Charles Karamagi

Makerere University, Kampala, Central Region, Uganda

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Publications (36)80.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Limited antiretroviral treatment regimens in resource-limited settings require long-term sustainability of patients on the few available options. We evaluated the incidence and predictors of combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) modifications, in an outpatient cohort of 955 patients who initiated cART between January 2009 and January 2011 in western Kenya. cART modification was defined as either first time single drug substitution or switch. Incidence rates were determined by Poisson regression and risk factor analysis assessed using multivariate Cox regression modeling. Over a median follow-up period of 10.7 months, 178 (18.7%) patients modified regimens (incidence rate (IR); 18.6 per 100 person years [95% CI: 16.2-21.8]). Toxicity was the most common cited reason (66.3%). In adjusted multivariate Cox piecewise regression model, WHO disease stage III/IV (aHR; 1.82, 95%CI: 1.25-2.66), stavudine (d4T) use (aHR; 2.21 95%CI: 1.49-3.30) and increase in age (aHR; 1.02, 95%CI: 1.0-1.04) were associated with increased risk of treatment modification within the first year post-cART. Zidovudine (AZT) and tenofovir (TDF) use had a reduced risk for modification (aHR; 0.60 95%CI: 0.38-0.96 and aHR; 0.51 95%CI: 0.29-0.91 respectively). Beyond one year of treatment, d4T use (aHR; 2.75, 95% CI: 1.25-6.05), baseline CD4 counts ≤350 cells/mm3 (aHR; 2.45, 95%CI: 1.14-5.26), increase in age (aHR; 1.05 95%CI: 1.02-1.07) and high baseline weight >60kg aHR; 2.69 95% CI: 1.58-4.59) were associated with risk of cART modification. Early treatment initiation at higher CD4 counts and avoiding d4T use may reduce treatment modification and subsequently improve sustainability of patients on the available limited options.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e93106. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine factors associated with an unknown HIV serostatus among pregnant women admitted in labor to Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. In total, 665 pregnant women admitted to Mulago Hospital were interviewed about their sociodemographic characteristics, obstetric history, access to prenatal care, fears regarding HIV testing, and knowledge about modes of mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT). Knowledge of the HIV serostatus was assessed by self-report and verified by prenatal card review. The prevalence of unknown HIV serostatus at the time of labor was 27.1%. Factors associated with an unknown HIV serostatus included high parity (odds ratio [OR] 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16-3.14), preterm delivery (OR 2.60; 95% CI, 1.06-6.34), prenatal care at a private clinic (OR 12.87; 95% CI, 5.68-29.14), residence more than 5km from the nearest prenatal clinic (OR 2.86; 95% CI, 1.18-17.9), high knowledge about MTCT (OR 0.25; 95% CI, 0.07-0.86), and fears related to disclosing the test result to the partner (OR 3.60; 95% CI, 1.84-7.06). The high prevalence of unknown HIV serostatus among women in labor highlights the need to improve accessibility to HIV testing services early during pregnancy to be able to take advantage of antiretroviral therapy.
    International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 11/2013; · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Efforts to improve access to treatment for common illnesses in children less than five years initially targeted malaria alone under the home management of malaria strategy. However under this strategy, children with other illnesses were often wrongly treated with anti-malarials. Integrated community case management of common childhood illnesses is now recommended but its effect on promptness of appropriate pneumonia treatment is unclear.Objectives To determine the effect of integrated malaria and pneumonia management on receiving prompt and appropriate antibiotics for pneumonia symptoms and treatment outcomes as well as determine associated factors. A follow-up study was nested within a cluster-randomized trial that compared under-five mortality in areas where community health workers (CHWs) treated children with malaria and pneumonia (intervention areas) and where they treated children with malaria only (control areas). Children treated by CHWs were enrolled on the day of seeking treatment from CHWs (609 intervention, 667 control) and demographic, illness, and treatment seeking information was collected. Further information on illness and treatment outcomes was collected on day four. The primary outcome was prompt and appropriate antibiotics for pneumonia symptoms and the secondary outcome was treatment outcomes on day four. Children in the intervention areas were more likely to receive prompt and appropriate antibiotics for pneumonia symptoms compared to children in the control areas (RR = 3.51, 95%CI = 1.75-7.03). Children in the intervention areas were also less likely to have temperature >=37.5[degree sign]C on day four (RR = 0.29, 95%CI = 0.11-0.78). The decrease in fast breathing between day one and four was greater in the intervention (9.2%) compared to the control areas (4.2%, p-value = 0.01). Integrated community management of malaria and pneumonia increases prompt and appropriate treatment for pneumonia symptoms and improves treatment outcomes.Trial registrationISRCTN: ISRCTN52966230.
