IHP news 503: infectious diseases & NTDs

By on January 4, 2019

IJHPM – The Impact of Conflict on Immunisation Coverage in 16 Countries

J Grundy et al; http://www.ijhpm.com/article_3585.html

Military conflict has been an ongoing determinant of inequitable immunisation coverage in many low- and middle-income countries, yet the impact of conflict on the attainment of global health goals has not been fully addressed. This review will describe and analyse the association between conflict, immunisation coverage and vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) outbreaks, along with country specific strategies to mitigate the impact in 16 countries….”

Findings: “We found that these 16 countries, representing just 12% of the global population, were responsible for 67% of global polio cases and 39% of global measles cases between 2010 and 2015. Fourteen out of the 16 countries were below the global average of 85% coverage for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT3) in 2014. We present data from countries where the onset of conflict has been associated with sudden drops in national and sub-national immunisation coverage. Tense security conditions, along with damaged health infrastructure and depleted human resources have contributed to infrequent outreach services, and delays in new vaccine introductions and immunisation campaigns. These factors have in turn contributed to pockets of low coverage and disease outbreaks in sub-national areas affected by conflict. Despite these impacts, there was limited reference to the health needs of conflict affected populations in immunisation planning and reporting documents in all 16 countries. Development partner investments were heavily skewed towards vaccine provision and working with partner governments, with comparatively low levels of health systems support or civil partnerships….”

Global Public Health – ‘When I die, let me be the last.’ Community health worker perspectives on past Ebola and Marburg outbreaks in Uganda

E G Englert et al; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441692.2018.1552306

Uganda suffered four Ebola and five Marburg virus outbreaks from 2000 to 2012 with significant “health worker mortality. This paper describes findings from 41 interviews with health workers from three outbreaks. Interviewees frequently encountered stigma from their communities, sometimes accompanied by mistrust and violence. These difficulties were defined as ‘challenges of society.’ Health workers also suffered emotional trauma, depressive symptoms, and fear classified as ‘challenges of psyche.’ As the incidence of such outbreaks will likely increase due to ecological and economic trends, health workers require greater access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and knowledge of viral containment. Such improvements would create an optimal psychosocial climate for managing infectious patients ultimately decreasing the severity of future outbreaks.”

Journal of Clinical TB and other Mycobacterial diseases (Editorial) – Quality: The missing ingredient in TB care and control

M Pai et al; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405579418300846?via%3Dihub

“…Given the importance of quality in TB care, Journal of Clinical Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Diseases, has launched a series on this topic. The series will cover papers on quality of TB care, approaches to measuring quality, and quality improvement interventions. It is our wish and hope that this series will result in a robust and sustained conversation about quality TB care, a topic that has heretofore been woefully neglected.”

Trends in Parasitology (Opinion) – Neglected Tropical Diseases and Mental Health: Progress, Partnerships, and Integration

F Bailey et al ; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471492218302393?dgcid=author

« The past 6 years has seen mental health emerge as a key cross-cutting area of NTDs research. In this time, there has been a large increase in the number of holistic and psychological studies in NTD populations, adding to the evidence base of well-studied as well as lesser-studied NTDs. In particular, chronic NTDs have emerged as an important risk factor for common mental health conditions, with prevalence rates of depression higher than those found in other common chronic diseases. Nevertheless, there remains a significant lack of psychological intervention studies as well as large opportunities to translate this knowledge into integrated mental and physical care for affected individuals. Partners in the Mental Wellbeing and Stigma (MWS) task group of the NTD/NGO/Network (NNN) are working to address many of these areas through a comprehensive research agenda in collaboration with the World Health Organization and other key partners. »



The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – Unseen enemy: Doctors in Gaza battling superbug epidemic

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism;

As somebody put it on Twitter, Gaza is “ground zero” for superbugs.

Doctors in Gaza and the West Bank warn they are battling an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, a growing problem in the world’s conflict zones and one that risks spilling over borders and diminishing the global medical arsenal against serious illness….”

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