Time filter

Source Type

Banda H.,Research for Equity and Community Health Trust
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease | Year: 2016

SETTING: There is a high burden of respiratory disease in sub-Saharan Africa. To address this problem, the World Health Organization launched the 'Practical approach to Lung Health' (PAL), i.e., locally applicable integrated syndromic algorithms, to improve primary care management of these diseases. OBJECTIVE : To examine the evidence for the impact of PAL on the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis (TB) and other common respiratory problems in sub-Saharan Africa. DESIGN: A systematic review of MEDLINE (1998- 2015), EMBASE (1998-2015) and CINAHL (1998- 2015) was conducted to find trials evaluating PAL implementation in sub-Saharan Africa. RESULT S : Five studies were found, evaluating three PAL variations: PAL in South Africa (PALSA), PALSA with integrated human immunodeficiency virus treatment (PALSA PLUS) and PAL in Malawi using lay health workers (PALM/LHW). PALSA increased TB diagnosis (OR 1.72, 95%CI 1.04-2.85), as did PALSA PLUS (OR 1.25, 95%CI 1.01-1.55). Cure or completion rates in retreatment cases in PALSA and PALSA PLUS were significantly improved (OR 1.78, 95%CI 1.13-2.76). PALM/LHW, which examined TB treatment success, found no significant improvement (P = 0.578). CONCLUS ION: The limited research performed shows that PAL can be effective in TB diagnosis and partial treatment success; however, more evidence is needed to assess its effects on other respiratory diseases, especially in wider sub-Saharan Africa. © 2016 The Union.


Simwaka B.N.,Research for Equity and Community Health Trust | Willets A.,Wellsense International Public Health Consultants | Salaniponi F.M.L.,Malawi National TB Control Programme | Nkhonjera P.,Research for Equity and Community Health Trust | Bello G.,Research for Equity and Community Health Trust
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Early access to tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment remains a challenge in developing countries. General use of informal providers such as storekeepers is common. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness and acceptability of a storekeeper-based referral system for TB suspects in urban settings of Lilongwe, Malawi. Methods: The referral system intervention was implemented in two sub-districts. This was evaluated using a pre and post comparison as well as comparison with a third sub-district designated as the control. The intervention included training of storekeepers to detect and refer clients with chronic cough using predesigned referral letters along with monitoring and supervision. Data from a community based chronic cough survey and an audit of health centre records were used to measure its effectiveness. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were carried out to document acceptability of the intervention with the different stakeholders. Results: Following the intervention, the mean patient delay appeared lower in the intervention than comparison areas (2.14 weeks (SD 5.8) vs 8.8 weeks (SD 15.1)). However, after adjusting for confounding variables this difference was not significant (p = 0.07). After the intervention the proportion of the population diagnosed with smear positive TB in the intervention sites (1.2 per 1000) was significantly higher than in the comparison area (0.6 per 1000, p<0.01) even after adjusting for sex and age. Qualitative findings suggested that (a) the referral letters triggered health workers to ask patients to submit sputum for TB diagnosis (b) the approach may be sustainable as the referral role was linked to the livelihood of the storekeepers. Conclusion: The study suggests that the referral system with storekeepers is sustainable and effective in increasing smear positive TB case notification. Studies that assess this approach for control of other diseases along with collection of specimens by storekeepers or similar providers are needed. © 2012 Simwaka et al.


Ansong D.,Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology | Nhlema-Simwaka B.,Research for Equity and Community Health Trust | Baba A.,Congo Inc
Health Research Policy and Systems | Year: 2011

Background: Despite substantial investment in health capacity building in developing countries, evaluations of capacity building effectiveness are scarce. By analysing projects in Africa that had successfully built sustainable capacity, we aimed to identify evidence that could indicate that capacity building was likely to be sustainable.Methods: Four projects were selected as case studies using pre-determined criteria, including the achievement of sustainable capacity. By mapping the capacity building activities in each case study onto a framework previously used for evaluating health research capacity in Ghana, we were able to identify activities that were common to all projects. We used these activities to derive indicators which could be used in other projects to monitor progress towards building sustainable research capacity.Results: Indicators of sustainable capacity building increased in complexity as projects matured and included. - early engagement of stakeholders; explicit plans for scale up; strategies for influencing policies; quality assessments (awareness and experiential stages). - improved resources; institutionalisation of activities; innovation (expansion stage). - funding for core activities secured; management and decision-making led by southern partners (consolidation stage).Projects became sustainable after a median of 66 months. The main challenges to achieving sustainability were high turnover of staff and stakeholders, and difficulties in embedding new activities into existing systems, securing funding and influencing policy development.Conclusions: Our indicators of sustainable capacity building need to be tested prospectively in a variety of projects to assess their usefulness. For each project the evidence required to show that indicators have been achieved should evolve with the project and they should be determined prospectively in collaboration with stakeholders. © 2011 Bates et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


PubMed | Research for Equity and Community Health Trust
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease | Year: 2016

There is a high burden of respiratory disease in sub-Saharan Africa. To address this problem, the World Health Organization launched the Practical approach to Lung Health (PAL), i.e., locally applicable integrated syndromic algorithms, to improve primary care management of these diseases.To examine the evidence for the impact of PAL on the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis (TB) and other common respiratory problems in sub-Saharan Africa.A systematic review of MEDLINE (1998-2015), EMBASE (1998-2015) and CINAHL (1998-2015) was conducted to find trials evaluating PAL implementation in sub-Saharan Africa.Five studies were found, evaluating three PAL variations: PAL in South Africa (PALSA), PALSA with integrated human immunodeficiency virus treatment (PALSA PLUS) and PAL in Malawi using lay health workers (PALM/LHW). PALSA increased TB diagnosis (OR 1.72, 95%CI 1.04-2.85), as did PALSA PLUS (OR 1.25, 95%CI 1.01-1.55). Cure or completion rates in retreatment cases in PALSA and PALSA PLUS were significantly improved (OR 1.78, 95%CI 1.13-2.76). PALM/LHW, which examined TB treatment success, found no significant improvement (P = 0.578).The limited research performed shows that PAL can be effective in TB diagnosis and partial treatment success; however, more evidence is needed to assess its effects on other respiratory diseases, especially in wider sub-Saharan Africa.


PubMed | Research for Equity and Community Health Trust
Type: | Journal: Global health action | Year: 2014

Gender inequalities are important social determinants of health. We set out to critically review the literature relating to gender equity and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in Eastern and Southern Africa with the aim of identifying priorities for action.During November 2011, we identified studies relating to SRH and gender equity through a comprehensive literature search.We found gender inequalities to be common across a range of health issues relating to SRH with women being particularly disadvantaged. Social and biological determinants combined to increase womens vulnerability to maternal mortality, HIV, and gender-based violence. Health systems significantly disadvantaged women in terms of access to care. Men fared worse in relation to HIV testing and care with social norms leading to men presenting later for treatment.Gender inequity in SRH requires multiple complementary approaches to address the structural drivers of unequal health outcomes. These could include interventions that alter the structural environment in which ill-health is created. Interventions are required both within and beyond the health system.


Hardon A.,University of Amsterdam | Vernooij E.,University of Amsterdam | Bongololo-Mbera G.,Research for Equity and Community Health Trust | Cherutich P.,Ministry of Health | And 6 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: Ambitious UN goals to reduce the mother-to-child transmission of HIV have not been met in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper focuses on the quality of information provision and counseling and disclosure patterns in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda to identify how services can be improved to enable better PMTCT outcomes. Methods. Our mixed-methods study draws on data obtained through: (1) the MATCH (Multi-country African Testing and Counseling for HIV) study's main survey, conducted in 2008-09 among clients (N = 408) and providers at health facilities offering HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC) services; 2) semi-structured interviews with a sub-set of 63 HIV-positive women on their experiences of stigma, disclosure, post-test counseling and access to follow-up psycho-social support; (3) in-depth interviews with key informants and PMTCT healthcare workers; and (4) document study of national PMTCT policies and guidelines. We quantitatively examined differences in the quality of counseling by country and by HIV status using Fisher's exact tests. Results: The majority of pregnant women attending antenatal care (80-90%) report that they were explained the meaning of the tests, explained how HIV can be transmitted, given advice on prevention, encouraged to refer their partners for testing, and given time to ask questions. Our qualitative findings reveal that some women found testing regimes to be coercive, while disclosure remains highly problematic. 79% of HIV-positive pregnant women reported that they generally keep their status secret; only 37% had disclosed to their husband. Conclusion: To achieve better PMTCT outcomes, the strategy of testing women in antenatal care (perceived as an exclusively female domain) when they are already pregnant needs to be rethought. When scaling up HIV testing programs, it is particularly important that issues of partner disclosure are taken seriously. © 2011 Hardon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Makaula P.,Research for Health Environment and Development | Makaula P.,University of Malawi | Bloch P.,Copenhagen University | Bloch P.,Steno Health Promotion Center | And 7 more authors.
BMC Health Services Research | Year: 2012

