[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A paradigm shift in global health policy on user fees has been evident in the last decade with a growing consensus that user fees undermine equitable access to essential health care in many low and middle income countries. Changes to fees have major implications for human resources for health (HRH), though the linkages are rarely explicitly examined. This study aimed to examine the inter-linkages in Zimbabwe in order to generate lessons for HRH and fee policies, with particular respect to reproductive, maternal and newborn health (RMNH). METHODS: The study used secondary data and small-scale qualitative fieldwork (key informant interview and focus group discussions) at national level and in one district in 2011. RESULTS: The past decades have seen a shift in the burden of payments onto households. Implementation of the complex rules on exemptions is patchy and confused. RMNH services are seen as hard for families to afford, even in the absence of complications. Human resources are constrained in managing current demand and any growth in demand by high external and internal migration, and low remuneration, amongst other factors. We find that nurses and midwives are evenly distributed across the country (at least in the public sector), though doctors are not. This means that for four provinces, there are not enough doctors to provide more complex care, and only three provinces could provide cover in the event of all deliveries taking place in facilities. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis suggests that there is a strong case for reducing the financial burden on clients of RMNH services and also a pressing need to improve the terms and conditions of key health staff. Numbers need to grow, and distribution is also a challenge, suggesting the need for differentiated policies in relation to rural areas, especially for doctors and specialists. The management of user fees should also be reviewed, particularly for non-Ministry facilities, which do not retain their revenues, and receive limited investment in return from the municipalities and district councils. Overall public investment in health needs to grow.
BMC Health Services Research 05/2013; 13(1):197. · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cash transfer programmes are increasingly recognised as promising and scalable interventions that can promote the health and development of children. However, concerns have been raised about the potential for cash transfers to contribute to social division, jealousy and conflict at a community level. Against this background, and in our interest to promote community participation in cash transfer programmes, we examine local perceptions of a community-led cash transfer programme in Eastern Zimbabwe. METHODS: We collected and analysed data from 35 individual interviews and three focus group discussions, involving 24 key informants (community committee members and programme implementers), 24 cash transfer beneficiaries, of which four were youth, and 14 non-beneficiaries. Transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis and coding to generate concepts. RESULTS: Study participants described the programme as participatory, fair and transparent -- reducing the likelihood of jealousy. The programme was perceived to have had a substantial impact on children's health and education, primarily through aiding parents and guardians to better cater for their children's needs. Moreover, participants alluded to the potential of the programme to facilitate more transformational change, for example by enabling families to invest money in assets and income generating activities and by promoting a community-wide sense of responsibility for the support of orphaned and vulnerable children. CONCLUSION: Community participation, combined with the perceived impact of the cash transfer programme, led community members to speak enthusiastically about the programme. We conclude that community-led cash transfer programmes have the potential to open up for possibilities of participation and community agency that enable social acceptability and limit social divisiveness.
