News and Resources - February 2011


These resources are listed under:

  • Chronic diseases
  • HIV and other infections
  • Maternal and child health
  • Nutrition
  • Medicine and other conditions
  • Surgery


  • Continuing medical education


Chronic diseases

Lancet series on chronic diseases

The Lancet launched its third series on chronic diseases in November 2010, this time focusing on the "collective failure" in addressing the global state of chronic diseases. The articles look at what is preventing chronic diseases from receiving the global attention they need, as well as what systems, policies, and interventions (and their barriers) are needed to reduce the burden of chronic diseases in low- and middle-income countries. To access the entire series, including commentaries and articles go to To gain access to complete articles register at

[seen on ProCor 12Nov2010.  Procor is a global community promoting cardiovascular health.  To get ProCor's free weekly email summary of the latest news, knowledge, and discussion about cardiovascular health visit the website or email [email protected]] 


Understanding Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa has produced a useful 2-page educational brochure for clients that includes a breakdown of all risk factors and warning signs of CVD. Topics include: heart attack, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, exercise, nutrition, smoking and stress. Download from

HIV and other infections

TB kills 4,000 people with HIV each day

More needs to be done to identify and treat HIV in TB patients, and to prevent TB in people with HIV. The new TB control data from the WHO show that the majority of people with HIV and TB are still not receiving antiretroviral therapy or isoniazid preventive therapy. Nevertheless the findings do show improvement in rates of HIV testing among TB patients. Across sub-Saharan Africa, 53% of TB cases were tested for HIV in 2009 compared to 38% in 2007, suggesting that efforts to promote integration of HIV and TB activities is beginning to have an impact. Forty-six per cent of TB patients tested for HIV had a positive result in 2009 in sub-Saharan Africa. However some important interventions that have the potential to improve the health of people with HIV and TB, or to prevent the development of TB in people with HIV, still have limited coverage. Cotrimoxazole as an adjunct to TB treatment reduces the risk of death in people with HIV.

To read the full article by Keith Alcorn download it from HATiP, issue 169 (10 December 2010 page 2) at  To get regular email bulletins from HATiP go to and click on ‘Email bulletins’.


New WHO guidelines: Tuberculosis prevention for people with HIV

People living with HIV can be protected from one of their deadliest threats – tuberculosis - with a regular, low-cost preventive medication according to new 2010 guidelines from WHO. Of the nearly two million AIDS-related deaths each year, a quarter of them are associated with tuberculosis.

Key recommendations are:

  • All children and adults living with HIV, including pregnant women and those receiving antiretroviral treatment, should receive isoniazid prevention therapy.
  • Isoniazid should be prescribed for six to 36 months, or as a life-long treatment in settings with high HIV and TB prevalence.
  • People living with HIV who may have symptoms of TB should be further screened for active TB or other conditions so that they are able to access the appropriate treatments

Download the guidelines from [From WHO Press release of 1 December 2010]


Effect of circumcision of HIV-negative men on transmission of human papillomavirus to HIV-negative women: a randomised trial in Rakai, Uganda

The findings indicate that male circumcision should be accepted as an efficacious intervention for reducing the prevalence and incidence of HPV infections in female partners. However, protection is only partial; the promotion of safe sex practices is also important.

Reference: Wawer MJ etal. The Lancet; 377(9761):209 - 218, 15 January 2011



Web Platform for support in infectious diseases and oncology
The iSA (International Support Action) Clinical Platform at, is a global platform for the exchange of clinical cases. The aim is to provide expert diagnostic opinion to hospitals in Africa, which may not have the knowledge to manage certain complex cases in infectious diseases and oncology.

[Seen on HIFA 2015 10Nov10]


WHO leaflet summarising guidelines for rehydration of patients with cholera
Download at 

Maternal and Child Health

Latest WHO publications on family planning

  1. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use. 4th edition
    The recommendations have been updated and include immediate insertion of IUDs postpartum. IUDs are a safe and effective long term contraceptive, but there are a number of misunderstandings that have grown up around their use. These are acting as a barrier for women to have a safe long-term device to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
  2. Family Planning Global Handbook for Providers - a publication for working with clients to support informed choice. /

New hope for mother-to-child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding

A new study shows that giving a triple antiretroviral therapy (ART) during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding cuts the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV by 43% compared with the standard regimen of zudovidine and niverapine.

The Kesho Bora study – ‘A better future’ in Kiswahili – offers new hope for preventing HIV infection and death among infants in low-resource settings.  The study was a randomised controlled trial in antiretroviral-naïve pregnant woman infected with HIV-I conducted in five sites in Burkina Faso, Kenya and South Africa. The findings have influenced the revised WHO guidelines on prevention of MTCT. WHO now recommends providing combination ART to all pregnant women with CD4 count at or below 350 cells per μL and to provide ARV prophylaxis (to either mother or child) for the entire duration of breastfeeding if the mother is not already on ART.
Reference: Recquet r & Ekouevi DK. Breastfeeding, triple ARV prophylaxis, and MTCT prevention. Lancet Infectious Diseases 14 January 2011 doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(10)70299-1

See also Impact of HAART during pregnancy and breastfeeding on MTCT and mother's health: the Kesho Bora study at

Pediatric HIV Treatment Toolkit

The Pediatric HIV Treatment Toolkit from Aidstar-One (from USAID) provides tools, resources, and training materials for managing pediatric HIV care and treatment services to meet the latest (2010) WHO and national treatment guidelines.

