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Perinatal outcomes in twin pregnancies complicated by maternal morbidity: evidence from the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 Nov 20; 18(1):449.BACKGROUND: Twin pregnancy was associated with significantly higher rates of adverse neonatal and perinatal outcomes, especially for the second twin. In addition, the maternal complications (potentially life-threatening conditions-PLTC, maternal near miss-MNM, and maternal mortality-MM) are directly related to twin pregnancy and independently associated with adverse perinatal outcome. The objective of the preset study is to evaluate perinatal outcomes associated with twin pregnancies, stratified by severe maternal morbidity and order of birth. METHODS: Secondary analysis of the WHO Multicountry Survey on Maternal and Newborn Health (WHOMCS), a cross-sectional study implemented in 29 countries. Data from 8568 twin deliveries were compared with 308,127 singleton deliveries. The occurrence of adverse perinatal outcomes and maternal complications were assessed. Factors independently associated with adverse perinatal outcomes were reported with adjusted PR (Prevalence Ratio) and 95%CI. RESULTS: The occurrence of severe maternal morbidity and maternal death was significantly higher among twin compared to singleton pregnancies in all regions. Twin deliveries were associated with higher rates of preterm delivery (37.1%), Apgar scores less than 7 at 5th minute (7.8 and 10.1% respectively for first and second twins), low birth weight (53.2% for the first and 61.1% for the second twin), stillbirth (3.6% for the first and 5.7% for the second twin), early neonatal death (3.5% for the first and 5.2% for the second twin), admission to NICU (23.6% for the first and 29.3% for the second twin) and any adverse perinatal outcomes (67% for the first twin and 72.3% for the second). Outcomes were consistently worse for the second twin across all outcomes. Poisson multiple regression analysis identified several factors independently associated with an adverse perinatal outcome, including both maternal complications and twin pregnancy. CONCLUSION: Twin pregnancy is significantly associated with severe maternal morbidity and with worse perinatal outcomes, especially for the second twin.
Use of Service Provision Assessments and Service Availability and Readiness Assessments for monitoring quality of maternal and newborn health services in low-income and middl-income countries.
BMJ Global Health. 2018 Dec 1; 3(6):e001011.Improving the quality of maternal and newborn health (MNH) services is key to reducing adverse MNH outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Service Provision Assessment (SPA) and Service Availability and Readiness Assessment (SARA) are the most widely employed, standardised tools that generate health service delivery data in LMICs. We ascertained the use of SPA/SARA surveys for assessing the quality of MNH services using a two-step approach: a SPA/SARA questionnaire mapping exercise in line with WHO’s Quality of Care (QoC) Framework for pregnant women and newborns and the WHO quality standards for care around the time of childbirth; and a scoping literature review, searching for articles that report SPA/SARA data. SPA/SARA surveys are well suited to assess the WHO Framework’s cross-cutting dimensions (physical and human resources); SPA also captures elements in the provision and experience of care domains for antenatal care and family planning. Only 4 of 31 proposed WHO quality indicators around the time of childbirth can be fully generated using SPA and SARA surveys, while 19 and 23 quality indicators can be partially obtained from SARA and SPA surveys, respectively; most of these are input indicators. Use of SPA/SARA data is growing, but there is considerable variation in methods employed to measure MNH QoC. With SPA/SARA data available in 30 countries, MNH QoC assessments could benefit from guidance for creating standard metrics. Adding questions in SPA/SARA surveys to assess the WHO QoC Framework’s provision and experience of care dimensions would fill significant data gaps in LMICs.
The impact of "Option B" on HIV transmission from mother to child in Rwanda: An interrupted time series analysis.