Background: Primary Health Care (PHC) is a strategy endorsed for attaining equitable access to basic health care including treatment and prevention of endemic diseases. Thirty four years later, its implementation remains sub-optimal in most Sub-Saharan African countries that access to health interventions is still a major challenge for a large proportion of the rural population. Community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTi) and community-directed interventions (CDI) are participatory approaches to strengthen health care at community level. Both approaches are based on values and principles associated with PHC. The CDI approach has successfully been used to improve the delivery of interventions in areas that have previously used CDTi. However, little is known about the added value of community participation in areas without prior experience with CDTi. This study aimed at assessing PHC in two rural Malawian districts without CDTi experience with a view to explore the relevance of the CDI approach. We examined health service providers' and beneficiaries' perceptions on existing PHC practices, and their perspectives on official priorities and strategies to strengthen PHC. Methods. We conducted 27 key informant interviews with health officials and partners at national, district and health centre levels; 32 focus group discussions with community members and in-depth interviews with 32 community members and 32 community leaders. Additionally, official PHC related documents were reviewed. Results: The findings show that there is a functional PHC system in place in the two study districts, though its implementation is faced with various challenges related to accessibility of services and shortage of resources. Health service providers and consumers shared perceptions on the importance of intensifying community participation to strengthen PHC, particularly within the areas of provision of insecticide treated bed nets, home case management for malaria, management of diarrhoeal diseases, treatment of schistosomiasis and provision of food supplements against malnutrition. Conclusion: Our study indicates that intensified community participation based on the CDI approach can be considered as a realistic means to increase accessibility of certain vital interventions at community level. © 2012 Makaula et al.


PubMed | University of Malawi, Malawi Prison Health Services, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Ministry of Health and Research for Equity and Community Health Trust
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Public health action | Year: 2015

The Malawi National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) has collaborated with the Prison Health Services (PHS) on tuberculosis (TB) control in prisons since 1996. Information on case finding and treatment outcomes is routinely collected, but there has not been any recent countrywide review of these prison data.To determine 1) the number of prisoners registered for TB in 2007, 2) TB treatment outcomes in 2006 and 3) training of prison health care staff in all Malawian prisons.Descriptive study involving a review of 2006 and 2007 data collected by the NTP during surveillance in 2008.In 2007, 278 TB patients were registered in Malawian prisons, representing a TB case notification rate of 835 per 100 000 (higher than that in the general population, at 346/100 000). The treatment success rate for new smear-positive TB cases for 2006 was 73%, lower than the national average of 78%. In all, 52 prison health care staff had received 1 week of training in TB management, usually just after starting work in the prison.TB case notifications in Malawian prisons were higher than in the general population and treatment outcomes less favourable. The NTP and PHS need better collaboration to improve TB control in Malawian prisons.


PubMed | World Health Organization, Research for Equity and Community Health Trust, Management science for Health, National Tuberculosis Control Programme and Center for Applied Health Research & Delivery
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Bulletin of the World Health Organization | Year: 2014

To document the prevalence of multidrug resistance among people newly diagnosed with - and those retreated for - tuberculosis in Malawi.We conducted a nationally representative survey of people with sputum-smear-positive tuberculosis between 2010 and 2011. For all consenting participants, we collected demographic and clinical data, two sputum samples and tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).The samples underwent resistance testing at the Central Reference Laboratory in Lilongwe, Malawi. All Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates found to be multidrug-resistant were retested for resistance to first-line drugs - and tested for resistance to second-line drugs - at a Supranational Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory in South Africa.Overall, M.tuberculosis was isolated from 1777 (83.8%) of the 2120 smear-positive tuberculosis patients. Multidrug resistance was identified in five (0.4%) of 1196 isolates from new cases and 28 (4.8%) of 581 isolates from people undergoing retreatment. Of the 31 isolates from retreatment cases who had previously failed treatment, nine (29.0%) showed multidrug resistance. Although resistance to second-line drugs was found, no cases of extensive drug-resistant tuberculosis were detected. HIV testing of people from whom M.tuberculosis isolates were obtained showed that 577 (48.2%) of people newly diagnosed and 386 (66.4%) of people undergoing retreatment were positive.The prevalence of multidrug resistance among people with smear-positive tuberculosis was low for sub-Saharan Africa - probably reflecting the strength of Malawis tuberculosis control programme. The relatively high prevalence of such resistance observed among those with previous treatment failure may highlight a need for a change in the national policy for retreating this subgroup of people with tuberculosis.


Mann G.H.,Collaboration for Research on Equity and Systems for TB and HIV AIDS CRESTHA | Thomson R.,Collaboration for Research on Equity and Systems for TB and HIV AIDS CRESTHA | Jin C.,Shanghai Academy of Social science | Phiri M.,Research for Equity and Community Health Trust | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease | Year: 2011

It has long been recognised that the health-related Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved without strengthened health systems. This article presents the most recent World Health Organization framework for strengthening health systems and considers how health economics research can be used to measure achievements against each of the goals of the framework. Benefits to health systems strengthening of incorporating health economics tools into operational research are highlighted. Finally, health economic tools are placed within an impact assessment framework that facilitates the capture of health systems considerations in implementation research for innovations in tuberculosis diagnosis. © 2011 The Union.

Loading Research for Equity and Community Health Trust collaborators
Loading Research for Equity and Community Health Trust collaborators