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Rawal Medical Journal. 2018 Jul-Sep; 43(3):462-466.Objective: To evaluate the nutritional status of the Pakistani children aged 2-5 years. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1474 children, aged 2-5 years, was undertaken from Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan from March-June, 2016. The head circumference (HdC) measurement of each subject was taken. Following the WHO age and sex-specific cut-off points, nutritional status of children was determined. Results: The mean age and HdC of the total subjects was4.15±0.87 years and 48.51 ±1.79 cm, respectively. Mean HdC increased with advancement of age in both boys and girls. Moderate under-nutrition was more prevalent than severe under-nutrition in both genders. Based on the HdC, the overall (age and sex combined) percentage of under-nourishment was 16.2 while these percentages were 16.4 and 15.8 for girls and boys, respectively. Conclusion: The study showed that a considerable number of Pakistani children were undernourished. A high rate of under-nutrition was observed in girls than in boys.
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.
Lancet. 2018 May 12; 391(10133):1886.Add to my documents.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 116 p.The guideline uses state-of-the-art evidence to identify effective policy options to strengthen community health worker (CHW) programme performance through their proper integration in health systems and communities. The development of this guideline followed the standardized WHO approach. This entailed a critical analysis of the available evidence, including 16 systematic reviews of the evidence, a stakeholder perception survey to assess feasibility and acceptability of the policy options under consideration, and the deliberations of a Guideline Development Group which comprised representation from policy makers and planners from Member States, experts, labour unions, professional associations and CHWs. Critical to the success of these efforts will be ensuring appropriate labour conditions and opportunities for professional development, as well as creating a health ecosystem in which workers at different levels collaborate to meet health needs. Adapted to context, the guideline is a tool that supports optimizing health policies and systems to achieve significant gains to meet the ambition of universal access to primary health care services.
Engaging young people for health and sustainable development. Strategic opportunities for the World Health Organization and partners.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2018. 72 p. (WHO/CDS/TB/2018.22)This report builds on WHO’s long-standing work on young people’s health and rights, including the Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030), the Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) guidance, and contribution to the new UN Youth Strategy. It was developed as part of the roadmap towards the development of a WHO strategy for engaging young people and young professionals. The world today has the largest generation of young people in history with 1.8 billion between the ages of 10 and 24 years. Many of them already are driving transformative change, and many more are poised to do so, but lack the opportunity and means. This cohort represents a powerhouse of human potential that could transform health and sustainable development. A priority is to ensure that no young person is left behind and all can realize their right to health equitably and without discrimination or hindrance. This force for change represents an unparalleled opportunity for the WHO and partners to transform the way they engage with young people, including to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report describes strategic opportunities to meaningfully engage young people in transforming health and sustainable development. This will mean providing opportunities for young people’s leadership and for their engagement with national, regional and global programmes.
Private sector: Who is accountable? for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. 2018 report. Summary of recommendations.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 12 p.This report presents five recommendations, which are addressed to governments, parliaments, the judiciary, the United Nations (UN) system, the UN Global Compact, the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) partners, donors, civil society and the private sector itself. Recommendations include: 1) Access to services and the right to health. To achieve universal access to services and protect the health and related rights of women, children and adolescents, governments should regulate private as well as public sector providers. Parliaments should strengthen legislation and ensure oversight for its enforcement. The UHC2030 partnership should drive political leadership at the highest level to address private sector transparency and accountability. 2) The pharmaceutical industry and equitable access to medicines. To ensure equitable, affordable access to quality essential medicines and related health products for all women, children and adolescents, governments and parliaments should strengthen policies and regulation governing the pharmaceutical industry. 3) The food industry, obesity and NCDs. To tackle rising obesity and NCDs among women, children and adolescents, governments and parliaments should regulate the food and beverage industry, and adopt a binding global convention. Ministries of education and health should educate students and the public at large about diet and exercise, and set standards in school-based programmes. Related commitments should be included in the next G20 Summit agenda. 4) The UN Global Compact and the EWEC partners. The UN Global Compact and the EWEC partners should strengthen their monitoring and accountability standards for engagement of the business sector, with an emphasis on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. They should advocate for accountability of the for-profit sector to be put on the global agenda for achieving UHC and the SDGs, including at the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the Health Summit. The UN H6 Partnership entities and the GFF should raise accountability standards in the country programmes they support. 5) Donors and business engagement in the SDGs. Development cooperation partners should ensure that transparency and accountability standards aligned with public health are applied throughout their engagement with the for-profit sector. They should invest in national regulatory and oversight capacities, and also regulate private sector actors headquartered in their countries.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2018. 80 p.In line with the mandate from the UN Secretary-General, every year the IAP issues a report that provides an independent snapshot of progress on delivering promises to the world’s women, children and adolescents for their health and well-being. Recommendations are included on ways to help fast-track action to achieve the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals - from the specific lens of accountability, of who is responsible for delivering on promises, to whom, and how. The theme of the IAP’s 2018 report is accountability of the private sector. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be achieved without the active and meaningful involvement of the private sector. Can the private sector be held accountable for protecting women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health? And if so, who is responsible for holding them to account, and what are the mechanisms for doing so? This report looks at three key areas of private sector engagement: health service delivery the pharmaceutical industry and access to medicines the food industry and its significant influence on health and nutrition, with a focus NCDs and rising obesity.
