• Advances in malaria elimination in Botswana: a dramatic shift to parasitological diagnosis, 2008-2014

      Moakofhi, K; Edwards, JK; Motlaleng, M; Namboze, J; Butt, W; Obopile, M; Mosweunyane, T; Manzi, M; Takarinda, KC; Owiti, P (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-04-25)
      Background: Malaria elimination requires infection detection using quality assured diagnostics and appropriate treatment regimens. Although Botswana is moving towards malaria elimination, reports of unconfirmed cases may jeopardise this effort. This study aimed to determine the proportion of cases treated for malaria that were confirmed by rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) and/or microscopy. Methods: This was a retrospective descriptive study using routine national data from the integrated disease surveillance and case-based surveillance systems from 2008 to 2014. The data were categorised into clinical and confirmed cases each year. An analysis of the data on cases registered in three districts that reported approximately 70% of all malaria cases was performed, stratified by year, type of reporting health facilities and diagnostic method. Results: During 2008-2014, 50 487 cases of malaria were reported in Botswana, and the proportion of RDT and/or blood microscopy confirmed cases improved from 6% in 2008 to 89% in 2013. The total number of malaria cases decreased by 97% in the same period, then increased by 41% in 2013. Conclusion: This study shows that malaria diagnostic tests dramatically improved malaria diagnosis and consequently reduced the malaria burden in Botswana. The study identified a need to build capacity on microscopy for species identification, parasite quantification and guiding treatment choices.
    • Age-stratified tuberculosis treatment outcomes in Zimbabwe: are we paying attention to the most vulnerable?

      Ncube, RT; Takarinda, KC; Zishiri, C; van den Boogaard, W; Mlilo, N; Chiteve, C; Siziba, N; Trinchán, F; Sandy, C (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2017-09-21)
      Setting: A high tuberculosis (TB) incidence, resource-limited urban setting in Zimbabwe. Objectives: To compare treatment outcomes among people initiated on first-line anti-tuberculosis treatment in relation to age and other explanatory factors. Design: This was a retrospective record review of routine programme data. Results: Of 2209 patients included in the study, 133 (6%) were children (aged <10 years), 132 (6%) adolescents (10-19 years), 1782 (81%) adults (20-59 years) and 162 (7%) were aged ⩾60 years, defined as elderly. The highest proportion of smear-negative pulmonary TB cases was among the elderly (40%). Unfavourable outcomes, mainly deaths, increased proportionately with age, and were highest among the elderly (adjusted relative risk 3.8, 95%CI 1.3-10.7). Having previous TB, being human immunodeficiency virus positive and not on antiretroviral treatment or cotrimoxazole preventive therapy were associated with an increased risk of unfavourable outcomes. Conclusion: The elderly had the worst outcomes among all the age groups. This may be related to immunosuppressant comorbidities or other age-related diseases mis-classified as TB, as a significant proportion were smear-negative. Older persons need better adapted TB management and more sensitive diagnostic tools, such as Xpert® MTB/RIF.
    • Antenatal care and pregnancy outcomes in a safe motherhood health voucher system in rural Kenya, 2007–2013

      Kihara, A-B; Harries, A D; Bissell, K; Kizito, W; Van Den Berg, R; Mueke, S; Mwangi, A; Sitene, J C; Gathara, D; Kosgei, R J; Kiarie, J; Gichangi, P (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2015-03-21)
    • Antibiotic use in a district hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan: are we overprescribing?

      Bajis, S; Van den Bergh, R; De Bruycker, M; Mahama, G; Van Overloop, C; Satyanarayana, S; Bernardo, R S; Esmati, S; Reid, A J (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2014-12-21)
    • Bringing care to the community: expanding access to health care in rural Malawi through mobile health clinics

      Geoffroy, E; Harries, A D; Bissell, K; Schell, E; Bvumbwe, A; Tayler-Smith, K; Kizito, W (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2014-12-21)
    • Building operational research capacity in the Pacific

