Research Highlights

Access to emergency hospital in sub-Saharan Africa

Access to emergency hospital in sub-Saharan Africa

Posted 06/02/2018

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.

Estimating the number of cases of podoconiosis in Ethiopia using geostatistical methods

Estimating the number of cases of podoconiosis in Ethiopia using geostatistical methods

Posted 30/01/2018

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.

Paediatric Admission Quality of Care (PAQC) score and mortality in Kenyan hospitals

Paediatric Admission Quality of Care (PAQC) score and mortality in Kenyan hospitals

Posted 17/01/2018

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, regulation, and beyond: the landscape of research with pregnant women

Ethics, regulation, and beyond: the landscape of research with pregnant women

Posted 16/01/2018

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.

Estimates of Wolbachia-mediated blocking of dengue virus transmission in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Estimates of Wolbachia-mediated blocking of dengue virus transmission in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Posted 09/01/2018

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.

The struggle for digital inclusion: Phones, healthcare, and marginalisation in rural India

The struggle for digital inclusion: Phones, healthcare, and marginalisation in rural India

Posted 02/01/2018

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

Snakebite envenoming

Posted 12/12/2017

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.

The breadth of viruses in human semen

The breadth of viruses in human semen

Posted 05/12/2017

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.

Statistical methods to estimate efficacy of anti-malarials for uncomplicated malaria

Statistical methods to estimate efficacy of anti-malarials for uncomplicated malaria

Posted 28/11/2017

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.

Estimating the burden of scrub typhus

Estimating the burden of scrub typhus

Posted 21/11/2017

Scrub typhus is a serious mite-transmitted and difficult-to-diagnose infectious disease increasingly recognised as a major treatable cause of febrile illnesses with a wider distribution beyond Asia. Despite many limitations on the amount and quality of available reports to date, scrub typhus remains a severely underappreciated tropical disease, deserving more attention.