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Cyamatare F.R.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | Mezzacappa C.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Nkikabahizi F.,Rwanda Ministry of Health | Niyonzima S.,Rwanda Ministry of Health | And 3 more authors.
Archives of disease in childhood

OBJECTIVE: Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) is the leading clinical protocol designed to decrease under-five mortality globally. However, impact is threatened by gaps in IMCI quality of care (QOC). In 2010, Partners In Health and the Rwanda Ministry of Health implemented a nurse mentorship intervention Mentoring and Enhanced Supervision at Health Centres (MESH) in two rural districts. This study measures change in QOC following the addition of MESH to didactic training.DESIGN: Prepost intervention study of change in QOC after 12 months of MESH support measured by case observation using a standardised checklist. Study sample was children age 2 months to 5 years presenting on the days of data collection (292 baseline, 413 endpoint).SETTING: 21 rural health centres in Rwanda.OUTCOMES: Primary outcome was a validated index of key IMCI assessments. Secondary outcomes included assessment, classification and treatment indicators, and QOC variability across providers. A mixed-effects regression model of the index was created.RESULTS: In multivariate analyses, the index significantly improved in southern Kayonza (β-coefficient 0.17, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.22) and Kirehe (β-coefficient 0.29, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.34) districts. Children seen by IMCI-trained nurses increased from 83.2% to 100% (p<0.001) and use of IMCI case recording forms improved from 65.9% to 97.1% (p<0.001). Correct classification improved (56.0% to 91.5%, p<0.001), as did correct treatment (78.3% to 98.2%, p<0.001). Variability in QOC decreased (intracluster correlation coefficient 0.613-0.346).CONCLUSIONS: MESH was associated with significant improvements in all domains of IMCI quality. MESH could be an innovative strategy to improve IMCI implementation in resource-limited settings working to decrease under-five mortality. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions. Source

Ndahimana J.D.,Rwanda Biomedical Center | Riedel D.J.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Mwumvaneza M.,Rwanda Biomedical Center | Sebuhoro D.,Rwanda Biomedical Center | And 13 more authors.
Tropical Medicine and International Health

Objective: To evaluate HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) and determinants of virological failure in a large cohort of patients receiving first-line tenofovir-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens. Methods: A nationwide retrospective cohort from 42 health facilities was assessed for virological failure and development of HIVDR mutations. Data were collected at ART initiation and at 12 months of ART on patients with available HIV-1 viral load (VL) and ART adherence measurements. HIV resistance genotyping was performed on patients with VL ≥1000 copies/ml. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with treatment failure. Results: Of 828 patients, 66% were women, and the median age was 37 years. Of the 597 patients from whom blood samples were collected, 86.9% were virologically suppressed, while 11.9% were not. Virological failure was strongly associated with age <25 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 6.4; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.2–12.9), low adherence (aOR: 2.87; 95% CI: 1.5–5.0) and baseline CD4 counts <200 cells/μl (aOR 3.4; 95% CI: 1.9–6.2). Overall, 9.1% of all patients on ART had drug resistance mutations after 1 year of ART; 27% of the patients who failed treatment had no evidence of HIVDR mutations. HIVDR mutations were not observed in patients on the recommended second-line ART regimen in Rwanda. Conclusions: The last step of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target appears within grasp, with some viral failures still due to non-adherence. Nonetheless, youth and late initiators are at higher risk of virological failure. Youth-focused programmes could help prevent further drug HIVDR development. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Source

Mugabo L.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | Rouleau D.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | Odhiambo J.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | Nisingizwe M.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | And 6 more authors.
Health Research Policy and Systems