Maternal and Child Health. 2018 Sep 8;  p.Promoting exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is a highly feasible and cost-effective means of improving child health. Regulating the marketing of breastmilk substitutes is critical to protecting EBF. In 1981, the World Health Assembly adopted the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (the Code), prohibiting the unethical advertising and promotion of breastmilk substitutes. This comparative study aimed to (a) explore the relationships among Code enforcement and legislation, infant formula sales, and EBF in India, Vietnam, and China; (b) identify best practices for Code operationalization; and (c) identify pathways by which Code implementation may influence EBF. We conducted secondary descriptive analysis of available national-level data and seven high level key informant interviews. Findings indicate that the implementation of the Code is a necessary but insufficient step alone to improve breastfeeding outcomes. Other enabling factors, such as adequate maternity leave, training on breastfeeding for health professionals, health systems strengthening through the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, and breastfeeding counselling for mothers, are needed. Several infant formula industry strategies with strong conflict of interest were identified as harmful to EBF. Transitioning breastfeeding programmes from donor-led to government-owned is essential for long-term sustainability of Code implementation and enforcement. We conclude that the relationships among the Code, infant formula sales, and EBF in India, Vietnam, and China are dependent on countries' engagement with implementation strategies and the presence of other enabling factors.
Adaptation of the WHO maternal near miss tool for use in sub-Saharan Africa: an International Delphi study.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2017 Dec 29; 17(1):445.BACKGROUND: Assessments of maternal near miss (MNM) are increasingly used in addition to those of maternal mortality measures. The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced an MNM tool in 2009, but this tool was previously found to be of limited applicability in several low-resource settings. The aim of this study was to identify adaptations to enhance applicability of the WHO MNM tool in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Using a Delphi consensus methodology, existing MNM tools were rated for applicability in sub-Saharan Africa over a series of three rounds. Maternal health experts from sub-Saharan Africa or with considerable knowledge of the context first rated importance of WHO MNM parameters using Likert scales, and were asked to suggest additional parameters. This was followed by two confirmation rounds. Parameters accepted by at least 70% of the panel members were accepted for use in the region. RESULTS: Of 58 experts who participated from study onset, 47 (81%) completed all three rounds. Out of the 25 WHO MNM parameters, all 11 clinical, four out of eight laboratory, and four out of six management-based parameters were accepted, while six parameters (PaO2/FiO2 < 200 mmHg, bilirubin >100 mumol/l or >6.0 mg/dl, pH <7.1, lactate >5 mumol/l, dialysis for acute renal failure and use of continuous vasoactive drugs) were deemed to not be applicable. An additional eight parameters (uterine rupture, sepsis/severe systemic infection, eclampsia, laparotomy other than caesarean section, pulmonary edema, severe malaria, severe complications of abortions and severe pre-eclampsia with ICU admission) were suggested for inclusion into an adapted sub-Saharan African MNM tool. CONCLUSIONS: All WHO clinical criteria were accepted for use in the region. Only few of the laboratory- and management based were rated applicable. This study brought forward important suggestions for adaptations in the WHO MNM criteria to enhance its applicability in sub-Saharan Africa and possibly other low-resource settings.
Guidance on ethical considerations in planning and reviewing research studies on sexual and reproductive health in adolescents.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, 2018. 52 p.This document is intended to address commonly occurring situations and challenges that one faces in carrying out research with adolescents (people aged 10–19 years), the majority of whom are deemed not to have reached the recognized age of majority in their respective settings. To this end, adolescents aged 18 and 19 years are classified as adults in many settings and have the legal capacity to make autonomous decisions regarding their participation in research. In this document, the term “children” refers to people below the age of 18 years, and the term “minor adolescents” refers specifically to people aged 10-18 years.
Global Health, Science and Practice. 2018 Jun 27; 6(2):247-248.Add to my documents.
Global Health, Science and Practice. 2018 Mar 21; 6(1):8-16.Add to my documents.
Global Health, Science and Practice. 2018 Jun 27; 6(2):257-259.Add to my documents.
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.
Adoption of the 2015 World Health Organization guidelines on antiretroviral therapy: Programmatic implications for India.
