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Potential impact of multiple interventions on HIV incidence in a hyperendemic region in Western Kenya: a modelling study.
BMC Infectious Diseases. 2016 Apr 29; 16:189.BACKGROUND: Multiple prevention interventions, including early antiretroviral therapy initiation, may reduce HIV incidence in hyperendemic settings. Our aim was to predict the short-term impact of various single and combined interventions on HIV spreading in the adult population of Ndhiwa subcounty (Nyanza Province, Kenya). METHODS: A mathematical model was used with data on adults (15-59 years) from the Ndhiwa HIV Impact in Population Survey to compare the impacts on HIV prevalence, HIV incidence rate, and population viral load suppression of various interventions. These interventions included: improving the cascade of care (use of three guidelines), increasing voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), and implementing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among HIV-uninfected women. RESULTS: After four years, improving separately the cascade of care under the WHO 2013 guidelines and under the treat-all strategy would reduce the overall HIV incidence rate by 46 and 58 %, respectively, vs. the baseline rate, and by 35 and 49 %, respectively, vs. the implementation of the current Kenyan guidelines. With conservative and optimistic scenarios, VMMC and PrEP would reduce the HIV incidence rate by 15-25 % and 22-28 % vs. the baseline, respectively. Combining the WHO 2013 guidelines with VMMC would reduce the HIV incidence rate by 35-56 % and combining the treat-all strategy with VMMC would reduce it by 49-65 %. Combining the WHO 2013 guidelines, VMMC, and PrEP would reduce the HIV incidence rate by 46-67 %. CONCLUSIONS: The impacts of the WHO 2013 guidelines and the treat-all strategy were relatively close; their implementation is desirable to reduce HIV spread. Combining several strategies is promising in adult populations of hyperendemic areas but requires regular, reliable, and costly monitoring.
Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2017 Apr; 13(2):1-16.Poor linear growth in children <5 years old, or stunting, is a serious public health problem particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a conceptual framework on the Context, Causes and Consequences of Childhood Stunting (the ‘WHO framework’) that identifies specific and general factors associated with stunting. The framework is based upon a global review of data, and we have applied it to a country-level analysis where health and nutrition policies are made and public health and nutrition data are collected. We reviewed the literature related to sub-optimal linear growth, stunting and birth outcomes in Ethiopia as a case study. We found consistent associations between poor linear growth and indicators of birth size, recent illness (e.g. diarrhea and fever), maternal height and education. Other factors listed as causes in the framework such as inflammation, exposure to mycotoxins and inadequate feeding during and after illness have not been examined in Ethiopia, and the existing literature suggests that these are clear data gaps. Some factors associated with poor linear growth in Ethiopia are missing in the framework, such as household characteristics (e.g. exposure to indoor smoke). Examination of the factors included in the WHO framework in a country setting helps identifying data gaps helping to target further data collection and research efforts.
Influences on participant reporting in the World Health Organisation drugs exposure pregnancy registry; a qualitative study.
BMC Health Services Research. 2014; 14:525.BACKGROUND: The World Health Organisation has designed a pregnancy registry to investigate the effect of maternal drug use on pregnancy outcomes in resource-limited settings. In this sentinel surveillance system, detailed health and drug use data are prospectively collected from the first antenatal clinic visit until delivery. Over and above other clinical records, the registry relies on accurate participant reports about the drugs they use. Qualitative methods were incorporated into a pilot registry study during 2010 and 2011 to examine barriers to women reporting these drugs and other exposures at antenatal clinics, and how they might be overcome. METHODS: Twenty-seven focus group discussions were conducted in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda with a total of 208 women either enrolled in the registry or from its source communities. A question guide was designed to uncover the types of exposure data under- or inaccurately reported at antenatal clinics, the underlying reasons, and how women prefer to be asked questions. Transcripts were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Women said it was important for them to report everything they had used during pregnancy. However, they expressed reservations about revealing their consumption of traditional, over-the-counter medicines and alcohol to antenatal staff because of anticipated negative reactions. Some enrolled participants' improved relationship with registry staff facilitated information sharing and the registry tools helped overcome problems with recall and naming of medicines. Decisions about where women sought care, which influenced medicines used and antenatal clinic attendance, were influenced by pressure within and outside of the formal healthcare system to conform to conflicting behaviours. Conversations also reflected women's responsibilities for producing a healthy baby. CONCLUSIONS: Women in this study commonly take traditional medicines in pregnancy, and to a lesser extent over-the-counter medicines and alcohol. The World Health Organisation pregnancy registry shows potential to enhance their reporting of these substances at the antenatal clinic. However, more work is needed to find optimal techniques for eliciting accurate reports, especially where the detail of constituents may never be known. It will also be important to find ways of sustaining such drug exposure surveillance systems in busy antenatal clinics.
