Now showing items 1-20 of 2935

    • Now is the time: a call for increased access to contraception and safe abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic

      Kumar, M; Daly, M; De Plecker, E; Jamet, C; McRae, M; Markham, A; Batista, C (BMJ, 2020-07-20)
    • 'Only twice a year': a qualitative exploration of 6-month antiretroviral treatment refills in adherence clubs for people living with HIV in Khayelitsha, South Africa

      Keene, CM; Zokufa, N; Venables, EC; Wilkinson, L; Hoffman, R; Cassidy, T; Snyman, L; Grimsrud, A; Voget, J; von der Heyden, E; et al. (BMJ, 2020-07-08)
      Objective Longer intervals between routine clinic visits and medication refills are part of patient-centred, differentiated service delivery (DSD). They have been shown to improve patient outcomes as well as optimise health services—vital as ‘universal test-and-treat’ targets increase numbers of HIV patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART). This qualitative study explored patient, healthcare worker and key informant experiences and perceptions of extending ART refills to 6 months in adherence clubs in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Design and setting In-depth interviews were conducted in isiXhosa with purposively selected patients and in English with healthcare workers and key informants. All transcripts were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated to English, manually coded and thematically analysed. The participants had been involved in a randomised controlled trial evaluating multi-month ART dispensing in adherence clubs, comparing 6-month and 2-month refills. Participants Twenty-three patients, seven healthcare workers and six key informants. Results Patients found that 6-month refills increased convenience and reduced unintended disclosure. Contrary to key informant concerns about patients’ responsibility to manage larger quantities of ART, patients receiving 6-month refills were highly motivated and did not face challenges transporting, storing or adhering to treatment. All participant groups suggested that strict eligibility criteria were necessary for patients to realise the benefits of extended dispensing intervals. Six-month refills were felt to increase health system efficiency, but there were concerns about whether the existing drug supply system could adapt to 6-month refills on a larger scale. Conclusions Patients, healthcare workers and key informants found 6-month refills within adherence clubs acceptable and beneficial, but concerns were raised about the reliability of the supply chain to manage extended multi-month dispensing. Stepwise, slow expansion could avoid overstressing supply and allow time for the health system to adapt, permitting 6-month ART refills to enhance current DSD options to be more efficient and patient-centred within current health system constraints.
    • Knowledge transmission, peer support, behaviour change and satisfaction in post Natal clubs in Khayelitsha, South Africa: a qualitative study

      Duvivier, H; Decroo, T; Nelson, A; Cassidy, T; Mbakaz, Z; Duran, LT; de Azevedo, V; Solomon, S; Venables, E (BMC, 2020-07-08)
      Background The Post Natal Club (PNC) model assures comprehensive care, including HIV and Maternal and Child Health care, for postpartum women living with HIV and their infants during an 18-month postnatal period. The PNC model was launched in 2016 in Town Two Clinic, a primary health care facility in Khayelitsha, South Africa. This qualitative research study aims to understand how participation in PNCs affected knowledge transmission, peer support, behaviour change and satisfaction with the care provided. Methods We conducted ten in-depth interviews; three focus group discussions and participant observation with PNC members, health-care workers and key informants selected through purposive sampling. Seventeen PNC members between 21 and 38 years old, three key informants and seven staff working in PNC participated in the research. All participants were female, except for one of the three key informants who was male. Data was collected until saturation. The data analysis was performed in an inductive way and involved an iterative process, using Nvivo11 software. Results PNC members acquired knowledge on HIV, ART, adherence, infant feeding, healthy eating habits, follow up tests and treatment for exposed infants. Participants believed that PNC created strong relationships among members and offered an environment conducive to sharing experience and advice. Most interviewees stated that participating in PNC facilitated disclosure of their HIV status, enhanced support network and provided role models. PNC members said that they adapted their behaviour based on advice received in PNCs related to infant feeding, ART adherence, monitoring of symptoms and stimulation of early childhood development. The main benefits were believed to be comprehensive care for mother-infant pairs, time-saving and the peer dynamic. The main challenge from the perspective of key informants was the sustainability of dedicating human resources to PNC. Conclusion The PNC model was believed to improve knowledge acquisition, behaviour change and peer support. Participants, staff and the majority of key informants expressed a high level of satisfaction with the PNC model. Sustainability and finding adequate human resources for PNCs remained challenging. Strategies to improve sustainability may include handing over some PNC tasks to members to increase their sense of ownership.
    • Delivering a primary-level non-communicable disease programme for Syrian refugees and the host population in Jordan: a descriptive costing study

