Your search found 2136 Results

  1. 1

    Health aid projects have both expanded and constrained the capacity of health facilities to deliver malaria services to under-five children in Malawi.

    Dolan CB

    BMJ Global Health. 2018 Dec 1; 3(6):e001051.

    Objective: This article examines the potential pathways health aid may use to influence the availability of malaria services at a facility level and the utilisation of malaria services for children under five in Malawi. Methods: This work is grounded in a health services research theoretical model and combines a subnational census of health services available at Malawi health facilities with individual-level data on health service utilisation and the Government of Malawi’s official source of data about health aid allocation at a child-level (n=2171). Logistic and multinomial logistic models were used to assess the relationship between health aid, malaria service readiness and malaria service utilisation. Models were adjusted for predisposing, enabling and need factors and accounted for the complex relationship using a mediation approach. Results: The evidence presented suggests that health aid translates into increased diagnostic capacity, but not overall or training readiness. Results indicate that increasing aid projects in a region boost its facilities’ diagnostic readiness, increasing each facility’s relative likelihood of having a medium level of diagnostic readiness by 12% (relative risk (RR)=1.118; 95% CI 1.060 to 1.179) and its likelihood of having a high level of readiness by 23% (RR=1.230; 95% CI 1.161 to 1.303), but decreasing its readiness to provide training by 8% (RR=0.925; 95% CI 0.879 to 0.974). Conclusion: The results of this research highlight the fact that health aid is working to increase malaria diagnostic capacity at a facility level, but that increasing facility readiness to implement the diagnostic tests has been neglected.
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  2. 2

    End-user involvement in developing and field testing an online contraceptive decision aid.

    Hooiveld T; Molenaar JM; van der Heijde CM; Meijman FJ; Groen TP; Vonk P

    SAGE Open Medicine. 2018; 6:2050312118809462.

    Objectives: Decision aids in the field of healthcare contribute to informed decision making. To increase the usefulness and effectiveness of decision aids, it is important to involve end-users in the development of these tools. This article reports on the development of an online contraceptive decision aid. Methods: An exploratory, qualitative study was conducted in the Netherlands between 2014 and 2016. The development process of the decision aid consisted of six steps and included a needs assessment and field test. Interviews were conducted with 17 female students. Results: The needs assessment provided information on the preferred content and structure of a contraceptive decision aid and guided the development of the online contraceptive decision aid prototype. Participants had an overall positive impression of the decision aid prototype during the field test. Minor revisions were made based on participants' feedback. Participants expected that the decision aid would positively contribute to decision making by increasing knowledge and awareness regarding the available contraceptive methods and their features and attributes, and by opening up to other options than the known methods. Conclusion: The developed contraceptive decision aid can contribute to better informed decision making and consultation preparation. Involving end-users in development seems valuable to adapt decision aids to specific needs and to identify in what way a decision aid influences decision making.
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  3. 3

    Namibia has a strong foundation for implementing the Treat All guidelines and reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.

    Population Council. Supporting Operational AIDS Research [Project SOAR]

    Washington, D.C., Population Council, Project SOAR, 2018 Mar. 4 p. (Results Brief; USAID Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-14-00060)

    This brief highlights baseline data collected as part of a larger study assessing the impact of implementing the treat-all guidelines on key treatment and health system outcomes. The baseline data provide a snapshot of ART services delivered by health facilities in northern Namibia during the year prior to the rollout of the treat all guidelines. We also examine ART service outcomes, including 12-month ART patient retention, viral load (VL) testing, and viral suppression, to determine the effects of service decentralization during the year preceding the national roll-out of Namibia’s treat all recommendations.
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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    Rollout of rapid point of care tests for antenatal syphilis screening in Ghana: healthcare provider perspectives and experiences.

    Dassah ET; Adu-Sarkodie Y; Mayaud P

    BMC Health Services Research. 2018 Feb 20; 18(1):130.

    BACKGROUND: Effective implementation of rapid point of care tests (POCTs) for antenatal syphilis screening especially in settings where antenatal care attendance is high, can significantly increase screening coverage and treatment uptake. The operational challenges of introducing rapid syphilis POCTs at scale needs to be investigated. This study explores healthcare providers' experiences and challenges in antenatal syphilis screening following the national rollout of rapid syphilis POCTs in Ghana. METHODS: Prior to the main study, we undertook a desk review of key syphilis policy documents, and conducted key stakeholder interviews and a baseline survey of syphilis screening practices. Antenatal syphilis screening had been poorly implemented mainly due to inadequate technical and logistic support, and lack of monitoring and supervision. For the main research, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 51 purposively selected healthcare staff involved in antenatal syphilis screening in 15 health facilities in three regions, representative of all levels of healthcare in Ghana and two regional programme coordinators, at least four months after the rollout. The interviews were supplemented with an audit of the conduct of antenatal care, syphilis-related supplies and other maternal and newborn interventions. Qualitative data were coded and analysed using Nvivo software. RESULTS: Syphilis screening with rapid POCTs was integrated into antenatal care in almost all (13/15) the facilities surveyed. Testing and treatment were offered free of charge to pregnant women, their partners and babies. In most facilities, midwives were performing syphilis tests together with HIV tests. Operational challenges included: inadequate training and lack of refresher training, lack of clear testing guidelines, clear channels of communication, supervision, and guidance on treatment and referral procedures, frequent stockouts of, or expired test kits, staff overload, and poor documentation of test results and treatment. CONCLUSION: Although syphilis screening with rapid syphilis POCTs was integrated into antenatal care, key challenges, particularly around supply chain and supervision, need to be addressed to improve and sustain such a programme.
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  5. 5

    Syphilis prevalence trends in adult women in 132 countries - estimations using the Spectrum Sexually Transmitted Infections model.

