eHealth for service delivery in conflict: a narrative review of the application of eHealth technologies in contemporary conflict settings

The role of eHealth in conflict settings is increasingly important to address geographic, epidemiologic and clinical disparities. This study categorizes various forms of eHealth usage in conflict and aims to identify gaps in evidence to make recommendations for further research and practice. The analysis was carried out via a narrative hermeneutic review methodology. Articles that fulfilled the following screening criteria were reviewed: (1) describing an eHealth intervention in active conflict or ongoing insurgency, (2) an eHealth intervention targeting a conflict-affected population, (3) an e-learning platform for delivery in conflict settings and (4) non-interventional descriptive reviews relating to eHealth in conflict. Of the 489 papers eligible for screening, 46 merited final inclusion. Conflict settings described include Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Chechnya, Gaza and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thirty-six studies described specific eHealth initiatives, while the remainder were more generic review papers exploring general principles. Analysis resulted in the elucidation of three final categories of current eHealth activity in conflict-affected settings: (1) eHealth for clinical management, (2) e-learning for healthcare in conflict and (3) eHealth for information management in conflict. Obvious disparities in the distribution of technological dividends from eHealth in conflict are demonstrated by this review. Conflict-affected populations are predominantly subject to ad hoc and voluntary initiatives delivered by diaspora and civil society organizations. While the deployment of eHealth technologies in conflict settings is increasingly normalized, there is a need for further clarification of global norms relating to practice in this context.

Hydatid cyst of thyroid gland, a rare case report with a literature review

Introduction: Although hydatid cysts can affect any organ in the body, reports regarding affection of thyroid gland are scanty in the literature. This report aims to present a case of thyroid hydatid disease with literature review.

Case report: A 48-year-old female presented with painless anterior neck mass of about 2 year duration. There was an ill-defined, central anterior neck mass, with a smooth surface and mobile with deglutition. Ultrasound of the thyroid gland revealed an enlarged left lobe of thyroid gland due to well defined thick wall cystic nodule. The patient underwent left thyroid lobectomy under general anesthesia, the pathology report revealed hydatid cyst of thyroid gland.

Discussion: Liver and lungs are often the end destination for hydatid cysts, while other places like mediastinum, diaphragm, cardiac, smooth and skeletal muscles, abdominal and chest walls are rarely involved. In this case, the cyst affected even a rarer organ which was the left lobe of thyroid gland. Most of the time the disease is asymptomatic and is found accidentally, yet depending on the site and size of the cysts, symptoms can occur.

Conclusion: Hydatid disease of thyroid gland is an extremely rare condition. The main presenting symptom is swelling. Operation under general anesthesia is the only modality of treatment.