ResearchPad - philippines https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Fine-scale population genetic structure of dengue mosquito vector, <i>Aedes aegypti</i>, in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14656 Aedes aegypti is an efficient vector of dengue due to its highly adaptive nature to the urban environment. Although it is observed to have a short dispersal (active) capability, it has been shown to be capable of traveling long distances (passive) via human-mediated transportation. This duality may expand the distribution of the mosquito vector in urbanized areas. In this study, we examined the population genetic structure of Ae. aegypti in a highly urbanized and dengue-endemic region of the Philippines, Metropolitan Manila. Our findings indicated the dual dispersal nature of Ae. aegypti. The use of microsatellites as genetic markers also allowed us to describe the potential long-distance dispersal patterns, possibly through human-aided land transportation via the existing road networks of Metropolitan Manila.

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<![CDATA[Determinants of HIV testing among Filipino women: Results from the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13810 The prevalence of having ever tested for HIV in the Philippines is very low and is far from the 90% target of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) and UNAIDS, thus the need to identify the factors associated with ever testing for HIV among Filipino women.MethodsWe analysed the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The NDHS is a nationally representative survey which utilized a two-stage stratified design to sample Filipino women aged 15–49. We considered the following exposures in our study: socio-demographic characteristics of respondent and her partner (i.e., age of respondent, age of partner, wealth index, etc.), sexual practices and contraception (i.e., age at first intercourse, condom use, etc.), media access, tobacco use, HIV knowledge, tolerance to domestic violence, and women’s empowerment. The outcome variable is HIV testing. We used logistic regression for survey data to study the said associations.ResultsOut of 16,155 respondents, only 372 (2.4%) have ever tested for HIV. After adjusting for confounders, having tertiary education (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.15; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.15–4.04), living with partner (aOR = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.19–2.48), tobacco use (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.13–3.11); belonging to the middle class (aOR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.30–5.67), richer (aOR = 3.00; 95% CI: 1.37–5.68), and richest (aOR = 4.14; 95% CI: 1.80–5.91) populations, having weekly television access (aOR = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04–2.94) or internet access (aOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.35–3.00), living in a rural area (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.34–2.61); and being a Muslim (aOR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.15–4.57) were associated with ever testing for HIV.ConclusionsThe low percentage of respondents who test for HIV is a call to further strengthen efforts to promote HIV testing among Filipino women. Information on its determinants can be used to guide the crafting and implementation of interventions to promote HIV testing to meet DOH and UNAIDS targets. ]]> <![CDATA[Dengue and chikungunya seroprevalence among Qatari nationals and immigrants residing in Qatar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2a4d5eed0c48441e7e4

The objective of this study is to characterize the seroprevalence of anti-dengue (DENV) and anti-chikungunya (CHIKV) antibodies among blood donors residing in Qatar who are Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nationals and non-nationals. Sera were collected from adult blood donors in Qatar from 2013 to 2016 and tested for anti-DENV and anti-CHIKV IgG using commercial microplate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Age-specific seroprevalence was summarized by region/nationality: Asia (India, Philippines), Middle East (Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Yemen), North Africa (Egypt, Sudan), Qatar. The adjusted odds of anti-DENV and anti-CHIKV IgG seropositivity was estimated by logistic regression. Among 1,992 serum samples tested, Asian nationals had higher adjusted odds of being seropositive for anti-DENV antibodies compared to nationals of the Middle East (aOR 0.05, 95% CI 0.04–0.07), North Africa (aOR 0.14, 95% CI 0.10–0.20), and Qatar (aOR 0.01, 95% CI 0.01–0.03). Asian nationals also had higher adjusted odds of being seropositive for anti-CHIKV antibodies compared to those from the Middle East (aOR 0.14, 95% CI 0.07–0.27), North Africa (aOR 0.50, 95% CI 0.26–0.96), and Qatar (aOR 0.38, 95% CI 0.15–0.96). The adjusted odds of being anti-DENV seropositive was higher among anti-CHIKV seropositive adults, and vice versa (aOR 1.94, 95% CI 1.09–3.44), suggesting co-circulation of these viruses. DENV and CHIKV exposure is lower in Qatar and MENA nationals compared to Asian nationals suggesting a lower burden of DENV and CHIKV disease in the MENA. Antibodies to both viruses were detected in nationals from most MENA countries, supporting the need to better understand the regional epidemiology of these viruses.

