(1/119) How and why public sector doctors engage in private practice in Portuguese-speaking African countries.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the type of private practice supplementary income-generating activities of public sector doctors in the Portuguese-speaking African countries, and also to discover the motivations and the reasons why doctors have not made a complete move out of public service. DESIGN: Cross-sectional qualitative survey. SUBJECTS: In 1996, 28 Angolan doctors, 26 from Guinea-Bissau, 11 from Mozambique and three from S Tome and Principe answered a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: All doctors, except one unemployed, were government employees. Forty-three of the 68 doctors that answered the questionnaire reported an income-generating activity other than the one reported as principal. Of all the activities mentioned, the ones of major economic importance were: public sector medical care, private medical care, commercial activities, agricultural activities and university teaching. The two outstanding reasons why they engage in their various side-activities are 'to meet the cost of living' and 'to support the extended family'. Public sector salaries are supplemented by private practice. Interviewees estimated the time a family could survive on their public sector salary at seven days (median value). The public sector salary still provides most of the interviewees income (median 55%) for the rural doctors, but has become marginal for those in the urban areas (median 10%). For the latter, private practice has become of paramount importance (median 65%). For 26 respondents, the median equivalent of one month's public sector salary could be generated by seven hours of private practice. Nevertheless, being a civil servant was important in terms of job security, and credibility as a doctor. The social contacts and public service gave access to power centres and resources, through which other coping strategies could be developed. The expectations regarding the professional future and regarding the health systems future were related mostly to health personnel issues. CONCLUSION: The variable response rate per question reflects some resistance to discuss some of the issues, particularly those related to income. Nevertheless, these studies may provide an indication of what is happening in professional medical circles in response to the inability of the public sector to sustain a credible system of health care delivery. There can be no doubt that for these doctors the notion of a doctor as a full-time civil-servant is a thing of the past. Switching between public and private is now a fact of life. (+info)
(2/119) WHO responds to major polio outbreak in Angola.
(3/119) Outbreak of poliomyelitis--Angola, 1999.
On March 23, 1999, the Pediatric Hospital in Luanda, Angola, reported 21 cases (three deaths) of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). By April 3, 102 AFP cases had been reported in Luanda and neighboring areas of Bengo province. A preliminary investigation by the Ministry of Health (MOH) indicated that these cases primarily occurred among children aged <5 years; 90% had received two or fewer doses of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), 4% had received three doses, and 6% had received four doses. Many case-patients resided in overcrowded municipalities where families displaced by civil war had settled. On the basis of preliminary data, MOH suspected the outbreak was poliomyelitis and began planning a vaccination campaign to control the epidemic. Surveillance was strengthened to identify and rapidly investigate reports of AFP cases to determine the extent of the outbreak. (+info)
(4/119) Detection of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense in sleeping sickness suspects by PCR amplification of expression-site-associated genes 6 and 7.
We have developed a sensitive and specific method to identify Trypanosoma brucei ssp. using PCR to amplify conserved expression-site-associated gene 6 and 7 DNA target sequences. Amplification of 10% of the DNA in a single trypanosome produced sufficient PCR product to be visible as a band in an agarose gel stained with ethidium bromide. We analysed 59 blood samples of serologically positive cases of sleeping sickness by PCR, and directed parasitological examination of tissue fluids. The PCR test detected 87% of the parasitologically positive cases, with a specificity of 97%. In 5 cases, the parasite was demonstrated by the PCR test 4-6 months prior to parasitological detection. This result shows the potential of the assay in early diagnosis of actual T. b. gambiense infections in apparently aparasitaemic sleeping sickness patients. (+info)
(5/119) Attitude towards CATT-positive individuals without parasitological confirmation in the African Trypanosomiasis (T.b. gambiense) focus of Quicama (Angola).
Serologically positive individuals without parasitological confirmation constitute an important problem for trypanosomiasis control programmes because of epidemiological and therapeutical consequences. In July 1997, in the focus of Quicama (Angola), 4753 individuals were screened using CATT/T.b.gambiense on whole blood. In CATT-positive but parasite-negative individuals, CATT titration on serum was performed. Sixteen individuals showing an end-titre lower than 1/4 were considered noninfected according to the results of a previous study of serological status of parasitologically confirmed cases; 86 individuals with end titres >/= 1/4 were considered suspected of trypanosomiasis and were followed-up from July 1997 to July 1998 with controls every three months. After one year, 32 individuals whose antibody titres dropped < 1/4 were considered noninfected, 22 were confirmed by demonstration of parasites, 17 were further followed-up because antibody titres remained >/= 1/8 but parasites could not be found. Fifteen individuals did not show up for testing. Following the usual criterion, only parasitologically confirmed cases were treated. However, if it had been decided to treat parasite-negative individuals with a CATT end-titre > 1/8, 22 initially unconfirmed but infected individuals would have been treated earlier, whereas 5 noninfected individuals would have been treated unnecessarily. CATT titration on diluted serum or plasma is useful for making therapeutical decisions. (+info)
(6/119) Eradication of poliomyelitis in countries affected by conflict.
The global initiative to eradicate poliomyelitis is focusing on a small number of countries in Africa (Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan) and Asia (Afghanistan, Tajikistan), where progress has been hindered by armed conflict. In these countries the disintegration of health systems and difficulties of access are major obstacles to the immunization and surveillance strategies necessary for polio eradication. In such circumstances, eradication requires special endeavours, such as the negotiation of ceasefires and truces and the winning of increased direct involvement by communities. Transmission of poliovirus was interrupted during conflicts in Cambodia, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Efforts to achieve eradication in areas of conflict have led to extra health benefits: equity in access to immunization, brought about because every child has to be reached; the revitalization and strengthening of routine immunization services through additional externally provided resources; and the establishment of disease surveillance systems. The goal of polio eradication by the end of 2000 remains attainable if supplementary immunization and surveillance can be accelerated in countries affected by conflict. (+info)
(7/119) Massive outbreak of poliomyelitis caused by type-3 wild poliovirus in Angola in 1999.
The largest outbreak of poliomyelitis ever recorded in Africa (1093 cases) occurred from 1 March to 28 May 1999 in Luanda, Angola, and in surrounding areas. The outbreak was caused primarily by a type-3 wild poliovirus, although type-1 wild poliovirus was circulating in the outbreak area at the same time. Infected individuals ranged in age from 2 months to 22 years; 788 individuals (72%) were younger than 3 years. Of the 590 individuals whose vaccination status was known, 23% had received no vaccine and 54% had received fewer than three doses of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). The major factors that contributed to this outbreak were as follows: massive displacement of unvaccinated persons to urban settings; low routine OPV coverage; inaccessible populations during the previous three national immunization days (NIDs); and inadequate sanitation. This outbreak indicates the urgent need to improve accessibility to all children during NIDs and the dramatic impact that war can have by displacing persons and impeding access to routine immunizations. The period immediately after an outbreak provides an enhanced opportunity to eradicate poliomyelitis. If continuous access in all districts for acute flaccid paralysis surveillance and supplemental immunizations cannot be assured, the current war in Angola may threaten global poliomyelitis eradication. (+info)
(8/119) Outbreak of poliomyelitis in Angola.
Between January and June 1999, 1,100 suspected cases of poliomyelitis were reported in Angola. Poliovirus types 3 and 1 were isolated. Patients' ages ranged from 2 months to 14 years. Of the 588 patients whose vaccine status was known, 58 (9.9%) received >4 doses, 216 (36.7%) received 3 or 4 doses, 178 (30.3%) received 1 or 2 doses, and 136 (23.1%) had no history of vaccination. Civil conflict, economic decline, and crowded areas with scarce sanitation and poor water supply are the most important factors implicated in declining rates of routine vaccination, low population immunity, and intense wild poliovirus transmission. The socioeconomic situation and poor roads have created major difficulties for vaccination and surveillance. The Angolan outbreak has serious implications for the global eradication of poliomyelitis. Surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis remains essential in the assessment of strategies for eradication and interventions to interrupt wild poliovirus transmission. (+info)