner perspectives enhance our understanding of the disease in this context and can be usedto improve treatment and prevention programs, and to better understand barriers to accessing health care. Differences in disease naming illustrate the difference in beliefs about the disease. This has an impact on health seeking behaviours, which for noma cases has important ramifications on outcomes, due to the rapid progression of the disease.
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  • Other
Restrictive migration policies that deny migrants and asylum seekers their right to health—a fundamental right enshrined in universal human rights declarations and treaties since 1948—are increasingly prevalent globally. They are the result of the so-called migration crisis that is a politically made humanitarian crisis. States are criminalising people who are in some of the most vulnerable situations, often also denying their right to seek asylum and right to health. Such policies are particularly apparent in situations of indefinite containment, such as on the Greek Islands (Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesvos, and Samos), where people are contained in EU-supported hotspot facilities in overcrowded, unhealthy, and undignified conditions.
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  • Other
Despite wide antiretroviral scale-up during the past two decades resulting in declining new infections and mortality globally, HIV-associated tuberculosis remains as a major public health concern. Tuberculosis is the leading HIV-associated opportunistic infection and the main cause of death globally and, particularly, in resource-limited settings. Several challenges exist regarding diagnosis, global implementation of latent tuberculosis treatment, management of active tuberculosis, delivery of optimal patient-centered TB and HIV prevention and care in high burden countries. In this article we review the advances on pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment after nearly two decades of global roll-out of antiretroviral therapy and discuss the current challenges for the global control of tuberculosis-HIV co-infection.
Data Types:
  • Other
Introduction: High quality diagnostic imaging can provide increased diagnostic accuracy and help guide medical decision-making and management, however challenges for radiology in resource-limited settings are numerous. Diagnostic imaging and teleradiology have financial and logistical implications, so evidence of impact is crucial. We sought to test the hypothesis that the implementation of computed radiography with teleradiology consultation support will significantly change diagnoses and treatment plans in a resource limited setting. Method: Paired before-after study to determine the therapeutic impact of an add-on diagnostic test. 'Preliminary Plan' and 'Final Plan' forms allowed direct comparison of diagnosis and treatment plans at initial consultation and following radiography and teleradiology. Consecutive consenting patients were included until the sample size (600) was reached. Changes in both diagnosis and treatment plan were analysed in the whole cohort, with sub-analyses of children aged <5 years, and cases of chest radiography. Results: Final analysis included 536 cases. Diagnosis changed following radiography and teleradiology in 62% of cases, and treatment plans changed in 61%. In chest radiography cases, 70% of diagnoses and 62% of treatment plans changed, while in children <5 years 66% of diagnoses and 58% of treatment plans changed. Reduced final treatment plans were most common for exploratory surgery (72% decrease), surgical orthopaedic intervention (62% decrease), and TB treatment (52% decrease), allowing more conservative medical or surgical management in 61 cases. Increased final treatment plans were highest in the orthopaedic and interventional surgery and referral categories. Of 42 cases requiring interventional surgery in the final plan, 26 (62%) were identified only after radiography and teleradiology. 16 additional cases were indicated for orthopaedic surgery, 10 cases required patient transfer, and TB treatment was indicated in 45 cases. A change in the original prescription plan occurred in 41% of 536 cases, with one or more prescriptions stopped in 28% of all cases. Conclusion: We found that computed radiography with teleradiology had significant clinical value in this resource-limited setting, with the potential to affect both patient outcomes and treatment costs through providing improved diagnostics and avoiding unnecessary treatments and medications.
