Ministry of Health and Sanitation

Freetown, Sierra Leone

Ministry of Health and Sanitation

Freetown, Sierra Leone
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Baker M.C.,Rti International | Mathieu E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Fleming F.M.,Imperial College London | Deming M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 5 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2010

As national programmes respond to the new opportunities presented for scaling up preventive chemotherapy programmes for the coadministration of drugs to target lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and trachoma, possible synergies between existing disease-specific policies and protocols need to be examined. In this report we compare present policies for mapping, monitoring, and surveillance for these diseases, drawing attention to both the challenges and opportunities for integration. Although full integration of all elements of mapping, monitoring, and surveillance strategies might not be feasible for the diseases targeted through the preventive chemotherapy approach, there are opportunities for integration, and we present examples of integrated strategies. Finally, if advantage is to be taken of scaled up interventions to address neglected tropical diseases, efforts to develop rapid, inexpensive, and easy-to-use methods, whether disease-specific or integrated, should be increased. We present a framework for development of an integrated monitoring and evaluation system that combines both integrated and disease-specific strategies. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Hunt L.,Save the Children International | Gupta-Wright A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Simms V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Tamba F.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | And 12 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: Clinical management of Ebola virus disease remains challenging. Routine laboratory analytics are often unavailable in the outbreak setting, and few data exist for the associated haematological and biochemical abnormalities. We aimed to assess laboratory and clinical data from patients with Ebola virus disease to better inform clinical management algorithms, improve understanding of key variables associated with outcome, and provide insight into the pathophysiology of Ebola virus disease. Methods: We recruited all patients, alive on arrival, with confirmed Ebola virus disease who were admitted to the Kerry Town Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone. At admission, all patients had clinical presentation recorded and blood taken for Ebola confirmation using reverse-transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) and for haematological and biochemical analysis. We studied the association between these and clinical outcome. The primary outcome was discharge from the Ebola treatment centre. Findings: 150 patients were admitted to the treatment centre between Dec 8, 2014, and Jan 9, 2015. The mean age of patients was 26 years (SD 14·7). Case fatality rate was 37% (55/150). Most patients presented with stage 2 (gastrointestinal involvement, 72/118 [61%]) and stage 3 (severe or complicated, 12/118 [10%]) disease. Acute kidney injury was common (52/104 [50%]), as were abnormal serum potassium (32/97 [33%]), severe hepatitis (54/92 [59%]), and raised C-reactive protein (21/100 [21%]). Haematological abnormalities were common, including raised haematocrit (15/100 [15%]), thrombocytopenia (47/104 [45%]), and granulocytosis (44/104 [42%]). Severe acute kidney injury, low RT-PCR cycle threshold (<20 cycles), and severe hepatitis were independently associated with mortality. Interpretation: Ebola virus disease is associated with a high prevalence of haematological and biochemical abnormalities, even in mild disease and in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. Clinical care that targets hypovolaemia, electrolyte disturbance, and acute kidney injury is likely to reduce historically high case fatality rates. Funding: None. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Gerstl S.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Dunkley S.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Mukhtar A.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Baker S.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | Maikere J.,Médecins Sans Frontières
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2010

A study to measure adherence to artesunate and amodiaquine (AS+AQ) therapy in patients treated for uncomplicated malaria in community health centres (CHC) was conducted in Sierra Leone. Patients/caretakers were interviewed and remaining AS+AQ tablets at home after the last treatment dose were counted. Persons leaving CHCs with an AS+AQ prescription were also interviewed (exit interviews). In total, 118 patients were visited at home: 27 (22.9%) had one or more tablets left and were classed as certainly non-adherent; 34 (28.8%) were probably non-adherent [reported incorrect (n=27) or incomplete (n=7) intake]; and 57 (48.3%) were probably adherent. The main reasons for incomplete intake were sickness after one dose of AS+AQ, no food available for drug intake and forgetting to take them. For incorrect intake, reasons were vomiting after drug intake and incorrect instructions given by the CHC. Eighty-one percent of probably adherent patients reported following instructions given to them. In exit interviews, 82% of patients or caretakers of patients were able to repeat AS+AQ intake instructions correctly. Adherence to antimalarial treatment should not be taken for granted. Instructions on correct AS+AQ use should include discussion of disease symptoms as well as possible treatment side effects and how to manage them. Other factors are more difficult to influence, such as patients forgetting to take the treatment. © 2010 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Gerstl S.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Dunkley S.,Médecins Sans Frontières | Mukhtar A.,Médecins Sans Frontières | De Smet M.,Médecins Sans Frontières | And 2 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2010

