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Knoblauch A.M.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Knoblauch A.M.,University of Basel | Hodges M.H.,Helen Keller International Sierra Leone | Bah M.S.,Helen Keller International Sierra Leone | And 11 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Large private sector investments in low- and middle-income countries are often critically evaluated with regards to their environmental, social, human rights, and health impacts. A health impact assessment, including a baseline health survey, was commissioned by the Addax Bioenergy Sierra Leone project in 2010. As part of the monitoring, a follow-up survey was conducted three years later. A set of health indicators was assessed at six impacted and two control sites. Most of these indices improved, particularly at the impacted sites. The prevalences of stunting, wasting, and Plasmodium falciparum in children under five years of age decreased significantly at impacted sites (all p < 0.05) and non-significantly at control sites. Anemia in children and in women of reproductive age (15–49 years) decreased significantly at impacted and control sites (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). Health facility-based deliveries increased significantly at the impacted sites (p < 0.05). The prevalences of helminth infections in children aged 10–15 years remained approximately at the same levels, although focal increases at the impacted sites were noted. Access to improved sanitation decreased significantly (p < 0.05) at control and non-significantly at impacted sites. Water quality remained poor without significant changes. The epidemiologic monitoring of a bioenergy project provides a useful contribution for evidence-based decision-making. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Hodges M.H.,Helen Keller International Sierra Leone | Sesay F.F.,Helen Keller International Sierra Leone | Kamara H.I.,Helen Keller International Sierra Leone | Nyorkor E.D.,Helen Keller International Sierra Leone | And 10 more authors.
Maternal and Child Health Journal

Since 2004, twice-yearly mass vitamin A supplementation (VAS) has equitably reached over 85 % of children 6–59 months old in Sierra Leone. However infants who turn 6 months after the event may wait until they are 11 months old to receive their first dose. The effectiveness of integrating VAS at 6 months into the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) in a revised child health card was studied. Health facilities matched according to staff cadre and work load were assigned to provide either a ‘mini package’ of VAS and infant and young child feeding (IYCF), a ‘full package’ of VAS, IYCF and family planning (FP), or ‘child health card’ only. 400 neonates were enrolled into each group, caregivers given the new child health card and followed until they were 12 months old. More infants in the full: 74.5 % and mini: 71.7 % group received VAS between 6 and 7 months of age compared with the new CH card only group: 60.2 % (p = 0.002, p < 0.001 respectively). FP commodities were provided to 44.5 % of caregivers in the full compared with <2.5 % in the mini and new child health card only groups (p < 0.0001). Integration of VAS within the EPI schedule achieved >60 % coverage for infants between 6 and 7 months of age. Provision of FP and/or IYCF further improved coverage. Funding was provided by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development who had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. © 2015, The Author(s). Source

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