• Assessment of Local Health Worker Attitudes toward International Medical Volunteers in Low- and Middle-income Countries: A Global Survey

      Bae, Crystal; Naik, Nehal; Misak, Monika; Barnes, Sean L; Verceles, Avelino C; Papali, Alfred; McCurdy, Michael T; Losonczy, Lia I (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-09)
      BACKGROUND: International Medical Volunteers (IMVs) positively and negatively impact host countries, and the goals of their trips may not always align with the interests of the hosts in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). We sought to better understand local physicians' interest of hosting IMVs and what type of support they desired. METHODS: This study was a convenience sample survey-based needs assessment. The surveys were distributed to local physicians by 28 professional society groups in LMICs. FINDINGS: A total of 102 physicians from 51 countries completed the survey. Despite 61.8% participants having no experience with IMVs, 75% were interested in hosting them. Host physicians most desired clinical education (39%), research collaboration (18%), and Systems Development (11%). The most requested specialties were obstetrics and gynecology (25%) and emergency medicine (11%). Respondents considered public hospitals (62%) to be the most helpful clinical setting in which IMVs could work, and 3 months (47%) as the ideal length of stay. Respondents expressed interest in advertising the specific needs of the host country to potential IMVs (80%). Qualitative analyses suggested hosts wanted more training opportunities, inclusion of all stakeholders, culturally competent volunteers, and aid focused on subspecialty education, health policy, public health, and research. CONCLUSION: Hosts desire more bidirectional clinical education and research capacity building than just direct clinical care. Importantly, cultural competence is key to a successful host partnership, potentially improved through IMV preparation. Finally, respondents want IMVs to ensure that they stay within their scope of practice and training.
    • Awake Proning as an Adjunctive Therapy for Refractory Hypoxemia in Non-Intubated Patients with COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Failure: Guidance from an International Group of Healthcare Workers

      Stilma, Willemke; Åkerman, Eva; Artigas, Antonio; Bentley, Andrew; Bos, Lieuwe D; Bosman, Thomas J C; de Bruin, Hendrik; Brummaier, Tobias; Buiteman-Kruizinga, Laura A; Carcò, Francesco; et al. (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2021-03-11)
      Non-intubated patients with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 could benefit from awake proning. Awake proning is an attractive intervention in settings with limited resources, as it comes with no additional costs. However, awake proning remains poorly used probably because of unfamiliarity and uncertainties regarding potential benefits and practical application. To summarize evidence for benefit and to develop a set of pragmatic recommendations for awake proning in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, focusing on settings where resources are limited, international healthcare professionals from high and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with known expertise in awake proning were invited to contribute expert advice. Agrowing number of observational studies describe the effects of awake proning in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in whom hypoxemia is refractory to simple measures of supplementary oxygen. Awake proning improves oxygenation in most patients, usually within minutes, and reduces dyspnea and work of breathing. The effects are maintained for up to 1 hour after turning back to supine, and mostly disappear after 6-12 hours. In available studies, awake proning was not associated with a reduction in the rate of intubation for invasive ventilation. Awake proning comes with little complications if properly implemented and monitored. Pragmatic recommendations including indications and contraindications were formulated and adjusted for resource-limited settings. Awake proning, an adjunctive treatment for hypoxemia refractory to supplemental oxygen, seems safe in non-intubated patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory failure. We provide pragmatic recommendations including indications and contraindications for the use of awake proning in LMICs. Copyright © 2021 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.