    Korenromp EL; Mahiane SG; Nagelkerke N; Taylor MM; Williams R; Chico RM; Pretorius C; Abu-Raddad LJ; Rowley J

    Scientific Reports. 2018 Jul 31; 8(1):11503.

    We estimated national-level trends in the prevalence of probable active syphilis in adult women using the Spectrum Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) model to inform program planning, target-setting, and progress evaluation in STI control. The model fitted smoothed-splines polynomial regressions to data from antenatal clinic surveys and screening and representative household surveys, adjusted for diagnostic test performance and weighted by national coverage. Eligible countries had >/=1 data point from 2010 or later and >/=3 from 2000 or later from adult populations considered representative of the general female population (pregnant women or community-based studies). Between 2012 and 2016, the prevalence of probable active syphilis in women decreased in 54 (41%) of 132 eligible countries; this decrease was substantive (>/=10% proportionally, >/=0.10% percentage-point absolute difference and non-overlapping 95% confidence intervals in 2012 and 2016) in 5 countries. Restricting eligible data to prevalence measurements of dual treponemal and non-treponemal testing limited estimates to 85 countries; of these, 45 countries (53%) showed a decrease. These standardized trend estimates highlight the need for increased investment in national syphilis surveillance and control efforts if the World Health Organization target of a 90% reduction in the incidence of syphilis between 2018 and 2030 is to be met.
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  6. 6
    Peer Reviewed

    Integrated point-of-care testing (POCT) of HIV, syphilis, malaria and anaemia in antenatal clinics in western Kenya: A longitudinal implementation study.

    Young N; Taegtmeyer M; Aol G; Bigogo GM; Phillips-Howard PA; Hill J; Laserson KF; Ter Kuile F; Desai M

    PloS One. 2018; 13(7):e0198784.

    BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV, syphilis, malaria and anaemia are leading preventable causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes. In Kenya, policy states women should be tested for all four conditions (malaria only if febrile) at first antenatal care (ANC) visit. In practice, while HIV screening is conducted, coverage of screening for the others is suboptimal and early pregnancy management of illnesses is compromised. This is particularly evident at rural dispensaries that lack laboratories and have parallel programmes for HIV, reproductive health and malaria, resulting in fractured and inadequate care for women. METHODS: A longitudinal eight-month implementation study integrating point-of-care diagnostic tests for the four conditions into routine ANC was conducted in seven purposively selected dispensaries in western Kenya. Testing proficiency of healthcare workers was observed at initial training and at three monthly intervals thereafter. Adoption of testing was compared using ANC register data 8.5 months before and eight months during the intervention. Fidelity to clinical management guidelines was determined by client exit interviews with success defined as >/=90% adherence. FINDINGS: For first ANC visits at baseline (n = 529), testing rates were unavailable for malaria, low for syphilis (4.3%) and anaemia (27.8%), and near universal for HIV (99%). During intervention, over 95% of first attendees (n = 586) completed four tests and of those tested positive, 70.6% received penicillin or erythromycin for syphilis, 65.5% and 48.3% received cotrimoxazole and antiretrovirals respectively for HIV, and 76.4% received artemether/lumefantrine, quinine or dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine correctly for malaria. Iron and folic supplements were given to nearly 90% of women but often at incorrect doses. CONCLUSIONS: Integrating point-of-care testing into ANC at dispensaries with established HIV testing programmes resulted in a significant increase in testing rates, without disturbing HIV testing rates. While more cases were detected and treated, treatment fidelity still requires strengthening and an integrated monitoring and evaluation system needs to be established.
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  7. 7
    Peer Reviewed

    Malaria Case Detection Among Mobile Populations and Migrant Workers in Myanmar: Comparison of 3 Service Delivery Approaches.

    Kheang ST; Lin MA; Lwin S; Naing YH; Yarzar P; Kak N; Price T

    Global Health, Science and Practice. 2018 Jun 27; 6(2):381-386.

