Tidziwe Center

Lilongwe, Malawi

Tidziwe Center

Lilongwe, Malawi
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Lee C.N.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Gopal S.,Tidziwe center
Patient Preference and Adherence | Year: 2015

Background: In Malawi, routine breast cancer screening is not available and little is known about women’s preferences regarding early detection services. Discrete choice experiments are increasingly used to reveal preferences about new health services; however, selecting appropriate attributes that describe a new health service is imperative to ensure validity of the choice experiment.Objective: To identify important factors that are relevant to Malawian women’s preferences for breast cancer detection services and to select attributes and levels for a discrete choice experiment in a setting where both breast cancer early detection and choice experiments are rare.Methods: We reviewed the literature to establish an initial list of potential attributes and levels for a discrete choice experiment and conducted qualitative interviews with health workers and community women to explore relevant local factors affecting decisions to use cancer detection services. We tested the design through cognitive interviews and refined the levels, descriptions, and designs.Results: Themes that emerged from interviews provided critical information about breast cancer detection services, specifically, that breast cancer interventions should be integrated into other health services because asymptomatic screening may not be practical as an individual service. Based on participants’ responses, the final attributes of the choice experiment included travel time, health encounter, health worker type and sex, and breast cancer early detection strategy. Cognitive testing confirmed the acceptability of the final attributes, comprehension of choice tasks, and women’s abilities to make trade-offs.Conclusion: Applying a discrete choice experiment for breast cancer early detection was feasible with appropriate tailoring for a low-income, low-literacy African setting. © 2015 Kohler et al.


Dow A.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Kayira D.,Tidziwe Center | Hudgens M.G.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Van Rie A.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | And 10 more authors.
Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2013

Background. Limited data exist on cotrimoxazole prophylactic treatment (CPT) in pregnant women, including protection against malaria versus standard intermittent preventive therapy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp). Methods. Using observational data we examined the effect of CPT in HIV-infected pregnant women on malaria during pregnancy, low birth weight and preterm birth using proportional hazards, logistic, and log binomial regression, respectively. We used linear regression to assess effect of CPT on CD4 count. Results. Data from 468 CPT-exposed and 768 CPT-unexposed women were analyzed. CPT was associated with protection against malaria versus IPTp (hazard ratio: 0.35, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.20, 0.60). After adjustment for time period this effect was not statistically significant (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.28, 1.52). Among women receiving and not receiving CPT, rates of low birth weight (7.1% versus 7.6%) and preterm birth (23.5% versus 23.6%) were similar. CPT was associated with lower CD4 counts 24 weeks postpartum in women receiving (-77.6 cells/μL, 95% CI: -125.2, -30.1) and not receiving antiretrovirals (-33.7 cells/μL, 95% CI: -58.6, -8.8). Conclusions. Compared to IPTp, CPT provided comparable protection against malaria in HIV-infected pregnant women and against preterm birth or low birth weight. Possible implications of CPT-associated lower CD4 postpartum warrant further examination. © 2013 Anna Dow et al.


Ramlal R.T.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Tembo M.,Tidziwe Center | King C.C.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Ellington S.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 8 more authors.
Nutrients | Year: 2015

Diet is a modifiable factor that can contribute to the health of pregnant women. In a sample of 577 HIV-positive pregnant women who completed baseline interviews for the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition Study in Lilongwe, Malawi, cluster analysis was used to derive dietary patterns. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify associations between the dietary patterns and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), arm muscle area (AMA), arm fat area (AFA), and hemoglobin at baseline. Three key dietary patterns were identified: animal-based, plant-based, and grain-based. Women with relatively greater wealth were more likely to consume the animal-based diet, which had the highest intake of energy, protein, and fat and was associated with higher hemoglobin levels compared to the other diets. Women with the lowest wealth were more likely to consume the grain-based diet with the lowest intake of energy, protein, fat, and iron and were more likely to have lower AFA than women on the animal-based and plant-based diets, but higher AMA compared to women on the animal-based diet. Pregnant, HIV-infected women in Malawi could benefit from nutritional support to ensure greater nutrient diversity during pregnancy, when women face increased nutrient demands to support fetal growth and development. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio State University, University of Witwatersrand, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tidziwe Center
Type: | Journal: Infectious diseases in obstetrics and gynecology | Year: 2013

