• Clinical and epidemiological performance of WHO Ebola case definitions: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Caleo, G; Theocharaki, F; Lokuge, K; Weiss, HA; Inamdar, L; Grandesso, F; Danis, K; Pedalino, B; Kobinger, G; Sprecher, A; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-06-25)
      Background Ebola virus disease case definition is a crucial surveillance tool to detect suspected cases for referral and as a screening tool for clinicians to support admission and laboratory testing decisions at Ebola health facilities. We aimed to assess the performance of the WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions and other screening scores. Methods In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science for studies published in English between June 13, 1978, and Jan 14, 2020. We included studies that estimated the sensitivity and specificity of WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions, clinical and epidemiological characteristics (symptoms at admission and contact history), and predictive risk scores against the reference standard (laboratory-confirmed Ebola virus disease). Summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity were calculated using bivariate and hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic (when four or more studies provided data) or random-effects meta-analysis (fewer than four studies provided data). Findings We identified 2493 publications, of which 14 studies from four countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Angola) were included in the analysis. 12 021 people with suspected disease were included, of whom 4874 were confirmed as positive for Ebola virus infection. Six studies explored the performance of WHO case definitions in non-paediatric populations, and in all of these studies, suspected and probable cases were combined and could not be disaggregated for analysis. The pooled sensitivity of the WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions from these studies was 81·5% (95% CI 74·1–87·2) and pooled specificity was 35·7% (28·5–43·6). History of contact or epidemiological link was a key predictor for the WHO case definitions (seven studies) and for risk scores (six studies). The most sensitive symptom was intense fatigue (79·0% [95% CI 74·4–83·0]), assessed in seven studies, and the least sensitive symptom was pain behind the eyes (1·0% [0·0–7·0]), assessed in three studies. The performance of fever as a symptom varied depending on the cutoff used to define fever. Interpretation WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions perform suboptimally to identify cases at both community level and during triage at Ebola health facilities. Inclusion of intense fatigue as a key symptom and contact history could improve the performance of case definitions, but implementation of these changes will require effective collaboration with, and trust of, affected communities.
    • Clinical and epidemiological performance of WHO Ebola case definitions: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Caleo, G; Theocharaki, F; Lokuge, K; Weiss, HA; Inamdar, L; Grandesso, F; Danis, K; Pedalino, B; Kobinger, G; Sprecher, A; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-11-01)
      Background Ebola virus disease case definition is a crucial surveillance tool to detect suspected cases for referral and as a screening tool for clinicians to support admission and laboratory testing decisions at Ebola health facilities. We aimed to assess the performance of the WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions and other screening scores. Methods In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science for studies published in English between June 13, 1978, and Jan 14, 2020. We included studies that estimated the sensitivity and specificity of WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions, clinical and epidemiological characteristics (symptoms at admission and contact history), and predictive risk scores against the reference standard (laboratory-confirmed Ebola virus disease). Summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity were calculated using bivariate and hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic (when four or more studies provided data) or random-effects meta-analysis (fewer than four studies provided data). Findings We identified 2493 publications, of which 14 studies from four countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Angola) were included in the analysis. 12 021 people with suspected disease were included, of whom 4874 were confirmed as positive for Ebola virus infection. Six studies explored the performance of WHO case definitions in non-paediatric populations, and in all of these studies, suspected and probable cases were combined and could not be disaggregated for analysis. The pooled sensitivity of the WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions from these studies was 81·5% (95% CI 74·1–87·2) and pooled specificity was 35·7% (28·5–43·6). History of contact or epidemiological link was a key predictor for the WHO case definitions (seven studies) and for risk scores (six studies). The most sensitive symptom was intense fatigue (79·0% [95% CI 74·4–83·0]), assessed in seven studies, and the least sensitive symptom was pain behind the eyes (1·0% [0·0–7·0]), assessed in three studies. The performance of fever as a symptom varied depending on the cutoff used to define fever. Interpretation WHO Ebola virus disease case definitions perform suboptimally to identify cases at both community level and during triage at Ebola health facilities. Inclusion of intense fatigue as a key symptom and contact history could improve the performance of case definitions, but implementation of these changes will require effective collaboration with, and trust of, affected communities.
    • Ebola Management Centre Proximity Associated With Reduced Delays of Healthcare of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Patients, Tonkolili, Sierra Leone, 2014-15