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<![CDATA[Trends and emerging directions in HIV risk and prevention research in the Philippines: A systematic review of the literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b7dd5eed0c484699690

Background

The Philippines is experiencing one of the fastest growing epidemics globally. Evidence-based public health policies are needed. To describe the public health literature on HIV risk groups and prevention approaches in the Philippines, we reviewed published empirical studies with HIV-related outcomes.

Methods

Based on an a priori systematic review protocol, we searched PubMed, PsycINFO and CINAHL databases for quantitative studies conducted in the Philippines that reported on HIV risk groups factors and interventions to prevent HIV. The search included studies published as of April 2018.

Results

We identified 755 records, screened 699 unique titles and abstracts, and conducted full text review of 122 full reports of which 51 articles met inclusion criteria. The majority were cross-sectional studies describing HIV and STI prevalence and risk factors in samples recruited from the Philippines. Four HIV prevention programs conducted in the Philippines were identified, all of which reported improvements on HIV knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Overall, female sex workers (FSWs) constituted the primary study population, and few studies reported data from men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWIDs), and youth. No studies reported on transgender populations. Most studies were focused on examining condom use-related outcomes and STI history, few had biomarkers for HIV, and none addressed biomedical HIV prevention strategies.

Conclusion

This review identifies an agenda for future HIV research that is needed to address the growing and shifting nature of the HIV epidemic in the Philippines.

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<![CDATA[Symptomatic Dengue Disease in Five Southeast Asian Countries: Epidemiological Evidence from a Dengue Vaccine Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f5ab0ee8fa60b6ff03

Dengue incidence has increased globally, but empirical burden estimates are scarce. Prospective methods are best-able to capture all severities of disease. CYD14 was an observer-blinded dengue vaccine study conducted in children 2–14 years of age in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The control group received no vaccine and resembled a prospective, observational study. We calculated the rates of dengue according to different laboratory or clinical criteria to make inferences about dengue burden, and compared with rates reported in the passive surveillance systems to calculate expansion factors which describe under-reporting. Over 6,933 person-years of observation in the control group there were 319 virologically confirmed dengue cases, a crude attack rate of 4.6%/year. Of these, 92 cases (28.8%) were clinically diagnosed as dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever by investigators and 227 were not, indicating that most symptomatic disease fails to satisfy existing case definitions. When examining different case definitions, there was an inverse relationship between clinical severity and observed incidence rates. CYD14’s active surveillance system captured a greater proportion of symptomatic dengue than national passive surveillance systems, giving rise to expansion factors ranging from 0.5 to 31.7. This analysis showed substantial, unpredictable and variable under-reporting of symptomatic dengue, even within a controlled clinical trial environment, and emphasizes that burden estimates are highly sensitive to case definitions. These data will assist in generating disease burden estimates and have important policy implications when considering the introduction and health economics of dengue prevention and control interventions.

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<![CDATA[Bringing state-of-the-art diagnostics to vulnerable populations: The use of a mobile screening unit in active case finding for tuberculosis in Palawan, the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1f5

Background

Globally, case detection of tuberculosis (TB) has stabilized in recent years. Active case finding (ACF) has regained an increased attention as a complementary strategy to fill the case detection gap. In the Philippines, the DetecTB project implemented an innovative ACF strategy that offered a one-stop diagnostic service with a mobile unit equipped with enhanced diagnostic tools including chest X-ray (CXR) and Xpert®MTB/RIF (Xpert). The project targeted the rural poor, the urban poor, prison inmates, indigenous population and high school students.

Methods

This is a retrospective review of TB screening data from 25,103 individuals. A descriptive analysis was carried out to compare screening and treatment outcomes across target populations. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of TB for each population. The composition of bacteriologically-confirmed cases by smear and symptom status was further investigated.