Current Opinion In HIV and AIDS. 2015 Nov 16;PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We summarize key lessons learned from contraceptive development and introduction, and implications for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). RECENT FINDINGS: New approaches to HIV prevention are urgently needed. PrEP is a new technology for HIV prevention. Uncertainty remains about its acceptance, use and potential to have an impact on the HIV epidemic. Despite imperfect use and implementation of programs, the use of modern contraception has led to significant reproductive health and social gains, making it one of the public health's major achievements. Guided by the WHO strategic approach to contraception introduction, we identified the following lessons for PrEP introduction from contraception: the importance of a broader focus on the method mix rather than promotion of a single technology, new technologies alone do not increase choice - service delivery systems and providers are equally important to success, and that failure to account for user preferences and social context can undermine the potential of new methods to provide benefit. SUMMARY: Taking a strategic approach to PrEP introduction that includes a broader focus on the technology/user interface, the method mix, delivery strategies, and the context in which methods are introduced will benefit HIV prevention programs, and will ensure greater success.
High prevalence of lipoatrophy in pre-pubertal South African children on antiretroviral therapy: a cross-sectional study.
BMC Pediatrics. 2012; 12:183.BACKGROUND: Despite changes in WHO guidelines, stavudine is still used extensively for treatment of pediatric HIV in the developing world. Lipoatrophy in sub-Saharan African children can be stigmatizing and have far-reaching consequences. The severity and extent of lipoatrophy in pre-pubertal children living in sub-Saharan Africa is unknown. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, children who were 3-12 years old, on antiretroviral therapy and pre-pubertal were recruited from a Family HIV Clinic in South Africa. Lipoatrophy was identified and graded by consensus between two HIV pediatricians using a standardized grading scale. A professional dietician performed formal dietary assessment and anthropometric measurements of trunk and limb fat. Previous antiretroviral exposures were recorded. In a Dual-Energy X-ray Absorbtiometry (DXA) substudy body composition was determined in 42 participants. RESULTS: Among 100 recruits, the prevalence of visually obvious lipoatrophy was 36% (95% CI: 27%-45%). Anthropometry and DXA measurements corroborated the clinical diagnosis of lipoatrophy: Both confirmed significant, substantial extremity fat loss in children with visually obvious lipoatrophy, when adjusted for age and sex. Adjusted odds ratio for developing lipoatrophy was 1.9 (95% CI: 1.3 - 2.9) for each additional year of accumulated exposure to standard dose stavudine. Cumulative time on standard dose stavudine was significantly associated with reductions in biceps and triceps skin-fold thickness (p=0.008). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of visually obvious lipoatrophy in pre-pubertal South African children on antiretroviral therapy is high. The amount of stavudine that children are exposed to needs review. Resources are needed to enable low-and-middle-income countries to provide suitable pediatric-formulated alternatives to stavudine-based pediatric regimens. The standard stavudine dose for children may need to be reduced. Diagnosis of lipoatrophy at an early stage is important to allow timeous antiretroviral switching to arrest progression and avoid stigmatization. Diagnosis using visual grading requires training and experience, and DXA and comprehensive anthropometry are not commonly available. A simple objective screening tool is needed to identify early lipoatrophy in resource-limited settings where specialized skills and equipment are not available.
Impact of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis on the health of breast-fed, HIV-exposed, HIV-negative infants in a resource-limited setting.
AIDS. 2011 Sep 10; 25(14):1797-9.WHO guidelines recommend cotrimoxazole prophylaxis (CTXP) in all HIV-exposed negative infants who are still breastfeeding. This is based on the evidence of efficacy in HIV-infected infants, but there is no evidence of benefit in HIV-negative, breast-fed infants. We assessed the impact of CTXP on diarrhoeal and respiratory morbidity in breast-fed, HIV-exposed negative infants in a community programme. CTXP for more than 60 days showed no consistent evidence of benefit for incidence of lower respiratory tract infection [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39-1.26; P = 0.241] but an increased incidence of diarrhoea (IRR = 1.38, 95% CI 0.98-1.94; P = 0.065). The guidelines should be reconsidered by conducting a randomized control trial.
