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Hispaniola Initiative Articles by Carter Center Experts

Aug. 10, 2021
Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination in the Dominican Republic: History, Progress, and Remaining Steps
Published by PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Authors: Manuel Gonzales, Gregory S. Noland , Eileen F. Mariano, and Stephen Blount
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a mosquito-transmitted parasitic disease that is a leading cause of disability globally. The island of Hispaniola, which the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti, accounts for approximately 90% of LF cases in the Americas region. In 1998, the Dominican Ministry of Public Health created the Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (PELF) with the goal of eliminating LF transmission by 2020.

April 19, 2021
Prevalence of Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Associated Risk Factors Among Agricultural Village Residents in the Dominican Republic (PDF)
Published by the American Journal of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Authors: Valery E. Madsen Beau De Rochars, Hunter Keys, Shenae K. Samuels, Ara Jo, Gregory S. Noland, Manuel Gonzales, Stephen Blount, and Arch G. Mainous III
This study examined the prevalence and risk factors of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes among residents of agricultural settlement villages (bateyes) in the Dominican Republic. From March to April 2016, a cross-sectional, multi-stage cluster survey was conducted across the country’s three agricultural regions (southwest, east, and north). At selected households, an adult completed a questionnaire to assess demographics, diabetes knowledge, and care, and two household residents of any age provided finger-prick blood samples that were analyzed for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c).

Aug. 8, 2020
Malaria Outbreak Response in Urban Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Lessons Learned for Community Engagement
Published by PAHO (Pan American Health Organization).
Authors: Dianelba Valdez, Hunter Keys, Keyla Ureña, Domingo Cabral, Francisco Camilo, Eulalia C. Ogando, Luz Mercedes, Gregory S. Noland, Stephen B. Blount, James V. Lavery, Luccene Desir, and Jose Puello
Community involvement is crucial to public health initiatives, but it remains a poorly studied process within national disease elimination programs. This report presents the main lessons learned regarding community participation practices during the response to the malaria outbreak in the Los Tres Brazos neighborhood of the urban area of ​​Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from 2015 to 2016.

May 29, 2020
The Roles of Stakeholder Experience and Organizational Learning in Declining Mass Drug Administration Coverage for Lymphatic Filariasis in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: A Case Study
Published by PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Authors: Breanna K. Wodnik, Didié Hérold Louis, Michel Joseph, Lee T. Wilkers, Susan D. Landskroener, Luccene Desir, Jean Frantz Lemoine, and James V. Lavery
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an effective round of mass drug administration (MDA) for lymphatic filariasis (LF) as one that reaches at least 65% of the target population. In its first round of MDA in 2011–2012, the National Program to Eliminate LF in Haiti achieved a 79% epidemiological coverage in urban Port-au-Prince.

Nov. 12, 2019
Perceived Discrimination in Bateyes of the Dominican Republic: Results from the Everyday Discrimination Scale and Implications for Public Health Programs
Published by BMC Public Health.
Authors: Hunter M. Keys, Gregory S. Noland, Madsen Beau De Rochars, Thomas H. Taylor, Stephen Blount and Manuel Gonzales
Discrimination is a major driver of health disparities among minority groups and can impede the reach of public health programs. In the Dominican Republic, residents of bateyes, or agricultural ‘company towns,’ often face barriers to health care. This study examined the extent of perceived discrimination among batey populations and places the findings within the context of disease elimination efforts.

May 27, 2019
Prevalence of Malaria and Lymphatic Filariasis in Bateyes of the Dominican Republic
Published by Infectious Diseases of Poverty
Authors: Hunter M. Keys, Gregory S. Noland, Madsen Beau De Rochars, Stephen Blount and Manuel Gonzales.
The island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR), is the only remaining malaria-endemic island in the Caribbean and accounts for 95% of the lymphatic filariasis (LF) burden in the Americas. Both countries aim to eliminate the diseases by 2020. Migration from Haiti, where both diseases are more prevalent, may promote transmission in the DR. Historically, Haitian migrant labourers live in rural Dominican agricultural ‘company towns’ called bateyes, many of which received mass drug administration (MDA) for LF elimination. This study sought to determine the prevalence of malaria and LF in bateyes of the DR and to describe related risk factors for disease.

June 2018
Building Trust through Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination: A Platform to Address Social Exclusion and Human Rights in the Dominican Republic
Published by Health and Human Rights Journal, Volume 20, Issue 1, June 2018.
Authors: Hunter Keys, Manuel Gonzales, Madsen Beau de Rochars, Stephen Blount, and Gregory S. Noland.
Hispaniola, the Caribbean island that includes the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR), accounts for 90% of lymphatic filariasis (LF) in the Americas. Both countries have committed to LF elimination by 2020. In the DR, LF occurs mainly in bateyes, or company towns that historically hosted migrant laborers from Haiti. A legacy of anti-Haitian discrimination as well as the 2013 Sentencia, which stripped generations of Haitian-descended Dominicans of their citizenship, ensure that this population remains legally, economically, and socially marginalized. Despite this context, the country’s LF elimination program (PELF) has worked in bateyes to eliminate LF through health education and annual drug treatment to interrupt parasite transmission.

Oct. 26, 2015
Post-MDA Transmission Assessment Survey for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in La Ciénaga, Dominican Republic (PDF)
Published by the American Journal of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Authors: Gregory S. Noland, Stephen Blount, and Manuel Gonzalez. The Dominican Republic is one of four remaining countries in the Americas with lymphatic filariasis (LF). Annual mass drug administration (MDA) with albendazole and diethylcarbamazine was conducted in La Ciénaga, an impoverished urban barrio in Santo Domingo from 2004 to 2006. Eight years after the last MDA, a transmission assessment survey (TAS) was conducted in November–December 2014 to determine if LF transmission remains absent.

Jan. 3, 2013
Disease Eradication
Published by New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 368 No. 1.pp. 53-64. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1200391
Author: Donald R. Hopkins.
Since the last case of naturally occurring smallpox in 1977, there have been three major international conferences devoted to the concept of disease eradication. Several other diseases have been considered as potential candidates for eradication, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted only two other diseases for global eradication after smallpox. In 1986, WHO's policy-making body, the World Health Assembly, adopted the elimination of dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) as a global goal, and it declared eradication of poliomyelitis a global goal in 1988. Although both diseases now appear to be close to eradication, the fact that neither goal has been achieved after more than two decades — and several years beyond the initial target dates for their eradication — underscores the daunting challenge of such efforts, as does the failure of previous attempts to eradicate malaria, hookworm, yaws, and other diseases. "Disease Eradication" was published as part one of "A Global View of Health – An Unfolding Series." Read the overview of the series >

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