Limited data exist on cotrimoxazole prophylactic treatment (CPT) in pregnant women, including protection against malaria versus standard intermittent preventive therapy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp).Using observational data we examined the effect of CPT in HIV-infected pregnant women on malaria during pregnancy, low birth weight and preterm birth using proportional hazards, logistic, and log binomial regression, respectively. We used linear regression to assess effect of CPT on CD4 count.Data from 468 CPT-exposed and 768 CPT-unexposed women were analyzed. CPT was associated with protection against malaria versus IPTp (hazard ratio: 0.35, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.20, 0.60). After adjustment for time period this effect was not statistically significant (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.28, 1.52). Among women receiving and not receiving CPT, rates of low birth weight (7.1% versus 7.6%) and preterm birth (23.5% versus 23.6%) were similar. CPT was associated with lower CD4 counts 24 weeks postpartum in women receiving (-77.6cells/ L, 95% CI: -125.2, -30.1) and not receiving antiretrovirals (-33.7cells/ L, 95% CI: -58.6, -8.8).Compared to IPTp, CPT provided comparable protection against malaria in HIV-infected pregnant women and against preterm birth or low birth weight. Possible implications of CPT-associated lower CD4 postpartum warrant further examination.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tidziwe Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nutrients | Year: 2015

Diet is a modifiable factor that can contribute to the health of pregnant women. In a sample of 577 HIV-positive pregnant women who completed baseline interviews for the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition Study in Lilongwe, Malawi, cluster analysis was used to derive dietary patterns. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify associations between the dietary patterns and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), arm muscle area (AMA), arm fat area (AFA), and hemoglobin at baseline. Three key dietary patterns were identified: animal-based, plant-based, and grain-based. Women with relatively greater wealth were more likely to consume the animal-based diet, which had the highest intake of energy, protein, and fat and was associated with higher hemoglobin levels compared to the other diets. Women with the lowest wealth were more likely to consume the grain-based diet with the lowest intake of energy, protein, fat, and iron and were more likely to have lower AFA than women on the animal-based and plant-based diets, but higher AMA compared to women on the animal-based diet. Pregnant, HIV-infected women in Malawi could benefit from nutritional support to ensure greater nutrient diversity during pregnancy, when women face increased nutrient demands to support fetal growth and development.


Herce M.E.,Tidziwe Center | Herce M.E.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Mtande T.,Tidziwe Center | Chimbwandira F.,HIV Unit | And 18 more authors.
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: We established Safeguard the Family (STF) to support Ministry of Health (MoH) scale-up of universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women (Option B+) and to strengthen the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) cascade from HIV testing and counseling (HTC) through maternal ART provision and post-delivery early infant HIV diagnosis (EID). To these ends, we implemented the following interventions in 5 districts: 1) health worker training and mentorship; 2) couples' HTC and male partner involvement; 3) women's psychosocial support groups; and 4) health and laboratory system strengthening for EID. Methods: We conducted a serial cross-sectional study using facility-level quarterly (Q) program data and individual-level infant HIV-1 DNA PCR data to evaluate STF performance on PMTCT indicators for project years (Y) 1 (April-December 2011) through 3 (January-December 2013), and compared these results to national averages. Results: Facility-level uptake of HTC, ART, infant nevirapine prophylaxis, and infant DNA PCR testing increased significantly from quarterly baselines of 66 % (n/N = 32,433/48,804), 23 % (n/N = 442/1,958), 1 % (n/N = 10/1,958), and 52 % (n/N = 1,385/2,644) to 87 % (n/N = 39,458/45,324), 96 % (n/N = 2,046/2,121), 100 % (n/N = 2,121/2,121), and 62 % (n/N = 1,462/2,340), respectively, by project end (all p < 0.001). Quarterly HTC, ART, and infant nevirapine prophylaxis uptake outperformed national averages over years 2-3. While transitioning EID laboratory services to MoH, STF provided first-time HIV-1 DNA PCR testing for 2,226 of 11,261 HIV-exposed infants (20 %) tested in the MoH EID program in STF districts from program inception (Y2) through Y3. Of these, 78 (3.5 %) tested HIV-positive. Among infants with complete documentation (n = 608), median age at first testing decreased from 112 days (interquartile range, IQR: 57-198) in Y2 to 76 days (IQR: 46-152) in Y3 (p < 0.001). During Y3 (only year with national data for comparison), non-significantly fewer exposed infants tested HIV-positive (3.6 %) at first testing in STF districts than nationally (4.1 %) (p = 0.4). Conclusions: STF interventions, integrated within the MoH Option B+ program, achieved favorable HTC, maternal ART, infant prophylaxis, and EID services uptake, and a low proportion of infants found HIV-infected at first DNA PCR testing. Continued investments are needed to strengthen the PMTCT cascade, particularly around EID. © 2015 Herce et al.


