• Antiretroviral therapy and early mortality in South Africa.

      Boulle, A; Bock, P; Osler, M; Cohen, K; Channing, L; Hilderbrand, K; Mothibi, E; Zweigenthal, V; Slingers, N; Cloete, K; Abdullah, F; School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. andrew.boulle@uct.ac.za (Wolrd Health Organization, 2008-09)
      OBJECTIVE: To describe province-wide outcomes and temporal trends of the Western Cape Province antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme 5 years since inception, and to demonstrate the utility of the WHO monitoring system for ART. METHODS: The treatment programme started in 2001 through innovator sites. Rapid scaling-up of ART provision began early in 2004, located predominantly in primary-care facilities. Data on patients starting ART were prospectively captured into facility-based registers, from which monthly cross-sectional activity and quarterly cohort reports were aggregated. Retention in care, mortality, loss to follow-up and laboratory outcomes were calculated at 6-monthly durations on ART. FINDINGS: By the end of March 2006, 16 234 patients were in care. The cohort analysis included 12 587 adults and 1709 children. Women accounted for 70% of adults enrolled. After 4 and 3 years on ART respectively, 72.0% of adults (95% confidence interval, CI: 68.0-75.6) and 81.5% (95% CI: 75.7-86.1) of children remained in care. The percentage of adults starting ART with CD4 counts less than 50 cells/microl fell from 51.3% in 2001 to 21.5% in 2005, while mortality at 6 months fell from 12.7% to 6.6%, offset in part by an increase in loss to follow-up (reaching 4.7% at 6 months in 2005). Over 85% of adults tested had viral loads below 400 copies/ml at 6-monthly durations until 4 years on ART. CONCLUSION: The location of care in primary-care sites in this programme was associated with good retention in care, while the scaling-up of ART provision was associated with reduced early mortality.
    • Assessing the quality of data aggregated by antiretroviral treatment clinics in Malawi.

      Makombe, S D; Hochgesang, M; Jahn, A; Tweya, H; Hedt, B; Chuka, S; Yu, J K L; Aberle-Grasse, J; Pasulani, O; Bailey, C; Kamoto, K; Schouten, E J; Harries, A D; Clinical HIV Unit, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi. (2008-04)
      PROBLEM: As national antiretroviral treatment (ART) programmes scale-up, it is essential that information is complete, timely and accurate for site monitoring and national planning. The accuracy and completeness of reports independently compiled by ART facilities, however, is often not known. APPROACH: This study assessed the quality of quarterly aggregate summary data for April to June 2006 compiled and reported by ART facilities ("site report") as compared to the "gold standard" facility summary data compiled independently by the Ministry of Health supervision team ("supervision report"). Completeness and accuracy of key case registration and outcome variables were compared. Data were considered inaccurate if variables from the site reports were missing or differed by more than 5% from the supervision reports. Additionally, we compared the national summaries obtained from the two data sources. LOCAL SETTING: Monitoring and evaluation of Malawi's national ART programme is based on WHO's recommended tools for ART monitoring. It includes one master card for each ART patient and one patient register at each ART facility. Each quarter, sites complete cumulative cohort analyses and teams from the Ministry of Health conduct supervisory visits to all public sector ART sites to ensure the quality of reported data. RELEVANT CHANGES: Most sites had complete case registration and outcome data; however many sites did not report accurate data for several critical data fields, including reason for starting, outcome and regimen. The national summary using the site reports resulted in a 12% undercount in the national total number of persons on first-line treatment. Several facility-level characteristics were associated with data quality. LESSONS LEARNED: While many sites are able to generate complete data summaries, the accuracy of facility reports is not yet adequate for national monitoring. The Ministry of Health and its partners should continue to identify and support interventions such as supportive supervision to build sites' capacity to maintain and compile quality data to ensure that accurate information is available for site monitoring and national planning.
    • Effectiveness of the first district-wide programme for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in South Africa.

      Coetzee, D; Hilderbrand, K; Boulle, A; Draper, B; Abdullah, F; Goemaere, E; Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. dcoetzee@phfm.uct.ac.za (WHO, 2005-07)
      OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to estimate the field efficacy of the first routine programme for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) initiated in South Africa, in the subdistrict of Khayelitsha. METHODS: A consecutive sample of 658 mother-infant pairs, identified from the PMTCT register from 1 March to 30 November 2003, were identified for enrolment in this study. Details of the regimen received were established and HIV status of the infants at between 6 and 10 weeks of age was determined by qualitative DNA polymerase chain reaction. Zidovudine (AZT) was provided antenatally from week 34 of gestation and during labour. Infant formula milk was-offered to mothers who chose not to breastfeed. The protocol was amended in July 2003 such that women who had received < 2 weeks of treatment with AZT were given a single dose of nevirapine (NVP) at the onset of labour, and the infant received a weight-adjusted dose of NVP within 72 h of delivery. RESULTS: Of the 535 mother-infant pairs (81%) eventually included in the study, 410 (77%) received an effective PMTCT intervention according to the protocol. The rate of transmission of HIV from mother to child was 8.8% (95% confidence interval (CI), 6.2-10.9). A maternal age of > 25 years was the only significant independent risk factor for transmission (odds ratio, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.14-4.07). CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a large-scale PMTCT programme in an urban public-sector setting.
    • Errors Generated by a Point-Of-Care CD4+ T-Lymphocyte Analyser: a Retrospective Observational Study in Nine Countries