    Malaria Journal 09/2013; 12(1):340. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide 2 billion people are exposed to hepatitis B infection, 350 million have chronic infection, 65 million in sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda is highly endemic with 10% national prevalence of hepatitis B infection, rates varying across the country from 4% in the southwest and 25% in the Northeast. Childhood vaccination was rolled out in 2002, the effect of which on the burden of hepatitis B has not been examined. We determined the prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B infection in the Northern Uganda Municipality of Gulu. We carried out a cross-sectional, population-based survey. The study population included those found at home at the time of recruitment. Data on demographics, wealth index, cultural and behavioral factors, vaccination and health education on hepatitis B were collected. Hepatitis B infection (Hepatitis B surface antigen positive) and lifetime exposure (anti-hepatitis B core antibody positive) were measured. Analysis was done in 2 age groups, 1--14 years, 14 years and more. Associations between predictors and HBV infection were assessed. Information on 790 respondents were analyzed. Overall, 139/790 (17.6%) had hepatitis B infection and 572/790 (72.4%) lifetime exposure. In the younger age group 16/73 (21.9%) had hepatitis B infection and 35/73 (48%) lifetime exposure. Increasing wealth was protective for infection (OR 0.46 per quartile, 95% CI=0.26-0.82, p=0.009), while older age was protective for lifetime exposure (OR 2.70 per age group, 95% CI 1.03-7.07, p=0.043). In the older age group, overall hepatitis B infection was seen in 123/717 (17.2%) and lifetime exposure in 537/717 (74.9%). The female sex (OR 0.63, 95% CI=0.42-0.98, p=0.032) and increasing age (OR 0.76 per age group, 95% CI=0.64-0.91, p=0.003) were factors associated with infection. For lifetime exposure, increasing number of lifetime sexual partners was a risk factor (OR 1.19 per partner category, 95% CI=1.04-1.38, p=0.012). We found a high prevalence of hepatitis B infection and lifetime exposures to hepatitis B in this northern Uganda Municipality. Targeted vaccination of susceptible adults and improving existing childhood vaccinations and provision of treatment for those with infection will play roles in reducing the high prevalence rates seen in the population.
    BMC Public Health 08/2013; 13(1):727. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Uganda's Ministry of Health registered a 12% increase in new Tuberculosis (TB) cases between 2001 and 2005. Of these, 20% were from Kampala district and most from Mulago national referral hospital where the largest and the oldest medical school is found. Medical students are likely to have an increased exposure to TB infection due to their training in hospitals compared to other university students. The study compared the prevalence of TB infection and associated factors among undergraduate medical and veterinary students in Makerere University, Uganda. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study with 232 medical and 250 veterinary undergraduate students. Socio-demographic and past medical history data was collected using questionnaires. A tuberculin skin test was performed on the volar aspect of the left forearm. An induration >=10 mm in diameter after 48-72 hrs was considered positive. Logistic regression was used to determine association of independent variables with TB infection. RESULTS: The prevalence of TB infection was higher in medical students (44.8%, 95% C.I= 38.4-51.3%) compared to veterinary students (35.2%, 95% C.I = 29.3-41.1%). The significant predictors of TB infection were: being a medical student (aOR=1.56, 95% CI = 1.05-2.31), male sex (aOR=1.75, 95% CI = 1.17-2.63), history of contact with a confirmed TB case (aOR=1.57, 95% CI = 1.06-2.31) and residing at home (aOR=2.08, 95% CI = 1.20-3.61). Among the medical students, having gone to a day compared to boarding high school (aOR=2.31, 95% CI = 1.06-5.04), involvement in extracurricular clinical exposure (aOR=3.39 95% CI = 1.60-7.16), male sex, residence at home, and history of contact with a TB case predicted TB infection. CONCLUSION: Medical students have a higher prevalence of TB infection than veterinary students probably due to increased exposure during training. There is a need to emphasize TB infection control measures in hospitals and the general community.
