MSF Field Research

    Feasibility of using teleradiology to improve tuberculosis screening and case management in a district hospital in Malawi.

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    Malawi has one of the world's highest rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (10.6%), and southern Malawi, where Thyolo district is located, bears the highest burden in the country (14.5%). Tuberculosis, common among HIV-infected people, requires radiologic diagnosis, yet Malawi has no radiologists in public service. This hinders rapid and accurate diagnosis and increases morbidity and mortality

    Physical and Sexual Violence, Mental Health indicators, and treatment seeking among street-based population groups in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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    To establish the prevalence of exposure to physical and sexual violence, mental health symptoms, and medical treatment-seeking behavior among three street-based subpopulation groups in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and to assess the association between sociodemographic group, mental health indicators, and exposure to violence

    Mid-Upper Arm Circumference based Nutrition Programming: evidence for a new approach in regions with high burden of Acute Malnutrition

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    In therapeutic feeding programs (TFP), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) shows advantages over weight-for-height Z score (WHZ) and is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an independent criterion for screening children 6-59 months old. Here we report outcomes and treatment response from a TFP using MUAC ≤118 mm or oedema as sole admission criteria for severe acute malnutrition (SAM)

    Short and long term retention in antiretroviral care in health facilities in rural Malawi and Zimbabwe.

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    Despite the successful scale-up of ART services over the past years, long term retention in ART care remains a major challenge, especially in high HIV prevalence and resource-limited settings. This study analysed the short (<12 months) and long (>12 months) term retention on ART in two ART programmes in Malawi (Thyolo district) and Zimbabwe (Buhera district)

    TSH-CHECK-1 test: diagnostic accuracy and potential application to initiating treatment for hypothyroidism in patients on anti-tuberculosis drugs.

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    Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) promotes expression of thyroid hormones which are essential for metabolism, growth, and development. Second-line drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB) can cause hypothyroidism by suppressing thyroid hormone synthesis. Therefore, TSH levels are routinely measured in TB patients receiving second-line drugs, and thyroxin treatment is initiated where indicated. However, standard TSH tests are technically demanding for many low-resource settings where TB is prevalent; a simple and inexpensive test is urgently needed

    Very early anthropometric changes after antiretroviral therapy predict subsequent survival, in karonga, Malawi.

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    Antiretroviral (ART) scale-up in Malawi has been achieved on a large scale based mainly on clinical criteria. Simple markers of prognosis are useful, and we investigated the value of very early anthropometric changes in predicting mortality

    Incidence, risk factors and causes of death in an HIV care programme with a large proportion of injecting drug users.

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    Objectives  To identify factors influencing mortality in an HIV programme providing care to large numbers of injecting drug users (IDUs) and patients co-infected with hepatitis C (HCV). Methods  A longitudinal analysis of monitoring data from HIV-infected adults who started antiretroviral therapy (ART) between 2003 and 2009 was performed. Mortality and programme attrition rates within 2 years of ART initiation were estimated. Associations with individual-level factors were assessed with multivariable Cox and piece-wise Cox regression. Results  A total of 1671 person-years of follow-up from 1014 individuals was analysed. Thirty-four percent of patients were women and 33% were current or ex-IDUs. 36.2% of patients (90.8% of IDUs) were co-infected with HCV. Two-year all-cause mortality rate was 5.4 per 100 person-years (95% CI, 4.4-6.7). Most HIV-related deaths occurred within 6 months of ART start (36, 67.9%), but only 5 (25.0%) non-HIV-related deaths were recorded during this period. Mortality was higher in older patients (HR = 2.50; 95% CI, 1.42-4.40 for ≥40 compared to 15-29 years), and in those with initial BMI < 18.5 kg/m(2) (HR = 3.38; 95% CI, 1.82-5.32), poor adherence to treatment (HR = 5.13; 95% CI, 2.47-10.65 during the second year of therapy), or low initial CD4 cell count (HR = 4.55; 95% CI, 1.54-13.41 for <100 compared to ≥100 cells/μl). Risk of death was not associated with IDU status (P = 0.38). Conclusion  Increased mortality was associated with late presentation of patients. In this programme, death rates were similar regardless of injection drug exposure, supporting the notion that satisfactory treatment outcomes can be achieved when comprehensive care is provided to these patients

    Does Village Water Supply Affect Children's Length of Stay in a Therapeutic Feeding Program in Niger? Lessons from a Médecins Sans Frontières Program.

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    With an increasing move towards outpatient therapeutic feeding for moderately and severely malnourished children, the home environment has become an increasingly important factor in achieving good program outcomes. Infections, including those water-borne, may significantly delay weight gain in a therapeutic feeding program. This study examined the relationship between adequacy of water supply and children's length of stay in a therapeutic feeding program in Niger
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