PloS One. 2018; 13(2):e0192910.BACKGROUND: Nearly a quarter of a million children have acquired HIV, prompting the implementation of new protocols-Option B and B+-for treating HIV+ pregnant women. While efficacy has been demonstrated in randomized trials, there is limited real-world evidence on the impact of these changes. Using longitudinal, routinely collected data we assessed the impact of the adoption of WHO Option B in Rwanda on mother to infant transmission. METHODS: We used interrupted time series analysis to evaluate the impact of Option B on mother-to-child HIV transmission in Rwanda. Our primary outcome was the proportion of HIV tests in infants with positive results at six weeks of age. We included data for 20 months before and 22 months after the 2010 policy change. RESULTS: Of the 15,830 HIV tests conducted during our study period, 392 tested positive. We found a significant decrease in both the level (-2.08 positive tests per 100 tests conducted, 95% CI: -2.71 to -1.45, p < 0.001) and trend (-0.11 positive tests per 100 tests conducted per month, 95% CI: -0.16 to -0.07, p < 0.001) of test positivity. This represents an estimated 297 fewer children born without HIV in the post-policy period or a 46% reduction in HIV transmission from mother to child. CONCLUSIONS: The adoption of Option B in Rwanda contributed to an immediate decrease in the rate of HIV transmission from mother to child. This suggests other countries may benefit from adopting these WHO guidelines.
[Washington, D.C.], MCSP, 2018 Mar. 6 p.In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) published Recommendations on Antenatal Care for a Positive Pregnancy Experience (WHO 2016), which outlines a new set of evidence-based global guidelines on recommended content and scheduling for antenatal care (ANC). These recommendations are the first set of ANC guidelines created under WHO’s current approved process for development of clinical guidelines. This FAQ addresses commonly asked questions about the implementation of IPTp programs in the context of the 2016 ANC recommendations, as well as reminders about technical considerations for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy programs.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2017 Jun 5; 17(1):170.BACKGROUND: Judicious utilization of drugs rescues the fetus from the harmful effects while treating the health problems of the pregnant women. This study aimed at evaluating drug utilization pattern and its associated factors among pregnant women in Southern Tigray, Ethiopia. METHOD: Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted among 647 pregnant women who had been attending obstetrics-gynecology and antenatal care units in different health facilities of Southern Tigray region. The study participants were selected using multistage sampling technique. Data collection was done using pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires and by reviewing antenatal follow-up cards. Descriptive and inferential statistics were analyzed, to assess drug utilization pattern and its associated factors among pregnant women, using SPSS version 20 software. RESULTS: Of 647 pregnant women, 87.5% were prescribed with at least one medication. As per the United States Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) risk classification system, 87.7, 7.9, 3.9, and 0.5% of the prescribed drug were from category A, B, C and D, respectively. Prescription drug use was more likely among gynecology ward visitors [AOR = 8.97, 95% Cl (2.69-29.88)] and among those who visited health facilities for the first time during their first [AOR =2.65, 95% Cl (1.44-4.84)] and second [AOR = 2.50, 95% Cl (1.36-4.61)] trimesters. CONCLUSION: Majority of the study population used safe and appropriate medications according to US-FDA risk classification system, with the exception of low proportion (0.5%) of medication with potential risk for the fetus. The average number of drug prescribed per pregnant women was in the recommended range of WHO drug use indicators guideline.
WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience: Summary. Highlights and key messages from the World Health Organization’s 2016 Global Recommendations for Routine Antenatal Care.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2018 Jan. 10 p. (WHO/RHR/18.02; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00028)This brief highlights the WHO’s 2016 ANC recommendations and offers countries policy and program considerations for adopting and implementing the recommendations. The recommendations include universal and context-specific interventions. The recommended interventions span five categories: routine antenatal nutrition, maternal and fetal assessment, preventive measures, interventions for the management of common physiologic symptoms in pregnancy, and health system-level interventions to improve the utilization and quality of ANC.
Shortages of benzathine penicillin for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis: An evaluation from multi-country surveys and stakeholder interviews.
