Managing severe infection in infancy in resource poor settings.
Seale AC., Berkley JA.
Reducing childhood mortality in resource-poor regions depends on effective interventions to decrease neonatal mortality from severe infection, which contributes up to a half of all neonatal deaths. There are key differences in resource-poor, compared to resource-rich, countries in terms of diagnosis, supportive care and treatment. In resource-poor settings, diagnosis is based on identifying clinical syndromes from international guidelines; microbiological investigations are restricted to a few research facilities. Low levels of staffing and equipment limit the provision of basic supportive care, and most facilities cannot provide respiratory support. Empiric antibiotic treatment guidelines are based on few aetiological and antimicrobial susceptibility data. Research on improving health care systems to provide effective supportive care, and implementation of simple pragmatic interventions, such as low-cost respiratory support, are essential, together with improved surveillance to monitor emerging drug resistance and treatment failures. Reductions in mortality will also be achieved through prevention of infection; including emerging vaccination and anti-sepsis strategies.