News and Resources - May 2011


In this issue these are listed under:

  • HIV and other infections
  • Nutrition
  • Surgery
  • Medicine/Other conditions
  • Continuing medical education/learning materials


HIV and other infections

WHO Policy Briefs to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Healthcare workers are at the frontline of the emergence of drug resistance. They work in hospitals or other healthcare settings where patients who frequently receive antimicrobial medicine are more likely to develop and spread resistant infections. To mark World Health Day on 7 April 2011 WHO published a set of Policy Briefs on this issue. Brief 4 ‘Regulate and promote rational use of medicines, including in animal husbandry, and ensure proper patient care’ points out that:

  • Only 50% of people with malaria receive the recommended first-line anti-malarial medicine.
  • Only 50-70% of people with pneumonia are treated with appropriate antibiotics.
  • Up to 60% of people with viral upper respiratory tract infection receive antibiotics inappropriately.

Among the recommended 20 Core Actions are:

  • Develop standard treatment guidelines in collaboration with professional societies, medical and paramedical teaching institutions; regularly update and promote the use of the guidelines; and encourage inclusion of the guidelines in basic medical and paramedical curricula...
  • Provide independent and unbiased information about medicines for health personnel and for consumers as a function of the ministry of health, with dedicated budgets for this purpose.
  • Educate prescribers on factors which may influence their prescribing habits.
  • Introduce regulations which address all aspects of the promotion of pharmaceuticals; ensure that advertisements contain only information that was approved when the product was registered.'

See all the Briefs at:

[From 9April 2011]


Acute and chronic kidney disease and HIV

This detailed article published by HATiP Newsletter #172 looks at the causes and prevalence of acute and chronic kidney disease in people with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.


HATiP is a regular electronic newsletter for healthcare workers and community-based organisations on HIV treatment in resource-limited settings. For further information see


Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-positive infants aids growth, reduces anaemia

New findings from the Children with Antibiotic Prophylaxis (CHAP) trial show that the daily use of cotrimoxazole in untreated HIV-infected infants significantly improved growth and reduced anaemia.

Reference: Prendergast A et al. Improved growth and anemia in HIV-infected children taking cotrimoxazole prophylaxis. Clin Infect Dis 52 (7):953-956, 2011. Download a summary at



This site provides resources on HIV/AIDS at These include one-page factsheets, providing a summary of over 100 topics which can be printed and shared. See



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


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,

Interventions to prevent and treat malnutrition, and Monitoring, evaluation and accountability.

You can download all the modules at

The report “Situation Analysis of Nutrition in Southern Sudan: Analysis Based on June 2009 Assessment” gives a useful and detailed overview of the nutrition situation in South Sudan, including its causes and the country’s policies and plans for tackling malnutrition. It also summarises nutrition-related programmes and projects. You can request a hard copy of the report from Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance II Project  [email protected] or download it at  



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

February: Road Traffic Injury in Africa: Implications to Surgeons

March: Treatment of Neglected Clubfoot

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


Medicine/Other conditions

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


Continuing medical education/learning materials

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 all 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]]


African Journal of Health Professions Education (AJHPE)

This new bi-annual journal seeks to publish information relevant to the education of doctors, nurses, midlevel clinicians, and other health professionals. The second issue focuses on educating health professionals to meet Africa's needs and most articles can be downloaded for free from


The Journal of Public Health in Africa (JPHiA)

This is a peer-reviewed, electronic quarterly journal that focuses on health issues in the African continent. The journal editors seek high quality original articles on public health related issues and reviews. The aim of the journal is to move public from the background to the forefront. The success of Africa’s struggle against disease depends on public health approaches. See 

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

AuthorAID is a global research community that provides networking, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries – see Its Resource Library has many useful downloadable documents. These include: Scientific Writing: Tips and Resources (Microsoft PowerPoint presentation).


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


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.