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Lusaka, Zambia

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Lusaka, Zambia

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Chanda E.,National Malaria Control Center | Mukonka V.M.,Ministry of Health Headquarters | Mthembu D.,Malaria Research Programme | Kamuliwo M.,National Malaria Control Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Tropical Medicine | Year: 2012

Geographic information systems (GISs) with emerging technologies are being harnessed for studying spatial patterns in vector-borne diseases to reduce transmission. To implement effective vector control, increased knowledge on interactions of epidemiological and entomological malaria transmission determinants in the assessment of impact of interventions is critical. This requires availability of relevant spatial and attribute data to support malaria surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation. Monitoring the impact of vector control through a GIS-based decision support (DSS) has revealed spatial relative change in prevalence of infection and vector susceptibility to insecticides and has enabled measurement of spatial heterogeneity of trend or impact. The revealed trends and interrelationships have allowed the identification of areas with reduced parasitaemia and increased insecticide resistance thus demonstrating the impact of resistance on vector control. The GIS-based DSS provides opportunity for rational policy formulation and cost-effective utilization of limited resources for enhanced malaria vector control. © 2012 Emmanuel Chanda et al.


Kyei N.N.A.,University of Heidelberg | Kyei N.N.A.,37 Military Hospital | Chansa C.,Ministry of Health Headquarters | Gabrysch S.,University of Heidelberg
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2012

Background: Antenatal care (ANC) is one of the recommended interventions to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. Yet in most Sub-Saharan African countries, high rates of ANC coverage coexist with high maternal and neonatal mortality. This disconnect has fueled calls to focus on the quality of ANC services. However, little conceptual or empirical work exists on the measurement of ANC quality at health facilities in low-income countries. We developed a classification tool and assessed the level of ANC service provision at health facilities in Zambia on a national scale and compared this to the quality of ANC received by expectant mothers.Methods: We analysed two national datasets with detailed antenatal provider and user information, the 2005 Zambia Health Facility Census and the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), to describe the level of ANC service provision at 1,299 antenatal facilities in 2005 and the quality of ANC received by 4,148 mothers between 2002 and 2007.Results: We found that only 45 antenatal facilities (3%) fulfilled our developed criteria for optimum ANC service, while 47% of facilities provided adequate service, and the remaining 50% offered inadequate service. Although 94% of mothers reported at least one ANC visit with a skilled health worker and 60% attended at least four visits, only 29% of mothers received good quality ANC, and only 8% of mothers received good quality ANC and attended in the first trimester.Conclusions: DHS data can be used to monitor " effective ANC coverage" which can be far below ANC coverage as estimated by current indicators. This " quality gap" indicates missed opportunities at ANC for delivering effective interventions. Evaluating the level of ANC provision at health facilities is an efficient way to detect where deficiencies are located in the system and could serve as a monitoring tool to evaluate country progress. © 2012 Kyei et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Mukooyo E.S.,Ministry of Health Headquarters | Lutwama A.,UNICEF Uganda | Munabi I.G.,Makerere University | Sewankambo N.,Makerere University | Aceng R.J.,Ministry of Health Headquarters
Pan African Medical Journal | Year: 2015

Introduction: Globally the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in healthcare, eHealth, is on the increase. This increased use is accompanied with several challenges requiring uniformly understood and accepted regulations. Developing such regulations requires the engagement of all stakeholders. In this manuscript we explored the priorities of various eHealth stakeholders in Uganda to inform the eHealth policy review process. Methods: We used a Delphi approach during the initial programmed plenary of a consultative workshop in which participants were asked to identify and post their topmost priority related to eHealth under one of the seven components of the eHealth environment as described in the WHO national eHealth toolkit. We used an additional qualitative analytical method to further group the participant sorted priorities into sub clusters to support additional interpretation using the toolkit. Results: The components of the eHealth environment ranked as follows with respect to descending number of postings: information services and applications (36 postings), information and technology standard (31 postings), leadership and governance (22 postings), strategic planning (21 postings), infrastructure(14 postings), financial management (2 postings) and others (6 postings). Conclusion: Uganda’s eHealth environment is in the developing and building up stage (II). In this environment the policy and implementation strategy should strengthen linkages in core systems, create a foundation for investment, ensure legal certainty and create a strong eHealth enabling environment. © Eddie Sefululya Mukooyo et al.


Idro R.,Makerere University | Idro R.,University of Oxford | Namusoke H.,Makerere University | Abbo C.,Makerere University | And 9 more authors.
BMJ Open | Year: 2014

Results: Patients with NS had had a longer duration of symptoms (median 5 (IQR 3, 6) years) compared with those with OCE (4 (IQR 2, 6) years), p<0.001. The intervention resulted in marked improvements in both groups; compared to the preintervention state, 121/484 (25%) patients with NS achieved seizure freedom and there was a >70% reduction in seizure frequency; behaviour and emotional difficulties resolved in 194/327 (59%) patients; 193/484 (40%) patients had enrolled in school including 17.7% who had earlier withdrawn due to severe seizures, and over 80% had achieved independence in basic self-care. These improvements were, however, less than that in patients with OCE of whom 243/476 (51.1%) patients were seizure free and in whom the seizure frequency had reduced by 86%.Conclusions: Ugandan children with NS show substantial clinical and functional improvements with symptomatic treatments suggesting that NS is probably a reversible encephalopathy.Objectives: Nodding syndrome (NS) is a poorly understood neurological disorder affecting thousands of children in Africa. In March 2012, we introduced a treatment intervention that aimed to provide symptomatic relief. This intervention included sodium valproate for seizures, management of behaviour and emotional difficulties, nutritional therapy and physical rehabilitation. We assessed the clinical and functional outcomes of this intervention after 12 months of implementation.Design: This was a cross-sectional study of a cohort of patients with NS receiving the specified intervention. We abstracted preintervention features from records and compared these with the current clinical status. We performed similar assessments on a cohort of patients with other convulsive epilepsies (OCE) and compared the outcomes of the two groups.Participants: Participants were patients with WHOdefined NS and patients with OCE attending the same centres.Outcome measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with seizure freedom (≥1 month without seizures). Secondary outcome measures included a reduction in seizure frequency, resolution of behaviour and emotional difficulties, and independence in basic self-care.


PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, Ministry of Health Headquarters, Makerere University and University of Cape Town
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMJ open | Year: 2014

Nodding syndrome (NS) is a poorly understood neurological disorder affecting thousands of children in Africa. In March 2012, we introduced a treatment intervention that aimed to provide symptomatic relief. This intervention included sodium valproate for seizures, management of behaviour and emotional difficulties, nutritional therapy and physical rehabilitation. We assessed the clinical and functional outcomes of this intervention after 12months of implementation.This was a cross-sectional study of a cohort of patients with NS receiving the specified intervention. We abstracted preintervention features from records and compared these with the current clinical status. We performed similar assessments on a cohort of patients with other convulsive epilepsies (OCE) and compared the outcomes of the two groups.Participants were patients with WHO-defined NS and patients with OCE attending the same centres.The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with seizure freedom (1month without seizures). Secondary outcome measures included a reduction in seizure frequency, resolution of behaviour and emotional difficulties, and independence in basic self-care.Patients with NS had had a longer duration of symptoms (median 5 (IQR 3, 6) years) compared with those with OCE (4 (IQR 2, 6) years), p<0.001. The intervention resulted in marked improvements in both groups; compared to the preintervention state, 121/484 (25%) patients with NS achieved seizure freedom and there was a >70% reduction in seizure frequency; behaviour and emotional difficulties resolved in 194/327 (59%) patients; 193/484 (40%) patients had enrolled in school including 17.7% who had earlier withdrawn due to severe seizures, and over 80% had achieved independence in basic self-care. These improvements were, however, less than that in patients with OCE of whom 243/476 (51.1%) patients were seizure free and in whom the seizure frequency had reduced by 86%.Ugandan children with NS show substantial clinical and functional improvements with symptomatic treatments suggesting that NS is probably a reversible encephalopathy.


Nabudere H.,Makerere University | Asiimwe D.,Makerere University | Amandua J.,Ministry of Health Headquarters
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care | Year: 2013

Objective: This study describes the process of production, findings for a policy brief on Increasing Access to Skilled Birth Attendance, and subsequent use of the report by policy makers and others from the health sector in Uganda. Methods: The methods used to prepare the policy brief use the SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health policy making. The problem that this evidence brief addresses was identified through an explicit priority setting process involving policy makers and other stakeholders, further clarification with key informant interviews of relevant policy makers, and review of relevant documents. A working group of national stakeholder representatives and external reviewers commented on and contributed to successive drafts of the report. Research describing the problem, policy options, and implementation considerations was identified by reviewing government documents, routinely collected data, electronic literature searches, contact with key informants, and reviewing the reference lists of relevant documents that were retrieved. Results: The proportion of pregnant women delivering from public and private non-profit facilities was low at 34 percent in 2008/09. The three policy options discussed in the report could be adopted independently or complementary to the other to increase access to skilled care. The Ministry of Health in deliberating to provide intrapartum care at first level health facilities from the second level of care, requested for research evidence to support these decisions. Maternal waiting shelters and working with the private-for-profit sector to facilitate deliveries in health facilities are promising complementary interventions that have been piloted in both the public and private health sector. A combination of strategies is needed to effectively implement the proposed options as discussed further in this article. Conclusions: The policy brief report was used as a background document for two stakeholder dialogue meetings involving members of parliament, policy makers, health managers, researchers, civil society, professional organizations, and the media. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013.


PubMed | Global Friends, Gulu University, Ministry of Health Headquarters, Makerere University and Soroti Regional Referral Hospital
Type: | Journal: BMC research notes | Year: 2015

Nodding syndrome has increasingly become an issue of public health concern internationally. The etiology of the disorder is still unknown and there are yet no curative treatments. We explored perceptions about treatment practices and barriers to health seeking for nodding syndrome in Pader and Kitgum districts in northern Uganda in order to provide data necessary for informing policy on treatment adherence and rehabilitations.We used focus group discussions and individual interviews to gain deep insights into help-seeking and treatment practices for nodding syndrome. Purposive sampling was used to identify information-rich participants that included village health teams, community members not directly affected with nodding syndrome, district leaders, healthcare professionals, and caregivers of children affected with nodding syndrome. We used qualitative content analysis to analyze data and presented findings under distinct categories and themes.Caregivers and communities sought care from multiple sources including biomedical facilities, traditional healers, traditional rituals from shrines, and spiritual healing. Nodding syndrome affected children reportedly have showed no enduring improvement with traditional medicines, traditional rituals, and prayers. A substantial minority of participants reported minimal improvements in symptoms of convulsions with use of western medicines. Challenges involved in health seeking included; (1) health system factors e.g. long distances to facilities, frequent unavailability of medicines, few healthcare providers, and long waiting times; (2) contextual and societal challenges e.g. lack of money for transport and medical bills, overburdening nature of the illness that does not allow time for other activities, and practical difficulties involved in transporting the physically deformed and mentally retarded children to the health facilities.Help-seeking for nodding syndrome is pluralistic and include use of traditional and biomedical practices. Western medicines admittedly showed at least short term control on nodding syndrome symptoms, especially convulsions and led in a few cases to regain of functional abilities. However, multiple barriers hinder health seeking and interfere with adherence to biomedical treatments. Regarding cure, there are hitherto no treatments participants perceive cure nodding syndrome.


PubMed | Ministry of Health Headquarters, Makerere University and Mulago Hospital
Type: | Journal: International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases | Year: 2016

Nodding syndrome is a devastating neurological disorder, mostly affecting children in eastern Africa. An estimated 10000 children are affected. Uganda, one of the most affected countries, set out to systematically investigate the disease and develop interventions for it. On December 21, 2015, the Ministry of Health held a meeting with community leaders from the affected areas to disseminate the results of the investigations made to date. This article summarizes the presentation and shares the story of studies into this peculiar disease. It also shares the results of preliminary studies on its pathogenesis and puts into perspective an upcoming treatment intervention. Clinical and electrophysiological studies have demonstrated nodding syndrome to be a complex epilepsy disorder. A definitive aetiological agent has not been established, but in agreement with other affected countries, a consistent epidemiological association has been demonstrated with infection by Onchocerca volvulus. Preliminary studies of its pathogenesis suggest that nodding syndrome may be a neuroinflammatory disorder, possibly induced by antibodies to O. volvulus cross-reacting with neuron proteins. Histological examination of post-mortem brains has shown some yet to be characterized polarizable material in the majority of specimens. Studies to confirm these observations and a clinical trial are planned for 2016.


