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This Week in PLOS Medicine: Neonatal Mortality, M. pneumonia in Children, Childhood Diarrhoea, & Integrating Mental Health

Image Credit: Flickr Flickr Vicki Francis & Department for International Development
Image Credit: Flickr Flickr Vicki Francis & Department for International Development

This week PLOS Medicine spotlights infant and child health with new articles on neonatal mortality in rural Vietnam, M. pneumonia in asymptomatic children, and research priorities for childhood diarrhoea. The journal also continues with the ongoing Integrating Mental Health Series.

In the third article of a five-part series providing a global perspective on integrating mental health, Victoria Ngo and colleagues discuss the benefits and requirements of collaborative care models, where non-communicable disease and mental health care are integrated and provided in the primary care setting.

Lars Åke Persson and colleagues report findings from a cluster randomized controlled trial in northern Vietnam that investigates the effect of the activity of local community-based maternal-and-newborn stakeholder groups on neonatal mortality. These findings suggest that local stakeholder groups comprised of primary care staff and local politicians using a problem-solving approach may help to reduce the neonatal mortality rate after three years of implementation and at low cost.

In order to determine the possible asymptomatic carriage of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in the upper respiratory tracts of children, Emiel Spuesens and colleagues investigate the prevalence of M. pneumoniae in symptomatic and asymptomatic children at a hospital in The Netherlands. This study suggests that current diagnostic tests do not discriminate between carriage and infection, and clinicians may need to reconsider the clinical significance of a positive test result.

Zulfi Bhutta and colleagues lay out research priorities for global child diarrhoeal disease over the next 15 years, which they developed using the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) method. In tandem with the Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea, implementation research will be needed to equitably scale up already proven, effective interventions. The homepage highlights additional PLOS Medicine Research Priority papers.

In observation of International Clinical Trials Day on May 20th, this week PLOS Medicine also features a selection of Clinical Trials.

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