[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To validate a clinical algorithm for community health workers (CHWs) during routine household surveillance for neonatal illness in rural Bangladesh.
Surveillance was conducted in the intervention arm of a trial of newborn interventions. CHWs assessed 7587 neonates on postnatal days 0, 2, 5 and 8 and identified neonates with very severe disease (VSD) using an 11-sign algorithm. A nested prospective study was conducted to validate the algorithm (n=395). Physicians evaluated neonates to determine whether newborns with VSD needed referral. The authors calculated algorithm sensitivity and specificity in identifying (1) neonates needing referral and (2) mortality during the first 10 days of life.
The 11-sign algorithm had sensitivity of 50.0% (95% CI 24.7% to 75.3%) and specificity of 98.4% (96.6% to 99.4%) for identifying neonates needing referral-level care. A simplified 6-sign algorithm had sensitivity of 81.3% (54.4% to 96.0%) and specificity of 96.0% (93.6% to 97.8%) for identifying referral need and sensitivity of 58.0% (45.5% to 69.8%) and specificity of 93.2% (92.5% to 93.7%) for screening mortality. Compared to our 6-sign algorithm, the Young Infant Study 7-sign (YIS7) algorithm with minor modifications had similar sensitivity and specificity.
Community-based surveillance for neonatal illness by CHWs using a simple 6-sign clinical algorithm is a promising strategy to effectively identify neonates at risk of mortality and needing referral to hospital. The YIS7 algorithm was also validated with high sensitivity and specificity at community level, and is recommended for routine household surveillance for newborn illness. ClinicalTrials.gov no. NCT00198627.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 09/2011; 96(12):1140-6. · 3.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection is the major cause of neonatal deaths. Home born newborns in rural Bangladeshi communities are exposed to environmental factors increasing their vulnerability to a number of disease agents that may compromise their health. The current analysis was conducted to assess the association of very severe disease (VSD) in newborns in rural communities with temperature, rainfall, and humidity. A total of 12,836 newborns from rural Sylhet and Mirzapur communities were assessed by trained community health workers using a sign based algorithm. Records of temperature, humidity, and rainfall were collected from the nearest meteorological stations. Associations between VSD and environmental factors were estimated. Incidence of VSD was found to be associated with higher temperatures (odds ratios: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.21 in Sylhet and 1.06, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.07 in Mirzapur) and heat humidity index (odds ratios: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.08 in Sylhet and, 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.04 in Mirzapur). Four months (June-September) in Sylhet, and six months in Mirzapur (April-September) had higher odds ratios of incidence of VSD as compared to the remainder of the year (odds ratios: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.32 to 2.23 in Sylhet and, 1.62, 95% CI: 1.33 to 1.96 in Mirzapur). Prevention of VSD in neonates can be enhanced if these interactions are considered in health intervention strategies.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 08/2011; 8(8):3437-52. · 2.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lack of data is a critical barrier to addressing the problem of stillbirth in countries with the highest stillbirth burden. Our study objective was to estimate the levels, types, and causes of stillbirth in rural Sylhet district of Bangladesh.
A complete pregnancy history was taken from all women (n=39 998) who had pregnancy outcomes during 2003-2005 in the study area. Verbal autopsy data were obtained for all identified stillbirths during the period. We used pre-defined case definitions and computer programs to assign causes of stillbirth for selected causes containing specific signs and symptoms. Both non-hierarchical and hierarchical approaches were used to assign causes of stillbirths.
A total of 1748 stillbirths were recorded during 2003-2005 from 48,192 births (stillbirth rate: 36.3 per 1000 total births). About 60% and 40% of stillbirths were categorized as antepartum and intrapartum, respectively. Maternal conditions, including infections, hypertensive disorders, and anemia, contributed to about 29% of total antepartum stillbirths. About 50% of intrapartum stillbirths were attributed to obstetric complications. Maternal infections and hypertensive disorders contributed to another 11% of stillbirths. A cause could not be assigned in nearly half (49%) of stillbirths.
The stillbirth rate is high in rural Bangladesh. Based on algorithmic approaches using verbal autopsy data, a substantial portion of stillbirths is attributable to maternal conditions and obstetric complications. Programs need to deliver community-level interventions to prevent and manage maternal complications, and to develop strategies to improve access to emergency obstetric care. Improvements in care to avert stillbirth can be accomplished in the context of existing maternal and child health programs. Methodological improvements in the measurement of stillbirths, especially causes of stillbirths, are also needed to better define the burden of stillbirths in low-resource settings.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 04/2011; 11:25. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate a delivery strategy for newborn interventions in rural Bangladesh.
