Global health review

Global health review

Kala Azar treatment in Fulbaria Caption
MSF outreach workers test people for kala azar, Fulbaria, Mymensingh district, Bangladesh.

A weekly round-up of all the latest global health research from MSF projects and beyond

13 November 2020

Hello everyone,

Next week, on 18th and 19th November, MSF Scientific Days Asia 2020 will take place virtually, bringing together researchers, practitioners, academics and patient representatives to showcase research, innovation and experiences from humanitarian programmes across the region.

In PLOS ONE, MSF contributes to a study protocol aiming to estimate the burden of hypocalcaemia in pregnancy, and identify risk factors and barriers to calcium supplementation among pregnant women in Nkongsamba Regional Hospital, Cameroon. MSF also contributes to a protocol in JMIR Research Protocols for the Paediatric Infection-Point-of-Care trial, investigating new ways of improving the differential diagnosis of suspected childhood CNS infections in a low-resource setting in Southwestern Uganda.

MSF contributes to a study in Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine, exploring the association between exposure to household air pollution and under-five mortality risk in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors suggest a possible association and highlight the need for awareness campaigns on the effects of exposure to household air pollution, and additional longitudinal studies.

Ahead of World Diabetes Day tomorrow, The Lancet Commission on diabetes has been published, providing recommendations on using data to transform diabetes care and patient lives.

Reminder: on 3rd December at 2pm GMT, the global launch of the 2020 Lancet Countdown Report will take place online, bringing together 120 world-leading experts to reveal and explore the latest evidence around global health and climate change.

Best regards, 

Yvonne Blokland, Jeff Hau, Freja Nielsen, Jodie Pearlman and Holly Baker with MSF-authored article assistance from Patricia Kahn and Amelia Zhao

Conflict, migration and health

Conflict and Health • Viewpoint ***MSF AUTHOR***: Preparing humanitarians to address ethical problems

The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health • Reflections ***MSF AUTHOR***: “You said the hospital can't be bombed”



PLOS NTDs • Article : Development of an antigen detection assay for early point-of-care diagnosis of Zaire ebolavirus


HIV and tuberculosis

Clinical Infectious Diseases • Article ***MSF AUTHOR***: "SILVAMP TB LAM" Rapid Urine Tuberculosis Test Predicts Mortality in Patients Hospitalized With Human Immunodeficiency Virus in South Africa

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article ***MSF AUTHOR***: Implementation and operational feasibility of SAMBA I HIV-1 semi-quantitative viral load testing at the point of care in rural settings in Malawi and Uganda

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article : HIV testing and self‐testing coverage among men and women in South Africa: an exploration of related factors

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article : Outcomes and complications of hospitalized patients with HIV‐TB co‐infection

The Lancet HIV • Article : Community-based HIV testing services in an urban setting in western Kenya: a programme implementation study

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article : Tuberculosis in the intensive care unit: alternative treatment regimens and association with mortality


Infectious diseases

JMIR Research Protocols • Article ***MSF AUTHOR***: Point-of-Care Approaches for Meningitis Diagnosis in a Low-Resource Setting (Southwestern Uganda): Observational Cohort Study Protocol of the "PI-POC" Trial

The Lancet Infectious Diseases • Review : Arthritogenic alphaviruses: epidemiological and clinical perspective on emerging arboviruses



BMJ Global Health • Article : Subsidise the test, the treatment or both? Results of an individually randomised controlled trial of the management of suspected malaria fevers in the retail sector in western Kenya

Transactions of RSTMH • Article : Participation of Ghanaian pregnant women in an antimalarial drug trial: willingness, experiences and perceptions

Malaria Journal • Review : Malaria distribution and performance of malaria diagnostic methods in Malaysia (1980–2019): a systematic review

Malaria Journal • Article : Reaching the unreached: effectiveness and satisfaction with community-directed distribution of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine for preventing malaria in pregnancy in rural South-East, Nigeria

Malaria Journal  • Article : Socio-economic behavioural indicators of falciparum malaria parasitaemia and moderate to severe anaemia among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria

Malaria Journal  • Article : Impact of Plasmodium falciparum gene deletions on malaria rapid diagnostic test performance

Malaria Journal  • Article : Community-based surveys for Plasmodium falciparum pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletions in selected regions of mainland Tanzania

Malaria Journal • Article : Evaluating the impact of larviciding with Bti and community education and mobilization as supplementary integrated vector management interventions for malaria control in Kenya and Ethiopia

Malaria Journal  • Article : Pharmacovigilance of suspected or confirmed therapeutic ineffectiveness of artemisinin-based combination therapy: extent, associated factors, challenges and solutions to reporting

BugBitten• Blog : Using the malaria parasite’s weapons against them


Maternal and child health

PLOS ONE • Article ***MSF AUTHOR***: Hypocalcaemia and calcium intake in pregnancy: A research protocol for critical analysis of risk factors, maternofoetal outcomes and evaluation of diagnostic methods in a third-category health facility, Cameroon

BMC Public Health • Article ***MSF AUTHOR***: Knowledge of peri-menarcheal changes and a comparative analysis of the age at menarche among young adolescent school girls in urban and rural Cameroon

Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine • Article ***MSF AUTHOR***: Household air pollution and under-five mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: an analysis of 14 demographic and health surveys

BMJ • Review : Associations between high temperatures in pregnancy and risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirths: systematic review and meta-analysis

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article : Trends in Sickle Cell Trait and Disease Screening in the Republic of Uganda, 2014‐2019

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article : Beyond severe acute maternal morbidity: a mixed‐methods study on the long‐term consequences of (severe pre‐) eclampsia in rural Tanzania

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article : Child Hand Contamination is Associated with Pediatric Diarrhea in Rural Democratic Republic of the Congo

International Health • Article : Interpregnancy interval in lower versus higher human development index countries: a hypothesis about pregnancy spacing


Neglected tropical diseases

PLOS NTDs • Viewpoint : The NTD Supply Chain Forum—Strengthening the backbone of NTD programs

PLOS NTDs • Article : Preliminary evaluations of 3-dimensional human skin models for their ability to facilitate in vitro the long-term development of the debilitating obligatory human parasite Onchocerca volvulus

PLOS NTDs • Article : Baseline patterns of infection in regions of Benin, Malawi and India seeking to interrupt transmission of soil transmitted helminths (STH) in the DeWorm3 trial

PLOS NTDs • Article : Serious limitations of the current strategy to control Soil Transmitted Helminths and added value of ivermectin/Albendazole mass administration: A population-based observational study in Cameroon

PLOS NTDs • Article : A voluntary use of insecticide treated nets can stop the vector transmission of Chagas disease

Transactions of RSTMH • Article : Cloning, high-level gene expression and bioinformatics analysis of SP15 and LeIF from Leishmania major and Iranian Phlebotomus papatasi saliva as single and novel fusion proteins: a potential vaccine candidate against leishmaniasis

International Health • Analysis : Donor reliance and the impact on neglected tropical disease programme delivery: reflections and solutions for change from programme management perspectives 


Non-communicable diseases

The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology • Commission : The Lancet Commission on diabetes: using data to transform diabetes care and patient lives

The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology • Editorial : Nurses: at the heart of diabetes care

Tropical Medicine and International Health • Article : Insights in the pathophysiology of haemorrhagic strokes in a sub‐Sahara African country, an epidemiological and MRI study



PLOS NTDs • Article : Development and evaluation of a rapid and simple diagnostic assay for COVID-19 based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification

WHO Bulletin • Viewpoint : Smoking and epidemics of respiratory infections

The Lancet • Editorial : COVID-19 in Latin America: a humanitarian crisis

The Lancet • Comment : Emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccines: lessons from Ebola

The Lancet • Comment : Challenges in creating herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection by mass vaccination

The Lancet Global Health • Comment : Sex differences in COVID-19 case fatality: do we know enough?


Research and reporting

BMJ Global Health • Article : Bringing a health systems modelling approach to complex evaluations: multicountry applications in HIV, TB and malaria

Conflict and Health • Review : Health-related articles on Syria before and after the start of armed conflict: a scoping review for The Lancet-American University of Beirut Commission on Syria

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