• Gaps in Hepatitis B Vaccination Completion and Sero-Protection for People Who Inject Drugs in Hpakant, Myanmar, 2015-2018

      Yee, NS; Naing, AY; Cuesta, JG; Das, M; Dave, K (MDPI, 2020-05-12)
      Hepatitis B vaccination (HBV) is recommended for high-risk groups, such as people who inject drugs (PWIDs). As part of a harm reduction program by a non-governmental organization, hepatitis B screening, vaccination and antibody (HBAb) testing after completion of the vaccination schedule were offered to PWIDS in Myanmar. We determined the proportions of HBV non-completion and sero-unprotection among PWIDs enrolled in the program and their association with socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. We conducted a descriptive study based on routine program data in five selected clinics in Hpakant Township, Myanmar. PWIDs who were Hepatitis B antigen negative at screening during January 2015-December 2018 were included. Among 5386 participants eligible for HBV, 9% refused vaccination. Among those who accepted vaccination (n = 3177 individuals), 65% completed vaccination. Of those tested for HBsAb (n = 2202), 30% were sero-unprotected. Young-adults (aged 18-44 years) and migrant workers had a higher risk of incomplete vaccination. However, participants who used methadone had a lower risk of incomplete vaccination. Migrant workers had higher risk of not returning for HBsAb testing and HIV-positive participants had a higher risk of being HBV sero-unprotected. Efforts to increase HBV vaccination in PWIDs for young adults and clients during methadone and anti-retroviral services should be prioritized.
    • Mandatory Notification of Chronic Chagas Disease: Confronting the Epidemiological Silence in the State of Goiás, Brazil

      da Rocha Siriano, L; Marchiol, A; Pereira Certo, M; Cubides, JC; Forsyth, C; Augusto de Sousa, F (MDPI, 2020-06-05)
      Objectives: This paper presents the results of the design and implementation process for the policy of compulsory notification of chronic Chagas disease in the Brazilian state of Goiás (Resolution No. 004/2013-GAB/SES-GO). Methods: The narrative was based on information provided by key actors that were part of the different stages of the process, built on contextual axes based on participants’ reflections about the establishment of the most accurate and coherent notification mechanisms. Results: The notification policy addressed the absence of historical data from patients in the state Chagas program, an increase in cases identified through serology, and weaknesses in vector control. Two key challenges involved human resources capacity and dissemination to public agencies and health care workers. Effective training and communication processes were key ingredients for successful implementation. Conclusions: The lack of public health measures aimed at the epidemiological surveillance of chronic Chagas cases constitutes a significant barrier for patients to access appropriate diagnosis, management and follow-up, and hampers the planning of necessary activities within health systems. The implementation of the notification policy in Goiás allows authorities to determine the real magnitude of Chagas disease in the population, so that an appropriate public health response can be mounted to meet the needs of affected people, thereby ending the epidemiological silence of Chagas disease.
    • Perceptions of Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antibiotic Resistance among Physicians Treating Syrian Patients with War-Related Injuries

      Älgå, A; Karlow Herzog, K; Alrawashdeh, M; Wong, S; Khankeh, H; Stålsby Lundborg, C (MDPI, 2018-12-01)
      Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) constitute a major contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide, with a greater burden on low- and middle-income countries. War-related injuries generally lead to large tissue defects, with a high risk of infection. The aim of this study was to explore how physicians in a middle-income country in an emergency setting perceive HAI and antibiotic resistance (ABR). Ten physicians at a Jordanian hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières were interviewed face-to-face. The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by qualitative content analysis with an inductive and deductive approach. The participants acknowledged risk factors of HAI and ABR development, such as patient behavior, high numbers of injured patients, limited space, and non-compliance with hygiene protocols, but did not express a sense of urgency or any course of action. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics were reported as main contributors to ABR development, but participants expressed no direct interrelationship between ABR and HAI. We conclude that due to high patient load and limited resources, physicians do not see HAI as a problem they can prioritize. The knowledge gained by this study could provide insights for the allocation of resources and development of hygiene and wound treatment protocols in resource-limited settings.
    • Two-Year Scale-Up of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Reduced Malaria Morbidity among Children in the Health District of Koutiala, Mali.

      Maiga, H; Gaudart, J; Sagara, I; Diarra, M; Bamadio, A; Djimde, M; Coumare, S; Sangare, B; Dicko, Y; Tembely, A; et al. (MDPI, 2020-09-11)
      Background: Previous controlled studies demonstrated seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) reduces malaria morbidity by >80% in children aged 3-59 months. Here, we assessed malaria morbidity after large-scale SMC implementation during a pilot campaign in the health district of Koutiala, Mali. Methods: Starting in August 2012, children received three rounds of SMC with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and amodiaquine (AQ). From July 2013 onward, children received four rounds of SMC. Prevalence of malaria infection, clinical malaria and anemia were assessed during two cross-sectional surveys conducted in August 2012 and June 2014. Investigations involved 20 randomly selected clusters in 2012 against 10 clusters in 2014. Results: Overall, 662 children were included in 2012, and 670 in 2014. Children in 2014 versus those surveyed in 2012 showed reduced proportions of malaria infection (12.4% in 2014 versus 28.7% in 2012 (p = 0.001)), clinical malaria (0.3% versus 4.2%, respectively (p < 0.001)), and anemia (50.1% versus 67.4%, respectively (p = 0.001)). A propensity score approach that accounts for environmental differences showed that SMC conveyed a significant protective effect against malaria infection (IR = 0.01, 95% CI (0.0001; 0.09), clinical malaria (OR = 0.25, 95% CI (0.06; 0.85)), and hemoglobin concentration (β = 1.3, 95% CI (0.69; 1.96)) in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Conclusion: SMC significantly reduced frequency of malaria infection, clinical malaria and anemia two years after SMC scale-up in Koutiala.
    • Yield of Systematic Longitudinal Screening of Household Contacts of Pre-Extensively Drug Resistant (PreXDR) and Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) Tuberculosis Patients in Mumbai, India

      Paryani, RH; Gupta, V; Singh, P; Verma, M; Sheikh, S; Yadav, R; Mansoor, H; Kalon, S; Selvaraju, S; Das, M; et al. (MDPI, 2020-05-26)
      While risk of tuberculosis (TB) is high among household contacts (HHCs) of pre-extensively drug resistant (pre-XDR) TB and XDR-TB, data on yield of systematic longitudinal screening are lacking. We aim to describe the yield of systematic longitudinal TB contact tracing among HHCs of patients with pre-XDR-TB and XDR-TB. At the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic, Mumbai, India a cohort comprising 518 HHCs of 109 pre-XDR and XDR index cases was enrolled between January 2016 and June 2018. Regular HHC follow-ups were done till one year post treatment of index cases. Of 518 HHCs, 23 had TB (21 on TB treatment and two newly diagnosed) at the time of first visit. Of the rest, 19% HHCs had no follow-ups. Fourteen (3.5%) TB cases were identified among 400 HHCs; incidence rate: 2072/100,000 person-years (95% CI: 1227-3499). The overall yield of household contact tracing was 3% (16/518). Of 14 who were diagnosed with TB during follow-up, six had drug susceptible TB (DSTB); six had pre-XDR-TB and one had XDR-TB. Five of fourteen cases had resistance patterns concordant with their index case. In view of the high incidence of TB among HHCs of pre-XDR and XDR-TB cases, follow-up of HHCs for at least the duration of index cases' treatment should be considered.