    Archives of Public Health 04/2013; 71(1):7.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction. Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among women globally. In Uganda, it is on the rise, projected at a 4.5% annual ASR increase (age standardized incidence rate). The reasons for this steep increase are not fully established. In the recent past, gene profiling in tumor tissues suggests that breast cancers are divided into subtypes dependent on the presence or absence of oestrogen receptor, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER 2). These subtypes do have distinctive clinical outcomes and perhaps risk factors from past studies. There is paucity of data on hormonal receptor status and the traditionally known risk factors in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this study therefore was to establish the differences between ER status and the traditionally known risk factors for breast cancer in Uganda. Methods. An observational analytical hospital, based study, carried out at Makerere University, College of Health Sciences. Formalin fixed and paraffin imbedded sections were prepared for haemotoxylin and eosin (H&E) stains and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Ethical approval was obtained. Results. A total of 113 women were recruited. Mean age was 45 years (SD14). There were no significant differences in selected risk factors (setting, age, contraceptive use, parity, breast feeding, or menarche) by ER status although ER negative tumors had significantly higher grade tumors (by a factor of two) compared to ER positive tumors. Conclusion. There were no significant differences among risk factors by ER status contrary to what several other studies suggest. The manifestation of breast cancer in Africa warrants further extensive inquiry.
    ISRN oncology. 01/2013; 2013:463594.
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    ABSTRACT: Development of resistance to first line antimalarials led to recommendation of artemisinin based combination therapies (ACTs). High adherence to ACTs provided by community health workers (CHWs) gave reassurance that community based interventions did not increase the risk of drug resistance. Integrated community case management of illnesses (ICCM) is now recommended through which children will access both antibiotics and antimalarials from CHWs. Increased number of medicines has been shown to lower adherence. To compare adherence to antimalarials alone versus antimalarials combined with antibiotics under ICCM in children less than five years. A cohort study was nested within a cluster randomized trial that had CHWs treating children less than five years with antimalarials and antibiotics (intervention areas) and CHWs treating children with antimalarials only (control areas). Children were consecutively sampled from the CHWs' registers in the control areas (667 children); and intervention areas (323 taking antimalarials only and 266 taking antimalarials plus antibiotics). The sampled children were visited at home on day one and four of treatment seeking. Adherence was assessed using self reports and pill counts. Adherence in the intervention arm to antimalarials alone and antimalarials plus antibiotics arm was similar (mean 99% in both groups) but higher than adherence in the control arm (antimalarials only) (mean 96%). Forgetfulness (38%) was the most cited reason for non-adherence. At adjusted analysis: absence of fever (OR = 3.3, 95%CI = 1.6-6.9), seeking care after two or more days (OR = 2.2, 95%CI = 1.3-3.7), not understanding instructions given (OR = 24.5, 95%CI = 2.7-224.5), vomiting (OR = 2.6, 95%CI = 1.2-5.5), and caregivers' perception that the child's illness was not severe (OR = 2.0, 95%CI = 1.1-3.8) were associated with non-adherence. Addition of antibiotics to antimalarials did not lower adherence. However, caregivers should be adequately counseled to understand the dosing regimens; continue with medicines even when the child seems to improve; and re-administer doses that have been vomited.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e60481. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Postnatal transmission of HIV-1 through breast milk remains an unsolved challenge in many resource-poor settings where replacement feeding is not a safe alternative. WHO now recommends breastfeeding of infants born to HIV-infected mothers until 12 months of age, with either maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or peri-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in infants using nevirapine. As PEP, lamivudine showed a similar efficacy and safety as nevirapine, but with an expected lower rate of resistant HIV strains emerging in infants who fail PEP, and lower restrictions for future HIV treatment. Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) is an attractive PEP candidate with presumably higher efficacy against HIV than nevirapine or lamivudine, and a higher genetic barrier to resistance selection. It showed an acceptable safety profile for the treatment of very young HIV-infected infants. The ANRS 12174 study aims to compare the risk of HIV-1 transmission during and safety of prolonged infant PEP with LPV/r (40/10 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg and 80/20 mg twice daily if >4 kg) versus Lamivudine (7,5 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg, 25 mg twice daily if 4-8 kg and 50 mg twice daily if >8 kg) from day 7 until one week after cessation of BF (maximum 50 weeks of prophylaxis) to prevent postnatal HIV-1 acquisition between 7 days and 50 weeks of age. METHODS: The ANRS 12174 study is a multinational, randomised controlled clinical trial conducted on 1,500 mother-infant pairs in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. We will recommend exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) until 26th week of life and cessation of breastfeeding at a maximum of 49 weeks in both trial arms.HIV-uninfected infants at day 7 (+/- 2 days) born to HIV-1 infected mothers not eligible for HAART who choose to breastfeed their infants.The primary endpoint is the acquisition of HIV-1 (as assessed by HIV-1 DNA PCR) between day 7 and 50 weeks of age. Secondary endpoints are safety (including resistance, adverse events and growth) until 50 weeks and HIV-1-free survival until 50 weeks. DISCUSSION: This study will provide a new evidence-based intervention to support HIV-1-infected women not eligible for HAART to safely breastfeed their babies.Trial registration number (www.clinicaltrials.gov)NCT00640263.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 10/2012; 12(1):246. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    Joan N Kalyango, Maurice Hall, Charles Karamagi
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Chronic diseases are rapidly increasing and are currently the major cause of death and disability worldwide. Patients with chronic diseases experience many challenges including medicine-related problems. However, there is limited information about the home management of medicines among these patients. This study therefore was to determine home medication management practices and associated factors among patients with chronic diseases seeking care in a community pharmacy in Uganda. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a community pharmacy in Kampala from June to July 2010. A total of 207 consenting chronic disease patients or caregivers of children with chronic disease were consecutively sampled. The patients were visited at home to evaluate their drug management practices and to check their medical forms for disease types and drugs prescribed. An interviewer-administered questionnaire and an observation checklist were used to collect the data. RESULTS: Overall home medication management was inappropriate for 70% (n = 145) of the participants (95% CI = 63.3-76.2) and was associated with perceived severity of disease (not severe OR =0.40, moderately severe OR = 0.35), duration of disease >5 years (OR = 2.15), and health worker not assessing for response to treatment (OR = 2.53). About 52% (n = 107) had inappropriate storage which was associated with inadequate information about the disease (OR = 2.39) and distance to the health facility >5 kilometres (OR = 2.82). Fifteen percent (n = 31) had no drug administration schedule and this was associated with increasing age (OR = 0.97), inadequate information about the disease (OR = 2.96), and missing last appointment for medical review (OR = 6.55). About 9% (n = 18) had actual medication duplication; 1.4% (n = 3) had expired medicines; while 18.4% (n = 38) had drug hoarding associated with increasing number of prescribers (OR = 1.34) and duration of disease (OR = 2.06). About 51% (n = 105) had multiple prescribers associated with perceiving the disease to be non severe (OR = 0.27), and having more than one chronic disease (OR = 2.37). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with chronic disease have poor home management of medicines. In order to limit the occurrence of poor outcomes of treatment or drug toxicity, health providers need to strengthen the education of patients with chronic disease on how to handle their medicines at home.
