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Cape Town, South Africa

Goga A.E.,Health Systems Research Unit | Muhe L.M.,World Health Organisation
BMC Public Health

Background: The Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Strategy (IMCI), developed by WHO/UNICEF, aims to contribute to reducing childhood morbidity and mortality (MDG4) in resource-limited settings. Since 1996 more than 100 countries have adopted IMCI. IMCI case management training (ICMT) is one of three IMCI components and training is usually residential over 11 consecutive days. Follow-up after ICMT is an essential part of training. We describe the barriers to rapid acceleration of ICMT and review country perspectives on how to address these barriers. Methods. A multi-country exploratory cross-sectional questionnaire survey of in-service ICMT approaches, using quantitative and qualitative methods, was conducted in 2006-7: 27 countries were purposively selected from all six WHO regions. Data for this paper are from three questionnaires (QA, QB and QC), distributed to selected national focal IMCI persons/programme officers, course directors/facilitators and IMCI trainees respectively. QC only gathered data on experiences with IMCI follow-up. Results: 33 QA, 163 QB and 272 QC were received. The commonest challenges to ICMT scale-up relate to funding (high cost and long duration of the residential ICMT), poor literacy of health workers, differing opinions about the role of IMCI in improving child health, lack of political support, frequent changes in staff or rules at Ministries of Health and lack of skilled facilitators. Countries addressed these challenges in several ways including increased advocacy, developing strategic linkages with other priorities, intensifying pre-service training, re-distribution of funds and shortening course duration. The commonest challenges to follow-up after ICMT were lack of funding (93.1% of respondents), inadequate funds for travelling or planning (75.9% and 44.8% respectively), lack of gas for travelling (41.4%), inadequately trained or few supervisors (41.4%) and inadequate job aids for follow-up (27.6%). Countries addressed these by piggy backing IMCI follow-up with routine supervisory visits. Conclusions: Financial challenges to ICMT scale-up and follow-up after training are common. As IMCI is accepted globally as one of the key strategies to meet MDG4 several steps need to be taken to facilitate rapid acceleration of ICMT, including reviewing core competencies followed by competency-driven shortened training duration or 'on the job' training, 'distance learning' or training using mobile phones. Linkages with other 'better-funded' programmes e.g. HIV or malaria need to be improved. Routine Primary Health Care (PHC) supervision needs to include follow-up after ICMT. © 2011 Goga and Muhe ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Townsend L.,Medical Research Council | Townsend L.,Health Systems Research Unit | Mathews C.,University of Cape Town | Zembe Y.,Medical Research Council
Prevention Science

Prevention of new HIV infections needs to move to the forefront in the fight against HIV and AIDS. In the current economic crisis, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) should invest limited resources to amass reliable evidence-based information about behavioral prevention efforts, and on behaviors that are driving the epidemic among people who are engaging in those behaviors. This paper aims to provide a systematic review and synthesis of behavioral interventions among a group of people in high HIV-burden countries: heterosexual men in LMICs. The review includes articles published between January 2001 and May 2010 that evaluated behavioral prevention interventions among heterosexual males aged 18+ years in LMICs. The studies were evaluated using the quality assessment tool for quantitative studies developed by the Effective Public Health Practice Project. The review identified 19 articles that met the review's inclusion criteria. Most studies were conducted in South Africa (n=6); two each in Uganda and Thailand; and one in each of Angola, Brazil, Bulgaria, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Eight of 19 interventions increased condom use among their respective populations. Those interventions that sought to reduce the number of sexual partners had little effect, and those that addressed alcohol consumption and intimate partner violence had mixed effects. There was no evidence for any specific format of intervention that impacted best on any of the targeted risk behaviors. The paucity of evaluated interventions for heterosexual men in LMICs suggests that adult men in these countries remain underrepresented in HIV prevention efforts. © 2012 Society for Prevention Research. Source

Bhutta Z.A.,Aga Khan University | Yakoob M.Y.,Aga Khan University | Lawn J.E.,Saving Newborn Lives Save the Children | Lawn J.E.,Health Systems Research Unit | And 5 more authors.
The Lancet

Worldwide, 2·65 million (uncertainty range 2·08 million to 3·79 million) stillbirths occur yearly, of which 98 occur in countries of low and middle income. Despite the fact that more than 45 of the global burden of stillbirths occur intrapartum, the perception is that little is known about effective interventions, especially those that can be implemented in low-resource settings. We undertook a systematic review of randomised trials and observational studies of interventions which could reduce the burden of stillbirths, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries. We identified several interventions with sufficient evidence to recommend implementation in health systems, including periconceptional folic acid supplementation or fortification, prevention of malaria, and improved detection and management of syphilis during pregnancy in endemic areas. Basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care were identified as key effective interventions to reduce intrapartum stillbirths. Broad-scale implementation of intervention packages across 68 countries listed as priorities in the Countdown to 2015 report could avert up to 45 of stillbirths according to a model generated from the Lives Saved Tool. The overall costs for these interventions are within the general estimates of cost-effective interventions for maternal care, especially in view of the effects on outcomes across maternal, fetal, and neonatal health. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

To report on risk factors for severe events (hospitalisation or infant death) within the first half of infancy amongst HIV-unexposed infants in South Africa. South African data from the multisite community-based cluster-randomised trial PROMISE EBF promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three sub-Saharan countries from 2006 to 2008 were used. The South African sites were Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal. This analysis included 964 HIV-negative mother-infant pairs. Data on severe events and infant feeding practices were collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks post-partum. We used a stratified extended Cox model to examine the association between the time to the severe event and covariates including birthweight, with breastfeeding status as a time-dependent covariate. Seventy infants (7%) experienced a severe event. The median age at first hospitalisation was 8 weeks, and the two main reasons for hospitalisation were cough and difficult breathing followed by diarrhoea. Stopping breastfeeding before 6 months (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.2-5.1) and low birthweight (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.3-4.3) were found to increase the risk of a severe event, whilst maternal completion of high school education was protective (HR 0.3; 95% CI 0.1-0.7). A strengthened primary healthcare system incorporating promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate caring practices for low birthweight infants (such as kangaroo mother care) are critical. Given the leading reasons for hospitalisation, early administration of oral rehydration therapy and treatment of suspected pneumonia are key interventions needed to prevent hospitalisation in young infants. © 2014 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Loveday M.,Health Systems Research Unit
The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

To improve the treatment of patients co-infected with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the human immunodeficiency virus, we measured the relationship between treatment outcomes and hospital performance at four decentralised MDR-TB sites in South Africa. We describe hospital performance from the patient's perspective by the use of a graphic that visually represents a patient's treatment journey. The graphic was used to report study findings to study sites and as a catalyst for a quality improvement process. Source

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