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Zika: the origin and spread of a mosquito-borne virus

KINDHAUSER, Mary Kay
ALLEN Tomas
FRANK Veronika
SANTHANAA Ravi Shankar
DYE Christopher
September 2016

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The temporal and geographical distribution of Zika virus infection and associated neurological disorders, from 1947 to 1 February 2016, when Zika became a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) are described following an extensive literature search. During this period a total of 74 countries and territories had reported human Zika virus infections. The timeline in this paper charts the discovery of the virus (1947), its isolation from mosquitos (1948), the first human infection (1952), the initial spread of infection from Asia to a Pacific island (2007), the first known instance of sexual transmission (2008), reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (2014) and microcephaly (2015) linked to Zika infections and the first appearance of Zika in the Americas (from 2015). The paper concludes that the Zika virus infection in humans appears to have changed in character as its geographical range has expanded from equatorial Africa and Asia. The change is from an endemic, mosquito-borne infection causing mild illness to one that can cause large outbreaks linked with neurological sequelae and congenital abnormalities

 

Detecting Guillain-Barré syndrome caused by Zika virus using systems developed for polio surveillance

KANDEL, Nirmal
LAMICHHANE Jaya
TANGERMANN Rudolf
RODIEA Guenael
September 2016

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With increasing evidence of linkages between Guillain-Barré syndrome and Zika virus infection, the importance of enhancing Guillain-Barré syndrome surveillance is highlighted and use of existing surveillance systems like the one for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) used by polio eradication programmes is proposed. A process for using the AFP surveillance system for Zika virus surveillance is outlined. Worldwide distribution maps of  Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are presented and control measures following Zika infection testing are listed.

Responding to the Syrian health crisis : the need for data and research

COUTTS, Adam
et al
March 2015

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This article assesses the impact of the war in Syrian the context of the health system and neighbouring countries and the rise in non-communicable diseases. The authors advocate that  urgent policy and research attention needs to be given to the generation of timely and high-quality evidence on the effectiveness of the humanitarian health response, the capacity of health systems within Syria, and the issue of non-communicable diseases among internally displaced people and refugees

The Lancet, Vol 3, Issue 3, PE8-E9, Mar 01, 2015

 

 

Bridging the gaps between research, policy and practice in low- and middle-income countries : a survey of health care providers

GUINDON, G Emmanuel
et al
May 2010

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This article discusses the results of a survey to examine the gaps that continue to exist between research based evidence and clinical practice. Health care providers in 10 low- and middle-income countries were surveyed about their use of research-based evidence and examined factors that may facilitate or impede such use. The conclusion is that locally conducted or published research plays an important role in changing the professional practice of health care providers surveyed in low- and middle-income countries and increased investments in local research, or at least in locally adapted publications of research-based evidence from other settings, are therefore needed. Although access to the Internet was viewed as a significant factor in whether research-based evidence led to concrete changes in practice, few respondents reported having easy access to the Internet. Therefore, efforts to improve Internet access in clinical settings need to be accelerate

Don’t just do it, do it right : evidence for better health in low and middle income countries

THARYAN, Prathap
March 2010

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This article puts forward the argument that evidence for better health outcomes involves a two-step process: getting the right sort of evidence - evidence that is convincing and is for low- and middle-income countries - and getting this evidence used - through access to reliable evidence (such as the Cochrane Library) to getting evidence into policy and practice

Evaluating health research capacity building : an evidence-based tool

BATES, Imelda
et al
July 2006

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Health research capacity building is essential to the success and sustainability of research programmes. This article describes the development and use of a tool for determining whether the required infrastructure is present in a given setting, and for designing and evaluating capacity-building programmes in health research. It provides an analysis of published models and effective capacity-building principles, together with structured reflection and action by stakeholders at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana

Insecticide resistance and malaria control : current trends in research

KULKARNI, Manisha
April 2006

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This article outlines current trends in malaria research. Recent research studies, here briefly reviewed, have focused on the molecular scale of resistance in Anopheles, geographical scale of resistance in Africa, impact of insecticide-treated nets (ITN) in host-seeking vectors, implications of resistance for malaria control, pyrethroids and alternative insecticides, and on new initiatives to fast track the development of improved insecticides

A strategy to enhance the global research effort in maternal and child health : the Mother-Child International Research Network

HAMILTON, Richard
March 2006

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This article presents the mission and objectives of the Mother-Child International Research Network. The network aims to support and bring together researchers and research institutions working in the field of mother and child health in low-income countries, facilitating access to scientific debate and opportunities for collaboration. The network's website www.mother-child.org holds scientific updates, distance-learning activities and weblog facilities and is designed to support health communication and exchange and increase exposure to a wide international audience

Is cybermedicine killing you? The story of a Cochrane disaster

EYSENBACH, Gunther
KUMMERVOLD, Per Egil
2005

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This editorial briefly reviews the series of events that led to the publication, dissemination and eventual retraction of a flawed Cochrane systematic review on interactive health communication applications (IHCAs), which was widely reported in the media with headlines such as 'Internet Makes Us Sick', 'Knowledge May Be Hazardous to Web Consumers' Health', 'Too Much Advice Can Be Bad for Your Health', 'Click to Get Sick?' and even 'Is Cybermedicine Killing You?'. The authors show that while the media attention helped to speed up the identification of errors, leading to a retraction of the review after only 13 days, a paper subsequently published by Rada shows that the retraction, in contrast to the original review, remained largely unnoticed by the public. The authors examine the three flaws of the review and then discuss 'retraction ethics' for researchers, editors/publishers and journalists, making recommendations for the future

An electronic medical record system for ambulatory care of HIV-infected patients in Kenya

SIIKA, A M
et al
2005

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The faculty at Moi University in Kenya and Indiana University in the USA opened adult and pediatric HIV clinics in a national referral hospital, a district hospital, and six rural health centers in western Kenya using a newly developed electronic medical record system (EMR) to support comprehensive outpatient HIV/AIDS care. The EMR contains more than 30,000 visit records for more than 4,000 patients, almost half taking antiretroviral drugs. This article describes the development and structure of this EMR and plans for future development that include wireless connections, tablet computers, and migration to a Web-based platform

Participation of African social scientists in malaria control : identifying enabling and constraining factors

NGALAME, Paulyne M
et al
December 2004

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This article discusses research examining the enabling and constraining factors that influence African social scientists' involvement in malaria control. Findings showed that most participants did not necessarily seek malaria as a career path. Having a mentor who provided research and training opportunities, and developing strong technical skills in malaria control and grant or proposal writing facilitated career opportunities in malaria. A paucity of jobs and funding and inadequate technical skills in malaria limited the type and number of opportunities available to social scientists in malaria control. Understanding the factors that influence job satisfaction, recruitment and retention in malaria control is necessary for better integration of social scientists into malaria control. However, given the wide array of skills that social scientists have and the variety of deadly diseases competing for attention in sub-Saharan Africa, it might be more cost effective to employ social scientists to work broadly on issues common to communicable diseases in general rather than solely on malaria

Health information technology in primary health care in developing countries : a literature review

TOMASI, E
FACCHINI, L A
MAIA MDE, F
November 2004

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This study explores the debate and initiatives concerning the use of information technology (IT) in primary health care in developing countries. The literature from 1992-2002 was identified from searches of the MEDLINE, Latin American and Caribbean Health Science Literature Database (LILACS), Cochrane Library and Web of Science databases. For the analysis of advantages, problems and perspectives of IT applications and systems, 52 articles were selected according to their potential contribution to the primary health care processes in non-developed countries. countries. These included: 10 on electronic patient registries (EPR), 22 on process and programmatic action evaluation and management systems (PPAEM) and 20 on clinical decision-support systems (CDS). The main advantages, limitations and perspectives are discussed

An information system and medical record to support HIV treatment in rural Haiti

FRASER, H S
et al
2004

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Recent studies have shown the feasibility of treating HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Lack of infrastructure, including information and communication systems, is considered a barrier to successful HIV treatment programmes. Internet based information systems offer a way to provide communication infrastructure in remote, resource-poor areas such as rural Haiti. A web based medical record system can be effectively used to track clinical outcomes, laboratory tests and drug supplies, and create reports for funding agencies. Development and evaluation of practical, low cost clinical information systems should be a priority in rolling out HIV treatment in developing countries

