R. Jeffrey Edwards, Director, Medical Research Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (MRFTT), Port of Spain, Trinidad
How you have helped GAFFI so far? We have published a manuscript on the Incidence and Prevalence of Serious fungal infections in Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with Drs. Denning and Alastruey (Edwards Burden Trinidad and Tobago Int J Infect Dis 2021). In addition, we did a retrospective analysis of the common fungal infections in HIV/AIDS patients admitted to the General Hospital in Port of Spain and found the common serious fungal infections were PCP, histoplasmosis, oral/esophageal candidiasis and cryptococossis.
Personal comment on the major needs in Austria which GAFFI should be addressing: There is a critical need for training programmes for clinicians and laboratory technicians in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections. There is an urgent need for improved laboratory diagnostics and point of care tests that are affordable and give rapid test results to diagnose histoplasmosis and PCP. An epidemiological surveillance programme should be implemented so that more accurate estimates of fungal infections in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) can be obtained. The antifungal drugs used to treat cryptococcal meningitis and disseminated histoplasmosis in T&T include amphotericin B deoxycholate, fluconazole and itraconazole. Liposomal amphotericin B, flucytosine and the newer antifungal drugs are unavailable and these medications are required for the optimal treatment of these life-threatening invasive fungal infections.
Links to key fungal/global health institutions in Austria: Caribbean Public Health agency (CARPHA) - https://www.carpha.org/ Trinidad and Tobago Public Health Laboratory - https://health.gov.tt/services/trinidad-public-health-laboratory