PubMed | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tidziwe Center
Type: | Journal: Patient preference and adherence | Year: 2015

In Malawi, routine breast cancer screening is not available and little is known about womens preferences regarding early detection services. Discrete choice experiments are increasingly used to reveal preferences about new health services; however, selecting appropriate attributes that describe a new health service is imperative to ensure validity of the choice experiment.To identify important factors that are relevant to Malawian womens preferences for breast cancer detection services and to select attributes and levels for a discrete choice experiment in a setting where both breast cancer early detection and choice experiments are rare.We reviewed the literature to establish an initial list of potential attributes and levels for a discrete choice experiment and conducted qualitative interviews with health workers and community women to explore relevant local factors affecting decisions to use cancer detection services. We tested the design through cognitive interviews and refined the levels, descriptions, and designs.Themes that emerged from interviews provided critical information about breast cancer detection services, specifically, that breast cancer interventions should be integrated into other health services because asymptomatic screening may not be practical as an individual service. Based on participants responses, the final attributes of the choice experiment included travel time, health encounter, health worker type and sex, and breast cancer early detection strategy. Cognitive testing confirmed the acceptability of the final attributes, comprehension of choice tasks, and womens abilities to make trade-offs.Applying a discrete choice experiment for breast cancer early detection was feasible with appropriate tailoring for a low-income, low-literacy African setting.


PubMed | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tidziwe Center, UNICEF Malawi and HIV Unit
Type: | Journal: BMC infectious diseases | Year: 2015

We established Safeguard the Family (STF) to support Ministry of Health (MoH) scale-up of universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women (Option B+) and to strengthen the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) cascade from HIV testing and counseling (HTC) through maternal ART provision and post-delivery early infant HIV diagnosis (EID). To these ends, we implemented the following interventions in 5 districts: 1) health worker training and mentorship; 2) couples HTC and male partner involvement; 3) womens psychosocial support groups; and 4) health and laboratory system strengthening for EID.We conducted a serial cross-sectional study using facility-level quarterly (Q) program data and individual-level infant HIV-1 DNA PCR data to evaluate STF performance on PMTCT indicators for project years (Y) 1 (April-December 2011) through 3 (January-December 2013), and compared these results to national averages.Facility-level uptake of HTC, ART, infant nevirapine prophylaxis, and infant DNA PCR testing increased significantly from quarterly baselines of 66 % (n/N = 32,433/48,804), 23 % (n/N = 442/1,958), 1 % (n/N = 10/1,958), and 52 % (n/N = 1,385/2,644) to 87 % (n/N = 39,458/45,324), 96 % (n/N = 2,046/2,121), 100 % (n/N = 2,121/2,121), and 62 % (n/N = 1,462/2,340), respectively, by project end (all p < 0.001). Quarterly HTC, ART, and infant nevirapine prophylaxis uptake outperformed national averages over years 2-3. While transitioning EID laboratory services to MoH, STF provided first-time HIV-1 DNA PCR testing for 2,226 of 11,261 HIV-exposed infants (20 %) tested in the MoH EID program in STF districts from program inception (Y2) through Y3. Of these, 78 (3.5 %) tested HIV-positive. Among infants with complete documentation (n = 608), median age at first testing decreased from 112 days (interquartile range, IQR: 57-198) in Y2 to 76 days (IQR: 46-152) in Y3 (p < 0.001). During Y3 (only year with national data for comparison), non-significantly fewer exposed infants tested HIV-positive (3.6 %) at first testing in STF districts than nationally (4.1 %) (p = 0.4).STF interventions, integrated within the MoH Option B+ program, achieved favorable HTC, maternal ART, infant prophylaxis, and EID services uptake, and a low proportion of infants found HIV-infected at first DNA PCR testing. Continued investments are needed to strengthen the PMTCT cascade, particularly around EID.

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