College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda

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Rujeni N.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Morona D.,Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences | Ruberanziza E.,Institute of HIV | Mazigo H.D.,Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
Infectious Diseases of Poverty | Year: 2017

Even though Rwanda lies within a region that has a high prevalence of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections, epidemiological information regarding these infections in the country remains scarce. The present review attempts to compile the available data on schistosomiasis and STHs, from 1940 to 2014, to provide an insight on the epidemiological profile of these infections. This information will, in turn, support the design and implementation of sustainable control measures. The available records indicate that only Schistosoma mansoni and all the major species of STHs are endemic in Rwanda. In 2008, the national prevalence of S. mansoni was reported to be 2.7%, ranging from 0 to 69.5%, and that of STH infections was 65.8% (diagnosed using the Kato-Katz technique). The prevalence of these infections varies from one district to another, with schoolchildren remaining a highly affected group. The main control approach is mass drug administration using albendazole and praziquantel, mostly targeting school-aged children in school environments. In 2008, adult individuals living in areas with a prevalence of S. mansoni ≥30% were also included in the mass drug administration programme. However, despite Rwanda achieving an almost 100% coverage of this programme in 2008-2010, the transmission of S. mansoni and STHs continues to take place, as illustrated by the most recent surveys. If Rwanda is to achieve sustainable control and elimination of schistosomiasis and STHs, there is a need to revise the country's control strategy and adopt an integrated control approach that involves a combination of measures. © 2017 The Author(s).

Mutimura E.,Regional Alliance for Sustainable Development | Anastos K.,Yeshiva University | Hoover D.,Rutgers University | Dusingize J.C.,Regional Alliance for Sustainable Development | And 5 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2015

Background: Initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the advanced stages of HIV infection remains a major challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. This study was conducted to better understand barriers and enablers to timely ART initiation in Rwanda where ART coverage is high and national ART eligibility guidelines first expanded in 2007-2008. Methods: Using data on 6326 patients (≥15 years) at five Rwandan clinics, we assessed trends and correlates of CD4+ cell count at ART initiation and the proportion initiating ART with advanced HIV disease (CD4+ < 200 cells/μl or WHO stage IV) . Results: Out of 6326 patients, 4486 enrolling in HIV care initiated ART with median CD4+ cell count of 211 cells/μl [interquartile range: 131-300]. Median CD4+ cell counts at ART initiation increased from 183 cells/ml in 2007 to 293 cells/ml in 2011-2012, and the proportion with advanced HIV disease decreased from 66.2 to 29.4%. Factors associated with a higher odds of advanced HIV disease at ART initiation were male sex [adjusted odds ratios (AOR)=1.7; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3-2.1] and older age (AOR46-55+ vs. <25=2.3; 95% CI: 1.2-4.3). Among those initiating ART more than 1 year after enrollment in care, those who had a gap in care of 12 or more months prior to ART initiation had higher odds of advanced HIV disease (AOR=5.2; 95% CI: 1.2-21.1) . Conclusion: Marked improvements in the median CD4+ cell count at ART initiation and proportion initiating ART with advanced HIV disease were observed following the expansion of ART eligibility criteria in Rwanda. However, sex disparities in late treatment initiation persisted through 2011-2012, and appeared to be driven by later diagnosis and/or delayed linkage to care among men . © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health. © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Nsanzimana S.,Institute of HIV Disease Prevention and Control | Nsanzimana S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Kanters S.,Global Evaluative science | Kanters S.,University of British Columbia | And 8 more authors.
The Lancet HIV | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Rwanda has made remarkable progress towards HIV care programme with strong national monitoring and surveillance. Knowledge about the HIV care continuum model can help to improve outcomes in patients. We aimed to quantify engagement, mortality, and loss to follow-up of patients along the HIV care continuum in Rwanda in 2013. METHODS: We collated data for individuals with HIV who participated in the national HIV care programme in Rwanda and calculated the numbers of individuals or proportions of the population at each stage and the transition probabilities between stages of the continuum. We calculated factors associated with mortality and loss to follow-up by fitting Cox proportional hazards regression models, one for the stage of care before antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and another for stage of care during ART. FINDINGS: An estimated 204 899 individuals were HIV-positive in Rwanda in 2013. Among these individuals, 176 174 (86%) were in pre-ART or in ART stages and 129 405 (63%) had initiated ART by the end of 2013. 82·1% (95% CI 80·7-83·4) of patients with viral load measurements (n=3066) were virally suppressed (translating to 106 371 individuals or 52% of HIV-positive individuals). Mortality was 0·6% (304 patients) in the pre-ART stage and 1·0% (1255 patients) in the ART stage; 2247 (3·9%) patients were lost to follow-up in pre-ART stage and 2847 (2·2%) lost in ART stage. Risk factors for mortality among patients in both pre-ART and ART stages included older age, CD4 cell count at initiation, and male sex. Risk factors for loss to follow-up among patients at both pre-ART and ART stages included younger age (age 10-29 year) and male sex. s: The HIV care continuum is a multitrajectory pathway in which patients have many opportunities to leave and re-engage in care. Knowledge about the points at which individuals are most likely to leave care could improve large-scale delivery of HIV programmes. FUNDING: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Nsanzimana S.,Institute of HIV Disease Prevention and Control | Remera E.,Institute of HIV Disease Prevention and Control | Kanters S.,Global Evaluative science | Kanters S.,University of British Columbia | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2015

