Outcome of acute bacterial meningitis among children in Kandahar, Afghanistan: A prospective observational cohort study.
Rahimi BA., Ishaq N., Mudaser GM., Taylor WR.
BackgroundAcute bacterial meningitis (ABM) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children but there are no published data on the treatment outcomes of ABM in Afghanistan.MethodsWe conducted a prospective observational cohort study over one year, February 2020 to January 2021 in a tertiary care hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan. AMB was diagnosed clinically and on lumbar puncture findings. Binary logistic regression assessed factors for death.ResultsA total of 393 ABM children of mean age 4.8 years were recruited. Most were males [231 (58.8%)], living in rural areas [267 (67.9%)] and in households of >10 inhabitants [294 (74.8%)]. Only 96 (24.4%) had received against both Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) or pneumococcal (PCV) vaccines. Children were treated with combination of ceftriaxone and ampicillin and 169/321 (52.6%) received dexamethasone. Of the 321 children with a known outcome, 69 (21.5%) died. Death was significantly associated with: not receiving dexamethasone [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.9 (95% CI 2.6-9.5, p <0.001)], coma on admission [AOR 4.6 (I 2.3-9.5, p <0.001)], no PCV [AOR 2.8 (1.2-6.6, p = 0.019)] or Hib vaccine [AOR 2.8 (1.2-6.6, p = 0.019)], and being male [AOR 2.7 (1.4-5.5, p = 0.005).ConclusionsABM causes significant morbidity and mortality in Afghan children that may be improved by greater use of PCV and Hib vaccines. Adjunct dexamethasone should be evaluated formally in our setting.