• Added value of bleach sedimentation microscopy for diagnosis of tuberculosis: a cost-effectiveness study.

      Bonnet, M; Tajahmady, A; Hepple, P; Ramsay, A; Githui, W; Gagdnidze, L; Guérin, P J; Varaine, F; Epicentre, Paris, France; Mission Nationale d’Expertise et d’Audit Hospitaliers, Paris, France; Manson Unit, Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK; United Nation’s Children’s Fund/United Nations Development Programme/World Bank/World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training for Tropical Diseases, Geneva, Switzerland; Centre for Respiratory Diseases Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France (2010-04-09)
      SETTING: Bleach sedimentation is a method used to increase the diagnostic yield of sputum microscopy for countries with a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and limited resources. OBJECTIVES: To compare the relative cost-effectiveness of different microscopy approaches in diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) in Kenya. METHODS: An analytical decision tree model including cost and effectiveness measures of 10 combinations of direct (D) and overnight bleach (B) sedimentation microscopy was constructed. Data were drawn from the evaluation of the bleach sedimentation method on two specimens (first on the spot [1] and second morning [2]) from 644 TB suspects in a peripheral health clinic. Incremental cost per smear-positive detected case was measured. Costs included human resources and materials using a micro-costing evaluation. RESULTS: All bleach-based microscopy approaches detected significantly more cases (between 23.3% for B1 and 25.9% for B1+B2) than the conventional D1+D2 approach (21.0%). Cost per tested case ranged between respectively euro 2.7 and euro 4.5 for B1 and B1+D2+B2. B1 and B1+B2 were the most cost-effective approaches. D1+B2 and D1+B1 were good alternatives to avoid using approaches exclusively based on bleach sedimentation microscopy. CONCLUSIONS: Among several effective microscopy approaches used, including sodium hypochlorite sedimentation, only some resulted in a limited increase in the laboratory workload and would be most suitable for programmatic implementation.
    • Bleach sedimentation: an opportunity to optimize smear microscopy for tuberculosis diagnosis in settings of high prevalence of HIV

      Bonnet, M; Ramsay, A; Githui, W; Gagnidze, L; Varaine, F; Guerin, P J; Epicentre, Paris, France; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom; Centre for Respiratory Diseases Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya (Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2008-06-01)
      BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the performance and feasibility of tuberculosis diagnosis by sputum microscopy after bleach sedimentation, compared with by conventional direct smear microscopy, in a setting of high prevalence of HIV. METHODS: In a community-based study in Kenya (a population in which 50% of individuals with tuberculosis are infected with HIV), individuals with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis submitted 3 sputum specimens during 2 consecutive days, which were examined by blind evaluation. Ziehl-Neelsen-stained smears were made of fresh specimens and of specimens that were processed with 3.5% household bleach followed by overnight sedimentation. Two different cutoffs for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) per 100 high-power fields (HPF) were used to define a positive smear: >10 AFB/100 HPF and 1 AFB/100 HPF. Four smear-positive case definitions, based on 1 or 2 positive smears with the 1 AFB or 10 AFB cutoff, were used. RESULTS: Of 1879 specimens from 644 patients, 363 (19.3%) and 460 (24.5%) were positive by bleach sedimentation microscopy, compared with 301 (16.0%) and 374 (19.9%) by direct smear microscopy, with use of the 10 AFB/100 HPF (P < .001) and 1 AFB/100 HPF (P < .001) cutoffs, respectively. Regardless of the case definition used, bleach sedimentation microscopy detected significantly more positive cases than did direct smear microscopy: 26.7% (172 of 644) versus 21.7% (140 of 644), respectively, with the case definition of 1 positive smear and the 1 AFB/100 HPF cutoff (P < .001), and 21.4% (138 of 644) versus 18.6% (120 of 644), respectively, with the case definition of 1 positive smear and the 10 AFB/100 HPF cutoff (P < .001). Inter- and intrareader reproducibility were favorable, with kappa coefficients of 0.83 and 0.91, respectively. Bleach sedimentation was relatively inexpensive and was not time consuming. CONCLUSIONS: Bleach sedimentation microscopy is an effective, simple method to improve the yield of smear microscopy in a setting of high prevalence of HIV. Further evaluation of this method, under operational conditions, is urgently needed to determine its potential as a tool for tuberculosis control.
    • Cascade of HIV Care and Population Biral Suppression in a High-Burden Region of Kenya

      Maman, D; Zeh, C; Mukui, I; Kirubi, B; Masson, S; Opolo, V; Szumilin, E; Riche, B; Etard, JF (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2015-07-31)
      Direct measurement of antiretroviral treatment (ART) program indicators essential for evidence-based planning and evaluation - especially HIV incidence, population viral load, and ART eligibility - is rare in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Clinical screening for HIV in a health centre setting in urban Kenya: an entry point for voluntary counselling, HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV infection?