Background: Rwanda has achieved substantial progress in scaling up of antiretroviral therapy. We aimed to assess the effect of increased access to antiretroviral therapy on life expectancy among HIV-positive patients in two distinct periods of lower and higher antiretroviral therapy coverage (1997-2007 and 2008-11). Methods: In a retrospective observational cohort study, we collected clinical and demographic data for all HIV-positive patients enrolled in care at 110 health facilities across all five provinces of Rwanda. We included patients aged 15 years or older with a known enrolment date between 1997 and 2014. We constructed abridged life tables from age-specific mortality rates and life expectancy stratified by sex, CD4 cell count, and WHO disease stage at enrolment in care and initiation of antiretroviral therapy. Findings: We included 72 061 patients in this study, contributing 213 983 person-years of follow-up. The crude mortality rate was 33·4 deaths per 1000 person-years (95% CI 32·7-34·2). Life expectancy for the overall cohort was 25·6 additional years (95% CI 25·1-26·1) at 20 years of age and 23·3 additional years (95% CI 22·9-23·7) at 35 years of age. Life expectancy at 20 years of age in the period of 1997-2007 was 20·4 additional years (95% CI 19·5-21·3); for the period of 2008-11, life expectancy had increased to 25·6 additional years (95% CI 24·8-26·4). Individuals enrolling in care with CD4 cell counts of 500 cells per μL or more, and with WHO disease stage I, had the highest life expectancies. Interpretation: This study adds to the growing body of evidence showing the benefit to HIV-positive patients of early enrolment in care and initiation of antiretroviral therapy. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. © 2015 Nsanzimana et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY-NC-SA.

Shulman L.N.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Mpunga T.,Ministry of Health | Mpunga T.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Tapela N.,Inshuti Mu Buzima | And 5 more authors.
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2014

The knowledge and tools to cure many cancer patients exist in developed countries but are unavailable to many who live in the developing world, resulting in unnecessary loss of life. Bringing cancer care to the poor, particularly to low-income countries, is a great challenge, but it is one that we believe can be met through partnerships, careful planning and a set of guiding principles. Alongside vaccinations, screening and other cancer-prevention efforts, treatment must be a central component of any cancer programme from the start. It is also critical that these programmes include implementation research to determine programmatic efficacy, where gaps in care still exist and where improvements can be made. This article discusses these issues using the example of Rwanda's expanding national cancer programme. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Rujeni N.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Mbanzamihigo L.,Without A Box
Journal of Tropical Medicine | Year: 2014

The incidence of human brucellosis is not documented in Rwanda despite several reports on the disease in cattle. Because brucellosis has been associated with abortion, the aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of positive serology in women presenting with abortion and/or stillbirth. The study was done in Huye District, in the Southern Province of Rwanda, and the patients were recruited from both the University Teaching Hospital of Butare (CHUB) and Kabutare District Hospital. Serum samples were collected and the Rose Bengal plate test (RBPT) was performed on each sample. A questionnaire was also used to investigate potential contacts with animals and/or consumption of raw milk. A total of 60 women were recruited and 15 (i.e., 25%) were Brucella seropositive. The questionnaire showed that those with seropositivity either were in contact with domestic animals (cattle, goat, or sheep) or were consuming raw cow's milk. Human brucellosis appears to be of public health importance in Rwanda and more attention should be drawn on the disease. The current study provides a basis for larger studies to establish the incidence of human brucellosis in Rwanda. More mechanistic studies will also demonstrate the pathogenicity of Brucella in human placentas. © 2014 Nadine Rujeni and Léonidas Mbanzamihigo.