Data Types:
  • Other
Data Types:
  • Other
BACKGROUND: Recurrent measles outbreaks followed by mass vaccination campaigns (MVCs) occur in urban settings in sub-Saharan countries. An understanding of the reasons for this is needed to improve future vaccination strategies. The 2017 measles outbreak in Guinea provided an opportunity to qualitatively explore suboptimal vaccination coverage within an MVC among participants through their perceptions, experiences and challenges. METHODS: We conducted focus group discussions with caregivers (n=68) and key informant interviews (n=13) with health professionals and religious and community leaders in Conakry. Data were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim from Susu and French, coded and thematically analysed. RESULTS: Vaccinations were widely regarded positively and their preventive benefits noted. Vaccine side effects and the subsequent cost of treatment were commonly reported concerns, with further knowledge requested. Community health workers (CHWs) play a pivotal role in MVCs. Caregivers suggested recruiting CHWs from local neighbourhoods and improving their attitude, knowledge and skills to provide information about vaccinations. Lack of trust in vaccines, CHWs and the healthcare system, particularly after the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic, were also reported. CONCLUSIONS: Improving caregivers' knowledge of vaccines, potential side effects and their management are essential to increase MVC coverage in urban settings. Strengthening CHWs' capacities and appropriate recruitment are key to improving trust through a community involvement approach.
Data Types:
  • Other
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing diagnosis and treatment for patients with tuberculosis (TB) via mobile clinics in conflict-affected border areas of Chhattisgarh, India since 2009. The study objectives were to determine the proportion of patients diagnosed with TB and those who were lost-to-follow-up (LTFU) prior to treatment initiation among patients with presumptive TB between April 2015 and August 2018. The study also compared bacteriological confirmation and pretreatment LTFU during two time periods: a) April 2015–August 2016 and b) April 2017–August 2018 (before and after the introduction of GeneXpert as a first diagnostic test). Community health workers (CHW) supported patient tracing. This study was a retrospective analysis of routine program data. Among 1042 patients with presumptive TB, 376 (36%) were diagnosed with TB. Of presumptive TB patients, the pretreatment LTFU was 7%. Upon comparing the two time-periods, bacteriological confirmation increased from 20% to 33%, while pretreatment LTFU decreased from 11% to 4%. TB diagnosis with GeneXpert as the first diagnostic test and CHW-supported patient tracing in a mobile-clinic model of care shows feasibility for replication in similar conflict-affected, hard to reach areas.
Data Types:
  • Other
BACKGROUND: Rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) for malaria are common, but their performance varies. Tests using histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) antigen are most common, and many have high sensitivity. HRP2 tests can remain positive for weeks after treatment, limiting their specificity and usefulness in high-transmission settings. Tests using Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) have been less widely used but have higher specificity, mostly due to a much shorter time to become negative. METHODS: A prospective, health centre-based, diagnostic evaluation of two malaria RDTs was performed in rural Niger during the high malaria transmission season (3-28 October, 2017) and during the low transmission season (28 January-31 March, 2018). All children under 5 years of age presenting with fever (axillary temperature > 37.5 °C) or history of fever in the previous 24 h were eligible. Capillary blood was collected by finger prick. The SD Bioline HRP2 (catalog: 05FK50) and the CareStart pLDH(pan) (catalog: RMNM-02571) were performed in parallel, and thick and thin smears were prepared. Microscopy was performed at Epicentre, Maradi, Niger, with external quality control. The target sample size was 279 children with microscopy-confirmed malaria during each transmission season. RESULTS: In the high season, the sensitivity of both tests was estimated at > 99%, but the specificity of both tests was lower: 58.0% (95% CI 52.1-63.8) for the pLDH test and 57.4% (95% CI 51.5-63.1) for the HRP2 test. The positive predictive value was 66.3% (95% CI 61.1-71.2) for both tests. In the low season, the sensitivity of both tests dropped: 91.0% (95% CI 85.3-95.0) for the pLDH test and 85.8% (95% CI 79.3-90.9) for the HRP2 test. The positive predictive value remained low for both tests in the low season: 60.5% (95% CI 53.9-66.8) for the pLDH test and 61.9% (55.0-68.4) for the HRP2 test. Performance was similar across different production lots, gender, age of the children, and, during the high season, time since the most recent distribution of seasonal malaria chemoprevention. CONCLUSIONS: The low specificity of the pLDH RDT in this setting was unexpected and is not easily explained. As the pLDH test continues to be introduced into new settings, the questions raised by this study will need to be addressed.
Data Types:
  • Other
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