The impact of stress on human health is a topic of wide-spread relevance and one that is particularly amenable to multidisciplinary investigation. Stress impacts both our psychological and physical health and, thus, may leave evidence on our psyche, our physical body and our genome. We are interested in the effect of extreme stressors, such as war, on health from the perspective of long-term and multigenerational effects. We integrate sociocultural, biological, and epigenetic data from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Decades of mismanagement, combined with the withdrawal of international cooperation and a protracted war, have seriously affected the health system in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the health status of the population. As part of a Belgian development cooperation programme, we conducted a study in Kinshasa and Bukavu in April-May 2004 on how a rights-based approach could contribute to an effective and appropriate response to the sexual and reproductive health needs of Congolese adolescents. Access to condom information and supplies was studied in this context.
We undertook a trial of artesunate + amodiaquine (AS + AQ) and artesunate + sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (AS + SP) in 180 children of age 6-59 months with uncomplicated malaria in Democratic Republic of Congo. Children were randomly allocated to receive 3 days observed treatment of AS + AQ (n = 90) or 3 days of AS + SP (n = 90). Primary efficacy outcomes were 28-day parasite recurrence rates, and recrudescence rates were adjusted by genotyping to distinguish new infection and recrudescence.
BACKGROUND: Presented here are the results of a comparative trial on the efficacy of three artemisinin-based combinations conducted from May to October 2004, in Pool Province, Republic of Congo. METHODS: The main outcome was the proportion of cases of true treatment success at day 28. Recrudescences were distinguished from re-infections by PCR analysis. A total of 298 children of 6-59 months were randomized to receive either artesunate + SP (AS+SP), artesunate + amodiaquine (AS+AQ) or artemether + lumefantrine (AL), of which 15 (5%) were lost to follow-up.
OBJECTIVES: Artemisinin-derivative drugs are widely used to treat Plasmodium falciparum malaria and very few studies have investigated the quality of these medicines in Africa. We analysed the active ingredient contents of artemisinin-derivative drugs marketed in Kenya and DR Congo. METHODS: We analysed tablets, capsules, dry suspensions and injections (IM) containing either artemether (AM), arteether (AE), artesunate (ARS) or dihydroartemisinin (DHA). The content of active ingredients and preservatives was determined quantitatively using validated HPLC-UV methods.
BACKGROUND: An assessment of the accuracy of Paracheck Pf, a malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) detecting histidine rich protein 2 was undertaken amongst children aged 6-59 months in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. METHODS: This RDT assessment occurred in conjunction with an ACT efficacy trial. Febrile children were simultaneously screened with both RDT and high quality microscopy and those meeting inclusion criteria were followed for 35 days. RESULTS: 358 febrile children were screened with 180 children recruited for five weeks follow-up.
BACKGROUND: Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine has been abandoned as first- or second-line treatment by most African malaria endemic countries in favour of artemisinin-based combination treatments, but the drug is still used as intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy. However, resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine has been increasing in the past few years and, although the link between molecular markers and treatment failure has not been firmly established, at least for pregnant women, it is important to monitor such markers.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between mutations in dhfr and dhps and SP treatment failure in Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). METHODS: Therapeutic efficacy trial was conducted in Rutshuru, Eastern DRC, between June and September 2002, comparing sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), SP plus amodiaquine (AQSP) and artesunate plus SP (ASSP) regimens for treating malaria in children under 5 years old. We genotyped 212 samples for mutations associated with SP resistance and investigated their association with treatment failure.
BACKGROUND: Very few data on anti-malarial efficacy are available from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DRC changed its anti-malarial treatment policy to amodiaquine (AQ) and artesunate (AS) in 2005. METHODS: The results of two in vivo efficacy studies, which tested AQ and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) monotherapies and AS+SP and AS+AQ combinations in Boende (Equatorial province), and AS+SP, AS+AQ and SP in Kabalo (Katanga province), between 2003 and 2004 are presented.
BACKGROUND: In many malaria-endemic countries, increasing resistance may soon compromise the efficacy of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for intermittent preventative treatment (IPT) of malaria in pregnancy. Artemisinin-based IPT regimens represent a promising potential alternative to SP. Pharmacokinetic and safety data supporting the use of artemisinin derivatives in pregnancy are urgently needed.