    BMC Health Services Research 09/2012; 12(1):323. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Curative interventions delivered by community health workers (CHWs) were introduced to increase access to health services for children less than five years and have previously targeted single illnesses. However, CHWs in the integrated community case management of childhood illnesses strategy adopted in Uganda in 2010 will manage multiple illnesses. There is little documentation about the performance of CHWs in the management of multiple illnesses. This study compared the performance of CHWs managing malaria and pneumonia with performance of CHWs managing malaria alone in eastern Uganda and the factors influencing performance. A mixed methods study was conducted among 125 CHWs providing either dual malaria and pneumonia management or malaria management alone for children aged four to 59 months. Performance was assessed using knowledge tests, case scenarios of sick children, review of CHWs' registers, and observation of CHWs in the dual management arm assessing respiratory symptoms. Four focus group discussions with CHWs were also conducted. CHWs in the dual- and single-illness management arms had similar performance with respect to: overall knowledge of malaria (dual 72%, single 70%); eliciting malaria signs and symptoms (50% in both groups); prescribing anti-malarials based on case scenarios (82% dual, 80% single); and correct prescription of anti-malarials from record reviews (dual 99%, single 100%). In the dual-illness arm, scores for malaria and pneumonia differed on overall knowledge (72% vs 40%, p < 0.001); and correct doses of medicines from records (100% vs 96%, p < 0.001). According to records, 82% of the children with fast breathing had received an antibiotic. From observations 49% of CHWs counted respiratory rates within five breaths of the physician (gold standard) and 75% correctly classified the children. The factors perceived to influence CHWs' performance were: community support and confidence, continued training, availability of drugs and other necessary supplies, and cooperation from formal health workers. CHWs providing dual-illness management handled malaria cases as well as CHWs providing single-illness management, and also performed reasonably well in the management of pneumonia. With appropriate training that emphasizes pneumonia assessment, adequate supervision, and provision of drugs and necessary supplies, CHWs can provide integrated treatment for malaria and pneumonia.
    Malaria Journal 08/2012; 11:282. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Uganda malaria causes more morbidity and mortality than any other disease and children below 5 years contribute the biggest percentage of malaria related mortality. Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) are currently one of the most cost effective option for reducing malaria-related morbidity and mortality, however the factors affecting their utilization in Uganda are still not well understood. This study examined the prevalence and factors associated with ITN utilization among children of age 0-12 years seeking health care from a Ugandan hospital using caregiver's reports. A cross sectional design was used to collect data using a semi-structured questionnaire from 418 participants. Binary logistic regression was employed to determine predictors of ITN utilization. Results show that the prevalence of ITN utilization among children seeking health care was 34.2%. ITN utilization was higher among children of age <5 years [37.0, 95% CI 31.81-42.21] as compared to children aged ≥5 years [22.9, 95% CI 13.77-32.01]. Source of mosquito net (OR = 13.53, 95% CI = 6.47-28.27), formal employment by head of household (OR = 6.00, 95% CI = 1.95-18.48), sharing a bed with parent (s) (OR = 2.61, 95% CI = 1.21-5.63) and number of children below 12 years in a household (OR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.65-0.99), were significant predictors of utilization. ITN utilization among children was below the set national target. The predictors identified by this study reveal opportunities that can be taken advantage of by malaria control programs to achieve the desired rates of utilization and subsequently malaria prevention in children.
    Journal of Community Health 02/2012; 37(5):1006-14. · 1.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We compared use of community medicine distributors (CMDs) and drug use under integrated community case management and home-based management strategies in children 6–59 months of age in eastern Uganda. A cross-sectional study with 1,095 children was nested in a cluster randomized trial with integrated community case management (CMDs treating malaria and pneumonia) as the intervention and home-based management (CMDs treating only malaria) as the control. Care-seeking from CMDs was higher in intervention areas (31%) than in control areas (22%; P = 0.01). Prompt and appropriate treatment of malaria was higher in intervention areas (18%) than in control areas (12%; P = 0.03) and among CMD users (37%) than other health providers (9%). The mean number of drugs among CMD users compared with other health providers was 1.6 versus 2.4 in intervention areas and 1.4 versus 2.3 in control areas. Use of CMDs was low. However, integrated community case management of childhood illnesses increased use of CMDs and rational drug use.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 01/2012; 87(5 Suppl):36-45. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Africa, herbal medicines are often used as primary treatment for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) related problems. Concurrent use of traditional herbal medicines (THM) with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) is widespread among HIV infected patients. However, the extent of THM use is not known in most settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed at determining the prevalence and factors associated with THM use among HIV infected patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) attending The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda. TASO is a non-governmental organization devoted to offering HIV/AIDS care and treatment services in the population. This was a cross-sectional study carried out in two TASO treatment centres in Uganda among 401 randomly selected eligible participants. We included participants who were 18 years and above, were enrolled on HAART, and consented to participate in the study. Data was collected using an interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaire. THM use referred to someone who had ever used or was currently using herbal medicine while on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) by the time of the study. Data was captured in Epi-data version 3.1 and exported to STATA version 9.0 for analysis. The prevalence of THM use was 33.7%. Patients on HAART for < 4 years were more likely to use THM (OR = 5.98, 95% CI 1.13 - 31.73) as well as those who experienced HAART side effects (OR = 3.66, 95% CI: 1.15 - 11.68). Older patients (≥39 years) were less likely to use THM (OR = 0.26 95% CI: 0.08 - 0.83). Participants with HAART adherence levels > 95% were less likely to use THM (OR = 0.09, 95% CI 0.01 - 0.65). The prevalence of THM use among participants on HAART was high. This raises clinical and pharmacological concerns that need attention by the health care service providers.