      Arendt, V; Mossong, J; Zachariah, R; Inwani, C; Farah, B; Robert, I; Waelbrouck, A; Fonck, K; Médecins Sans Frontières, Mission Kenya, Brussels Operational Centre, Brussels, Belgium. (2007-01)
      A study was conducted among patients attending a public health centre in Nairobi, Kenya in order to (a) verify the prevalence of HIV, (b) identify clinical risk factors associated with HIV and (c) determine clinical markers for clinical screening of HIV infection at the health centre level. Of 304 individuals involved in the study,107(35%) were HIV positive. A clinical screening algorithm based on four clinical markers, namely oral thrush, past or present TB, past or present herpes zoster and prurigo would pick out 61 (57%) of the 107 HIV-positive individuals. In a resource-poor setting, introducing a clinical screening algorithm for HIV at the health centre level could provide an opportunity for targeting voluntary counselling and HIV testing, and early access to a range of prevention and care interventions.
    • Community-based antiretroviral therapy programs can overcome barriers to retention of patients and decongest health services in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

      Decroo, Tom; Rasschaert, Freya; Telfer, Barbara; Remartinez, Daniel; Laga, Marie; Ford, Nathan; Médecins Sans Frontières, Av. Eduardo Mondlane 38 - CP 262, Tete, Mozambique. (Oxford University Press, 2013-09-05)
      In sub-Saharan Africa models of care need to adapt to support continued scale up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and retain millions in care. Task shifting, coupled with community participation has the potential to address the workforce gap, decongest health services, improve ART coverage, and to sustain retention of patients on ART over the long-term. The evidence supporting different models of community participation for ART care, or community-based ART, in sub-Saharan Africa, was reviewed. In Uganda and Kenya community health workers or volunteers delivered ART at home. In Mozambique people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) self-formed community-based ART groups to deliver ART in the community. These examples of community ART programs made treatment more accessible and affordable. However, to achieve success some major challenges need to be overcome: first, community programs need to be driven, owned by and embedded in the communities. Second, an enabling and supportive environment is needed to ensure that task shifting to lay staff and PLWHA is effective and quality services are provided. Finally, a long term vision and commitment from national governments and international donors is required. Exploration of the cost, effectiveness, and sustainability of the different community-based ART models in different contexts will be needed.
    • Comparison of Generic and Proprietary Sodium Stibogluconate for the Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Kenya.

      Moore, E; O'Flaherty, D; Heuvelmans, H; Seaman, J; Veeken, H; de Wit, S; Davidson, R N; Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland (MSF-H) Kala-azar Programme, South Sudan/Kenya. (Published by WHO, 2001)
      OBJECTIVE: To compare the use of generic and proprietary sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar). METHODS: A total of 102 patients with confirmed kala-azar were treated in a mission hospital in West Pokot region, Kenya, with sodium stibogluconate (20 mg/kg/day for 30 days)--either as Pentostam (PSM) or generic sodium stibogluconate (SSG); 51 patients were allocated alternately to each treatment group. FINDINGS: There were no significant differences in baseline demographic characteristics or disease severity, or in events during treatment. There were 3 deaths in the PSM group and 1 in the SSG group; 2 patients defaulted in each group. Only 1 out of 80 test-of-cure splenic aspirates was positive for Leishmania spp.; this patient was in the SSG group. Follow-up after > or = 6 months showed that 6 out of 58 patients had relapsed, 5 in the SSG group and 1 in the PSM group. No outcome variable was significantly different between the two groups. CONCLUSION: The availability of cheaper generic sodium stibogluconate, subject to rigid quality controls, now makes it possible for the health authorities in kala-azar endemic areas to provide treatment to many more patients in Africa.
    • Development of a cross-over randomized trial method to determine the acceptability and safety of novel ready-to-use therapeutic foods

      Dibari, F; Bahwere, P; Huerga, H; Irena, A H; Owino, V; Collins, S; Seal, A (Elsevier, 2013-01)
      To develop a method for determining the acceptability and safety of ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) before clinical trialing. Acceptability was defined using a combination of three consumption, nine safety, and six preference criteria. These were used to compare a soy/maize/sorghum RUTF (SMS-RUTFh), designed for the rehabilitation of human immunodeficiency virus/tuberculosis (HIV/TB) wasted adults, with a peanut-butter/milk-powder paste (P-RUTF; brand: Plumpy'nut) designed for pediatric treatment.
    • Effectiveness of a PMTCT programme in rural Western Kenya.

