[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Affordable Medicines Facility - malaria (AMFm), implemented at national scale in eight African countries or territories, subsidized quality-assured artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) and included communication campaigns to support implementation and promote appropriate anti-malarial use. This paper reports private for-profit provider awareness of key features of the AMFm programme, and changes in provider knowledge of appropriate malaria treatment.
This study had a non-experimental design based on nationally representative surveys of outlets stocking anti-malarials before (2009/10) and after (2011) the AMFm roll-out.
Based on data from over 19,500 outlets, results show that in four of eight settings, where communication campaigns were implemented for 5-9 months, 76%-94% awareness of the AMFm 'green leaf' logo, 57%-74% awareness of the ACT subsidy programme, and 52%-80% awareness of the correct recommended retail price (RRP) of subsidized ACT were recorded. However, in the remaining four settings where communication campaigns were implemented for three months or less, levels were substantially lower. In six of eight settings, increases of at least 10 percentage points in private for-profit providers' knowledge of the correct first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria were seen; and in three of these the levels of knowledge achieved at endline were over 80%.
The results support the interpretation that, in addition to the availability of subsidized ACT, the intensity of communication campaigns may have contributed to the reported levels of AMFm-related awareness and knowledge among private for-profit providers. Future subsidy programmes for anti-malarials or other treatments should similarly include communication activities.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To review evidence from sub-Saharan Africa for the association between the practice or promotion of essential newborn care behaviours and neonatal survival.
We searched MEDLINE for English language, peer-reviewed literature published since 2005. The study population was neonates residing in a sub-Saharan Africa country who were not HIV positive. Outcomes were all-cause neonatal or early neonatal mortality or one of the three main causes of neonatal mortality: complications of preterm birth, infections and intrapartum-related neonatal events. Interventions included were the practice or promotion of recommended newborn care behaviours including warmth, hygiene, breastfeeding, resuscitation and management of illness. We included study designs with a concurrent comparison group. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane EPOC or Newcastle-Ottawa tools and summarised using GRADE.
Eleven papers met the search criteria and most were at low risk of bias. We found evidence that delivering on a clean surface, newborn resuscitation, early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for low-birthweight babies, and distribution of clean delivery kits were associated with reduced risks of neonatal mortality or the main causes of neonatal mortality. There was evidence that training community birth attendants in resuscitation and administering antibiotics, and establishing women's groups can improve neonatal survival.
There is a remarkable lack of robust evidence from sub-Saharan Africa on the association between practice or promotion of newborn care behaviours and newborn survival.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 09/2013; · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Future progress in tackling malaria mortality will probably be hampered by the development of resistance to drugs and insecticides and by the contraction of aid budgets. Historically, control was often achieved without malaria-specific interventions. Our aim was to assess whether socioeconomic development can contribute to malaria control.
We did a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess whether the risk of malaria in children aged 0-15 years is associated with socioeconomic status. We searched Medline, Web of Science, Embase, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Campbell Library, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, Health Systems Evidence, and the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre evidence library for studies published in English between Jan 1, 1980, and July 12, 2011, that measured socioeconomic status and parasitologically confirmed malaria or clinical malaria in children. Unadjusted and adjusted effect estimates were combined in fixed-effects and random-effects meta-analyses, with a subgroup analysis for different measures of socioeconomic status. We used funnel plots and Egger's linear regression to test for publication bias.
Of 4696 studies reviewed, 20 met the criteria for inclusion in the qualitative analysis, and 15 of these reported the necessary data for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The odds of malaria infection were higher in the poorest children than in the least poor children (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] 1·66, 95% CI 1·35-2·05, p<0·001, I(2)=68%; adjusted OR 2·06, 1·42-2·97, p<0·001, I(2)=63%), an effect that was consistent across subgroups.
Although we would not recommend discontinuation of existing malaria control efforts, we believe that increased investment in interventions to support socioeconomic development is warranted, since such interventions could prove highly effective and sustainable against malaria in the long term.
UK Department for International Development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Babies with low birthweight (<2500 g) are at increased risk of early mortality. However, low birthweight includes babies born preterm and with fetal growth restriction, and not all these infants have a birthweight less than 2500 g. We estimated the neonatal and infant mortality associated with these two characteristics in low-income and middle-income countries. Methods For this pooled analysis, we searched all available studies and identifi ed 20 cohorts (providing data for 2 015 019 livebirths) from Asia, Africa, and Latin America that recorded data for birthweight, gestational age, and vital statistics through 28 days of life. Study dates ranged from 1982 through to 2010. We calculated relative risks (RR) and risk diff erences (RD) for mortality associated with preterm birth (<32 weeks, 32 weeks to <34 weeks, 34 weeks to <37 weeks), small-for-gestational-age (SGA; babies with birthweight in the lowest third percentile and between the third and tenth percentile of a US reference population), and preterm and SGA combinations. Findings Pooled overall RRs for preterm were 6·82 (95% CI 3·56–13·07) for neonatal mortality and 2·50 (1·48–4·22) for post-neonatal mortality. Pooled RRs for babies who were SGA (with birthweight in the lowest tenth percentile of the reference population) were 1·83 (95% CI 1·34–2·50) for neonatal mortality and 1·90 (1·32–2·73) for post-neonatal mortality. The neonatal mortality risk of babies who were both preterm and SGA was higher than that of babies with either characteristic alone (15·42; 9·11–26·12). Interpretation Many babies in low-income and middle-income countries are SGA. Preterm birth aff ects a smaller number of neonates than does SGA, but is associated with a higher mortality risk. The mortality risks associated with both characteristics extend beyond the neonatal period. Diff erentiation of the burden and risk of babies born preterm and SGA rather than with low birthweight could guide prevention and management strategies to speed progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4—the reduction of child mortality.
