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Journal Journal of Global Health

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Peige Song, Diana Rudan, Manli Wang, Xinlei Chang, Igor Rudan
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010601

Abstract:Peripheral artery disease (PAD), the third leading cause of atherosclerotic vascular morbidity, affects approximately 202 million people worldwide, among whom more than two-thirds reside in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). For China, the largest developing country, little is known about the epidemiology of PAD. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of PAD and the number of affected people in China, establish the main risk factors for PAD and assess the number of people with PAD at the sub-national level. We searched China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang, Chinese Biomedicine Literature Database (CBM-SinoMed), PubMed, Embase and Medline for population-based studies that have reported the prevalence of PAD in the general Chinese population from 1990 onwards. PAD was defined as an ankle-brachial index (ABI) lower than or equal to 0.90. We used a multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression to generate the gender- and age-specific prevalence of PAD, and a random-effects meta-analysis to pool the odds ratios (ORs) of major risk factors. United Nations population numbers were used to estimate and project the number of affected people from 2000 to 2020. Finally, we used the risk factors-based model to distribute the national number of people with PAD into different settings (urban and rural) and regions (East, Central and West) for the year 2010. Overall, 37 articles met all inclusion criteria and provided prevalence estimates, among which 14 also explored risk factors for PAD. The prevalence of PAD increased gradually by age until mid-60s, after which the increase accelerated. In males, the prevalence of PAD ranged from 2.81% (95% CI = 1.77-4.43) in those aged 25-29 years to 21.95% (95% CI = 15.39-30.31) in those 95-99 years old. In females, the PAD prevalence increased from 3.84% (95% CI = 2.44-5.98) in those aged 25-29 years to 27.95% (95% CI = 20.14-37.37) in those aged 95-99 years. The PAD prevalence was consistently higher in females than in males across all age groups. This difference was most significantly pronounced among the elderly, starting from 60 years. Between 2000 and 2020, the total number of Chinese people with PAD is expected to increase by 40%: from 29.44 million (95% CI = 22.51-38.62) in 2000 to 41.13 million (95% CI = 32.00-52.95) in 2020. Current smoking was the strongest risk factor for PAD, with a meta-odds ratio (OR) of 2.62 (95% CI = 1.44-4.76), followed by hypertension (1.94, 95% CI = 1.48-2.53) and diabetes (1.71, 95% CI = 1.45-2.01). In 2010, 15.18 million (95% CI = 11.74-19.67) people with PAD resided in the East China, 11.08 million (95% CI = 8.61-14.28) in the Central China and 8.65 million (95% CI = 6.71-11.16) in the West China. In addition, 24.20 million (95% CI = 18.82-31.16) people with PAD were living in rural areas, accounting for almost 70% of all PAD cases in China. With rapid ageing in China, PAD has become a serious public health problem. More research and optimal interventions on...
Louise T Day, Harriet Ruysen, Vladimir S Gordeev, Georgia R Gore-Langton, Dorothy Boggs, Simon Cousens, Sarah G Moxon, Hannah Blencowe, Angela Baschieri, Ahmed Ehsanur Rahman, et al.
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010902

Shu Chen, Michelle Pender, Nan Jin, Michael Merson, Shenglan Tang, Stephen Gloyd
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010311

Aziz Sheikh, Igor Rudan, Kathrin Cresswell, Neelam Dhingra-Kumar, Mei Lee Tan, Minna L Häkkinen, Liam Donaldson
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010422

Abstract:Medication errors continue to contribute substantially to global morbidity and mortality. In the context of the recent launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Third Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm, we sought to establish agreement on research priorities for medication safety. We undertook a consensus prioritisation exercise using an approach developed by the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative. Based on a combination of productivity and citations, we identified leading researchers in patient and medication safety and invited them to participate. We also extended the invitation to a further pool of experts from the WHO Global Patient Safety Network. All experts independently generated research ideas, which they then independently scored based on the criteria of: answerability, effectiveness, innovativeness, implementation, burden reduction and equity. An overall Research Priority Score and Average Expert Agreement were calculated for each research question. 131 experts submitted 333 research ideas, and 42 experts then scored the proposed research questions. The top prioritised research areas were: (1) deploying and scaling technology to enhance medication safety; (2) developing guidelines and standard operating procedures for high-risk patients, medications and contexts; (3) score-based approaches to predicting high-risk patients and situations; (4) interventions to increase patient medication literacy; (5) focused training courses for health professionals; and (6) universally applicable pictograms to avoid medication-related harm. Whilst there was a focus on promoting patient education and involvement across resource settings, priorities identified in high-resource settings centred on the optimisation of existing systems through technology. In low- and middle-resource settings, priorities focused on identifying systemic issues contributing to high-risk situations. WHO now plans to work with global, regional and national research funding agencies to catalyse the investment needed to enable teams to pursue these research priorities in medication safety across high-, middle- and low-resource country settings.
Emily Cummings O’Connor, Jennifer Hutain, Megan Christensen, Musa Sahid Kamara, Abu Conteh, Eric Sarriot, Thomas T Samba, Henry B Perry
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010418

Abstract:Although community engagement has been promoted as a strategy for health systems strengthening, there is need for more evidence for effectiveness of this approach. We describe an operations research (OR) Study and assessment of one form of community engagement, the development and implementation of a participatory community-based health information system (PCBHIS), in slum communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone. A child survival project was implemented in 10 slum communities, which were then randomly allocated to intervention (PCBHIS) and comparison areas. In the 5 PCBHIS communities, the findings from monthly reports submitted by community health workers (CHWs) and verbal autopsy findings for deaths of children who died before reaching 5 years of age, were processed and shared at bimonthly meetings in each community. These meetings, called Community Health Data Review (CHDR) meetings, were attended by community leaders, including members of the Ward Development Committee (WDC) and Health Management Committee (HMC), by the CHW Peer Supervisors, and by representatives of the Peripheral Health Unit. Following a review of the information, attendees proposed actions to strengthen community-based health services in their community. These meetings were held over a period of 20 months from July 2015 to March 2017. At baseline and endline, knowledge, practice and coverage (KPC) surveys measured household health-related behaviors and care-seeking behaviors. The capacity of HMCs and WDCs to engage with the local health system was also measured at baseline and endline. Reports of CHW household contact and assessments of CHW quality were obtained in the endline KPC household survey, and household contacts measured in monthly submitted reports were also tabulated. The self-assessment scores of WDCs’ capacity to fulfil their roles improved more in the intervention than in the comparison area for all six components, but for only 1 of the 6 was the improvement statistically significant (monthly and quarterly meetings in which Peer Supervisor and/or CHW supervision was an agenda item). The scores for the HMCs improved less in the intervention area than in the comparison area for all six components, but none of these differences were statistically significant. Topics of discussion in CHDRs focused primarily on CHW functionality. All three indicators of CHW functioning (as measured by reports submitted from CHWs) improved more in the intervention area relative to the comparison area, with 2 out of 3 measures of improvement reaching statistical significance. Five of 7 household behaviors judged to be amenable to promotion by CHWs improved more in the intervention area than in the comparison area, and 2 out of the 5 were statistically significant (feeding colostrum and appropriate infant and young child feeding). Four of the 6 care-seeking behaviors judged to be amenable to promotion by CHWs improved more in the intervention area than in the comparison area,...
Angela Baschieri, Vladimir S Gordeev, Joseph Akuze, Doris Kwesiga, Hannah Blencowe, Simon Cousens, Peter Waiswa, Ane B Fisker, Sanne M Thysen, Amabelia Rodrigues, et al.
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010901

Abstract:Under-five and maternal mortality were halved in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) era, with slower reductions for 2.6 million neonatal deaths and 2.6 million stillbirths. The Every Newborn Action Plan aims to accelerate progress towards national targets, and includes an ambitious Measurement Improvement Roadmap. Population-based household surveys, notably Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, are major sources of population-level data on child mortality in countries with weaker civil registration and vital statistics systems, where over two-thirds of global child deaths occur. To estimate neonatal/child mortality and pregnancy outcomes (stillbirths, miscarriages, birthweight, gestational age) the most common direct methods are: (1) the standard DHS-7 with Full Birth History with additional questions on pregnancy losses in the past 5 years (FBH+) or (2) a Full Pregnancy History (FPH). No direct comparison of these two methods has been undertaken, although descriptive analyses suggest that the FBH+ may underestimate mortality rates particularly for stillbirths. This is the protocol paper for the Every Newborn-INDEPTH study (INDEPTH Network, International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health Every Newborn, Every Newborn Action Plan), aiming to undertake a randomised comparison of FBH+ and FPH to measure pregnancy outcomes in a household survey in five selected INDEPTH Network sites in Africa and South Asia (Bandim in urban and rural Guinea-Bissau; Dabat in Ethiopia; IgangaMayuge in Uganda; Kintampo in Ghana; Matlab in Bangladesh). The survey will reach >68 000 pregnancies to assess if there is ≥15% difference in stillbirth rates. Additional questions will capture birthweight, gestational age, birth/death certification, termination of pregnancy and fertility intentions. The World Bank’s Survey Solutions platform will be tailored for data collection, including recording paradata to evaluate timing. A mixed methods assessment of barriers and enablers to reporting of pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes will be undertaken. This large-scale study is the first randomised comparison of these two methods to capture pregnancy outcomes. Results are expected to inform the evidence base for survey methodology, especially in DHS, regarding capture of stillbirths and other outcomes, notably neonatal deaths, abortions (spontaneous and induced), birthweight and gestational age. In addition, this study will inform strategies to improve health and demographic surveillance capture of neonatal/child mortality and pregnancy outcomes.
Kerri Wazny, Niall Anderson, Diego G Bassani, John Ravenscroft, Kit Yee Chan, Igor Rudan
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010701

Abstract:The Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) method for health research prioritisation relies on stakeholders weighting criteria used to assess research options. These weights in turn impact on the final scores and ranks assigned to research options. Three quarters of CHNRI studies published to date have not involved stakeholders in criteria weighting. Of those that have, few incorporated members of the public into stakeholder groups. Those that have compared different stakeholder groups, such as donors, researchers, or policy makers, showed that different groups place different values upon CHNRI criteria. When choosing the composition of a stakeholder group, it may be important to understand factors that may influence weighting. Drawing upon a group of international public stakeholders, this study explores some of the effects of individual and demographic characteristics has on the weights assigned to the most commonly used CHNRI criteria, with the aim of informing future researchers on avoiding future biases. Individual and demographic information and 5-point Likert scale responses to questions about the importance of 15 CHNRI criteria were collected from 1031 “Turkers” (Amazon Mechanical Turk workers) via Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT), which is an online crowdsourcing platform. Thirteen of the fifteen criteria were analysed using random-intercept models and the remaining two were analysed through logistic regression. Self-reported health status explained most of the variability in participants’ responses across criteria (11/15 criteria), followed by being female (10/15), ethnicity (9/15), employment (8/15), and religion (7/15). Differences across criteria indicate that when choosing stakeholder groups, researchers need to consider these factors to minimise bias. Researchers should collect and report more detailed information from stakeholders, including individual and demographic characteristics, and ensure participation from both genders, multiple ethnicities, religious beliefs, and people with differing health statuses to be transparent regarding possible biases in health research prioritisation. Our analyses indicate that these factors do influence the relative importance of these values, even when the data appears fairly homogeneous.
Kenneth Juma, Pamela A Juma, Shukri F Mohamed, Jared Owuor, Ann Wanyoike, David Mulabi, George Odinya, Maureen Njeru, Gerald Yonga
Journal of Global Health, Volume 8; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010201

Abstract:Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevalence is rising fastest in lower income settings, and with more devastating outcomes compared to High Income Countries (HICs). While evidence is consistent on the growing health and economic consequences of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), specific efforts aimed at addressing NCD prevention and control remain less than optimum and country level progress of implementing evidence backed cost-effective NCD prevention approaches such as tobacco taxation and restrictions on marketing of unhealthy food and drinks is slow. Similarly, increasing interest to employ multi-sectoral approaches (MSA) in NCD prevention and policy is impeded by scarce knowledge on the mechanisms of MSA application in NCD prevention, their coordination, and potential successes in SSA. In recognition of the above gaps in NCD programming and interventions in Africa, the East Africa NCD alliance (EANCDA) in partnership with the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) organized a three-day NCDs conference in Nairobi. The conference entitled “First Africa Non-Communicable Disease Research Conference 2017: Sharing Evidence and Identifying Research Priorities” drew more than one hundred fifty participants and researchers from several institutions in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Belgium, USA and Canada. The sections that follow provide detailed overview of the conference, its objectives, a summary of the proceedings and recommendations on the African NCD research agenda to address NCD prevention efforts in Africa.
Jennifer Hutain, Henry B Perry, Alain K Koffi, Megan Christensen, Emily Cummings O'connor, Sonnia-Magba Bu-Buakei Jabbi, Thomas T Samba, Reinhard Kaiser
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010419

Abstract:Verbal autopsies (VAs) can provide important epidemiological information about the causes of child deaths. Though studies have been conducted to assess the validity of various types of VAs, the programmatic experience of engaging local communities in collecting and using VA has received little attention in the published literature. Concern Worldwide, an international non-governmental organization (NGO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), has implemented a VA protocol in five urban slums of Freetown, Sierra Leone. This paper provides VA results and describes lessons learned from the VA process. Under-five child deaths were registered by Community Health Workers (CHWs) in five urban slums between 2014 and 2017, and a specially trained local clinician used a VA protocol to interview caretakers. Symptoms were analysed using InterVA-4 computerized algorithm, a probabilistic expert-driven model to determine the most likely cause of death. Themes in care-seeking were extracted from multiple-choice and open-ended questions. VAs were implemented in collaboration with the community and the results were shared with community stakeholders in participatory review meetings. Main challenges included limitations in death notification and capacity to conduct VA for all notified deaths. A total of 215 VA were available for analysis. Among 79 neonatal deaths aged 0-27 days, the most common cause of death was neonatal pneumonia (55%); among 136 children deaths aged 1-4 years, the most common causes were malaria (56%) and pneumonia (41%). Key themes in care-seeking identified included use of traditional medicine (14% of deaths), absence of care-seeking (23% of deaths), and difficultly reaching the health facility (8% of deaths that occurred at home) during fatal illness. Conducting VAs as a collaborative process with communities is challenging but can provide valuable data that can be used for local-level decision-making. The findings have practical implications for engaging the community and CHWs in reducing the number of these preventable deaths through expanded efforts at prevention, early and appropriate treatment, and reduction of barriers to care-seeking. A functional end-to-end VA system can enhance meaningful routine vital events monitoring by community, national, and international stakeholders.
Michelle Willcox, Amnesty Lefevre, Enid Mwebaza, Josephine Nabukeera, Gabrielle Conecker, Peter Johnson
Journal of Global Health, Volume 9; doi:10.7189/jogh.09.010416

Abstract:Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa still face significant challenges in maternal and child health where low numbers, uneven distribution, and training deficits of the health workforce impede quality care. Low-dose, high-frequency training (LDHF), an innovative approach to in-service training, focuses on competency, team-based repetitive learning and practice in the clinical setting. In Uganda, we conducted cost analyses of local organization LDHF training programs for Post-abortion care (PAC) and Pediatric HIV to assess cost drivers and cost efficiency and compare costs to traditional workshop based training. We collected costs with bottom up, activity based costing in LDHF and workshop training programs. All costs reported from a programmatic perspective in US$2015 across a two year analytic time horizon. A survey of trained providers was conducted to understand costs and incentives of participation as well as experience and training preferences. PAC training with the LDHF approach cost US$29 957 corresponding to US$936 per provider; the traditional training of the same content was delivered at a total US$10 551 corresponding to US$527 per provider. Pediatric HIV training with LDHF approach cost US$41 677 or US$631 per provider; traditional training of Pediatric HIV cost US$18 656 or US$888 per provider trained. In traditional training programs, costs to providers were nearly equal to incentives given. In LDHF training programs, financial incentives and costs to participate were not equal and varied by roles and programs; all district trainers’ incentives outweighed their costs of participation, trainee incentives were higher than costs of participation in the PAC training, but in the Pediatric HIV program, trainee incentives were lower than the costs of participation. Local training programs differ widely in applying LDHF principles to design and implementation thus leading to variation in costs and cost-efficiency. LDHF can be more cost-efficient than workshop based trainings if programs take advantage of the wider scope of trainees available for the facility-based trainings. Incentive differences between district trainers and trainees may influence participation and perception of training. The perspectives of providers participating in LDHF or traditional workshop training should be integrated when developing future programs for maximum uptake and participation for in-service training.
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