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Karachi, Pakistan

Abbasi L.,Indus Hospital | Haidri F.R.,Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation
Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan

Objective: To evaluate frequency of fibromyalgia in rheumatoid arthritis and its effect on disease activity score. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: The Indus Hospital, Karachi, from December 2010 to May 2011. Methodology: All adult patients of either gender diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis on the basis of clinical, laboratory and X-ray criteria were included in the study. The sample data was separated into two groups depending on presence or absence of fibromyalgia and 28 joint disease activity score (DAS-28) value was evaluated. Results: There were 31 (25.83%) patients with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia (RAFM) out of the total 120. The median (IQR) age of patients was 40 (32 - 51) years. All were females. The overall female frequency was 79 (88.8%). The median (IQR) DAS-28 score in RA group was 4.9 (3.66 - 5.71), while the median (IQR) DAS-28 score in RAFM was 7.04 (6.62 - 7.64) [p < 0.0001]. The number of patient getting combination therapy of DMARD in RAFM group was 61.3% while in RA group was 42.7%. Conclusion: DAS-28 was found to be significantly higher in RAFM patients probably because of higher perception of pain. Source

Codlin A.J.,Interactive Research and Development IRD | Javaid M.,Indus Hospital | Qazi F.,Interactive Research and Development IRD | Qazi F.,Research Alliance for Advocacy and Development RAAD | And 2 more authors.
BMC Infectious Diseases

Background: In South Asia, it is estimated that 80% of patients choose to attend a private facility for their healthcare needs. Although patients generally believe that the private-sector provides high quality services, private diagnostic laboratories are largely unregulated and little is known about the accuracy of results provided. This study assesses the accuracy of sputum smear microscopy for pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosis in private laboratories operating in Karachi, Pakistan. A novel evaluation methodology was designed in which patient-actors submitted sputum specimens spiked with cultured Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) for testing such that laboratories were not aware that they were being assessed.Methods: Smear-negative sputum specimens from Indus Hospital TB Program patients were collected and combined with an attenuated, cultured Mtb strain to create Mtb-spiked samples; for negative standards, no Mtb was added to the smear-negative sputum specimens. Seven of the largest private laboratories across Karachi were chosen for evaluation and were sent six Mtb-spiked and one Mtb-negative sputum specimens. Patient-actors pretending to be laboratory customers submitted these specimens to each laboratory for testing over a three day period.Results: Only three laboratories accurately classified all the Mtb-spiked specimens which were submitted. A further three misclassified all the Mtb-spiked specimens as smear-negative, thus providing the 'patients' with false negative results.Conclusions: TB sputum smear microscopy services are highly variable across private laboratories and are often of extremely poor quality. Engagement, capacity building and rigorous monitoring of standards at private laboratories are of vital importance for the control of TB. Our findings, while specific for TB diagnostic tests, could be symptomatic of other tests performed in private laboratories and warrant further investigation. © 2012 Codlin et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Zaidi S.M.A.,Interactive Research and Development | Khowaja S.,Interactive Research and Development | Lotia-Farrukh I.,Interactive Research and Development | Irani J.,Interactive Research and Development | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Background:Dog-bites and rabies are under-reported in developing countries such as Pakistan and there is a poor understanding of the disease burden. We prospectively collected data utilizing mobile phones for dog-bite and rabies surveillance across nine emergency rooms (ER) in Pakistan, recording patient health-seeking behaviors, access to care and analyzed spatial distribution of cases from Karachi.Methodology and Principal Findings:A total of 6212 dog-bite cases were identified over two years starting in February 2009 with largest number reported from Karachi (59.7%), followed by Peshawar (13.1%) and Hyderabad (11.4%). Severity of dog-bites was assessed using the WHO classification. Forty percent of patients had Category I (least severe) bites, 28.1% had Category II bites and 31.9% had Category III (most severe bites). Patients visiting a large public hospital ER in Karachi were least likely to seek immediate healthcare at non-medical facilities (Odds Ratio = 0.20, 95% CI 0.17-0.23, p-value<0.01), and had shorter mean travel time to emergency rooms, adjusted for age and gender (32.78 min, 95% CI 31.82-33.78, p-value<0.01) than patients visiting hospitals in smaller cities. Spatial analysis of dog-bites in Karachi suggested clustering of cases (Moran's I = 0.02, p value<0.01), and increased risk of exposure in particular around Korangi and Malir that are adjacent to the city's largest abattoir in Landhi. The direct cost of operating the mHealth surveillance system was USD 7.15 per dog-bite case reported, or approximately USD 44,408 over two years.Conclusions:Our findings suggest significant differences in access to care and health-seeking behaviors in Pakistan following dog-bites. The distribution of cases in Karachi was suggestive of clustering of cases that could guide targeted disease-control efforts in the city. Mobile phone technologies for health (mHealth) allowed for the operation of a national-level disease reporting and surveillance system at a low cost. © 2013 Zaidi et al. Source

Seddon J.A.,University of Cape Town | Seddon J.A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Furin J.J.,Case Western Reserve University | Gale M.,Medecins Sans Frontieres | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

The management of children with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is challenging, and it is likely that in many places, the roll-out of molecular diagnostic testing will lead to more children being diagnosed. There is a limited evidence base to guide optimal treatment and follow-up in the pediatric population; in existing DR-TB guidelines, the care of children is often relegated to small "special populations" sections. This article seeks to address this gap by providing clinicians with practical advice and guidance. This is achieved through review of the available literature on pediatric DR-TB, including research studies and international guidelines, combined with consensus opinion from a team of experts who have extensive experience in the care of children with DR-TB in a wide variety of contexts and with varying resources. The review covers treatment initiation, regimen design and treatment duration, management of comorbid conditions, treatment monitoring, adverse events, adherence promotion, and infection control, all within a multidisciplinary environment. Copyright © 2012 by the American Thoracic Society. Source

Raza S.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Sajun S.Z.,Indus Hospital | Selhorst C.C.,Brigham and Womens Hospital
Journal of the American College of Radiology

Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the attitudes of women and general practitioners (GPs) living in Karachi, Pakistan, regarding breast cancer, mammographic screening, and local barriers to breast health care. Methods: This study was performed using questionnaires designed specifically for women and for GPs in Karachi. Geographically dispersed collaborators identified GPs from neighborhoods across Karachi; snowball sampling located additional GPs and women in neighboring areas. Trained local community health workers conducted one-on-one surveys and used specially equipped (openXdata) mobile phones to enter and upload participant responses in real time. Results: The survey included 200 women (median age, 35 years; range, 24-63 years), and 100 GPs (49% men, 51% women). Women's knowledge of breast cancer incidence, diagnosis, and treatment was proportionate to educational level, while willingness to address breast health issues and interest in early detection were high regardless of education level. Very few women had ever undergone clinical breast examinations (16%) or mammography (9%). Among GPs (median time practicing, 12 years; range, 1-40 years), most understood major risk factors and importance of early detection. However, 20% did not believe breast cancer occurs in Pakistan, and 30% believed that it is a fatal disease. Female GPs were more likely to perform clinical breast examinations (98%) than male GPs (24%). Conclusions: This study has identified specific areas to target for educational and early detection programs. Women need more awareness and access to routine examinations and mammography; GPs need more education regarding the incidence and management of breast cancer. Male GPs would benefit from having trained female assistants to perform clinical breast examinations. © 2012 American College of Radiology. Source

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