Spotlight on the March issue of International Health

node lead section
Monday, 27 March 2017

What's new in TB

To support World TB Day this month, International Health has published three TB papers in the March issue.

This month's Editor's Choice is the freely available original research paper from Espindola et al on strategies for halting the rise of multidrug resistant TB epidemics: assessing the effect of early case detection and isolation. The increasing rates of MDR-TB have posed the question of whether control programs under enhanced directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS-Plus) are sufficient or implemented optimally. Despite enhanced efforts on early case detection and improved treatment regimens, direct transmission of MDR-TB remains a major hurdle for global TB control. The authors developed an agent-based simulation model of TB dynamics to evaluate the effect of transmission reduction measures on the incidence of MDR-TB and found that it depends critically on the rates and timelines of case identification. The high costs and adverse effects associated with MDR-TB treatment warrant increased efforts and investments on measures that can interrupt direct transmission through early case detection.

The second research paper is from Ukwaja et al on 'Sustaining the DOTS’: stakeholders’ experience of a social protection intervention for TB in Nigeria. The aim of this study was to explore patients’ and health workers’ experiences of a social protection intervention for TB in order to inform a more patient-centred approach for the Nigeria National TB Programme strategy. Finally, we have a paper from Jerene et al demonstrating the yield and feasibility of integrated screening for TB, diabetes and HIV in four public hospitals in Ethiopia. They found that tri-directional screening was feasible for detecting and managing previously undiagnosed TB and diabetes mellitus.

For more TB papers, read our collection made freely available to support World TB Day.

What else is in the March issue?

This month we have a commissioned Commentary from Dixon Chibanda on Depression and HIV: integrated care towards 90-90-90. Depression is a global public health problem affecting more than 300 million people. People living with HIV (PLWH) are twice as likely to suffer from depression when compared to matched non-HIV infected persons and a large treatment gap for depression, particularly in low and middle income countries, exists. However, there is emerging evidence suggesting that trained lay health workers (LHW) can deliver evidence-based treatments in the absence of mental health professionals and this can contribute towards reducing the treatment gap for depression.

We also have original research papers on the Impact of decentralisation of antiretroviral therapy services on HIV testing and care at a population level in Agago District in rural Northern Uganda: results from the Lablite population surveys from Abongomera et al, Discourse versus practice: are traditional practices and beliefs in pregnancy and childbirth included or excluded in the Ecuadorian health care system? from Gallegos et al, Frequency of abnormal pulmonary computed tomography findings in asylum seeking refugees in Turkey from Soydan et al, Antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infections in children in Jordan from Ababneh et al and a short communication from Reques et al on the Evaluation of contact tracing activities during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea, 2015

Read the full issue here.