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Relaunch of the official community health worker programme in Mozambique: is there a sustainable basis for iCCM policy?
BACKGROUND: In Mozambique, integrated community case management (iCCM) of diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia is embedded in the national community health worker (CHW) programme, mainstreaming it into government policy and service delivery. Since its inception in 1978, the CHW programme has functioned unevenly, was suspended in 1989, but relaunched in 2010. To assess the long-term success of iCCM in Mozambique, this article addresses whether the current CHW programme exhibits characteristics that facilitate or impede its sustainability. METHODOLOGY: We undertook a qualitative case study based on document review (n = 54) and key informant interviews (n = 21) with respondents from the Ministry of Health (MOH), multilateral and bilateral agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Maputo in 2012. Interviews were mostly undertaken in Portuguese and all were coded using NVivo. A sustainability framework guided thematic analysis according to nine domains: strategic planning, organizational capacity, programme adaptation, programme monitoring and evaluation, communications, funding stability, political support, partnerships and public health impact. RESULTS: Government commitment was high, with the MOH leading a consultative process in Maputo and facilitating successful technical coordination. The MOH made strategic decisions to pay CHWs, authorize their prescribing abilities, foster guidance development, support operational planning and incorporate previously excluded old CHWs. Nonetheless, policy negotiations excluded certain key actors and uncertainty remains about CHW integration into the civil service and their long-term retention. In addition, reliance on NGOs and donor funding has led to geographic distortions in scaling up, alongside challenges in harmonization. Finally, dependence on external funding, when both external and government funding are declining, may hamper sustainability. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis represents a nuanced assessment of the various domains that influence CHW programme sustainability, highlighting strategic areas such as CHW payment and programme financing. These organizational and contextual determinants of sustainability are central to CHW programme strengthening and iCCM policy support.
Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of the RTS,S/AS02A Malaria Vaccine in Mozambican Children
Abstract Background We previously reported that the RTS,S/AS02A vaccine had an acceptable safety profile, was immunogenic, and demonstrated efficacy against Plasmodium falciparum malaria disease for 21 months. Methods We conducted a randomized, controlled, phase 2b trial of RTS,S/AS02A in 2022 Mozambican children aged 1–4 years. We now report safety results for all randomized subjects and vaccine efficacy (VE) findings for children in the Manhiça area over the 45-month surveillance period. Results During the surveillance period, the VE(2.5–45) (VE over months 2.5–45 of surveillance) against a first or only episode of clinical malaria disease was 30.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 18.9%–40.4%; P <.001 ), and the VE(2.5–45) against all episodes was 25.6% (95% CI, 11.9%–37.1%; P <.001). When the same period was considered, the VE(2.5–45) for subjects protected against severe malaria was 38.3% (95% CI, 3.4%–61.3%; P = .045). At study month 45, the prevalence of P. falciparum was 34% lower in the RTS,S/AS02A group than in the control group (66 [12.2%] of 541 patients vs 101 [18.5%] of 547 patients) (P = .004). Conclusion These results show evidence that RTS,S/AS02A maintained protection during the 45-month surveillance period, and they highlight the feasibility of developing an effective vaccine against malaria. In combination with other malaria-control measures, such a vaccine could greatly contribute to reducing the intolerable global burden of this disease. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers NCT00197041 and NCT00323622.
Is the Role of Physicians Really Evolving Due to Non-physician Clinicians Predominance in Staff Makeup in Sub-Saharan African Health Systems?
Health workforce shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa are widely recognized, particularly of physicians, leading the training and deployment of Non-physician clinicians (NPCs). The paper by Eyal et al provides interesting and legitimate viewpoints on evolving role of physicians in context of decisive increase of NPCss in Sub-Saharan Africa. Certainly, in short or mid-term, NPCs will continue to be a proxy solution and a valuable alternative to overcome physicians shortages in sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, NPCs have an important role at primary healthcare (PHC) level. Physicians at PHC level can certainly have all different roles that were suggested by Eyal et al, including those not directly related to healthcare provision. However, at secondary and higher levels of healthcare, physicians would assume other roles that are mainly related to patient clinical care. Thus, attempting to generalize the role of physicians without taking into account the context where they will work would be not entirely appropriate. It is true that often physicians start the professional carriers at PHC level and progress to other levels of healthcare particularly after clinical post-graduation training. Nevertheless, the training programs offered by medical institutions in sub-Saharan Africa need to be periodically reviewed and take into account professional and occupational roles physicians would take in context of evolving health systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
Analysis of trauma admission data at an urban hospital in Maputo, Mozambique