    BACKGROUND: Mobile populations and migrant workers are a key population to containing the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria found in the border areas between Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand. Migrants often have limited knowledge of public health, including malaria, services in the area, and many seek care from unregulated, private vendors. METHODS: Between October 2012 and August 2016, we implemented malaria case finding and treatment in Tanintharyi Region, Kayin State, and Rakhine State of Myanmar through 3 entry points: village malaria workers (VMWs), mobile malaria clinics, and screening points. A total of 1,000 VMWs provided passive case detection and treatment services to residents in malaria-endemic villages. Active case finding through mobile malaria clinics was conducted by staff in 354 remote villages and work sites, where regular monitoring and supervision of VMWs would be difficult to maintain. Malaria screening points were a hybrid combination of active and passive case finding in which screening points were set up at fixed locations in Tanintharyi Region and Kayin State, such as bus stops, ferry docks, or informal border crossing points, and migrants entering into or departing from endemic areas could voluntarily receive malaria testing and treatment. Using routine monitoring data, we assessed and compared the malaria positive rate-the number of positive malaria cases out of those tested-across the 3 approaches as an indication of the programmatic effectiveness in identifying malaria cases in the population. Most testing was conducted with rapid diagnostic tests. RESULTS: Mobile teams (169,859) and VMWs (157,048) tested a higher number of community members than screening points (3,676) as they covered a wider geographical area. However, the malaria positive rate was higher among VMWs (7.29%) and screening points (7.10%) than mobile teams (2.64%). VMWs were located in hard-to-access areas that have higher malaria prevalence and are difficult to reach by vehicle while screening points specifically targeted mobile populations and migrant workers. Mobile teams also screened non-fever patients during their visits, which may explain their lower malaria positive rate. CONCLUSIONS: A combination of malaria testing approaches helps achieve both maximum reach and high case finding as it allows access to a range of migrant communities and provides an opportunity for continuity of service delivery as the migrants travel to their destinations.
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  8. 8

    Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Introduction of HPV Vaccination of 9-Year-Old-Girls in Iran.

    Yaghoubi M; Nojomi M; Vaezi A; Erfani V; Mahmoudi S; Ezoji K; Zahraei SM; Chaudhri I; Moradi-Lakeh M

    Value In Health Regional Issues. 2018 Apr 23; 15:112-119.

    OBJECTIVES: To estimate the cost effectiveness of introducing the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the national immunization program of Iran. METHODS: The CERVIVAC cost-effectiveness model was used to calculate incremental cost per averted disability-adjusted life-year by vaccination compared with no vaccination from both governmental and societal perspectives. Calculations were based on epidemiologic parameters from the Iran National Cancer Registry and other national data sources as well as from literature review. We estimated all direct and indirect costs of cervical cancer treatment and vaccination program. All future costs and benefits were discounted at 3% per year and deterministic sensitivity analysis was used. RESULTS: During a 10-year period, HPV vaccination was estimated to avert 182 cervical cancer cases and 20 deaths at a total vaccination cost of US $23,459,897; total health service cost prevented because of HPV vaccination was estimated to be US $378,646 and US $691,741 from the governmental and societal perspective, respectively. Incremental cost per disability-adjusted life-year averted within 10 years was estimated to be US $15,205 and US $14,999 from the governmental and societal perspective, respectively, and both are higher than 3 times the gross domestic product per capita of Iran (US $14,289). Sensitivity analysis showed variation in vaccine price, and the number of doses has the greatest volatility on the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. Using a two-dose vaccination program could be cost-effective from the societal perspective (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio = US $11,849). CONCLUSIONS: Introducing a three-dose HPV vaccination program is currently not cost-effective in Iran. Because vaccine supplies cost is the most important parameter in this evaluation, considering a two-dose schedule or reducing vaccine prices has an impact on final conclusions. Copyright (c) 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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  9. 9
    Peer Reviewed

    Evaluation of human-papillomavirus testing and visual inspection for cervical cancer screening in Rwanda.

    Umulisa MC; Franceschi S; Baussano I; Tenet V; Uwimbabazi M; Rugwizangoga B; Heideman DAM; Uyterlinde AM; Darragh TM; Snijders PJF; Sayinzoga F; Clifford GM

    BMC Women's Health. 2018 Apr 24; 18(1):59.

    BACKGROUND: A pilot screening campaign in Rwanda, based on careHPV-testing followed by visual inspection with acetic acid triage (careHPV+VIA triage), was evaluated against other WHO-recommended screening options, namely HPV screen-and-treat and VIA screen-and-treat. METHODS: 764 women aged 30-69 underwent at visit 1: i) VIA, and cervical cell collection for ii) careHPV in Rwanda, and iii) liquid-based cytology and GP5+/6+ HR-HPV PCR in The Netherlands. All 177 women positive by VIA, careHPV and/or PCR were recalled, of whom 84% attended. At visit 2, VIA was again used to triage screen-positive women for treatment and to obtain biopsies from all women either from visible lesions or at 12 o'clock of the squamocolumnar junction. Cross-sectional screening indices were estimated primarily against histological high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or worse (hHSIL+), after imputation of missing histology data, based on 1-visit or 2-visit approaches. RESULTS: In a 1-visit screen-and-treat approach, VIA had sensitivity and specificity of 41% and 96%, respectively, versus 71% and 88% for careHPV, and 88% and 86% for PCR. In a 2-visit approach (in which hHSIL+ imputed among women without visit 2 were considered untreated) careHPV sensitivity dropped to 59% due to loss of 13% of hHSIL+. For careHPV+VIA triage, sensitivity dropped further to 35%, as another 24% of hHSIL+ were triaged to no treatment. CONCLUSIONS: CareHPV was not as sensitive as gold-standard PCR, but detected considerably more hHSIL+ than VIA. However, due to careHPV-positive hHSIL+ women being lost to follow-up and/or triaged to no treatment, 2-visit careHPV+VIA triage did not perform better than VIA screen-and-treat.
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  10. 10
    Peer Reviewed

    Outcomes from the first multidrug-resistant tuberculosis programme in Kenya.

    Huerga H; Bastard M; Kamene M; Wanjala S; Arnold A; Oucho N; Chikwanha I; Varaine F

    International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 2017 Mar 1; 21(3):314-319.

