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Background: Maternal morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected women is a global concern. This study compared mortality and health outcomes of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers at 18–20 months postpartum within routine prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services in a rural district in Malawi.

As doctors, nurses and public health professionals are promoted into management and leadership positions in resource-poor countries around the world, they are tasked with leading teams and managing drugs and financial and material resources.

Background and methodology: The Standard Days Method (SDM) is a fertility-awareness-based method of family planning that helps users to identify the fertile days of the reproductive cycle (days 8–19). To prevent pregnancy users avoid unprotected sexual intercourse during these days.

Background: The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that strengthening health systems, through improved leadership and management skills of health teams, can contribute to an increase in health-service delivery outcomes. The study was conducted in six provinces in the Republic of Kenya.

Background: Mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) remains the most prevalent source of pediatric HIV infection. Most PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV) programs have concentrated monitoring and evaluation efforts on process rather than on outcome indicators. In this paper, we review service data from 28,320 children born to HIV-positive mothers to estimate MTCT rates.

Background: High quality program data is critical for managing, monitoring, and evaluating national HIV treatment programs. By 2009, the Malawi Ministry of Health had initiated more than 270,000 patients on HIV treatment at 377 sites.

As HIV care services continue to scale-up in sub-Saharan Africa, adequate tuberculosis diagnostic capacity is vital to reduce mortality among HIV-infected persons.

This systematic review of 58 observational studies identified hypothetical causal mechanisms explaining the effects of short and long intervals between pregnancies on maternal, perinatal, infant, and child health, and critically examined the scientific evidence for each causal mechanism hypothesized.

Purpose of review: This review focuses on current status, progress, challenges and opportunities in global pharmacovigilance for HIV/AIDS treatment.

Objective: The objective of this review is to produce evidence on the prevalence and trends in the availability of substandard and counterfeit antimicrobials in the global market and its consequences on key public health interventions in developing countries.

In 2004, Malawi began scaling up its national antiretroviral therapy (ART) program. Because of limited treatment options, population-level surveillance of acquired human immunodeficiency virus drug resistance (HIVDR) is critical to ensuring long-term treatment success. The World Health Organization target for clinic-level HIVDR prevention at 12 months after ART initiation is ≥70%.

Summary Despite the global initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 210,000 new pediatric infections were added worldwide in 2012 to the existing pool of 3.4 million children living with the virus.

Lessons learned from treating patients with HIV infection can inform care systems for other chronic conditions. For antiretroviral treatment, attending appointments on time correlates with medication adherence; however, HIV clinics in East Africa, where attendance rates vary widely, rarely include systems to schedule appointments or to track missed appointments or patient follow-up.

Achieving high rates of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-poor settings comprises serious, but different, challenges in both the first months of treatment and during the life-long maintenance phase. We measured the impact of a health system-oriented, facility-based intervention to improve clinic attendance and patient adherence. We conducted the study in 12 rural district hospitals (6 intervention, 6 control) in Kenya and randomly selected 1,894 adult patients over 18 years of age in two cohorts. Among experienced patients, the percentage attending the clinic on or before a scheduled appointment increased in both level and trend (increase per month) following the intervention, as did the level and trend of those keeping appointments within three days.

The aim of this study was to assess predictors of mortality among TB-HIV co-infected patients being treated for TB in Northwest Ethiopia. An institution-based retrospective cohort study was conducted between April, 2009 and January, 2012. Despite the availability of free ART from health institutions in Northwest Ethiopia, mortality was high among TB-HIV co-infected patients, and strongly associated with the absence of ART during TB treatment. In addition cotrimoxazole prophylactic therapy remained important factor in reduction of mortality during TB treatment. The study also noted importance of early ART even at higher CD4 counts.

This study, conducted in five rural districts in Afghanistan, used qualitative methods to explore traditional practices of women, families and communities related to maternal and newborn care, and sociocultural and health system issues that create access barriers. The traditional practices discussed include delayed bathing of mothers and delayed breastfeeding of infants, seclusion of women after childbirth, restricted maternal diet, and use of traditional home remedies and self-medication instead of care in health facilities to treat maternal and newborn conditions. This study also looked at community support structures, transportation and care-seeking behaviour for maternal and newborn problems which create access barriers. Sociocultural barriers to better maternal-newborn health include shame about utilisation of maternal and neonatal services, women's inability to seek care without being accompanied by a male relative, and care-seeking from mullahs for serious health concerns. This study also found a high level of post-partum depression. Targeted and more effective behaviour-change communication programmes are needed. This study presents a set of behaviour-change messages to reduce maternal and newborn mortality associated with births occurring at home in rural communities. This study recommends using religious leaders, trained health workers, family health action groups and radio to disseminate these messages.

Background: Worldwide, there were 650,000 multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) cases in 2010, and in 2008 the World Health Organization estimated that 150,000 deaths occurred annually due to MDR-TB. Ethiopia is 15th among the 27 MDR-TB high-burden countries.

Increasing coverage of isoniazid preventive therapy and cotrimoxazole preventive therapy reduced risk of TB among HIV patients who started treatment. All people living with HIV should be screened for TB, but for patients who have advanced disease (WHO clinical stage III/IV, bedridden, and with hemoglobin level of 10 mg/dl), intensified screening is highly recommended during treatment follow-up.

Performance-based financing is increasingly being applied in a variety of contexts, with the expectation that it can improve the performance of health systems. However, while there is a growing literature on implementation issues and effects on outputs, there has been relatively little focus on interactions between PBF and health systems and how these should be studied. This paper aims to contribute to filling that gap by developing a framework for assessing the interactions between PBF and health systems, focusing on low and middle income countries. In doing so, it elaborates a general framework for monitoring and evaluating health system reforms in general.

The Republic of South Sudan has faced a lot of challenges, such as a lack of infrastructure, human resources and an enormous burden of vector borne diseases including malaria. While a national malaria strategic plan 2006-2011 was developed, the vector control component has remained relatively weak.

Drawing on their experience in a range of developing countries, including 20 years of long-term experience in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Steve and Cathy Solter identify 10 important lessons about assisting ministries of health Pursuing true country ownership for effective programs requires a long-term approach involving persistence, patience, keen understanding of counterparts’ perspective, deference, building of trust, focus on priorities, technical competence, and sustained optimism.

A major strategy for preventing transmission of HIV and other STIs is the consistent use of condoms during sexual intercourse. Condom use among youths is particularly important to reduce the number of new cases and the national prevalence. Although a number of studies have established an association between condom use at one’s sexual debut and future condom use, few studies have explored this association over time, and whether the results are generalizable across multiple locations. This multi time point, multi district study assesses the relationship between sexual debut and condom use and consistent use of condoms thereafter. Uganda has used Lot Quality Assurance Sampling surveys since 2003 to monitor district level HIV programs and improve access to HIV health services. This study includes 4518 sexually active youths interviewed at five time points (2003–2010) in up to 23 districts located across Uganda. Using logistic regression, we measured the association of condom use at first sexual intercourse on recent condom usage, controlling for several factors including: age, sex, education, marital status, age at first intercourse, geographical location, and survey year. The odds of condom use at last intercourse, using a condom at last intercourse with a non-regular partner, and consistently using a condom are, respectively, 9.63 (95%WaldCI = 8.03–11.56), 3.48 (95%WaldCI = 2.27–5.33), and 11.12 (95%WaldCI = 8.95–13.81) times more likely for those individuals using condoms during their sexual debut. The results suggest that HIV prevention programs should encourage condom use among youth during sexual debut. Success with this outcome may have a lasting influence on preventing HIV and other STIs later in life.

Abstract The Philippines is one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) burden countries in the world with nationwide coverage of directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS) achieved in 2003. This study reports on the National TB Control Programme (NTP) surveillance data for the period 2003 to 2011.

South Sudan has borne the brunt of years of chronic warfare and probably has the highest malaria burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country. This nationally representative survey aimed to provide data on malaria indicators at household level across the country. The observed high malaria prevalence could be due to low levels of coverage and utilization of interventions coupled with low knowledge levels. Therefore, access and utilization of malaria control tools should be increased through scaling up coverage and improving behaviour change communication.

Effective surveillance systems are required to track malaria testing and treatment practices. A 26-week study “SMS for Life” was piloted in five rural districts of Kenya to examine whether SMS reported surveillance data could ensure real-time visibility of accurate data and their use by district managers to impact on malaria case-management. The study demonstrated the feasibility of using simple mobile phone text messages to transmit timely surveillance data from peripheral health facilities to higher levels. However, accuracy of data reported was suboptimal. Future work should focus on improving quality of SMS reported surveillance data.


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