Umubyeyi A.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Umubyeyi A.,Gothenburg University | Mogren I.,Umeå University | Ntaganira J.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Krantz G.,Gothenburg University
BMC Women's Health | Year: 2014

Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is an important, yet often neglected public health issue. The existence of gender norms imbalance expressed by men's and women's attitudes in relation to power and decision-making in intimate relationships may influence the magnitude of IPV. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and potential risk factors of physical, sexual and psychological IPV in young men and women in Rwanda.Methods: This population-based, cross-sectional study included a representative sample of men and women from the Southern Province of Rwanda. Face-to-face interviews were performed using the World Health Organization (WHO) questionnaire for violence exposure to estimate past year and earlier in life IPV occurrence. Risk factor patterns were analyzed by use of bi- and multivariate logistic regression.Results: Women were, to a considerably higher extent, exposed to physical, sexual and psychological IPV than men. Of the women, 18.8% (n = 78) reported physical abuse in the past year, compared to 4.3% (n = 18) of men. The corresponding figures for women and men for sexual abuse were 17.4% (n = 71) and 1.5% (n = 6), respectively, and for psychological abuse, the corresponding figures were 21.4% (n = 92) and 7.3% (n = 32). Findings illustrate that violence against women was recurrent, as the highest frequency (>3 times) dominated in women for the various acts of all forms of violence. Identified risk factors for women's exposure to physical violence were being low educated, having poor social support, being poor and having many children. For men exposed to physical violence, no statistically significant risk factor was identified.Conclusions: In this setting, IPV exposure was more common in women than men in the Southern Province of Rwanda. Promotion of gender equality at the individual level is needed to make a positive difference in a relatively short term perspective. Men's lower reporting of IPV confirms women's subordinate position, but men's denial of incidents could also explain the gender role pattern. © 2014 Umubyeyi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Umubyeyi A.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Umubyeyi A.,Gothenburg University | Mogren I.,Umeå University | Ntaganira J.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Krantz G.,Gothenburg University
BMC Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Background: In low income countries, mental disorders are a neglected health problem. Mental disorders are influenced by a number of factors in people's everyday life of which intimate partner violence (IPV) commonly form an important part. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of mental disorders in young men and women in Rwanda and their risk factors with main emphasis on IPV and its contribution to mental disorders, taking into account the genocide context. Methods: This population-based study included a representative sample of 917 men and women aged 20-35 years. The prevalence of mental disorders was investigated using of a diagnostic tool, the "MINI: Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview". Risk factor patterns were analysed with bi- and multivariate logistic regression. To find the proportion of mental disorders attributed to IPV, the population attributable fraction was computed. Results: The prevalence rates of current depression, suicide risk and PTSD were more than two times higher in women than in men while for generalized anxiety disorder, the prevalence was about the same. Physical, sexual and psychological intimate partner violence exposure was highly associated with all forms of mental disorders for women. For physical violence, after adjusting for socio-demographic factors and exposure to traumatic episodes during the Rwandan genocide, the risk of current depression for women was elevated four times. Even though few men reported partner violence exposure, physical violence in the past year was found to be a statistically significant risk factor for current depression and for generalized anxiety disorder. However, having an experience of traumatic episodes during the genocide contributed to the risk of most of mental disorders investigated for men. Conclusion: In Rwanda, IPV contributed considerably to mental disorders investigated. Thus, prevention of IPV should be considered as a public health priority, as its prevention would considerably reduce the prevalence of mental disorders. © Umubyeyi et al.

Rurangwa J.,College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda | Rujeni N.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2016

Pneumonia is a public health problem in the tropics, and the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugative vaccine (PCV-7) has been introduced in an effort to prevent the disease and therefore reduce childhood mortality. In Rwanda, PCV-7 was introduced in 2009, and we aimed to determine its impact on the rate of child hospitalization/mortality due to pneumonia. A retrospective survey was conducted on hospitalization rates and pediatric deaths between two periods, that is, before the introduction of PCV-7 (2007-2009) and after the introduction of PCV-7 (2010-2013) in Kabutare District Hospital. There was a 53% reduction in hospitalization, with a significant decline in in-hospital deaths between the two periods. There was also a significant correlation between vaccination coverage and decline in hospitalization rates between 2009 and 2013. We conclude that PCV-7 vaccine is associated with significant reduction in the rate of child hospitalization and mortality but more mechanistic studies are warranted to determine the immunological impact, especially in the context of coinfections and malnutrition. © Copyright 2016 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Mutesa L.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda
BMC medical genetics | Year: 2014

Array-CGH is considered as the first-tier investigation used to identify copy number variations. Right now, there is no available data about the genetic etiology of patients with development delay/intellectual disability and congenital malformation in East Africa. Array comparative genomic hybridization was performed in 50 Rwandan patients with development delay/intellectual disability and multiple congenital abnormalities, using the Agilent's 180 K microarray platform. Fourteen patients (28%) had a global development delay whereas 36 (72%) patients presented intellectual disability. All patients presented multiple congenital abnormalities. Clinically significant copy number variations were found in 13 patients (26%). Size of CNVs ranged from 0,9 Mb to 34 Mb. Six patients had CNVs associated with known syndromes, whereas 7 patients presented rare genomic imbalances. This study showed that CNVs are present in African population and show the importance to implement genetic testing in East-African countries.

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