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NewsCAP: The WHO releases Consolidated Guideline on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women Living with HIV.
American Journal of Nursing. 2018 Jul; 118(7):17.Add to my documents.
Health Research Policy and Systems. 2018 May 22; 16(1):42.BACKGROUND: As countries continue to improve their family planning (FP) programmes, they may draw on WHO's evidence-based FP guidance and tools (i.e. materials) that support the provision of quality FP services. METHODS: To better understand the use and perceived impact of the materials and ways to strengthen their use by countries, we conducted qualitative interviews with WHO regional advisors, and with stakeholders in Ethiopia and Senegal who use WHO materials. RESULTS: WHO uses a multi-faceted strategy to directly and indirectly disseminate materials to country-level decision-makers. The materials are used to develop national family planning guidelines, protocols and training curricula. Participants reported that they trust the WHO materials because they are evidence based, and that they adapt materials to the country context (e.g. remove content on methods not available in the country). The main barrier to the use of national materials is resource constraints. CONCLUSIONS: Although the system and processes for dissemination work, improvements might contribute to increased use of the materials. For example, providers may benefit from additional guidance on how to counsel women with characteristics or medical conditions where contraceptive method eligibility criteria do not clearly rule in or rule out a method.
Improving care for women with obstetric fistula: new WHO recommendation on duration of bladder catheterisation after the surgical repair of a simple obstetric urinary fistula.
BJOG. 2018 Nov; 125(12):1502-1503.Under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and universal health coverage, the "survive, thrive, transform" agenda moves beyond reducing mortality and focuses on the importance of maternal morbidity.((1) ) An obstetric fistula, one of the most devastating types of maternal morbidity, is usually caused by injury during childbirth from prolonged or obstructed labour. The prolonged compression of the fetal head against the pelvic bones can cause ischaemic necrosis of parts of the bladder, urethra or vagina, resulting in an abnormal opening between a woman's genital tract and her urinary tract that leads to the continuous flow of urine through the vagina.((2)) Women with obstetric urinary fistula are often faced with serious social problems including abandonment by their partners, families and communities mainly due to persistent odour of urine as they are constantly wet and unable to control their urinary function.((3)) While these fistulae are almost non-existent in high-income countries, it remains a public health problem that affects over one million women, their families and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with poorly-resourced health systems and inadequate intrapartum care services. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Female genital mutilation as an issue of gender disparity in the 21st century: Leveraging opportunities to reverse current trends.
Ethiopian Medical Journal. 2016 Jul; 54(3):107-108.Add to my documents.
Safer women, safer world: a fund to increase the number of women UN Peacekeepers and better protect women and girls in conflict situations.
Washington, D.C., Center for Global Development, 2017 Jun. 4 p. (Center for Global Development Brief)Having more women peacekeepers is linked with large reductions in sexual misconduct by peacekeepers and more sustainable peace. The UN could potentially raise the proportion of women peacekeepers to 20 percent for around $75 million. A small multilateral trust fund would offer supplementary payments to troop-contributing countries for each woman peacekeeper provided.
A Simplified Regimen Compared with WHO Guidelines Decreases Antenatal Calcium Supplement Intake for Prevention of Preeclampsia in a Cluster-Randomized Noninferiority Trial in Rural Kenya.
Journal of Nutrition. 2017 Oct; 147(10):1986-1991.Background: To prevent preeclampsia, the WHO recommends antenatal calcium supplementation in populations with inadequate habitual intake. The WHO recommends 1500-2000 mg Ca/d with iron-folic acid (IFA) taken separately, a complex pill-taking regimen. Objective: The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that simpler regimens with lower daily dosages would lead to higher adherence and similar supplement intake.Methods: In the Micronutrient Initiative Calcium Supplementation study, we compared the mean daily supplement intake associated with 2 dosing regimens with the use of a parallel, cluster-randomized noninferiority trial implemented in 16 primary health care facilities in rural Kenya. The standard regimen was 3 x 500 mg Ca/d in 3 pill-taking events, and the low-dose regimen was 2 x 500 mg Ca/d in 2 pill-taking events; both regimens included a 200 IU cholecalciferol and calcium pill and a separate IFA pill. We enrolled 990 pregnant women between 16 and 30 wk of gestation. The primary outcome was supplemental calcium intake measured by pill counts 4 and 8 wk after recruitment. We carried out intention-to-treat analyses with the use of mixed-effect models, with regimen as the fixed effect and health care facilities as a random effect, by using a noninferiority margin of 125 mg Ca/d.Results: Women in facilities assigned to the standard regimen consumed a mean of 1198 mg Ca/d, whereas those assigned to the low-dose regimen consumed 810 mg Ca/d. The difference in intake was 388 mg Ca/d (95% CI = 341, 434 mg Ca/d), exceeding the prespecified margin of 125 mg Ca/d. The overall adherence rate was 80% and did not differ between study arms.Conclusions: Contrary to our expectation, a simpler, lower-dose regimen led to significantly lower supplement intake than the regimen recommended by the WHO. Further studies are needed to precisely characterize the dose-response relation of calcium supplementation and preeclampsia risk and to examine cost effectiveness of lower and simpler regimens in program settings. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02238704. (c) 2017 American Society for Nutrition.
Implementation effectiveness of revised (post-2010) World Health Organization guidelines on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV using routinely collected data in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic literature review.
Medicine. 2017 Oct; 96(40):e8055.BACKGROUND: To synthesize and evaluate the impact of implementing post-2010 World Health Organization (WHO) prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) guidelines on attainment of PMTCT targets. METHODS: Retrospective and prospective cohort study designs that utilized routinely collected data with a focus on provision and utilization of the cascade of PMTCT services were included. The outcomes included the proportion of pregnant women who were tested during their antenatal clinic (ANC) visits; mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rate; adherence; retention rate; and loss to follow-up (LTFU). RESULTS: Of the 1210 references screened, 45 met the inclusion criteria. The studies originated from 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The highest number of studies originated from Malawi (10) followed by Nigeria and South Africa with 7 studies each. More than half of the studies were on option A while the majority of option B+ studies were conducted in Malawi. These studies indicated a high uptake of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing ranging from 75% in Nigeria to over 96% in Zimbabwe and South Africa. High proportions of CD4 count testing were reported in studies only from South Africa despite that in most of the countries CD4 testing was a prerequisite to access treatment. MTCT rate ranged from 1.1% to 15.1% and it was higher in studies where data were collected in the early days of the WHO 2010 PMTCT guidelines. During the postpartum period, adherence and retention rate decreased, and LTFU increased for both HIV-positive mothers and exposed infants. CONCLUSION: Irrespective of which option was followed, uptake of antenatal HIV testing was high but there was a large drop off along later points in the PMTCT cascade. More research is needed on how to improve later components of the PMTCT cascade, especially of option B+ which is now the norm throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
New York, New York, UN Women, . 7 p. (Policy Brief No. 1)UN Women’s project "Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Labour and Human Rights: Engaging with International, National Human Rights Mechanisms to Enhance Accountability" is a global project funded by the European Union (EU) and anchored nationally in three pilot countries: Mexico, Moldova, and the Philippines. The project promotes women migrant workers’ rights and their protection against exclusion and exploitation at all stages of migration. One of the key results of the project has been the production of high-quality knowledge products. These have provided the foundation of the project’s advocacy and capacity building objectives. This Brief draws from the project’s knowledge products and provides an overview of the key situational and policy concerns for women migrant workers in each of the three pilot countries.
Using the international human rights system to protect and promote the rights of women migrant workers.
New York, New York, UN Women, . 7 p. (Policy Brief No. 6)This Brief provides an overview of the international human rights system as it applies to the promotion and protection of women migrant workers’ rights. Using examples from UN Women’s joint EU-funded project "Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Labour and Human Rights: Engaging with International, National Human Rights Mechanisms to Enhance Accountability" (the Project), which is anchored nationally in three pilot countries: Mexico, Moldova, and the Philippines, this Brief illustrates how these mechanisms can be used by governments, civil society and development partners, to enhance the rights of women migrant workers in law and practice.
New York, New York, UN Women, . 4 p. (Policy Brief No. 3)Remittances and their potential to contribute to development are becoming a central focus of global migration governance. With women making up approximately half of all migrant workers globally, there is a shifting focus of many policies and programmes to include remittances sent by women. Based on research and lessons learned from the joint UN Women–EU-funded global project, “Promoting and protecting women migrant workers’ labour and human rights: Engaging with international, national human rights mechanisms to enhance accountability”, which is piloted in Mexico, Moldova and the Philippines, this Brief considers the different ways that women transfer and spend remittances, and provides recommendations to better understand and maximize these remittances.
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.
BJOG. 2018 Feb; 125(3):288.Against a background of an increasing demand for surgical intervention for the treatment of FGM/C related complications, Berg et al
Note for typesetter: Please update reference when assigned to an issue.have conducted a systematic review of 62 studies involving 5829 women, to assess the effectiveness of defibulation, excision of cysts and clitoral reconstructive surgery. Berg et al report that defibulation showed a lower risk of Caesarean section and perineal tears; excision of cysts commonly resulted in resolution of symptoms; and clitoral reconstruction resulted in most women self-reporting improvements in their sexual health. However, Berg et al highlight that they had little confidence in the effect estimate for all outcomes as most of the studies were observational and conclude that there is currently poor quality of evidence on the benefits and/or harm of surgical interventions to be able to counsel women appropriately. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Lancet. 2017 Jul 01; 390(10089):1.Add to my documents.