PubMed | Ministry of Health Headquarters, University of Mississippi Medical Center and Makerere University
Type: | Journal: BMC research notes | Year: 2015

Nodding syndrome (NS) is a severe neuropsychiatric syndrome of an unknown etiology affecting children and adolescents mostly in Eastern Africa. Symptoms of NS and catatonia seem to overlap. We investigated the presence and types of catatonic symptoms in NS and their response to one or two doses of lorazepam, the first-line treatment for catatonia.A cross-sectional descriptive study with systematic assessment of catatonia in 33 patients with NS using a modified version of the Bush Francis Catatonia Rating Scale. Sixteen patients met criteria for catatonia and were observed in an open and uncontrolled study to examine the effects of one or two doses of lorazepam in them.Sixteen of 33 patients with NS had an average of 5 catatonia symptoms and met criteria for catatonia. The highest scores were found for mutism, staring, poor eating/drinking, stupor, and grimacing. Excitement, rigidity, negativism and impulsivity had lower scores. None of the children had echolalia or echopraxia. In 6 children, there was a reduction of more than 50% in catatonia ratings, representing a positive response to lorazepam. Three out of six children whose catatonia ratings did not change after the first dose, responded after administration of a second double dose. There were no unusual or critical side-effects.About half of a selected sample of children with NS met criteria for catatonia. Catatonia scores decreased in most patients after one or two doses of lorazepam. Larger, longer, and controlled studies are warranted to assess the prevalence of catatonia in NS and to assess the use of lorazepam in NS through its effects on catatonia.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02462109 Date of formal registration: June 2, 2015.


Mazaba-Liwewe M.L.,World Health Organization | Siziya S.,Copperbelt University | Siziya S.,University of Lusaka | Monze M.,University of Lusaka | And 7 more authors.
Virology Journal | Year: 2014

Background: Dengue fever is a tropical infectious disease caused by dengue virus (DENV), a single positive-stranded RNA Flavivirus. There is no published evidence of dengue in Zambia. The objective of the study was to determine the sero-prevalence and correlates for dengue fever specific IgG antibodies in Western and North-Western provinces in Zambia. Methods. A randomized cluster design was used to sample participants for yellow fever risk assessment. In order to rule out cross reactivity with other flaviviruses including dengue, differential antibody tests were done by ELISA. Data was processed using Epi Data version 3.1 and transferred to SPSS version 16.0 for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the association of dengue fever with various factors. Unadjusted odds ratios (OR), adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported. Results: A total of 3,624 persons were sampled for dengue virus infection of whom 53.3% were female and 23.9% were in the 5-14 years age group. Most persons in the survey attained at least primary education (47.6%). No significant association was observed between sex and dengue virus infection (p = 1.000). Overall, 4.1% of the participants tested positive for Dengue IgG. In multivariate analysis, the association of age with Dengue infection showed that those below 5 years of age were 63% (AOR = 0.37; 95% CI [0.16, 0.86]) less likely to be infected with Dengue virus compared to those aged 45 years or older. A significant association was observed between grass thatched roofing and Dengue infection (AOR = 2.28; 95% CI [1.15, 4.53]) Respondents who used Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) were 21% (AOR = 1.21; 95% CI [1.01, 1.44]) more likely to be infected with dengue infection than those who did not use ITNs. Meanwhile, participants who visited Angola were 73% (AOR = 1.73; 95% CI [1.27, 2.35]) more likely to be infected with Dengue virus than those who did not visit Angola. Conclusion: This study provides the first evidence of dengue infection circulation in both North-Western and Western provinces of Zambia. It is important that surveillance activities for Dengue and diagnostic systems are expanded and strengthened, nationwide in order to capture information related to dengue virus and other flaviviruses. © 2014 Mazaba-Liwewe et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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