Training local Karen and Burman women as skilled birth attendants in refugee settings resulted in no adverse perinatal outcomes and many positive outcomes such as a drop in stillbirths and infant deaths and more babies being born in clinics rather than at home, says a new study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
Posted 22/11/2022. Who owns individual-level health data collected from health research and clinical care? In this paper Phaik Yeong Cheah and Jan Piasecki argues that neither public ownership nor private ownership will allow us to resolve all the problems associated with effective, equitable, and ethical use of data.
Posted 21/10/2022. Amodiaquine is an important antimalarial widely used for the treatment and prevention of malaria, protecting millions of African children every year. Xin Hui Chan and colleagues characterised the concentration-dependency of the bradycardic, hypotensive, and QT-prolonging effects of amodiaquine and its active metabolite desethylamodiaquine in clinical and pre-clinical studies, providing evidence of their causal role.
Posted 18/10/2022. Trust is perhaps the most frequently attributed element in decision making for vaccine uptake. But what is trust, and how does it affect vaccine decision? In this qualitative review, Bipin Adhikari and colleagues explored how decisions on vaccine uptake are made, the role of trust and ways to build it.
Posted 05/10/2022. Sutharshan Vengadasalam, Timo Tolppa and colleagues employed pathway mapping, ethnography, and interviews in Colombia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda, and found four common barriers to the delivery of quality perioperative care - Fragmented care pathways, limited human and structural resources, direct and indirect costs, and patients' low expectations of care.
Posted 07/10/2022. G6PD measurement is critical before including primaquine or tafenoquine in the treatment for vivax malaria. Bipin Adhikari and colleagues explored whether first line health care providers can safely handle G6PD biosensors in the rural Cambodia. Our findings suggest that the radical cure for vivax malaria can be safely administered at the point of first contact, thus preventing relapse and continued transmission in a much larger population than through hospital based management.
Posted 21/09/2022. Phaik Yeong Cheah and colleagues asked malaria stakeholders in Burkina Faso and Nigeria: What are the key ethical considerations to be considered in the deployment of Triple Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies for malaria in Africa when artemisinin combination therapies are effective in most of Africa?
Posted 31/08/2022. Substandard and falsified anti-infectives used in human and animals are common, especially in Low- and Middle-Income countries, leading to poor clinical outcomes, adverse drug reactions, economic losses, mistrust in health systems and potentially leading to AMR emergence and spread. One Health research is needed to assess their impact on AMR, by Celine Caillet and colleagues.
Posted 09/08/2022. Timo Tolppa and CCAA colleagues reviewed the literature on perioperative care pathways in resource-poor settings and found that pathways are increasingly used there with an aim to improve care quality. Patient and clinician beliefs were a major challenge in care pathway implementation, whereas facilitators included context-relevant adaptations, strong evidence-base and teamwork.
Posted 12/08/2022. This small series describes four family members who contracted cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania major that did not improve in two patients and worsened in the other two despite 4 weeks of intralesional meglumine antimoniate. All responded to a 4-week course of oral ketoconazole. The paper provides an interesting discussion, by Bob Taylor and colleagues
Posted 02/08/2022. Severe malaria is difficult to diagnose in high malaria transmission areas because of the high coincidence of malaria with other febrile illnesses. James Watson and colleagues analysed platelet counts and plasma PfHRP2 concentrations from >2000 severely ill children and show that around a third of children diagnosed with severe malaria have in fact another cause of illness.
Posted 28/07/2022. Meiwen Zhang and Tom Peto start a prevalence survey, including Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, among the rural population in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Thailand. In 2021 Meiwen and colleagues published a pilot implementation project on hepatitis C testing and treatment in rural Cambodia.
Posted 26/07/2022. In this paper, Phaik Yeong Cheah and colleagues describe the challenges and coping strategies related to public health measures during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Thailand. Major challenges identified included financial hardship, social isolation and loneliness. Coping strategies included turning to religion, practicing acceptance and ‘making merit’ (Tham-bun in Thai).
Posted 04/10/2017. Recruiting 183 acute melioidosis patients and 21 control subjects in order to explore immune factors associated with survival status and diabetes, this study identified two class I HLA alleles associated with increased risk of death during melioidosis. Stronger T cell responses to nine immunodominant antigens were observed in those who survived, with responses to one of these – GroEL – observed to be impaired in patients with diabetes.
Posted 22/06/2022. Mutations on the G6PD and UGT1A1 genes play a large role in neonatal jaundice, including the severe forms, among Karen and Burman neonates. Germana Bancone and colleagues show that improved diagnostics are urgently needed and different screening strategies should be considered in populations with a high prevalence of these traits.
Posted 13/05/2022. “Under the Mask” is a 75-min feature film that follows the lives of patients with TB who live on the Thai-Myanmar border. Phaik Yeong Cheah, Michele Vincenti Delmas and colleagues explains the genesis and development of the film, and how it has been used to engage communities at risk of TB.
Posted 03/05/2022. We’ve all been there! Waiting forever for reviewers comments after submission our paper to a journal. The system is not working. Should we pay reviewers to review a paper? Will it make a difference? Phaik Yeong Cheah and Jan Piasecki give some arguments why we should. What are your thoughts?
Posted 22/03/2022. The first randomised trial of artemether-lumefantrine plus amodiaquine for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in areas with a high prevalence of artemisinin resistance shows it is a well-tolerated, effective treatment for multidrug-resistant parasites. Coordinated by Tom Peto, James Callery and Rupam Tripura, the triple therapy provides an alternative first-line treatment in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, with an expected longer therapeutic lifetime than current artemisinin combination therapies.
Posted 15/03/2022. Bipin Adhikari reviews a book titled ‘Phantom Plague: How Tuberculosis Shaped History’ by Vidya Krishnan--a prominent medical science reporter. The book is a compelling journey into a history of medicine, current development of Tuberculosis epidemiology and treatment, and Global Health and is an essential read in Global Health.
Posted 11/03/2022. In paediatric research, a legal representative must provide consent on behalf of the child. Using Thailand as a case study, Sheila Varadan, Phaik Yeong Cheah and colleagues contemplate how international legal frameworks could be leveraged to navigate legal uncertainty in the informed consent process, enabling more children to participate in paediatric clinical research.
Posted 01/03/2022. Nils Kaehler and colleagues, policymakers and researchers involved in malaria offered insights on strategies for community engagement for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion. More than ever, sustaining community engagement and engaging with community-based health workers are critical to ensure that the last remaining malaria cases are not left 'untreated'.
A study of the genetic diversity of Streptococcus pneumoniae, the bacterium responsible for hundreds of thousands of infant deaths each year, found that deep sequencing whole pneumococcal populations gave unsurpassed sensitivity for detecting multiple colonisations and was twice as effective at detecting invasive virulent strains of the bacteria as current best methods, say researchers in a study published in Nature Microbiology.
Microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained blood films is key to quantifying and detecting malaria parasites but there can be difficulties in ensuring both a high-quality manual reading and inter-reader reliability. The EasyScan GO was developed as a potential solution to this, a microscopy device using machine-learning-based image analysis for automated parasite detection and quantification.
In 2022, tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global health problem, particularly in developing countries. On the Thai-Myanmar border, TB is an important problem among migrants, a vulnerable, very mobile population, with unstable, often difficult living conditions, insecure incomes, and poor access to health services.
A new malaria study using a very large analysis of pooled individual patient data (IPD) from more than 70,000 patients of all ages, has been published in BMC Medicine by the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network Falciparum Haematology Study Group