104 e-Letters

published between 2019 and 2022

  • 100% agreed

    Dear authors,
    thank you for your initiative to discuss this (possible) source of bias in global health studies! I could't agree more and can only underscore that good and reliable research results will in the end benefit the work of everybody, including donor agencies.
    thanks again and best regards,
    Jan Peter

  • Robust rapid diagnostics for CCHF in endemic seasons

    Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHF) is of increasing consequence in endemic regions as global climate changes increase the length of dry hot weather, facilitating the expansion of host tick populations which carry the virus. The virus is carried by the Ixodid (Hyalomma) tick found on a range of cattle and camel species. CCHFV is endemic to Africa, the Balkans, Middle-East and Asia. In the animal reservoir it results in sub-clinical infection but in humans, infection can lead to rashes, fevers and leads to hemorrhagic disease with a fatality ranging between 10 -40%. Mazzola LT et al., in their article discuss the importance of improved diagnostics for CCHFV and discuss the pros and cons of methods which have been reported in published literature and discussed the options for serological and RT-PCR based tests as LDT and commercial assays (1). The article however gave a limited statement about the reasons for the spread of CCHFV and this Letter aims to expand on that aspect.

    CCHFV in endemic regions has been associated with the Muslim religious festival of Eid-ul Azha when a large number of animal sacrifices occur, leading to increased contact between individuals who are not usually involved in animal husbandry or meat handling (2, 3). This change in the pattern of animal handling together with the influx of animals into urban areas for the festival increases contact with possibly infected animals, increasing risk of CCHF.

    Of note, the CCHF prevale...

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  • Utterly false and misleading

    What the article does is discard the ethnic movement of the madhesi people (terai people) who have been marginalised in through out history. The dominant thinking is India blocked the movement of goods in to Nepal, but ehich is not true, it was the people who led a strike and prevented the flow of goods. By blaming external forces it can look away from the real issues. Also during riots and strikes transport companies are reluctant to send their vehicles in those areas since insurances do not cover if any mishaps occur.

    A reputed journal publishing such baseless articles provides fuel to the fire and discards the historical domination of the Terai people.

  • Perspectives from On the Ground in the DPRK

    We read this piece about public health in DPRK with interest, as it will surely expedite understanding of public health about the DPRK among the public. We offer our perspectives about some conclusions based on a viewpoint developed from firsthand experience in the DPRK working for the United Nations, and another viewpoint developed from having worked with multiple NGOs who have spent decades in the country.

    We write this letter, not to point out limitations, but to advocate for a stronger appreciation of the data that already exists through an interdisciplinary and culturally sensitive lens. DPRK is an often misunderstood and unique political context, and the authors have created value by listing some publicly available articles in one source. Unlike conventional systematic reviews that analyzes the data within papers, this review builds an argument based on the number of publications in a select number of broad categories. While they argue this was made necessary by the heterogeneity of articles, the comparison between publications, DALYs, and research priorities would have been improved if each of these variables had been deconstructed by even some basic measures. For example, the publications could have been broken down by sample size, gender, or rural versus the urban area of Pyongyang. Surveys from the UN show that regions in the DPRK are very different. A National TB Prevalence Survey from 2015-2016 showed that TB prevalence in rural areas is 1.14 times that...

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