    SETTING: In March 2006, the first multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment programme was implemented in Kenya. OBJECTIVE: To describe patients' treatment outcomes and adverse events. DESIGN: A retrospective case note review of patients started on MDR-TB treatment at two Medecins Sans Frontieres-supported sites and the national referral hospital of Kenya was undertaken. Sites operated an ambulatory model of care. Patients were treated for a minimum of 24 months with at least 4-5 drugs for the intensive phase of treatment, including an injectable agent. RESULTS: Of 169 patients, 25.6% were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive and 89.3% were culture-positive at baseline. Adverse events occurred in 67.4% of patients: 45.9% had nausea/vomiting, 43.9% electrolyte disturbance, 41.8% dyspepsia and 31.6% hypothyroidism. The median time to culture conversion was 2 months. Treatment outcomes were as follows: 76.6% success, 14.5% deaths, 8.3% lost to follow-up and 0.7% treatment failure. HIV-positive individuals (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12-11.03) and women (aOR 2.73, 95%CI 1.01-7.39) had a higher risk of unfavourable outcomes, while the risk was lower in those with culture conversion at 6 months (aOR 0.11, 95%CI 0.04-0.32). CONCLUSION: In Kenya, where an ambulatory model of care is used for MDR-TB treatment, treatment success was high, despite high rates of HIV. Almost half of the patients experienced electrolyte disturbance and one third had hypothyroidism; this supports the view that systematic regular biochemical monitoring is needed in Kenya.
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  11. 11

    Health-Related Quality of Life of Patients with HPV-Related Cancers in Indonesia.

    Setiawan D; Dusafitri A; Galistiani GF; van Asselt ADI; Postma MJ

    Value In Health Regional Issues. 2017 Sep 3; 15:63-69.

    BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers are a serious concern in developing countries. Valid estimates of a country-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for patients with HPV-related cancers provide a substantial tool in determining the burden of the disease. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the HRQOL of patients with HPV-related cancers in Indonesia. METHODS: The HRQOL of patients with HPV-related cancers (cervical, uterine, nasopharyngeal, head and neck, and anogenital cancer) was assessed using the EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D). Validity and reliability were assessed by means of construct validity and test-retest reliability methods, respectively. Subsequently, the EQ-5D utility index was calculated using the Thailand value set. RESULTS: The EQ-5D came out as a valid and reliable questionnaire for measuring the HRQOL of patients with HPV-related cancers in Indonesia. From a total of 520 patients diagnosed with HPV-related cancers, 404 patients were excluded because of not fulfilling the inclusion criteria, and so 116 patients finally participated in the study. The mean age of the patients was 47.5 +/- 12.03 years. Most of the patients were women (56.0%) and married (97.4%), and less than half of them had finished high school (32.7%). Moreover, the proportions of nasopharyngeal, cervical, head and neck, anogenital, and uterine cancers in the study population were 29.3%, 24.6%, 22.4%, 14.2%, and 9.5%, respectively. The average HRQOL of the patients with HPV-related cancers was 0.69 +/- 0.10, with the highest and lowest estimates applying to uterine cancer (0.84 +/- 0.29) and head and neck cancer (0.58 +/- 0.33), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The HRQOL of patients with HPV-related cancers was found to be reduced to a certain extent in our study for Indonesia. Copyright (c) 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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  12. 12

    Toxicological requirements for sclerosing agents or other chemicals for female sterilization.

    Heywood R

    International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 1995 Dec; 51 Suppl 1:S41-S45.

    There are no guidelines regulating the technologies available for Fallopian tube occlusion. Generally accepted regulatory requirements cannot be applied directly to the safety assessment of these technologies. The more appropriate guidelines are those regulating medical devices. Each method has to be evaluated on its own merits taking into consideration the duration of contact with tissue and the chemical and physical composition of the occlusive agents. (c) 1995 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
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  13. 13

    Cervical cancer screening in a low-resource setting: a pilot study on an HPV-based screen-and-treat approach.

    Kunckler M; Schumacher F; Kenfack B; Catarino R; Viviano M; Tincho E; Tebeu PM; Temogne L; Vassilakos P; Petignat P

    Cancer Medicine. 2017 Jul; 6(7):1752-1761.

    Cervical cancer (CC) is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women in sub-Saharan Africa, primarily because of limited access to effective screening and preventive treatment. Our aim was to assess the feasibility of a human papillomavirus (HPV)-based CC screen-and-treat approach in a low-resource context. We recruited 1012 women aged 30-49 years through a CC screening campaign conducted in the District Hospital of Dschang, Cameroon. Participants performed HPV self-sampling, which was tested for high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) DNA using the point-of-care Xpert HPV assay. All HPV-positive women were invited for visual inspection with acetic acid and Lugol's iodine (VIA/VILI) to exclude CC or enable triage. A cervical sample for histological analysis was also collected. Women positive for HPV 16/18/45 and for other HR-HPV with pathological VIA/VILI were selected to undergo treatment with thermocoagulation. The HPV prevalence in the study population was 18.5% (n = 187); of these cases, 20 (10.6%), 42 (22.3%) and 140 (74.9%) were positive for HPV16, HPV18/45 and other HR-HPV types, respectively. Overall, 107/185 (57.8%) VIA/VILI examinations were classified as pathological and 78 (42.2%) as normal. Women positive for HPV16/18/45 were 4.2 times more likely to harbor cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse (CIN2+) than those with other HPV types. The specificity of HPV 16/18/45 genotypes for detection of high-grade lesions among HR-HPV positive women was higher than that of VIA/VILI in all age groups. The sensitivity and specificity of VIA/VILI in detecting CIN2+ among HPV positive women were 80% and 44%, respectively. Overall, 110/121 screen-positive women (90.9%) were eligible for, and were treated with, thermocoagulation. An HPV-based screen-and-treat approach is feasible in a low-resource context and may contribute to improving the effectiveness of CC prevention programs. Immediate thermocoagulation treatment for women who are HPV16- and/or HPV18/45-positive is a practical approach for the treatment of CIN2+. The combination of HPV-testing and VIA/VILI for CC screening might reduce overtreatment.
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  14. 14
    Peer Reviewed