It provides tools, resources, and training to assist in:

  • Managing pediatric HIV care and treatment services
  • Updating programs or sites to meet the latest WHO and national treatment guidelines

Download the toolkit from
[From AFRO-NETS – see below]



Nutrition Modules for emergency/crisis situations

The Harmonised Training Package documents key nutrition areas in emergencies and protracted crisis situations and is for trainers, practitioners and decision makers. It is organised as a set of modules by subject, each containing technical information, training exercises and a resource list for use in training course development covering:

Introduction and concepts (5 modules)

Nutrition needs assessment and analysis (5 modules)

Interventions to prevent and treat malnutrition (9 modules), and

Monitoring, evaluation and accountability (2 modules).

The Package is an initiative of the IASC Global Nutrition Cluster and is on the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) website at


Field Exchange: the Emergency Nutrition Network magazine

This is a free hard-copy magazine published three times a year containing field articles, research and news pieces for those working in emergency nutrition and food security. You can download and order hard copies at  


Other conditions

Guidelines for the prevention and clinical management of snakebite in Africa: 2010.World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville. Download from (4.5MB)


People with mental health conditions are a vulnerable group
 This new WHO report presents compelling evidence that people with mental health conditions meet major criteria for vulnerability and yet fall through the cracks of development aid and government attention. It makes the case for reaching out to this vulnerable group through the design and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes and through the inclusion of mental health interventions into broader poverty reduction and development strategies. It also describes a number of key interventions, which can provide a starting point for these efforts. 

Download the report from



Surgical Care at the District Hospital is a toolkit developed by WHO. The package includes a manual, training videos, and best practice protocols. The aim is to provide guidance on developing policy, training curricula, essential equipment, teaching and best practices on trauma, anaesthesia, HIV prevention, pregnancy complications and in disaster situations. The toolkit takes a primary health care approach in strengthening health systems to reducing death and disability in injury, pregnancy related complications, congenital anomalies and infection. It is available on a priced CD but all items, other than the videos, can be downloaded from


Surgery in Africa Monthly Reviews

These reviews are available free at

Examples of recent ones in 2010-11 are:

  • August: Disorders of the Umbilicus
  • September: Evidence Based Medicine for the Surgeon
  • November: Evidence Based Medicine (Updated)
  • December: Groin Hernia Repair-Revisited
  • January: Hirschsprung's Disease in Africa in the 21st Century.

Also at this site are archives of reviews since 2005 and a resource library.


Continuing Medical Education

The Cochrane Library's database of health-related Systematic Reviews

This database of systematic reviews and meta-analyses summarises and interprets the results of medical research. It is a valuable resource that is available free to readers in South Sudan (and other low-income countries). It is easy to access, does not require user-name or password and easy to search. Abstracts and ‘Plain Language Summaries’ are available to readers everywhere. Find the Library at


Makerere University, Uganda: Scholarly Digital Library

The Digital Library aims promote local research. Students and researchers are encouraged to submit pre-prints of their research articles as well as their theses and dissertations related to health research about Uganda. The Library contains many documents relevant to medicine in South Sudan.

To use the Digital Library go to Then click on the link to the College of Health Sciences and you can search by subject, author etc. The Library provided full text articles and full dissertations/theses.

[Reproduced with permission from an email to HIFA2015 from Alison Kinengyere, Serials Librarian at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences.]


Self-help Learning Courses for nurses
EBW (Electric Book Works) Healthcare publishes appropriate, affordable and up-to-date self-learning material for healthcare workers in the fields of perinatal care, HIV, TB and maternal and child health.

You can buy the courses as books or browse the content at the website for free. Each course has a set of multiple-choice tests.  See

[From CHILD2015 forum [email protected]]



This is a global community of medical professionals and students, supporting each other and helping each other to learn, through the sharing of information, resources and ideas. You can share and view videos, podcasts, slideshows, clinical images, practice exam questions and community based wiki notes all for free.
Go to to sign up. [Seen on HIFA2015]


African Journal of Health Professions Education (AJHPE)

This new bi-annual journal publishes information relevant to the education of doctors, nurses, midlevel clinicians, and other health professionals and most articles can be downloaded for free from

African Networks for Health Research & Development (AFRO-NETS at is a website that aims to facilitate exchange of information among different networks in health research in Anglophone Africa particularly in the fields of capacity building, planning, and research.

To subscribe to received updates go to

African academics 'slow to use online journals'

Despite improved access to electronic online journals, academics and students are not taking advantage of them, according to a new study. Poor journal access was identified by academics as a barrier to their work in the past. However, not being able to get into electronic journals is not the only issue; lack of access and skills to work on computers and time and money constraints are also barriers. Libraries and academics need to partner regularly in order to learn from each other.

For the full report by Ochieng' Ogodo and Mercy Adhiambo see Science Development Network [From procor Weekly Prevention Update 15 Dec 2010]


Why Africa is short of doctors

A recent survey of the region’s medical schools showed there is a critical shortage of doctors in sub-Saharan Africa. Reasons included: low number of graduates; high rate of immigration, faculty shortages, limited financial support, lack of co-ordination among government agencies and infrastructure problems. A key recruitment and retention element is missing from many medical schools - less than 10% of the region's medical faculty are involved with sponsored research.

[From Global Health Matters Newsletter.]


African innovation: New hope for local health issues
A series of papers from the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health that review how countries and companies in sub-Saharan Africa are addressing health problems through local innovation (e.g. a low-cost portable fuel-free medical waste incinerator developed at Makerere University). All articles are open access. The papers highlight progress and barriers, as well as provide policy suggestions to strengthen local innovation. All papers are available on the website.

See McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health