Results

The highest yield with lowest number needed to screen (NNS) was found in prison (6.2%, NNS: 16), followed by indigenous population (2.9%, NNS: 34), the rural poor (2.2%, NNS: 45), the urban poor (2.1%, NNS: 48), and high school (0.2%, NNS: 495). The treatment success rate for all populations was high with 89.5% in rifampicin-susceptible patients and 83.3% in rifampicin-resistant patients. A relatively higher loss to follow-up rate was observed in indigenous population (7.5%) and the rural poor (6.4%). Only cough more than two weeks showed a significant association with TB diagnosis in all target populations (Adjusted Odds Ratio ranging from 1.71 to 6.73) while other symptoms and demographic factors varied in their strength of association. The urban poor had the highest proportion of smear-positive patients with cough more than two weeks (72.0%). The proportion of smear-negative (Xpert-positive) patients without cough more than two weeks was the highest in indigenous population (39.3%), followed by prison inmates (27.7%), and the rural poor (22.8%).

Conclusions

The innovative ACF strategy using mobile unit yielded a substantial number of TB patients and achieved successful treatment outcomes. TB screening in prison, indigenous population, and urban and rural poor communities was found to be effective. The combined use of CXR and Xpert largely contributed to increased case detection.

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<![CDATA[An economic evaluation of vector control in the age of a dengue vaccine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aafc185463d7e7cbd9135dd

Introduction

Dengue is a rapidly emerging vector-borne Neglected Tropical Disease, with a 30-fold increase in the number of cases reported since 1960. The economic cost of the illness is measured in the billions of dollars annually. Environmental change and unplanned urbanization are conspiring to raise the health and economic cost even further beyond the reach of health systems and households. The health-sector response has depended in large part on control of the Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus (mosquito) vectors. The cost-effectiveness of the first-ever dengue vaccine remains to be evaluated in the field. In this paper, we examine how it might affect the cost-effectiveness of sustained vector control.

Methods

We employ a dynamic Markov model of the effects of vector control on dengue in both vectors and humans over a 15-year period, in six countries: Brazil, Columbia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Thailand. We evaluate the cost (direct medical costs and control programme costs) and cost-effectiveness of sustained vector control, outbreak response and/or medical case management, in the presence of a (hypothetical) highly targeted and low cost immunization strategy using a (non-hypothetical) medium-efficacy vaccine.

Results

Sustained vector control using existing technologies would cost little more than outbreak response, given the associated costs of medical case management. If sustained use of existing or upcoming technologies (of similar price) reduce vector populations by 70–90%, the cost per disability-adjusted life year averted is 2013 US$ 679–1331 (best estimates) relative to no intervention. Sustained vector control could be highly cost-effective even with less effective technologies (50–70% reduction in vector populations) and in the presence of a highly targeted and low cost immunization strategy using a medium-efficacy vaccine.

Discussion

Economic evaluation of the first-ever dengue vaccine is ongoing. However, even under very optimistic assumptions about a highly targeted and low cost immunization strategy, our results suggest that sustained vector control will continue to play an important role in mitigating the impact of environmental change and urbanization on human health. If additional benefits for the control of other Aedes borne diseases, such as Chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika fever are taken into account, the investment case is even stronger. High-burden endemic countries should proceed to map populations to be covered by sustained vector control.

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<![CDATA[Projected Impact of Climate Change on Hydrological Regimes in the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da87ab0ee8fa60b9c876

The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the potential impacts of climate change. To fully understand these potential impacts, especially on future hydrological regimes and water resources (2010-2050), 24 river basins located in the major agricultural provinces throughout the Philippines were assessed. Calibrated using existing historical interpolated climate data, the STREAM model was used to assess future river flows derived from three global climate models (BCM2, CNCM3 and MPEH5) under two plausible scenarios (A1B and A2) and then compared with baseline scenarios (20th century). Results predict a general increase in water availability for most parts of the country. For the A1B scenario, CNCM3 and MPEH5 models predict an overall increase in river flows and river flow variability for most basins, with higher flow magnitudes and flow variability, while an increase in peak flow return periods is predicted for the middle and southern parts of the country during the wet season. However, in the north, the prognosis is for an increase in peak flow return periods for both wet and dry seasons. These findings suggest a general increase in water availability for agriculture, however, there is also the increased threat of flooding and enhanced soil erosion throughout the country.

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<![CDATA[Seasonality of Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Viruses and the Effect of Climate Factors in Subtropical–Tropical Asia Using Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Data, 2010 –2012]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da15ab0ee8fa60b7afd6

Introduction

The seasonality of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is well known, and many analyses have been conducted in temperate countries; however, this is still not well understood in tropical countries. Previous studies suggest that climate factors are involved in the seasonality of these viruses. However, the extent of the effect of each climate variable is yet to be defined.