BMC Public Health 04/2013; 13(1):342. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Population-based surveys in Southern Africa suggest a substantial burden of undiagnosed HIV-infected long-term survivors of mother-to-child transmission. We conducted an HIV prevalence survey of primary school pupils in Harare, Zimbabwe, and evaluated school-linked HIV counselling and testing (HCT) for pupils, their families and schoolteachers. Population-weighted cluster sampling was used to select six primary schools. Randomly selected class-grade pupils underwent anonymous HIV testing, with concurrent school-linked family HCT offered during the survey. Focus group discussions and interviews were conducted with pupils, parents/guardians, counsellors, and schoolteachers. About 4386 (73%) pupils provided specimens for anonymous HIV testing. Median age was 9 years (IQR 8-11), and 54% were female. HIV prevalence was 2.7% (95% CI: 2.2-3.1) with no difference by gender. HIV infection was significantly associated with orphanhood, stunting, wasting, and being one or more class grades behind in school due to illness (p<0.001). After adjusting for covariates, orphanhood and stunting remained significantly associated with being HIV positive (p<0.001). Uptake of diagnostic HIV testing by pupils was low with only 47/4386 (1%) pupils undergoing HCT. The HIV prevalence among children under 15 years who underwent HIV testing was 6.8%. The main barrier to HIV testing was parents' fear of their children experiencing stigma and of unmasking their own HIV status should the child test HIV positive. Most guardians believed that a child's HIV-positive result should not be disclosed and the child could take HIV treatment without knowing the reason. Increased recognition of the high burden of undiagnosed HIV infection in children is needed. Despite awareness of the benefits of HIV testing, HIV-related stigma still dominates parents/guardians' psychological landscape. There is need for comprehensive information and support for families to engage with HIV testing services.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. At least one third of HIV-infected infants survive to adolescence even without antiretroviral therapy (ART), but are at high risk of complications including cardiac disease. We investigated the characteristics of cardiac disease among HIV-infected adolescents diagnosed in late childhood receiving ambulatory HIV care in Harare, Zimbabwe.Methods. Consecutive adolescents with vertically-acquired HIV attending two HIV outpatient treatment clinics were studied. Assessment included clinical history and examination, and 2D, M-mode, pulsed- and continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography.Results. Of 110 participants (47% male, median age (IQR) =15(12-17) years), 78 (71%) were taking ART. Exertional dyspnoea, chest pain, palpitations and ankle swelling were reported by 47 (43%), 43 (39%), 10 (9%) and 7 (6%), respectively. NYHA score was ≥2 in 41 (37%) of participants. Echocardiography showed 74 (67%) of participants had left ventricular (LV) [septal and/or free wall] hypertrophy and 27 (24%) had evidence of impaired LV relaxation/restrictive LV physiology. Estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure (ePASP) was >30mmHg in 4 (3.6%) participants; of these 2 also had right ventricular (RV) dilatation. A further 32 (29%) participants, without elevated ePASP, had isolated RV dilatation.Conclusions. A significant burden of cardiac disease was seen among adolescents with vertically-acquired HIV infection. Over half were asymptomatic, yet had significant echocardiographic abnormalities. These findings highlight the need to screen this population in order to better define the geography, natural history, aetio-pathogenic mechanisms and management (including the timing and choice of optimal therapeutic ART and cardiac drug interventions) in order to prevent development and/or progression of HIV-associated cardiac disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Census data, collected in July 2009, from 27,672 children were used to compare the effectiveness, coverage and efficacy of three household-based methods for targeting cash transfers to vulnerable children in eastern Zimbabwe: targeting the poorest households using a wealth index; targeting HIV-affected households using socio-demographic information (households caring for orphans, chronically-ill or disabled members; child-headed households); and targeting labour-constrained households using dependency ratios. All three methods failed to identify large numbers of children with poor social and educational outcomes. The wealth index approach was the most efficient at reaching children with poor outcomes whilst socio-demographic targeting reached more vulnerable children but was less efficient.
Social Science [?] Medicine 10/2012; · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously described the presentation of epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV)-like eruptions in almost a quarter of hospitalized adolescents with vertically-acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Harare, Zimbabwe, a region with a high prevalence of HIV infection.
We performed a clinical case note review and skin biopsy from affected sites in 4 HIV-infected adolescents with EV-like lesions in Harare. Biopsies were processed for histology and for human papillomavirus (HPV) typing.
All patients had long-standing skin lesions that pre-dated the diagnosis of HIV by several years. The histology of skin biopsies from all patients was consistent with EV. In each biopsy, EV-associated β-HPV type 5 was identified (additionally, type 19 was found in 1 biopsy). Cutaneous wart-associated HPV types 1 and 2 were detected in all biopsies, together with genital lesion-associated HPV types 6, 16, and 52, (as well as ≥3 other genital lesion-associated HPV types). Despite immune reconstitution with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), there was no improvement in EV-like lesions in any patient.
EV is a disfiguring and potentially stigmatizing condition among this patient group and is difficult to treat; cART appears to have no impact on the progression of skin disease. Among adolescents with longstanding HIV-induced immunosuppression and with high levels of sun exposure, close dermatological surveillance for potential skin malignancy is required.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term survivors of vertically acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are reaching adolescence in large numbers in Africa and are at high risk of delayed diagnosis and chronic complications of untreated HIV infection. Chronic respiratory symptoms are more common than would be anticipated based on the HIV literature.