      Ansbro, E; Garry, S; Karir, V; Reddy, A; Jobanputra, K; Fardous, T; Sadique, Z (Oxford University Press, 2020-07-04)
      The Syrian conflict has caused enormous displacement of a population with a high non-communicable disease (NCD) burden into surrounding countries, overwhelming health systems’ NCD care capacity. Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) developed a primary-level NCD programme, serving Syrian refugees and the host population in Irbid, Jordan, to assist the response. Cost data, which are currently lacking, may support programme adaptation and system scale up of such NCD services. This descriptive costing study from the provider perspective explored financial costs of the MSF NCD programme. We estimated annual total, per patient and per consultation costs for 2015–17 using a combined ingredients-based and step-down allocation approach. Data were collected via programme budgets, facility records, direct observation and informal interviews. Scenario analyses explored the impact of varying procurement processes, consultation frequency and task sharing. Total annual programme cost ranged from 4 to 6 million International Dollars (INT$), increasing annually from INT$4 206 481 (2015) to INT$6 739 438 (2017), with costs driven mainly by human resources and drugs. Per patient per year cost increased 23% from INT$1424 (2015) to 1751 (2016), and by 9% to 1904 (2017), while cost per consultation increased from INT$209 to 253 (2015–17). Annual cost increases reflected growing patient load and increasing service complexity throughout 2015–17. A scenario importing all medications cut total costs by 31%, while negotiating importation of high-cost items offered 13% savings. Leveraging pooled procurement for local purchasing could save 20%. Staff costs were more sensitive to reducing clinical review frequency than to task sharing review to nurses. Over 1000 extra patients could be enrolled without additional staffing cost if care delivery was restructured. Total costs significantly exceeded costs reported for NCD care in low-income humanitarian contexts. Efficiencies gained by revising procurement and/or restructuring consultation models could confer cost savings or facilitate cohort expansion. Cost effectiveness studies of adapted models are recommended.
    • Prevalence, associated factors and clinical features of congenital syphilis among newborns in Mbarara hospital, Uganda

      Oloya, S; Lyczkowski, D; Orikiriza, P; Irama, M; Boum, Y; Migisha, R; Kiwanuka, JP; Mwanga-Amumpaire, J (BMC, 2020-07-02)
      Background While congenital syphilis is a significant public health problem that can cause severe disabilities, little is known about the situation in Uganda. We describe prevalence, associated factors and clinical presentation of congenital syphilis in Mbarara, Uganda. Methods A cross sectional study was carried out among mother- newborn dyads from the postnatal ward of Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH). After obtaining informed consent, a structured questionnaire was used to capture data on risk factors for congenital syphilis. A finger prick was performed on the mothers for Treponema Pallidum Haemagglutination Assay (TPHA). If TPHA was positive, a venous blood sample was collected from the mother to confirm active infection using Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR). Venous blood was drawn from a newborn if the mother tested positive by TPHA and RPR. A newborn with RPR titres 4 times higher than the mother was considered to have congenital syphilis. We fit logistic regression models to determine factors associated with congenital syphilis. Results Between June and September 2015, we enrolled 2500 mothers and 2502 newborns. Prevalence of syphilis was 3.8% (95% CI 3.1–4.6) among newborn infants and 4.1% (95% CI 3.4–5.0) among their mothers. Maternal age <25 years, past history of genital ulcer, a past history of abnormal vaginal discharge, and not receiving treatment of at least one of genital ulcer, genital itching, lower abdominal pain and abnormal vaginal discharge in the current pregnancy were the risk factors associated with congenital syphilis. The most common clinical feature was hepatosplenomegaly. Conclusions We found higher-than-expected syphilis sero-prevalence rates in a high risk population of postnatal mothers and their newborns in Uganda. Bridge populations for syphilis may include mothers not tested during pregnancy, who are usually married and not treated. In accordance with our results, the national policy for syphilis control in Uganda should be strengthened to include universal syphilis screening amongst mother-newborn pairs in postnatal clinics with subsequent partner notification.
    • The problem with vitamin D supplementation for tuberculosis

