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Henley C.,Policy and Research Group | Forgwei G.,Baptist Center | Welty T.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | Golden M.,University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: Partner services (PSs) are a long-standing component of HIV control programs in the United States and some parts of Europe. Small randomized trials suggest that HIV PS can be effective in identifying persons with undiagnosed HIV infection. However, the scalability and effectiveness of HIV PS in low-income countries are unknown. METHODS: We used data collected from 2009 to 2010 through a large HIV PS program in Cameroon to evaluate HIV PS in a developing country. HIV-positive index cases diagnosed in antenatal care, voluntary counseling and testing, and inpatient facilities were interviewed to collect information on their sexual partners. Partners were contacted via telephone or home visit to notify, test, and enroll those found to be HIV positive in medical care. RESULTS: Health advisors interviewed 1462 persons with HIV infection during the evaluation period; these persons provided information about 1607 sexual partners. Health advisors notified 1347 (83.8%) of these partners, of whom 900 (66.8%) were HIV tested. Of partners tested, 451 (50.1%) were HIV positive, of whom 386 (85.6%) enrolled into HIV medical care. An average 3.2 index cases needed to be interviewed to identify 1 HIV case. CONCLUSIONS: HIV PS can be successfully implemented in a developing country and is highly effective in identifying persons with HIV infection and linking them to care. Copyright © 2013 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association. All rights reserved. Source

Perlman S.,Pathfinder International | Wamai R.G.,Northeastern University | Bain P.A.,Harvard University | Welty T.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Objectives: We assessed the knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine, and willingness and acceptability to vaccinate in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. We further identified countries that fulfill the two GAVI Alliance eligibility criteria to support nationwide HPV vaccination. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed studies on the knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine, and willingness and acceptability to vaccinate. Trends in Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine coverage in SSA countries from 1990-2011 were extracted from the World Health Organization database. Findings: The review revealed high levels of willingness and acceptability of HPV vaccine but low levels of knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV or HPV vaccine. We identified only six countries to have met the two GAVI Alliance requirements for supporting introduction of HPV vaccine: 1) the ability to deliver multi-dose vaccines for no less than 50% of the target vaccination cohort in an average size district, and 2) achieving over 70% coverage of DTP3 vaccine nationally. From 2008 through 2011 all SSA countries, with the exception of Mauritania and Nigeria, have reached or maintained DTP3 coverage at 70% or above. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for more education to inform the public about HPV, HPV vaccine, and cervical cancer, particularly to key demographics, (adolescents, parents and healthcare professionals), to leverage high levels of willingness and acceptability of HPV vaccine towards successful implementation of HPV vaccination programs. There is unpreparedness in most SSA countries to roll out national HPV vaccination as per the GAVI Alliance eligibility criteria for supporting introduction of the vaccine. In countries that have met 70% DTP3 coverage, pilot programs need to be rolled out to identify the best practice and strategies for delivering HPV vaccines to adolescents and also to qualify for GAVI Alliance support. © 2014 Perlman et al. Source

Liotta G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Marazzi M.C.,University | Mothibi K.E.,Health Services Cluster | Zimba I.,Avenida de Julho 7 | And 16 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2015

The Drug Resource Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition Program (DREAM) gathered professionals in the field of Elimination of HIV-Mother-To-Child Transmission (EMTCT) in Maputo in 2013 to discuss obstacles and solutions for the elimination of HIV vertical transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. During this workshop, the benefits of administrating combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) to HIV positive women from pregnancy throughout breastfeeding were reviewed. cART is capable of reducing vertical transmission to less than 5% at 24 months of age, as well as maternal mortality and infant mortality in both HIV infected and exposed populations to levels similar to those of uninfected individuals. The challenge for programs targeting eMTCT in developing countries is retention in care and treatment adherence. Both are intrinsically related to the model of care. The drop-out from eMTCT programs before cART initiation ranges from 33%–88% while retention rates at 18–24 months are less than 50%. Comprehensive strategies including peer-to-peer education, social support and laboratory monitoring can reduce refusals to less than 5% and attain retention rates approaching 90%. Several components of the model of care for reduction of HIV-1 MTCT are feasible and implementable in scale-up strategies. A review of this model of care for HIV eMTCT is provided. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Ogembo J.G.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Manga S.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | Nulah K.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | Foglabenchi L.H.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2014

Background: Cameroon has the highest age-standardized incidence rate of cervical cancer (30/100,000 women) in Central Africa. In 2010-2011, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) received donated human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil, from Merck & Co. Inc. through Axios Healthcare Development to immunize 6400 girls aged 9-13 years. The aim was to inform the Cameroon Ministry of Health (MOH) of the acceptability, feasibility, and optimal delivery strategies for HPV vaccine. Methods and findings: Following approval by the MOH, CBCHS nurses educated girls, parents, and communities about HPV, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine through multimedia coverage, brochures, posters, and presentations. Because educators were initially reluctant to allow immunization in schools, due to fear of adverse events, the nurses performed 40.7% of vaccinations in the clinics, 34.5% in community venues, and only 24.7% in schools. When no adverse events were reported, more schools and communities permitted HPV vaccine immunization on their premises. To recover administrative costs, CBCHS charged a fee of US$8 per 3-dose series only to those who were able to pay. Despite the fee, 84.6% of the 6,851 girls who received the first dose received all three doses. Conclusions and lessons learned: With adequate education of all stakeholders, HPV vaccination is acceptable and feasible in Cameroon. Following this demonstration project, in 2014 the Global Access to Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) Alliance awarded the Cameroon MOH HPV vaccine at a price of US$4.50 per dose to immunize sixth grade girls and girls aged 10 years who are not in school in two districts of Cameroon. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

DeGregorio G.A.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Bradford L.S.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Manga S.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | Tih P.M.,Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Background: In 2007, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) implemented a screen-and-treat cervical cancer prevention program using visual inspection with acetic acid enhanced by digital cervicography (VIA-DC). Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 46,048 medical records of women who received care through the CBCHS Women's Health Program from 2007 through 2014 to determine the prevalence and predictors of positive VIA-DC, rates of same day treatment, and cohort prevalence of invasive cervical cancer (ICC). Results: Of the 44,979 women who were screened for cervical cancer, 9.0% were VIA-DC-positive, 66.8% were VIA-DC-negative, 22.0% were VIA-DC-inadequate (normal ectocervix, but portions of the transformation zone were obscured), and 2.2% were VIA-DC-uncertain (cervical abnormalities confounding VIA-DC interpretation). Risk factors significantly associated with VIA-DC-positive screen were HIV-positivity, young age at sexual debut, higher lifetime number of sexual partners, low education status and higher gravidity. In 2014, 31.1% of women eligible for cryotherapy underwent same day treatment. Among the 32,788 women screened from 2007 through 2013, 201 cases of ICC were identified corresponding to a cohort prevalence of 613 per 100,000. Conclusions: High rate of VIA-DC-positive screens suggests a significant burden of potential cervical cancer cases and highlights the need for expansion of cervical cancer screening and prevention throughout the 10 regions of Cameroon. VIA-DC-inadequate rates were also high, especially in older women, and additional screening methods are needed to confirm whether these results are truly negative. In comparison to similar screening programs in sub-Saharan Africa there was low utilization of same day cryotherapy treatment. Further studies are required to characterize possible program specific barriers to treatment, for example cultural demands, health system challenges and cost of procedure. The prevalence of ICC among women who presented for screening was high and requires further investigation. © 2016 DeGregorio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

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