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[afro-nets] New publication: Randomised Trials in Child Health in Developing Countries 2010

Cross-posted from: vern weitzel <>

Each year we compile a small booklet which summarizes some of the latest 
research on child health in developing countries: evidence derived from all the 
randomized trials published over the last year. The aim is to make this 
information widely available to paediatricians, child health nurses, midwives, 
researchers, students and administrators in places where up-to-date health 
information is hard to find. It is hoped that such information will be helpful 
in reviewing treatment guidelines, clinical practice and public health 
approaches, and in teaching about paediatrics and evidence-based medicine.

The booklet is available at Go to 'reviews' then SCROLL DOWN FOR 
"Randomised Trials in Developing Countries"

Seven previous editions (2003-2009) are also available. This is part of a 
project which critically appraises the evidence behind WHO's treatment 

This year five trials reported significant reductions in child mortality; among 

- In Ethiopia, the mass administration of a single dose of azithromycin 
(20mg/kg), to control trachoma, resulted in a halving of mortality among 
children 1-9 years of age, presumably because of an effect on reducing deaths 
from other common infections causing deaths. This is probably the most 
innovative and practice changing trial for the year, and may have wider 
implications than in trachoma-endemic settings.
- Meta-analysis of RCTs commencing ‘Kangaroo Mother Care’ in the first week of 
life in Columbia, India and Ethiopia showed a significant reduction in neonatal 
mortality [relative risk (RR) 0.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.29-0.82] 
compared with standard care.
- In India, a large study of community-based women’s groups that supported 
strategies to address maternal and newborn health problems significantly 
reduced neonatal mortality over a 3 year period. The same effect was not seen 
in a similar study in Bangladesh

Other important outcomes from studies in 2009-10 include:
- In South Africa short-term multi-micronutrient supplementation significantly 
reduced the duration of pneumonia or diarrhoea in hospitalized HIV-infected 
- A home stimulation programme taught to caregivers can significantly improve 
cognitive and motor development in young children infected with HIV, and 
rehabilitation for children with cerebral malaria can also have a significant 
benefit on neurocognitive function
- Single dose nevirapine is associated with development of resistance to 
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor drugs. A short course of AZT 
plus 3TC, supplementing maternal and infant single-dose nevirapine, reduces 
resistance mutations in both mothers and infants
- Among HIV-infected women in Tanzania, multivitamins taken in the antenatal 
period and continued after delivery reduced the risk of low birth weight and 
infant mortality, but the effect was much stronger for girl babies than boys
- In South Africa and Malawi rotavirus vaccine significantly reduced the 
incidence of severe rotavirus gastroenteritis during the first year of life
- Insecticide treated bed nets can be coupled with weekly bacterial larvicide 
distribution in bodies of water to reduce malarial parasitaemia
- Having simple screens on doors and windows reduced rates of anaemia among 
children in malaria endemic area in Gambia
- In settings where G6PD deficiency is common chlorproguanil-dapsone and its 
combinations with artesunate, used as intermittent preventative treatment or as 
treatment for clinical malaria results in a high risk of haemolysis. Three RCTs 
this year highlighted this complication, and further development of this drug 
has now ceased
- Delaying BCG vaccination from birth to 10 weeks of age enhances the 
quantitative and qualitative BCG-specific T cell response, when measured at 1 
year of age. In Guinea Bissau mortality was higher among children who received 
a booster dose of DTP after BCG vaccination
- In India, in the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis a single infusion of 
liposomal amphotericin B was similar in efficacy and less expensive than 15 
infusions of amphotericin B deoxycholate over one month

If you have a laser printer, the document may be printed out as a small booklet 
form to save trees. After clicking on 'Print' go to 'Properties' and select: 
'Print to both sides'; Booklet layout 'Left edge binding'; Pages per sheet 'two 
pages per sheet'. Printing this way will use only 38 sheets. Then fold the A-4 
pages in half to form a booklet.

Please feel free to make as many copies as you like or pass this document on to 
anyone who may find it useful, it is meant to be shared.

Also see on various language versions in PDF of the WHO 
Pocketbook of Hospital Care for Children, and a new navigable PDF developed by 
Julian Kelly, which is iphone (and other smart phone) compatible. It increases 
the usability of the Pocketbook on PC's, laptops, PDA's and phones. To use it 
with the iphone one needs a PDF reader such as Goodreader to view it. For every 
other device it opens and runs immediately.

Trevor Duke

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