The Lancet 06/2013; 382:417–25. · 39.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Malaria is one of the greatest causes of mortality worldwide. Use of the most effective treatments for malaria remains inadequate for those in need, and there is concern over the emergence of resistance to these treatments. In 2010, the Global Fund launched the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm), a series of national-scale pilot programmes designed to increase the access and use of quality-assured artemisinin based combination therapies (QAACTs) and reduce that of artemisinin monotherapies for treatment of malaria. AMFm involves manufacturer price negotiations, subsidies on the manufacturer price of each treatment purchased, and supporting interventions such as communications campaigns. We present findings on the effect of AMFm on QAACT price, availability, and market share, 6-15 months after the delivery of subsidised ACTs in Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania (including Zanzibar). METHODS: We did nationally representative baseline and endpoint surveys of public and private sector outlets that stock antimalarial treatments. QAACTs were identified on the basis of the Global Fund's quality assurance policy. Changes in availability, price, and market share were assessed against specified success benchmarks for 1 year of AMFm implementation. Key informant interviews and document reviews recorded contextual factors and the implementation process. FINDINGS: In all pilots except Niger and Madagascar, there were large increases in QAACT availability (25·8-51·9 percentage points), and market share (15·9-40·3 percentage points), driven mainly by changes in the private for-profit sector. Large falls in median price for QAACTs per adult equivalent dose were seen in the private for-profit sector in six pilots, ranging from US$1·28 to $4·82. The market share of oral artemisinin monotherapies decreased in Nigeria and Zanzibar, the two pilots where it was more than 5% at baseline. INTERPRETATION: Subsidies combined with supporting interventions can be effective in rapidly improving availability, price, and market share of QAACTs, particularly in the private for-profit sector. Decisions about the future of AMFm should also consider the effect on use in vulnerable populations, access to malaria diagnostics, and cost-effectiveness. FUNDING: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To synthesize findings from recent studies of strategies to deliver insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) at scale in malaria-endemic areas.
Databases were searched for studies published between January 2000 and December 2010 in which: subjects resided in areas with endemicity for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria; ITN delivery at scale was evaluated; ITN ownership among households, receipt by pregnant women and/or use among children aged < 5 years was evaluated; and the study design was an individual or cluster-randomized controlled design, nonrandomized, quasi-experimental, before-and-after, interrupted time series or cross-sectional without temporal or geographical controls. Papers describing qualitative studies, case studies, process evaluations and cost-effectiveness studies linked to an eligible paper were also included. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias checklist and GRADE criteria. Important influences on scaling up were identified and assessed across delivery strategies.
A total of 32 papers describing 20 African studies were reviewed. Many delivery strategies involved health sectors and retail outlets (partial subsidy), antenatal care clinics (full subsidy) and campaigns (full subsidy). Strategies achieving high ownership among households and use among children < 5 delivered ITNs free through campaigns. Costs were largely comparable across strategies; ITNs were the main cost. Cost-effectiveness estimates were most sensitive to the assumed net lifespan and leakage. Common barriers to delivery included cost, stock-outs and poor logistics. Common facilitators were staff training and supervision, cooperation across departments or ministries and stakeholder involvement.
There is a broad taxonomy of strategies for delivering ITNs at scale.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 09/2012; 90(9):672-684E. · 5.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low birth weight and prematurity are amongst the strongest predictors of neonatal death. However, the extent to which they act independently is poorly understood. Our objective was to estimate the neonatal mortality risk associated with preterm birth when stratified by weight for gestational age in the high mortality setting of East Africa.
Members and collaborators of the Malaria and the MARCH Centers, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, were contacted and protocols reviewed for East African studies that measured (1) birth weight, (2) gestational age at birth using antenatal ultrasound or neonatal assessment, and (3) neonatal mortality. Ten datasets were identified and four met the inclusion criteria. The four datasets (from Uganda, Kenya, and two from Tanzania) contained 5,727 births recorded between 1999-2010. 4,843 births had complete outcome data and were included in an individual participant level meta-analysis. 99% of 445 low birth weight (< 2,500 g) babies were either preterm (< 37 weeks gestation) or small for gestational age (below tenth percentile of weight for gestational age). 52% of 87 neonatal deaths occurred in preterm or small for gestational age babies. Babies born < 34 weeks gestation had the highest odds of death compared to term babies (odds ratio [OR] 58.7 [95% CI 28.4-121.4]), with little difference when stratified by weight for gestational age. Babies born 34-36 weeks gestation with appropriate weight for gestational age had just three times the likelihood of neonatal death compared to babies born term, (OR 3.2 [95% CI 1.0-10.7]), but the likelihood for babies born 34-36 weeks who were also small for gestational age was 20 times higher (OR 19.8 [95% CI 8.3-47.4]). Only 1% of babies were born moderately premature and small for gestational age, but this group suffered 8% of deaths. Individual level data on newborns are scarce in East Africa; potential biases arising due to the non-systematic selection of the individual studies, or due to the methods applied for estimating gestational age, are discussed.
Moderately preterm babies who are also small for gestational age experience a considerably increased likelihood of neonatal death in East Africa.
PLoS Medicine 08/2012; 9(8):e1001292. · 15.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) is recommended for malaria prevention in infants (IPTi-SP). Serious adverse events, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported following exposure to SP, but few infant-specific data exist. The safety of IPTi-SP was evaluated as part of a pilot implementation programme in southern Tanzania using three methods: spontaneous adverse event reporting to capture suspected adverse drug reactions (ADR); a census survey documenting rash-related hospital admissions among children < 2 years of age; and verbal autopsies (VA) completed for rash-related deaths in 2-11-month-olds. Approximately 82 000 IPTi-SP doses were administered to approximately 29 000 children. In total, 119 suspected ADRs were reported, 13 in children aged <2 years, only one of whom had received IPTi-SP. The census involved 243 612 households. Only one rash-related admission was reported amongst 1292 children aged 2-11 months, but this child had no history of exposure to SP. Moreover, 30 of 699 deaths in 2-11-month-olds were said to have been associated with a skin rash. The rates of rash-associated death were 0.59/1000 person-years at risk (PYAR) and 1.17/1000 PYAR in intervention and comparison areas, respectively (P = 0.79). VAs did not suggest SJS or any other ADR. We conclude that IPTi-SP is associated with a very low incidence of severe skin reactions. [ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00152204].
International Health 09/2011; 3(3):154-9. · 1.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe and evaluate the use of handheld computers for the management of Health Management Information System data.
Electronic data capture took place in 11 sentinel health centres in rural southern Tanzania. Information from children attending the outpatient department (OPD) and the Expanded Program on Immunization vaccination clinic was captured by trained local school-leavers, supported by monthly supervision visits. Clinical data included malaria blood slides and haemoglobin colour scale results. Quality of captured data was assessed using double data entry. Malaria blood slide results from health centre laboratories were compared to those from the study's quality control laboratory.
The system took 5 months to implement, and few staffings or logistical problems were encountered. Over the following 12 months (April 2006-March 2007), 7056 attendances were recorded in 9880 infants aged 2-11 months, 50% with clinical malaria. Monthly supervision visits highlighted incomplete recording of information between OPD and laboratory records, where on average 40% of laboratory visits were missing the record of their corresponding OPD visit. Quality of microscopy from health facility laboratories was lower overall than that from the quality assurance laboratory.
Electronic capture of HMIS data was rapidly and successfully implemented in this resource-poor setting. Electronic capture alone did not resolve issues of data completeness, accuracy and reliability, which are essential for management, monitoring and evaluation; suggestions to monitor and improve data quality are made.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 03/2011; 16(6):721-30. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in infants (IPTi) consists of the administration of a treatment dose of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) at the time of routine vaccinations. The use of routine Health Management and Information Services (HMIS) data to investigate the effect of IPTi on malaria, anaemia, and all-cause attendance in children aged 2-11 months presenting to 11 health centres in southern Tanzania is described.
Clinical diagnosis of malaria was confirmed with a positive blood slide reading from a quality assurance laboratory. Anaemia was defined using two thresholds (mild [Hb<11 g/dL], severe [Hb<8 g/dL]). Incidence rates between IPTi and non-implementing health centres were calculated using Poisson regression, and all statistical testing was based on the t test due to the clustered nature of the data.
Seventy two per cent of infants presenting in intervention areas received at least one dose of IPTi--22% received all three. During March 2006-April 2007, the incidence of all cause attendance was two attendances per person, per year (pppy), including 0.2 episodes pppy of malaria, 0.7 episodes of mild and 0.13 episodes of severe anaemia. Point estimates for the effect of IPTi on malaria varied between 18% and 52%, depending on the scope of the analysis, although adjustment for clustering rendered these not statistically significant.
The point estimate of the effect of IPTi on malaria is consistent with that from a large pooled analysis of randomized control trials. As such, it is plausible that the difference seen in health centre data is due to IPTi, even thought the effect did not reach statistical significance. Findings draw attention to the challenges of robust inference of effects of interventions based on routine health centre data. Analysis of routine health information can reassure that interventions are being made available and having desired effects, but unanticipated effects should trigger data collection from representative samples of the target population.