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What do a mathematician, an epidemiologist, a vaccine developer, a protein crystallographer and a whole bevy of immunologists and infectious disease specialists have in common? Answer: they’re just some of the Oxford University researchers coming together to fight the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Science blog by Charvy Narain
Towards UNAIDS Fast-Track goals: targeting priority geographic areas for HIV prevention and care in Zimbabwe.
INTRODUCTION:Zimbabwe has made substantial progress towards the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) targets of 90-90-90 by 2020, with 73% of people living with HIV diagnosed, 87% of those diagnosed on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 86% of those on ART virally suppressed. Despite this exceptional response, more effort is needed to completely achieve the UNAIDS targets. Here, we conducted a detailed spatial analysis of the geographical structure of the HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe to include geographical prioritization as a key component of their overall HIV intervention strategy. METHODS:Data were obtained from Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) conducted in 2015 as well as estimations from the Zimbabwe Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) 2016 report, and other published literature. Data were used to produce high-resolution maps of HIV prevalence. Using these maps combined with the population density maps, we mapped the HIV-infected population lacking ART coverage and viral suppression. RESULTS:HIV maps for both sexes illustrated similar geographical variation of HIV prevalence within the country. HIV-infected populations lacking ART coverage and viral suppression were concentrated in the main cities and urban settlements such as Bulawayo, Harare, Ruwa and Chitungwiza. CONCLUSION:Our study showed extensive local variation in HIV disease burden across Zimbabwe for both women and men. The high-resolution maps generated here identified areas wherein high density of HIV-infected individuals are lacking ART coverage and viral suppression. These results suggest that there is need to tailor HIV programmes to address specific local needs to efficiently achieve epidemic control in Zimbabwe.
Global, regional, and national burden of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
BackgroundTraumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI) are increasingly recognised as global health priorities in view of the preventability of most injuries and the complex and expensive medical care they necessitate. We aimed to measure the incidence, prevalence, and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for TBI and SCI from all causes of injury in every country, to describe how these measures have changed between 1990 and 2016, and to estimate the proportion of TBI and SCI cases caused by different types of injury.MethodsWe used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study 2016 to measure the global, regional, and national burden of TBI and SCI by age and sex. We measured the incidence and prevalence of all causes of injury requiring medical care in inpatient and outpatient records, literature studies, and survey data. By use of clinical record data, we estimated the proportion of each cause of injury that required medical care that would result in TBI or SCI being considered as the nature of injury. We used literature studies to establish standardised mortality ratios and applied differential equations to convert incidence to prevalence of long-term disability. Finally, we applied GBD disability weights to calculate YLDs. We used a Bayesian meta-regression tool for epidemiological modelling, used cause-specific mortality rates for non-fatal estimation, and adjusted our results for disability experienced with comorbid conditions. We also analysed results on the basis of the Socio-demographic Index, a compound measure of income per capita, education, and fertility.FindingsIn 2016, there were 27·08 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 24·30-30·30 million) new cases of TBI and 0·93 million (0·78-1·16 million) new cases of SCI, with age-standardised incidence rates of 369 (331-412) per 100 000 population for TBI and 13 (11-16) per 100 000 for SCI. In 2016, the number of prevalent cases of TBI was 55·50 million (53·40-57·62 million) and of SCI was 27·04 million (24·98-30·15 million). From 1990 to 2016, the age-standardised prevalence of TBI increased by 8·4% (95% UI 7·7 to 9·2), whereas that of SCI did not change significantly (-0·2% [-2·1 to 2·7]). Age-standardised incidence rates increased by 3·6% (1·8 to 5·5) for TBI, but did not change significantly for SCI (-3·6% [-7·4 to 4·0]). TBI caused 8·1 million (95% UI 6·0-10·4 million) YLDs and SCI caused 9·5 million (6·7-12·4 million) YLDs in 2016, corresponding to age-standardised rates of 111 (82-141) per 100 000 for TBI and 130 (90-170) per 100 000 for SCI. Falls and road injuries were the leading causes of new cases of TBI and SCI in most regions.InterpretationTBI and SCI constitute a considerable portion of the global injury burden and are caused primarily by falls and road injuries. The increase in incidence of TBI over time might continue in view of increases in population density, population ageing, and increasing use of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. The number of individuals living with SCI is expected to increase in view of population growth, which is concerning because of the specialised care that people with SCI can require. Our study was limited by data sparsity in some regions, and it will be important to invest greater resources in collection of data for TBI and SCI to improve the accuracy of future assessments.FundingBill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Antibiotic resistance trends of ESKAPE pathogens in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa: A five-year retrospective analysis.
Background:To combat antimicrobial resistance, the World Health Organization developed a global priority pathogen list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for prioritisation of research and development of new, effective antibiotics. Objective:This study describes a five-year resistance trend analysis of the ESKAPE pathogens: Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp., from Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Methods:This retrospective study used National Health Laboratory Services data on 64 502 ESKAPE organisms isolated between 2011 and 2015. Susceptibility trends were ascertained from minimum inhibitory concentrations and interpreted using Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Results:S. aureus was most frequently isolated (n = 24, 495, 38%), followed by K. pneumoniae (n = 14, 282, 22%). Decreasing rates of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (28% to 18%, p < 0.001) and increasing rates of extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing K. pneumoniae (54% to 65% p < 0.001) were observed. Carbapenem resistance among K. pneumoniae and Enterobacter spp. was less than 6% during 2011-2014, but increased from 4% in 2014 to 16% in 2015 (p < 0.001) among K. pneumoniae. P. aeruginosa increased (p = 0.002), but resistance to anti-pseudomonal antimicrobials decreased from 2013 to 2015. High rates of multi-drug resistance were observed in A. baumanni (> 70%). Conclusion:This study describes the magnitude of antimicrobial resistance in KwaZulu-Natal and provides a South African perspective on antimicrobial resistance in the global priority pathogen list, signalling the need for initiation or enhancement of antimicrobial stewardship and infection control measures locally.
Does suboptimal household flooring increase the risk of diarrhoea and intestinal parasite infection in low and middle income endemic settings? A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.
BackgroundWater, sanitation, and hygiene interventions often fail to show long-term impact on diarrhoeal and/or intestinal parasite risk in many low- and middle-income countries. Less attention has been paid to wider contextual factors that may contribute to high levels of contamination in the domestic environment such as household flooring. The purpose of this study will be to assess the association between diarrhoeal and/or intestinal parasite infection status and unimproved/unfinished flooring in low- and middle-income countries.MethodsWe will conduct a comprehensive search of published studies (randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled trials, and observational studies) that examined the association between unimproved/unfinished household flooring and diarrhoeal and/or intestinal parasite infection status from January 1, 1980, onwards with no language restriction. The primary outcome will include diarrhoeal and/or intestinal parasite infection status. Databases to be searched include EMBASE, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. The secondary outcome will be the association between specific pathogens (laboratory confirmed) and unimproved/unfinished household flooring. Independent screening for eligible studies using defined criteria and data extraction will be completed in duplicate and independently. Any discrepancies between the two reviewers will be resolved by consensus and/or arbitration by a third researcher. If data permits, random effects models will be used where appropriate. Subgroup and additional analyses will be conducted to explore the potential sources of heterogeneity (e.g. age group, geographical region) and potential risk of bias of included studies.DiscussionThis review will provide a comprehensive examination of a possible association between suboptimal household flooring and increased risk of enteric pathogen infection, highlight gaps for future research in high risk areas, and inform intervention design for future planned studies in Kenya and/or elsewhere in the region.Systematic review registrationPROSPERO registration number: CRD42019156437.
Impact of Implementing Antenatal Syphilis Point-of-Care Testing on Maternal Mortality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: An Interrupted Time Series Analysis.
BACKGROUND:Syphilis infection has been associated with an increased risk of HIV infection during pregnancy which poses greater risk for maternal mortality, and antenatal syphilis point-of-care (POC) testing has been introduced to improve maternal and child health outcomes. There is limited evidence on the impact of syphilis POC testing on maternal outcomes in high HIV prevalent settings. We used syphilis POC testing as a model to evaluate the impact of POC diagnostics on the improvement of maternal mortality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. METHODS:We extracted 132 monthly data points on the number of maternal deaths in facilities and number of live births in facilities for 12 tertiary healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa from 2004 to 2014 from District Health Information System (DHIS) health facility archived. We employed segmented Poisson regression analysis of interrupted time series to assess the impact of the exposure on maternal mortality ratio (MMR) before and after the implementation of antenatal syphilis POC testing. We processed and analyzed data using Stata Statistical Software: Release 13. (Stata, Corp LP, College Station, TX, USA). RESULTS:The provincial average annual maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was estimated at 176.09 ± 43.92 ranging from a minimum of 68.48 to maximum of 225.49 per 100,000 live births. The data comprised 36 temporal points before the introduction of syphilis POC test exposure and 84 after the introduction in primary health care clinics in KZN. The average annual MMR for KZN from 2004 to 2014 was estimated at 176.09 ± 43.92. A decrease in MMR level was observed during 2008 after syphilis POC test implementation, followed by a rise during 2009. Analysis of the MMR trend estimates a significant 1.5% increase in MMR trends during the period before implementation and 1.3% increase after implementation of syphilis POC testing (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION:Although our finding suggests a brief reduction in the MMR trend after the implementation of antenatal syphilis POC testing, a continued increase in syphilis rates is seen in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The study used one of the most powerful quasi-experimental research methods, segmented Poisson regression analysis of interrupted time series to model the impact of syphilis POC on maternal outcome. The study finding requires confirmation by use of more rigorous primary study design.
The effects of combined exposure of solvents and noise on auditory function - A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Background Chemical substances can negatively affect the auditory system. Chemical substances alone or combined with high-level noise have recently become a major concern as a cause of occupational hearing loss.Objective To assess the combined effect of solvents and noise versus solvents only, or noise only, on the auditory function of workers.Method Published articles which included noise and/or solvent exposure or combined effects of solvents and noise, studies conducted on human beings only and the use of audiological tests on participants.Results Thirteen papers were eligible for inclusion. The participants' ages ranged from 18 to 68 years. Results revealed that 24.5% presented with hearing loss as a result of noise exposure only; 18% presented with hearing loss owing to solvent exposure only; and a total of 43.3% presented with hearing loss owing to combined noise and solvent exposure. Furthermore, the prevalence of hearing loss in the noise and solvent group was significantly (p < 0.001) higher than the other groups in 10 out of the 13 studies analysed, with a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 2.754. Of the 178 participants (total of all participants exposed to solvents), a total of 32 participants presented with auditory pathology as a result of exposure to solvents only. There was a significantly higher pooled odds of hearing loss in noise and solvent-exposed group compared to solvent-only group (pooled OR = 2.15, 95% CI: 1.24-3.72, p = 0.006).Conclusion The findings revealed significantly higher odds of acquiring hearing loss when workers were exposed to a combination of solvents and noise as opposed to solvents only, motivating for its inclusion into hearing conservation programmes.
Spatial-temporal trends and risk factors for undernutrition and obesity among children (<5 years) in South Africa, 2008-2017: findings from a nationally representative longitudinal panel survey.
ObjectivesTo assess space-time trends in malnutrition and associated risk factors among children (<5 years) in South Africa.DesignMultiround national panel survey using multistage random sampling.SettingNational, community based.ParticipantsCommunity-based sample of children and adults.Sample size3254 children in wave 1 (2008) to 4710 children in wave 5 (2017).Primary outcomesStunting, wasting/thinness and obesity among children (<5). Classification was based on anthropometric (height and weight) z-scores using WHO growth standards.ResultsBetween 2008 and 2017, a larger decline nationally in stunting among children (<5) was observed from 11.0% to 7.6% (p=0.007), compared with thinness/wasting (5.2% to 3.8%, p=0.131) and obesity (14.5% to 12.9%, p=0.312). A geographic nutritional gradient was observed with obesity more pronounced in the east of the country and thinness/wasting more pronounced in the west. Approximately 73% of districts had an estimated wasting prevalence below the 2025 target threshold of 5% in 2017 while 83% and 88% of districts achieved the necessary relative reduction in stunting and no increase in obesity respectively from 2012 to 2017 in line with 2025 targets. African ethnicity, male gender, low birth weight, lower socioeconomic and maternal/paternal education status and rural residence were significantly associated with stunting. Children in lower income and food-insecure households with young malnourished mothers were significantly more likely to be thin/wasted while African children, with higher birth weights, living in lower income households in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape were significantly more likely to be obese.ConclusionsWhile improvements in stunting have been observed, thinness/wasting and obesity prevalence remain largely unchanged. The geographic and sociodemographic heterogeneity in childhood malnutrition has implications for equitable attainment of global nutritional targets for 2025, with many districts having dual epidemics of undernutrition and overnutrition. Effective subnational-level public health planning and tailored interventions are required to address this challenge.