      Bissel, K; Viney, K; Brostrom, R; Gounder, S; Khogali, M; Kishore, K; Kool, B; Kumar, A M V; Manzi, M; Marais, B; Marks, G; Linh, N N; Ram, S; Reid, S; Roseveare, C; Tayler-Smith, K; Van den Bergh, R; Harries, A D (The Union, 2014-06-21)
      Operational research (OR) in public health aims to investigate strategies, interventions, tools or knowledge that can enhance the quality, coverage, effectiveness or performance of health systems. Attention has recently been drawn to the lack of OR capacity in public health programmes throughout the Pacific Islands, despite considerable investment in implementation. This lack of ongoing and critical reflection may prevent health programme staff from understanding why programme objectives are not being fully achieved, and hinder long-term gains in public health. The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) has been collaborating with Pacific agencies to conduct OR courses based on the training model developed by The Union and Médecins Sans Frontières Brussels-Luxembourg in 2009. The first of these commenced in 2011 in collaboration with the Fiji National University, the Fiji Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and other partners. The Union and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community organised a second course for participants from other Pacific Island countries and territories in 2012, and an additional course for Fijian participants commenced in 2013. Twelve participants enrolled in each of the three courses. Of the two courses completed by end 2013, 18 of 24 participants completed their OR and submitted papers by the course deadline, and 17 papers have been published to date. This article describes the context, process and outputs of the Pacific courses, as well as innovations, adaptations and challenges.
    • Building the capacity of public health programmes to become data rich, information rich and action rich

      Harries, AD; Khogali, M; Kumar, AMV; Satyanarayana, S; Takarinda, KC; Karpati, A; Olliaro, P; Zachariah, R (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-06-21)
      Good quality, timely data are the cornerstone of health systems, but in many countries these data are not used for evidence-informed decision making and/or for improving public health. The SORT IT (Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative) model has, over 8 years, trained health workers in low- and middle-income countries to use data to answer important public health questions by taking research projects through to completion and publication in national or international journals. The D2P (data to policy) training initiative is relatively new, and it teaches health workers how to apply 'decision analysis' and develop policy briefs for policy makers: this includes description of a problem and the available evidence, quantitative comparisons of policy options that take into account predicted health and economic impacts, and political and feasibility assessments. Policies adopted from evidence-based information generated through the SORT IT and D2P approaches can be evaluated to assess their impact, and the cycle repeated to identify and resolve new public health problems. Ministries of Health could benefit from this twin-training approach to make themselves 'data rich, information rich and action rich', and thereby use routinely collected data in a synergistic manner to improve public health policy making and health care delivery.
    • The Burden of Road Traffic Injuries in an Emergency Department in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

      Getachew, S; Ali, E; Tayler-Smith, K; Hedt-Gauthier, B; Silkondez, W; Abebe, D; Deressa, W; Enquessilase, F; Edwards, J K (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2016-06-21)
      The emergency department (ED) of Zewditu Memorial Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    • Caring for patients with surgically resectable cancers: experience from a specialised centre in rural Rwanda

      Mubiligi, J M; Hedt-Gauthier, B; Mpunga, T; Tapela, N; Okao, P; Harries, A D; Edginton, M E; Driscoll, C; Mugabo, L; Riviello, R; Shulman, L N (The Union, 2014-06-21)
    • Case management of malaria in Swaziland, 2011-2015: on track for elimination?

      Dlamini, SV; Kosgei, RJ; Mkhonta, N; Zulu, Z; Makadzange, K; Zhou, S; Owiti, P; Sikhondze, W; Namboze, J; Reid, A; Kunene, S (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-04-25)
      Objective: To assess adherence to malaria diagnosis and treatment guidelines (2010 and 2014) in all health care facilities in Swaziland between 2011 and 2015. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study involving all health care facilities that diagnosed and managed malaria cases in Swaziland. Patients' age, sex, diagnosis method and type of treatment were analysed. Results: Of 1981 records for severe and uncomplicated malaria analysed, 56% of cases were uncomplicated and 14% had severe malaria. The type of malaria was not recorded for 30% of cases. Approximately 71% of cases were confirmed by rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) alone, 3% by microscopy alone and 26% by both RDT and microscopy. Of the uncomplicated cases, 93% were treated with artemether-lumefantrine (AL) alone, 5% with quinine alone and 2% with AL and quinine. Amongst the severe cases, 11% were treated with AL alone, 44% with quinine alone and 45% with AL and quinine. For severe malaria, clinics and health centres prescribed AL alone more often than hospitals (respectively 13%, 12% and 4%, P = 0.03). Conclusion: RDTs and/or microscopy results are used at all facilities to inform treatment. Poor recording of malaria type causes difficulties in assessing the prescription of antimalarial drugs.
    • Changing distribution and abundance of the malaria vector Anopheles merus in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

