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Kampala, Uganda

Mukanga D.,Makerere University | Mukanga D.,Karolinska Institutet | Mukanga D.,A+ Network | Babirye R.,A+ Network | And 9 more authors.
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2011

Objective To determine the competence of community health workers (CHWs) to correctly assess, classify and treat malaria and pneumonia among under-five children after training. Methods Consultations of 182 under-fives by 14 CHWs in Iganga district, Uganda, were observed using standardised checklists. Each CHW saw 13 febrile children. Two paediatricians observed CHWs' assessment, classification and prescription of treatment, while a laboratory scientist assessed CHW use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). The validity of CHWs' use of RDTs to detect malaria and respiratory timers to diagnose pneumonia was estimated using a laboratory scientist's RDT repeat reading and a paediatrician's repeat count of the respiratory rate, respectively. Results From the 182 consultations, overall CHWs' performance was adequate in taking history (97%), use (following procedures prior to reading result) of timers (96%) and use of RDTs (96%), but inadequate in classification (87%). Breath readings (classified as fast or normal) were 85% in agreement with the paediatrician (κ=0.665, P<0.001). All RDT readings were in agreement with those obtained by the laboratory scientist. Ninety-six per cent (85/89) of children with a positive RDT were prescribed an antimalarial drug, 40% (4/10) with fast breathing (gold standard) were prescribed an antibiotic and 91% (48/53) with both were prescribed both medicines. Conclusion Community health workers can be trained to use RDTs and timers to assess and manage malaria and pneumonia in children. We recommend integration of these diagnostics into community case management of fever. CHWs require enhanced practice in counting respiratory rates and simple job aides to enable them make a classification without thinking deeply about several assessment results. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Mukanga D.,Makerere University | Mukanga D.,Karolinska Institutet | Tiono A.B.,Center National Of Recherche Et Of Formation Sur Le Paludisme | Anyorigiya T.,Navrongo Health Research Center | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2012

Evidence on the impact of using diagnostic tests in community case management of febrile children is limited. This effectiveness trial conducted in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Uganda, compared a diagnostic and treatment package for malaria and pneumonia with presumptive treatment with anti-malarial drugs; artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). We enrolled 4, 216 febrile children between 4 and 59 months of age in 2009-2010. Compliance with the malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) results was high in the intervention arm across the three countries, with only 4.9% (17 of 344) of RDT-negative children prescribed an ACT. Antibiotic overuse was more common: 0.9% (4 of 446) in Uganda, 38.5% (114 of 296) in Burkina Faso, and 44.6% (197 of 442) in Ghana. Fever clearance was high in both intervention and control arms at both Day 3 (97.8% versus 96.9%, P = 0.17) and Day 7 (99.2% versus 98.8%, P = 0.17). The use of diagnostic tests limits overuse of ACTs. Its impact on antibiotic overuse and on fever clearance is uncertain. Copyright © 2012 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Ashton R.A.,Malaria Consortium Ethiopia | Ashton R.A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Kefyalew T.,Malaria Consortium Ethiopia | Tesfaye G.,Malaria Consortium Ethiopia | And 7 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2011

Background. In Ethiopia, malaria transmission is seasonal and unstable, with both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax endemic. Such spatial and temporal clustering of malaria only serves to underscore the importance of regularly collecting up-to-date malaria surveillance data to inform decision-making in malaria control. Cross-sectional school-based malaria surveys were conducted across Oromia Regional State to generate up-to-date data for planning malaria control interventions, as well as monitoring and evaluation of operational programme implementation. Methods. Two hundred primary schools were randomly selected using a stratified and weighted sampling frame; 100 children aged five to 18 years were then randomly chosen within each school. Surveys were carried out in May 2009 and from October to December 2009, to coincide with the peak of malaria transmission in different parts of Oromia. Each child was tested for malaria by expert microscopy, their haemoglobin measured and a simple questionnaire completed. Satellite-derived environmental data were used to assess ecological correlates of Plasmodium infection; Bayesian geostatistical methods and Kulldorff's spatial scan statistic were employed to investigate spatial heterogeneity. Results. A total 20,899 children from 197 schools provided blood samples, two selected schools were inaccessible and one school refused to participate. The overall prevalence of Plasmodium infection was found to be 0.56% (95% CI: 0.46-0.67%), with 53% of infections due to P. falciparum and 47% due to P. vivax. Of children surveyed, 17.6% (95% CI: 17.0-18.1%) were anaemic, while 46% reported sleeping under a mosquito net the previous night. Malaria was found at 30 (15%) schools to a maximum elevation of 2,187 metres, with school-level Plasmodium prevalence ranging between 0% and 14.5%. Although environmental variables were only weakly associated with P. falciparum and P. vivax infection, clusters of infection were identified within Oromia. Conclusion. These findings demonstrate the marked spatial heterogeneity of malaria in Oromia and, in general, Ethiopia, and provide a strong epidemiological basis for planning as well as monitoring and evaluating malaria control in a setting with seasonal and unstable malaria transmission. © 2011 Ashton et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Mukanga D.,Makerere University | Mukanga D.,Karolinska Institutet | Mukanga D.,A+ Network | Tibenderana J.K.,Malaria Consortium Africa | And 13 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2012