Background Trauma is a major public health concern. Worldwide, injuries resulted in 4.8 million deaths in 2013, an increase of 11 % since 1990. The majority of deaths from trauma in low-and middle-income countries occur in a pre-hospital setting. Morbidity from trauma contributes significantly to disability in these countries. Mozambique has experienced a rise in injury-related morbidity and mortality. Efforts are underway to prioritize surgical and anesthesiology care in the post-2015 Global Surgery agenda that will build on momentum of the Millennium Development Goals. Injury surveillance remains vital to defining priorities and implementing policy changes. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study between June and September, 2010 at the Hospital Central de Maputo (HCM). Data were collected on all patients admitted to the HCM emergency surgical services with a diagnosis of trauma. We describe patient characteristics and mechanism of traumatic injury by calculating simple proportions (for dichotomous or categorical variables) or medians with interquartile ranges (IQR) for continuous variables. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the mechanisms of trauma most associated with alcohol consumption. Results A total of 517 patients were approached for inclusion in this study. Of these, 441 (91.5 %) participants were followed from admission until discharge. Three hundred twenty-four participants (73.5 %) were male. The most common age group was 20–29 years old. The three principal mechanisms of injury were road traffic injury, fighting, and falls, accounting for 74 % of injuries recorded. Traumatic injury involving alcohol consumption was nine times more likely to occur at a recreation/sporting event (OR 9.0, 95 % CI 3.01–27.13, p ≤ 0.0001). Conclusions As Mozambique prepares to respond to the post-2015 international development agenda, urgent action is required to scale-up its national injury surveillance networks. Injury prevention efforts in Mozambique should focus attention on improving road safety regulations and their implementation, as well as on interventions targeting violence reduction and the reduction of alcohol consumption at sporting events. Keywords Trauma Injury Sub-Saharan Africa Mozambique
System and market failures: the unavailability of magnesium sulphate for the treatment of eclampsia and pre-eclampsia in Mozambique and Zimbabwe
Low cost and effective drugs, such as magnesium sulphate, need to be included in initiatives to improve access to essential medicines in Africa
Swine, human or avian influenza viruses differentially activates porcine dendritic cells cytokine profile
Swine influenza virus (SwIV) is considered a zoonosis and the fact that swine may act as an intermediate reservoir for avian influenza virus, potentially infectious for humans, high- lights its relevance and the need to understand the interaction of different influenza viruses with the porcine immune system. Thus, in vitro porcine bone marrow-derived dendritic cell (poBMDCs) were infected with a circulating SwIV A/Swine/Spain/SF32071/2007(H3N2), 2009 human pandemic influenza virus A/Catalonia/63/2009(H1N1), low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) A/Anas plathyrhynchos/Spain/1877/2009(aH7N2) or high pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) A/Chicken/Italy/5093/1999(aH7N1). Swine influenza virus H3N2 infection induced an increase of SLA-I and CD80/86 at 16 and 24 h post infection (hpi), whereas the other viruses did not. All viruses induced gene expression of NF-B, TGF-ˇ, IFN-ˇ and IL-10 at the mRNA level in swine poBMDCs to different extents and in a time-dependent manner. All viruses induced the secretion of IL-12 mostly at 24 hpi whereas IL-18 was detected at all tested times. Only swH3N2 induced IFN- in a time- dependent manner. Swine H3N2, aH7N2 and aH7N1 induced secretion of TNF- also in a time-dependent manner. Inhibition of NF-B resulted in a decrease of IFN- and IL-12 secretion by swH3N2-infected poBMDC at 24 hpi, suggesting a role of this transcription fac- tor in the synthesis of these cytokines. Altogether, these data might help in understanding the relationship between influenza viruses and porcine dendritic cells in the innate immune response in swine controlled through soluble mediators and transcription factors.
Chimeric calicivirus-like particles elicit specific immune responses in pigs.
Assessment of measles immunity among infants in Maputo City, Mozambique.
Serologic and molecular typing of human T-lymphotropic virus among blood donors in Maputo City, Mozambique.
Research ethics review at University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM)/Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique (2013-2016): a descriptive analysis of the start-up of a new research ethics committ
BACKGROUND: Mozambique has seen remarkable growth in biomedical research over the last decade. To meet a growing need, the National Committee for Bioethics in Health of Mozambique (CNBS) encouraged the development of ethical review processes at institutions that regularly conduct medical and social science research. In 2012, the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) and the Maputo Central Hospital (MCH) established a joint Institutional Committee on Bioethics for Health (CIBS FM & MCH). This study examines the experience of the first 4 years of the CIBS FM & MCH. METHODS: This study provides a descriptive, retrospective analysis of research protocols submitted to and approved by the CIBS FM & MCH between March 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016, together with an analysis of the Committee's respective reviews and actions. RESULTS: A total of 356 protocols were submitted for review during the period under analysis, with 309 protocols approved. Sixty-four percent were submitted by students, faculty, and researchers from UEM, mainly related to Master's degree research (42%). Descriptive cross-sectional studies were the most frequently reviewed research (61%). The majority were prospective (71%) and used quantitative methodologies (51%). The Departments of Internal Medicine at MCH and Community Health at the FM submitted the most protocols from their respective institutions, with 38 and 53% respectively. The CIBS's average time to final approval for all protocols was 56 days, rising to 161 for the 40 protocols that required subsequent national-level review by the CNBS. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that over its first 4 years, the CIBS FM & MCH has been successful in managing a constant demand for protocol review and that several broad quality improvement initiatives, such as investigator mentoring and an electronic protocol submission platform have improved efficiency in the review process and the overall quality of the protocols submitted. Beyond Maputo, long-term investments in training and ethical capacity building for CIBS across the country continue to be needed, as Mozambique develops greater capacity for research and makes progress toward improving the health of all its citizens. KEYWORDS: Ethics; Low-and middle-income country; Mozambique; Research ethics committee; Research ethics review
Impact of Per Capita Income on the Effectiveness of School‑Based Health Education Programs to Promote Cervical Cancer Screening Uptake in Southern Mozambique
In the face of rising mortality rates from cervical cancer (CC) among women of reproductive age, a nationwide screening program based on visual inspection with acetic acid was introduced in Mozambique in 2009. The objective of the study is to examine the impact of per capita income on the effectiveness of school-based health education programs to promote the utilization of CC screening services. We conducted a cross-sectional study in 2013 involving 105 women randomly selected from households of different economic backgrounds. Marginal effect estimates derived from a logit model were used to explore the patterns in the effectiveness of school-based health education to promote CC screening uptake according to household per capita income, based on purchasing power parity. We found a CC screening uptake of 16.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.7%-24.6%) even though 64.6% (95% CI, 54.2%-74.1%) of women had heard of it. There are important economic differentials in the effectiveness of school-based health education to influence women's decision to receive CC screening. Among women with primary school or less, the probability of accessing CC screening services increases with increasing income (P < 0.05). However, income significantly reduces the effect that school-based health education has on the probability of screening uptake among those women with more than 7 years of educational attainment (P = 0.02). These results show that CC screening programs in resource-constrained settings need approaches tailored to different segments of women with respect to education and income to achieve equitable improvement in the levels of screening uptake.
Trends in comparative efficacy and safety of malaria control interventions for maternal and child health outcomes in Africa
Abstract Introduction Unprecedented global efforts to prevent malaria morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa have saved hundreds of thousands of lives across the continent in the last two decades. This study aims to determine how the comparative efficacy and safety of available malaria control interventions intended to improve maternal and child health outcomes have changed over time considering the varied epidemiological contexts on the continent. Methods We will review all randomised controlled trials that investigated malaria control interventions in pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa and were published between January 1980 and December 2018. We will subsequently use network meta-regression to estimate temporal trends in the relative and absolute efficacy and safety of Intermittent Preventive Treatments, Intermittent Screening and Treatments, Insecticide-treated bed nets, and their combinations, and predict their ranking according to their relative and absolute efficacy and safety over time. Our outcomes will include 12 maternal and 7 child mortality and morbidity outcomes, known to be associated with either malaria infection or control. We will use intention-to-treat analysis to derive our estimates and meta-regression to estimate temporal trends and the effect modification by HIV infection, malaria endemicity and Plasmodium falciparum resistance to sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine, while adjusting for multiple potential confounders via propensity score calibration. PROSPERO registration number CRD42018095138.
Implementing a sustainable health insurance system in Cambodia: a study protocol for developing and validating an efficient household income-level assessment model for equitable
Background As elsewhere in low- and middle-income countries, due to limited fiscal resources, universal health coverage (UHC) remains a challenge in Cambodia. Since 2016, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has implemented a social health insurance scheme with a contributory approach for formal sector workers. However, informal sector workers and dependents of formal sector workers are still not covered by this insurance because it is difficult to set an optimal amount of contribution for such individuals as their income levels are inestimable. The present study aims to develop and validate an efficient household income-level assessment model for Cambodia. We aim to help the country implement a financially sustainable social health insurance system in which the insured can pay contributions according to their ability. Methods This study will use nationally representative data collected by the Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey (CSES), covering the period from 2009 to 2019, and involving a total of 50,016 households. We will employ elastic net regression analysis, with per capita disposable income based on purchasing power parity as the dependent variable, and individual and community-level socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as independent variables. These analyses aim to create efficient income-level assessment models for health insurance contribution estimation. To fully capture socioeconomic heterogeneity, sub-group analyses will be conducted to develop separate income-level assessment models for urban and rural areas, as well as for each province. Discussion This research will help Cambodia implement a sustainable social health insurance system by collecting optimal amount of contributions from each socioeconomic group of the society. Incorporation of this approach into existing NSSF schemes will enhance the country’s current efforts to prevent impoverishing health expenditure and to achieve UHC.
What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria control?
Despite its current relatively low global share of cases and deaths in Africa compared to other regions, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has the potential to trigger other larger crises in the region. This is due to the vulnerability of health and economic systems, coupled with the high burden of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. Here we examine the potential implications of COVID-19 on the control of these major epidemic diseases in Africa. We use current evidence on disease burden of HIV, TB, and malaria, and epidemic dynamics of COVID-19 in Africa, retrieved from the literature. Our analysis shows that the current measures to control COVID-19 neglect important and complex context-specific epidemiological, social, and economic realities in Africa. There is a similarity of clinical features of TB and malaria, with those used to track COVID-19 cases. This coupled with institutional mistrust and misinformation might result in many patients with clinical features similar to