Consecutive adolescents with presumed vertically acquired HIV attending 2 HIV care clinics in Harare, Zimbabwe, were recruited and assessed with clinical history and examination, CD4 count, pulmonary function tests, Doppler echocardiography, and chest radiography (CXR). Those with suspected nontuberculous chronic lung disease (CLD) were scanned using high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT).
Of 116 participants (43% male; mean age, 14 ± 2.6 years, mean age at HIV diagnosis, 12 years), 69% were receiving antiretroviral therapy. Chronic cough and reduced exercise tolerance were reported by 66% and 21% of participants, respectively; 41% reported multiple respiratory tract infections in the previous year, and 10% were clubbed. More than 40% had hypoxemia at rest (13%) or on exercise (29%), with pulmonary hypertension (mean pulmonary artery pressure >25 mm Hg) in 7%. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) was <80% predicted in 45%, and 47% had subtle CXR abnormalities. The predominant HRCT pattern was decreased attenuation as part of a mosaic attenuation pattern (31 of 56 [55%]), consistent with small airway disease and associated with bronchiectasis (Spearman correlation coefficient (r(2) = 0.8) and reduced FEV(1) (r(2) = -0.26).
Long-term survivors of vertically acquired HIV in Africa are at high risk of a previously undescribed small airway disease, with >40% of unselected adolescent clinic attendees meeting criteria for severe hypoxic CLD. This condition is not obvious at rest. Etiology, prognosis, and response to treatment are currently unknown.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate mortality rates and risk factors for death among smear-negative tuberculosis (TB) suspects.
Cohort study nested within a cluster-randomised trial of community-based active case finding. Smear-negative TB suspects were followed for 12 months, with home tracing where necessary. We calculated mortality rates and used regression analysis to investigate the relationship between clinical characteristics and death.
Between February 2006 and June 2007, 1195 smear-negative TB suspects were followed for 1136.8 person-years. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence was 63.3%. During follow-up, 139 participants died (11.6%) and mortality rates remained high throughout; 119 (16.5%) HIV-positive individuals and 13 (3.1%) HIV-negative individuals died (HR = 5.8, 95%CI 3.3-10.4, P < 0.001). Advanced immunosuppression was the main risk factor for death among HIV-positive participants, with CD4 count < 50 cells/μ l associated with a 13-fold increased risk of death. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) was initiated by only 106 (14.7%), with long delays in accessing care.
HIV-positive smear-negative TB suspects are at high and sustained risk of death. Current guidelines for the management of HIV-infected TB suspects are limited, and this study adds to evidence that specific policies are required to promote earlier HIV and TB diagnosis and reduce delays in ART initiation.
The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease: the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 10/2011; 15(10):1390-6. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The burden of malaria has decreased dramatically within the past several years in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, following the scale-up of interventions supported by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the President's Malaria Initiative and other partners. It is important to appreciate that the reductions in malaria have not been uniform between and within countries, with some areas experiencing resurgence instead. Furthermore, while interventions have greatly reduced the burden of malaria in many countries, it is also recognized that the malaria decline pre-dated widespread intervention efforts, at least in some cases where data are available. This raises more questions as what other factors may have been contributing to the reduction in malaria transmission and to what extent. The International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) in Southern Africa aims to better understand the underlying malaria epidemiology, vector ecology and parasite genomics using three contrasting settings of malaria transmission in Zambia and Zimbabwe: an area of successful malaria control, an area of resurgent malaria and an area where interventions have not been effective. The Southern Africa ICEMR will capitalize on the opportunity to investigate the complexities of malaria transmission while adapting to intervention and establish the evidence-base to guide effective and sustainable malaria intervention strategies. Key approaches to attain this goal for the region will include close collaboration with national malaria control programs and contribution to capacity building at the individual, institutional and national levels.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate lung disease on chest radiography (CR), the relative frequency of CR abnormalities, and their clinical correlates in adolescents with vertically-acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
CRs of 75 patients [59 inpatients (33 males; mean age 13.7±2.3 years) and 16 outpatients (eight males; mean age 14.1±2.1 years)] were retrospectively reviewed by three independent observers. The overall extent of disease (to the nearest 5%), its distribution, and the proportional extents (totalling 100%) of different radiographic patterns (including ring/tramline opacities and consolidation) were quantified. CR features and clinical data were compared.
