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  1. 1

    Characterizing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa: time for strategic action.

    Abu-Raddad LJ; Akala FA; Semini I; Riedner G; Wilson D; Tawil O

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2010. [304] p. (World Bank Report No. 54889)

    This study is a continuation of the previous sector review, conducted in 2004. The 2008 review had two main objectives. This review is primarily an update on the situation. In its development strategy, Benin gave considerable importance to the health of its population. This effort is part of the long-term vision of the country. Improving health status, especially for the poor, is one of eight strategic directions for that vision. Similarly, on a more operational level, this objective is reflected in the current Growth Strategy for Poverty Reduction (GPRS 2007-2009). Benin is particularly committed towards the Millennium Development Goals, including 3 on the health sector. This review was also an opportunity to further analyze the constraints in the health system, consistent with the new strategy Health Nutrition and Population World Bank, Strategy adopted in 2007. But this exercise was not intended merely to be analytical. It also aimed to enrich the political dialogue between, on one hand, the actors in health and, secondly, the World Bank and other development partners. This effort relates more specifically to some themes such as governance, private sector involvement and alignment of partners' efforts (called technical and financial partners in Benin or PTFs). From this perspective, the journal is also a contribution to Benin's efforts to advance the IHP (International Health Partnership Plus). This initiative is now the main tool for implementing the Paris Declaration. In practice, the journal has sought to contribute to the consensus between the Ministry of Health and the donor group on the diagnosis of the health system and the changes needed to strengthen it. Several guidelines have emerged stronger from this discussion, particularly in the area of governance of the health system. Beyond the reinforcement of the various components of the health system, two fundamental principles should guide the transformation of this system: 1) A principle of corporate governance: through decentralization of the health system, health facilities must have their basic needs better taken into account (hence the need for bottom-up planning) and especially as more independent financially administrative; and 2) A principle of individual governance: health workers should be strongly encouraged to improve their performance (competence, productivity and compliance of patients). Given the limited success of measures to strengthen inspections and other controls "top-down, this incentive can only come from clients, either directly (i.e., bonuses based on cost recovery), or preferably indirectly with a mechanism for payment by results funded by the state and possibly partners.
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    A stochastic infection rate model for estimating and projecting national HIV prevalence rates.

    Bao L; Raftery AE

    Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2010 Dec; 86 Suppl 2:ii93-9.

    BACKGROUND: Every 2 years, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) produces probabilistic estimates and projections of HIV prevalence rates for countries with generalised HIV/AIDS epidemics. To do this they use a simple epidemiological model and data from antenatal clinics and household surveys. The estimates are made using the Bayesian melding method, implemented by the incremental mixture importance sampling technique. This methodology is referred to as the 'estimation and projection package (EPP) model'. This has worked well for estimating and projecting prevalence in most countries. However, there has recently been an 'uptick' in prevalence in Uganda after a long sustained decline, which the EPP model does not predict. METHODS: To address this problem, a modification of the EPP model, called the 'r stochastic model' is proposed, in which the infection rate is allowed to vary randomly in time and is applied to the entire non-infected population. RESULTS: The resulting method yielded similar estimates of past prevalence to the EPP model for four countries and also similar median ('best') projections, but produced prediction intervals whose widths increased over time and that allowed for the possibility of an uptick after a decline. This seems more realistic given the recent Ugandan experience.
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    [Undernutrition in humanitarian crises] Underernaering ved humanitaere kriser.

    Skau JK; Olsen M; Friis H; Michaelsen KF

    Ugeskrift For Laeger. 2010 Jan 11; 172(2):117-20.

    Undernutrition is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in emergencies. The response depends on the extent and type of undernutrition in the affected population. Nutritional status is assessed by weight-for-height, mid-upper arm circumference and micronutrient deficiencies. Food aid is distributed in general or selective feeding programmes. Promotion of breastfeeding has been found to be one of the most efficient strategies to prevent undernutrition. There is a lack of evidence to support the optimal composition of food aid products, but there is an increasing focus on the importance of research in this field.
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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    [Clinical, epidemiological and microbiological characteristics of a cohort of pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Cali, Colombia] Caracteristicas clinicas, epidemiologicas y microbiologicas de una cohorte de pacientes con tuberculosis pulmonar en Cali, Colombia.

    Rojas CM; Villegas SL; Pineros HM; Chamorro EM; Duran CE; Hernandez EL; Pacheco R; Ferro BE

    Biomedica. 2010 Oct-Dec; 30(4):482-91.