      Reuter, A; Furin, J (Elsevier, 2020-07-01)
      “We were hungry all the time”, is the first thing a 28-year-old tuberculosis survivor from rural Haiti told one of us (JF) when asked in 2017 about his experience of being treated for the disease. This patient had been cutting sugar cane to support his family of seven—all of whom lived in a one-room shack—but had to stop his gruelling labour once he became sick with tuberculosis, both because of his physical symptoms and because he had to go to the clinic daily for directly observed therapy. Without his income, his family fell into ruin and the pressing need to feed his children became his most urgent priority. “It was hard to take my treatment when the little ones were holding their bellies and crying. We lost so much to TB.”
    • Is vitiligo associated with wearing plastic shoes in a podoconiosis endemic region of Ethiopia?

      Enbiale, W; Abebe, K; Debru, B; Van Griensven, J; Takarinda, K; Manzi, M; Zachariah, R (Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 2020-06-30)
      Introduction: Endemic non-filarial elephantiasis also known as podoconiosis often affects bare footed farmers and is endemic in Ethiopia. The disease is prevented by wearing shoes. We recently observed several patients presenting to a dermatology clinic with skin depigmentation after wearing plastic shoes (“shoe-contact vitiligo”) which may deter shoe-wearing. We report on their sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Methodology: This is a retrospective study of 17 months at tertiary level Hospital in Ethiopia. Patient data was retrieved from medical record department. We compared sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients presenting with idiopathic and shoe-contact vitiligo. Data was presented descriptively. Results: Of 460 vitiligo cases, 190 (41%) were shoe-contact vitiligo and the rest, idiopathic. The former was more common in females (Odds Ratio, OR = 2.5, P < 0.001) and those in rural areas (OR = 4.8, P < 0.001). Fifty-five percent with shoe-contact vitiligo had itching and/or burning sensation, compared to just 2% with idiopathic vitiligo (P < 0.001) and some had ulcerations (8%). Idiopathic vitiligo had no such findings. Skin discoloration occurred within three weeks (on average) after wearing plastic shoes, 91% of lesions were symmetrical and involved areas of the feet covered with plastic shoes. Symmetric lesions were observed in only 11% of idiopathic vitiligo (OR = 81, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Shoe-contact vitiligo was significantly associated with wearing cheap plastic shoes. The exact chemical culprit(s) needs to be identified. This will allow introducing quality control regulations and rigorous monitoring of shoe production sites.
    • "Stopping the itch": mass drug administration for scabies outbreak control covered for over nine million people in Ethiopia

      Enbiale, W; Baynie, TB; Ayalew, A; Gebrehiwot, T; Getanew, T; Ayal, A; Ayalew, M; De Vries, HJ; Takarinda, K; Manzi, M; et al. (Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 2020-06-30)
      Introduction: In 2018, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health embarked on a Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign that involved over 9 million people in Ethiopia - the largest scabies MDA campaign ever conducted on a global level. We describe its implementation and report on a) numbers screened and identified with scabies, b) treatment category and drug type and c) human resources used, duration, and cost of the campaign. Methodology: The MDA campaign was conducted according to national guidelines and activities including: planning and organization, engagement of local leaders, community mobilisation and advocacy, awareness-raising among health workers, field implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. The campaign was conducted between July and August 2018. Results: The MDA campaign was implemented by about 15,000 people, mostly from the community, over an average of 6 days and reached 9, 057, 427 people. A total of 875,890 (9.7%) scabies cases were detected and 995,471 (11.0%) contacts received treatment. (Contact-to-case ratio = 1.3). Scabies prevalence varied, the highest prevalence was seen in Central Gondar (39.2%), South Gondar (16.7%) and North Gondar (15.0%), these neighbouring zones contributing more than two third of all scabies cases in the region. Of 1,738,304 (93%) who received treatment, 94% received ivermectin, the rest topical permethrin and sulfur. The average coverage capacity of an MDA campaign staff member was 84 people per day. The total cost was 11,696,333 United States Dollars (USD). Cost per 100,000 population = 129,135 USD. Conclusions: This experience of rapid-large scale implementation would be useful to scale up similar interventions and "stop the itch" in other regions of Ethiopia.
    • Does training of Health Extension Workers reduce scabies load in district health facilities in rural Ethiopia?

      Gezmu, T; Enbiale, W; Asnakew, M; Bekele, A; Beresaw, G; Nigussie, M; Takarinda, K; Manzi, M; Zachariah, R (Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 2020-06-30)
      Introduction: In 2017, Ethiopia included scabies management within the responsibility of health extension workers. In Kamba (the intervention district) workers were trained on scabies management. Whereas, in Arba Minch Zuria (the control district) there was no such training. This study assesses whether decentralization of scabies management to communities would reduce the load on health facilities and allow earlier scabies treatment access. Methodology: All individuals presenting with scabies before (January - June 2018) and after (August 2018-January 2019) the introduction of training (July 2018) in Kamba district and the Arba Minch Zuria district were included. We compared between the two districts in the period before and after training, the numbers of scabies cases presenting to health facilities, their demography, clinical characteristics and treatment. Results: There were 1,891 scabies cases in the intervention district and 809 in the control district. Scabies cases declined in the intervention district from 7.6 to 1.6 per 1,000 population (a 4.8-fold reduction). In the control district, scabies cases increased from 1.3 to 2.4 per 1,000 population (a 1.8-fold increase). In intervention district, the proportion of scabies patients with secondary skin infections reduced from 1,227 (78%, n = 1,565) to 156 (48%, n = 326, P < 0.001). In the control district the difference was insignificant 39 (14%, n = 288) to 86 (17%, n = 521, P = 0.2). Conclusions: Introducing trained health extension workers at community level were associated with reductions in health facility load for scabies and secondary infections. This is a wider community health benefit.
    • Clinical features and treatment outcomes of visceral leishmaniasis patients admitted to three centers in Oromia, Ethiopia

      Tekalign, S; Adera, C; den Boer, M; Miecha, H; Zewde, A; Mulugeta, D; Bishawu, T; Birru, W; Lema, A; Sahlu, T; et al. (Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 2020-06-30)
      Introduction: In three health care facilities in the Oromia region, the aim of this study is to report on 1) the number of VL cases registered over time (2013-2018) and 2) the clinical profile, type of treatment used and response to treatment. Methodology: A retrospective cohort study was conducted among all VL cases admitted with a diagnosis of VL. Results: A total of 434 VL cases were registered at the three health facilities, but patient files were available for only 188. Most (51.6%) were children and only three presented with VL relapse. 78 (41.5%) of the 188 patients presented within one month of symptom onset. Concurrent severe acute malnutrition (27.1%), tuberculosis (6.4%) and malaria (6.4%) were common. There were only two cases with HIV coinfection. Fourty-three percent were treated with antimonials, 34% with antimonials combined with paromomycin and 23% with AmBisome. Amongst the 188 patients with patient files there were no deaths and one treatment failure. Six months outcome data were however missing for all. Aggregated data from the 434 VL cases reported three deaths, two treatment failures and one relapse. Conclusions: Children were most commonly affected, suggesting long-term endemicity. While short-term outcomes are encouraging, long-term follow-up data are required.
    • Population-wide differentials in HIV service access and outcomes in the Western Cape for men as compared to women, South Africa: 2008 to 2018: a cohort analysis

      Osler, M; Cornell, M; Ford, N; Hilderbrand, K; Goemaere, E; Boulle, A (Wiley, 2020-06-26)
      Introduction Few studies have systematically described population‐level differences comparing men and women across the continuum of routine HIV care. This study quantifies differentials in HIV care, treatment and mortality outcomes for men and women over time in South Africa. Methods We analysed population‐wide linked anonymized data, including vital registration linkage, for the Western Cape Province, from the time of first CD4 count. Three antiretroviral therapy guideline eligibility periods were defined: 1 January 2008 to 31 July 2011 (CD4 cell count <200 cells/µL), 1 August 2011 to 31 December 2014 (<350 cells/µL), 1 January 2015 to 31 August 2016 (<500 cells/µL). We estimated care uptake based on service attendance, and modelled associations for men and women with ART initiation and overall, pre‐ART and ART mortality. Separate Cox proportional hazard models were built for each outcome and eligibility period, adjusted for tuberculosis, pregnancy, CD4 count and age. Results Adult men made up 49% of the population and constituted 37% of those living with HIV. In 2009, 46% of men living with HIV attended health services, rising to 67% by 2015 compared to 54% and 77% of women respectively. Men contributed <35% of all CD4 cell counts over 10 years and presented with more advanced disease (39% of all first presentation CD4 cell counts from men were <200 cells/µL compared to 25% in women). ART access was lower in men compared to women (AHR 0.79 (0.77 to 0.80) summarized for Period 2) over the entire study). Mortality was greater in men irrespective of ART (AHR 1.08 (1.01 to 1.16) Period 3) and after ART start (AHR 1.15 (1.05 to 1.20) Period 3) with mortality differences decreasing over time. Conclusions Compared to women, men presented with more advanced disease, were less likely to attend health care services annually, were less likely to initiate ART and had higher mortality overall and while receiving ART care. People living with HIV were more likely to initiate ART if they had acute reasons to access healthcare beyond HIV, such as being pregnant or being co‐infected with tuberculosis. Our findings point to missed opportunities for improving access to and outcomes from interventions for men along the entire HIV cascade.
    • Calibrating to scale: a framework for humanitarian health organizations to anticipate, prevent, prepare for and manage climate-related health risks

      Schwerdtle, PN; Irvine, E; Brockington, S; Devine, C; Guevara, M; Bowen, KJ (BMC, 2020-06-26)
      Climate Change is adversely affecting health by increasing human vulnerability and exposure to climate-related stresses. Climate change impacts human health both directly and indirectly, through extreme weather events, changing distribution of health risks, increased risks of undernutrition, population displacement, and greater risks of injuries, disease, and death (Ebi, K., Campbell-Lendrum, D., & Wyns, A. The 1. 5 health report. WHO. 2018). This risk amplification is likely to increase the need for humanitarian support. Recent projections indicate that under a business as usual scenario of sustained greenhouse gas emissions, climate change could double the demand for humanitarian assistance by 2050 (World Health Organization. Operational Framework for building climateresilient health systems. WHO. 2015). Humanitarian assistance is currently not meeting the existing needs, therefore, any additional burden is likely to be highly challenging. Global health advocates, researchers, and policymakers are calling for urgent action on climate change, yet there is little clarity on what that action practically entails for humanitarian organizations. While some humanitarian organizations may consider themselves well designed to respond, climate change as a transversal threat requires the incorporation of a resilience approach to humanitarian action and policy responses. By bringing together authors from two historically disparate fields - climate change and health, and humanitarian assistance – this paper aims to increase the capacity of humanitarian organizations to protect health in an unstable climate by presenting an adapted framework. We adapted the WHO operational framework for climate-resilient health systems for humanitarian organizations and present concrete case studies to demonstrate how the framework can be implemented. Rather than suggest a re-design of humanitarian operations we recommend the application of a climate-lens to humanitarian activities, or what is also referred to as mainstreaming climate and health concerns into policies and programs. The framework serves as a starting point to encourage further dialogue, and to strengthen collaboration within, between, and beyond humanitarian organizations.
    • Humoral and cellular immune response induced by rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP vaccine among frontline workers during the 2013-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak in Guinea

      Boum, Y; Juan-Giner, A; Hitchings, M; Soumah, A; Strecker, T; Sadjo, M; Cuthbertson, H; Hayes, P; Tchaton, M; Jemmy, JP; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-06-26)
      Background As part of a Phase III trial with the Ebola vaccine rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP in Guinea, we invited frontline workers (FLWs) to participate in a sub-study to provide additional information on the immunogenicity of the vaccine. Methods We conducted an open‐label, non‐randomized, single-arm immunogenicity evaluation of one dose of rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP among healthy FLWs in Guinea. FLWs who refused vaccination were offered to participate as a control group. We followed participants for 84 days with a subset followed-up for 180 days. The primary endpoint was immune response, as measured by ELISA for ZEBOV-glycoprotein–specific antibodies (ELISA-GP) at 28 days. We also conducted neutralization, whole virion ELISA and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay for cellular response. Results A total of 1172 participants received one dose of vaccine and were followed-up for 84 days, among them 114 participants were followed-up for 180 days. Additionally, 99 participants were included in the control group and followed up for 180 days. Overall, 86.4% (95% CI 84.1–88.4) of vaccinated participants seroresponded at 28 days post-vaccination (ELISA- GP) with 65% of these seroresponding at 14 days post-vaccination. Among those who seroresponded at 28 days, 90.7% (95% CI 82.0–95.4) were still seropositive at 180 days. The proportion of seropositivity in the unvaccinated group was 0.0% (95% CI 0.0–3.8) at 28 days and 5.4% (95% CI 2.1–13.1) at 180 days post-vaccination. We found weak correlation between ELISA-GP and neutralization at baseline but significant pairwise correlation at 28 days post-vaccination. Among samples analysed for cellular response, only 1 (2.2%) exhibited responses towards the Zaire Ebola glycoprotein (Ebola GP ≥ 10) at baseline, 10 (13.5%) at day 28 post-vaccination and 27 (48.2%) at Day 180. Conclusions We found one dose of rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP to be highly immunogenic at 28- and 180-days post vaccination among frontline workers in Guinea. We also found a cellular response that increased with time.
    • Acute respiratory failure in an infant and thiamine deficiency in West Africa: a case report

      Hiffler, L; Escajadillo, K; Rocaspana, M; Janet, S (Oxford University Press, 2020-06-25)
      In paediatrics, the overall clinical picture of thiamine deficiency (TD) is not easy to recognize, because it mimics or can be confused with other diseases even in cases of classic beriberi. Unsurprisingly, the likelihood of misdiagnosis of TD is even greater where beriberi has not been described. Critically ill patients have increased thiamine body consumption and dextrose-based IV fluid increases thiamine cellular demand even further. Consequently, severe acute conditions may result in TD, or trigger TD signs in patients with borderline thiamine status, with life-threatening consequences. Here, we describe the case of a young patient admitted to a West African hospital where TD is not well documented and diagnosed with severe pneumonia who responded dramatically to thiamine injection. The lack of rapid diagnostic capacity and the severe outcome of TD justify the use of a therapeutic thiamine challenge in cases with high clinical suspicion. Increased awareness about TD and low threshold for thiamine use should guide clinicians in their practice.
    • 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.
    • Measuring linkage to HIV treatment services following HIV self-testing in low-income settings

      Choko, AT; Jamil, MS; MacPherson, P; Corbett, E; Chitembo, L; Ingold, H; Bermudez Aza, E; d'Elbee, M; DiCarlo, M; Majam, M; et al. (Wiley, 2020-06-24)
    • HIV epidemic and cascade of care in 12 east African rural fishing communities: results from a population-based survey in Uganda