Materials and Methods

We investigated the pattern of seasonality and the effect of climate variables on influenza and RSV at three sites of different latitudes: the Eastern Visayas region and Baguio City in the Philippines, and Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. Wavelet analysis and the dynamic linear regression model were applied. Climate variables used in the analysis included mean temperature, relative and specific humidity, precipitation, and number of rainy days. The Akaike Information Criterion estimated in each model was used to test the improvement of fit in comparison with the baseline model.

Results

At all three study sites, annual seasonal peaks were observed in influenza A and RSV; peaks were unclear for influenza B. Ranges of climate variables at the two Philippine sites were narrower and mean variables were significantly different among the three sites. Whereas all climate variables except the number of rainy days improved model fit to the local trend model, their contributions were modest. Mean temperature and specific humidity were positively associated with influenza and RSV at the Philippine sites and negatively associated with influenza A in Okinawa. Precipitation also improved model fit for influenza and RSV at both Philippine sites, except for the influenza A model in the Eastern Visayas.

Conclusions

Annual seasonal peaks were observed for influenza A and RSV but were less clear for influenza B at all three study sites. Including additional data from subsequent more years would help to ascertain these findings. Annual amplitude and variation in climate variables are more important than their absolute values for determining their effect on the seasonality of influenza and RSV.

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<![CDATA[The Impact of Healthcare Insurance on the Utilisation of Facility-Based Delivery for Childbirth in the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbfc3f

Objectives

In recent years, the government of the Philippines embarked upon an ambitious Universal Health Care program, underpinned by the rapid scale-up of subsidized insurance coverage for poor and vulnerable populations. With a view of reducing the stubbornly high maternal mortality rates in the country, the program has a strong focus on maternal health services and is supported by a national policy of universal facility-based delivery (FBD). In this study, we examine the impact that recent reforms expanding health insurance coverage have had on FBD.

Results

Data from the most recent Philippines 2013 Demographic Health Survey was employed. This study applies quasi-experimental methods using propensity scores along with alternative matching techniques and weighted regression to control for self-selection and investigate the impact of health insurance on the utilization of FBD.

Findings

Our findings reveal that the likelihood of FBD for women who are insured is between 5 to 10 percent higher than for those without insurance. The impact of health insurance is more pronounced amongst rural and poor women for whom insurance leads to a 9 to 11 per cent higher likelihood of FBD.

Conclusions

We conclude that increasing health insurance coverage is likely to be an effective approach to increase women’s access to FBD. Our findings suggest that when such coverage is subsidized, as it is the case in the Philippines, women from poor and rural populations are likely to benefit the most.

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<![CDATA[Fisher-Level Decision Making to Participate in Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs) for Yellowfin Tuna in the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabcab0ee8fa60baee22

This study identifies the capabilities needed by small-scale fishers to participate in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) for yellowfin tuna in the Philippines. The current literature provides little empirical evidence on how different models, or types of FIPs, influence the participation of fishers in their programs and the degree which FIPs are able to foster improvements in fishing practices. To address this literature gap, two different FIPs are empirically analysed, each with different approaches for fostering improvement. The first is the non-governmental organisation-led Partnership Programme Towards Sustainable Tuna, which adopts a bottom-up or development oriented FIP model. The second is the private-led Artesmar FIP, which adopts a top-down or market-oriented FIP approach. The data were obtained from 350 fishers surveyed and were analysed using two separate models run in succession, taking into consideration full, partial, and non-participation in the two FIPs. The results demonstrate that different types of capabilities are required in order to participate in different FIP models. Individual firm capabilities are more important for fishers participation in market-oriented FIPs, which use direct economic incentives to encourage improvements in fisher practices. Collective capabilities are more important for fishers to participate in development-oriented FIPs, which drive improvement by supporting fishers, fisher associations, and governments to move towards market requirements.

