Challenges of the Diphtheria Outbreak Response in Bangladesh
Infectious diseases expert Derek Sloan discusses the UK contribution to an outbreak of diphtheria in the Rohingya population at the start of 2018.
Derek Sloan is an infectious diseases clinician based at the University of St Andrews and in NHS Fife, Scotland. He has worked in a range of challenging environments in both high and low resource countries. He has lived in Kenya and South Africa, providing general medical care in rural hospitals, whilst supporting the roll-out of anti-retroviral therapy to patients at the height of the global HIV pandemic. He was also District TB officer for Hlabisa Hospital in KwaZulu Natal, managing patients and helping to co-ordinate tuberculosis (TB) control activities for a difficult-to-reach population with a very high incidence of both drug-susceptible and drug-resistant tuberculosis. He spent three years in Malawi working as a doctor, whilst completing a Wellcome Trust funded PhD in the clinical pharmacology of TB treatment. He is closely involved in a number of ongoing TB projects worldwide, including clinical trials of new therapies across Africa, in addition to Moldova and Vietnam.
Derek also has an active interest in the acute management of infectious disease outbreaks; he worked as part of the response to the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in West Africa in 2015 and was clinical lead for part of the UK Emergency Medical Team deployment to treat a diphtheria outbreak in Bangladesh in January 2018. In August 2018 he participated in a WHO consultancy to support Ebola preparedness in Rwanda as part of the ongoing response to the Ebola outbreak in DRC.