Background: Research is essential to identify and prioritize health needs and to develop appropriate strategies to improve health outcomes. In the last decade, non-academic research capacity strengthening trainings in sub-Saharan Africa, coupled with developing research infrastructure and the provision of individual mentorship support, has been used to build health worker skills. The objectives of this review are to describe different training approaches to research capacity strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa outside academic programs, assess methods used to evaluate research capacity strengthening activities, and learn about the challenges facing research capacity strengthening and the strategies/innovations required to overcome them. Methodology: The PubMed database was searched using nine search terms and articles were included if 1) they explicitly described research capacity strengthening training activities, including information on program duration, target audience, immediate program outputs and outcomes; 2) all or part of the training program took place in sub-Saharan African countries; 3) the training activities were not a formal academic program; 4) papers were published between 2000 and 2013; and 5) both abstract and full paper were available in English. Results: The search resulted in 495 articles, of which 450 were retained; 14 papers met all inclusion criteria and were included and analysed. In total, 4136 people were trained, of which 2939 were from Africa. Of the 14 included papers, six fell in the category of short-term evaluation period and eight in the long-term evaluation period. Conduct of evaluations and use of evaluation frameworks varied between short and long term models and some trainings were not evaluated. Evaluation methods included tests, surveys, interviews, and systems approach matrix. Conclusions: Research capacity strengthening activities in sub-Saharan Africa outside of academic settings provide important contributions to developing in-country capacity to participate in and lead research. Institutional support, increased funds, and dedicated time for research activities are critical factors that lead to the development of successful programs. Further, knowledge sharing through scientific articles with sufficient detail is needed to enable replication of successful models in other settings. © 2015 Mugabo et al. Source

Munyaneza F.,College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda | Hirschhorn L.R.,Partners in Health | Hirschhorn L.R.,Harvard University | Amoroso C.L.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Health Geographics

Background: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become an important tool in monitoring and improving health services, particularly at local levels. However, GIS data are often unavailable in rural settings and village-level mapping is resource-intensive. This study describes the use of community health workers' (CHW) supervisors to map villages in a mountainous rural district of Northern Rwanda and subsequent use of these data to map village-level variability in safe water availability. Methods: We developed a low literacy and skills-focused training in the local language (Kinyarwanda) to train 86 CHW Supervisors and 25 nurses in charge of community health at the health center (HC) and health post (HP) levels to collect the geographic coordinates of the villages using Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Data were validated through meetings with key stakeholders at the sub-district and district levels and joined using ArcMap 10 Geo-processing tools. Costs were calculated using program budgets and activities' records, and compared with the estimated costs of mapping using a separate, trained GIS team. To demonstrate the usefulness of this work, we mapped drinking water sources (DWS) from data collected by CHW supervisors from the chief of the village. DWSs were categorized as safe versus unsafe using World Health Organization definitions. Result: Following training, each CHW Supervisor spent five days collecting data on the villages in their coverage area. Over 12 months, the CHW supervisors mapped the district's 573 villages using 12 shared GPS devices. Sector maps were produced and distributed to local officials. The cost of mapping using CHW supervisors was $29,692, about two times less than the estimated cost of mapping using a trained and dedicated GIS team ($60,112). The availability of local mapping was able to rapidly identify village-level disparities in DWS, with lower access in populations living near to lakes and wetlands (p <.001). Conclusion: Existing national CHW system can be leveraged to inexpensively and rapidly map villages even in mountainous rural areas. These data are important to provide managers and decision makers with local-level GIS data to rapidly identify variability in health and other related services to better target and evaluate interventions. © 2014 Munyaneza et al. Source

Nsabuwera V.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | Hedt-Gauthier B.,Partners In Health Inshuti Mu Buzima | Hedt-Gauthier B.,Harvard University | Khogali M.,Medecins Sans Frontieres | And 11 more authors.
Public Health Nutrition

Objective Determining interventions to address food insecurity and poverty, as well as setting targets to be achieved in a specific time period have been a persistent challenge for development practitioners and decision makers. The present study aimed to assess the changes in food access and consumption at the household level after one-year implementation of an integrated food security intervention in three rural districts of Rwanda. Design A before-and-after intervention study comparing Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) scores and household Food Consumption Scores (FCS) at baseline and after one year of programme implementation. Setting Three rural districts of Rwanda (Kayonza, Kirehe and Burera) where the Partners In Health Food Security and Livelihoods Program (FSLP) has been implemented since July 2013. Subjects All 600 households enrolled in the FSLP were included in the study. Results There were significant improvements (P<0·001) in HFIAS and FCS. The median decrease in HFIAS was 8 units (interquartile range (IQR) -13·0, -3·0) and the median increase for FCS was 4·5 units (IQR -6·0, 18·0). Severe food insecurity decreased from 78 % to 49 %, while acceptable food consumption improved from 48 % to 64 %. The change in HFIAS was significantly higher (P=0·019) for the poorest households. Conclusions Our study demonstrated that an integrated programme, implemented in a setting of extreme poverty, was associated with considerable improvements towards household food security. Other government and non-government organizations' projects should consider a similar holistic approach when designing structural interventions to address food insecurity and extreme poverty. © Copyright The Authors 2015 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.. Source

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