Scaling up proven innovative cervical cancer screening strategies: Challenges and opportunities in implementation at the population level in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2017 Jul; 138 Suppl 1:63-68.The problem of cervical cancer in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LLMICs) is both urgent and important, and calls for governments to move beyond pilot testing to population-based screening approaches as quickly as possible. Experiences from Zambia, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, where scale-up of evidence-based screening strategies is taking place, may help other countries plan for large-scale implementation. These countries selected screening modalities recommended by the WHO that are within budgetary constraints, improve access for women, and reduce health system bottlenecks. In addition, some common elements such as political will and government investment have facilitated action in these diverse settings. There are several challenges for continued scale-up in these countries, including maintaining trained personnel, overcoming limited follow-up and treatment capacity, and implementing quality assurance measures. Countries considering scale-up should assess their readiness and conduct careful planning, taking into consideration potential obstacles. International organizations can catalyze action by helping governments overcome initial barriers to scale-up. (c) 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
Advocacy, communication, and partnerships: Mobilizing for effective, widespread cervical cancer prevention.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2017 Jul; 138 Suppl 1:57-62.Both human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and screening/treatment are relatively simple and inexpensive to implement at all resource levels, and cervical cancer screening has been acknowledged as a "best buy" by the WHO. However, coverage with these interventions is low where they are needed most. Failure to launch or expand cervical cancer prevention programs is by and large due to the absence of dedicated funding, along with a lack of recognition of the urgent need to update policies that can hinder access to services. Clear and sustained communication, robust advocacy, and strategic partnerships are needed to inspire national governments and international bodies to action, including identifying and allocating sustainable program resources. There is significant momentum for expanding coverage of HPV vaccination and screening/preventive treatment in low-resource settings as evidenced by new global partnerships espousing this goal, and the participation of groups that previously had not focused on this critical health issue. (c) 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
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.
Lancet. 2016 Nov 26; 388(10060):2579.Add to my documents.
Using GRADE as a framework to guide research on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women living with HIV - methodological opportunities and challenges.
AIDS Care. 2017 Sep; 29(9):1088-1093.In March 2016, WHO reviewed evidence to develop global recommendations on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women living with HIV. Systematic reviews and a global survey of women living with HIV informed the guideline development decision-making process. New recommendations covered abortion, Caesarean section, safe disclosure, and empowerment and self-efficacy interventions. Identification of key research gaps is part of the WHO guidelines development process, but consistent methods to do so are lacking. Our method aimed to ensure consistency and comprised the systematic application of a framework based on GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) to the process. The framework incorporates the strength and quality rating of recommendations and the priorities reported by women in the survey to inform research prioritisation. For each gap, we also articulated: (1) the most appropriate and robust study design to answer the question; (2) alternative pragmatic designs if the ideal design is not feasible; and (3) the methodological challenges facing researchers through identifying potential biases. We found 12 research gaps and identified five appropriate study designs to address the related questions: (1) Cross-sectional surveys; (2) Qualitative interview-driven studies; (3) Registries; (4) Randomised controlled trials; and (5) Medical record audit. Methodological challenges included selection, recruitment, misclassification, measurement and contextual biases, and confounding. In conclusion, a framework based on GRADE can provide a systematic approach to identifying research gaps from a WHO guideline. Incorporation of the priorities of women living with HIV into the framework systematically ensures that women living with HIV can shape future policy decisions affecting their lives. Implementation science and participatory research are appropriate over-arching approaches to enhance uptake of interventions and to ensure inclusion of women living with HIV at all stages of the research process.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 144 p.HIV is not only driven by gender inequality, but it also entrenches gender inequality, leaving women more vulnerable to its impact. Providing sexual and reproductive health interventions for women living with HIV that are grounded in principles of gender equality and human rights can have a positive impact on their quality of life; it is also a step towards long-term improved health status and equity.
Response to 'WHO classification of FGM omission and failure to recognise some women's vulnerability to cosmetic vaginal surgery'
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2017 Feb 24; 1.Add to my documents.
New York, Evaluation Office, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2016. 24 p.This evaluation focuses on how UNFPA performed in the area of family planning during the period covered by the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2008-2013. It provides valuable insights and learning which can be used to inform the current UNFPA family planning strategy as well as other relevant programmes, including UNFPA Supplies (2013-2020). All the countries where UNFPA works in family planning were included, but the evaluation focuses on the 69 priority countries identified in the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning as having low rates of contraceptive use and high unmet needs. The evaluation took place in 2014-2016 and was conducted by Euro Health Group in collaboration with the Royal Tropical Institute Netherlands. It involved a multidisciplinary team of senior evaluators and family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights specialists, which was supervised and guided by the Evaluation Office in consultation with the Evaluation Reference Group. The outputs include a thematic evaluation report, an evaluation brief and country case study notes for Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.