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<![CDATA[Harnessing the hidden genetic diversity for improving multiple abiotic stress tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc4b7

To develop superior rice varieties with improved yield in most rainfed areas of Asia/Africa, we started an introgression-breeding program for simultaneously improving yield and tolerances of multiple abiotic stresses. Using eight BC1 populations derived from a widely adaptable recipient and eight donors plus three rounds of phenotypic selection, we developed 496 introgression lines (ILs) with significantly higher yield under drought, salt and/or non-stress conditions in 5 years. Six new varieties were released in the Philippines and Pakistan and many more are being evaluated in multi-location yield trials for releasing in several countries. Marker-facilitated genetic characterization revealed three interesting aspects of the breeding procedure: (1) the donor introgression pattern in specific BC populations was characteristic; (2) introgression frequency in different genomic regions varied considerably, resulting primarily from strong selection for the target traits; and (3) significantly lower heterozygosity was observed in BC progenies selected for drought and salinity tolerance. Applying strong phenotypic selection under abiotic stresses in early segregating generations has major advantages for not only improving multiple abiotic stress tolerance but also achieving quicker homozygosity in early generations. This breeding procedure can be easily adopted by small breeding programs in developing countries to develop high-yielding varieties tolerant of abiotic stresses. The large set of trait-specific ILs can be used for genetic mapping of genes/QTL that affect target and non-target traits and for efficient varietal development by designed QTL pyramiding and genomics-based recurrent selection in our Green Super Rice breeding technology.

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<![CDATA[Rice Grain Quality and Consumer Preferences: A Case Study of Two Rural Towns in the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db45ab0ee8fa60bd833e

Hedonic pricing analysis is conducted to determine the implicit values of various attributes in the market value of a good. In this study, hedonic pricing analysis was applied to measure the contribution of grain quality search and experience attributes to the price of rice in two rural towns in the Philippines. Rice samples from respondents underwent quantitative routine assessments of grain quality. In particular, gelatinization temperature and chalkiness, two parameters that are normally assessed through visual scores, were evaluated by purely quantitative means (differential scanning calorimetry and by digital image analysis). Results indicate that rice consumed by respondents had mainly similar physical and chemical grain quality attributes. The respondents’ revealed preferences were typical of what has been previously reported for Filipino rice consumers. Hedonic regression analyses showed that grain quality characteristics that affected price varied by income class. Some of the traits or socioeconomic factors that affected price were percent broken grains, gel consistency, and household per capita rice consumption. There is an income effect on rice price and the characteristics that affect price vary between income classes.

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<![CDATA[Willingness to Pay for Dog Rabies Vaccine and Registration in Ilocos Norte, Philippines (2012)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b68e8d

Background

The Philippines is one of the developing countries highly affected by rabies. Dog vaccination campaigns implemented through collaborative effort between the government and NGOs have played an important role in successfully reducing the burden of disease within the country. Nevertheless, rabies vaccination of the domestic animal population requires continuous commitment not only from governments and NGOs, but also from local communities that are directly affected by such efforts. To create such long-term sustained programs, the introduction of affordable dog vaccination and registration fees is essential and has been shown to be an important strategy in Bohol, Philippines. The aim of this study, therefore, was to estimate the average amount of money that individuals were willing to pay for dog vaccination and registration in Ilocos Norte, Philippines. This study also investigated some of the determinants of individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP).

Methods

A cross-sectional questionnaire was administered to 300 households in 17 municipalities (out of a total of 21) selected through a multi-stage cluster survey technique. At the time of the survey, Ilocos Norte had a population of approximately 568,017 and was predominantly rural. The Contingent Valuation Method was used to elicit WTP for dog rabies vaccination and registration. A ‘bidding game’ elicitation strategy that aims to find the maximum amount of money individuals were willing to pay was also employed. Data were collected using paper-based questionnaires. Linear regression was used to examine factors influencing participants’ WTP for dog rabies vaccination and registration.

Key Results

On average, Ilocos Norte residents were willing to pay 69.65 Philippine Pesos (PHP) (equivalent to 1.67 USD in 2012) for dog vaccination and 29.13PHP (0.70 USD) for dog registration. Eighty-six per cent of respondents were willing to pay the stated amount to vaccinate each of their dogs, annually. This study also found that WTP was influenced by demographic and knowledge factors. Among these, we found that age, income, participants’ willingness to commit to pay each year, municipality of residency, knowledge of the signs of rabies in dogs, and number of dogs owed significantly predicted WTP.

