All kinds of good stuff in @LancetGH's December issue: injection drug use, maternal mortality data, and antimicrobial resistance

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The December issue of Lancet Global Health features articles and commentary on several hot-button issues in global health. I was quite pleased to see two systematic reviews related to injection drug use: one on the prevalence of IDU worldwide and the rates of HIV, HBV, and HCV among IDU, and another on interventions to address HIV and HCV risk among PWID (including syringe exchange programs). The accompanying commentary is a great read:
However, the coverage of NSP [needle and syringe programs], OST [opioid substitution therapy], and HIV services for very limited. Of the countries and territories with evidence of IDU, only 52% reported the presence of NSP and 48% reported the presence of OST. The situation is even worse for the uptake of comprehensive harm reduction programmes: the authors estimate that, globally, less than 1% of PWID live in countries with a high coverage of both NSP and OST. It is important to note that many countries in the most affected regions criminalise drug use (with some still having death penalties for drug offences), do not allow access to harm reduction services, or both.
Although the two systematic reviews show that some progress has been made in the estimation of IDU and infection prevalence, they also brutally underscore the absence of significant improvement in the scaling-up of increasingly well documented, evidence-based interventions to prevent new infections among PWID in countries and regions with expanding epidemics.
The headlining editorial looks at the effort to combat antimicrobial resistance, and the issue also features a piece on missing the forest for the trees when trying to classify maternal mortality data. And if you're into vision loss, cerebral palsy, or malnutrition, there's something for you, too.

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