      Theocharopoulos, G; Danis, K; Greig, J; Hoffmann, A; De Valk, H; Jimissa, A; Tejan, S; Sankoh, M; Kleijer, K; Turner, W; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2017-05-01)
      Between August-December 2014, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) patients from Tonkolili District were referred for care to two Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Ebola Management Centres (EMCs) outside the district (distant EMCs). In December 2014, MSF opened an EMC in Tonkolili District (district EMC). We examined the effect of opening a district-based EMC on time to admission and number of suspect cases dead on arrival (DOA), and identified factors associated with fatality in EVD patients, residents in Tonkolili District. Residents of Tonkolili district who presented between 12 September 2014 and 23 February 2015 to the district EMC and the two distant EMCs were identified from EMC line-lists. EVD cases were confirmed by a positive Ebola PCR test. We calculated time to admission since the onset of symptoms, case-fatality and adjusted Risk Ratios (aRR) using Binomial regression. Of 249 confirmed Ebola cases, 206 (83%) were admitted to the distant EMCs and 43 (17%) to the district EMC. Of them 110 (45%) have died. Confirmed cases dead on arrival (n = 10) were observed only in the distant EMCs. The median time from symptom onset to admission was 6 days (IQR 4,8) in distant EMCs and 3 days (IQR 2,7) in the district EMC (p<0.001). Cases were 2.0 (95%CI 1.4-2.9) times more likely to have delayed admission (>3 days after symptom onset) in the distant compared with the district EMC, but were less likely (aRR = 0.8; 95%CI 0.6-1.0) to have a high viral load (cycle threshold ≤22). A fatal outcome was associated with a high viral load (aRR 2.6; 95%CI 1.8-3.6) and vomiting at first presentation (aRR 1.4; 95%CI 1.0-2.0). The opening of a district EMC was associated with earlier admission of cases to appropriate care facilities, an essential component of reducing EVD transmission. High viral load and vomiting at admission predicted fatality. Healthcare providers should consider the location of EMCs to ensure equitable access during Ebola outbreaks.
    • The factors affecting household transmission dynamics and community compliance with Ebola control measures: a mixed-methods study in a rural village in Sierra Leone

      Caleo, G; Duncombe, J; Jephcott, F; Lokuge, K; Mills, C; Looijen, E; Theoharaki, F; Kremer, R; Kleijer, K; Squire, J; et al. (BioMed Central, 2018-02-13)
      Little is understood of Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission dynamics and community compliance with control measures over time. Understanding these interactions is essential if interventions are to be effective in future outbreaks. We conducted a mixed-methods study to explore these factors in a rural village that experienced sustained EVD transmission in Kailahun District, Sierra Leone.
    • Improving mapping for Ebola response through mobilising a local community with self-owned smartphones: Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone, January 2015

      Nic Lochlainn, LM; Gayton, I; Theocharopoulos, G; Edwards, R; Danis, K; Kremer, R; Kleijer, K; Tejan, SM; Sankoh, M; Jimissa, A; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2018-01-03)
      During the 2014-16 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, the Magburaka Ebola Management Centre (EMC) operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone, identified that available district maps lacked up-to-date village information to facilitate timely implementation of EVD control strategies. In January 2015, we undertook a survey in chiefdoms within the MSF EMC catchment area to collect mapping and village data. We explore the feasibility and cost to mobilise a local community for this survey, describe validation against existing mapping sources and use of the data to prioritise areas for interventions, and lessons learned.
    • Inpatient Signs and Symptoms and Factors Associated with Death in Children Aged 5 Years and Younger Admitted to Two Ebola Management Centres in Sierra Leone, 2014: a Retrospective Cohort Study

      Shah, T; Greig, J; van der Plas, LM; Achar, J; Caleo, G; Squire, JS; Turay, AS; Joshy, G; D'Este, C; Banks, E; et al. (Elsevier, 2016-07-01)
      Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened Ebola management centres (EMCs) in Sierra Leone in Kailahun in June, 2014, and Bo in September, 2014. Case fatality in the west African Ebola virus disease epidemic has been highest in children younger than 5 years. Clinical data on outcomes can provide important evidence to guide future management. However, such data on children are scarce and disaggregated clinical data across all ages in this epidemic have focussed on symptoms reported on arrival at treatment facilities, rather than symptoms and signs observed during admission. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics of children aged 5 years and younger admitted to the MSF EMCs in Bo and Kailahun, and any associations between these characteristics and mortality.
    • Management of diabetes and associated costs in a complex humanitarian setting in the Democratic Republic of Congo: a retrospective cohort study

      Ansbro, EM; Roberts, B; Jobanputra, K; Biringanine, M; Caleo, G; Prieto-Merino, D; Sadique, Z; Perel, P (BMJ, 2019-11-24)
      Objective We aimed to evaluate an Integrated Diabetic Clinic within a Hospital Outpatient Department (IDC-OPD) in a complex humanitarian setting in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Specific objectives were to: (1) analyse diabetes intermediate clinical and programmatic outcomes (blood pressure (BP)/glycaemic control, visit volume and frequency); (2) explore the association of key insecurity and related programmatic events with these outcomes; and (3) describe incremental IDC-OPD programme costs. Design Retrospective cohort analysis of routine programmatic data collected from January 2014 to February 2017; analysis of programme costs for 2014/2015. Setting Outpatient diabetes programme in Mweso hospital, supported by Médecins sans Frontières, in North Kivu, Demographic Republic of Congo. Participants Diabetes patients attending IDC-OPD. Outcome measures Intermediate clinical and programmatic outcome trends (BP/ glycaemic control; visit volume/frequency); incremental programme costs. Results Of 243 diabetes patients, 44.6% were women, median age was 45 (IQR 32–56); 51.4% were classified type 2. On introduction of IDC-OPD, glucose control improved and patient volume and visit interval increased. During insecurity, control rates were initially maintained by a nurse-provided, scaled-back service, while patient volume and visit interval decreased. Following service suspension due to drug stock-outs, patients were less likely to achieve control, improving on service resumption. Total costs decreased 16% from 2014 (€36 573) to 2015 (€30 861). Annual cost per patient dropped from €475 in 2014 to €214 in 2015 due to reduced supply costs and increased patient numbers. Conclusions In a chronic conflict setting, we documented that control of diabetes intermediate outcomes was achievable during stable periods. During insecure periods, a simplified, nurse-led model maintained control rates until drug stock-outs occurred. Incremental per patient annual costs were lower than chronic HIV care costs in low-income settings. Future operational research should define a simplified diabetes care package including emergency preparedness.
    • Maternal health after Ebola: unmet needs and barriers to healthcare in rural Sierra Leone

