Objective In April 2010, South Africa replaced stavudine with tenofovir in first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) despite tenofovir’s higher cost. We examined treatment outcomes over 24 months amongst patients initiated on tenofovir-based vs. stavudine-based first-line regimens. Methods Prospective cohort analysis of 3940 patients newly initiating either stavudine-based (April 2009 to March 2010) or tenofovir-based (April 2010 to March 2011) ART in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Author Archives: Tropical Med and Intl Health
Taken from: The elusive effect of water and sanitation on the global burden of disease
Objectives To estimate healthcare use and financial burden associated with heart disease among Indian households. Methods Data from the 2004 round household survey of the National Sample Survey in India were used to assess the implications of heart disease for out-of-pocket health spending, spending on items other than health care, employment and healthcare financing patterns, by matching households with a member self-reporting heart disease (cardiovascular disease (CVD)-affected households) to (control) households with similar socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Propensity score matching methods were used. Results Compared with control households, CVD-affected households had more outpatient visits and inpatient stays, spent an extra INT$ (International Dollars) 232 (P < 0.01) per member on inpatient care annually, had lower non-medical spending (by INT$5 (P < 0.01) per member for a 15-day reference period), had a share of out-of-pocket health spending in total household expenditure that was 16.5% higher (P < 0.01) and relied more on borrowing and asset sales to finance inpatient care (32.7% vs. 12.8%, P < 0.01)
Objectives The fungal metabolite aflatoxin is a common contaminant of foodstuffs, especially when stored in damp conditions. In humans, high levels can result in acute hepatic necrosis and death, while chronic exposure is carcinogenic. We conducted a pilot study nested within an existing population cohort (the General Population Cohort), to assess exposure to aflatoxin, among people living in rural south-western Uganda. Methods Sera from 100 adults and 96 children under 3 years of age (85 male, 111 female) were tested for aflatoxin–albumin adduct (AF-alb), using an ELISA assay. Socio-demographic and dietary data were obtained for all participants; HIV serostatus was available for 90 adults and liver function tests (LFTs) for 99
Objective Acute symptomatic infection with Giardia duodenalis impairs iron absorption, but iron deficiency may protect against infections caused by various micro-organisms including parasites. We therefore examined the association of G. duodenalis infection and iron deficiency in 575 Rwandan children under 5 years of age. Methods Giardia duodenalis infection was diagnosed by triplicate microscopy and PCR assays, and iron deficiency was defined as a ferritin concentration <12 ng/ml. Results Largely asymptomatic G
Objective Using human IgG antibody response to the Aedes Nterm-34 kDa salivary peptide as an indicator of human exposure to Aedes bites in surveying exposed populations from areas at risk of dengue virus (DENV) transmission in urban settings of Vientiane city, Lao PDR. Methods Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests were performed to measure the IgG response to Nterm-34 kDa peptide in blood samples collected within a flavivirus seroprevalence survey carried out in 2006 including 3558 randomly selected individuals. The level of IgG response to the Nterm-34 kDa peptide in individuals was analysed in relation to the level of urbanisation of the individual’s residence, areas that presented significant differences in the prevalence of recent DENV infection. Results No differences were observed in the anti-Nterm-34 kDa IgG level between DENV-positive and DENV-negative individuals. However, the level of specific IgG response was higher among individuals living in slightly urbanised neighbourhoods than among those in more highly urbanised areas (P < 0.0001).
Objective To understand changes in epidemiology of maternal mortality in rural India in the context of increasing institutional deliveries and implementation of community-based interventions that can inform policies to reach MDG-5. Methods This study is a secondary analysis of prospectively collected community-based data of every pregnancy and its outcomes from 2002 to 2011 in a rural, tribal area of Gujarat, India as part of safe-motherhood programme implemented by voluntary organisation, SEWA Rural. The programme consisted of community-based interventions supported by a first referral unit, and promotion of institutional deliveries. For every maternal death, a verbal autopsy was conducted. The incidence rates for maternal mortality according to place, cause and timing of maternal deaths in relation to pregnancy were computed.
Objectives To assess vector competence (infection, dissemination and transmission) of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus for Florida (FL) West Nile virus (WNV) isolates. Methods West Nile virus isolates (WN-FL-03: NY99 genotype; WN-FL-05-558, WN-FL-05-2186, WN-FL-05-510: WN02 genotype) collected from different regions of FL were used for vector competence experiments in Cx. p. quinquefasciatus from Alachua County and Indian River County in FL. Mosquitoes from both colonies were fed blood containing 7.9 ± 0.2 log10 plaque-forming units WNV/ml ± SE and incubated at 28 °C for 14 days.
Objective Community ART groups (CAG), peer support groups involved in community ART distribution and mutual psychosocial support, were piloted to respond to staggering antiretroviral treatment (ART) attrition in Mozambique. To understand the impact of CAG on long-term retention, we estimated mortality and lost-to-follow-up (LTFU) rates and assessed predictors for attrition. Methods Retrospective cohort study. Kaplan–Meier techniques were used to estimate mortality and LTFU in CAG. Individual- and CAG-level predictors of attrition were assessed using a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, adjusted for site-level clustering
Objectives Efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic have underscored the fragile and neglected nature of some national health laboratories in Africa. In response, national and international partners and various governments have worked collaboratively over the last several years to build sustainable laboratory capacities within the continent. Key accomplishments reflecting this successful partnership include the establishment of the African-based World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO-AFRO) Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA); development of the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) training programme; and launching of a Pan African-based institution, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). These platforms continue to serve as the foundations for national health laboratory infrastructure enhancement, capacity development and overall quality system improvement.
Objective To assess whether the lack of water or the lack of sanitation facilities in either the home or in health facilities is associated with an increased risk of maternal mortality and to quantify the effect sizes. Methods Systematic review of published literature in Medline, Embase, Popline and Africa Wide EBSCO 1980. Results Fourteen articles were found. Four of five ecological studies that considered sanitation found that poor sanitation was associated with higher maternal mortality.
Original article: Tropical Medicine & International Health March 2014
Objectives Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are essential for the effective control of falciparum malaria in endemic countries. However, in most countries, such choice has been carried out without knowing their effectiveness when deployed in real-life conditions, that is, when treatment is not directly observed. We report here the results of a study assessing the effectiveness of the two ACTs currently recommended in Burkina Faso for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria, that is, artemether–lumefantrine (AL) and artesunate–amodiaquine (ASAQ). Methods Between September 2008 and January 2010, 340 children were randomised to one of the two study arms and followed up for 42 days. Treatment was administered according to routine practices, that is, the first dose was given by study nurses who explained to the parent/guardian how to administer the other doses at home during the following 2 days
Objective To evaluate the impact of a district hospital intervention focused on enhancing healthcare provider capacity to address leading causes of neonatal death: birth asphyxia, infection and prematurity. Methods The neonatal quality improvement initiative was launched at two intervention referral district hospitals in Ghana. Local Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems were enlisted to enhance recording of neonatal and infant deaths in the community and at the facility. After baseline site assessments, a team of local paediatric experts conducted three clinical trainings on-site at each intervention hospital. Assessments were conducted to evaluate participant knowledge before and after participation in training modules