CRs were abnormal in 51/75 (68%) with "extensive" disease in 38/51 (74%). Ring/tramline opacities and consolidation predominated (i.e., proportional extent >50%) in 26 and 21 patients, respectively. Consolidation was significantly more common in patients hospitalized primarily for a respiratory illness than patients hospitalized for a non-respiratory illness or in outpatients (p<0.005, χ(2) for trend); by contrast, ring/tramline opacities did not differ in prevalence across the groups. On stepwise logistic regression, predominant consolidation was associated with progressive dyspnoea [odds ratio (OR) 5.60; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.60, 20.1; p<0.01] and was associated with a primary respiratory cause for hospital admission (OR: 22.0; CI: 2.7, 181.1; p<0.005). Ring/tramline opacities were equally prevalent in patients with and without chronic symptoms and in those admitted to hospital with respiratory and non-respiratory illness.
In HIV-infected adolescents, evaluated in secondary practice, CR abnormalities are prevalent. The presence of ring/tramline opacities, believed to reflect chronic airway disease, is not linked chronic respiratory symptoms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the validity of oral mucosal transudate (OMT) specimens for HIV testing in children using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted as part of a community-based behavioural and HIV sero-status survey of adults and children in the Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe. Dried blood spot (DBS) and OMT samples were collected from children aged between 2 and 14 years, inclusive. Both samples were tested for HIV using the Vironostika Uniform II plus O kits. The main study outcomes were the sensitivity and specificity of OMT samples, with DBS as the gold-standard specimen.
Paired DBS and OMT specimens were available from 1 274 (94.4%) of the 1 350 children enrolled. Using the DBS, HIV prevalence was 3.2%. Overall sensitivity of OMT was 48.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 33.3 - 64.5), and specificity was 98.5% (95% CI 97.7 - 99.1).
The overall sensitivity of OMT specimens for HIV testing in children using ELISA was low. Stratifying the analysis by sector showed that OMT samples are good specimens for HIV testing. It is important to note that factors such as the low HIV prevalence in our study population, quality of the OMT, diet and oral hygiene could have influenced the results.
South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde 01/2011; 101(1):49-52. · 1.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To present an algorithm for primary-care health workers for identifying HIV-infected adolescents in populations at high risk through mother-to-child transmission.
Five hundred and six adolescent (10-18 years) attendees to two primary care clinics in Harare, Zimbabwe, were recruited. A randomly extracted 'training' data set (n = 251) was used to generate an algorithm using variables identified as associated with HIV through multivariable logistic regression. Performance characteristics of the algorithm were evaluated in the remaining ('test') records (n = 255) at different HIV prevalence rates.
HIV prevalence was 17%, and infection was independently associated with client-reported orphanhood, past hospitalization, skin problems, presenting with sexually transmitted infection and poor functional ability. Classifying adolescents as requiring HIV testing if they reported >1 of these five criteria had 74% sensitivity and 80% specificity for HIV, with the algorithm correctly predicting the HIV status of 79% of participants. In low-HIV-prevalence settings (<2%), the algorithm would have a high negative predictive value (≥ 99.5%) and result in an estimated 60% decrease in the number of people needing to test to identify one HIV-infected individual, compared with universal testing.
Our simple algorithm can identify which individuals are likely to be HIV infected with sufficient accuracy to provide a screening tool for use in settings not already implementing universal testing policies among this age-group, for example immigrants to low-HIV-prevalence countries.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 12/2010; 16(3):349-55. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection was extremely common in southern Africa during the 1990s, and a substantial minority of infected infants have survived to reach adolescence undiagnosed. Studies have shown a high prevalence of HIV infection in hospitalized adolescents who have features associated with long-standing HIV infection, including stunting and frequent minor illnesses. We therefore investigated the epidemiology of HIV infection at the primary care level.