Mapping local patterns of childhood overweight and wasting in low- and middle-income countries between 2000 and 2017
AbstractA double burden of malnutrition occurs when individuals, household members or communities experience both undernutrition and overweight. Here, we show geospatial estimates of overweight and wasting prevalence among children under 5 years of age in 105 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) from 2000 to 2017 and aggregate these to policy-relevant administrative units. Wasting decreased overall across LMICs between 2000 and 2017, from 8.4% (62.3 (55.1–70.8) million) to 6.4% (58.3 (47.6–70.7) million), but is predicted to remain above the World Health Organization’s Global Nutrition Target of <5% in over half of LMICs by 2025. Prevalence of overweight increased from 5.2% (30 (22.8–38.5) million) in 2000 to 6.0% (55.5 (44.8–67.9) million) children aged under 5 years in 2017. Areas most affected by double burden of malnutrition were located in Indonesia, Thailand, southeastern China, Botswana, Cameroon and central Nigeria. Our estimates provide a new perspective to researchers, policy makers and public health agencies in their efforts to address this global childhood syndemic.
Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.
BackgroundSuboptimal diet is an important preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs); however, its impact on the burden of NCDs has not been systematically evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate the consumption of major foods and nutrients across 195 countries and to quantify the impact of their suboptimal intake on NCD mortality and morbidity.MethodsBy use of a comparative risk assessment approach, we estimated the proportion of disease-specific burden attributable to each dietary risk factor (also referred to as population attributable fraction) among adults aged 25 years or older. The main inputs to this analysis included the intake of each dietary factor, the effect size of the dietary factor on disease endpoint, and the level of intake associated with the lowest risk of mortality. Then, by use of disease-specific population attributable fractions, mortality, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), we calculated the number of deaths and DALYs attributable to diet for each disease outcome.FindingsIn 2017, 11 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 10-12) deaths and 255 million (234-274) DALYs were attributable to dietary risk factors. High intake of sodium (3 million [1-5] deaths and 70 million [34-118] DALYs), low intake of whole grains (3 million [2-4] deaths and 82 million [59-109] DALYs), and low intake of fruits (2 million [1-4] deaths and 65 million [41-92] DALYs) were the leading dietary risk factors for deaths and DALYs globally and in many countries. Dietary data were from mixed sources and were not available for all countries, increasing the statistical uncertainty of our estimates.InterpretationThis study provides a comprehensive picture of the potential impact of suboptimal diet on NCD mortality and morbidity, highlighting the need for improving diet across nations. Our findings will inform implementation of evidence-based dietary interventions and provide a platform for evaluation of their impact on human health annually.FundingBill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Global, regional, and national burden of stroke, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
BackgroundStroke is a leading cause of mortality and disability worldwide and the economic costs of treatment and post-stroke care are substantial. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) provides a systematic, comparable method of quantifying health loss by disease, age, sex, year, and location to provide information to health systems and policy makers on more than 300 causes of disease and injury, including stroke. The results presented here are the estimates of burden due to overall stroke and ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke from GBD 2016.MethodsWe report estimates and corresponding uncertainty intervals (UIs), from 1990 to 2016, for incidence, prevalence, deaths, years of life lost (YLLs), years lived with disability (YLDs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). DALYs were generated by summing YLLs and YLDs. Cause-specific mortality was estimated using an ensemble modelling process with vital registration and verbal autopsy data as inputs. Non-fatal estimates were generated using Bayesian meta-regression incorporating data from registries, scientific literature, administrative records, and surveys. The Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator generated using educational attainment, lagged distributed income, and total fertility rate, was used to group countries into quintiles.FindingsIn 2016, there were 5·5 million (95% UI 5·3 to 5·7) deaths and 116·4 million (111·4 to 121·4) DALYs due to stroke. The global age-standardised mortality rate decreased by 36·2% (-39·3 to -33·6) from 1990 to 2016, with decreases in all SDI quintiles. Over the same period, the global age-standardised DALY rate declined by 34·2% (-37·2 to -31·5), also with decreases in all SDI quintiles. There were 13·7 million (12·7 to 14·7) new stroke cases in 2016. Global age-standardised incidence declined by 8·1% (-10·7 to -5·5) from 1990 to 2016 and decreased in all SDI quintiles except the middle SDI group. There were 80·1 million (74·1 to 86·3) prevalent cases of stroke globally in 2016; 41·1 million (38·0 to 44·3) in women and 39·0 million (36·1 to 42·1) in men.InterpretationAlthough age-standardised mortality rates have decreased sharply from 1990 to 2016, the decrease in age-standardised incidence has been less steep, indicating that the burden of stroke is likely to remain high. Planned updates to future GBD iterations include generating separate estimates for subarachnoid haemorrhage and intracerebral haemorrhage, generating estimates of transient ischaemic attack, and including atrial fibrillation as a risk factor.FundingBill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
BackgroundBronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a standardized method to obtain specimen samples from the airway lumen of the respiratory system. BAL is used to diagnose lung infection and infection markers in neonates.ObjectivesThe aim was to evaluate the utility of flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy in term and preterm neonates and to evaluate the use of BAL obtained by bronchoscopy in neonatal lung disease.MethodsA retrospective analysis of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies, during a 7-year period was conducted on 599 neonates who underwent the BAL procedure. Characteristics of the patients, indications, complications, and results of the procedure were recorded.ResultsThe main indications were nosocomial pneumonia (140) and unilateral lung disease (74). A normal finding was most prevalent (201), followed by tracheitis (65). Microbiology on BAL fluid was positive in 33% of bronchoscopies (195/599); most common organisms isolated were Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, and Pseudomonas.ConclusionsNeonatal bronchoscopy can serve as an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool in the management of neonatal lung disease, BAL specimen microbiology from bronchoscopy directs clinical decision making in the management of neonatal lung infection. Individual common markers of infection have poor correlation to BAL. A combination of the markers, however, improves correlation with BAL but their utility in clinical management of lung infection is subject to caution. A negative BAL may shift management emphasis on minimizing lung injury especially in neonates who are ventilator dependent; BAL has the potential to critically affect the management of babies with significant lung disease especially when ventilator dependent.
The global, regional, and national burden of cirrhosis by cause in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.
BackgroundCirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases (collectively referred to as cirrhosis in this paper) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality globally, although the burden and underlying causes differ across locations and demographic groups. We report on results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2017 on the burden of cirrhosis and its trends since 1990, by cause, sex, and age, for 195 countries and territories.MethodsWe used data from vital registrations, vital registration samples, and verbal autopsies to estimate mortality. We modelled prevalence of total, compensated, and decompensated cirrhosis on the basis of hospital and claims data. Disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were calculated as the sum of years of life lost due to premature death and years lived with disability. Estimates are presented as numbers and age-standardised or age-specific rates per 100 000 population, with 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). All estimates are presented for five causes of cirrhosis: hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and other causes. We compared mortality, prevalence, and DALY estimates with those expected according to the Socio-demographic Index (SDI) as a proxy for the development status of regions and countries.FindingsIn 2017, cirrhosis caused more than 1·32 million (95% UI 1·27-1·45) deaths (440 000 [416 000-518 000; 33·3%] in females and 883 000 [838 000-967 000; 66·7%] in males) globally, compared with less than 899 000 (829 000-948 000) deaths in 1990. Deaths due to cirrhosis constituted 2·4% (2·3-2·6) of total deaths globally in 2017 compared with 1·9% (1·8-2·0) in 1990. Despite an increase in the number of deaths, the age-standardised death rate decreased from 21·0 (19·2-22·3) per 100 000 population in 1990 to 16·5 (15·8-18·1) per 100 000 population in 2017. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest age-standardised death rate among GBD super-regions for all years of the study period (32·2 [25·8-38·6] deaths per 100 000 population in 2017), and the high-income super-region had the lowest (10·1 [9·8-10·5] deaths per 100 000 population in 2017). The age-standardised death rate decreased or remained constant from 1990 to 2017 in all GBD regions except eastern Europe and central Asia, where the age-standardised death rate increased, primarily due to increases in alcohol-related liver disease prevalence. At the national level, the age-standardised death rate of cirrhosis was lowest in Singapore in 2017 (3·7 [3·3-4·0] per 100 000 in 2017) and highest in Egypt in all years since 1990 (103·3 [64·4-133·4] per 100 000 in 2017). There were 10·6 million (10·3-10·9) prevalent cases of decompensated cirrhosis and 112 million (107-119) prevalent cases of compensated cirrhosis globally in 2017. There was a significant increase in age-standardised prevalence rate of decompensated cirrhosis between 1990 and 2017. Cirrhosis caused by NASH had a steady age-standardised death rate throughout the study period, whereas the other four causes showed declines in age-standardised death rate. The age-standardised prevalence of compensated and decompensated cirrhosis due to NASH increased more than for any other cause of cirrhosis (by 33·2% for compensated cirrhosis and 54·8% for decompensated cirrhosis) over the study period. From 1990 to 2017, the number of prevalent cases more than doubled for compensated cirrhosis due to NASH and more than tripled for decompensated cirrhosis due to NASH. In 2017, age-standardised death and DALY rates were lower among countries and territories with higher SDI.InterpretationCirrhosis imposes a substantial health burden on many countries and this burden has increased at the global level since 1990, partly due to population growth and ageing. Although the age-standardised death and DALY rates of cirrhosis decreased from 1990 to 2017, numbers of deaths and DALYs and the proportion of all global deaths due to cirrhosis increased. Despite the availability of effective interventions for the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B and C, they were still the main causes of cirrhosis burden worldwide, particularly in low-income countries. The impact of hepatitis B and C is expected to be attenuated and overtaken by that of NASH in the near future. Cost-effective interventions are required to continue the prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis, and to achieve early diagnosis and prevention of cirrhosis due to alcohol-related liver disease and NASH.FundingBill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Home-Based Intervention to Test and Start (HITS): a community-randomized controlled trial to increase HIV testing uptake among men in rural South Africa.
IntroductionThe uptake of HIV testing and linkage to care remains low among men, contributing to high HIV incidence in women in South Africa. We conducted the "Home-Based Intervention to Test and Start" (HITS) in a 2x2 factorial cluster randomized controlled trial in one of the World's largest ongoing HIV cohorts in rural South Africa aimed at enhancing both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for HIV testing.MethodsBetween February and December 2018, in the uMkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal, we randomly assigned 45 communities (clusters) (n = 13,838 residents) to one of the four arms: (i) financial incentives for home-based HIV testing and linkage to care (R50 [$3] food voucher each); (ii) male-targeted HIV-specific decision support application, called EPIC-HIV; (iii) both financial incentives and male-targeted HIV-specific decision support application and (iv) standard of care (SoC). EPIC-HIV was developed to encourage and serve as an intrinsic motivator for HIV testing and linkage to care, and individually offered to men via a tablet device. Financial incentives were offered to both men and women. Here we report the effect of the interventions on uptake of home-based HIV testing among men. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis was performed using modified Poisson regression with adjustment for clustering of standard errors at the cluster levels.ResultsAmong all 13,838 men ≥ 15 years living in the 45 communities, the overall population coverage during a single round of home-based HIV testing was 20.7%. The uptake of HIV testing was 27.5% (683/2481) in the financial incentives arm, 17.1% (433/2534) in the EPIC-HIV arm, 26.8% (568/2120) in the arm receiving both interventions and 17.8% in the SoC arm. The probability of HIV testing increased substantially by 55% in the financial incentives arm (risk ratio (RR)=1.55, 95% CI: 1.31 to 1.82, p ConclusionsThe provision of a small financial incentive acted as a powerful extrinsic motivator substantially increasing the uptake of home-based HIV testing among men in rural South Africa. In contrast, the counselling and testing application which was designed to encourage and serve as an intrinsic motivator to test for HIV did not increase the uptake of home-based testing.
Clinicopathological spectrum of colorectal cancer among the population of the KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa.
Introductionthe burden of colorectal carcinoma (CRC), once considered rare in Africa, may be changing with the disease being increasingly diagnosed and there is a suggestion that age and race influence tumour behaviour. We sought to describe the clinicopathological spectrum of CRC among the different race and age groups in a South African setting.Methodsanalysis of prospectively collected data from an on-going colorectal cancer database, including demographics, clinical presentation, site, staging and grading on all patients enrolled over an 18-year period.Resultsa total of 2232 patients with CRC were accrued over the study period (Africans, 798; Indians, 890; Coloureds, 104; and Whites, 440). Mean age was 57.7 (SD 14.4) but varied considerably by race (p < 0.001) with Africans being significantly younger. Young adults (aged < 40 years) totalled 305 and older patients (aged > 40 years) totalled 1927. The proportion of young patients (< 40 years old) was 28%, 7%, 9% and 3% among Africans, Indian, Coloured and White patients respectively. There were minimal variations in anatomical sub-site distribution. There was no difference in tumour stage between the various races and between older and young adults. Mucinous differentiation was more common in Africans and in young patients and poor differentiation was more common in African patients. Africans had a significantly lower resection rate compared to the other race groups (p < 0.001). Younger patients had a significantly lower resection rate compared to the older age group (p < 0.001).ConclusionAfrican patients were the youngest compared to the other race groups. Mucinous differentiation predominated in Africans and young adults. Poor differentiation predominated in Africans. Resection rate was lower for African patients and in young patients.
Educational attainment is an important social determinant of maternal, newborn, and child health1-3. As a tool for promoting gender equity, it has gained increasing traction in popular media, international aid strategies, and global agenda-setting4-6. The global health agenda is increasingly focused on evidence of precision public health, which illustrates the subnational distribution of disease and illness7,8; however, an agenda focused on future equity must integrate comparable evidence on the distribution of social determinants of health9-11. Here we expand on the available precision SDG evidence by estimating the subnational distribution of educational attainment, including the proportions of individuals who have completed key levels of schooling, across all low- and middle-income countries from 2000 to 2017. Previous analyses have focused on geographical disparities in average attainment across Africa or for specific countries, but-to our knowledge-no analysis has examined the subnational proportions of individuals who completed specific levels of education across all low- and middle-income countries12-14. By geolocating subnational data for more than 184 million person-years across 528 data sources, we precisely identify inequalities across geography as well as within populations.
Association of predicted 10 years cardiovascular mortality risk with duration of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected individuals in Durban, South Africa.
Background:South Africa has the largest population of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) realising the benefits of increased life expectancy. However, this population may be susceptible to cardiovascular disease (CVD) development, due to the chronic consequences of a lifestyle-related combination of risk factors, HIV infection and ART. We predicted a 10-year cardiovascular mortality risk in an HIV-infected population on long-term ART, based on their observed metabolic risk factor profile. Methods:We extracted data from hospital medical charts for 384 randomly selected HIV-infected patients aged ≥ 30 years. We defined metabolic syndrome (MetS) subcomponents using the International Diabetes Federation definition. A validated non-laboratory-based model for predicting a 10-year CVD mortality risk was applied and categorised into five levels, with the thresholds ranging from very low-risk ( 30%). Results:Among the 384 patients, with a mean (± standard deviation) age of 42.90 ± 8.20 years, the proportion of patients that were overweight/obese was 53.3%, where 50.9% had low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and 21 (17.5%) had metabolic syndrome. A total of 144 patients with complete data allowed a definitive prediction of a 10-year CVD mortality risk. 52% (95% CI 44-60) of the patients were stratified to very low risk ( 30%) of 10-year CVD mortality. The CVD risk grows with increasing age (years), 57.82 ± 6.27 among very high risk and 37.52 ± 4.50; p
Prevalence and risk factors for child labour and violence against children in Egypt using Bayesian geospatial modelling with multiple imputation.
BackgroundThe incidence of child labour, especially across developing nations, is of global concern. The use of children in employment in developing economies constitutes a major threat to the societies, and concerted efforts are made by the relevant stakeholders towards addressing some of the factors and issues responsible. Significant risk factors include socio-demographic and economic factors such as poverty, neglect, lack of adequate care, exposure of children to various grades of violence, parental education status, gender, place of residence, household size, residence type or size, wealth index, parental survivorship and household size. Egypt is the largest country in Africa by population. Although UNCIF 2017 reported that the worst forms of child labour in Egypt are concentrated in domestic work, forced begging and commercial sexual exploitation, the situation has received little attention. There are still very few studies initiated specifically to look at child labour in domestic service in Egypt and those that exist have been limited in the scope of their methodology. Geographical coverage and research for child labour in Egypt is also limited, as are accurate statistics and data. There was, therefore, a strong case for looking again at the domestic child labour phenomenon in Egypt, especially after the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) released the first data about child labour in Egypt in 2014. This study builds on the few findings of earlier work, and broadens coverage by including advanced methods and geographical effects of this problem.ObjectivesThis study focuses on identifying socio-demographic, economic and geospatial factors associated with child labour participation.MethodsWe used the 2014 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) from the Ministry of Health and Population in Egypt, with the record of 20,560 never-married children aged 5-17 years engaging in economic activities, in and out of their home. The data focused on demographic and socio-economic characteristics of household members. Multivariate Bayesian geo-additive models were employed to examine the demographical and socio-economic factors for children working less than 16 hrs; between 16 and less 45 hrs; and over 45 hrs weekly.ResultsThe results showed that at least 31.6% of the children in the age group from 5-10 were working, 68.5% of children aged 11-17 years were engaged in child labour for a wage, and 44.7% of the children in the age group from 5-10 were engaged in hazardous work. From the multivariate Bayesian geo-additive models, female children (with male children as reference category) working at least 16 hrs (OR: 1.3; with 95% CI: 1.2-1.5) were more likely to be engaged in child labour than girls working 16 to 45 hrs (OR: 1; 95% CI: 0.3-1.5). Children born to women without formal education, in non-hazardous jobs, irrespective of the hours spent at work, were more likely to be involved in child labour (52.9%, 56.8%, 62.4%) compared to children of mothers with some level of education. Finally, children who have experienced psychological aggression and physical punishment are more likely to be used as child labour than those without such experience across the job types and hours spent. North-eastern Egypt has a higher likelihood of child labour than most other regions, while children who live in the Delta are more engaged in hazardous work.ConclusionThis study revealed a significant influence of socio-demographic and economic factors on child labour and violence against children in Egypt. Poverty, neglect, lack of adequate care and exposure of children to various grades of violence are major drivers of child labour across the country. The spatial effect suggests the need to give more attention to some areas that have high rates of child labour, such as the Nile Delta, Upper Egypt, and North-eastern Egypt.
Mortality, morbidity, and hospitalisations due to influenza lower respiratory tract infections, 2017: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.
BACKGROUND:Although the burden of influenza is often discussed in the context of historical pandemics and the threat of future pandemics, every year a substantial burden of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) and other respiratory conditions (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are attributable to seasonal influenza. The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2017 is a systematic scientific effort to quantify the health loss associated with a comprehensive set of diseases and disabilities. In this Article, we focus on LRTIs that can be attributed to influenza. METHODS:We modelled the LRTI incidence, hospitalisations, and mortality attributable to influenza for every country and selected subnational locations by age and year from 1990 to 2017 as part of GBD 2017. We used a counterfactual approach that first estimated the LRTI incidence, hospitalisations, and mortality and then attributed a fraction of those outcomes to influenza. FINDINGS:Influenza LRTI was responsible for an estimated 145 000 (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 99 000-200 000) deaths among all ages in 2017. The influenza LRTI mortality rate was highest among adults older than 70 years (16·4 deaths per 100 000 [95% UI 11·6-21·9]), and the highest rate among all ages was in eastern Europe (5·2 per 100 000 population [95% UI 3·5-7·2]). We estimated that influenza LRTIs accounted for 9 459 000 (95% UI 3 709 000-22 935 000) hospitalisations due to LRTIs and 81 536 000 hospital days (24 330 000-259 851 000). We estimated that 11·5% (95% UI 10·0-12·9) of LRTI episodes were attributable to influenza, corresponding to 54 481 000 (38 465 000-73 864 000) episodes and 8 172 000 severe episodes (5 000 000-13 296 000). INTERPRETATION:This comprehensive assessment of the burden of influenza LRTIs shows the substantial annual effect of influenza on global health. Although preparedness planning will be important for potential pandemics, health loss due to seasonal influenza LRTIs should not be overlooked, and vaccine use should be considered. Efforts to improve influenza prevention measures are needed. FUNDING:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.