A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in Mirzapur, Bangladesh. Twelve unions were randomized to intervention or comparison arm. All women of reproductive age were eligible to participate. In the intervention arm, community health workers identified pregnant women; made two antenatal home visits to promote birth and newborn care preparedness; made four postnatal home visits to negotiate preventive care practices and to assess newborns for illness; and referred sick neonates to a hospital and facilitated compliance. Primary outcome measures were antenatal and immediate newborn care behaviours, knowledge of danger signs, care seeking for neonatal complications, and neonatal mortality.
A total of 4616 and 5241 live births were recorded from 9987 and 11153 participants in the intervention and comparison arm, respectively. High coverage of antenatal (91% visited twice) and postnatal (69% visited on days 0 or 1) home visitations was achieved. Indicators of care practices and knowledge of maternal and neonatal danger signs improved. Adjusted mortality hazard ratio in the intervention arm, compared to the comparison arm, was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.80-1.30) at baseline and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.68-1.12) at endline. Primary causes of death were birth asphyxia (49%) and prematurity (26%). No adverse events associated with interventions were reported.
Lack of evidence for mortality impact despite high program coverage and quality assurance of implementation, and improvements in targeted newborn care practices suggests the intervention did not adequately address risk factors for mortality. The level and cause-structure of neonatal mortality in the local population must be considered in developing interventions. Programs must ensure skilled care during childbirth, including management of birth asphyxia and prematurity, and curative postnatal care during the first two days of life, in addition to essential newborn care and infection prevention and management.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(3):e9696. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effective and scalable community-based strategies are needed for identification and management of serious neonatal illness.
As part of a community-based, cluster-randomized controlled trial of the impact of a package of maternal-neonatal health care, community health workers (CHWs) were trained to conduct household surveillance and to identify and refer sick newborns according to a clinical algorithm. Assessments of newborns by CHWs at home were linked to hospital-based assessments by physicians, and factors impacting referral, referral compliance and outcome were evaluated.
Seventy-three per cent (7310/10,006) of live-born neonates enrolled in the study were assessed by CHWs at least once; 54% were assessed within 2 days of birth, but only 15% were attended at delivery. Among assessments for which referral was recommended, compliance was verified in 54% (495/919). Referrals recommended to young neonates 0-6 days old were 30% less likely to be complied with compared to older neonates. Compliance was positively associated with having very severe disease and selected clinical signs, including respiratory rate > or = 70/minute; weak, abnormal or absent cry; lethargic or less than normal movement; and feeding problem. Among 239 neonates who died, only 38% were assessed by a CHW before death.
Despite rigorous programmatic effort, reaching neonates within the first 2 days after birth remained a challenge, and parental compliance with referral recommendation was limited, particularly among young neonates. To optimize potential impact, community postnatal surveillance must be coupled with skilled attendance at delivery, and/or a worker skilled in recognition of neonatal illness must be placed in close proximity to the community to allow for rapid case management to avert early deaths.
Health Policy and Planning 11/2009; 25(2):112-24. · 2.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To devise treatment strategies for neonatal infections, the population-level incidence and antibiotic susceptibility of pathogens must be defined.
Surveillance for suspected neonatal sepsis was conducted in Mirzapur, Bangladesh, from February 2004 through November 2006. Community health workers assessed neonates on postnatal days 0, 2, 5, and 8 and referred sick neonates to a hospital, where blood was collected for culture from neonates with suspected sepsis. We estimated the incidence and pattern of community-acquired neonatal bacteremia and determined the antibiotic susceptibility profile of pathogens.
The incidence rate of community-acquired neonatal bacteremia was 3.0 per 1000 person-neonatal periods. Among the 30 pathogens identified, the most common was Staphylococcus aureus (n = 10); half of all isolates were gram positive. Nine were resistant to ampicillin and gentamicin or to ceftiaxone, and 13 were resistant to cotrimoxazole.
S. aureus was the most common pathogen to cause community-acquired neonatal bacteremia. Nearly 40% of infections were identified on days 0-3, emphasizing the need to address maternal and environmental sources of infection. The combination of parenteral procaine benzyl penicillin and an aminoglycoside is recommended for the first-line treatment of serious community-acquired neonatal infections in rural Bangladesh, which has a moderate level of neonatal mortality. Additional population-based data are needed to further guide national and global strategies.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2009; 200(6):906-15. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to assess the relationship between multiple births and maternal depressive symptoms measured 9 months after delivery.
Data were derived from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of children born in 2001. Depressive symptoms were measured at 9 months by using an abbreviated version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to study the association between multiple births and maternal depressive symptoms, with adjustment for demographic and household socioeconomic characteristics and maternal history of mental health problems. A total of 8069 mothers were included for analyses.