PLoS Medicine. 2017 Dec; 14(12):e1002473.BACKGROUND: Benzathine penicillin G (BPG) is the only recommended treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission of syphilis. Due to recent reports of country-level shortages of BPG, an evaluation was undertaken to quantify countries that have experienced shortages in the past 2 years and to describe factors contributing to these shortages. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Country-level data about BPG shortages were collected using 3 survey approaches. First, a survey designed by the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research was distributed to 41 countries and territories in the Americas and 41 more in Africa. Second, WHO conducted an email survey of 28 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention country directors. An additional 13 countries were in contact with WHO for related congenital syphilis prevention activities and also reported on BPG shortages. Third, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) collected data from 14 countries (where it has active operations) to understand the extent of stock-outs, in-country purchasing, usage behavior, and breadth of available purchasing options to identify stock-outs worldwide. CHAI also conducted in-person interviews in the same 14 countries to understand the extent of stock-outs, in-country purchasing and usage behavior, and available purchasing options. CHAI also completed a desk review of 10 additional high-income countries, which were also included. BPG shortages were attributable to shortfalls in supply, demand, and procurement in the countries assessed. This assessment should not be considered globally representative as countries not surveyed may also have experienced BPG shortages. Country contacts may not have been aware of BPG shortages when surveyed or may have underreported medication substitutions due to desirability bias. Funding for the purchase of BPG by countries was not evaluated. In all, 114 countries and territories were approached to provide information on BPG shortages occurring during 2014-2016. Of unique countries and territories, 95 (83%) responded or had information evaluable from public records. Of these 95 countries and territories, 39 (41%) reported a BPG shortage, and 56 (59%) reported no BPG shortage; 10 (12%) countries with and without BPG shortages reported use of antibiotic alternatives to BPG for treatment of maternal syphilis. Market exits, inflexible production cycles, and minimum order quantities affect BPG supply. On the demand side, inaccurate forecasts and sole sourcing lead to under-procurement. Clinicians may also incorrectly prescribe BPG substitutes due to misperceptions of quality or of the likelihood of adverse outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Targets for improvement include drug forecasting and procurement, and addressing provider reluctance to use BPG. Opportunities to improve global supply, demand, and use of BPG should be prioritized alongside congenital syphilis elimination efforts.
Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2017 Dec 22; 1-9.The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends iron-folic acid (IFA) supplementation during pregnancy to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. Multiple micronutrient (MMN) supplementation in pregnancy has been implemented in select countries and emerging evidence suggests that MMN supplementation in pregnancy may provide additional benefits compared to IFA alone. In 2015, WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Micronutrient Initiative held a “Technical Consultation on MMN supplements in pregnancy: implementation considerations for successful incorporation into existing programmemes,” which included a call for indicators needed for monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance of MMN supplementation programs. Currently, global surveillance and monitoring data show that overall IFA supplementation programs suffer from low coverage and intake adherence, despite inclusion in national policies. Common barriers that limit the effectiveness of IFA-which also apply to MMN programs-include weak supply chains, low access to antenatal care services, low-quality behavior change interventions to support and motivate women, and weak or non-existent monitoring systems used for programme improvement. The causes of these barriers in a given country need careful review to resolve them. As countries heighten their focus on supplementation during pregnancy, or if they decide to initiate or transition into MMN supplementation, a priority is to identify key monitoring indicators to address these issues and support effective programs. National and global monitoring and surveillance data on IFA supplementation during pregnancy are primarily derived from cross-sectional surveys and, on a more routine basis, through health and logistics management information systems. Indicators for IFA supplementation exist; however, the new indicators for MMN supplementation need to be incorporated. We reviewed practice-based evidence, guided by the WHO/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logic model for vitamin and mineral interventions in public health programs, and used existing manuals, published literature, country reports, and the opinion of experts, to identify monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance indicators for MMN supplementation programs. We also considered cross-cutting indicators that could be used across programme settings, as well as those specific to common delivery models, such as antenatal care services. We then described mechanisms for collecting these data, including integration within existing government monitoring systems, as well as other existing or proposed systems. Monitoring data needs at all stages of the programme lifecycle were considered, as well as the feasibility and cost of data collection. We also propose revisions to global-, national-, and subnational-surveillance indicators based on these reviews.
Multiple-micronutrient supplementation: evidence from large-scale prenatal programmes on coverage, compliance and impact.
Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2017 Dec 22; 1-11.Micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy pose important challenges for public-health, given the potential adverse outcomes not only during pregnancy but across the life-course. Provision of iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements is the strategy most commonly practiced and recommended globally. How to successfully implement IFA and multiple micronutrient supplementation interventions among pregnant women and to achieve sustainable/permanent solutions to prenatal micronutrient deficiencies remain unresolved issues in many countries. This paper aims to analyze available experiences of prenatal IFA and multiple micronutrient interventions to distil learning for their effective planning and large-scale implementation. Relevant articles and programme-documentation were comprehensively identified from electronic databases, websites of major-agencies and through hand-searching of relevant documents. Retrieved documents were screened and potentially relevant reports were critically examined by the authors with the aim of identifying a set of case studies reflecting regional variation, a mix of implementation successes and failures, and a mix of programs and large-scale experimental studies. Information on implementation, coverage, compliance, and impact was extracted from reports of large-scale interventions in Central America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The WHO/CDC Logic-Model for Micronutrient Interventions in Public Health was used as an organizing framework for analyzing and presenting the evidence. Our findings suggest that to successfully implement supplementation interventions and achieve sustainable-permanent solutions efforts must focus on factors and processes related to quality, cost-effectiveness, coverage, utilization, demand, outcomes, impacts, and sustainability of programs including strategic analysis, management, collaborations to pilot a project, and careful monitoring, midcourse corrections, supervision and logistical-support to gradually scaling it up.
Program Implementation of Option B+ at a President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-Supported HIV Clinic Improves Clinical Indicators But Not Retention in Care in Mbarara, Uganda.
AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2017 Aug; 31(8):335-341.2013 WHO guidelines for prevention of mother to child transmission recommend combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant women, regardless of CD4 count (Option B/B+). We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from a government-operated HIV clinic in Mbarara, Uganda before and after implementation of Option B+ to assess the impact on retention in care. We limited our analysis to women not on ART at the time of their first reported pregnancy with CD4 count >350. We fit regression models to estimate relationships between calendar period (Option A vs. Option B+) and the primary outcome of interest, retention in care. One thousand and sixty-two women were included in the analysis. Women were more likely to start ART within 6 months of pregnancy in the Option B+ period (68% vs. 7%, p < 0.0001) and had significantly greater increases in CD4 count 1 year after pregnancy (+172 vs. -5 cells, p < 0.001). However, there was no difference in the proportion of women retained in care 1 year after pregnancy (73% vs. 70%, p = 0.34). In models adjusted for age, distance to clinic, marital status, and CD4 count, Option B+ was associated with a nonsignificant 30% increased odds of retention in care at 1 year [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.30, 95% CI 0.98-1.73, p = 0.06]. After transition to an Option B+ program, pregnant women with CD4 count >350 were more likely to initiate combination therapy; however, interventions to mitigate losses from HIV care during pregnancy are needed to improve the health of women, children, and families.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2017. 56 p.Since the publication of the WHO Guidelines for the management of sexually transmitted infections in 2003, changes in the epidemiology of STIs and advancements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment necessitate changes in STI management. This guideline provides updated recommendations for syphilis screening and treatment for pregnant women based on the most recent evidence and available serologic tests for syphilis. The objectives of this guideline are: 1) to provide evidence-based guidance on syphilis screening and treatment for pregnant women; and 2) to support countries to update their national guidelines for syphilis screening and treatment for pregnant women.
Guideline: use of multiple micronutrient powders for point-of-use fortification of foods consumed by pregnant women.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016. 32 p.The guideline is intended for a wide audience, including governments, nongovernmental organizations, healthcare workers, scientists and donors involved in the design and implementation of micronutrient programmes and antenatal care services and their integration into national and subnational public health strategies and programmes. This WHO guideline states that routine use of multiple micronutrient powders during pregnancy is not recommended as an alternative to standard iron and folic supplementation during pregnancy for improving maternal and infant health outcomes.
Decreased emergence of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations in a cohort of Ugandan women initiating option B+ for PMTCT.
PloS One. 2017; 12(5):e0178297.BACKGROUND: Since 2012, WHO guidelines for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV-1 in resource-limited settings recommend the initiation of lifelong antiretroviral combination therapy (cART) for all pregnant HIV-1 positive women independent of CD4 count and WHO clinical stage (Option B+). However, long-term outcomes regarding development of drug resistance are lacking until now. Therefore, we analysed the emergence of drug resistance mutations (DRMs) in women initiating Option B+ in Fort Portal, Uganda, at 12 and 18 months postpartum (ppm). METHODS AND FINDINGS: 124 HIV-1 positive pregnant women were enrolled within antenatal care services in Fort Portal, Uganda. Blood samples were collected at the first visit prior starting Option B+ and postpartum at week six, month six, 12 and 18. Viral load was determined by real-time RT-PCR. An RT-PCR covering resistance associated positions in the protease and reverse transcriptase HIV-1 genomic region was performed. PCR-positive samples at 12/18 ppm and respective baseline samples were analysed by next generation sequencing regarding HIV-1 drug resistant variants including low-frequency variants. Furthermore, vertical transmission of HIV-1 was analysed. 49/124 (39.5%) women were included into the DRM analysis. Virological failure, defined as >1000 copies HIV-1 RNA/ml, was observed in three and seven women at 12 and 18 ppm, respectively. Sequences were obtained for three and six of these. In total, DRMs were detected in 3/49 (6.1%) women. Two women displayed dual-class resistance against all recommended first-line regimen drugs. Of 49 mother-infant-pairs no infant was HIV-1 positive at 12 or 18 ppm. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the WHO-recommended Option B+ for PMTCT is effective in a cohort of Ugandan HIV-1 positive pregnant women with regard to the low selection rate of DRMs and vertical transmission. Therefore, these results are encouraging for other countries considering the implementation of lifelong cART for all pregnant HIV-1 positive women.
Influenza epidemiology and immunization during pregnancy: Final report of a World Health Organization working group.
Vaccine. 2017 Oct 13; 35(43):5738-5750.From 2014 to 2017, the World Health Organization convened a working group to evaluate influenza disease burden and vaccine efficacy to inform estimates of maternal influenza immunization program impact. The group evaluated existing systematic reviews and relevant primary studies, and conducted four new systematic reviews. There was strong evidence that maternal influenza immunization prevented influenza illness in pregnant women and their infants, although data on severe illness prevention were lacking. The limited number of studies reporting influenza incidence in pregnant women and infants under six months had highly variable estimates and underrepresented low- and middle-income countries. The evidence that maternal influenza immunization reduces the risk of adverse birth outcomes was conflicting, and many observational studies were subject to substantial bias. The lack of scientific clarity regarding disease burden or magnitude of vaccine efficacy against severe illness poses challenges for robust estimation of the potential impact of maternal influenza immunization programs. Copyright (c) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 4 p. (WHO/RHR/17.02)Strategic approaches to reduce maternal mortality in the past 15 years have mainly focused on clinical interventions and health system strengthening. The greatest attention has been on postpartum haemorrhage and hypertensive disorders, the two leading direct causes of maternal mortality. Further reducing maternal deaths is a priority for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, implementing the UN Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health and critical for the Strategies toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM). However, the third most common direct cause of maternal mortality, maternal sepsis, received less attention, research and programming. Undetected or poorly managed maternal infections can lead to sepsis, death or disability for the mother and increased likelihood of early neonatal infection and other adverse outcomes. Recognizing the need to foster new thinking and to catalyse greater action to address this important cause of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Jhpiego have launched the Global Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis Initiative, dedicated to focusing additional effort, energizing stakeholders and accelerating progress in the area of maternal and neonatal infection and sepsis. This statement defines maternal sepsis and operationalizes the definition.
[HIV-1 resistance to antiretroviral drugs in pregnant women from Buenos Aires metropolitan area] Resistencia de HIV-1 a drogas antirretrovirales en gestantes del area Metropolitana de Buenos Aires.
Medicina. 2016; 76(6):349-354.The study aimed to determine the prevalence of antiretroviral resistance associated mutations in HIV-1 infected pregnant woman treated in Buenos Aires metropolitan area (period 2008-2014). A total of 136 women with viral load = 500 copies/ml were included: 77 (56.6%) were treatment-naive and 59 (43.4%) were antiretroviral-experienced patients either with current (n: 24) or previous (n = 35) antiretroviral therapy. Genotypic baseline resistance was investigated in plasma of antiretroviral-naive patients and antiretroviral-experienced patients. The resistance mutations were identified according to the lists of the World Health Organization and the International Antiviral Society, respectively. Frequencies of resistance associated mutations detected in 2008-2011 and 2012-2014 were compared. A total of 37 (27.2%) women presented at least one resistance associated mutation: 25/94 (26.5%) in 2008-2011 and 12/42 (28.5%) in 2012-2014 (p > 0.05). Among naives, 15 (19.5%) had at least one mutation: 10/49 (20.4%) in the period 2008-2011 and 5/28 (17.8%) in 2012-2014 (p > 0.05). The resistance mutations detected in naives were associated with non nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, being K103N the most common mutation in both periods. In antiretroviral experienced patients, 22/59 (37.3%) had at least one resistance mutation. This study demonstrates a high frequency of resistance associated mutations which remained stable in the period analyzed. These levels suggest an increased circulation of HIV-1 antiretroviral resistant strains in our setting compared to previous reports from Argentina.