Adolescents (aged 10-18 years) attending two primary care clinics underwent HIV and Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) serological testing, clinical examination, and anthropometry. All were offered routine HIV counseling and testing. Patients attending for acute primary care (APC) who were HIV infected were asked about their risk factors.
Five hundred ninety-four participants were systematically recruited (97% participation), of whom 88 (15%) were attending for antenatal care. HIV infection prevalence was higher among APC attendees than among antenatal care attendees (17% vs 6%; P < .007), but for the prevalence of HSV-2 infection, a marker of sexually acquired HIV, the converse was true (4% vs 14%; P < .002). Seventy (81%) of 86 HIV-positive APC attendees were previously undiagnosed. They had a broad range of presenting complaints, with a median CD4 cell count of 329 cells/microL (interquartile range, 176-485 cells/microL) and a high prevalence of stunting, compared with the corresponding prevalence among HIV-negative attendees (40% vs 12%; P < .001). Maternal transmission was considered to be likely by 69 (80%) of the 86 HIV-positive APC attendees, only one of whom was HSV-2 positive.
Unrecognized HIV infection was a common cause of primary care attendance. Routine HIV counseling and testing implemented at the primary care level may provide a simple and effective way of identifying older long-term survivors of mother-to-child transmission before the onset of severe immunosuppression and irreversible complications.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Control of tuberculosis in settings with high HIV prevalence is a pressing public health priority. We tested two active case-finding strategies to target long periods of infectiousness before diagnosis, which is typical of HIV-negative tuberculosis and is a key driver of transmission.
Clusters of neighbourhoods in the high-density residential suburbs of Harare, Zimbabwe, were randomised to receive six rounds of active case finding at 6-monthly intervals by either mobile van or door-to-door visits. Randomisation was done by selection of discs of two colours from an opaque bag, with one disc to represent every cluster, and one colour allocated to each intervention group before selection began. In both groups, adult (≥16 years) residents volunteering chronic cough (≥2 weeks) had two sputum specimens collected for fluorescence microscopy. Community health workers and cluster residents were not masked to intervention allocation, but investigators and laboratory staff were masked to allocation until final analysis. The primary outcome was the cumulative yield of smear-positive tuberculosis per 1000 adult residents, compared between intervention groups; analysis was by intention to treat. The secondary outcome was change in prevalence of culture-positive tuberculosis from before intervention to before round six of intervention in 12% of randomly selected households from the two intervention groups combined; analysis was based on participants who provided sputum in the two prevalence surveys. This trial is registered, number ISRCTN84352452.
46 study clusters were identified and randomly allocated equally between intervention groups, with 55 741 adults in the mobile van group and 54,691 in the door-to-door group at baseline. HIV prevalence was 21% (1916/9060) and in the 6 months before intervention the smear-positive case notification rate was 2·8 per 1000 adults per year. The trial was completed as planned with no adverse events. The mobile van detected 255 smear-positive patients from 5466 participants submitting sputum compared with 137 of 4711 participants identified through door-to-door visits (adjusted risk ratio 1·48, 95% CI 1·11-1·96, p=0·0087). The overall prevalence of culture-positive tuberculosis declined from 6·5 per 1000 adults (95% CI 5·1-8·3) to 3·7 per 1000 adults (2·6-5·0; adjusted risk ratio 0·59, 95% CI 0·40-0·89, p=0·0112).
Wide implementation of active case finding, particularly with a mobile van approach, could have rapid effects on tuberculosis transmission and disease.
The Lancet 10/2010; 376(9748):1244-53. · 39.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To establish the proportion of adolescents among children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Zimbabwe who receive HIV care and support, and what clinic staff perceives to be the main problems faced by HIV-infected children and adolescents.
In July 2008, we sent a questionnaire to all 131 facilities providing HIV care in Zimbabwe. In it we requested an age breakdown of the children (aged 0-19 years) registered for care and asked what were the two major problems faced by younger children (0-5 years) and adolescents (10-19 years).