      Burgos-Soto, J; Farhat, JB; Alley, I; Ojuka, P; Mulogo, E; Kise-Sete, T; Bouhenia, M; Salumu, L; Mathela, R; Langendorf, C; et al. (BMC, 2020-06-19)
      Background In East Africa, fishing communities are considered most-at-risk populations for the acquisition of HIV. We estimated HIV prevalence and assessed progress towards the UNAIDS 90–90-90 targets along the HIV treatment cascade in 12 fishing communities surrounding Lakes Edward and George, Uganda. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional household-based survey between September and November 2016. All adults between 15 and 69 years old were eligible to participate. Children below 15 years old were eligible for HIV testing if either parent was HIV-positive. Viral load testing was done for all HIV-infected individuals. Logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic-behavioral variables were used to assess the association between occupation and HIV positivity. Results Overall, 1738 adults (959 women, 779 men) and 148 children were included. Adult inclusion rate was 96.0%. Of the men, 58% reported to be fishermen. The HIV-prevalence among adults was 17.5% (95%CI: 15.8–19.4) and 6.1% (95%CI: 3.1–11.4) among HIV-exposed children. HIV prevalence was higher among women than among men (20.9% vs. 13.5%, p < 0.001). Among men, fishermen had a higher HIV prevalence (18.7%; 95%CI: 15.1–22.3) and a higher risk of being HIV-positive (aOR: 4.2; 95%CI: 2.0–9.1) than men of other occupations (p < 0.001). Progress towards the UNAIDS 90–90-90 targets was as follows: 86.5% (95%CI: 82.3–90.1%) of the HIV-positive participants were diagnosed, 98.7% (95%CI: 96.1–99.6%) of those aware were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 87.3% (95%CI: 82.3–91.0%) of those on ART were virally suppressed. Overall, 73% of all HIV-positive individuals were virally suppressed. Viral suppression was lower among individuals 15–24 years (45.5%) than among those 25–44 years (74.0%) and 45–69 years (85.0%), p < 0.001. Fishermen did not to have significant differences in the HIV cascade of care compared to men with other occupations. Conclusions HIV prevalence was high in these fishing communities, particularly among women and fishermen. Important progress has been made along the HIV treatment cascade, and the UNAIDS goal for viral suppression in population was achieved. However, gaps remain and HIV care strategies focusing on young people are urgently needed. HIV preventive interventions should target particularly women, young people and fishermen though HIV preventive and care services should remain available to the whole fishing communities.
    • Systematic or test-guided treatment for tuberculosis in HIV-infected adults

      Blanc, FX; Badje, AD; Bonnet, M; Gabillard, D; Messou, E; Muzoora, C; Samreth, S; Nguyen, BD; Borand, L; Domergue, A; et al. (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2020-06-18)
      Background: In regions with high burdens of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), many HIV-infected adults begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) when they are already severely immunocompromised. Mortality after ART initiation is high in these patients, and tuberculosis and invasive bacterial diseases are common causes of death. Methods: We conducted a 48-week trial of empirical treatment for tuberculosis as compared with treatment guided by testing in HIV-infected adults who had not previously received ART and had CD4+ T-cell counts below 100 cells per cubic millimeter. Patients recruited in Ivory Coast, Uganda, Cambodia, and Vietnam were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to undergo screening (Xpert MTB/RIF test, urinary lipoarabinomannan test, and chest radiography) to determine whether treatment for tuberculosis should be started or to receive systematic empirical treatment with rifampin, isoniazid, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide daily for 2 months, followed by rifampin and isoniazid daily for 4 months. The primary end point was a composite of death from any cause or invasive bacterial disease within 24 weeks (primary analysis) or within 48 weeks after randomization. Results: A total of 522 patients in the systematic-treatment group and 525 in the guided-treatment group were included in the analyses. At week 24, the rate of death from any cause or invasive bacterial disease (calculated as the number of first events per 100 patient-years) was 19.4 with systematic treatment and 20.3 with guided treatment (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 1.44). At week 48, the corresponding rates were 12.8 and 13.3 (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.67 to 1.40]). At week 24, the probability of tuberculosis was lower with systematic treatment than with guided treatment (3.0% vs. 17.9%; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.26), but the probability of grade 3 or 4 drug-related adverse events was higher with systematic treatment (17.4% vs. 7.2%; adjusted hazard ratio 2.57; 95% CI, 1.75 to 3.78). Serious adverse events were more common with systematic treatment. Conclusions: Among severely immunosuppressed adults with HIV infection who had not previously received ART, systematic treatment for tuberculosis was not superior to test-guided treatment in reducing the rate of death or invasive bacterial disease over 24 or 48 weeks and was associated with more grade 3 or 4 adverse events. (Funded by the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida et les Hépatites Virales; STATIS ANRS 12290 number, NCT02057796.).
    • A community-based assessment of the perception and involvement of male partners in maternity care in Benin-City, Nigeria