WHO South - East Asia Journal of Public Health. 2017 Apr; 6(1):90-93.The therapeutic and preventive benefits of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV are now well established. Reflecting new research evidence, in 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended initiation of ART for all people living with HIV (PLHIV), irrespective of their clinical staging and CD4 cell count. The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in India is currently following the 2010 WHO ART guidelines for adults and the 2013 guidelines for pregnant women and children. This desk study assessed the number of people living with HIV who will additionally be eligible for ART on adoption of the 2015 WHO recommendations on ART. Data routinely recorded for all PLHIV registered under the NACP up to 31 December 2015 were analysed. Of the 250 865 individuals recorded in pre-ART care, an estimated 135 593 would be eligible under the WHO 2013 guidelines. A further 100 221 would be eligible under the WHO 2015 guidelines. Initiating treatment for all PLHIV in pre-ART care would raise the number on ART from 0.92 million to 1.17 million. In addition, nearly 0.07 million newly registered PLHIV will become eligible every year if the WHO 2015 guidelines are adopted, of which 0.028 million would be attributable to implementation of the WHO 2013 guidelines alone. In addition to drugs, there will be a need for additional CD4 tests and tests of viral load, as the numbers on ART will increase significantly. The outlay should be seen in the context of potential health-care savings due to early initiation of ART, in terms of the effect on disease progression, complications, deaths and new infections. While desirable, adoption of the new guidance will have significant programmatic and resource implications for India. The programme needs to plan and strengthen the service-delivery mechanism, with emphasis on newer and innovative approaches before implementation of these guidelines.
Recommendations to Promote Safe and Effective Use of Contraceptives: World Health Organization [letter]
CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research. 2017 Oct-Dec; 4(4):291.The authors discuss the need to support and strengthen national family planning programs through more investment and better awareness to address the 220 million women who have an unmet need for family planning.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 12 p. (Summary Brief WHO/RHR/17.20)Contraception is an inexpensive and cost-effective intervention, but health workforce shortages and restrictive policies on the roles of mid- and lower-level cadres limit access to effective contraceptive methods in many settings. Expanding the provision of contraceptive methods to other health worker cadres can significantly improve access to contraception for all individuals and couples. Many countries have already enabled mid- and lower-level cadres of health workers to deliver a range of contraceptive methods, utilizing these cadres either alone or as part of teams within communities and/or health care facilities. The WHO recognizes task sharing as a promising strategy for addressing the critical lack of health care workers to provide reproductive, maternal and newborn care in low-income countries. Task sharing is envisioned to create a more rational distribution of tasks and responsibilities among cadres of health workers to improve access and cost-effectiveness.
I beg you...breastfeed the baby, things changed: infant feeding experiences among Ugandan mothers living with HIV in the context of evolving guidelines to prevent postnatal transmission.
BMC Public Health. 2018 Jan 29; 18(1):188.BACKGROUND: For women living with HIV (WLWH) in low- and middle-income countries, World Health Organization (WHO) infant feeding guidelines now recommend exclusive breastfeeding until six months followed by mixed feeding until 24 months, alongside lifelong maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART). These recommendations represent the sixth major revision to WHO infant feeding guidelines since 1992. We explored how WLWH in rural Uganda make infant feeding decisions in light of evolving recommendations. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 postpartum Ugandan WLWH accessing ART, who reported pregnancy < 2 years prior to recruitment. Interviews were conducted between February-August 2014 with babies born between March 2012-October 2013, over which time, the regional HIV treatment clinic recommended lifelong ART for all pregnant and breastfeeding women (Option B+). Content analysis was used to identify major themes. Infant feeding experiences was an emergent theme. NVivo 10 software was used to organize analyses. RESULTS: Among 20 women, median age was 33 years [IQR: 28-35], number of livebirths was 3 [IQR: 2-5], years on ART was 2.3 [IQR: 1.5-5.1], and 95% were virally suppressed. Data revealed that women valued opportunities to reduce postnatal transmission. However, women made infant feeding choices that differed from recommendations due to: (1) perception of conflicting recommendations regarding infant feeding; (2) fear of prolonged infant HIV exposure through breastfeeding; and (3) social and structural constraints shaping infant feeding decision-making. CONCLUSIONS: WLWH face layered challenges navigating evolving infant feeding recommendations. Further research is needed to examine guidance and decision-making on infant feeding choices to improve postpartum experiences and outcomes. Improved communication about changes to recommendations is needed for WLWH, their partners, community members, and healthcare providers.
UNICEF's contribution to the adoption and implementation of option B+ for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV: a policy analysis.