Nationally, 115 (88%) facilities responded. In 98 (75%) that provided complete data, 196 032 patients were registered and 24 958 (13%) of them were children. Of children under HIV care, 33% were aged 0-4 years; 25%, 5-9 years; 25%, 10-14 years; and 17%, 15-19 years. Staff highlighted differences in the problems most commonly faced by younger children and adolescents. For younger children, such problems were malnutrition and lack of appropriate drugs (cited by 46% and 40% of clinics, respectively); for adolescents they concerned psychosocial issues and poor drug adherence (cited by 56% and 36%, respectively).
Interventions for the large cohort of adolescents who are receiving HIV care in Zimbabwe need to target the psychosocial concerns and poor drug adherence reported by staff as being the main concerns in this age group.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 06/2010; 88(6):428-34. · 5.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To qualitatively investigate reasons why individuals who reported chronic cough of 2 weeks or more in a cross-sectional prevalence survey had not accessed community-based outreach or other diagnostic services.
This study was nested into a cluster randomised trial comparing two methods of providing community-level diagnosis for tuberculosis (TB). Twenty individuals (12 males) with previously unreported chronic cough, because of undiagnosed pulmonary TB in five cases, were interviewed. An additional 20 individuals who had attended clinical services participated in two focus group discussions. Data were coded and analysed using grounded theory principles.
Participants described cough, and specifically their own symptoms, as having many possible causes other than TB. People avoided care-seeking for cough to avoid a possible diagnosis of 'TB2' (HIV-related TB). Waiting in the hope of spontaneous resolution was common. Delaying treatment-seeking was also a strategy for deferring costs. Another common theme was negative perceptions of health facilities, as places where people anticipated discourteous treatment and being put at risk of contracting TB and HIV. Expectations that they should be in control of their own health further contributed to delayed health-seeking in men.
Some individuals remain reluctant to be investigated for chronic cough even when provided with community-level services, with fear of the connotations of being diagnosed with TB and an aversion to contact with health providers among the dominant themes. In men, deferred acceptance that a chronic cough should be investigated may be related to concepts of masculinity, especially when symptoms are mild.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 03/2010; 15(5):574-9. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Survival to older childhood with untreated, vertically acquired HIV infection, which was previously considered extremely unusual, is increasingly well described. However, the overall impact on adolescent health in settings with high HIV seroprevalence has not previously been investigated.
Adolescents (aged 10-18 y) systematically recruited from acute admissions to the two public hospitals in Harare, Zimbabwe, answered a questionnaire and underwent standard investigations including HIV testing, with consent. Pre-set case-definitions defined cause of admission and underlying chronic conditions. Participation was 94%. 139 (46%) of 301 participants were HIV-positive (median age of diagnosis 12 y: interquartile range [IQR] 11-14 y), median CD4 count = 151; IQR 57-328 cells/microl), but only four (1.3%) were herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) positive. Age (median 13 y: IQR 11-16 y) and sex (57% male) did not differ by HIV status, but HIV-infected participants were significantly more likely to be stunted (z-score<-2: 52% versus 23%, p<0.001), have pubertal delay (15% versus 2%, p<0.001), and be maternal orphans or have an HIV-infected mother (73% versus 17%, p<0.001). 69% of HIV-positive and 19% of HIV-negative admissions were for infections, most commonly tuberculosis and pneumonia. 84 (28%) participants had underlying heart, lung, or other chronic diseases. Case fatality rates were significantly higher for HIV-related admissions (22% versus 7%, p<0.001), and significantly associated with advanced HIV, pubertal immaturity, and chronic conditions.
HIV is the commonest cause of adolescent hospitalisation in Harare, mainly due to adult-spectrum opportunistic infections plus a high burden of chronic complications of paediatric HIV/AIDS. Low HSV-2 prevalence and high maternal orphanhood rates provide further evidence of long-term survival following mother-to-child transmission. Better recognition of this growing phenomenon is needed to promote earlier HIV diagnosis and care.
PLoS Medicine 02/2010; 7(2):e1000178. · 15.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cases of smear-negative TB have increased dramatically in high prevalence HIV settings and pose considerable diagnostic and management challenges.
