[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethiopia has scaled up integrated community case management of childhood illness (iCCM) in most regions. We assessed the strength of iCCM implementation and the quality of care provided by health extension workers (HEWs). Data collectors observed HEWs' consultations with sick children and carried out gold standard re-examinations. Nearly all HEWs received training and supervision, and essential commodities were available. HEWs provided correct case management for 64% of children. The proportions of children correctly managed for pneumonia, diarrhea, and malnutrition were 72%, 79%, and 59%, respectively. Only 34% of children with severe illness were correctly managed. Health posts saw an average of 16 sick children in the previous 1 month. These results show that iCCM can be scaled up at scale and that community-based HEWs can correctly manage multiple illnesses. However, to increase the chances of impact on child mortality, management of severe illness and use of iCCM services must be improved.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 05/2014; · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria is endemic throughout Malawi, but little is known about quality of malaria case management at publicly-funded health facilities, which are the major source of care for febrile patients.
In April-May 2011, we conducted a nationwide, geographically-stratified health facility survey to assess the quality of outpatient malaria diagnosis and treatment. We enrolled patients presenting for care and conducted exit interviews and re-examinations, including reference blood smears. Moreover, we assessed health worker readiness (e.g., training, supervision) and health facility capacity (e.g. availability of diagnostics and antimalarials) to provide malaria case management. All analyses accounted for clustering and unequal selection probabilities. We also used survey weights to produce estimates of national caseloads.
At the 107 facilities surveyed, most of the 136 health workers interviewed (83%) had received training on malaria case management. However, only 24% of facilities had functional microscopy, 15% lacked a thermometer, and 19% did not have the first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), artemether-lumefantrine, in stock. Of 2,019 participating patients, 34% had clinical malaria (measured fever or self-reported history of fever plus a positive reference blood smear). Only 67% (95% confidence interval (CI): 59%, 76%) of patients with malaria were correctly prescribed an ACT, primarily due to missed malaria diagnosis. Among patients without clinical malaria, 31% (95% CI: 24%, 39%) were prescribed an ACT. By our estimates, 1.5 million of the 4.4 million malaria patients seen in public facilities annually did not receive correct treatment, and 2.7 million patients without clinical malaria were inappropriately given an ACT.
Malawi has a high burden of uncomplicated malaria but nearly one-third of all patients receive incorrect malaria treatment, including under- and over-treatment. To improve malaria case management, facilities must at minimum have basic case management tools, and health worker performance in diagnosing malaria must be improved.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89050. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: National malaria control programmes and their partners must document progress associated with investments in malaria control. While documentation has been achieved through population-based surveys for most interventions, measuring changes in malaria case management has been challenging because the increasing use of diagnostic tests reduces the denominator of febrile children who should receive anti-malarial treatment. Thus the widely used indicator, "proportion of children under five with fever in the last two weeks who received anti-malarial treatment according to national policy within 24 hours from onset of fever" is no longer relevant.
An alternative sequence of indicators using a systems effectiveness approach was examined using data from nationally representative surveys in Zambia: the 2012 population-based malaria indictor survey (MIS) and the 2011 health facility survey (HFS). The MIS measured fever treatment-seeking behaviour among 972 children under five years (CU5) and 1,848 people age five years and above. The HFS assessed management of 435 CU5 and 429 people age five and above with fever/history of fever seeking care at 149 health facilities. Consultation observation and exit interviews measured use of diagnostic tests, artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) prescription, and patient comprehension of prescribed regimens.
Systems effectiveness for malaria case management among CU5 was estimated as follows: [100% ACT efficacy] x [55% fever treatment-seeking from an appropriate provider (MIS)] x [71% malaria blood testing (HFS)] x [86% ACT prescription for positive cases (HFS)] x [73% patient comprehension of prescribed ACT drug regimens (HFS)] = 25%. Systems effectiveness for malaria case management among people age five and above was estimated at 15%.
Tracking progress in malaria case management coverage can no longer rely solely on population-based surveys; the way forward likely entails household surveys to track trends in fever treatment-seeking behaviour, and facility/provider data to track appropriate management of febrile patients. Applying health facility and population-based data to the systems effectiveness framework provides a cogent and feasible approach to documenting malaria case management coverage and identifying gaps to direct program action. In Zambia, this approach identified treatment-seeking behaviour as the largest contributor to reduction in systems effectiveness for malaria case management.
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