Birth. 2011 Sep; 38(3):238-45.BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to improve hospital maternity care practices that support breastfeeding. In Hong Kong, although no hospitals have yet received the Baby-Friendly status, efforts have been made to improve breastfeeding support. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of Baby-Friendly hospital practices on breastfeeding duration. METHODS: A sample of 1,242 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs was recruited from four public hospitals in Hong Kong and followed up prospectively for up to 12 months. The primary outcome variable was defined as breastfeeding for 8 weeks or less. Predictor variables included six Baby-Friendly practices: breastfeeding initiation within 1 hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding while in hospital, rooming-in, breastfeeding on demand, no pacifiers or artificial nipples, and information on breastfeeding support groups provided on discharge. RESULTS: Only 46.6 percent of women breastfed for more than 8 weeks, and only 4.8 percent of mothers experienced all six Baby-Friendly practices. After controlling for all other Baby-Friendly practices and possible confounding variables, exclusive breastfeeding while in hospital was protective against early breastfeeding cessation (OR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.42-0.88). Compared with mothers who experienced all six Baby-Friendly practices, those who experienced one or fewer Baby-Friendly practices were almost three times more likely to discontinue breastfeeding (OR: 3.13; 95% CI: 1.41-6.95). CONCLUSIONS: Greater exposure to Baby-Friendly practices would substantially increase new mothers' chances of breastfeeding beyond 8 weeks postpartum. To further improve maternity care practices in hospitals, institutional and administrative support are required to ensure all mothers receive adequate breastfeeding support in accordance with WHO guidelines. (c) 2011, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2011, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2008 May 23; 57(20):545-549.Tobacco use is one of the major preventable causes of premature death and disease in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes approximately 5 million deaths per year to tobacco use, a number expected to exceed 8 million per year by 2030. In 1999, the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) was initiated by WHO, CDC, and the Canadian Public Health Association to monitor tobacco use, attitudes about tobacco use, and exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) among students aged 13-15 years. Since 1999, the survey has been completed by approximately 2 million students in 151 countries. A key goal of GYTS is for countries to repeat the survey every 4 years. This report summarizes results from GYTS conducted in Sri Lanka in 1999, 2003, and 2007. The findings indicated that during 1999-2007, the percentage of students aged 13-15 years who reported current cigarette smoking decreased, from 4.0% in 1999 to 1.2% in 2007. During this period, the percentage of never smokers in this age group likely to initiate smoking also decreased, from 5.1% in 1999 to 3.7% in 2007. Future declines in tobacco use in Sri Lanka will be enhanced through development and implementation of new tobacco-control measures and strengthening of existing measures that encourage smokers to quit, eliminate exposure to SHS, and encourage persons not to initiate tobacco use. (excerpt)
In: The HIV challenge to education: a collection of essays, edited by Carol Coombe. Paris, France, UNESCO, International Institute for Educational Planning, 2004. 253-263. (Education in the Context of HIV / AIDS)Twenty years after the identification of AIDS, some 60 million people have been infected by HIV, a number corresponding to the entire population of France, the United Kingdom or Thailand. Those who have died equal the population of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark combined. Those currently infected - more than 40 million - number more than the entire population of Canada. The number of children thought to be orphaned by HIV/AIDS - some 14 million - is already more than the total population of Ecuador. Over the coming decade their numbers may rise to a staggering 50 million worldwide. In other words, the extent of this pandemic is unprecedented in human history. And the worst is yet to come, for many millions more will be infected, many millions more will die, many millions more will be orphaned. On September 11 2001, more than 3,000 people died in the New York bombings. Every day, around the world, HIV infects at least five times that number. But it is not only individuals who are at risk. The social fabric of whole communities, societies and cultures is threatened. The disease is certain to be a scourge throughout our lifetime. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2007 Aug 4; 370(9585):385.We welcome the publication by Lisa McNally and colleagues which provides vitally important information on the causes of pneumonia in a population of HIV-exposed children in sub-Saharan Africa. However, we believe that McNally and colleagues' conclusion that the WHO guidelines are inadequate for all children younger than 1 year, irrespective of HIV prevalence, is ill-founded. Several characteristics of the population in McNally and colleagues' study limit the generalisability of the findings. Unlike the circumstances at the study's referral centre in Durban, South Africa, WHO's pneumonia guidelines provide guidance on the management of acute respiratory infections in facilities with limited diagnostic capabilities. They are also meant to assist first-level workers in the identification of sick or very sick patients for referral and more intense management. Other factors that detract from the generalisability of the findings are the inclusion of a high proportion with very severe disease (71%) and clinical cyanosis (55%), late presentation of disease at enrolment (median 4-5 days), a very high rate of HIV infection or exposure (68% positive, 11% exposed), high previous use of antibiotics (39%), and young median age (4.8 months). Taken together, we believe that these characteristics of the study population identify a highly specialised group of children from whom conclusions about the microbial causes of pneumonia are limited. Furthermore, these data are not sufficient to conclude that (a) the same range of agents causes pneumonia in areas of low or moderate HIV prevalence, or that (b) the WHO recommendations for empirical treatment of pneumonia in infants should be changed at this time. (full text)
Global HealthLink. 2001 Nov-Dec; (112):6-7.Humanitarian workers and displaced people are racing against time to build an estimated 6,000 mud brick shelters in Maslakh camp for the displaced just outside Herat, while across the country others are bracing themselves for the consequences of both the attack on Ahmed Shah Massoud, military leader of the anti-Taliban Alliance, and the tragic events in the United States. They have less than eight weeks before winter takes serious hold bringing snow and freezing winds to rake the valley. Another 4,000 shacks need repairs, and neither of these figures take into account accommodation for new displaced who continue to arrive at a rate of around 300 people a day - more than 8,500 in the month of August. However, all international UN staff are now being evacuated and many NGOs are doing the same. (excerpt)