    Comparison of patient flow and provider efficiency of two delivery strategies for HPV-based cervical cancer screening in Western Kenya: a time and motion study.

    Olwanda E; Shen J; Kahn JG; Bryant-Comstock K; Huchko MJ

    Global Health Action. 2018; 11(1):1451455.

    BACKGROUND: Improving patient flow and reducing over-crowding can improve quality, promptness of care, and patient satisfaction. Given low utilization of preventive care in low-resource countries, improved patient flows are especially important in these settings. OBJECTIVE: Compare patient flow and provider efficiency between two cervical cancer screening strategies via self-collected human papillomavirus (HPV). METHODS: We collected time and motion data for patients screened for cervical cancer in 12 communities in rural Migori County, Kenya as part of a larger cluster randomized trial. Six communities were randomized to screening in community health campaigns (CHCs) and six to screening at government clinics. We quantified patient flow: duration spent on each active stage of screening and wait times, and the number of patients arriving at CHCs and clinics each hour of the day. In addition, for four CHCs, we collected time and motion data for providers, and measured provider efficiency as a ratio of active (service delivery) time to total time spent at the clinic. RESULTS: Total duration of screening visits, at CHCs and clinics was 42 and 87 minutes, respectively (p < 0.001 for difference). Total active time lasted longer at CHCs, with a mean of 28 minutes per patient versus 15 minutes at clinics, largely due to differences in duration for group education (p < 0.001). Wait time for registration at clinics was 36 minutes, explaining most of the difference between settings, but sometimes incorporated other health services. CONCLUSIONS: There is a substantial difference in patient flow at clinics compared to CHCs. Shorter duration at CHCs suggests that the model is favorable for patients in limiting time spent on screening. Future cervical cancer screening programs designed for scale-up should consider how this advantage may enhance satisfaction and uptake. For clinic-based screening programs, efforts could be made towards reducing registration wait times.
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  15. 15
    Peer Reviewed

    Polio immunity and the impact of mass immunization campaigns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Voorman A; Hoff NA; Doshi RH; Alfonso V; Mukadi P; Muyembe-Tamfum JJ; Wemakoy EO; Bwaka A; Weldon W; Gerber S; Rimoin AW

    Vaccine. 2017 Oct 9; 35(42):5693-5699.

    BACKGROUND: In order to prevent outbreaks from wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus, maintenance of population immunity in non-endemic countries is critical. METHODS: We estimated population seroprevalence using dried blood spots collected from 4893 children 6-59months olds in the 2013-2014 Demographic and Health Survey in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). RESULTS: Population immunity was 81%, 90%, and 70% for poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Among 6-59-month-old children, 78% reported at least one dose of polio in routine immunization, while only 15% had three doses documented on vaccination cards. All children in the study had been eligible for at least two trivalent oral polio vaccine campaigns at the time of enrollment; additional immunization campaigns seroconverted 5.0%, 14%, and 5.5% of non-immune children per-campaign for types 1, 2, and 3, respectively, averaged over relevant campaigns for each serotype. CONCLUSIONS: Overall polio immunity was high at the time of the study, though pockets of low immunity cannot be ruled out. The DRC still relies on supplementary immunization campaigns, and this report stresses the importance of the quality and coverage of those campaigns over their quantity, as well as the importance of routine immunization. Copyright (c) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
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  16. 16

    [Epidemiological characteristics of HIV infection in Paraguay during 2015] Caracteristicas epidemiologicas de la infeccion por VIH en Paraguay durante el ano 2015.

    Aguilar G; Rios-Gonzalez CM; Samudio T; Kawabata A

    Revista Chilena de Infectologia. 2017 Aug; 34(4):415-416.

    To characterize the epidemiology of HIV in Paraguay, from january to december, in 2015. The epidemic remains focused in those groups under risk, predominantly male. The characteristics of the study population shows that most of the affected were from the central area and from the capital city, and sexual transmission remains the most common pathway, with delayed diagnosis, which is reflected by the percentage of people presenting a low CD4 cell count.
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  17. 17
    Peer Reviewed

    Impact of Birth HIV-PCR Testing on the Uptake of Follow-up Early Infant Diagnosis Services in Cape Town, South Africa.

    Dunning L; Kroon M; Fourie L; Ciaranello A; Myer L

    Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2017 Dec; 36(12):1159-1164.

