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In 2014, over a million people were internally displaced after the launch of a military operation in North Waziristan, a tribal region on Pakistan's side of the Durand Line. Despite security concerns and restrictions, a collaborative mental health and psychosocial support initiative was undertaken in the district of Bannu. Monthly mental health camps were conducted for a period of 6 months by a multidisciplinary mental health team. The initiative also helped to assess mental health needs and plan training for primary care staff to strengthen existing resources.
As part of this initiative, Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) training was conducted for physicians and psychosocial staff in the affected district. This marked the first instance of implementing these guidelines in Pakistan following a humanitarian crisis. This paper describes the training process including the adaptation of the mhGAP curriculum, training of trainers, training workshops for primary care staff and an analysis of results of pre- and post-testing of their knowledge about common mental disorders using a 25-item questionnaire.
The gaps in knowledge of primary care physicians in recognizing and managing common mental disorders were clearly identified. The mean pre- and post-test scores of the participants were 15.43, 62% (p value 0.000, s.d. 4.05) and 19.48, 78% (p value 0.000, s.d. 3.13) respectively, which showed significant improvement.
Despite the challenges of a humanitarian crisis, mhGAP guidelines can be successfully implemented to train primary care physicians in in low- and middle-income countries such as Pakistan. However, the dearth of primary care resources can hinder the complete integration of mental health services into primary healthcare.
The relative contribution of demographic, lifestyle and medication factors to the association between affective disorders and cardiometabolic diseases is poorly understood.
To assess the relationship between cardiometabolic disease and features of depresion and bipolar disorder within a large population sample.
Cross-sectional study of 145 991 UK Biobank participants: multivariate analyses of associations between features of depression or bipolar disorder and five cardiometabolic outcomes, adjusting for confounding factors.
There were significant associations between mood disorder features and ‘any cardiovascular disease’ (depression odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, 95% CI 1.12–1.19; bipolar OR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.14–1.43) and with hypertension (depression OR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.13–1.18; bipolar OR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.12–1.42). Individuals with features of mood disorder taking psychotropic medication were significantly more likely than controls not on psychotropics to report myocardial infarction (depression OR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.24–1.73; bipolar OR = 2.23, 95% CI 1.53–3.57) and stroke (depression OR = 2.46, 95% CI 2.10–2.80; bipolar OR = 2.31, 95% CI 1.39–3.85).
Associations between features of depression or bipolar disorder and cardiovascular disease outcomes were statistically independent of demographic, lifestyle and medication confounders. Psychotropic medication may also be a risk factor for cardiometabolic disease in individuals without a clear history of mood disorder.
To investigate the mode of transmission of and assess control measures for an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant (multidrug-resistant) Acinetobacter baumannii infection involving 6 premature infants.
An outbreak investigation based on medical record review was performed for each neonate during the outbreak (from November 2008 through January 2009) in conjunction with an infection control investigation.
A 36-bed, level 3 neonatal intensive care unit in a university-affiliated teaching hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
Specimens were obtained for surveillance cultures from all infants in the unit. In addition, geographic cohorting of affected infants and their nursing staff, contact isolation, re-emphasis of adherence to infection control practices, environmental cleaning, and use of educational modules were implemented to control the outbreak.
Six infants (age, 10-197 days) with multidrug-resistant A. baumannii infection were identified. All 6 infants were premature (gestational age, 23-30 weeks) and had extremely low birth weights (birth weight, 1000 g or less). Conditions included conjunctivitis (2 infants), pneumonia (4 infants), and bacteremia (1 infant). One infant died of causes not attributed to infection with the organism; the remaining 5 infants were discharged home. All surveillance cultures of unaffected infants yielded negative results.
The spread of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii infection was suspected to be due to staff members who spread the pathogen through close contact with infants. Clinical staff recognition of the importance of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii recovery from neonatal intensive care unit patients, geographic cohorting of infected patients, enhanced infection control practices, and staff education resulted in control of the spread of the organism.