Philip C Hill

University of Otago, Taieri, Otago, New Zealand

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Publications (113)579.75 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To measure mortality and its risk factors among children discharged from a health centre in rural Gambia. Methods: We conducted a cohort study between 12 May 2008 and 11 May 2012. Children aged 2-59 months, admitted with suspected pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis after presenting to primary and secondary care facilities, were followed for 180 days after discharge. We developed models associating post-discharge mortality with clinical syndrome on admission and clinical risk factors. Findings: One hundred and five of 3755 (2.8%) children died, 80% within 3 months of discharge. Among children aged 2-11 and 12-59 months, there were 30 and 29 deaths per 1000 children per 180 days respectively, compared to 11 and 5 respectively in the resident population. Children with suspected pneumonia unaccompanied by clinically severe malnutrition (CSM) had the lowest risk of post-discharge mortality. Mortality increased in children with suspected meningitis or septicaemia without CSM (hazard ratio [HR] 2.6 and 2.2 respectively). The risk of mortality greatly increased with CSM on admission: CSM with suspected pneumonia (HR 8.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.4 to 15), suspected sepsis (HR 18.4; 95% CI 11.3 to 30), or suspected meningitis (HR 13.7; 95% CI 4.2 to 45). Independent associations with mortality were: mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of 11.5-13.0 cm compared to >13.0 cm (HR 7.2; 95% CI 3.0 to 17.0), MUAC 10.5-11.4 cm (HR 24; 95% CI 9.4 to 62), and MUAC <10.5 cm (HR 44; 95% CI 18 to 108), neck stiffness (HR 10.4; 95% CI 3.1 to 34.8), non-medical discharge (HR 4.7; 95% CI 2.0 to 10.9), dry season discharge (HR 2.0; 95% CI 1.2 to 3.3), while greater haemoglobin (HR 0.82; 0.73 to 0.91), axillary temperature (HR 0.71; 95% CI 0.58 to 0.87), and oxygen saturation (HR 0.96; 95% CI 0.93 to 0.99) were associated with reduced mortality. Conclusion: Gambian children experience increased mortality after discharge from primary and secondary care. Interventions should target both moderately and severely malnourished children.
    PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0137095. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0137095 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Studies evaluating development of health information systems in developing countries are limited. Most of the available studies are based on pilot projects or cross-sectional studies. We took a longitudinal approach to analysing the development of Botswana's health information systems. Objectives: We aimed to: (i) trace the development of the national health information systems in Botswana (ii) identify pitfalls during development and prospects that could be maximized to strengthen the system; and (iii) draw lessons for Botswana and other countries working on establishing or improving their health information systems. Methods: This article is based on data collected through document analysis and key informant interviews with policy makers, senior managers and staff of the Ministry of Health and senior officers from various stakeholder organizations. Results: Lack of central coordination, weak leadership, weak policy and regulatory frameworks, and inadequate resources limited development of the national health information systems in Botswana. Lack of attention to issues of organizational structure is one of the major pitfalls. Conclusion: The ongoing reorganization of the Ministry of Health provides opportunity to reposition the health information system function. The current efforts including development of the health information management policy and plan could enhance the health information management system.
    07/2015; 7(2). DOI:10.5210/ojphi.v7i2.5630
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    ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 1 is one of the leading causes of invasive pneumococcal disease. However, this invasive serotype is hardly found in nasopharyngeal asymptomatic carriage and therefore large epidemiological studies are needed to assess the dynamics of serotype 1 infection. Within the context of a large cluster randomized trial conducted in rural Gambia to assess the impact of PCV-7 vaccination on nasopharyngeal carriage, we present an ancillary analysis describing the prevalence of nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococcal serotype 1 and temporal changes of its more frequent genotypes. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were collected before PCV-7 vaccination (December 2003-May 2004) and up to 30 months after PCV-7 vaccination. The post-vaccination time was divided in three periods to ensure an equal distribution of the number of samples: (1) July 2006-March 2007, (2) April 2007-March 2008 and (3) April 2008-Feb 2009. S. pneumoniae serotype 1 were genotyped by MLST. Serotype 1 was recovered from 87 (0.71%) of 12,319 NPS samples collected. In the pre-vaccination period, prevalence of serotype 1 was 0.47% in both study arms. In the post-vaccination periods, prevalence in the fully vaccinated villages ranged between 0.08% in period 1 and 0.165% in period 2, while prevalence in partly vaccinated villages was between 0.17% in period 3 and 1.34% in period 2. Overall, four different genotypes were obtained, with ST3081 the most prevalent (60.71%), followed by ST618 (29.76%). ST3081 was found only in post-vaccination period 2 and 3, while ST618 had disappeared in post-vaccination period 3. Distribution of these major genotypes was similar in both study arms. Emergence of ST3081 and concomitant disappearance of ST618 may suggest a change in the molecular epidemiology of pneumococcal serotype 1 in this region. This change is not likely to be associated with the introduction of PCV-7 which lacks serotype 1, as it was observed simultaneously in both study arms. Future population-based epidemiological studies will provide further evidence of substantive changes in the pneumococcal serotype 1 epidemiology and the likely mechanisms.