    INTRODUCTION: Polymerase chain reaction testing at birth ("birth-testing") is suggested by new World Health Organization guidelines for rapid diagnosis of infants infected with HIV in utero. However, there are few data on the implementation of this approach in sub-Saharan Africa, and whether birth testing affects uptake of subsequent routine early infant diagnosis (EID) testing at 6-10 weeks of age is unknown. METHODS: We reviewed 575 consecutive infants undergoing targeted high-risk birth testing in Cape Town, South Africa, and matched those testing HIV negative at birth (n = 551) to HIV-exposed infants who did not receive birth testing (n = 551). Maternal and infant clinical and demographic data, including EID testing uptake, were abstracted from routine records. RESULTS: Overall, 3.8% of all birth tests conducted were positive while later EID testing positivity rates were 0.5% for those infants testing HIV negative at birth and 0.4% for those without birth testing. Infants who underwent birth testing were less likely to present for later EID compared with those without a birth test (73% vs. 85%; P < 0.001). This difference persisted after adjusting for maternal and infant characteristics (adjusted odds ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval: 0.41-0.86) and across demographic and clinical subgroups. Infants undergoing birth testing also presented for later EID at a significantly older age (mean age, 60 vs. 50 days; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: While the yield of targeted high-risk birth testing in this setting appears high, neonates testing HIV negative at birth may be less likely to present for subsequent EID testing. For birth testing implementation to contribute to overall EID program goals, structured interventions are required to support follow-up EID services after negative birth test results.
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  18. 18
    Peer Reviewed

    Acceptability of Self-Sample Human Papillomavirus Testing Among Thai Women Visiting a Colposcopy Clinic.

    Phoolcharoen N; Kantathavorn N; Krisorakun W; Taepisitpong C; Krongthong W; Saeloo S

    Journal of Community Health. 2018 Jun; 43(3):611-615.

    We offered self-sampling devices to 250 women who visited the colposcopy clinic at Chulabhorn Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand from March 1 to June 30, 2015. Participants received instruction about the vaginal self-sample method and collected the specimen themselves, before being examined by the physician who obtained a conventional cervical specimen. Participating women's attitudes and feelings regarding the self-sample method were explored using a short questionnaire. Of the 247 eligible women, more than 90% of participants rated the self-sample method as very good to excellent for convenience, comfort, and safety. In addition, 80% of participants reported the overall experience of using the self-sample device was very good to excellent compared with the physician-collected method. Self-sample HPV testing appears to be highly accepted and perceived as convenient, comfortable, and safe. More studies on self-sample HPV testing should be conducted in Thailand to investigate this as an alternative method of cervical cancer screening, particularly among women who do not attend the screening program.
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  19. 19
    Peer Reviewed

    Evaluation of SMARTube to Detect HIV Infection Before Seroconversion Using Standard Methods.

    Feldblum PJ; Chen PL; Fischer SJ; Sexton CJ

    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. 2016 Oct/Nov; 32(10-11):1067-1071.

    The acute phase of HIV infection carries substantial risk of transmission; identification of acute-phase infections may offer opportunities to reduce that risk. SMARTube incubation of blood specimens is designed to stimulate in vivo-primed HIV-specific lymphocytes to produce HIV antibodies in vitro. The resulting supernatant (S-plasma) can be tested to identify acute infections with commercially available HIV assays. We assessed the performance of the SMARTube to identify acute HIV infections in studies at three developing country sites. We conducted HIV incidence studies in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Bloemfontein and Rustenburg, South Africa. We estimated HIV incidence in cross-sectional samples and measured prospective incidence in uninfected women followed for up to 12 months. We incorporated SMARTube into the HIV testing algorithm at cross-sectional screening and monthly follow-up visits. We tested 1,384 persons in Vietnam, 1,145 women in Bloemfontein, and 538 persons in Rustenburg. Cross-sectional samples from 11 participants that tested positive with SMARTube after an initial unincubated negative test result (11 of 2,472; 0.4% of all specimens) were considered "potential acute" infections. Matching samples from 3 of the 11 (27.3%) were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. In follow-up of 355, 401, and 223 uninfected women in Vietnam, Bloemfontein, and Rustenburg, respectively, 11 seroconversions occurred in Bloemfontein and Rustenburg. In four of these incident infections (36.4%), SMARTube testing had resulted in earlier detection of HIV infection than the eventual seroconversion visits. In our field studies, pretreatment with SMARTube allowed the identification of acute HIV-1 infection in some new infections, but with a positive predictive value of 27%. Larger studies are needed to evaluate SMARTube as an alternative to technically challenging and costly enzyme immunoassay and PCR testing to detect acute HIV infection.
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  20. 20

    Testing the effectiveness of a transdiagnostic treatment approach in reducing violence and alcohol abuse among families in Zambia: study protocol of the Violence and Alcohol Treatment (VATU) trial.

    Kane JC; Skavenski Van Wyk S; Murray SM; Bolton P; Melendez F; Danielson CK; Chimponda P; Munthali S; Murray LK

    Global Mental Health. 2017; 4:e18.