      Elston, JWT; Danis, K; Gray, N; West, K; Lokuge, K; Black, B; Stringer, B; Jimmisa, AS; Biankoe, A; Sanko, MO; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2019-11-07)
      Sierra Leone has the world’s highest estimated maternal mortality. Following the 2014–16 Ebola outbreak, we described health outcomes and health-seeking behaviour amongst pregnant women to inform health policy. In October 2016–January 2017, we conducted a sequential mixed-methods study in urban and rural areas of Tonkolili District comprising: household survey targeting women who had given birth since onset of the Ebola outbreak; structured interviews at rural sites investigating maternal deaths and reporting; and in-depth interviews (IDIs) targeting mothers, community leaders and health workers. We selected 30 clusters in each area: by random GPS points (urban) and by random village selection stratified by population size (rural). We collected data on health-seeking behaviours, barriers to healthcare, childbirth and outcomes using structured questionnaires. IDIs exploring topics identified through the survey were conducted with a purposive sample and analysed thematically. We surveyed 608 women and conducted 29 structured and 72 IDIs. Barriers, including costs of healthcare and physical inaccessibility of healthcare facilities, delayed or prevented 90% [95% confidence interval (CI): 80–95] (rural) vs 59% (95% CI: 48–68) (urban) pregnant women from receiving healthcare. Despite a general preference for biomedical care, 48% of rural and 31% of urban women gave birth outside of a health facility; of those, just 4% and 34%, respectively received skilled assistance. Women expressed mistrust of healthcare workers (HCWs) primarily due to payment demanded for ‘free’ healthcare. HCWs described lack of pay and poor conditions precluding provision of quality care. Twenty percent of women reported labour complications. Twenty-eight percent of villages had materials to record maternal deaths. Pregnant women faced important barriers to care, particularly in rural areas, leading to high preventable mortality and morbidity. Women wanted to access healthcare, but services available were often costly, unreachable and poor quality. We recommend urgent interventions, including health promotion, free healthcare access and strengthening rural services to address barriers to maternal healthcare.
    • Public health surveillance after the 2010 Haiti earthquake: the experience of Médecins Sans Frontières

      Polonsky, J; Luquero, F; Francois, G; Rousseau, C; Caleo, G; Ciglenecki, I; Delacre, C; Siddiqui, M R; Terzian, M; Verhenne, L; et al. (2013-01-07)
      Background In January 2010, Haiti was struck by a powerful earthquake, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands and leaving millions homeless. In order to better understand the severity of the crisis, and to provide early warning of epidemics or deteriorations in the health status of the population, Médecins Sans Frontières established surveillance for infections of epidemic potential and for death rates and malnutrition prevalence. Methods Trends in infections of epidemic potential were detected through passive surveillance at health facilities serving as sentinel sites. Active community surveillance of death rates and malnutrition prevalence was established through weekly home visits. Results There were 102,054 consultations at the 15 reporting sites during the 26 week period of operation. Acute respiratory infections, acute watery diarrhoea and malaria/fever of unknown origin accounted for the majority of proportional morbidity among the diseases under surveillance. Several alerts were triggered through the detection of immediately notifiable diseases and increasing trends in some conditions. Crude and under-5 death rates, and acute malnutrition prevalence, were below emergency thresholds. Conclusion Disease surveillance after disasters should include an alert and response component, requiring investment of resources in informal networks that improve sensitivity to alerts as well as on the more common systems of data collection, compilation and analysis. Information sharing between partners is necessary to strengthen early warning systems. Community-based surveillance of mortality and malnutrition is feasible but requires careful implementation and validation.
    • Successful Control of Ebola Virus Disease: Analysis of Service Based Data from Rural Sierra Leone

      Lokuge, K; Caleo, G; Greig, J; Duncombe, J; McWilliam, N; Squire, J; Lamin, M; Veltus, E; Wolz, A; Kobinger, G; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2016-03-09)
      The scale and geographical distribution of the current outbreak in West Africa raised doubts as to the effectiveness of established methods of control. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was first detected in Sierra Leone in May 2014 in Kailahun district. Despite high case numbers elsewhere in the country, transmission was eliminated in the district by December 2014. We describe interventions underpinning successful EVD control in Kailahun and implications for EVD control in other areas.