    PeerJ 04/2015; 3(7):e903. DOI:10.7717/peerj.903 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: A major barrier to effective tuberculosis control is our limited understanding of risk factors for tuberculosis disease progression. This study examined the role of apoptosis in immunity to tuberculosis. Methods: Cell subsets from tuberculosis cases and tuberculin skin test-positive (TST(+)) and TST-negative (TST(-)) household contacts (HHCs) were analyzed for expression of annexin-V and propidium iodide by flow cytometry. RNA microarrays were used to determine differences in apoptotic gene expression levels and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification was used to analyze gene expression in HHCs who progressed to active tuberculosis. Results: T cells from TST(+)HHC exhibited higher levels of apoptosis than tuberculosis cases; however, tuberculosis cases had a higher proportion of late apoptotic cells within the CD3(+)PD-1(+) subset. Tuberculosis cases had reduced levels of antiapoptotic genes compared to HHCs with a significant reduction in BCL2 associated with disease progression at least 1 year prior to progression. Conclusions: While T cells are clearly able to mount a robust immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, there are increased levels of apoptosis seen in effector T cells from tuberculosis patients. Dysregulation of several apoptotic genes suggest that apoptosis is a major functional pathway that could be targeted for future host-directed therapeutics.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 04/2015; DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiv238 · 6.00 Impact Factor
  • Gagan Gurung · Sarah Derrett · Philip C Hill · Robin Gauld
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    ABSTRACT: Nepal has seen impressive recent health gains through a successful community-based health program. However, governance challenges remain within the Nepalese primary health care system that include under-staffing and absenteeism, limited health facility opening hours, poor supervision and monitoring, and insufficient financial management. We propose that these be addressed through expanded community engagement and a power shift towards local communities, enhancing skills of community representatives in co-managing health facilities and of service providers to effectively engage the community, increased quality of community participation, and improved documentation of the process and impact of engagement on health outcomes. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    International Journal of Health Planning and Management 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/hpm.2290 · 0.97 Impact Factor
  • Philip C Hill · Christopher C Whalen
    The Lancet 03/2015; 385(9970). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60436-6 · 45.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge about genital Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections in the Pacific is limited. In this study we investigated CT infection in Samoan women. We recruited women having unprotected sex aged 18 to 29 years from 41 Samoan villages. They completed a questionnaire and provided a urine sample for CT testing by PCR. Associations between CT infection and possible risk factors were explored using logistic regression. Two hundred and thirty-nine women were recruited; 86 (36.0%; weighted estimate of prevalence: 41.9%; 95% CI 33.4-50.5%) were positive for CT infection. A higher proportion of women aged 18 to 24 were positive (54/145; 37.2%) than those aged 25 to 29 (32/94; 34.0%; p=0.20). Being single (OR 1.92; 95% CI 1.02-3.63) and having two or more lifetime sexual partners (OR 3.02; 95% CI 1.19-7.67) were associated with CT infection; 27.6% of those with one lifetime partner were positive. Participants who had a previous pregnancy were less likely to be positive (OR 0.49; 95% CI 0.27-0.87). Primiparous and multiparous women were less likely to be positive than nulliparous women (OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.30-0.99 and OR 0.46; 95% CI 0.24-0.89, respectively). The prevalence of CT infection in these Samoan women is very high. Further studies, including investigating the prevalence of CT infection in men, and strategies for sustainable control are needed. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 03/2015; 109(4). DOI:10.1093/trstmh/trv014 · 1.84 Impact Factor
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    Gagan Gurung · Robin Gauld · Sarah Derrett · Philip Hill
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    ABSTRACT: An informed citizenry is necessary for citizens to demand accountability from service providers. A citizen's charter is one approach intended to inform citizens about service entitlements and standards. The key assumption of a charter is to inform citizens about their rights so they can, in turn, exert pressure on service providers to improve performance. Nepal has recently implemented a charter program in its primary health care facilities. Despite some empirical findings on the effect of charters on awareness of rights and services, there is a scarcity of local literature about how charters have been implemented and their effect on health service delivery.