    BMC Public Health 11/2011; 11:855. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of a written invitation letter to the spouses of new antenatal clinic attendees on attendance by couples and on male partner acceptance of HIV testing at subsequent antenatal clinic visits. The trial was conducted with 1060 new attendees from October 2009 to February 2010 in an antenatal clinic at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Mbale District, eastern Uganda. The intervention comprised an invitation letter delivered to the spouses of new antenatal attendees, while the control group received an information letter, a leaflet, concerning antenatal care. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of pregnant women who attended antenatal care with their male partners during a follow-up period of four weeks. Eligible pregnant women were randomly assigned to the intervention or non-intervention groups using a randomization sequence, which was computer generated utilizing a random sequence generator (RANDOM ORG) that employed a simple randomization procedure. Respondents, health workers and research assistants were masked to group assignments. The trial was completed with 530 women enrolled in each group. Participants were analyzed as originally assigned (intention to treat). For the primary outcome, the percentage of trial participants who attended the antenatal clinic with their partners were 16.2% (86/530) and 14.2% (75/530) in the intervention and non-intervention groups, respectively (OR = 1.2; 95% CI: 0.8, 1.6). For the secondary outcome, most of the 161 male partners attended the antenatal clinic; 82 of 86 (95%) in the intervention group and 68 of 75 (91%) in the non-intervention group were tested for HIV (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 0.6 to 7.5). The effect of the intervention and the control on couple antenatal attendance was similar. In addition, the trial demonstrated that a simple intervention, such as a letter to the spouse, could increase couple antenatal clinic attendance by 10%. Significantly, the majority of male partners who attended the antenatal clinic accepted HIV testing. Therefore, to further evaluate this simple and cost-effective intervention method, adequately powered studies are required to assess its effectiveness in increasing partner participation in antenatal clinics and the programme for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01144234.
    Journal of the International AIDS Society 09/2011; 14:43. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) is a relatively new concept being promoted in many developing countries to improve sanitation coverage and recycle nutrients in excreta for agricultural production. We conducted a cross-sectional study in Kabale municipality, western Uganda to determine the coverage of Ecosan and factors affecting its uptake. A total of 806 respondents were interviewed, randomly selected from 32 of 77 (42%) villages in Kabale municipality. We held six focus group discussions and 10 key informant interviews. Ecosan coverage was found to be 20% (163/806). The factors that were significantly associated with Ecosan coverage included education, occupation, religion and age. Our study found a relatively high Ecosan coverage in Kabale municipality compared to the targeted national coverage of 15% by 2018. Policy-makers and organizations in Ecosan development ought to take into consideration the influence of education and socio-economic factors for successful uptake of ecological sanitation.