The prevalence of moderate/severe depressive symptoms at 9 months after delivery was estimated to be 16.0% and 19.0% among mothers of singletons and multiple births, respectively. Only 27.0% of women who had moderate/severe depressive symptoms reported talking about emotional or psychological problems with a mental health specialist or a general medical provider within the 12 months before the interview. The proportions of women with depressive symptoms who were receiving mental health services did not vary according to plurality status.
Mothers of multiple births had 43% greater odds of having moderate/severe, 9-month postpartum, depressive symptoms, compared with mothers of singletons. Greater attention is needed in pediatric settings to address maternal depression in families with multiple births.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TThe General Growth Balance (GGB) and Synthetic Extinct Generations (SEG) methods have been widely used to evaluate the coverage of registered deaths in developing countries. However, relatively little is known about how the methods behave in the presence of different data errors. This paper applies the methods (both singly and in combination) using non-stable populations of known mortality to which various data distortions in a variety of combinations have been applied. Results show that the methods work very well when the only errors in the data are those for which the methods were developed. For other types of error, performance is more variable, but on average, adjusted mortality estimates using the methods are closer to the true values than the unadjusted. The methods do surprisingly well in the presence of typical patterns of age misreporting, though GGB is more sensitive to coverage errors that change with age; the Basic SEG method (e.g. not adjusting for any slope with age of completeness estimates) is very sensitive to changes in census coverage; but once slope is adjusted for changing census, coverage has little effect. Fitting to the age range 5+ to 65+ is clearly preferable to fitting to 15+ to 55+. Both GGB and SEG are very sensitive to net migration, which is an Achilles heel for all of the methodologies in this paper. In populations not greatly affected by migration, our results suggest that an optimal strategy would be to apply GGB to estimate census coverage change, adjust for it and then apply SEG; in populations affected by migration, applying both GGB and SEG, fitting both to the age range 30+ to 65+, and averaging the results appears best.
Demographic Research 01/2009; 21(9):235-254. · 1.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the validity (sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values) of a clinical algorithm as used by community health workers (CHWs) to detect and classify neonatal illness during routine household visits in rural Bangladesh.
CHWs evaluated breastfeeding and symptoms and signs of illness in 395 neonates selected randomly from neonatal illness surveillance during household visits on postnatal days 0, 2, 5 and 8. Neonates classified with very severe disease (VSD) were referred to a community-based hospital. Within 12 hours of CHW assessments, physicians independently evaluated all neonates seen in a given day by one CHW, randomly chosen from among 36 project CHWs. Physicians recorded symptoms and signs of illness, classified the illness, and determined whether the newborn needed referral-level care at the hospital. Physicians' identification and classification were used as the gold standard in determining the validity of CHWs' identification of symptoms and signs of illness and its classification.
CHWs' classification of VSD showed a sensitivity of 73%, a specificity of 98%, a positive predictive value of 57% and a negative predictive value of 99%. A maternal report of any feeding problem as ascertained by physician questioning was significantly associated (P < 0.001) with 'not sucking at all' and 'not attached at all' or 'not well attached' as determined clinically by CHWs during feeding assessment.
CHWs identified with high validity the neonates with severe illness needing referral-level care. Home-based illness recognition and management, including referral of neonates with severe illness by CHWs, is a promising strategy for improving neonatal health and survival in low-resource developing country settings.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 01/2009; 87(1):12-9. · 5.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify a valid neonatal mortality risk prediction score feasible for use in developing countries.
Retrospective study of 467 neonates, < or =1500 g, enrolled in trials during 1998 to 2005 at tertiary care children's hospitals in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Cairo, Egypt, and a community field site in Sarlahi District, Nepal. We derived simplified mortality risk scores and compared their predictive accuracy with the modified Clinical Risk Index for Babies (CRIB) II. Outcome was death during hospital stay (Dhaka and Cairo) or end of the neonatal period (Nepal).
The area under the curve receiver operating characteristic was 0.62, 0.71, 0.68, and 0.69 on the basis of the (a) CRIB II applied to the Dhaka-Cairo dataset; (b) an 18-category, simplified age, weight, sex score; (c) a binary-risk simplified age-weight (SAW) classification derived from the Dhaka-Cairo dataset; and (d) external validation of the binary-risk SAW classification in the Nepal dataset, respectively. Mortality risk prediction with the SAW classification on the basis of gestational age (< or =29 weeks) or weight (<1000 g) was improved (P = .048) compared with CRIB II.
The SAW classification is a markedly simplified mortality risk prediction score for use in identifying high-risk, very low birth weight neonates in developing country settings for whom urgent referral is indicated.
The Journal of pediatrics 07/2008; 153(4):519-24. · 4.02 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Few studies from developing countries have examined sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of routine surface cultures.
The purpose of the study was to determine sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) of skin cultures among preterm neonates admitted to Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh.
The study was nested within a prospective, randomized, controlled trial of emollient treatment in Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh. A total of 497 preterm infants <33 weeks gestational age and <72 h of chronological age were enrolled, and the sensitivity, specificity, and PPV of skin cultures were analyzed among 3,765 blood-skin culture pairs, wherein the skin culture was obtained within 13 days before the blood culture.
Overall sensitivity, specificity, and PPV were 16, 38, and 5%, respectively. PPV during Klebsiella pneumoniae outbreaks was about 9%, and the inguinal site had the highest PPV (6%) among the three skin sites. Acinetobacter spp.- and K. pneumoniae-specific PPVs were 28 and 23%, respectively. PPV was <2% for Candida spp., Enterobacter spp., and Salmonella spp.
Routine skin culture is inefficient in predicting the pathogen responsible for sepsis among premature neonates, even in a developing country setting, where the burden of bacterial infection is relatively high. Skin cultures are also of limited utility during K. pneumoniae outbreaks, and are not recommended.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chlorhexidine cleansing of newborn skin is a highly promising intervention for reducing neonatal mortality in developing countries, yet little is known of the mechanism of action. This study examined the impact of a single skin cleansing of hospitalized newborn infants in Bangladesh with baby wipes containing 0.25% chlorhexidine on both qualitative and quantitative skin flora.
Within 72 hours of birth, the skin of newborns admitted to Dhaka Shishu Hospital was wiped with baby wipes containing 0.25% chlorhexidine (n = 67) or placebo (n = 66) solution. Skin condition was assessed and skin swabs were taken from 3 sites (axillary, peri-umbilical, inguinal) at baseline and 2 hours, 24 hours, 3 days and 7 days after treatment. Skin flora was quantified and colonizing species were identified.
Skin cleansing with chlorhexidine had no adverse effects on skin condition, and resulted in minimal reduction (mean 0.5 degrees C) in body temperature. Positive skin culture rates 2 hours after skin cleansing were approximately 35%-55% lower than the baseline rates for placebo and chlorhexidine groups at all 3 sites. For the chlorhexidine group, positive skin culture rates remained significantly lower than the baseline rates for 24 hours to 3 days, whereas for the placebo group, beyond the first 2-hour follow-up, these values were not lower than baseline in any of the 3 sites.
Chlorhexidine skin treatment produced more extended skin cleansing effects than the placebo treatment. It is possible that the quantitative and qualitative reductions observed in the skin flora might contribute to reducing neonatal infections.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Topical emollient therapy may reduce the incidence of serious infections and mortality of preterm infants in developing countries. We tested whether emollient therapy reduced the burden of pathogens on skin and/or prevented bacterial translocation. Neonates <33 wk gestational age were randomized to treatment with sunflower seed oil (SSO) or Aquaphor or the untreated control group. Skin condition score and skin cultures were obtained at enrollment and on d 3, 7, and weekly thereafter, and blood cultures were obtained for episodes of suspected nosocomial sepsis. For analysis, blood cultures were paired with skin cultures obtained 0-3 d before the blood culture. Skin condition scores at 3 d were better in patients treated with either emollient compared with untreated controls; however, skin flora was similar across the groups. The SSO group showed a 72% elevated odds of having a false-positive (FP) skin culture associated with a negative blood culture (i.e. skin flora blocked from entry into blood) compared with the control group. Topical therapy with SSO reduced the passage of pathogens from the skin surface into the bloodstream of preterm infants.
Pediatric Research 06/2007; 61(5 Pt 1):588-93. · 2.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious diseases account for an estimated 36% of neonatal deaths globally. The purpose of this study was to determine safe, effective, simplified dosing regimens of gentamicin for treatment of neonatal sepsis in developing countries.
Neonates with suspected sepsis in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC), Vellore, India (n = 49), and Dhaka Shishu Hospital (DSH), Bangladesh (n = 59), were administered gentamicin intravenously according to the following regimens: (1) 10 mg every 48 hours for neonates <2000 g; (2) 10 mg every 24 hours for neonates 2000-2249 g; and (3) 13.5 mg every 24 hours for neonates > or =2500 g. Serum gentamicin concentration (SGC) at steady state and pharmacokinetic indices were determined. Renal function was followed while under treatment and hearing was examined 6 weeks to 3 months after discharge.
All neonates, except 1 weighing 2000-2249 g at DSH, had a peak SGC >4 microg/mL. Overall, 5 (10%) and 17 (29%) infants had a peak SGC level > or =12 microg/mL from CMC and DSH, respectively, and 10 (20%) and 4 (7%) cases from CMC and DSH, respectively, had a trough SGC level > or =2 microg/mL. However, no infant <2000 g had a trough SGC level > or =2 microg/mL. We found no evidence of gentamicin nephrotoxicity or ototoxicity.
Safe, therapeutic gentamicin dosing regimens were identified for treatment of neonatal sepsis in developing country settings. Administration of these doses could be simplified through use of Uniject, a prefilled, single injection device designed to make injections safe and easy to deliver in developing country settings.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Skilled attendance at delivery is one of the key indicators to reflect progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health. This paper assesses global progress in the use of skilled attendants at delivery and identifies factors that could assist in achieving Millennium Development Goals for maternal health. National data covering a substantial proportion of all developing country births were used for the estimation of trends and key differentials in skilled assistance at delivery. Between 1990 and 2000, the percentage of births with a skilled attendant increased from 45% to 54% in developing countries, primarily as a result of an increasing use of doctors. A substantial proportion of antenatal care users do not deliver with a skilled attendant. Delivery care use among antenatal care users is highly correlated with wealth. Women aged 35 and above, who are at greatest risk of maternal death, are the least likely to receive professional delivery care. Births in mid-level facilities appear to be a strategy that has been overlooked. More effective strategies are needed to promote skilled attendance at birth during antenatal care, particularly among poor women. Specific interventions are also needed to encourage older and high parity mothers to seek professional care at delivery.
Journal of Biosocial Science 02/2007; 39(1):109-20. · 0.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper examines age patterns and trends of early and late neonatal mortality in developing countries, using birth history data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Data quality was assessed both by examination of internal consistency and by comparison with historic age patterns of neonatal mortality from England and Wales. The median neonatal mortality rate (NMR) across 108 nationally-representative surveys was 33 per 1000 live births. NMR averaged an annual decline of 1.7 % in the 1980s and 1990s. Declines have been faster for late than for early neonatal mortality and slower in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions. Age patterns of neonatal mortality were comparable with those of historical data, indicating no significant underreporting of early neonatal deaths in DHS birth histories.
Demographic Research 01/2006; 14(18):429-452. · 1.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of supplementation of vitamin A in child survival has been well-demonstrated. However, the effectiveness of a programme of vitamin A supplementation at the population level has been rarely examined. Understanding how programmes reach disadvantaged children can help improve the design of initiatives of vitamin A supplementation. The differentials in receipt of vitamin A by socioeconomic status were assessed using data from the Philippines. Factors associated with receipt of vitamin A during the last six months were examined using the Philippines Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1993 and 1998. In total, 6,970 and 6,118 children aged 12-59 months were included in 1993 and 1998 respectively. Logistic regression was used for identifying associations between the outcome and the household socioeconomic variables. The coverage of national-level vitamin A supplementation increased from 27% in 1993 to 79% in 1998. However, children whose mothers did not complete primary education and children living in poor households were less likely to receive supplementation. This disparity increased between the surveys: the adjusted odds of vitamin A intake by poor households compared to middle-class households declined from 0.73 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-0.87) in 1993 to 0.52 (95% CI 0.42-0.63)] in 1998, resulting in an increased health inequity. The vitamin A programme in the Philippines was not uniformly successful in reaching the most vulnerable children. Approaches targeting vulnerable households or approaches not requiring mothers to travel to distribution centres may be more promising.
Journal of Health Population and Nutrition 07/2005; 23(2):156-64. · 1.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most developing countries do not have complete registration of deaths on which to base mortality estimates. Four broad categories of unconventional methods have been developed to provide mortality estimates in such settings. The first consists of approaches for evaluation adjustment of incompletely recorded deaths by comparison with recorded age distributions. The second consists of alternative data collection methodologies collecting information about deaths by age. The third consists of approaches based on asking respondents about the survival or otherwise of close relatives. The fourth estimates mortality from changes in age distributions, interpreting cohort attrition as mortality. Methods in the first two categories offer the greatest potential for contributing information on developing country mortality to the Human Mortality Database. Methods in the first category are illustrated here by application to data from the Republic of Korea for the second half of the 20th century. In populations with good age reporting and little net migration, these methods work well and offer the opportunity to include developing country data in the HMD.
Demographic Research 01/2005; 13(12):281-300. · 1.20 Impact Factor