    INTRODUCTION: The World Health Organization recommended strategy for global tuberculosis control is a short-course, clinically administered treatment, This approach has approximately 70% coverage in Colombia. OBJECTIVE: The clinical, epidemiological and microbiological characteristics along with drug therapy outcomes were described in newly diagnosed, pulmonary tuberculosis patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a descriptive study, conducted as part of a multicenter clinical trial of tuberculosis treatment. A cohort of 106 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis were recruited from several public health facilities in Cali between April 2005 and June 2006. Sputum smear microscopy, culture, drug susceptibility tests to first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs, chest X- ray and HIV-ELISA were performed. Clinical and epidemiological information was collected for each participant. Treatment was administered by the local tuberculosis health facility. Food and transportation incentives were provided during a 30 month follow-up period. RESULTS: The majority of patients were young males with a diagnostic delay longer than 9 weeks and a high sputum smear grade (2+ or 3+). The initial drug resistance was 7.5% for single drug treatment and 1.9% for multidrug treatments. The incidence of adverse events associated with treatment was 8.5%. HIV co-infection was present in 5.7% of the cases. Eighty-six percent of the patients completed the treatment and were considered cured. The radiographic presentation varied within a broad range and differed from the classic progression to cavity formation. CONCLUSION: Delay in tuberculosis diagnosis was identified as a risk factor for treatment compliance failure. The study population had similar baseline epidemiologic characteristics to those described in other cohort studies.
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  5. 5
    Peer Reviewed

    Global lessons from India's poliomyelitis elimination campaign.

    Arora NK; Chaturvedi S; Dasgupta R

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2010 Mar; 88(3):232-4.

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  6. 6
    Peer Reviewed

    The theory of epidemiologic transition: the origins of a citation classic.

    Weisz G; Olszynko-Gryn J

    Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. 2010 Jul; 65(3):287-326.

    In 1971 Abdel R. Omran published his classic paper on the theory of epidemiologic transition. By the mid-1990s, it had become something of a citation classic and was understood as a theoretical statement about the shift from infectious to chronic diseases that supposedly accompanies modernization. However, Omran himself was not directly concerned with the rise of chronic disease; his theory was in fact closely tied to efforts to accelerate fertility decline through health-oriented population control programs. This article uses Omran's extensive published writings as well as primary and secondary sources on population and family planning to place Omran's career in context and reinterpret his theory. We find that "epidemiologic transition" was part of a broader effort to reorient American and international health institutions towards the pervasive population control agenda of the 1960s and 1970s. The theory was integral to the WHO's then controversial efforts to align family planning with health services, as well as to Omran's unsuccessful attempt to create a new sub-discipline of "population epidemiology." However, Omran's theory failed to displace demographic transition theory as the guiding framework for population control. It was mostly overlooked until the early 1990s, when it belatedly became associated with the rise of chronic disease.
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  7. 7
    Peer Reviewed

    Monitoring linked epidemics: the case of tuberculosis and HIV.

    Sanchez MS; Lloyd-Smith JO; Getz WM

    PloS One. 2010; 5(1):e8796.

    BACKGROUND: The tight epidemiological coupling between HIV and its associated opportunistic infections leads to challenges and opportunities for disease surveillance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We review efforts of WHO and collaborating agencies to track and fight the TB/HIV co-epidemic, and discuss modeling--via mathematical, statistical, and computational approaches--as a means to identify disease indicators designed to integrate data from linked diseases in order to characterize how co-epidemics change in time and space. We present R(TB/HIV), an index comparing changes in TB incidence relative to HIV prevalence, and use it to identify those sub-Saharan African countries with outlier TB/HIV dynamics. R(TB/HIV) can also be used to predict epidemiological trends, investigate the coherency of reported trends, and cross-check the anticipated impact of public health interventions. Identifying the cause(s) responsible for anomalous R(TB/HIV) values can reveal information crucial to the management of public health. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We frame our suggestions for integrating and analyzing co-epidemic data within the context of global disease monitoring. Used routinely, joint disease indicators such as R(TB/HIV) could greatly enhance the monitoring and evaluation of public health programs.
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  8. 8

    Multidrug and extensively drug-resistant TB (M/XDR-TB): 2010 global report on surveillance and response.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Stop TB Department

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2010. [71] p.

    This new report on anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug resistance by the World Health Organization (WHO) updates "Anti-tuberculosis drug resistance in the world: Report No. 4" published by WHO in 2008. It summarizes the latest data and provides latest estimates of the global epidemic of multidrug and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (M/XDR-TB). For the first time, this report includes an assessment of the progress countries are making to diagnose and treat MDR-TB cases. (Excerpt)
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