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    ABSTRACT: In 2003 five northern Nigerian states boycotted the oral polio vaccine due to fears that it was unsafe. Though the international responses have been scrutinised in the literature, this paper argues that lessons still need to be learnt from the boycott: that the origins and continuation of the boycott were due to specific local factors. We focus mainly on Kano state, which initiated the boycotts and continued to reject immunisations for the longest period, to provide a focused analysis of the internal dynamics and complex multifaceted causes of the boycott. We argue that the delay in resolving the year-long boycott was largely due to the spread of rumours at local levels, which were intensified by the outspoken involvement of high-profile individuals whose views were misunderstood or underestimated. We use sociological concepts to analyse why these men gained influence amongst northern Nigerian communities. This study has implications on contemporary policy: refusals still challenge the Global Polio Eradication Initiative; and polio remains endemic to Nigeria (Nigeria accounted for over half of global cases in 2012). This paper sheds light on how this problem may be tackled with the ultimate aim of vaccinating more children and eradicating polio.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Global Public Health

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · BMJ (online)
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    ABSTRACT: There is a wealth of data routinely collected and stored by healthcare facilities, which are not consistently exploited for surveillance of healthcare associated infections (HCAI). Syndromic surveillance has not yet been widely applied to HCAI. This study aimed to create syndromic surveillance for surgical site infections (SSI) following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures. A cohort of CABG patients from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was investigated. Data from the local Patient Administration System, Laboratory Information Management System, radiology department, cardiac registry and Health Protection Agency SSI surveillance were linked. This data was explored for biological markers and proxies of infection, which were used to develop syndromic surveillance algorithms; sensitivity analysis was used to determine the best algorithms. 303 patients were included, with a SSI incidence of 6.6%. Wound culture requests, raised platelet and fibrinogen levels were all found to be good indicators of SSI. Two algorithms were generated, one to detect all SSI (sensitivity: 90%; specificity: 93.8%) and one to detect organ space infections specifically (sensitivity: 100%; specificity: 98.5%). Data which is routinely collected and stored in healthcare facilities can be used for syndromic surveillance of SSI, allowing for an efficient surveillance system without the need for resource intensive data collection.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · The Journal of infection
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