    Annals of Global Health 02/2015; 81(1):181. DOI:10.1016/j.aogh.2015.02.914
  • Keystone Symposia: Host response in Tuberculosis, Santa Fe; 01/2015
  • Gagan Gurung · Robin Gauld · Sarah Derret · Philip Hill
    OIHRN 7 Th Annual Conference, Dunedin; 11/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The Botswana's Ministry of Health redesigned and adopted a new organizational structure in 2005, which was poorly implemented. This article explores factors that influenced the implementation of this organizational structure. Methods: This article draws from data collected through in-depth interviews with 54 purposively selected key informants comprising policy makers, senior managers and staff of the Ministry of Health (N = 40) and senior officers from various stakeholder organizations (N = 14). Findings: Participants generally felt that the review of the Ministry of Health organizational structure was important. The previous structure was considered obsolete with fragmented functions that limited the overall performance of the health system. The new organizational structure was viewed to be aligned to current national priorities with potential to positively influence performance. Some key weaknesses identified included lack of consultation and information sharing with workers during the restructuring process, which affected the understanding of their new roles, failure to mobilize key resources to support implementation of the new structure and inadequate monitoring of the implementation process. Conclusion: Redesigning an organizational structure is a major change. There is a need for effective and sustained leadership to plan, direct, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation phase of the reform. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    International Journal of Health Planning and Management 11/2014; DOI:10.1002/hpm.2275 · 0.97 Impact Factor
  • Gagan Gurung · Robin Gauld · Sarah Derrett · Philip Hill
    NZ Population Health Congress, Auckland; 10/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes triples the risk for active tuberculosis, thus the increasing burden of type 2 diabetes will help to sustain the present tuberculosis epidemic. Recommendations have been made for bidirectional screening, but evidence is scarce about the performance of specific tuberculosis tests in individuals with diabetes, specific diabetes tests in patients with tuberculosis, and screening and preventive therapy for latent tuberculosis infections in individuals with diabetes. Clinical management of patients with both diseases can be difficult. Tuberculosis patients with diabetes have a lower concentration of tuberculosis drugs and a higher risk of drug toxicity than tuberculosis patients without diabetes. Good glycaemic control, which reduces long-term diabetes complications and could also improve tuberculosis treatment outcomes, is hampered by chronic inflammation, drug-drug interactions, suboptimum adherence to drug treatments, and other factors. Besides drug treatments for tuberculosis and diabetes, other interventions, such as education, intensive monitoring, and lifestyle interventions, might be needed, especially for patients with newly diagnosed diabetes or those who need insulin. From a health systems point of view, delivery of optimum care and integration of services for tuberculosis and diabetes is a huge challenge in many countries. Experience from the combined tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS epidemic could serve as an example, but more studies are needed that include economic assessments of recommended screening and systems to manage concurrent tuberculosis and diabetes.
    The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 09/2014; 2(9):740-753. DOI:10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70110-X · 9.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Very few studies have assessed performance of Botswana public hospitals. We draw from a large research study assessing performance of the Botswana Ministry of Health (MoH) to evaluate the performance of public hospital system using the World Health Organization Health Systems Performance Assessment Framework (WHO HSPAF). We aimed to evaluate performance of Botswana public hospital system; relate findings of the assessment to the potential for improvements in hospital performance; and determine the usefulness of the WHO HSPAF in assessing performance of hospital systems in a developing country. Methods: This article is based on data collected from document analysis, 54 key informants comprising senior managers and staff of the MoH (N= 40) and senior officers from stakeholder organizations (N= 14), and surveys of 42 hospital managers and 389 health workers. Data from documents and transcripts were analyzed using content and thematic analysis while data analysis for surveys was descriptive determining proportions and percentages. Results: The organizational structure of the Botswana's public hospital system, authority and decision-making are highly centralized. Overall physical access to health services is high. However, challenges in the distribution of facilities and inpatient beds create inequities and inefficiencies. Capacity of the hospitals to deliver services is limited by inadequate resources. There are significant challenges with the quality of care. Conclusion: While Botswana invested considerably in building hospitals around the country resulting in high physical access to services, the organization and governance of the hospital system, and inadequate resources limit service delivery. The ongoing efforts to decentralize management of hospitals to district level entities should be expedited. The WHO HSPAF enabled us to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the public hospital system. Though relatively new, this approach proved useful in this study.