Integrated person-centered health care for all women during pregnancy: implementing World Health Organization recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2017 Jun 27; 5(2):197-201.Add to my documents.
Assessing the availability of LLINs for continuous distribution through routine antenatal care and the Expanded Programme on Immunizations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malaria Journal. 2016 May 04; 15(1):255.BACKGROUND: In addition to mass distribution campaigns, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the continuous distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to all pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) and all infants attending the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) services in countries implementing mosquito nets for malaria control. Countries report LLIN distribution data to the WHO annually. For this analysis, these data were used to assess policy and practice in implementing these recommendations and to compare the numbers of LLINs available through ANC and EPI services with the numbers of women and children attending these services. METHODS: For each reporting country in sub-Saharan Africa, the presence of a reported policy for LLIN distribution through ANC and EPI was reviewed. Prior to inclusion in the analysis the completeness of data was assessed in terms of the numbers of LLINs distributed through all channels (campaigns, EPI, ANC, other). For each country with adequate data, the numbers of LLINs reportedly distributed by national programmes to ANC was compared to the number of women reportedly attending ANC at least once; the ratio between these two numbers was used as an indicator of LLIN availability at ANC services. The same calculations were repeated for LLINs distributed through EPI to produce the corresponding LLIN availability through this distribution channel. RESULTS: Among 48 malaria-endemic countries in Africa, 33 malaria programmes reported adopting policies of ANC-based continuous distribution of LLINs, and 25 reported adopting policies of EPI-based distribution. Over a 3-year period through 2012, distribution through ANC accounted for 9 % of LLINs distributed, and LLINs distributed through EPI accounted for 4 %. The LLIN availability ratios achieved were 55 % through ANC and 34 % through EPI. For 38 country programmes reporting on LLIN distribution, data to calculate LLIN availability through ANC and EPI was available for 17 and 16, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These continuous LLIN distribution channels appear to be under-utilized, especially EPI-based distribution. However, quality data from more countries are needed for consistent and reliable programme performance monitoring. A greater focus on routine data collection, monitoring and reporting on LLINs distributed through both ANC and EPI can provide insight into both strengths and weaknesses of continuous distribution, and improve the effectiveness of these delivery channels.
Uptake and performance of prevention of mother-to-child transmission and early infant diagnosis in pregnant HIV infected women and their exposed infants at seven health centres in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2017 Jun; 22(6):765-775.Objective To assess the uptake of WHO-recommended PMTCT procedures in Ethiopia's health services. Methods Prospective observational study of HIV-positive pregnant mothers and their newborns attending PMTCT services at seven health centers in Addis Ababa. Women were recruited during antenatal care and followed-up with their newborns at delivery, day 6 and week 6 postpartum. Retention to PMCTC procedures, self-reported ART adherence, and HIV infant outcome were assessed. Turnaround times of HIV early infant diagnosis (EID) procedures were extracted from health registers. Results Of 494 women enrolled 4.9% did not complete PMTCT procedures due to active denial or loss to follow-up. HIV was first diagnosed in 223 (45.1%) and ART initiated in 321 (65.0%) women during pregnancy. ART was initiated in a median of 1.3 weeks (IQR 0-4.3) after HIV diagnosis. Poor self-reported treatment adherence was higher post-partum than during pregnancy (12.5% versus 7.0%, p=0.002), and significantly associated with divorced/separated marital status (RR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3-3.8), low family income (RR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.1), low CD4-count (RR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0-3.0), and ART initiation during delivery (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1-5.6). Of 435 infants born alive 98.6% received nevirapine prophylaxis. The mother-to-child HIV transmission rate was 0.7% after a median of 6.7 weeks (IQR 6.4-10.4), but EID results were received for only 46.6% within 3 months of birth. Conclusion High retention in PMTCT services, triple maternal ART and high infant nevirapine prophylaxis coverage were associated with low mother-to-child HIV transmission. Declining post-partum ART adherence and challenges of EID linkage require attention.
The World Health Organization Fetal Growth Charts: A Multinational Longitudinal Study of Ultrasound Biometric Measurements and Estimated Fetal Weight.