      Fajardo, E; Metcalf, C; Piriou, E; Gueguen, M; Maman, D; Chaillet, P; Cox, V; Rumaney, MB; Tunggal, S; Kosack, C; Roberts, T (World Health Organization, 2015-09-01)
      To estimate the proportion of invalid results generated by a CD4+ T-lymphocyte analyser used by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in field projects and identify factors associated with invalid results.
    • Malawi's contribution to "3 by 5": achievements and challenges

      Libamba, Edwin; Makombe, Simon D; Harries, Anthony D; Schouten, Erik J; Yu, Joseph Kwong-Leung; Pasulani, Olesi; Mhango, Eustice; Aberle-Grasse, John; Hochgesang, Mindy; Limbambala, Eddie; Lungu, Douglas; Clinical HIV Unit, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi; HIV Coordinator, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi; Taiwan Medical Mission, Mzuzu Central Hospital, Mzuzu, Malawi; Médecins sans Frontières Belgium, Thyolo District Hospital, Malawi; Lighthouse Clinic, Lilongwe, Malawi; Centres for Disease Control, Lilongwe office, Malawi; WHO country office, Lilongwe, Malawi; Department of Clinical Services, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi (2007-02-01)
      PROBLEM: Many resource-poor countries have started scaling up antiretroviral therapy (ART). While reports from individual clinics point to successful implementation, there is limited information about progress in government institutions at a national level. APPROACH: Malawi started national ART scale-up in 2004 using a structured approach. There is a focus on one generic, fixed-dose combination treatment with stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine. Treatment is delivered free of charge to eligible patients with HIV and there is a standardized system for recruiting patients, monthly follow-up, registration, monitoring and reporting of cases and outcomes. All treatment sites receive quarterly supervision and evaluation. LOCAL SETTING: In January 2004, there were nine public sector facilities delivering ART to an estimated 4 000 patients. By December 2005, there were 60 public sector facilities providing free ART to 37,840 patients using national standardized systems. Analysis of quarterly cohort treatment outcomes at 12 months showed 80% of patients were alive, 10% dead, 9% lost to follow-up and 1% had stopped treatment. LESSONS LEARNED: Achievements were the result of clear national ART guidelines, implementing partners working together, an intensive training schedule focused on clinical officers and nurses, a structured system of accrediting facilities for ART delivery, quarterly supervision and monitoring, and no stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs. The main challenges are to increase the numbers of children, pregnant women and patients with tuberculosis being started on ART, and to avert high early mortality and losses to follow-up. The capacity of the health sector to cope with escalating case loads and to scale up prevention alongside treatment will determine the future success of ART delivery in Malawi.
    • A national survey of the impact of rapid scale-up of antiretroviral therapy on health-care workers in Malawi: effects on human resources and survival.

      Makombe, S D; Jahn, A; Tweya, H; Chuka, S; Yu, J K L; Hochgesang, M; Aberle-Grasse, J; Pasulani, O; Schouten, E J; Kamoto, K; Harries, A D; HIV Unit, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi. (WHO, 2007-11)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess the human resources impact of Malawis rapidly growing antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme and balance this against the survival benefit of health-care workers who have accessed ART themselves. METHODS: We conducted a national cross-sectional survey of the human resource allocation in all public-sector health facilities providing ART in mid-2006. We also undertook a survival analysis of health-care workers who had accessed ART in public and private facilities by 30 June 2006, using data from the national ART monitoring and evaluation system. FINDINGS: By 30 June 2006, 59 581 patients had accessed ART from 95 public and 28 private facilities. The public sites provided ART services on 2.4 days per week on average, requiring 7% of the clinician workforce, 3% of the nursing workforce and 24% of the ward clerk workforce available at the facilities. We identified 1024 health-care workers in the national ART-patient cohort (2% of all ART patients). The probabilities for survival on ART at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months were 85%, 81% and 78%, respectively. An estimated 250 health-care workers lives were saved 12 months after ART initiation. Their combined work-time of more than 1000 staff-days per week was equivalent to the human resources required to provide ART at the national level. CONCLUSION: A large number of ART patients in Malawi are managed by a small proportion of the health-care workforce. Many health-care workers have accessed ART with good treatment outcomes. Currently, staffing required for ART balances against health-care workers lives saved through treatment, although this may change in the future.
    • Offering Integrated Care for HIV/AIDS, Diabetes and Hypertension within Chronic Disease Clinics in Cambodia.

