Gates Open Research

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EISSN : 25724754
Current Publisher: F1000 Research, Ltd. (10.12688)
Total articles ≅ 261
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Published: 15 November 2019
Gates Open Research; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres

Jay J. H. Park, Ofir Harari, Ellie Siden, Louis Dron, Noor-E Zannat, Joel Singer, Richard T. Lester, Kristian Thorlund, Edward J. Mills
Published: 14 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13083.1

Abstract:Background: Optimizing linear growth in children during complementary feeding period (CFP) (6-24 months) are critical for their development. Several interventions, such as micronutrient and food supplements, deworming, maternal education, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), could potentially be provided to prevent stunting, but their comparative effectiveness is currently unclear. In this study, we evaluated comparative effectiveness of interventions under these domains on child linear growth outcomes of height-for-age z-score (HAZ) and stunting (HAZ <-2SD) Methods: For this study, we searched for low- and middle-income country (LMIC)-based randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of aforementioned interventions provided to children during CFP. We searched for reports published until September 17, 2019 and hand-searched bibliographies of existing reviews. We performed random-effects network meta-analysis (NMA) for HAZ and stunting. Results: The evidence base for our NMA was based on 79 RCTs (96 papers) involving 81,786 children. Among the micronutrients, compared to standard-of-care, iron + folic acid (IFA) (mean difference =0.08; 95% credible interval [CrI]: 0.01, 0.15) and multiple micronutrients (MMN) (mean difference =0.06; 95%CrI: 0.01, 0.11) showed improvements for HAZ; MMN also reduced the risks for stunting (RR=0.86; 95%Crl: 0.73, 0.98), whereas IFA did not (RR=0.92; 95%Crl: 0.64, 1.23). For food supplements, flour in the caloric range of 270-340 kcal (RR=0.73; 95%Crl: 0.51, 1.00) and fortified lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) containing 220-285 kcal (RR=0.80; 95%Crl: 0.66, 0.97) decreased the risk of stunting compared to standard-of-care, but these interventions and other food supplements did not show improvements for HAZ. Deworming, maternal education, and WASH interventions did not show improvements for HAZ nor stunting. Conclusion: While we found micronutrient and food supplements to be effective for HAZ and/or stunting, the evidence base for other domains in this life stage was limited, highlighting the need for more investigation. Registration: PROSPERO CRD42018110449; registered on 17 October 2018.
Abhinendra Kumar, Sharayu Mhatre, Sheela Godbole, Prabhat Jha, Rajesh Dikshit
Published: 14 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 2; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.12855.3

Abstract:Background: Limited infrastructure is available to collect, store and transport venous blood in field epidemiological studies. Dried blood spot (DBS) is a robust potential alternative sample source for epidemiological studies & bio banking. A stable source of genomic DNA (gDNA) is required for long term storage in bio bank for its downstream applications. Our objective is to optimize the methods of gDNA extraction from stored DBS and with the aim of revealing its utility in large scale epidemiological studies. Methods: The purpose of this study was to extract the maximum amount of gDNA from DBS on Whatman 903 protein saver card. gDNA was extracted through column (Qiagen) & magnetic bead based (Invitrogen) methods. Quantification of extracted gDNA was performed with a spectrophotometer, fluorometer, and integrity analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Result: Large variation was observed in quantity & purity (260/280 ratio, 1.8-2.9) of the extracted gDNA. The intact gDNA bands on the electrophoresis gel reflect the robustness of DBS for gDNA even after prolonged storage time. The extracted gDNA amount 2.16 – 24 ng/µl is sufficient for its PCR based downstream application, but unfortunately it can’t be used for whole genome sequencing or genotyping from extracted gDNA. Sequencing or genotyping can be achieved by after increasing template copy number through whole genome amplification of extracted gDNA. The obtained results create a base for future research to develop high-throughput research and extraction methods from blood samples. Conclusion: The above results reveal, DBS can be utilized as a potential and robust sample source for bio banking in field epidemiological studies.
Jan Hennigs, Alison Parker, Matt Collins, Ying Jiang, Athanasios Kolios, Ewan McAdam, Leon Williams, Sean Tyrrel
Published: 12 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13057.2

Abstract:Urban sanitation in growing cities of the Global South presents particular challenges, like the speed of their growth, the high population density, and, often, the lack of existing wastewater infrastructure. This led to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent The Toilet Challenge, a call to develop novel, non-sewered sanitation technologies, which sparked the development of various inventions, like the Nano Membrane Toilet. Complex technologies like this entail an extensive product development process, including various iterations of prototype tests. While there is an abundance of literature discussing how to build prototypes, and the optimal number of tests, there has been little focus on how to plan, communicate, and conduct tests, especially in a product development endeavour of this complexity. Multiple aspects of testing prototypes are reviewed. A visual test planning tool is proposed that encompasses the entire product development process and can be used to plan and communicate prototype tests for the Nano Membrane Toilet to ultimately achieve compliance with international standards.
Alice F. Cartwright, Jane Otai, Amelia Maytan-Joneydi, Courtney McGuire, Emily Sullivan, Adesola Olumide, Catherine Baye Easton, Ilene S. Speizer
Published: 11 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13045.2

Abstract:Background: With growing populations of young people, low and middle-income countries have renewed focus on reaching both unmarried and married youth with family planning (FP) services. Young people themselves bring an important perspective to guide future programmatic directions. Methods: In October 2018, 207 youth leaders in FP from around the world completed an online survey prior to their participation at the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). These youth leaders provided their perspectives on the most important influencers for youth FP use, how easy or hard it is for youth to obtain FP, preferred sources of FP methods for youth, and perceptions of commonly used terms in FP programming. We examined differences in perceptions of unmarried and married youth’s access to and use of FP using bivariate analyses. Results: Respondents reported that peers/friends were the most important influencer on use of FP among unmarried youth (80.2%), while spouse/partner was the most important for married youth (80.4%). Oral contraceptive pills, injectable contraception, and contraceptive implants were perceived as significantly harder for unmarried youth to access. Privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity were all important factors for the locations to access FP for unmarried youth, while married youth were more influenced by cost. None of the commonly used terms for FP were perceived positively by a majority of respondents, with the exception of ‘birth spacing’ by African respondents (51.0%). Conclusions: These findings indicate that the preferences and needs of unmarried youth are different than married youth, but that all young people face barriers accessing FP. Unmarried youth seeking FP are more influenced by peers and friends and continue to face difficulty accessing methods compared to married youth. These findings indicate the importance of including youth perspectives in development of youth-focused family planning programs.
Jay J. H. Park, Ofir Harari, Ellie Siden, Michael Zoratti, Louis Dron, Noor-E Zannat, Richard T. Lester, Kristian Thorlund, Edward J. Mills
Published: 8 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13081.1

Abstract:Background: Improving the health of pregnant women is important to prevent adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birthweight. We evaluated the comparative effectiveness of interventions under the domains of micronutrient, balanced energy protein, deworming, maternal education, and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for their effects on these adverse birth outcomes. Methods: For this network meta-analysis, we searched for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of interventions provided to pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We searched for reports published until September 17, 2019 and hand-searched bibliographies of existing reviews. We extracted data from eligible studies for study characteristics, interventions, participants’ characteristics at baseline, and birth outcomes. We compared effects on preterm birth ( Results: Our network meta-analyses were based on 101 RCTs (132 papers) pertaining to 206,531 participants. Several micronutrients and balanced energy food supplement interventions demonstrated effectiveness over standard-of-care. For instance, versus standard-of-care, micronutrient supplements for pregnant women, such as iron and calcium, decreased risks of preterm birth (iron: RR=0.70, 95% credible interval [Crl] 0.47, 1.01; calcium: RR=0.76, 95%Crl 0.56, 0.99). Daily intake of 1500kcal of local food decreased the risks of preterm birth (RR=0.36, 95%Crl 0.16, 0.77) and LBW (RR=0.17, 95%Crl 0.09, 0.29), respectively when compared to standard-of-care. Educational and deworming interventions did not show improvements in birth outcomes, and no WASH intervention trials reported on these adverse birth outcomes. Conclusion: We found several pregnancy interventions that improve birth outcomes. However, most clinical trials have only evaluated interventions under a single domain (e.g. micronutrients) even though the causes of adverse birth outcomes are multi-faceted. There is a need to combine interventions that of different domains as packages and test for their effectiveness. Registration: PROSPERO CRD42018110446; registered on 17 October 2018.
Collaborating Group on Dengue Disease Modelling
Published: 7 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13084.1

Abstract:Dengue circulates endemically in many tropical and subtropical regions. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) set out goals to reduce dengue mortality and morbidity by 50% and 25%, respectively, between 2010 and 2020. These goals will not be met. This is, in part, due to existing interventions being insufficiently effective to prevent spread. Further, complex and variable patterns of disease presentation coupled with imperfect surveillance systems mean that even tracking changes in burden is rarely possible. As part of the Sustainable Development Goals, WHO will propose new dengue-specific goals for 2030. The 2030 goals provide an opportunity for focused action on tackling dengue burden but should be carefully developed to be ambitious but also technically feasible. Here we discuss the potential for clearly defined case fatality rates and the rollout of new and effective intervention technologies to form the foundation of these future goals. Further, we highlight how the complexity of dengue epidemiology limits the feasibility of goals that instead target dengue outbreaks.
Tizita Gizaw, Mengistu Bogale, Tilahun Alemayehu
Published: 7 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13001.1

Abstract:Background: The Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) defines an Electronic Health Record (EHR) as a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting”. EHR systems improve quality and adaptability of care, contributing to patient safety. The system is also efficient and provides real-time administration to patients. Driven by the need to facilitate clinical and administrative process, and to reduce medical errors, Marie Stopes international Ethiopia (MSIE) implemented EHR system in its maternal and child health (MCH) centers. This study sought to evaluate the EHR system in six departments (inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, laboratory, reception cashiers and MCH managers) of these MCH centers in terms of ease of performing tasks and satisfaction with the system. Methods: A cross-sectional method with formative evaluation was used to address the objective. A sample size of 54 were used for the investigation. The participants were from six departments (inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, laboratory, reception cashiers and MCH managers) within three MCH centers. Data was collected using structured, self-administered questionnaires and interviews and analyzed using SPSS 20. Results: In total, 83% of respondents found that performing tasks using EHR made tasks easier; the lowest score was from Pharmacy department (48%). The overall satisfaction with EHR was 87%. The lowest score is from the indicator “the system meets my needs” (80%). Conclusions: Staffs in all department reported the EHR system as “very good” for both ease of performing their daily tasks and satisfaction with the system. In addition, the study revealed that ease of performing tasks and satisfaction with the system were varied by department and specific task within the department. It is essential to know the needs and requirements of each department before implementation of the system and user feedback for long lasting uptake and impact.
Steven Saggese, Yunting Zhao, Tom Kalisky, Courtney Avery, Deborah Forster, Lilia Edith Duarte-Vera, Lucila Alejandra Almada-Salazar, Daniel Perales-Gonzalez, Alexandra Hubenko, Michael Kleeman, et al.
Published: 5 November 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.12914.2

Abstract:Despite years of effort, reliable biometric identification of newborns and young children has remained elusive. In this paper, we review the importance of trusted identification methods, the biometric landscape for infants and adults, barriers and success stories, and we discuss specific failure modes particular to young children. We then describe our approach to infant identification using non-contact optical imaging of fingerprints. We detail our technology development history, including Human-Centered Design methods, various iterations of our platform, and how these iterations addressed failure modes in the identification process. We close with a brief description of our clinical trial of newborns and infants at an urban hospital in Mexico and report preliminary results that show high accuracy, with matching rates consistent with acceptable field-performance for reliable biometric identification in large populations.
Trudy Bearden, Hannah L. Ratcliffe, Jonathan R. Sugarman, Asaf Bitton, Leonard Abbam Anaman, Gilbert Buckle, Momodou Cham, Diane Chong Woei Quan, Fatanah Ismail, Badarch Jargalsaikhan, et al.
Published: 31 October 2019
Gates Open Research, Volume 3; doi:10.12688/gatesopenres.13059.1

Abstract:Empanelment is a foundational strategy for building or improving primary health care systems and a critical pathway for achieving effective universal health coverage. However, there is little international guidance for defining empanelment or understanding how to implement empanelment systems in low- and middle-income countries. To fill this gap, a multi-country collaborative within the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage developed this empanelment overview, proposing a people-centered definition of empanelment that reflects the responsibility to proactively deliver primary care services to all individuals in a target population. This document, building on existing literature on empanelment and representing input from 10 countries, establishes standard concepts of empanelment and describes why and how empanelment is used. Finally, it identifies key domains that may influence effective empanelment and that must be considered in deciding how empanelment can be implemented. This document is designed to be a useful resource for health policymakers, planners and decision-makers in ministries of health, as well as front line providers of primary care service delivery who are working to ensure quality people-centered primary care to everyone everywhere.