    International Journal of Environmental Health Research 04/2011; 21(4):294-305. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The WHO clinical guidelines for HIV/AIDS are widely used in resource limited settings to represent the gold standard of CD4 counts for antiviral therapy initiation. The utility of the WHO-defined stage 1 and 2 clinical factors used in WHO HIV/AIDS clinical staging in predicting low CD4 cell count has not been established in Uganda. Although the WHO staging has shown low sensitivity for predicting CD4<200 cells/mm(3), it has not been evaluated at for CD4 cut-offs of <250 cells/mm(3) or <350 cells/mm(3). To validate the World Health Organisation HIV/AIDS clinical staging in predicting initiation of antiretroviral therapy in a low-resource setting and to determine the clinical predictors of low CD4 cell count in Uganda. Data was collected on 395 participants from the Joint Clinical Research Centre, of whom 242 (61.3%) were classified as in stages 1 and 2 and 262 (68%) were females. Participants had a mean age of 36.8 years (SD 8.5). We found a significant inverse correlation between the CD4 lymphocyte count and WHO clinical stages. The sensitivity the WHO clinical staging at CD4 cell count of 250 cells/mm(3) and 350 cells/mm(3) was 53.5% and 49.1% respectively. Angular cheilitis, papular pruritic eruptions and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections were found to be significant predictors of low CD4 cell count among participants in WHO stage 1 and 2. The WHO HIV/AIDS clinical staging guidelines have a low sensitivity and about half of the participants in stages 1 and 2 would be eligible for ART initiation if they had been tested for CD4 count. Angular cheilitis and papular pruritic eruptions and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections may be used, in addition to the WHO staging, to improve sensitivity in the interim, as access to CD4 machines increases in Uganda.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e19089. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In resource-poor settings, HIV positive mothers are recommended to choose between 'Exclusive breastfeeding' (EBF) or 'Exclusive replacement feeding' (ERF). Acceptability, Feasibility, Affordability, Sustainability and Safety (AFASS) has been the World Health Organization (WHO)'s a priori criteria for ERF the last ten years. 'AFASS' has become a mere acronym among many workers in the field of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, PMTCT. Thereby, non-breastfeeding has been suggested irrespective of social norms. EBF for the first half of infancy is associated with huge health benefits for children in areas where infant mortality is high. But, even if EBF has been recommended for a decade, few mothers are practicing it. We set out to understand fathers' and mothers' infant feeding perceptions and the degree to which EBF and ERF were 'AFASS.' Eight focus groups with 81 informants provided information for inductive content analysis. Four groups were held by men among men and four groups by women among women in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda. Two study questions emerged: How are the different feeding options understood and accepted? And, what are men's and women's responsibilities related to infant feeding? A mother's commitment to breastfeed and the husband's commitment to provide for the family came out strongly. Not breastfeeding a newborn was seen as dangerous and as unacceptable, except in cases of maternal illness. Men argued that not breastfeeding could entail sanctions by kin or in court. But, in general, both men and women regarded EBF as 'not enough' or even 'harmful.' Among men, not giving supplements to breast milk was associated with poverty and men's failure as providers. Women emphasised lack of time, exhaustion, poverty and hunger as factors for limited breast milk production. Although women had attended antenatal teaching they expressed a need to know more. Most men felt left out from health education. Breastfeeding was the expected way to feed the baby, but even with existing knowledge among mothers, EBF was generally perceived as impossible. ERF was overall negatively sanctioned. Greater culture-sensitivity in programs promoting safer infant feeding in general and in HIV-contexts in particular is urgently needed, and male involvement is imperative. The study was part of formative studies for the ongoing study PROMISE EBF registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00397150).
    International Breastfeeding Journal 10/2010; 5:13.
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    ABSTRACT: HIV testing rates have exceeded 90% among the pregnant women at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Mbale District, eastern Uganda, since the introduction of routine antenatal counselling and testing for HIV in June 2006. However, no documented information was available about opinions of pregnant women in eastern Uganda about this HIV testing approach. We therefore conducted a study to assess attitudes of antenatal attendees towards routine HIV counselling and testing at Mbale Hospital. We also assessed their knowledge about mother to child transmission of HIV and infant feeding options for HIV-infected mothers. The study was a cross-sectional survey of 388 women, who were attending the antenatal clinic for the first time with their current pregnancy at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital from August to October 2009. Data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Makerere University College of Health Sciences, the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology, and Mbale Hospital. The majority of the antenatal attendees (98.5%, 382/388) had positive attitudes towards routine HIV counselling and testing, and many of them (more than 60%) had correct knowledge of how mother to child transmission of HIV could occur during pregnancy, labour and through breastfeeding, and ways of preventing it. After adjusting for independent variables, having completed secondary school (odds ratio: 2.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-4.9), having three or more pregnancies (OR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.4-4.5) and belonging to a non-Bagisu ethnic group (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0-2.7) were associated with more knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding as one of the measures for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. Out of 388 antenatal attendees, 386 (99.5%) tested for HIV and 382 (98.5%) received same-day HIV test results. Routine offer of antenatal HIV counselling and testing is largely acceptable to the pregnant women in eastern Uganda and has enabled most of them to know their HIV status as part of the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV package of services. Our findings call for further strengthening and scaling up of this HIV testing approach in many more antenatal clinics countrywide in order to maximize its potential benefits to the population.
