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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Winnie Ooi, MD, MPH, DMD (Harvard Medical School)
Description: This is a practical, well written pocket-sized handbook for practitioners or medical students of tropical medicine working in an area of limited resources. It combines useful algorithms for common clinical problems and current WHO guidelines for classification and treatment of many infectious and noninfectious diseases. Chapters on many topics such as trauma, cardiology, mental health, and dermatology, as well as HIV infection, have undergone major expansion and revision since the last edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: This book sets out to bridge the gap between textbooks of clinical medicine (written for facilities with abundant resources) and WHO guidelines to guide practitioners in isolated, resource-poor areas. The authors meet these worthwhile objectives.
Audience: Physicians and nurses are the intended audience. The original authors, medical students when they wrote the first edition, have added many credible authorities as contributors for subsequent editions. For readers who need more detail, the book provides many useful websites.
Features: The book attempts to cover the most important and common diseases found in the tropics such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV disease in addition to other equally important topics such as nutrition. It uses the syndrome and/or symptom oriented approach to diagnosis and treatment based on WHO guidelines. The many algorithms are particularly useful in this respect. Some illustrations have been added as useful guides for diagnosis. This edition also pays more attention to treatment of trauma, which is so common in developing countries. Subsequent editions may benefit from a stronger emphasis on prevention and education.
Assessment: Based on current WHO guidelines, this is a well written, comprehensive handbook of clinical tropical medicine that will be useful for practitioners in isolated settings. This edition includes among its additions many useful diagnostic images and chapters edited or written by authorities in their areas of expertise. In particular, the different aspects of HIV disease appropriately have been given a full chapter with attention to screening and prevention, diagnosis, antiretroviral therapy (ART) and postexposure prophylaxis.