Background: Use of diagnostics in integrated community case management (iCCM) of fever is recognized as an important step in improving rational use of drugs and quality of care for febrile under-five children. This study assessed household access, acceptability and utilization of community health workers (CHWs) trained and provided with malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and respiratory rate timers (RRTs) to practice iCCM. Methods: A total of 423 households with under-five children were enrolled into the study in Iganga district, Uganda. Households were selected from seven villages in Namungalwe sub-county using probability proportionate to size sampling. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to caregivers in selected households. Data were entered into Epidata statistical software, and analysed using SPSS Statistics 17.0, and STATA version 10. Results: Most (86%, 365/423) households resided within a kilometre of a CHW's home, compared to 26% (111/423) residing within 1 km of a health facility (p<0.001). The median walking time by caregivers to a CHW was 10 minutes (IQR 5-20). The first option for care for febrile children in the month preceding the survey was CHWs (40%, 242/601), followed by drug shops (33%, 196/601). Fifty-seven percent (243/423) of caregivers took their febrile children to a CHW at least once in the three month period preceding the survey. Households located 1-3 km from a health facility were 72% (AOR 1.72; 95% CI 1.11-2.68) more likely to utilize CHW services compared to households within 1 km of a health facility. Households located 1-3 km from a CHW were 81% (AOR 0.19; 95% CI 0.10-0.36) less likely to utilize CHW services compared to those households residing within 1 km of a CHW. A majority (79%, 336/423) of respondents thought CHWs services were better with RDTs, and 89% (375/423) approved CHWs' continued use of RDTs. Eighty-six percent (209/243) of respondents who visited a CHW thought RRTs were useful. Conclusion: ICCM with diagnostics is acceptable, increases access, and is the first choice for caregivers of febrile children. More than half of caregivers of febrile children utilized CHW services over a three-month period. However, one-third of caregivers used drug shops in spite of the presence of CHWs. © 2012 Mukanga et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Achan J.,Makerere University | Talisuna A.O.,Makerere University | Erhart A.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Yeka A.,Epidemiology Unit | And 4 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2011

Quinine remains an important anti-malarial drug almost 400 years after its effectiveness was first documented. However, its continued use is challenged by its poor tolerability, poor compliance with complex dosing regimens, and the availability of more efficacious anti-malarial drugs. This article reviews the historical role of quinine, considers its current usage and provides insight into its appropriate future use in the treatment of malaria. In light of recent research findings intravenous artesunate should be the first-line drug for severe malaria, with quinine as an alternative. The role of rectal quinine as pre-referral treatment for severe malaria has not been fully explored, but it remains a promising intervention. In pregnancy, quinine continues to play a critical role in the management of malaria, especially in the first trimester, and it will remain a mainstay of treatment until safer alternatives become available. For uncomplicated malaria, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) offers a better option than quinine though the difficulty of maintaining a steady supply of ACT in resource-limited settings renders the rapid withdrawal of quinine for uncomplicated malaria cases risky. The best approach would be to identify solutions to ACT stock-outs, maintain quinine in case of ACT stock-outs, and evaluate strategies for improving quinine treatment outcomes by combining it with antibiotics. In HIV and TB infected populations, concerns about potential interactions between quinine and antiretroviral and anti-tuberculosis drugs exist, and these will need further research and pharmacovigilance. © 2011 Achan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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