Between February 2006 and July 2007, a cohort study nested within a cluster-randomised trial of community-based case finding strategies for TB in Harare, Zimbabwe was undertaken. Participants who had negative sputum smears and remained symptomatic of TB were follow-up for one year with standardised investigations including HIV testing, repeat sputum smears, TB culture and chest radiography. Defaulters were actively traced to the community. The objectives were to investigate the incidence and risk factors for TB. TB was diagnosed in 218 (18.2%) participants, of which 39.4% was bacteriologically confirmed. Most cases (84.2%) were diagnosed within 3 months, but TB incidence remained high thereafter (111.3 per 1000 person-years, 95% CI: 86.6 to 146.3). HIV prevalence was 63.3%, and HIV-infected individuals had a 3.5-fold higher risk of tuberculosis than HIV-negative individuals.
We found that diagnosis of TB was insensitive and slow, even with early radiography and culture. Until more sensitive and rapid diagnostic tests become widely available, a much more proactive and integrated approach towards prompt initiation of ART, ideally from within TB clinics and without waiting for TB to be excluded, is needed to minimise the risk and consequences of diagnostic delay.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(7):e11849. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the diagnostic value of provider-initiated symptom screening for tuberculosis (TB) and how HIV status affects it.
We performed a secondary analysis of randomly selected participants in a community-based TB-HIV prevalence survey in Harare, Zimbabwe. All completed a five-symptom questionnaire and underwent sputum TB culture and HIV testing. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of various symptoms and used regression analysis to investigate the relationship between symptoms and TB disease.
We found one or more symptoms of TB in 21.2% of 1858 HIV-positive (HIV+) and 9.9% of 7121 HIV-negative (HIV-) participants (P < 0.001). TB was subsequently diagnosed in 48 HIV+ and 31 HIV- participants. TB was asymptomatic in 18 culture-positive individuals, 8 of whom (4 in each HIV status group) had positive sputum smears. Cough of any duration, weight loss and, for HIV+ participants only, drenching night sweats were independent predictors of TB. In HIV+ participants, cough of > or = 2 weeks' duration, any symptom and a positive sputum culture had sensitivities of 48%, 81% and 65%, respectively; in HIV- participants, the sensitivities were 45%, 71% and 74%, respectively. Symptoms had a similar sensitivity and specificity in HIV+ and HIV- participants, but in HIV+ participants they had a higher positive and a lower negative predictive value.
Even smear-positive TB may be missed by provider-initiated symptom screening, especially in HIV+ individuals. Symptom screening is useful for ruling out TB, but better TB diagnostics are urgently needed for resource-poor settings.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 01/2010; 88(1):13-21. · 5.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Harare's high density suburbs.
To investigate the burden, duration and risk factors for prevalent tuberculosis (TB) and explore potential control strategies.
Randomly selected adults had TB culture, symptom screen and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) serology. Prevalent TB was defined as undiagnosed or still culture-positive. Notification data and HIV prevalence in TB out-patients were used to estimate duration of infectiousness (prevalence/estimated incidence).
Among 10 092 participants, 40 (0.40%, 95%CI 0.28-0.54) had prevalent smear-positive TB. HIV (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.1, 95%CI 1.6-6.3, population attributable fraction [PAF] 33%), male sex (aOR 3.1, 95%CI 1.5-6.4, PAF 40%), and overcrowding (PAF 34%) were significant risk factors, with past TB treatment significant for HIV-negative participants only (PAF 7%). Recent household TB contact was not significant (PAF 10%). HIV prevalence was 21.1%; 76.9% of HIV-positive participants were previously untested. Duration of infectiousness was at least 18 weeks in HIV-positive and approximately 1 year in HIV-negative patients.
Overcrowding, male sex and HIV infection were major risk factors for prevalent smear-positive TB. Reducing diagnostic delay may have greater potential to improve the control of prevalent TB than interventions targeted at household contacts, TB treatment outcomes, or TB-HIV interventions under current levels of awareness of HIV status.
The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease: the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 10/2009; 13(10):1231-7. · 2.61 Impact Factor