Health policy and systems research agendas in developing countries

GONZALEZ-BLOCK, M A
2004

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This paper offers a conceptual framework and defines the health policy and systems research (HPSR) portfolio as a set of research projects under implementation. The main objective is to identify the themes currently being pursued in the research portfolio and agendas within developing countries and to quantify their frequency in an effort to identify current research topics and their underlying influences. The framework proposed offers a basis to identify and contrast research needs, projects and products at the international level and to identify the actor agendas and their influence. Research gaps are suggested when comparing topic ranking against the challenges to health system strengthening and scaling up of disease control programmes. Differences across per capita income groups suggests the need for differentiated priority setting mechanisms guiding international support. Data suggests that stakeholders have different agendas, and that donors predominate in determining the research portfolio. High-level consensus building at the national and international levels is necessary to ensure that the diverse agendas play a complementary role in support of health system objectives

Electronic immunisation registry and tracking system in Bangladesh

AHMED, M
2004

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This report summarises the 2001 development of a new computerised information system to register, schedule and track the immunisation of children, which was introduced by the Department of Public Health in Rajshahi City Corporation, Bangladesh. While no direct funding was provided for it, the assumed cost was not more than US $5000. The author concludes that system has been working well for the past three years. He also notes that the utilisation of ICTs in poor countries should be targeted at those intermediaries (such as health workers) who play a key role in the lives of the poor through high-contact service delivery. Empowering those workers and helping improve the effectiveness of their service delivery will do more for the poor than any number of e-government portals

The effectiveness of web-based vs non-web-based interventions : a meta-analysis of behavioural change outcomes

WANTLAND, D J
et al
2004

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The use of the Internet to deliver web-based interventions to patients is increasing rapidly. The use and effectiveness of web-based interventions to encourage an individual's change in behaviour compared to non-web-based interventions have not been substantially reviewed; hence this meta-analysis was undertaken. This article presents a systematic review of web-based therapies intended to encourage an individual's behaviour change. Sixteen of seventeen included studies revealed the outcomes of improved knowledge and/or improved behavioural outcomes for participants using web-based interventions. Outcomes included increased exercise time, knowledge of nutritional status, slower health decline

Application of ICT in strengthening health information systems in developing countries in the wake of globalisation

SIMBA, Daudi O
2004

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The last decades saw developing countries taking action to strengthen and modernise their health management information systems (HMIS) using the existing ICT. Due to poor economic and communication infrastructure, the process has been limited to national and provincial/region levels leaving behind majority of health workers living in remote/rural areas. The author notes that strategies to improve data quality and utilisation should be instituted to ensure that HMIS has positive impact on people's health; otherwise, advancement in ICT will continue to marginalise health workers in developing countries especially those living in remote areas

Sociocultural explanations for delays in careseeking for pneumonia

CENTRE FOR HEALTH AND POPULATION RESEARCH
December 2003

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This article is printed in the Health and Science Bulletin produced by the Centre for Health and Population Research, based in Bangladesh. It outlines research conducted among parents in Matlab, Bangladesh, revealing how their beliefs affect household treatment of childhood pneumonia and influence delays in seeking care from trained providers. Many indigenous beliefs and social factors prevent primary care providers, particularly mothers, of pneumonia cases from obtaining prompt and appropriate help. For example, in fear of being blamed for poor caring practices, mothers are reluctant to share information about the illness with other family members. Intervention strategies designed to reduce child mortality associated with pneumonia need to address the cultural beliefs and challenges. Efforts should focus on involving family members such as the child's father or grandmother in early recognition of pneumonia cases. It also suggests that health workers use local terminology and cultural knowledge to communicate the need for prompt treatment with a trained provider

How high is infant mortality in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS?

ALESHINA, Nadezhda
REDMOND, Gerry
November 2003

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Official statistics seem to suggest that in post-communist Europe infant mortality rates have significantly decreased through the 1990s. As infant mortality rate is a key indicator of the Millennium Development Goals, reliable measurement is crucial to assess progress. This paper argues that official counts may understate the gravity of the problem in at least 15 countries in the region. This may be due to unclear definitions of 'live birth' and 'stillbirth', misreporting of infant deaths, nonregistration of births or deaths. The paper also discusses the uncertainties associated with survey based estimates, and call for further work to be done to improve collection of data and effectiveness of surveys

Implementing a new health management information system in Uganda

GLADWIN, J
DIXON, R A
WILSON, T D
June 2003

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The paper reviews the installation of a new health management system in Uganda. The authors noted that technological issues, rather than wider organisational issues, dominated the planning of the change. The need to consider the organisational context when changing information systems arises because the process is more complex than some practitioners have realised. It is a useful case study of the implementation of information and communication technology

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