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North Bethesda, MD, United States

Bayer A.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Bayer A.M.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | Danysh H.E.,Asociacion Benefica Proyectos en Informatica | Garvich M.,Asociacion Benefica Proyectos en Informatica | And 4 more authors.
Disasters | Year: 2014

During the 1997-98 El Niño, Tumbes, Peru received 16 times the annual average rainfall. This study explores how Tumbes residents perceived the impact of the El Niño event on basic necessities, transport, health care, jobs and migration. Forty-five individuals from five rural communities, some of which were isolated from the rest of Tumbes during the event, participated in five focus groups; six of these individuals constructed nutrition diaries. When asked about events in the past 20 years, participants identified the 1997-98 El Niño as a major negative event. The El Niño disaster situation induced a decrease in access to transport and health care and the rise in infectious diseases was swiftly contained. Residents needed more time to rebuild housing; recover agriculture, livestock and income stability; and return to eating sufficient animal protein. Although large-scale assistance minimized effects of the disaster, residents needed more support. Residents' perspectives on their risk of flooding should be considered in generating effective assistance policies and programmes. © Overseas Development Institute, 2014. Source

Checkley W.,Johns Hopkins University | Checkley W.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | Ghannem H.,University of Sousse | Irazola V.,Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy IECS | And 21 more authors.
Global Heart | Year: 2014

Noncommunicable disease (NCD), comprising cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are increasing in incidence rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Some patients have access to the same treatments available in high-income countries, but most do not, and different strategies are needed. Most research on noncommunicable diseases has been conducted in high-income countries, but the need for research in LMICs has been recognized. LMICs can learn from high-income countries, but they need to devise their own systems that emphasize primary care, the use of community health workers, and sometimes the use of mobile technology. The World Health Organization has identified "best buys" it advocates as interventions in LMICs. Non-laboratory-based risk scores can be used to identify those at high risk. Targeting interventions to those at high risk for developing diabetes has been shown to work in LMICs. Indoor cooking with biomass fuels is an important cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in LMICs, and improved cookstoves with chimneys may be effective in the prevention of chronic diseases. © 2014 World Heart Federation (Geneva). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

George C.M.,Program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control | Gamble M.,Columbia University | Slavkovich V.,Columbia University | Levy D.,Columbia University | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source | Year: 2013

Background: Arsenic can naturally occur in the groundwater without an anthropogenic source of contamination. In Bangladesh over 50 million people are exposed to naturally occurring arsenic concentrations exceeding the World Health Organization's guideline of 10 μg/L. Selenium and arsenic have been shown to facilitate the excretion of each other in bile. Recent evidence suggests that selenium may play a role in arsenic elimination by forming a selenium-arsenic conjugate in the liver before excretion into the bile. Methods. A cross-sectional study of 1601 adults and 287 children was conducted to assess the relationship between blood selenium and urinary and blood arsenic in a study population residing in a moderately arsenic-contaminated rural area in Bangladesh. Results: The results of this study indicate a statistically significant inverse relationship between blood selenium and urinary arsenic concentrations in both adult and pediatric populations in rural Bangladesh after adjustment for age, sex, Body Mass Index, plasma folate and B12 (in children), and ever smoking and current betel nut use (in adults). In addition, there appears to be a statistically significant inverse relationship between blood selenium and blood arsenic in children. Conclusions: Our results suggest that selenium is inversely associated with biomarkers of arsenic burden in both adults and children. These findings support the hypothesis that Se facilitates the biliary elimination of As, possibly via the putative formation of a Se-As conjugate using a glutathione complex. However, laboratory based studies are needed to provide further evidence to elucidate the presence of Se-As conjugate and its role in arsenic elimination in humans. © 2013 George et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

George C.M.,Program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control | Vignola E.,Program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control | Ricca J.,Health Integrated | Davis T.,Food for the Hungry | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2015

Background: Globally, less than half of Countdown Countries will achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) by two-thirds by 2015. There is growing interest in community-based delivery mechanisms to help accelerate progress. One promising approach is the use of a form of participatory mothers' groups, called Care Groups, for expanding coverage of key child survival interventions, an essential feature for achieving mortality impact. Methods: In this study we evaluate the effectiveness of Care Group projects conducted in 5 countries in Africa and Asia in comparison to other United States Agency for International Development-funded child survival projects in terms of increasing coverage of key child survival interventions and reducing U5MR (estimated using the Lives Saved Tool, or LiST). Ten Care Group and nine non-Care Group projects were matched by country and year of program implementation. Results: In Care Group project areas, coverage increases were more than double those in non-Care Group project areas for key child survival interventions (p∈=∈0.0007). The mean annual percent change in U5MR modelled in LiST for the Care Group and non-Care Group projects was -4.80 % and -3.14 %, respectively (p∈=∈0.09). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that Care Groups may provide a promising approach to significantly increase key child survival interventions and increase reductions in U5MR. Evaluations of child survival programs should be a top priority in global health to build a greater evidence base for effective approaches for program delivery. © 2015 George et al. Source

George C.M.,Program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control | Van Geen A.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Slavkovich V.,Program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control | Singha A.,Christian Commission for Development Bangladesh CCDB | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source | Year: 2012

Objective. To reduce arsenic (As) exposure, we evaluated the effectiveness of training community members to perform water arsenic (WAs) testing and provide As education compared to sending representatives from outside communities to conduct these tasks. Methods. We conducted a cluster based randomized controlled trial of 20 villages in Singair, Bangladesh. Fifty eligible respondents were randomly selected in each village. In 10 villages, a community member provided As education and WAs testing. In a second set of 10 villages an outside representative performed these tasks. Results: Overall, 53% of respondents using As contaminated wells, relative to the Bangladesh As standard of 50g/L, at baseline switched after receiving the intervention. Further, when there was less than 60% arsenic contaminated wells in a village, the classification used by the Bangladeshi and UNICEF, 74% of study households in the community tester villages, and 72% of households in the outside tester villages reported switching to an As safe drinking water source. Switching was more common in the outside-tester (63%) versus community-tester villages (44%). However, after adjusting for the availability of arsenic safe drinking water sources, well switching did not differ significantly by type of As tester (Odds ratio =0.86[95% confidence interval 0.42-1.77). At follow-up, among those using As contaminated wells who switched to safe wells, average urinary As concentrations significantly decreased. Conclusion: The overall intervention was effective in reducing As exposure provided there were As-safe drinking water sources available. However, there was not a significant difference observed in the ability of the community and outside testers to encourage study households to use As-safe water sources. The findings of this study suggest that As education and WAs testing programs provided by As testers, irrespective of their residence, could be used as an effective, low cost approach to reduce As exposure in many As-affected areas of Bangladesh. © 2012 George et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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