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Ackumey M.M.,University of Ghana | Ackumey M.M.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Gyapong M.,Dodowa Health Research Center | Pappoe M.,University of Ghana | Weiss M.G.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2011

This study examined sociocultural features of help-seeking for Buruli ulcer-affected persons with pre-ulcers and ulcers in a disease-endemic area in Ghana. A sample of 181 respondents were purposively selected. Fisher's exact test was used to compare help-seeking variables for pre-ulcers and ulcers. Qualitative phenomenologic analysis of narratives clarified the meaning and content of selected quantitative help-seeking variables. For pre-ulcers, herbal dressings were used to expose necrotic tissues and subsequently applied as dressings for ulcers. Analgesics and left-over antibiotics were used to ease pain and reduce inflammation. Choices for outside-help were influenced by the perceived effectiveness of the treatment, the closeness of the provider to residences, and family and friends. Health education is required to emphasize the risk of self-medication with antibiotics and the importance of medical treatment for pre-ulcers, and to caution against the use of herbs to expose necrotic tissues, which could lead to co-infections. Copyright © 2011 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Febir L.G.,Kintampo Health Research Center | Asante K.P.,Kintampo Health Research Center | Afari-Asiedu S.,Kintampo Health Research Center | Abokyi L.N.,Kintampo Health Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2016

Background: Malaria accounts for many deaths and illnesses, mostly among young children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. An integrated approach is recommended to ensure effective malaria control. Socio-cultural factors continue to serve as determinants of malaria health-seeking behaviour. An INDEPTH effectiveness and safety study platform was established to unearth issues around the use of licensed and nationally recommended anti-malarials in real life settings. This study reports on treatment-seeking behaviour for uncomplicated malaria among community members. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted in the dry and rainy seasons in purposively selected communities in Kintampo north and south districts. This was based on distances to a health facility, ethnicity and availability of medicines at the sale outlets. Twenty-four focus group discussions were conducted among adult men, women care-takers of children less than 5 years and pregnant women. Ten INDEPTH interviews were also conducted among operators of medicine sale outlets and managers of health facilities. Fifty-one illnesses narrative interviews were conducted among adult men, women, women caretakers of children less than 5 years and pregnant women. Transcripts were transferred into Nvivo 8 software for data management and analysis. Results: The artemisinin-based combinations that were commonly known and used were artesunate-amodiaquine and artemether-lumefantrine. Use of herbal preparation to treat diseases including uncomplicated malaria is rife in the communities. Drug stores were not the main source of artemisinin-based combination sales at time of the study. Monotherapies, pain killers and other medicines were purchased from these shops for malaria treatment. Dizziness, general body weakness and sleepiness were noted among respondents who used artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in the past. Conclusion: There is no clear cut trajectory for management of uncomplicated malaria in the study area. Different approaches are adopted when treating malaria. There is need for community education to influence behaviour on the management of malaria to achieve real gains from ACT use. © 2016 Febir et al.

Chinbuah M.A.,Research and Development Division | Kager P.A.,University of Amsterdam | Abbey M.,Research and Development Division | Gyapong M.,Ghana Health Service | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2012

Malaria and pneumonia are leading causes of childhood mortality. Home Management of fever as Malaria (HMM) enables presumptive treatment with antimalarial drugs but excludes pneumonia.We aimed to evaluate the impact of adding an antibiotic, amoxicillin (AMX) to an antimalarial, artesunate amodiaquine (AAQ+AMX) for treating fever among children 2-59 months of age within the HMM strategy on all-cause mortality. In a stepped-wedge clusterrandomized, open trial, children 2-59 months of age with fever treated with AAQ or AAQ+AMX within HMM were compared with standard care. Mortality reduced significantly by 30% (rate ratio [RR] = 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.53-0.92, P = 0.011) in AAQ clusters and by 44% (RR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.41-0.76, P = 0.011) in AAQ+AMX clusters compared with control clusters. The 21% mortality reduction between AAQ and AAQ+AMX (RR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.56-1.12, P = 0.195) was however not statistically significant. Community fever management with antimalarials significantly reduces under-five mortality. Given the lower mortality trend, adding an antibiotic is more beneficial. Copyright © 2012 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Narh-Bana S.A.,Dodowa Health Research Center | Narh-Bana S.A.,University of Witwatersrand | Narh-Bana S.A.,Ifakara Health Institute | Chirwa T.F.,University of Witwatersrand | And 2 more authors.
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2012

Objectives To determine patterns and risk factors for cause-specific adult mortality in rural southern Tanzania. Methods The study was a longitudinal open cohort and focused on adults aged 15-59years between 2003 and 2007. Causes of deaths were ascertained by verbal autopsy (VA). Cox proportion hazards regression model was used to determine factors associated with cause-specific mortality over the 5-year period. Results Thousand three hundred and fifty-two of 65548 adults died, representing a crude adult mortality rate (AMR) of 7.3 per 1000 person years of observation (PYO). VA was performed for 1132 (84%) deaths. HIV/AIDS [231 (20.4%)] was the leading cause of death followed by malaria [150 (13.2%)]. AMR for communicable disease (CD) causes was 2.49 per 1000 PYO, 1.21 per 1000 PYO for non-communicable diseases (NCD) and 0.53 per 1000 PYO for accidents/injury causes. NCD deaths increased from 16% in 2003 to 24% in 2007. High level of education was associated with a reduction in the risk of dying from NCDs. Those with primary education (HR=0.67, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.92) and with education beyond primary school (HR=0.11, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.40) had lower mortality than those who had no formal education. Compared with local residents, in-migrants were 1.7 (95% CI: 1.37, 2.11) times more likely to die from communicable disease causes. Conclusion NCDs are increasing as a result of demographic and epidemiological transitions taking place in most African countries including Tanzania and require attention to prevent increased triple disease burden of CD, NCD and accident/injuries. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Kikuchi K.,University of Tokyo | Ansah E.,Research and Development Division | Okawa S.,University of Tokyo | Shibanuma A.,University of Tokyo | And 6 more authors.
Trials | Year: 2015

Background: The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals call for improving maternal and child health status. Their progress, however, has been minimal and uneven across countries. The continuum of care is a key to strengthening maternal, newborn, and child health. In this context, the Japanese government launched the Ghana Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care (EMBRACE) Implementation Research Project in collaboration with the Ghanaian government. This study aims to evaluate the implementation process and effects of an intervention to increase the continuum of care for maternal, newborn, and child health status in Ghana. Methods/Design: We will conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial using an effectiveness-implementation hybrid design in Dodowa, Kintampo, and Navrongo, Ghana. We will provide an intervention package to women living in randomly allocated intervention clusters. The study population is women of reproductive age between the ages of 15 and 49 years. The package includes: 1) use of a new continuum of care card, 2) continuum of care orientation for health workers, 3) 24-hour health facility retention of mothers and newborns after delivery, and 4) postnatal care by home visits. We will measure maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes for both intervention and implementation impacts. The intervention outcomes are continuum of care completion rate, rate of postnatal care within 48 hours, complication rate requiring mothers' and newborns' hospitalizations, and perinatal and neonatal mortality. The implementation outcomes are intervention coverage of the target population, intervention adoption and fidelity, implementation cost, and sustainability. Discussion: In this trial, we will investigate how successful continuum of care can contribute to improving maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes. If successful, this model will then be implemented further in Ghana and other neighboring countries. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN90618993. Registered on 3 September 2014. © Kikuchi et al.

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