Two mass drug administrations against falciparum malaria were conducted in 2015–16, one as operational research in northern Cambodia, and the other as a clinical trial in western Cambodia. During an April 2017 workshop in Phnom Penh the field teams from Médecins Sans Frontières and the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit discussed lessons for future mass drug administrations.
Timely access to emergency care can substantially reduce mortality. Work undertaken in Professor Bob Snow’s group in Kenya, has developed the first ever geocoded inventory of public hospitals in Africa. Spatial analysis across 48 countries showed that 29% of people are located more than 2-h travel time from the nearest hospital. With substantial variations within and between countries, innovative targeting of emergency care services is necessary to reduce inequities.
Podoconiosis, also known as nonfilarial elephantiasis, is a poorly understood neglected tropical disease. Using a combination of currently available epidemiological data as well as nationwide mapping survey and geostatistical modelling, Dr Abdisalan Noor and colleagues demonstrated that podoconiosis is highly endemic in Ethiopia and interventions need to be scaled-up rapidly.
The search is on for good measures of healthcare quality as LMIC health systems focus on effective coverage. In a new publication the Health Services team in Nairobi recently validated the Paediatric Admission Quality of Care (PAQC) score they had earlier developed, showing higher quality scores were associated with lower mortality for hospitalised children in Kenya.
Ethics guidelines have evolved to protect vulnerable groups such as pregnant women from research. This has resulted in a lack of research in these populations making them even more vulnerable because of the lack of evidence-based medical care. In this paper, Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah and her collaborators discuss how regulatory frameworks can sometimes lead to a generalized exclusion of pregnant women from research.
OUCRU researcher Lauren Carrington has provided evidence supporting the introduction of Wolbachia, a bacteria that manipulates its host reproductive system, into areas where there are dengue virus-transmitting mosquitoes, as a biocontrol method to reduce the transmission of dengue and other arboviruses.
Technological potentials have raised high hopes on healthcare access in LMICs like India. However, five years of research by Dr Marco Haenssgen paint a less optimistic picture and show adverse consequences of mobile phone diffusion, which creates more competition and new divisions and leaves the poorest strata of population worse off than before.
Snakebite envenoming is a neglected tropical disease that kills 100,000 people and maims 400,000 every year. Impoverished populations living in the rural tropics are particularly vulnerable; snakebite envenoming perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Intravenous administration of antivenom is the only specific treatment to counteract envenoming. Confronting snakebite envenoming at a global level demands the implementation of an integrated intervention strategy involving local, national and international organisations.
Zika virus RNA is frequently detected in the semen after Zika virus infection. To learn more about persistence of viruses in genital fluids, Dr Alex Salam and Professor Peter Horby searched PubMed and found evidence that 27 viruses can be found in human semen. This may have implications for the risk of sexual transmission, embryonic infection, congenital disease, miscarriage, and infection transmission models.
Prabin Dahal reviewed the evolution of statistical methods used to understand and define antimalarial drug efficacy in uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. The article gives a thorough insight into the historical practices and critically reviews the challenges and limitations associated with current approaches and offers alternative methodologies leading to improved study design and analysis.