    Journal of the International AIDS Society 01/2010; 13:52. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many HIV-infected patients only access health care once they have developed advanced symptomatic disease resulting from AIDS Defining Conditions (ADCs). We carried out a study to establish the effect of ADCs on immunological recovery among patients initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART). A retrospective cohort of 427 HIV-1 patients who were initiated on ART between January 2002 and December 2006 was studied. Data on ADCs was retrieved from Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) data base and backed up by chart reviews. We employed Kaplan-Meier survival curves to estimate median time to 50 CD4 cells/microl from the baseline value to indicate a good immunological recovery process. Cox proportional hazard models were used at multivariate analysis. The median time to gaining 50 CD4 cells/microl from the baseline value after ART initiation was longer in the ADC (9.3 months) compared to the non-ADC group (6.9 months) (log rank test, p = 0.027). At multivariate analysis after adjusting for age, sex, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV viral load, total lymphocyte count and adherence level, factors that shortened the median time to immunological recovery after ART initiation were belonging to the non-ADC group (HR = 1.31; 95% CI: 1.03-1.28, p = 0.028), adherence to ART of >or= 95% (HR = 2.22; 95% CI: 1.57-3.15, p = 0.001) and a total lymphocyte count >or= 1200 cells/mm3 (HR = 1.84; 95% CI: 1.22-2.78, p = 0.003). A low baseline CD4 count of <or= 200 cells/microl (HR = 0.52; 95% CI: 0.37-0.77, p = 0.001) was associated with a longer time to immunological recovery. There was no interaction between low CD4 counts and ADC group. Patients with ADCs take longer to regain their CD4 counts due to the defect in the immune system. This may prolong their risk of morbidity and mortality.
    AIDS Research and Therapy 08/2009; 6:17. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poor adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may result in treatment failure and death. Most reports of the effect of adherence to HAART on mortality come from studies where special efforts are made to provide HAART under ideal conditions. However, there are few reports of the impact of non-adherence to HAART on mortality from community HIV/AIDS treatment and care programmes in developing countries. We therefore conducted a study to assess the effect of adherence to HAART on survival in The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) community HAART programme in Kampala, Uganda. The study was a retrospective cohort of 897 patients who initiated HAART at TASO clinic, Kampala, between May 2004 and December 2006. A total of 7,856 adherence assessments were performed on the data. Adherence was assessed using a combination of self-report and pill count methods. Patients who took <or= 95% of their regimens were classified as non-adherent. The data was stratified at a CD4 count of 50 cells/mm3. Kaplan Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used in the analysis. A total of 701 (78.2%) patients had a mean adherence to ART of > 95%. The crude death rate was 12.2 deaths per 100 patient-years, with a rate of 42.5 deaths per 100 patient-years for non-adherent patients and 6.1 deaths per 100 patient-years for adherent patients. Non-adherence to ART was significantly associated with mortality. Patients with a CD4 count of less than 50 cells/mm3 had a higher mortality (HR = 4.3; 95% CI: 2.22-5.56) compared to patients with a CD4 count equal to or greater than 50 cells/mm3 (HR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.79-2.38). Our study showed that good adherence and improved survival are feasible in community HIV/AIDS programmes such as that of TASO, Uganda. However, there is need to support community HAART programmes to overcome the challenges of funding to provide sustainable supplies particularly of antiretroviral drugs; provision of high quality clinical and laboratory support; and achieving a balance between expansion and quality of services. Measures for the early identification and treatment of HIV infected people including home-based VCT and HAART should be strengthened.
    BMC Health Services Research 12/2008; 8:241. · 1.77 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

394 Citations
80.05 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2012
    • Makerere University
      • • School of Health Sciences
      • • Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
      Kampala, Central Region, Uganda
    • Makerere University Business School
      Kampala, Central Region, Uganda
  • 2011
    • Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital
      Kabarole, Western Region, Uganda
  • 2008–2010
    • University of Bergen
      • Centre for International Health
      Norway
    • Ocean Road Cancer Institute
      Dār es Salām, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania