Global health groups release plan to fight TB in children
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups yesterday launched what they billed as the first global action plan to stop tuberculosis (TB) in children, saying it could save as many as 74,000 lives each year.
The "Roadmap for Childhood TB: Towards Zero Deaths" estimates that $120 million per year, pledged by governments and other donors, could have a major impact on TB in children, including those infected with both TB and HIV, the WHO said in a press release.
The agency said TB, which is treatable and preventable, kills more than 200 children under age 15 each day and that 6% to 10% of TB cases globally are in this age-group.
The $120 million in promised funds includes $40 million for HIV antiretroviral therapy and TB-preventive treatment in children who have both infections, the WHO said. The funds will also be used to improve TB detection, develop better medicines for children, and integrate TB treatment into existing maternal and child health programs.
"Getting more pediatric health professionals to actively screen for TB with better tools, ie, drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines, will help capture the full scope of the epidemic and reach more children with life-saving treatment sooner," the WHO said.
The action plan recommends 10 actions at national and global levels. Examples include considering children's needs in research, policy development, and clinical practices; collecting and reporting better data, including preventive measures; and developing training and reference materials on childhood TB for health workers.
Oct 1 WHO press release
Mexican cholera outbreak grows to 46 cases
Cases of cholera in Mexico rose from 10 less than a week ago to 46 in central Mexico, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported yesterday.
Two of the cases are in the Federal District and 44 are in Hidalgo state, PAHO said. The fatality count remains at one. On Sep 26 PAHO listed the two cholera cases in the Federal District but only eight in Hidalgo.
Patients' ages range from 2 to 82 years. Mexican officials have taken mitigation steps such as ensuring basic sanitation in communities, the report said.
PAHO also said that cholera cases in an outbreak in Haiti that began in October 2010 have now reached 678,840, with 8,289 deaths. The rate of new cases during the spring and summer this year, however, was lower than during the same period last year.
IOM publishes standards of care toolkit for crises
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a new toolkit for hospitals and long-term-care providers to develop crisis standards of care for pinpointing indicators and triggers when dealing with public health emergencies.
The publication, "Crisis Standards of Care: A Toolkit for Indicators and Triggers," covers indicators and triggers for both a "slow-onset scenario," such as an influenza pandemic, and a no-notice scenario, like an earthquake. The IOM defines "indicators" as pertinent data, and says about triggers, "When specific indicators cross a threshold that is recognized by the community to require action, this represents a trigger point, with actions determined by community plans."
"Crisis Standards of Care" features customized discussion toolkits to help organizations tailor indicators and triggers to their own situation. The publication contains scenarios, key questions, and examples of indicators, triggers, and tactics to promote discussion.
The toolkit also contains chapters directed toward emergency management, public health, emergency medical services, hospital and acute care, and out-of-hospital care.
Sep 27 IOM publication