New York, Evaluation Office, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2016 Apr. 214 p.The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the performance of UNFPA in the field of family planning during the period covered by the Strategic Plan 2008-2013 and to provide learning to inform the implementation of the current UNFPA Family Planning Strategy Choices not chance (2012-2020). The evaluation provided an overall independent assessment of UNFPA interventions in the area of family planning and identified key lessons learned for the current and future strategies. The particular emphasis of this evaluation was on learning with a view to informing the implementation of the UNFPA family planning strategy Choices not chance 2012-2020, as well as other related interventions and programmes, such as the Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS- 2013-2020). The evaluation constituted an important contribution to the mid-term review of UNFPA strategic plan 2014-2017. The evaluation features five country case study reports: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe.
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.
Implementation of the WHO safe childbirth checklist program at a tertiary care setting in Sri Lanka: a developing country experience.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2015; 15:12.BACKGROUND: To study institutionalization of the World Health Organization's Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC) in a tertiary care center in Sri Lanka. METHOD: A hospital-based, prospective observational study was conducted in the De Soysa Hospital for Women, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Healthcare workers were educated regarding the SCC, which was to be used for each woman admitted to the labor room during the study period. A qualitatively pretested, self-administered questionnaire was given to all nursing and midwifery staff to assess knowledge and attitudes towards the checklist. Each item of the SCC was reviewed for adherence. RESULTS: A total of 824 births in which the checklist used were studied. There were a total of births 1800 during the period, giving an adoption rate of 45.8%. Out of the 170 health workers in the hospital (nurses, midwives and nurse midwives) 98 answered the questionnaire (response rate = 57.6%). The average number of childbirth practices checked in the checklist was 21 out of 29 (95% CI 20.2, 21.3). Educating the mother to seek help during labor, after delivery and after discharge from hospital, seeking an assistant during labor, early breast-feeding, maternal HIV infection and discussing contraceptive options were checked least often. The mean level of knowledge on the checklist among health workers was 60.1% (95% CI 57.2, 63.1). Attitudes for acceptance of using the checklist were satisfactory. Average adherence to checklist practices was 71.3%. Sixty eight (69.4%) agreed that the Checklist stimulates inter-personal communication and teamwork. Increased workload, poor enthusiasm of health workers towards new additions to their routine schedule and level of user-friendliness of Checklist were limitations to its greater use. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst users, the attitude towards the checklist was satisfactory. Adoption rate amongst all workers was 45.8% and knowledge regarding the checklist was 60.1%. These two factors are probably linked. Therefore prior to introducing it to a facility awareness about the value and correct use of the SCC needs to be increased, while giving attention to satisfactory staffing levels.
Antenatal care packages with reduced visits and perinatal mortality: a secondary analysis of the WHO Antenatal Care Trial.
Reproductive Health. 2013; 10:19.BACKGROUND: In 2001, the WHO Antenatal Care Trial (WHOACT) concluded that an antenatal care package of evidence-based screening, therapeutic interventions and education across four antenatal visits for low-risk women was not inferior to standard antenatal care and may reduce cost. However, an updated Cochrane review in 2010 identified an increased risk of perinatal mortality of borderline statistical significance in three cluster-randomized trials (including the WHOACT) in developing countries. We conducted a secondary analysis of the WHOACT data to determine the relationship between the reduced visits, goal-oriented antenatal care package and perinatal mortality. METHODS: Exploratory analyses were conducted to assess the effect of baseline risk and timing of perinatal death. Women were stratified by baseline risk to assess differences between intervention and control groups. We used linear modeling and Poisson regression to determine the relative risk of fetal death, neonatal death and perinatal mortality by gestational age. RESULTS: 12,568 women attended the 27 intervention clinics and 11,958 women attended the 26 control clinics. 6,160 women were high risk and 18,365 women were low risk. There were 161 fetal deaths (1.4%) in the intervention group compared to 119 fetal deaths in the control group (1.1%) with an increased overall adjusted relative risk of fetal death (Adjusted RR 1.27; 95% CI 1.03, 1.58). This was attributable to an increased relative risk of fetal death between 32 and 36 weeks of gestation (Adjusted RR 2.24; 95% CI 1.42, 3.53) which was statistically significant for high and low risk groups. CONCLUSION: It is plausible the increased risk of fetal death between 32 and 36 weeks gestation could be due to reduced number of visits, however heterogeneity in study populations or differences in quality of care and timing of visits could also be playing a role. Monitoring maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes when implementing antenatal care protocols is essential. Implementing reduced visit antenatal care packages demands careful monitoring of maternal and perinatal outcomes, especially fetal death.