Strengthening health systems – lessons learned from the Ebola response by David Peters

In this presentation David Peters, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses how lesson learning from responses to the recent ebola outbreak in West Africa can strengthen health systems. His presentation focuses on strengthening national health systems, rather than at the international level. The outbreak has caused over 10,000 deaths. In addition, the epidemic has caused fear… Read more

Controlling Ebola: key role of Ebola treatment centres

What initially was perceived to be a self-limited outbreak of Ebola virus disease in a forested area of Guinea has become an unprecedented epidemic of international concern that continues to spread unabated in parts of west Africa. A lack of public health infrastructure together with delays in virus detection and implementation of control interventions have contributed… Read more

West African Ebola Epidemic after One Year — Slowing but Not Yet under Control

This correspondence from the WHO Ebola Response Team focuses on the West African ebola epidemic after one year. It explains how the uneven success of ebola control measures to date, in the face of shifting geographic patterns of transmission, illustrates the continuing threat posed by the Ebola virus 1 year after the start of the epidemic. A total… Read more

The Promise of Preschool in Africa: A Randomized Impact Evaluation of Early Childhood Development in Rural Mozambique

The earliest years of life are pivotal in forming the foundations for healthy development and providing children and their societies the opportunity to reach their full potential. However, many children in developing countries are not able to develop to their full potential because of serious deficits in health, nutrition and proper cognitive and non-cognitive stimulation…. Read more

Reducing child conduct problems and promoting social skills in a middle-income country: cluster randomised controlled trial

Background There is an urgent need for effective, affordable interventions to prevent child mental health problems in low- and middle- income countries. Aims To determine the effects of a universal pre-school-based intervention on child conduct problems and social skills at school and at home. Method In a cluster randomised design, 24 community pre-schools in inner-city… Read more

The role of early childhood education programmes in the promotion of child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries

Background There is growing evidence that early childhood education (ECE) interventions can reduce the loss of developmental potential of disadvantaged children in low- and middle-income countries (LAMIC). Less attention has been paid to the potential of these programmes to prevent child mental health problems and promote child well-being. Methods Peer-reviewed journal articles describing controlled evaluations… Read more

Sanitation and Health

This is one article in a four-part PLoS Medicine series on water and sanitation. Summary Points 2.6 billion people in the world lack adequate sanitation—the safe disposal of human excreta. Lack of sanitation contributes to about 10% of the global disease burden, causing mainly diarrhoeal diseases. In the past, government agencies have typically built sanitation… Read more

Neurodevelopmental trajectory of HIV-infected children accessing care in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Objective—To assess the effect of HIV care (including HAART if eligible) on neurodevelopment. Design—Prospective cohort study Methods—Motor and mental development of 35 HIV-infected children (age 18-71 months) was assessed at entry into care, and after 6 and 12 months using age-appropriate tools. Developmental trajectory was compared to 35 HIV-uninfected, affected and 90 control children using… Read more

Clean birth and postnatal care practices to reduce neonatal deaths from sepsis and tetanus: a systematic review and Delphi estimation of mortality effect

Abstract Background: Annually over 520,000 newborns die from neonatal sepsis, and 60,000 more from tetanus. Estimates of the effect of clean birth and postnatal care practices are required for evidence-based program planning. Objective: To review the evidence for clean birth and postnatal care practices and estimate the effect on neonatal mortality from sepsis and tetanus… Read more

Maternal nutrition at conception modulates DNA methylation of human metastable epialleles

In experimental animals, maternal diet during the periconceptional period influences the establishment of DNA methylation at metastable epialleles in the offspring, with permanent phenotypic consequences. Pronounced naturally occurring seasonal differences in the diet of rural Gambian women allowed us to test this in humans. We show that significant seasonal variations in methyl-donor nutrient intake of… Read more

The effects of contraception on obstetric outcomes

The contribution of contraception to reductions in obstetric mortality and morbidity is universally acknowledged. One major pathway is by reducing the number of unwanted births. Each pregnancy and childbirth carry a health risk for the woman, and where obstetric services are poor, maternal mortality is still very high. In most Asian and Latin American countries… Read more

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