      Mbokazi, F; Coetzee, M; Brooke, B; Govere, J; Reid, A; Owiti, P; Kosgei, R; Zhou, S; Magagula, R; Kok, G; Namboze, J; Tweya, H; Mabuza, A (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-04-25)
      Background: The malaria vector Anopheles merus occurs in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. As its contribution to malaria transmission in South Africa has yet to be ascertained, an intensification of surveillance is necessary to provide baseline information on this species. The aim of this study was therefore to map An. merus breeding sites in the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga Province and to assess qualitative trends in the distribution and relative abundance of this species over a 9-year period. Methods: The study was carried out during the period 2005-2014 in the four high-risk municipalities of Ehlanzeni District. Fifty-two breeding sites were chosen from all water bodies that produced anopheline mosquitoes. The study data were extracted from historical entomological records that are captured monthly. Results: Of the 15 058 Anopheles mosquitoes collected, 64% were An. merus. The abundance and distribution of An. merus increased throughout the four municipalities in Ehlanzeni District during the study period. Conclusion: The expanded distribution and increased abundance of An. merus in the Ehlanzeni District may contribute significantly to locally acquired malaria in Mpumalanga Province, likely necessitating the incorporation of additional vector control methods specifically directed against populations of this species.
    • Childhood immunization in Bungoma County, Kenya, from 2008 to 2011: need for improved uptake

      Mbuthia, G W; Harries, A D; Obala, A A; Nyamogoba, H D N; Simiyu, C; Edginton, M E; Khogali, M; Hedt-Gauthier, B L; Otsyla, B K (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2014-03)
      Uptake of immunisations in children aged 1–2 years in Bungoma County, Kenya, was determined as part of the 6-monthly Health and Demographic Surveillance System surveys. A total of 2699 children were assessed between 2008 and 2011. During this time period, full immunisation declined significantly from 84% to 58%,and measles vaccine declined uptake from 89% to 60%(P<0.001). Each year there was a significant fall-off for the third doses of the oral polio and pentavalent vaccines(P<0.001). These findings are of concern, as low immunisation coverage may lead to vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. Further investigations into the reasons for declining immunisation trends are required.
    • Childhood tuberculosis in Mauritania, 2010-2015: diagnosis and outcomes in Nouakchott and the rest of the country

      Aw, B; Ade, S; Hinderaker, SG; Dlamini, N; Takarinda, KC; Chiaa, K; Feil, A; Traoré, A; Reid, T (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2017-09-21)
      Setting: The National Tuberculosis Programme, Mauritania. Objective: To compare the diagnosis and treatment outcomes of childhood tuberculosis (TB) cases (aged <15 years) registered between 2010 and 2015 inside and outside Nouakchott, the capital city. Design: This was a retrospective comparative cohort study. Results: A total of 948 children with TB were registered. The registration rate was 10 times higher in Nouakchott. The proportion of children among all TB cases was higher inside than outside Nouakchott (7.5% vs. 4.6%, P < 0.01). Under-fives represented 225 (24%) of all childhood TB cases, of whom 204 (91%) were registered in Nouakchott. Extra-pulmonary TB was more common in Nouakchott, while smear-negative TB was less common. Treatment success was similar inside and outside Nouakchott (national rate 61%). The principal unsuccessful outcomes were loss to follow-up outside Nouakchott (21% vs. 11%, P < 0.01) while transfers out were more common in the city (25% vs. 14%, P = 0.01). Being aged <5 years (OR 1.2, 95%CI 1.1-1.5) was associated with an unsuccessful outcome. Conclusion: This study indicates problems in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood TB in Mauritania, especially outside the city of Nouakchott. We suggest strengthening clinical diagnosis and management, improving communications between TB treatment centres and health services and pressing the TB world to develop more accurate and easy-to-use diagnostic tools for children.
    • Closing the gap: decentralising mental health care to primary care centres in one rural district of Rwanda

      Nyirandagijimana, B; Edwards, JK; Venables, E; Ali, E; Rusangwa, C; Mukasakindi, H; Borg, R; Fabien, M; Tharcisse, M; Nshimyiryo, A; Park, PH; Raviola, GJ; Smith, SL (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2017-09-21)
      Setting: Programmes that integrate mental health care into primary care settings could reduce the global burden of mental disorders by increasing treatment availability in resource-limited settings, including Rwanda. Objective: We describe patient demographics, service use and retention of patients in care at health centres (HC) participating in an innovative primary care integration programme, compared to patients using existing district hospital-based specialised out-patient care. Design: This was a retrospective cohort study using routinely collected data from six health centres and one district hospital from October 2014 to March 2015. Results: Of 709 patients, 607 were cared for at HCs; HCs accounted for 88% of the total visits for mental disorders. Patients with psychosis used HC services more frequently, while patients with affective disorders were seen more frequently at the district hospital. Of the 68% of patients who returned to care within 90 days of their first visit, 76% had a third visit within a further 90 days. There were no significant differences in follow-up rates between clinical settings. Conclusion: This study suggests that a programme of mentorship for primary care nurses can facilitate the decentralisation of out-patient mental health care from specialised district hospital mental health services to HCs in rural Rwanda.
    • Countrywide audit of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and treatment outcomes in Mongolia

      Ganzaya, S; Naranbat, N; Bissell, K; Zachariah, R (2013-12-21)
    • Diabetes mellitus and treatment outcomes in Palestine refugees in UNRWA primary health care clinics in Jordan

      Khader, A; Ballout, G; Shahin, Y; Hababeh, M; Farajallah, L; Zeiden, W; Abu-Zayed, I; Kochi, A; Harries, A D; Zachariah, R; Kapur, A; Shaikh, I; Seita, A (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2014-03-25)
    • Did microbial larviciding contribute to a reduction in malaria cases in eastern Botswana in 2012-2013?

      Obopile, M; Segoea, G; Waniwa, K; Ntebela, DS; Moakofhi, K; Motlaleng, M; Mosweunyane, T; Edwards, JK; Namboze, J; Butt, W; Manzi, M; Takarinda, KC; Owiti, P (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2018-04-25)
      Setting: Larviciding has potential as a component of integrated vector management for the reduction of malaria transmission in Botswana by complementing long-lasting insecticide nets and indoor residual sprays. Objective: To evaluate the susceptibility of local Anopheles to commonly used larvicides. Design: This field test of the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israliensis vs. Anopheles was performed by measuring larval density before treatment and 24 h and 48 h after treatment in seven sites of Bobirwa district, eastern Botswana, in 2012 and 2013. Vector density and malaria cases were compared between Bobirwa and Ngami (northwestern Botswana), with no larviciding in the control arm. Results: Larviciding reduced larval density by 95% in Bobirwa in 2012, with two cases of malaria, while in 2013 larval density reduction was 81%, with 11 cases. Adult mosquito density was zero for both years in Robelela village (Bobirwa), compared to respectively four and 26 adult mosquitoes per room in Shorobe village (Ngami) in 2012 and 2013. There were no cases of malaria in Robelela in either year, but in Shorobe there were 20 and 70 cases, respectively, in 2012 and 2013. Conclusion: Larviciding can reduce the larval density of mosquitoes and reduce malaria transmission in Botswana. Large-scale, targeted implementation of larviciding in districts at high risk for malaria is recommended.
    • Do incentives improve tuberculosis treatment outcomes in the Republic of Moldova?

      Ciobanu, A; Domente, L; Soltan, V; Bivol, S; Severin, L; Plesca, V; Van den Bergh, R; Kumar, A M V; de Colombani, P (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2014-10-21)
    • Do Incentivised Community Workers in Informal Settlements Influence Maternal and Infant Health in Urban India?

      Verma, H; Sagili, K; Zachariah, R; Aggarwal, A; Dongre, A; Gupte, H (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2017-03-21)
      Setting: The introduction of accredited social health activists (ASHAs, community workers) in the community is encouraged by the Government of India as being of universal benefit for maternal and infant health. Objectives: In two informal settlements in Chandigarh, India, one with ASHAs and the other without, we assessed 1) whether ASHAs influenced certain selected maternal and infant health indicators, and 2) perceptions among women who did not contact the ASHAs. Design: This was a mixed-methods study conducted from April 2013 to March 2016 using quantitative (retrospective programme data) and qualitative (free-listing) components. Results: The increase in institutional deliveries from 2013 to 2015 was marginal, and was similar in both areas (86-99% in the settlement with ASHAs and 88-97% in the settlement without). Bacille Calmette-Guérin and pentavalent vaccination coverage were close to 100% in both areas during the 3 years of the study. Antenatal registration in the first trimester increased from 49% to 52% in the settlement with ASHAs and from 53% to 71% in the settlement without. Between 18% and 35% of women did not complete at least three antenatal visits. 'Not knowing ASHAs' and 'not feeling a need for ASHAs' were the main reasons for not using their services. Conclusion: While success has been achieved for institutional deliveries and immunisation coverage even without the ASHAs, their presence plays an important role in improving antenatal indicators.
    • Does Research Through Structured Operational Research and Training (SORT IT) Courses Impact Policy and Practice?

      Kumar, AMV; Shewade, HD; Tripathy, JP; Guillerm, N; Tayler-Smith, K; Dar Berger, S; Bissell, K; Reid, AJ; Zachariah, R; Harries, AD (Cambridge University Press, 2016-03-21)