      Janssens, B; Van Damme, W; Raleigh, B; Gupta, J; Khem, S; Soy Ty, K; Vun, M; Ford, N; Zachariah, R; Médecins Sans Frontières, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. b.janssens@bigfoot.com (WHO, 2007-11)
      PROBLEM: In Cambodia, care for people with HIV/AIDS (prevalence 1.9%) is expanding, but care for people with type II diabetes (prevalence 5-10%), arterial hypertension and other treatable chronic diseases remains very limited. APPROACH: We describe the experience and outcomes of offering integrated care for HIV/AIDS, diabetes and hypertension within the setting of chronic disease clinics. LOCAL SETTING: Chronic disease clinics were set up in the provincial referral hospitals of Siem Reap and Takeo, 2 provincial capitals in Cambodia. RELEVANT CHANGES: At 24 months of care, 87.7% of all HIV/AIDS patients were alive and in active follow-up. For diabetes patients, this proportion was 71%. Of the HIV/AIDS patients, 9.3% had died and 3% were lost to follow-up, while for diabetes this included 3 (0.1%) deaths and 28.9% lost to follow-up. Of all diabetes patients who stayed more than 3 months in the cohort, 90% were still in follow-up at 24 months. LESSONS LEARNED: Over the first three years, the chronic disease clinics have demonstrated the feasibility of integrating care for HIV/AIDS with non-communicable chronic diseases in Cambodia. Adherence support strategies proved to be complementary, resulting in good outcomes. Services were well accepted by patients, and this has had a positive effect on HIV/AIDS-related stigma. This experience shows how care for HIV/AIDS patients can act as an impetus to tackle other common chronic diseases.
    • Supervision, monitoring and evaluation of nationwide scale-up of antiretroviral therapy in Malawi

      Libamba, Edwin; Makombe, Simon; Mhango, Eustice; de Ascurra Teck, Olga; Limbambala, Eddie; Schouten, Erik J; Harries, Anthony D; Clinical HIV Unit, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi; The Lighthouse Clinic, Lilongwe, Malawi; Médecins Sans Frontières–Belgium, Malawi Office, Blantyre, Malawi; World Health Organization Country Office, Lilongwe, Malawi; HIV Coordinator, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi (2006-04-13)
      OBJECTIVE: To describe the supervision, monitoring and evaluation strategies used to assess the delivery of antiretroviral therapy during nationwide scale-up of treatment in Malawi. METHODS: In the first quarter of 2005, the HIV Unit of the Ministry of Health and its partners (the Lighthouse Clinic; Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium, Thyolo district; and WHO's Country Office) undertook structured supervision and monitoring of all public sector health facilities in Malawi delivering antiretroviral therapy. FINDINGS: Data monitoring showed that by the end of 2004, there were 13,183 patients (5274 (40%) male, 12 527 (95%) adults) who had ever started antiretroviral therapy. Of patients who had ever started, 82% (10 761/13,183) were alive and taking antiretrovirals; 8% (1026/13,183) were dead; 8% (1039/13,183) had been lost to follow up; <1% (106/13,183) had stopped treatment; and 2% (251/13,183) had transferred to another facility. Of those alive and on antiretrovirals, 98% (7098/7258) were ambulatory; 85% (6174/7258) were fit to work; 10% (456/4687) had significant side effects; and, based on pill counts, 96% (6824/7114) had taken their treatment correctly. Mistakes in the registration and monitoring of patients were identified and corrected. Drug stocks were checked, and one potential drug stock-out was averted. As a result of the supervisory visits, by the end of March 2005 recruitment of patients to facilities scheduled to start delivering antiretroviral therapy had increased. CONCLUSION: This report demonstrates the importance of early supervision for sites that are starting to deliver antiretroviral therapy, and it shows the value of combining data collection with supervision. Making regular supervisory and monitoring visits to delivery sites are essential for tracking the national scale-up of delivery of antiretrovirals.
    • Training clinicians treating HIV to diagnose cytomegalovirus retinitis

      Heiden, David; Tun, NiNi; Maningding, Ernest; Heiden, Matthew; Rose-Nussbaumer, Jennifer; Chan, Khin Nyein; Khizniak, Tamara; Yakubenko, Alexandra; Lewallen, Susan; Keenan, Jeremy D; Saranchuk, Peter (World Health Organization, 2014-12-01)
      Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis continues to be a neglected source of blindness in resource-poor settings. The main issue is lack of capacity to diagnose CMV retinitis in the clinical setting where patients receive care and all other opportunistic infections are diagnosed.