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Objective: To assess whether linking the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) service support with performance-based interventions has influenced the quality of reporting and of immunization systems. GAVI Service Support (ISS) combines performance assessment, recommendations and implementation support with financial reward.

To explore the process, major players and procedural success factors for recent public sector TB regimen changes, we conducted 166 interviews of country stakeholders in 21 of the 22 TB high-burden countries (HBCs).Stakeholders described 40 distinct regimen changes for drug-susceptible TB. Once countries committed to considering a change, the average timing was ∼1 year for decision-making and ∼2 years for roll-out. Stakeholders more often cited concerns that were program-based (e.g., logistics and cost) rather than patient-focused (e.g., side effects), and patient representatives were seldom part of decision making. Decision-making bodies in higher-income HBCs had more formalized procedures and fewer international participants. Pilot studies focused on logistics were more common than effectiveness studies, and the evidence base was often felt to be insufficient. Once implementation started, weaknesses in drug management were often exposed, with additional complications if local manufacturing was required. Best practices for regimen change included early engagement of budgeting staff, procurement staff, regulators and manufacturers. Future decision makers will benefit from strengthened decision-making bodies, patient input, early and comprehensive planning, and regimens and evidence that address local, practical implementation issues.

In this paper, we discuss the reasons why we urgently need a point-of-care (POC) CD4 test, elaborate the problems we have experienced with the current technology which hampers CD4-count coverage and highlight the ideal characteristics of a universal CD4 POC test.

Following over 30 years of conflict in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Public Health and its partners are rebuilding the pharmaceutical system to provide safe, affordable, and equitable access to medicines. Pharmaceutical system structures and processes are being strengthened; however, developing the pharmacy workforce is critical to ensuring the sustainability of these efforts.

This review article discusses the sustainability and robust advantages of planar chromatography that are critical to the successful performance of product quality assessments in resource limited areas including field applications.

Background: The current tuberculosis (TB) treatment landscape has been studied extensively, but researchers rarely consider how it creates challenges or opportunities for future regimen change.

Our aim was to explore peer counselors' work and their role in supporting patients' adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART) in resource-limited settings in Ethiopia and Uganda. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 79 patients, 17 peer counselors, and 22 providers in ART facilities in urban and rural areas of Ethiopia and Uganda.

In Malawi, high case fatality rates in patients with tuberculosis, who were also co-infected with HIV, and high early death rates in people living with HIV during the initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) adversely impacted on treatment outcomes for the national tuberculosis and ART programmes respectively. This article (1) discusses the operational research that was conducted in the country on cotrimoxazole preventive therapy, (2) outlines the steps that were taken to translate these findings into national policy and practice, (3) shows how the implementation of cotrimoxazole preventive therapy for both TB patients and HIV-infected patients starting ART was associated with reduced death rates, and (4) highlights lessons applicable to other settings and interventions.

By Newbrander, W., C. Peercy, M. Shepherd-Banigan, and P. Vergeer.International Journal of Health Planning and Management Epub 28 October 2011.

Among adults eligible for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Thyolo (rural Malawi) and Kibera (Nairobi, Kenya), this study (1) reports on retention and attrition during the preparation phase and after starting ART and (2) identifies risk factors associated with attrition.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is the largest marijuana producer in the Eastern Caribbean. As the European Union has phased out preferred access for its banana crop, marijuana has become one of the main sources of income and a safety net for many young men, in particular.

The national scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Malawi is based on a public health approach, with principles and practices borrowed from the successful DOTS tuberculosis control framework. During the first 6 years, the number of patients registered on treatment increased from 3,000 to >350,000 in both the public and private sectors.

The objective of this study was to determine extent of HIV conspiracy belief endorsement among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Pretoria, and assess whether endorsement of HIV conspiracy beliefs are associated with inconsistent condom use and never testing for HIV. A cross-sectional survey using respondent-driven sampling was conducted between February and August 2009.

The number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) has increased considerably in recent years and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. A major challenge is to maintain uninterrupted supplies of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and prevent stock-outs.

By Rasschaert F, Pirard M, Philips MP, Atun R, Wouters E, Assefa Y, Criel B, Schouten EJ, Van Damme W.Journal of the International AIDS Society, July 6, 2011, vol. 14, suppl. 1:S3.Background: Global health initiatives have enabled the scale up of antiretroviral treatment (ART) over recent years.

Background: Recognition and referral of sick children to a facility where they can obtain appropriate treatment is critical for helping reduce child mortality. A well-functioning referral system and compliance by caretakers with referrals are essential.

Management Sciences for Health offers technical expertise and materials to assist countries to prepare and respond to severe pandemics and other disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and other challenges to health, social, and economic well-­‐being.

From 2000 to 2010, Rwanda implemented comprehensive health sector reforms to strengthen the public health system, with the aim of reducing maternal and newborn deaths in line with Millennium Development Goal 5, among many other improvements in national health.

The objective of this study was to implement a rapid assessment of the performance of four malaria control strategies (indoor spraying, insecticide-treated bed nets, timely diagnosis, and artemisinin-based combination therapy) using adequacy criteria. The assessment was carried out in five countries of the Amazon subregion (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Peru). Although ACT is the strategy with the better implementation in all countries, major gaps exist in implementation of the other three malaria control strategies in terms of technical criteria, coverage and quality desired. The countries must implement action plans to close the gaps in the various criteria and thereby improve the performance of the interventions. The assessment tools developed, based on adequacy criteria, are considered useful for a rapid assessment by malaria control authorities in the different countries.

Background Globally, the monitoring of prompt and effective treatment for malaria with artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is conducted largely through household surveys. This measure; however, provides no information on case management processes at the health facility level.

Background Secondary infertility is a common, preventable but neglected reproductive health problem in resource-poor countries. This study examines the association of past sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, bacterial vaginosis, and factors in the obstetric history with secondary infertility and their relative contributions to secondary infertility. Methods

Described here is the first population genetic study of Plasmodium malariae, the causative agent of quartan malaria. Although not as deadly as Plasmodium falciparum, P. malariae is more common than previously thought, and is frequently in sympatry and co-infection with P. falciparum, making its study increasingly important. This study compares the population parameters of the two species in two districts of Malawi with different malaria transmission patterns—one seasonal, one perennial—to explore the effects of transmission on population structures. The extent of similarity between P. falciparum and P. malariae population structure described by the high level of multiple infection, the lack of significant population differentiation or haplotype clustering, and lack of linkage disequilibrium is surprising given the differences in the biological features of these species that suggest a reduced potential for out-crossing and transmission in P. malariae. The absence of a rise in P. malariae MOI with increased transmission or a reduction in MOI with age could be explained by differences in the duration of infection or degree of immunity compared to P. falciparum.

This training guide and these tools were created as part of the USAID STOP AI project to help local leaders prepare their communities to respond to widespread disease outbreaks. For more information about any of the tools on this page, or to request a copy to be sent to you, please contact Lisa Stone at LStone@msh.org. Facilitator Guide (PDF, 4.8 MB) Pandemic Toolkit (PDF, 9.4 MB)

In Haiti, it is rare for men to choose to have a vasectomy. Many believe this method of family planning robs a man of his virility. Yet in 2009, Sagesse Exilus chose to have a vasectomy at Fermathe hospital.

Apegnon Akpene is a 20 year-old mother of three: four year-old Joseph, two year-old Romance and one month-old Akou Jacqueline.

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