    Background: Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is an urgent global health problem. Root causes for VAWG include the individual- and family-level factors of alcohol abuse, mental health problems, violence exposure, and related adverse experiences. Few studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) have assessed the effectiveness of psychological interventions for reducing VAWG. This randomized controlled trial, part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls consortium, examines the effectiveness of a common elements treatment approach (CETA) for reducing VAWG and comorbid alcohol abuse among families in Zambia. Methods/design: Study participants are families consisting of three persons: an adult woman, her male husband or partner, and one of her children aged 8-17 (if available). Eligibility criteria include experience of moderate-to-severe intimate partner violence by the woman and hazardous alcohol use by her male partner. Family units are randomized to receive CETA or treatment as usual. The primary outcome is VAWG as measured by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, assessed along with secondary outcomes at 24 months post-baseline. Interim assessments are also conducted at 4-5 months (following CETA completion) and 12 months post-baseline. Conclusions: This ongoing trial is one of the first in sub-Saharan Africa to evaluate the use of an evidence-based common elements approach for reducing VAWG by targeting a range of individual- and family-level factors, including alcohol abuse. Results of this trial will inform policy on what interventions work to prevent VAWG in LMIC with local perspectives on scale up and wider implementation.
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  21. 21
    Peer Reviewed

    Provision of medical supply kits to improve quality of antenatal care in Mozambique: a stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial.

    Betran AP; Bergel E; Griffin S; Melo A; Nguyen MH; Carbonell A; Mondlane S; Merialdi M; Temmerman M; Gulmezoglu AM

    Lancet. Global Health. 2018 Jan; 6(1):e57-e65.

    BACKGROUND: High levels of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity remain a daunting reality in many low-income countries. Several interventions delivered during antenatal care have been shown to improve maternal and newborn outcomes, but stockouts of medical supplies at point of care can prevent implementation of these services. We aimed to evaluate whether a supply chain strategy based on the provision of kits could improve quality of care. METHODS: We did a pragmatic, stepped-wedge, cluster-randomised controlled trial at ten antenatal care clinics in Mozambique. Clinics were eligible if they were not already implementing the proposed antenatal care package; they served at least 200 new pregnant women per year; they had Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurses; and they were willing to participate. All women attending antenatal care visits at the participating clinics were included in the trial. Participating clinics were randomly assigned to shift from control to intervention on prespecified start dates. The intervention involved four components (kits with medical supplies, a cupboard to store these supplies, a tracking sheet to monitor stocks, and a one-day training session). The primary outcomes were the proportion of women screened for anaemia and proteinuria, and the proportion of women who received mebendazole in the first antenatal care visit. The intervention was delivered under routine care conditions, and analyses were done according to the intention-to-treat principle. This trial is registered with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry, number PACTR201306000550192. FINDINGS: Between March, 2014, and January, 2016, 218 277 antenatal care visits were registered, with 68 598 first and 149 679 follow-up visits. We found significant improvements in all three primary outcomes. In first visits, 5519 (14.6%) of 37 826 women were screened for anaemia in the control period, compared with 30 057 (97.7%) of 30 772 in the intervention period (adjusted odds ratio 832.40; 99% CI 666.81-1039.11; p<0.0001); 3739 (9.9%) of 37 826 women were screened for proteinuria in the control period, compared with 29 874 (97.1%) of 30 772 in the intervention period (1875.18; 1447.56-2429.11; p<0.0001); and 17 926 (51.4%) of 34 842 received mebendazole in the control period, compared with 24 960 (88.2%) of 28 294 in the intervention period (1.88; 1.70-2.09; p<0.0001). The effect was immediate and sustained over time, with negligible heterogeneity between sites. INTERPRETATION: A supply chain strategy that resolves stockouts at point of care can result in a vast improvement in quality during antenatal care visits, when compared with the routine national process for procurement and distribution of supplies. FUNDING: Government of Flanders and the UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction. (c) 2017 World Health Organization; licensee Elsevier. This is an Open Access article published under the CC BY 3.0 IGO license which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In any use of this Article, there should be no suggestion that WHO endorses any specific organisation, products or services. The use of the WHO logo is not permitted. This notice should be preserved along with the Article's original URL.
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  22. 22
    Peer Reviewed

    Evaluating the accessibility and utility of HIV-related point-of-care diagnostics for maternal health in rural South Africa: a study protocol.

    Mashamba-Thompson TP; Drain PK; Sartorius B

    BMJ Open. 2016 Jun 27; 6(6):e011155.

    INTRODUCTION: Poor healthcare access is a major barrier to receiving antenatal care and a cause of high maternal mortality in South Africa (SA). 'Point-of-care' (POC) diagnostics is a powerful emerging healthcare approach to improve healthcare access. This study focuses on evaluating the accessibility and utility of POC diagnostics for maternal health in rural SA primary healthcare (PHC) clinics in order to generate a model framework of implementation of POC diagnostics in rural South African clinics. METHOD AND ANALYSES: We will use several research methods, including a systematic review, quasi-experiments, survey, key informant interviews and audits. We will conduct a systematic review and experimental study to determine the impact of POC diagnostics on maternal health. We will perform a cross-sectional case study of 100 randomly selected rural primary healthcare clinics in KwaZulu-Natal to measure the context and patterns of POC diagnostics access and usage by maternal health providers and patients. We will conduct interviews with relevant key stakeholders to determine the reasons for POC deficiencies regarding accessibility and utility of HIV-related POC diagnostics for maternal health. We will also conduct a vertical audit to investigate all the quality aspects of POC diagnostic services including diagnostic accuracy in a select number of clinics. On the basis of information gathered, we will propose a model framework for improved implementation of POC diagnostics in rural South African public healthcare clinics. Statistical (Stata-13) and thematic (NVIVO) data analysis will be used in this study. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (BE 484/14) and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health based on the Helsinki Declaration (HRKM 40/15). Findings of this study will be disseminated electronically and in print. They will be presented to conferences related to HIV/AIDS, diagnostics, maternal health and strengthening of health systems. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to
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  23. 23
    Peer Reviewed

    Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia caused by anti-HPA antibodies in pregnant Chinese women: a study protocol for a multicentre, prospective cohort trial.