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<![CDATA[Abrupt Decline in Tuberculosis among Foreign-Born Persons in the United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd93b4

While the number of reported tuberculosis (TB) cases in the United States has declined over the past two decades, TB morbidity among foreign-born persons has remained persistently elevated. A recent unexpected decline in reported TB cases among foreign-born persons beginning in 2007 provided an opportunity to examine contributing factors and inform future TB control strategies. We investigated the relative influence of three factors on the decline: 1) changes in the size of the foreign-born population through immigration and emigration, 2) changes in distribution of country of origin among foreign-born persons, and 3) changes in the TB case rates among foreign-born subpopulations. Using data from the U.S. National Tuberculosis Surveillance System and the American Community Survey, we examined TB case counts, TB case rates, and population estimates, stratified by years since U.S. entry and country of origin. Regression modeling was used to assess statistically significant changes in trend. Among foreign-born recent entrants (<3 years since U.S. entry), we found a 39.5% decline (-1,013 cases) beginning in 2007 (P<0.05 compared to 2000–2007) and ending in 2011 (P<0.05 compared to 2011–2014). Among recent entrants from Mexico, 80.7% of the decline was attributable to a decrease in population, while the declines among recent entrants from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China were almost exclusively (95.5%–100%) the result of decreases in TB case rates. Among foreign-born non-recent entrants (≥3 years since U.S. entry), we found an 8.9% decline (-443 cases) that resulted entirely (100%) from a decrease in the TB case rate. Both recent and non-recent entrants contributed to the decline in TB cases; factors contributing to the decline among recent entrants varied by country of origin. Strategies that impact both recent and non-recent entrants (e.g., investment in overseas TB control) as well as those that focus on non-recent entrants (e.g., expanded targeted testing of high-risk subgroups among non-recent entrants) will be necessary to achieve further declines in TB morbidity among foreign-born persons.

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<![CDATA[Resolution of a Chikungunya Outbreak in a Prospective Cohort, Cebu, Philippines, 2012–2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bd0202540307c4bb55ef748 ]]> <![CDATA[Tweeting Supertyphoon Haiyan: Evolving Functions of Twitter during and after a Disaster Event]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db35ab0ee8fa60bd2d25

When disaster events capture global attention users of Twitter form transient interest communities that disseminate information and other messages online. This paper examines content related to Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) as it hit the Philippines and triggered international humanitarian response and media attention. It reveals how Twitter conversations about disasters evolve over time, showing an issue attention cycle on a social media platform. The paper examines different functions of Twitter and the information hubs that drive and sustain conversation about the event. Content analysis shows that the majority of tweets contain information about the typhoon or its damage, and disaster relief activities. There are differences in types of content between the most retweeted messages and posts that are original tweets. Original tweets are more likely to come from ordinary users, who are more likely to tweet emotions, messages of support, and political content compared with official sources and key information hubs that include news organizations, aid organization, and celebrities. Original tweets reveal use of the site beyond information to relief coordination and response.

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<![CDATA[Factors Associated with the Time of Admission among Notified Dengue Fever Cases in Region VIII Philippines from 2008 to 2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb49ab

In cases of Dengue fever, late hospital admission can lead to treatment delay and even death. In order to improve early disease notification and management, it is essential to investigate the factors affecting the time of admission of Dengue cases. This study determined the factors associated with the time of admission among notified Dengue cases. The study covered the period between 2008 and 2014 in Region VIII, Philippines. The factors assessed were age, sex, hospital sector, hospital level, disease severity based on the 1997 WHO Dengue classification, and period of admission (distinguishing between the 2010 Dengue epidemic and non-epidemic time). We analysed secondary data from the surveillance of notified Dengue cases. We calculated the association through chi-square test, ordinal logistic regression and linear regression at p value < 0.05. The study included 16,357 admitted Dengue cases. The reported cases included a majority of children (70.09%), mild cases of the disease (64.00%), patients from the public sector (69.82%), and non-tertiary hospitals (62.76%). Only 1.40% of cases had a laboratory confirmation. The epidemic period in 2010 comprised 48.68% of all the admitted cases during this period. Late admission was more likely among adults than children (p<0.05). The severe type of the disease was more likely to be admitted late than the mild type (p<0.05). Late admission was also more likely in public hospitals than in private hospitals (p<0.05); and within tertiary level hospitals than non-tertiary hospitals (p<0.05). Late admission was more likely during the non-epidemic period than the 2010 epidemic period (p<0.05). A case fatality rate of 1 or greater was significantly associated with children, severe diseases, tertiary hospitals and public hospitals when admitted late (p<0.05). Data suggests that early admission among child cases was common in Region VIII. This behavior is encouraging, and should be continued. However, further study is needed on the late admission among tertiary, public hospitals and non-epidemic period with reference to the quality of care, patient volume, out of pocket expense, and accessibility We recommend the consistent use of the 2009 WHO Dengue guidelines in order to standardize the admission criteria and time across hospitals.