PloS Medicine. 2017 Jan; 14(1):e1002220.BACKGROUND: Perinatal mortality and morbidity continue to be major global health challenges strongly associated with prematurity and reduced fetal growth, an issue of further interest given the mounting evidence that fetal growth in general is linked to degrees of risk of common noncommunicable diseases in adulthood. Against this background, WHO made it a high priority to provide the present fetal growth charts for estimated fetal weight (EFW) and common ultrasound biometric measurements intended for worldwide use. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a multinational prospective observational longitudinal study of fetal growth in low-risk singleton pregnancies of women of high or middle socioeconomic status and without known environmental constraints on fetal growth. Centers in ten countries (Argentina, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Norway, and Thailand) recruited participants who had reliable information on last menstrual period and gestational age confirmed by crown-rump length measured at 8-13 wk of gestation. Participants had anthropometric and nutritional assessments and seven scheduled ultrasound examinations during pregnancy. Fifty-two participants withdrew consent, and 1,387 participated in the study. At study entry, median maternal age was 28 y (interquartile range [IQR] 25-31), median height was 162 cm (IQR 157-168), median weight was 61 kg (IQR 55-68), 58% of the women were nulliparous, and median daily caloric intake was 1,840 cal (IQR 1,487-2,222). The median pregnancy duration was 39 wk (IQR 38-40) although there were significant differences between countries, the largest difference being 12 d (95% CI 8-16). The median birthweight was 3,300 g (IQR 2,980-3,615). There were differences in birthweight between countries, e.g., India had significantly smaller neonates than the other countries, even after adjusting for gestational age. Thirty-one women had a miscarriage, and three fetuses had intrauterine death. The 8,203 sets of ultrasound measurements were scrutinized for outliers and leverage points, and those measurements taken at 14 to 40 wk were selected for analysis. A total of 7,924 sets of ultrasound measurements were analyzed by quantile regression to establish longitudinal reference intervals for fetal head circumference, biparietal diameter, humerus length, abdominal circumference, femur length and its ratio with head circumference and with biparietal diameter, and EFW. There was asymmetric distribution of growth of EFW: a slightly wider distribution among the lower percentiles during early weeks shifted to a notably expanded distribution of the higher percentiles in late pregnancy. Male fetuses were larger than female fetuses as measured by EFW, but the disparity was smaller in the lower quantiles of the distribution (3.5%) and larger in the upper quantiles (4.5%). Maternal age and maternal height were associated with a positive effect on EFW, particularly in the lower tail of the distribution, of the order of 2% to 3% for each additional 10 y of age of the mother and 1% to 2% for each additional 10 cm of height. Maternal weight was associated with a small positive effect on EFW, especially in the higher tail of the distribution, of the order of 1.0% to 1.5% for each additional 10 kg of bodyweight of the mother. Parous women had heavier fetuses than nulliparous women, with the disparity being greater in the lower quantiles of the distribution, of the order of 1% to 1.5%, and diminishing in the upper quantiles. There were also significant differences in growth of EFW between countries. In spite of the multinational nature of the study, sample size is a limiting factor for generalization of the charts. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides WHO fetal growth charts for EFW and common ultrasound biometric measurements, and shows variation between different parts of the world.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2016. 172 p.The World Health Organization has released a new set of antenatal care (ANC) recommendations to improve maternal and perinatal health worldwide. The guidelines seek to reduce the global burden of stillbirths, reduce pregnancy complications and provide all women and adolescents with a positive pregnancy experience. High quality health care during pregnancy and childbirth can prevent deaths from pregnancy complications, perinatal deaths and stillbirths, yet globally, less than two-thirds of women receive antenatal care at least four times throughout their pregnancy. The new ANC model raises the recommended number of ANC visits from four to eight, thereby increasing the number of opportunities providers have to detect and address preventable complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. The guidelines provide 49 recommendations for routine and context-specific ANC visits, including nutritional interventions, maternal / fetal assessments, preventive measures, interventions for common physiological symptoms and health system interventions. Given that women around the world experience maternal care in a wide range of settings, the recommendations also outline several context-specific service delivery options, including midwife-led care, group care and community-based interventions.
Efficacy of WHO recommendation for continued breastfeeding and maternal cART for prevention of perinatal and postnatal HIV transmission in Zambia.
Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2015; 18:19352.INTRODUCTION: To prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in developing countries, new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend maternal combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) during pregnancy, throughout breastfeeding for 1 year and then cessation of breastfeeding (COB). The efficacy of this approach during the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding has been demonstrated, but the efficacy of this approach beyond six months is not well documented. METHODS: A prospective observational cohort study of 279 HIV-positive mothers was started on zidovudine/3TC and lopinavir/ritonavir tablets between 14 and 30 weeks gestation and continued indefinitely thereafter. Women were encouraged to exclusively breastfeed for six months, complementary feed for the next six months and then cease breastfeeding between 12 and 13 months. Infants were followed for transmission to 18 months and for survival to 24 months. Text message reminders and stipends for food and transport were utilized to encourage adherence and follow-up. RESULTS: Total MTCT was 9 of 219 live born infants (4.1%; confidence interval (CI) 2.2-7.6%). All breastfeeding transmissions that could be timed (5/5) occurred after six months of age. All mothers who transmitted after six months had a six-month plasma viral load >1,000 copies/ml (p<0.001). Poor adherence to cART as noted by missed dispensary visits was associated with transmission (p=0.04). Infant mortality was lower after six months of age than during the first six months of life (p=0.02). The cumulative rate of infant HIV infection or death at 18 months was 29/226 (12.8% 95 CI: 7.5-20.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Maternal cART may limit MTCT of HIV to the UNAIDS target of <5% for eradication of paediatric HIV within the context of a clinical study, but poor adherence to cART and follow-up can limit the benefit. Continued breastfeeding can prevent the rise in infant mortality after six months seen in previous studies, which encouraged early COB.
Global Call to Action: Maximize the public health impact of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malaria Journal. 2015; 14:207.Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy is a highly cost-effective intervention which significantly improves maternal and birth outcomes among mothers and their newborns who live in areas of moderate to high malaria transmission. However, coverage in sub-Saharan Africa remains unacceptably low, calling for urgent action to increase uptake dramatically and maximize its public health impact. The ‘Global Call to Action’ outlines priority actions that will pave the way to success in achieving national and international coverage targets. Immediate action is needed from national health institutions in malaria-endemic countries, the donor community, the research community, members of the pharmaceutical industry and private sector, along with technical partners at the global and local levels, to protect pregnant women and their babies from the preventable, adverse effects of malaria in pregnancy © 2015 Chico et al. Open Access.
Guardian. 2015 Mar 9;  p.A growing body of evidence documents the importance of multiple micronutrient supplements during pregnancy to improve the health and survival of newborns and their mothers. When mothers take micronutrient supplements during pregnancy -- instead of iron-folic acid alone -- their babies are born later and born bigger, giving them a stronger start in life. We call on the WHO to update their guidelines.
Health outcomes and cost impact of the new WHO 2013 guidelines on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Zambia.
PloS One. 2014; 9(3):e90991.BACKGROUND: Countries are currently progressing towards the elimination of new paediatric HIV infections by 2015. WHO published new consolidated guidelines in June 2013, which now recommend either 'Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for women living with HIV during pregnancy and breastfeeding (Option B)' or 'Lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV (Option B+)', while de facto phasing out Option A. This study examined health outcomes and cost impact of the shift to WHO 2013 recommendations in Zambia. METHODS: A decision analytic model was developed based on the national health system perspective. Estimated risk and number of cases of HIV transmission to infants and to serodiscordant partners, and proportions of HIV-infected pregnant women with CD4 count of =350 cells/mm3 to initiate ART were compared between 2010 Option A and the 2013 recommendations. Total costs of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services per annual cohort of pregnant women, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per infection averted and quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained were examined. RESULTS: Our analysis suggested that the shift from 2010 Option A to the 2013 guidelines would result in a 33% reduction of the risk of HIV transmission among exposed infants. The risk of transmission to serodiscordant partners for a period of 24 months would be reduced by 72% with 'ARVs during pregnancy and breastfeeding' and further reduced by 15% with 'Lifelong ART'. The probability of HIV-infected pregnant women to initiate ART would increase by 80%. It was also suggested that while the shift would generate higher PMTCT costs, it would be cost-saving in the long term as it spares future treatment costs by preventing infections in infants and partners. CONCLUSION: The shift to the WHO 2013 guidelines in Zambia would positively impact health of family and save future costs related to care and treatment.