    Chen L; Liu Z; Liu T; Ma X; Rao M; Wang Y; Sun B; Yin W; Zhang J; Yan B; Li X; Wang Q; Zhang L; Wen J; Liu F; Wang P; Wei Y; Huang Y; Wu J; Guo Y; Kang Y; Song X; Liu X; Zhang G; Xie T; Chen Y; Zeng X; Li Z

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2017 Aug 31; 17(281):1-5.

    Background Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT), caused by maternal antibodies raised against alloantigens carried on foetal platelets, is a very common hematological abnormality in newborns worldwide. However, baseline data on NAIT in China are lacking. Therefore, this study seeks to explore the incidence of alloantibody against the human platelet antigen (HPA) in pregnant women and its associations with NAIT in China. Methods A multicenter, prospective cohort study design will be used, and 55,497 pregnant women will be recruited for the first screening of the anti-HPA antibody at 12 to 28 weeks of gestational age. Subjects who are positive in the first screening for the anti-HPA antibody will be included in the exposure group. Re-tests of the antibody titre, antigen-specificity and genotyping of HPA and HLA will be conducted during admission. A ratio of 1:1 paired individuals with the same ethnicity and parity but testing negative for the anti-HPA antibody will be randomly selected to be included in the non-exposure group. NAIT will be diagnosed in the newborns on day one of the birth. The HPA of the neonates in the exposure group will also be genotyped by sequencing. Associations of maternal HLA with the occurrence of the anti-HPA antibody and correlation of the severity of NAIT with the titre of the anti-HPA antibody will be further analyzed. Discussion The study is expected to provide baseline data on NAIT in China. Besides, we hope to find out a population who expresses particular HLA molecules has significant higher risk of HPA alloimmunization in Chinese individuals. We also hope to find a Chinese-specific cut-off antibody titre for the prediction of the severity of NAIT and to provide a means to evaluate the necessity of antenatal treatment.
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  24. 24
    Peer Reviewed

    Syphilis testing practices in the Americas.

    Trinh TT; Kamb ML; Luu M; Ham DC; Perez F

    Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2017 Sep; 22(9):1196-1203.

    Objective To present the findings of the Pan American Health Organization's 2014 survey on syphilis testing policies and practices in the Americas. Methods Representatives of national/regional reference and large, lower-level laboratories from 35 member states were invited to participate. A semi-structured, electronically administered questionnaire collected data on syphilis tests, algorithms, equipment/commodities, challenges faced and basic quality assurance (QA) strategies employed (i.e. daily controls, standard operating procedures, technician training, participating in external QA programs, on-site evaluations). Results The 69 participating laboratories from 30 (86%) member states included 41 (59%) national/regional reference and 28 (41%) lower-level laboratories. Common syphilis tests conducted were the rapid plasma reagin (RPR) (62% of surveyed laboratories), venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) (54%), fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) (41%) and Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA) (32%). Only three facilities reported using direct detection methods, and 28 (41% overall, 32% of lower-level facilities) used rapid tests. Most laboratories (62%) used only traditional testing algorithms (non-treponemal screening and treponemal confirmatory testing); however, 12% used only a reverse sequence algorithm (treponemal test first), and 14% employed both algorithms. Another nine (12%) laboratories conducted only one type of serologic test. Although most reference (97%) and lower-level (89%) laboratories used at least one QA strategy, only 16% reported using all five basic strategies. Commonly reported challenges were stock-outs of essential reagents or commodities (46%), limited staff training (73%) and insufficient equipment (39%). Conclusions Many reference and clinical laboratories in the Americas face challenges in conducting appropriate syphilis testing and in ensuring quality of testing.
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  25. 25
    Peer Reviewed

    Post-marketing surveillance study to assess the safety and tolerability of an Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine in Indian children.

    Sharma H; Dhere R; Parekh S; Shewale S

    Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. 2017 Nov 2; 13(11):2538-2542.

    Objective: To evaluate the incidence of adverse events following administration of an Inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine (IPV) manufactured by Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd., Pune, India. Methods: A single 0.5 ml dose of the IPV was administered intramuscularly to children attending private clinics or out-patient department of hospitals for routine immunization across different cities in India. They were observed over a period of 30 d for local or systemic adverse events and rare case of anaphylaxis, if any. Results: A total of 2210 children were enrolled of which 2120 children received the vaccine within primary immunization series and 90 children received booster dose. The common adverse events reported were pain, erythema, swelling and fever. No serious adverse event was reported during the study period. Conclusions: Poliomyelitis vaccine (Inactivated) manufactured by Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd., Pune can be safely administered to children following the Expanded Programme on Immunization or World Health Organization recommended immunization schedule.
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