      Azcoaga-Lorenzo, A; Ferreyra, C; Alvarez, A; Palma, P P; Velilla, E; del Amo, J; Medecins Sans Frontieres-Spain/Operational Centre Barcelona-Athens, Barcelona, Spain. azcoaga@yahoo.es (Taylor and Francis, 2011-03)
      We assess the coverage of a Prevention of Mother-to-child Transmission (PMTCT) programme in Busia (Kenya) from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2008 and estimate the risk of transmission of HIV. We also estimate the odds of HIV transmission according to pharmacological intervention received. Programme coverage was estimated as the proportion of mother-baby pairs receiving any antiretroviral (ARV) regimen among all HIV-positive women attending services. We estimated the mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rate and their 95% confidence interval (95%CI) using the direct method of calculation (intermediate estimate). A case-control study was established among all children born to HIV-positive mothers with information on outcome (HIV status of the babies) and exposure (data on pharmacological intervention). Cases were all HIV-positive children and controls were the HIV-negative ones. Exposure was defined as: (1) complete protocol: ARV prescribed according World Health Organisation recommendations; (2) partial protocol: does not meet criteria for complete protocol; and (3) no intervention: ARVs were not prescribed to both mother and child. Babies were tested using DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction at six weeks of life and six weeks after breastfeeding ceased. In the study period, 22,566 women accepted testing, 1668 were HIV positive (7.4%; 95%CI 7.05-7.73); 1036 (62%) registered in the programme and 632 were lost. Programme coverage was 40.4% (95%CI 37.9-42.7). Out of the 767 newborns, 28 (3.6%) died, 148 (19.3%) defaulted, 282 (36.7%) were administratively censored and 309 (40.2%) babies completed the follow-up as per protocol; 49 were HIV positive and MTCT risk was 15.86% (95%CI 11.6-20.1). The odds of having an HIV-positive baby was 4.6 times higher among pairs receiving a partial protocol compared to those receiving a complete protocol and 43 times higher among those receiving no intervention. Our data show a good level of enrolment but low global coverage rate. It demonstrates that ARV regimens can be implemented in low resource rural settings with marked decreases of MTCT. Increasing the coverage of PMTCT programmes remains the main challenge.
    • Evaluation of FASTPlaqueTB to diagnose smear-negative tuberculosis in a peripheral clinic in Kenya

      Bonnet, M; Gagnidze, L; Varaine, F; Ramsay, A; Githui, W; Guerin, P J; Epicentre, Paris, France; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK; United Nations Children’s Fund/United Nations Development Programme/World Bank/World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training for Tropical Diseases (TDR), Geneva, Switzerland; Centre for Respiratory Diseases Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya (2009-09-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance and feasibility of FASTPlaqueTB in smear-negative tuberculosis (TB) suspects in a peripheral clinic after laboratory upgrading. DESIGN: Patients with cough > or=2 weeks, two sputum smear-negative results, no response to 1 week of amoxicillin and abnormal chest X-ray were defined as smear-negative suspects. One sputum sample was collected, decontaminated and divided into two: half was tested with FASTPlaqueTB in the clinic laboratory and the other half was cultured on Löwenstein-Jensen medium in the Kenyan Medical Research Institute. Test sensitivity and specificity were evaluated in all patients and in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients. Feasibility was assessed by the contamination rate and the resources required to upgrade the laboratory. RESULTS: Of 208 patients included in the study, 56.2% were HIV-infected. Of 203 FASTPlaqueTB tests, 95 (46.8%) were contaminated, which interfered with result interpretation and led to the interruption of the study. Sensitivity and specificity were respectively 31.2% (95%CI 12.1-58.5) and 94.9% (95%CI 86.8-98.4) in all patients and 33.3% (95%CI 9.9-65.1) and 93.9% (95%CI 83.1-98.7) in HIV-infected patients. Upgrading the laboratory cost euro 20,000. CONCLUSION: FASTPlaqueTB did not perform satisfactorily in this setting. If contamination can be reduced, in addition to laboratory upgrading, its introduction in peripheral clinics would require further assessment in smear-negative and HIV co-infected patients and test adaptation for friendlier use.
    • Impact of introducing human immunodeficiency virus testing, treatment and care in a tuberculosis clinic in rural Kenya

      Huerga, H; Spillane, H; Guerrero, W; Odongo, A; Varaine, F; Médecins Sans Frontières, Nairobi, Kenya; National Tuberculosis Programme, Homa Bay, Kenya; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France (2010-04-09)
      SETTING: In July 2005, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Ministry of Health, Kenya, implemented an integrated tuberculosis-human immunodeficiency virus (TB-HIV) programme in western Kenya. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of an integrated TB-HIV programme on patient care and TB programme outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective evaluation of three time periods: before (January-June 2005), shortly after (January-June 2006) and medium term after (January-December 2007) the implementation of the integrated programme. RESULTS: Respectively 79% and 91% of TB patients were HIV tested shortly and at medium term after service integration. The HIV-positive rate varied from 96% before the intervention to respectively 88% (305/347) and 74% (301/405) after. The estimated number of HIV-positive cases was respectively 303, 323 and 331 in the three periods. The proportion of patients receiving cotrimoxazole prophylaxis increased significantly from 47% (142/303) to 94% (303/323) and 86% (285/331, P < 0.05). Before the intervention, 87% (171/197) of the TB-HIV patients would have been missed when initiating antiretroviral treatment, compared to respectively 29% (60/210) and 36% (78/215) after the integration. The TB programme success rate increased from 56% (230/409) to 71% (319/447) in the third period (P < 0.05); however, there was no significant decrease in the default rate: 20% to 22% (P = 0.66) and 18% (P = 0.37). CONCLUSION: Integrated TB-HIV care has a very positive impact on the management of TB-HIV patients and on TB treatment outcomes.
    • An intensive model of care for hepatitis C virus screening and treatment with direct-acting antivirals in people who inject drugs in Nairobi, Kenya: a model-based cost-effectiveness analysis.

      Mafirakureva, N; Stone, J; Fraser, H; Nzomukunda, Y; Maina, A; Thiong'o, AW; Kizito, KW; Mucara, EWK; Gonzalez Diaz, CI; Musyoki, H; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2021-06-29)
      Background and aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment is essential for eliminating HCV in people who inject drugs (PWID), but has limited coverage in resource-limited settings. We measured the cost-effectiveness of a pilot HCV screening and treatment intervention using directly observed therapy among PWID attending harm reduction services in Nairobi, Kenya. Design: We utilized an existing model of HIV and HCV transmission among current and former PWID in Nairobi to estimate the cost-effectiveness of screening and treatment for HCV, including prevention benefits versus no screening and treatment. The cure rate of treatment and costs for screening and treatment were estimated from intervention data, while other model parameters were derived from literature. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated over a life-time horizon from the health-care provider's perspective. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed. Setting: Nairobi, Kenya. Population: PWID. Measurements: Treatment costs, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (cost per disability-adjusted life year averted). Findings: The cost per disability-adjusted life-year averted for the intervention was $975, with 92.1% of the probabilistic sensitivity analyses simulations falling below the per capita gross domestic product for Kenya ($1509; commonly used as a suitable threshold for determining whether an intervention is cost-effective). However, the intervention was not cost-effective at the opportunity cost-based cost-effectiveness threshold of $647 per disability-adjusted life-year averted. Sensitivity analyses showed that the intervention could provide more value for money by including modelled estimates for HCV disease care costs, assuming lower drug prices ($75 instead of $728 per course) and excluding directly-observed therapy costs. Conclusions: The current strategy of screening and treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) among people who inject drugs in Nairobi is likely to be highly cost-effective with currently available cheaper drug prices, if directly-observed therapy is not used and HCV disease care costs are accounted for.
    • Lost to follow up from tuberculosis treatment in an urban informal settlement (Kibera), Nairobi, Kenya: what are the rates and determinants?

      Kizito, K W; Dunkley, S; Kingori, M; Reid, T; Médecins Sans Frontières - Operational Centre Belgium, Kenya Mission, Kileleshwa, Nairobi, Kenya. kwalta@gmail.com (2011-01)
      Patients lost to follow up (LTFU) from treatment are a major concern for tuberculosis (TB) programmes. It is even more challenging in programmes in urban informal settlements (slums) with large, highly mobile, impoverished populations. Kibera, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya is such a community with an estimated population of 500,000 to 700,000. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MPHS), operate three clinics providing integrated TB, HIV and primary health care. We undertook a retrospective study between July 2006 and December 2008 to determine the rate of LTFU from the TB programme in Kibera and to assess associated clinical and socio-demographic factors. Thanks to an innovative 'Defaulter Tracing Programme', patients who missed their appointments were routinely traced and encouraged to return for treatment. Where possible, reasons for missed appointments were recorded. LTFU occurred in 146 (13%) of the 1094 patients registered, with male gender, no salaried employment, lack of family support and positive TB smear at diagnosis found to be significant associations (P value ≤ 0.05). The most commonly cited reasons for LTFU were relocation from Kibera to 'up-country' rural homes and work commitments.
    • Monitoring HIV Viral Load in Resource Limited Settings: Still a Matter of Debate?

      Arnedo, M; Alonso, E; Eisenberg, N; Ibáñez, L; Ferreyra, C; Jaén, A; Flevaud, L; Khamadi, S; Roddy, P; Gatell, JM; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2012-12-06)
      Consequences of lack of viral monitoring in predicting the effects of development of HIV drug resistance mutations during HAART in resource-limited settings (RLS) is still a matter of debate.
    • Paediatric HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa: clinical presentation and 2-year outcomes stratified by age group

      Ben-Farhat, Jihane; Gale, Marianne; Szumilin, Elisabeth; Balkan, Suna; Poulet, Elisabeth; Pujades-Rodríguez, Mar (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2013-09)
      To examine age differences in mortality and programme attrition amongst paediatric patients treated in four African HIV programmes.
    • Performance of LED-Based Fluorescence Microscopy to Diagnose Tuberculosis in a Peripheral Health Centre in Nairobi.

      Bonnet, M; Gagnidze, L; Githui, W; Guérin, P J; Bonte, L; Varaine, F; Ramsay, A; Epicentre, Paris, France. (PloS One, 2011-02)
      Sputum microscopy is the only tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic available at peripheral levels of care in resource limited countries. Its sensitivity is low, particularly in high HIV prevalence settings. Fluorescence microscopy (FM) can improve performance of microscopy and with the new light emitting diode (LED) technologies could be appropriate for peripheral settings. The study aimed to compare the performance of LED-FM versus Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) microscopy and to assess feasibility of LED-FM at a low level of care in a high HIV prevalence country.
    • Predictors of the Quality of Health Worker Treatment Practices for Uncomplicated Malaria at Government Health Facilities in Kenya.

      Zurovac, D; Rowe, A K; Ochola, S A; Noor, A M; Midia, B; English, M; Snow, R W; Médecins Sans Frontières-France, P.O. Box 39719, Nairobi, Kenya. dzurovac@wtnairobi.mimcom.net (Published by Oxford University Press, 2004-10)
      BACKGROUND: When replacing failing drugs for malaria with more effective drugs, an important step towards reducing the malaria burden is that health workers (HW) prescribe drugs according to evidence-based guidelines. Past studies have shown that HW commonly do not follow guidelines, yet few studies have explored with appropriate methods why such practices occur. METHODS: We analysed data from a survey of government health facilities in four Kenyan districts in which HW consultations were observed, caretakers and HW were interviewed, and health facility assessments were performed. The analysis was limited to children 2-59 months old with uncomplicated malaria. Treatment was defined as recommended (antimalarial recommended by national guidelines), a minor error (effective, but non-recommended antimalarial), or inappropriate (no effective antimalarial). RESULTS: We evaluated 1006 consultations performed by 135 HW at 81 facilities: 567 children received recommended treatment, 314 had minor errors, and 125 received inappropriate treatment (weighted percentages: 56.9%, 30.4%, and 12.7%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that programmatic interventions such as in-service malaria training, provision of guidelines and wall charts, and more frequent supervision were significantly associated with better treatment quality. However, neither in-service training nor possession of the guideline document showed an effect by itself. More qualified HW made more errors: both major and minor errors (but generally more minor errors) when second-line drugs were in stock, and more major errors when second-line drugs were not in stock. Child factors such as age and a main complaint of fever were also associated with treatment quality. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the use of several programmatic strategies that can redress HW deficiencies in malaria treatment. Targeted cost-effectiveness trials would help refine these strategies and provide more precise guidance on affordable and effective ways to strengthen and maintain HW practices.
    • A qualitative investigation of adherence to nutritional therapy in malnourished adult AIDS patients in Kenya

      Dibari, Filippo; Bahwere, Paluku; Le Gall, Isabelle; Guerrero, Saul; Mwaniki, David; Seal, Andrew; Valid International, Oxford, UK; UCL Centre for International Health and Development, Institute of Child Health, London, UK; MSF-France, Nairobi, Kenya/Paris, France; Centre for Public Health, Kenya Medical Research Institute, KEMRI/CPHR, Nairobi, Kenya; Academy for Educational Development/Regional Office for Eastern and Central Africa, Nairobi, Kenya (Cambridge University Press, 2011-02-04)
      To understand factors affecting the compliance of malnourished, HIV-positive adults with a nutritional protocol using ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF; Plumpy'nut®).
    • Reducing the Number of Sputum Samples Examined and Thresholds for Positivity: An Opportunity to Optimise Smear Microscopy.

      Bonnet, M; Ramsay, A; Gagnidze, L; Githui, W; Guerin, P J J; Varaine, F; Epicentre, Paris, France. maryline.bonnet@geneva.msf.org (International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, 2007-09)
      SETTING: Urban health clinic, Nairobi. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact on tuberculosis (TB) case detection and laboratory workload of reducing the number of sputum smears examined and thresholds for diagnosing positive smears and positive cases. DESIGN: In this prospective study, three Ziehl-Neelsen stained sputum smears from consecutive pulmonary TB suspects were examined blind. The standard approach (A), > or = 2 positive smears out of 3, using a cut-off of 10 acid-fast bacilli (AFB)/100 high-power fields (HPF), was compared with approaches B, > or = 2 positive smears (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 3, one of which is > or = 10 AFB/100 HPF; C, > or = 2 positive smears (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 3; D, > or = 1 positive smear (> or = 10 AFB/100 HPF) out of 2; and E, > or = 1 positive smear (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 2. The microscopy gold standard was detection of at least one positive smear (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 3. RESULTS: Among 644 TB suspects, the alternative approaches detected from 114 (17.7%) (approach B) to 123 cases (19.1%) (approach E) compared to 105 cases (16.3%) for approach A (P < 0.005). Sensitivity ranged between 82.0% (105/128) for A and 96.1% (123/128) for E. The single positive smear approaches reduced the number of smears by 36% compared to approach A. CONCLUSION: Reducing the number of specimens and the positivity threshold to define a positive case increased the sensitivity of microscopy and reduced laboratory workload.
    • Refugee relief rations.

      Boelaert, M; Englebert, M; Hanquet, G; Van Damme, W; Van der Stuyft, P (Elsevier, 1997-06-14)
    • Rift Valley fever outbreak--Kenya, November 2006-January 2007.

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2007-02-02)
      In mid-December 2006, several unexplained fatalities associated with fever and generalized bleeding were reported to the Kenya Ministry of Health (KMOH) from Garissa District in North Eastern Province (NEP). By December 20, a total of 11 deaths had been reported. Of serum samples collected from the first 19 patients, Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus RNA or immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies against RVF virus were found in samples from 10 patients; all serum specimens were negative for yellow fever, Ebola, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and dengue viruses. The outbreak was confirmed by isolation of RVF virus from six of the specimens. Humans can be infected with RVF virus from bites of mosquitoes or other arthropod vectors that have fed on animals infected with RVF virus, or through contact with viremic animals, particularly livestock. Reports of livestock deaths and unexplained animal abortions in NEP provided further evidence of an RVF outbreak. On December 20, an investigation was launched by KMOH, the Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP), the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the Walter Reed Project of the U.S. Army Medical Research Unit, CDC-Kenya's Global Disease Detection Center, and other partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). This report describes the findings from that initial investigation and the control measures taken in response to the RVF outbreak, which spread to multiple additional provinces and districts, resulting in 404 cases with 118 deaths as of January 25, 2007.