      Erhabor, JO; Okpere, E; Lawani, LO; Omozuwa, ES; Eze, P (Taylor & Francis, 2020-06-17)
      Male involvement in maternal health promotion is paramount to safe motherhood. This study evaluates the perception and participation of male partners in maternity care (MC). A cross-sectional study involving 372 participants was conducted through qualitative (interviews and focus group discussion) and quantitative research methods which assessed knowledge, attitude and perception, between 1 December 2017 and 21 January 2018. The data were analysed with IBM SPSS version 25.0 using descriptive and inferential statistics. The mean age of the participants was 35.9 ± 11.5 years. Four-fifths (80.4%) had a positive attitude towards MC but only 27.2% was actively involved, due to socio-cultural reasons. Knowledge regarding MC was associated with age (p = .023), employment (p = .039) and education (p = .002) - higher among younger-aged professionals with a higher education. Male partners had a positive attitude towards MC but were poorly involved, due to socio-cultural factors. Community health workers and stakeholders should step up community health education with engagement of men to promote their involvement.Impact statementWhat is already known on this subject? The role of men in maternity care (MC) is well defined and found to improve health outcomes in high income countries. However, their level of participation in a low income country, such as Nigeria, is far below expectation.What do the results of this study add? The result of this work has provided scarce community-based local data on male partners' involvement in MC. This study showed that majority of males demonstrated a positive attitude but were poorly involved, due to socio-cultural reasons. It also shown that those with a younger age, professionals and those with a higher education were more knowledgeable about MC. This suggests the need for health workers and key players to step up community health education and engagement of men to promote active involvement in women's health matters.What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Stakeholders in low resource-settings like Nigeria could introduce interventions to scaling up health education, create the enabling hospital environment to accommodate male partners, actively engage, support and motivate them to be involved in MC. Further research will be required to assess the impact of such interventions and how to sustain potential benefits.
    • Ambulatory management of pre- and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis patients with imipenem delivered through port-a-cath: A mixed methods study on treatment outcomes and challenges

      Chavan, VV; Dalal, A; Nagaraja, S; Thekkur, P; Mansoor, H; Meneguim, A; Paryani, R; Singh, P; Kalon, S; Das, M; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2020-06-16)
      Background Imipenem, an intravenous antibiotic is recommended for use in drug resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) when an effective regimen with combination of other second line drugs is not possible. Though the treatment success rates with carbapenems are promising, the twice daily injection of Imipenem usually requires patients to be hospitalized. The Médecins Sans Frontières independent clinic in Mumbai, India implemented ambulatory and home based management of patients receiving Imipenem through the use of port-a-cath. Objective We aimed to describe the adverse events and treatment outcomes of ambulatory pre- and XDR-TB patients initiated on imipenem through port-a-cath between January 2015 and June 2018 and to explore the challenges with this regimen as perceived by healthcare providers and patients. Methods A convergent mixed methods study with quantitative (longitudinal descriptive study using the routine data) and qualitative (descriptive study) part conducted concurrently. For the quantitative component, all XDR-TB and pre-XDR-TB initiated on imipenem containing regimen during January 2015-June 2018 were included. For qualitative component, interviews were carried out including patients who initiated on imipenem (n = 5) and healthcare providers (n = 7) involved in providing treatment. Treatment outcomes, culture conversion and adverse events during treatment were described. Thematic analysis was carried out for qualitative component. Results Of the 70 patients included, the mean age was 28.1 (standard deviation: 11.2) years and 36 (51.4%) were females. Fifty one (72.9%) had XDR-TB. All patients were resistant to fluoroquinilone, levofloxacin. Vomiting was reported by 55 (78.6%) patients and at least one episode of QTC prolongation (more than 500 msec by Fredrecia method) was detected in 25 (35.7%). Port-a-cath block and infection was seen in 11 (15.7%) and 20 (28.6%) patients respectively. Favourable outcomes were seen in 43 (61.4%) patients. Mortality was seen in 22 (31.4%) patients, 2 (2.9%) were lost-to-follow-up and 3 (4.3%) were declared as treatment failure. The overarching theme of the qualitative analysis was: Challenges in delivering Imipenem via port-a-cath device in ambulatory care. Major challenges identified were difficulties in adhering to drug dose timelines, vomiting, restricted mobility due to port-a-cath, paucity of infection control and space constraints at patients’ home for optimal care. Conclusion Administration of imipenem was feasible through port-a-cath. Though outcomes with ambulatory based imipenem containing regimens were promising, there were several challenges in providing care. The feasibility of infusion at day care facilities needs to explored to overcome challenges in infusion at patients home.