Background. Most malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) use HRP2 detection, including Paracheck-Pf, but their utility is limited by persistent false positivity after treatment. PLDH-based tests become negative more quickly, but sensitivity has been reported below the recommended standard of 90%. A new pLDH test, CareStart three-line P.f/PAN-pLDH, claims better sensitivity with continued rapid conversion to negative. The study aims were to 1) compare sensitivity and specificity of CareStart to Paracheck-Pf to diagnose falciparum malaria in children under five years of age, 2) assess how quickly false-positive CareStart tests become negative and 3) evaluate ease of use and inter-reader agreement of both tests. Methods. Participants were included if they were aged between two and 59 months, presenting to a Médecins Sans Frontières community health centre in eastern Sierra Leone with suspected malaria defined as fever (axillary temperature > 37.5°C) and/or history of fever in the previous 72 hours and no signs of severe disease. The same capillary blood was used for the RDTs and the blood slide, the latter used as the gold standard reference. All positive participants were treated with supervised artesunate and amodiaquine treatment for three days. Participants with a persistent false-positive CareStart, but a negative blood slide on Day 2, were followed with repeated CareStart and blood slide tests every seven days until CareStart became negative or a maximum of 28 days. Results. Sensitivity of CareStart was 99.4% (CI 96.8-100.0, 168/169) and of Paracheck-Pf, 98.8% (95% CI 95.8-99.8, 167/169). Specificity of CareStart was 96.0% (CI 91.9-98.4, 167/174) and of Paracheck-Pf, 74.7% (CI 67.6-81.0, 130/174) (p < 0.001). Neither test showed any change in sensitivity with decreasing parasitaemia. Of the 155 eligible follow-up CareStart participants, 63.9% (99/155) had a false-positive test on day 2, 21.3% (33/155) on day 7, 5.8% (9/155) on day 14, 1.9% (3/155) on day 21 and 0.6% (1/155) on day 28. The median time for test negativity was seven days. CareStart was as easy to use and interpret as Paracheck-Pf with excellent inter-reader agreement. Conclusions. Both RDTs were highly sensitive, met WHO standards for the detection of falciparum malaria monoinfections where parasitaemia was 100 parasites/l and were easy to use. CareStart persistent false positivity decreased quickly after successful anti-malarial treatment, making it a good choice for a RDT for a hyperendemic falciparum malaria area. © 2010 Gerstl et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Koroma J.B.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | Koroma J.B.,Center for Neglected Tropical Diseases | Sesay S.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | Sonnie M.,Helen Keller International | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Background:1974-2005 studies across Sierra Leone showed onchocerciasis endemicity in 12 of 14 health districts (HDs) and baseline studies 2005-2008 showed lymphatic filariasis (LF) endemicity in all 14 HDs. Three integrated annual mass drug administration (MDA) were conducted in the 12 co-endemic districts 2008-2010 with good geographic, programme and drug coverage. Midterm assessment was conducted 2011 to determine impact of these MDAs on LF in these districts.Methodology/Principal Findings:The mf prevalence and intensity in the 12 districts were determined using the thick blood film method and results compared with baseline data from 2007-2008. Overall mf prevalence fell from 2.6% (95% CI: 2.3%-3.0%) to 0.3% (95% CI: 0.19%-0.47%), a decrease of 88.5% (p = 0.000); prevalence was 0.0% (100.0% decrease) in four districts: Bo, Moyamba, Kenema and Kono (p = 0.001, 0.025, 0.085 and 0.000 respectively); and seven districts had reductions in mf prevalence of between 70.0% and 95.0% (p = 0.000, 0.060, 0.001, 0.014, 0.000, 0.000 and 0.002 for Bombali, Bonthe, Kailahun, Kambia, Koinadugu, Port Loko and Tonkolili districts respectively). Pujehun had baseline mf prevalence of 0.0%, which was maintained. Only Bombali still had an mf prevalence ≥1.0% (1.58%, 95% CI: 0.80%-3.09%)), and this is the district that had the highest baseline mf prevalence: 6.9% (95% CI: 5.3%-8.8%). Overall arithmetic mean mf density after three MDAs was 17.59 mf/ml (95% CI: 15.64 mf/ml-19.55 mf/ml) among mf positive individuals (65.4% decrease from baseline of 50.9 mf/ml (95% CI: 40.25 mf/ml-61.62 mf/ml; p = 0.001) and 0.05 mf/ml (95% CI: 0.03 mf/ml-0.08 mf/ml) for the entire population examined (96.2% decrease from baseline of 1.32 mf/ml (95% CI: 1.00 mf/ml-1.65 mf/ml; p = 0.000)).Conclusions/Significance:The results show that mf prevalence decreased to <1.0% in all but one of the 12 districts after three MDAs. Overall mf density reduced by 65.0% among mf-positive individuals, and 95.8% for the entire population. © 2013 Koroma et al.


Feuerriegel S.,Research Center Borstel | Oberhauser B.,German Leprosy and TB Relief Association | George A.G.,National Leprosy TB Reference Laboratory | Dafae F.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | And 3 more authors.
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2012

Background: Drug resistance displays a problem for the therapy of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. For molecular resistance testing, it is essential to have precise knowledge on genomic variations involved in resistance development. However, data from high-incidence settings are only sparely available. Therefore we performed a systematic approach and analyzed a total of 97 M. tuberculosis strains from previously treated patients in Sierra Leone for mutations in katG, rpoB, rrs, rpsL, gidB, embB, pncA and where applicable in inhA and ahpC. Of the strains investigated 50 were either mono- or poly-resistant to isoniazid, rifampin, streptomycin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide or MDR and 47 fully susceptible strains served as controls. Results: The majority of isoniazid and rifampin resistant strains had mutations in katG315 (71.9%) and rpoB531 (50%). However, rpoB mutations in codons 511, 516 and 533 were also detected in five rifampin susceptible strains. MIC determinations revealed low-level rifampin resistance for those strains. Thus, the sensitivity and specificity of sequencing of katG for detection of drug resistance were 86.7% and 100% and for sequencing of rpoB 100% and 93.8%, respectively. Strikingly, none of the streptomycin resistant strains had mutations in rrs, but 47.5% harboured mutations in rpsL. Further changes were detected in gidB. Among ethambutol resistant strains 46.7% had mutations at embB306. Pyrazinamide resistant strains displayed a variety of mutations throughout pncA. The specificities of sequencing of rpsL, embB and pncA for resistance detection were high (96-100%), whereas sensitivities were lower (48.8%, 73.3%, 70%). Conclusions: Our study reveals a good correlation between data from molecular and phenotypic resistance testing in this high-incidence setting. However, the fact that particular mutations in rpoB are not linked to high-level resistance is challenging and demonstrates that careful interpretation of molecular resistance assays is mandatory. In addition, certain variations, especially in gidB, appear to be phylogenetically informative polymorphisms rather than markers for drug resistance. © 2012 Feuerriegel et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Sesay S.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | Paye J.,Helen Keller International | Bah M.S.,Helen Keller International | McCarthy F.M.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | And 4 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2014

Background: Schistosoma mansoni was moderately-highly endemic in the northeast of Sierra Leone. The national neglected tropical disease control program started mass drug administration (MDA) with praziquantel (PZQ) in six districts in 2009 targeting primary school children only. The effort was scaled-up to seven districts in 2010 targeting school aged children (SAC) and at-risk adults. A cross-sectional sentinel site survey was conducted in 2012 after three rounds of MDA to evaluate the impact of the national program. Methods. Twenty-six (26) sentinel sites were randomly selected from the baseline mapping survey sites stratified according to the baseline prevalence into high, moderate or low endemic category. Fifty (50) school children (25 males and 25 females) were randomly selected per site. Fresh stool samples were examined in the field using the Kato Katz technique. The results were compared with the baseline data. Results: Program coverage of 94.8%, 77.1% and 81.7% was reported in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Independent monitoring in 2011 showed program coverage of 83.9%, not significantly different from the reported result in the same year. The overall prevalence of S. mansoni was 16.3% (95% CI: 14.4-18.4%) and mean intensity was 18.98 epg (95% CI: 11.46-26.50 epg) in 2012, representing 67.2% and 85.9% reduction from the baseline respectively. The proportion of moderately and heavily infected children was 3.3% and 1.2%, a significant reduction from 18.2% and 8.8% at baseline respectively. Conclusions: Sierra Leone has maintained effective MDA coverage with PZQ since 2009. Three rounds of MDA led to a significant reduction of S. mansoni infection in the country. In line with the significant progress made in controlling schistosomiasis, the national treatment strategy has been reviewed and MDA will be expanded to include school age children in low endemicity districts with the new national objective for the elimination of schistosomiasis. Sierra Leone is well on its way to eliminate schistosomiasis as a public health problem. © 2014 Sesay et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Koroma J.B.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | Koroma J.B.,Center for Neglected Tropical Diseases | Bangura M.M.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | Hodges M.H.,Helen Keller International | And 3 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2012

Background: National mapping of lymphatic filariasis (LF) was conducted using Immunochromatographic tests (ICT) in 2005 to determine endemicity and geographic spread of the disease. A baseline microfilaria survey was then conducted to determine LF prevalence and microfilaria intensity. Methods. In 2005 1,982 persons of 15 years and over from 14 health districts were selected and fingertip blood samples were tested with ICT cards. In 2007-8 blood samples were taken between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and examined for microfilaria (mf) from 9,288 persons from 16 sentinel sites representing each district and 2 additional sites for districts with populations over 500,000 (Bo and Kenema). Results: The overall LF prevalence by ICT cards was 21% (males 28%, females 15%). All districts had a prevalence of Wuchereria bancrofti antigen > 1%. Distribution of LF prevalence showed a strong spatial correlation pattern with high prevalence in a large area in the northeast gradually decreasing to a relatively low prevalence in the southwest coast. High prevalence was found in the northeast, Bombali (52%), Koinadugu (46%), Tonkolili (37%) and Kono (30%). Low prevalence was found in the southwest, Bonthe (3%) and Pujehun (4%). The mf prevalence was higher in the northeast: Bombali, 6.7%, Koinadugu 5.7%, Port Loko 4.4% and Kono 2.4%. Overall there was a significant difference in mf prevalence by gender: males 2.9%, females 1.8% (p = 0.0002) and within districts in Kailahun, Kono, Port Loko, Moyamba and Koinadugu (all p < 0.05). The mf prevalence was higher in people > 20 years (2.5%) than in people 20 years (1.7%) (p = 0.043). The overall arithmetic mean mf density was 50.30 mf/ml among mf-positive individuals and 1.19 mf/ml in the population examined which varied significantly between districts. Conclusions: The ICT results showed that LF was endemic nationwide and that preventive chemotherapy (PCT) was justified across the country. Both the ICT and microfilaraemia surveys found that prevalence was greater in males than females. The increase in microfilaraemia prevalence by age was evident when grouped as 20 versus > 20 years demonstrating early exposure. Baseline LF microfilaria load will be used to monitor PCT program progress. © 2012 Koroma et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Hodges M.H.,Helen Keller International | Magalhaes R.J.,University of Queensland | Paye J.,Helen Keller International | Koroma J.B.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2012

Background: A national mapping of Schistosoma haematobium was conducted in Sierra Leone before the mass drug administration (MDA) with praziquantel. Together with the separate mapping of S. mansoni and soil-transmitted helminths, the national control programme was able to plan the MDA strategies according to the World Health Organization guidelines for preventive chemotherapy for these diseases. Methodology/Principal Findings: A total of 52 sites/schools were selected according to prior knowledge of S. haematobium endemicity taking into account a good spatial coverage within each district, and a total of 2293 children aged 9-14 years were examined. Spatial analysis showed that S. haematobium is heterogeneously distributed in the country with significant spatial clustering in the central and eastern regions of the country, most prevalent in Bo (24.6% and 8.79 eggs/10 ml), Koinadugu (20.4% and 3.53 eggs/10 ml) and Kono (25.3% and 7.91 eggs/10 ml) districts. By combining this map with the previously reported maps on intestinal schistosomiasis using a simple probabilistic model, the combined schistosomiasis prevalence map highlights the presence of high-risk communities in an extensive area in the northeastern half of the country. By further combining the hookworm prevalence map, the at-risk population of school-age children requiring integrated schistosomiasis/soil-transmitted helminth treatment regimens according to the coendemicity was estimated. Conclusions/Significance: The first comprehensive national mapping of urogenital schistosomiasis in Sierra Leone was conducted. Using a new method for calculating the combined prevalence of schistosomiasis using estimates from two separate surveys, we provided a robust coendemicity mapping for overall urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis. We also produced a coendemicity map of schistosomiasis and hookworm. These coendemicity maps can be used to guide the decision making for MDA strategies in combination with the local knowledge and programme needs. © 2012 Hodges et al.


Bennett A.,Tulane University | Smith S.J.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | Yambasu S.,Statistics Sierra Leone | Jambai A.,Ministry of Health and Sanitation | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: In November 2010, Sierra Leone distributed over three million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) with the objective of providing protection from malaria to individuals in all households in the country. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative survey six months after the mass distribution campaign to evaluate its impact on household insecticide-treated net (ITN) ownership and use. We examined factors associated with household ITN possession and use with logistic regression models. Results: The survey included 4,620 households with equal representation in each of the 14 districts. Six months after the campaign, 87.6% of households own at least one ITN, which represents an increase of 137% over the most recent estimate of 37% in 2008. Thirty-six percent of households possess at least one ITN per two household members; rural households were more likely than urban households to have ≥1:2 ITN to household members, but there was no difference by socio-economic status or household head education. Among individuals in households possessing ≥1 ITN, 76.5% slept under an ITN the night preceding the survey. Individuals in households where the household head had heard malaria messaging, had correct knowledge of malaria transmission, and where at least one ITN was hanging, were more likely to have slept under an ITN. Conclusions: The mass distribution campaign was effective at achieving high coverage levels across the population, notably so among rural households where the malaria burden is higher. These important gains in equitable access to malaria prevention will need to be maintained to produce long-term reductions in the malaria burden. © 2012 Bennett et al.

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