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<![CDATA[Dengue Sentinel Traveler Surveillance: Monthly and Yearly Notification Trends among Japanese Travelers, 2006–2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da31ab0ee8fa60b84664

Background

Dengue is becoming an increasing threat to non-endemic countries. In Japan, the reported number of imported cases has been rising, and the first domestic dengue outbreak in nearly 70 years was confirmed in 2014, highlighting the need for greater situational awareness and better-informed risk assessment.

Methods

Using national disease surveillance data and publically available traveler statistics, we compared monthly and yearly trends in the destination country-specific dengue notification rate per 100,000 Japanese travelers with those of domestic dengue cases in the respective country visited during 2006–2014. Comparisons were made for countries accounting for the majority of importations; yearly comparisons were restricted to countries where respective national surveillance data were publicly available.

Results

There were 1007 imported Japanese dengue cases (Bali, Indonesia (n = 202), the Philippines (n = 230), Thailand (n = 160), and India (n = 152)). Consistent with historic local dengue seasonality, monthly notification rate among travelers peaked in August in Thailand, September in the Philippines, and in Bali during April with a smaller peak in August. While the number of travelers to Bali was greatest in August, the notification rate was highest in April. Annually, trends in the notification rate among travelers to the Philippines and Thailand also closely reflected local notification trends.

Conclusion

Travelers to dengue-endemic countries appear to serve as reliable “sentinels”, with the trends in estimated risk of dengue infection among Japanese travelers closely reflecting local dengue trends, both seasonally and annually. Sentinel traveler surveillance can contribute to evidence-based pretravel advice, and help inform risk assessments and decision-making for importation and potentially for subsequent secondary transmission. As our approach takes advantage of traveler data that are readily available as a proxy denominator, sentinel traveler surveillance can be a practical surveillance tool that other countries could consider for implementation.

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<![CDATA[Low prevalence of human papillomavirus in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in the northwest region of the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc6a0

Background

Geographic heterogeneity of human papillomavirus (HPV) involvement in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has been observed over the last few years. This trend has not been evaluated in the Philippines. Hence, this study aims to provide for the first time a data on the prevalence of HPV in HNSCC in the northwestern region of the Philippines.

Methods

Two hundred one (201) biopsy samples (179 formalin fixed paraffin embedded and 22 fresh frozen) from 163 Filipino HNSCC cases (oral cavity = 88; larynx = 60; oropharynx = 15) diagnosed between 2003 to 2013 were initially included in this study. HPV DNA was detected by two methods: (1) BSGP5+/6+-PCR/ multiplex human papillomavirus genotyping and (2) TaqMan probes-based real-time qPCR. Presence of HPV type-specific transcripts were also analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR with subsequent hybridization to oligonucleotide probes coupled to Luminex beads. Co-amplification of the β-globin and ubiquitin C genes served as internal positive controls for DNA and RNA analyses, respectively.

Results and conclusions

Of the 163, 82 (50.3%) cases had at least one tissue sample that was valid for molecular analysis. Only two of the DNA valid cases (2.4%) were HPV DNA-positive (HPV11 and HPV33). All HPV mRNA assays rendered negative results except for HPV11 transcripts. Results of this study may indicate that there is probably very low prevalence of HPV-associated HNSCC among Filipino adults living in a rural region of the Philippines. This study could serve as a benchmark for designing follow-up studies that would assess possible changes in trends of HNSCC among Filipinos in different ethnic regions of the country, especially urban areas in which the population is expected to adapt Western style sexual behavior. A prospective sampling of fresh frozen tissue is also highly recommended to ensure better molecular analyses.

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