Globalization and Health. 2018 Jun 1; 14(1):55.BACKGROUND: Between 2011 and 2013, global and national guidelines for preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV shifted to recommend Option B+, the provision of lifelong antiretroviral treatment for all HIV-infected pregnant women. METHODS: We aimed to analyse how Option B+ reached the policy agenda, and unpack the processes, actors and politics that explain its adoption, with a focus on examining UNICEF's contribution to these events. Analysis drew on published articles and other documentation, 30 key informants interviews with staff at UNICEF, partner organisations and government officials, and country case studies. Cameroon, India, South Africa and Zimbabwe were each visited for 5-8 days. Interview transcripts were analysed using Dedoose software, reviewed several times and then coded thematically. RESULTS: A national policy initiative in Malawi in 2011, in which the country adopted Option B+, rather than existing WHO recommended regimens, irrevocably placed the policy on the global agenda. UNICEF and other organisations recognised the policy's potential impact and strategically crafted arguments to support it, framing these around operational considerations, cost-effectiveness and values. As 'policy entrepreneurs', these organisations vigorously promoted the policy through a variety of channels and means, overcoming concerted opposition. WHO, on the basis of scanty evidence, released a series of documents towards the policy's endorsement, paving the way for its widespread adoption. National-level policy transformation was rapid and definitive, distinct from previous incremental policy processes. Many organisations, including UNICEF, facilitated these changes in country, acting individually, or in concert. CONCLUSIONS: The adoption of the Option B+ policy marked a departure from established processes for PMTCT policy formulation which had been led by WHO with the support of technical experts, and in which recommendations were developed following shifts in evidence. Rather, changes were spurred by a country-level initiative, and a set of strategically framed arguments that resonated with funders and country-level actors. This bottom-up approach, supported by normative agencies, was transformative. For UNICEF, alignment between the organisation's country focus and the policy's underpinning values, enabled it to work with partners and accelerate widespread policy change.
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.
Trends in Antiretroviral Therapy Eligibility and Coverage Among Children Aged <15 Years with HIV Infection - 20 PEPFAR-Supported Sub-Saharan African Countries, 2012-2016.
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2018 May 18; 67(19):552-555.Rapid disease progression and associated opportunistic infections contribute to high mortality rates among children aged <15 years with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (1). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has decreased childhood HIV-associated morbidity and mortality rates over the past decade (2). As accumulating evidence revealed lower HIV-associated mortality with early ART initiation, the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines broadened ART eligibility for children with HIV infection (2). Age at ART initiation for children with HIV infection expanded sequentially in the 2010, 2013, and 2016 WHO guidelines to include children aged <2, <5, and <15 years, respectively, regardless of clinical or immunologic status (3-5). The United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has supported ART for children with HIV infection since 2003 and, informed by the WHO guidelines and a growing evidence base, PEPFAR-supported countries have adjusted their national pediatric guidelines. To understand the lag between guideline development and implementation, as well as the ART coverage gap, CDC assessed national pediatric HIV guidelines and analyzed Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; UNAIDS) data on children aged <15 years with HIV infection and the numbers of these children on ART. Timeliness of WHO pediatric ART guideline adoption varied by country; >50% of children with HIV infection are not receiving ART, underscoring the importance of strengthening case finding and linkage to HIV treatment in pediatric ART programs.
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.
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.
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2018 May 4; 67(17):491-495.In 2005, the Regional Committee for the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region (WPR)* established a goal for measles elimination(dagger) by 2012 (1). To achieve this goal, the 37 WPR countries and areas implemented the recommended strategies in the WPR Plan of Action for Measles Elimination (2) and the Field Guidelines for Measles Elimination (3). The strategies include 1) achieving and maintaining >/=95% coverage with 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) through routine immunization services and supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), when required; 2) conducting high-quality case-based measles surveillance, including timely and accurate testing of specimens to confirm or discard suspected cases and detect measles virus for genotyping and molecular analysis; and 3) establishing and maintaining measles outbreak preparedness to ensure rapid response and appropriate case management. This report updates the previous report (4) and describes progress toward measles elimination in WPR during 2013-2017. During 2013-2016, estimated regional coverage with the first MCV dose (MCV1) decreased from 97% to 96%, and coverage with the routine second MCV dose (MCV2) increased from 91% to 93%. Eighteen (50%) countries achieved >/=95% MCV1 coverage in 2016. Seven (39%) of 18 nationwide SIAs during 2013-2017 reported achieving >/=95% administrative coverage. After a record low of 5.9 cases per million population in 2012, measles incidence increased during 2013-2016 to a high of 68.9 in 2014, because of outbreaks in the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as increased incidence in China, and then declined to 5.2 in 2017. To achieve measles elimination in WPR, additional measures are needed to strengthen immunization programs to achieve high population immunity, maintain high-quality surveillance for rapid case detection and confirmation, and ensure outbreak preparedness and prompt response to contain outbreaks.