    International Journal of Health Policy and Management (IJHPM) 09/2014; 3(4):179-89. DOI:10.15171/ijhpm.2014.85
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    ABSTRACT: Background Infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in low income countries where pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are still underused. In countries where PCVs have been introduced, much of their efficacy has resulted from their impact on nasopharyngeal carriage in vaccinated children. Understanding the epidemiology of carriage for S. pneumoniae and other common respiratory bacteria in developing countries is crucial for implementing appropriate vaccination strategies and evaluating their impact. Methods and Findings We have systematically reviewed published studies reporting nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal carriage of S. pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Neisseria meningitidis in children and adults in low and lower-middle income countries. Studies reporting pneumococcal carriage for healthy children <5 years of age were selected for a meta-analysis. The prevalences of carriage for S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis were generally higher in low income than in lower-middle income countries and were higher in young children than in adults. The prevalence of S. aureus was high in neonates. Meta-analysis of data from young children before the introduction of PCVs showed a pooled prevalence estimate of 64.8% (95% confidence interval, 49.8%–76.1%) in low income countries and 47.8% (95% confidence interval, 44.7%–50.8%) in lower-middle income countries. The most frequent serotypes were 6A, 6B, 19A, 19F, and 23F. Conclusions In low and lower-middle income countries, pneumococcal carriage is frequent, especially in children, and the spectrum of serotypes is wide. However, because data are limited, additional studies are needed to adequately assess the impact of PCV introduction on carriage of respiratory bacteria in these countries.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e103293. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103293 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SETTING: The global target of tuberculosis (TB) elimination by 2050 requires new approaches. Active case finding plus mass prophylactic treatment has been disappointing. We consider mass full anti-tuberculosis treatment as an approach to TB elimination in Kiribati, a Pacific Island nation, with a persistent epidemic of high TB incidence.OBJECTIVE: To construct a mathematical model to predict whether mass treatment with a full course of anti-tuberculosis drugs might eliminate TB from the defined population of the Republic of Kiribati.METHODS: We constructed a seven-state compartmental model of the life cycle of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in which active TB disease arises from the progression of infection, reinfection, reactivation and relapse, while distinguishing infectious from non-infectious disease. We evaluated the effects of 5-yearly mass treatment using a range of parameter values to generate outcomes in uncertainty analysis.RESULTS: Assuming population-wide treatment effectiveness for latent tuberculous infection and active TB of 90%, annual TB incidence is expected to fall sharply at each 5-yearly round of treatment, approaching elimination in two decades. The model showed that the incidence rate is sensitive to the relapse rate after successful treatment of TB.CONCLUSION: Mass treatment may help to eliminate TB, at least for discrete or geographically isolated populations.
    The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 08/2014; 18(8). DOI:10.5588/ijtld.14.0007 · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • Philip C Hill · Christopher C Whalen
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    ABSTRACT: Initial optimism that DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course) would have a dramatic effect on TB incidence rates in developing countries has not been supported by the evidence accumulated so far. Indeed, where TB incidence rates have decreased, non-clinical socio-economic factors appear to have played at least as great a role. We postulate that in those settings with little or no decrease in TB incidence, there are likely to be common pathway blockages that interfere with the effectiveness of DOTS implementation as socio-economic factors evolve. Measuring socio-economic trends, as well as DOTS implementation, is important for understanding TB control and opens up the opportunity for broader public health engagement.
    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 07/2014; 108(9). DOI:10.1093/trstmh/tru114 · 1.84 Impact Factor
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    06/2014; 4(1):S56-S58. DOI:10.5588/pha.13.0071

Publication Stats

3k Citations
579.75 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2015
    • University of Otago
      • • Centre for International Health
      • • Department of Preventive & Social Medicine
      Taieri, Otago, New Zealand
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York City, New York, United States
    • National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom
      Vom, Plateau, Nigeria
    • Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
      • Department of Immunology
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013
    • McMaster University
      • McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC)
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 2004–2012
    • Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia Unit
      • Disease Control & Elimination
      Bakau, Banjul, Gambia
  • 2010
    • Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
      • Department of Molecular Medicine
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2006
    • University of Auckland
      Окленд, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2005
    • Stanford University
      Palo Alto, California, United States
    • Leiden University Medical Centre
      • Department of Immunhematology and Blood Transfusion
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands