ResearchPad - hygiene https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The improved and the unimproved: Factors influencing sanitation and diarrhoea in a peri-urban settlement of Lusaka, Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14479 Accounting for peri-urban sanitation poses a unique challenge due to its high density, unplanned stature, with limited space and funding for conventional sanitation instalment. To better understand users, needs and inform peri-urban sanitation policy, our study used multivariate stepwise logistic regression to assess the factors associated with use of improved (toilet) and unimproved (chamber) sanitation facilities among peri-urban residents. We analysed data from 205 household heads in 1 peri-urban settlement of Lusaka, Zambia on socio-demographics (economic status, education level, marital status, etc.), household sanitation characteristics (toilet facility, ownership and management) and household diarrhoea prevalence. Household water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities were assessed based on WHO-UNICEF criteria. Of particular interest was the simultaneous use of toilet facilities and chambers, an alternative form of unimproved sanitation with focus towards all-in-one suitable alternatives. Findings revealed that having a regular income, private toilet facility, improved drinking water and handwashing facility were all positively correlated to having an improved toilet facility. Interestingly, both improved toilets and chambers indicated increased odds for diarrhoea prevalence. Odds of chamber usage were also higher for females and users of unimproved toilet facilities. Moreover, when toilets were owned by residents, and hygiene was managed externally, use of chambers was more likely. Findings finally revealed higher diarrhoea prevalence for toilets with more users. Results highlight the need for a holistic, simultaneous approach to WASH for overall success in sanitation. To better access and increase peri-urban sanitation, this study recommends a separate sanitation ladder for high density areas which considers improved private and shared facilities, toilet management and all-inclusive usage (cancelling unimproved alternatives). It further calls for financial plans supporting urban poor access to basic sanitation and increased education on toilet facility models, hygiene, management and risk to help with choice and proper facility use to maximize toilet use benefit.

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<![CDATA[Identification of cholera hotspots in Zambia: A spatiotemporal analysis of cholera data from 2008 to 2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb4ea4681-5c5d-42bd-a1ce-642b56a34f03

The global burden of cholera is increasing, with the majority (60%) of the cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. In Zambia, widespread cholera outbreaks have occurred since 1977, predominantly in the capital city of Lusaka. During both the 2016 and 2018 outbreaks, the Ministry of Health implemented cholera vaccination in addition to other preventative and control measures, to stop the spread and control the outbreak. Given the limitations in vaccine availability and the logistical support required for vaccination, oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is now recommended for use in the high risk areas (“hotspots”) for cholera. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify areas with an increased risk of cholera in Zambia. Retrospective cholera case data from 2008 to 2017 was obtained from the Ministry of Health, Department of Public Health and Disease Surveillance. The Zambian Central Statistical Office provided district-level population data, socioeconomic and water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) indicators. To identify districts at high risk, we performed a discrete Poisson-based space-time scan statistic to account for variations in cholera risk across both space and time over a 10-year study period. A zero-inflated negative binomial regression model was employed to identify the district level risk factors for cholera. The risk map was generated by classifying the relative risk of cholera in each district, as obtained from the space-scan test statistic. In total, 34,950 cases of cholera were reported in Zambia between 2008 and 2017. Cholera cases varied spatially by year. During the study period, Lusaka District had the highest burden of cholera, with 29,080 reported cases. The space-time scan statistic identified 16 districts to be at a significantly higher risk of having cholera. The relative risk of having cholera in these districts was significantly higher and ranged from 1.25 to 78.87 times higher when compared to elsewhere in the country. Proximity to waterbodies was the only factor associated with the increased risk for cholera (P<0.05). This study provides a basis for the cholera elimination program in Zambia. Outside Lusaka, the majority of high risk districts identified were near the border with the DRC, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. This suggests that cholera in Zambia may be linked to movement of people from neighboring areas of cholera endemicity. A collaborative intervention program implemented in concert with neighboring countries could be an effective strategy for elimination of cholera in Zambia, while also reducing rates at a regional level.

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<![CDATA[Management in Ausnahmesituationen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndbfc86cc-a270-4bbe-9628-aa5ee1173e63

Im öffentlichen Gesundheitsdienst und vor allem in Krankenhausenrichtungen gewinnen biologische Gefahrenlagen zunehmend an Bedeutung. Das beim Auftreten des Verdachts einer hochkontagiösen, lebensbedrohlichen Erkrankung notwendige taktische Vorgehen hängt weniger von der pflegerischen bzw. medizinischen Qualifikation des Personals ab, als mehr vom Wissen wie bei speziellen Bedrohungen der Übergang von Routineabläufen in spezielle Notfallverfahren erfolgen soll. Um in Ausnahmesituationen handlungsfähig zu bleiben, sollten Gesundheitseinrichtungen, so wie alle Organisationen, die mit höchster Zuverlässigkeit arbeiten müssen, ein Notfallführungssystem etablieren, das Verantwortlichkeiten zuweist, Checklisten bereithält, Kommunikationswege festlegt und den Verantwortlichen alle notwendigen Unterlagen zur Verfügung stellt, um die Ausnahmesituation in den Griff zu bekommen.

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<![CDATA[The relationship between sleep quality and road traffic crashes of urban drivers in Hamadan, Iran]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N482e2be5-74a1-4ec5-afdb-1da0d7daf9e7

Abstract:

Background:

Sleep quality is one of the main human factors related to urban road traffic crashes. This study aimed at determining the relationship between sleep quality and road traffic crashes in urban drivers.

Methods:

This correlational study was conducted in Hamadan, a city located in the western part of Iran. The study samples consisted of 309 Hamadan drivers (i.e., 103 with road traffic crashes (RTCs) and 206 without RTCs), who were referred to police centers to change or renew their driving licenses. The data collection tool was a two-part questionnaire including demographic information and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The questionnaire was filled out in a self-administered manner. Statistical analysis was done using the SPSS-16 software and applying logistic regression, Fisher’s exact test, and Chi-square test.

Results:

The comparison of sleep quality scores between two groups, using the adjusted logistic regression test, showed a statistically significant difference between them (P = 0.019). This means that the sleep quality of drivers without RTCs was 1.8 times better than drivers with RTCS (OR=1.8; 95% CI, 1.1 - 3.07).

Conclusions:

There was a significant association between poor sleep quality and the occurrence of RTCs in urban drivers. As a result, it is recommended paying more attention to the sleep quality of urban drivers to prevent and control RTCs.

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<![CDATA[Systematic review of menstrual hygiene management requirements, its barriers and strategies for disabled people]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ccbd5eed0c484c817c7

Background

One quarter of the global population is of menstruating age, yet menstruation is shrouded in discrimination and taboos. Disability also carries stigma, so disabled people may face layers of discrimination when they are menstruating. The objective of the review is to assess the menstrual hygiene requirements of disabled people, the barriers they face, and the available interventions to help them manage their menstruation hygienically and with dignity.

Methods

Eligible studies, gathered across all countries, were identified by conducting searches across four databases (MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, Global Health) in May 2017, with alerts set on each database to highlight new titles added until April 2018. Eligible studies incorporated analyses relevant to menstruating disabled people and/or how their carers provide support during their menstrual cycle.

Results

The 22 studies included were published since 1976; the majority after 2010 (n = 12; 55%). One study was a quasi-experiment; all others were observational. Most studies (n = 15; 68%) were from high income countries and most (n = 17; 77%) focused on people with intellectual impairments, so the review findings focus on this group and their carers. Outcomes investigated include choice and preference of menstrual product, ability to manage menstrual hygiene and coping strategies applied. Barriers faced included a lack of standardised guidance for professional carers; a lack of menstruation training, information and support provided to people with intellectual impairments and their carers; a lack of understanding of severity of symptoms experienced by people with intellectual impairments, the high cost of menstrual products and lack of appropriate options for people with physical impairments. Few interventions were found, and strategies for menstrual hygiene management applied by carers of persons with intellectual impairments include limiting the disabled person’s movements when menstruating and suppressing their menstruation.

Conclusions

Little evidence was identified on the requirements of disabled people and their carers in managing their menstruation, and only one intervention, but a range of barriers were identified. This gap in evidence is important, as the consequences of failing to meet menstrual hygiene needs of disabled people includes shame, social isolation, and even sterilisation.

Systematic review registration

PROSPERO CRD42018095497.

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<![CDATA[Asymptomatic carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae detected by qPCR on the palm of hands of populations in rural Senegal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813a3d5eed0c4847756bf

Aside from malaria, infectious diseases are an important cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and continue to pose major public health problems in African countries, notably pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumoniae remains the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia in all age groups. The skin is one of the main infection sites followed by the oropharynx. The skin carriage of certain pathogenic bacteria such as S. pneumoniae is often ignored or under-diagnosed. Finally, the mode of transmission of these infections remains uncertain. Here, we hypothesized that skin could play a role in the transmission of these infections. We collected 649 cotton swabs from a healthy population in Dielmo and Ndiop, rural Senegal. The sampling was carried out on the palm of the hands. After DNA extraction and actin control, qPCR targeting eight different bacteria was performed on 614 skin samples. We detected Streptococcus pneumoniae in 33.06% (203/614), Staphylococcus aureus in 18.08% (111/614) and Streptococcus pyogenes in 1.95% (12/614) of samples. A skin S. pneumoniae carriage was detected in more than a third of a rural population in rural Africa, highlighting the need to develop hand disinfection programs in order to reduce the burden of infections.

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<![CDATA[Predicted short and long-term impact of deworming and water, hygiene, and sanitation on transmission of soil-transmitted helminths]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cfa7d5eed0c484914b46

Background

Regular preventive chemotherapy (PCT) targeting high-risk populations is an effective way to control STH in the short term, but sustainable long-term STH control is expected to require improved access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). However, experimental studies have not been able to conclusively demonstrate the benefit of WASH in preventing STH (re-)infections. We investigated the impact of WASH on STH infections during and after PCT using mathematical modelling.

Methods and findings

We use the individual-based transmission model WORMSIM to predict the short and long-term impact of WASH on STH transmission in contexts with and without PCT. We distinguish two WASH modalities: sanitation, which reduces individuals’ contributions to environmental contamination; and hygiene, which reduces individuals’ exposure to infection. We simulate the impact of varying levels of uptake and effectiveness of each WASH modality, as well as their combined impact. Clearly, sanitation and hygiene interventions have little observable short-term impact on STH infections levels in the context of PCT. However, in the long term, both are pivotal to sustain control or eliminate infection levels after scaling down or stopping PCT. The impact of hygiene is determined more by the effectiveness of the intervention than its overall uptake, whereas the impact of sanitation depends more directly on the product of uptake and the effectiveness.

Interpretation

The impact of WASH interventions on STH transmission highly depends on the worm species, WASH modality, and uptake and effectiveness of the intervention. Also, the impact of WASH is difficult to measure in the context of ongoing PCT programmes. Still, we show a clear added benefit of WASH to sustain the gains made by PCT in the long term, such that PCT may be scaled down or even stopped altogether. To safely stop or scale down PCT, policy for WASH and PCT should be integrated.

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<![CDATA[Animal influence on water, sanitation and hygiene measures for zoonosis control at the household level: A systematic literature review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5ff79c463d7e28ade495ce

Introduction

Neglected zoonotic diseases (NZDs) have a significant impact on the livelihoods of the world’s poorest populations, which often lack access to basic services. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes are included among the key strategies for achieving the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap for Implementation for control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). There exists a lack of knowledge regarding the effect of animals on the effectiveness of WASH measures.

Objectives

This review looked to identify how animal presence in the household influences the effectiveness of water, hygiene and sanitation measures for zoonotic disease control in low and middle income countries; to identify gaps of knowledge regarding this topic based on the amount and type of studies looking at this particular interaction.

Methods

Studies from three databases (Medline, Web of Science and Global Health) were screened through various stages. Selected articles were required to show burden of one or more zoonotic diseases, an animal component and a WASH component. Selected articles were analysed. A narrative synthesis was chosen for the review.

Results

Only two studies out of 7588 met the inclusion criteria. The studies exemplified how direct or indirect contact between animals and humans within the household can influence the effectiveness of WASH interventions. The analysis also shows the challenges faced by the scientific community to isolate and depict this particular interaction.

Conclusion

The dearth of studies examining animal-WASH interactions is explained by the difficulties associated with studying environmental interventions and the lack of collaboration between the WASH and Veterinary Public Health research communities. Further tailored research under a holistic One Health approach will be required in order to meet the goals set in the NTDs Roadmap and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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<![CDATA[Sanitation and Hygiene-Specific Risk Factors for Moderate-to-Severe Diarrhea in Young Children in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, 2007–2011: Case-Control Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da81ab0ee8fa60b9ac15

Background

Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of disease in children less than 5 y of age. Poor water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions are the primary routes of exposure and infection. Sanitation and hygiene interventions are estimated to generate a 36% and 48% reduction in diarrheal risk in young children, respectively. Little is known about whether the number of households sharing a sanitation facility affects a child's risk of diarrhea. The objective of this study was to describe sanitation and hygiene access across the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) sites in Africa and South Asia and to assess sanitation and hygiene exposures, including shared sanitation access, as risk factors for moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) in children less than 5 y of age.

Methods/Findings

The GEMS matched case-control study was conducted between December 1, 2007, and March 3, 2011, at seven sites in Basse, The Gambia; Nyanza Province, Kenya; Bamako, Mali; Manhiça, Mozambique; Mirzapur, Bangladesh; Kolkata, India; and Karachi, Pakistan. Data was collected for 8,592 case children aged <5 y old experiencing MSD and for 12,390 asymptomatic age, gender, and neighborhood-matched controls. An MSD case was defined as a child with a diarrheal illness <7 d duration comprising ≥3 loose stools in 24 h and ≥1 of the following: sunken eyes, skin tenting, dysentery, intravenous (IV) rehydration, or hospitalization. Site-specific conditional logistic regression models were used to explore the association between sanitation and hygiene exposures and MSD. Most households at six sites (>93%) had access to a sanitation facility, while 70% of households in rural Kenya had access to a facility. Practicing open defecation was a risk factor for MSD in children <5 y old in Kenya. Sharing sanitation facilities with 1–2 or ≥3 other households was a statistically significant risk factor for MSD in Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, and Pakistan. Among those with a designated handwashing area near the home, soap or ash were more frequently observed at control households and were significantly protective against MSD in Mozambique and India.

Conclusions

This study suggests that sharing a sanitation facility with just one to two other households can increase the risk of MSD in young children, compared to using a private facility. Interventions aimed at increasing access to private household sanitation facilities may reduce the burden of MSD in children. These findings support the current World Health Organization/ United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) system that categorizes shared sanitation as unimproved.

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<![CDATA[Estimating the prevalence of food risk increasing behaviours in UK kitchens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be1280

Foodborne disease poses a serious threat to public health. In the UK, half a million cases are linked to known pathogens and more than half of all outbreaks are associated with catering establishments. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has initiated the UK Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in which commercial food establishments are inspected and scored with the results made public. In this study we investigate the prevalence of food risk increasing behaviours among chefs, catering students and the public. Given the incentive for respondents to misreport when asked about illegal or illicit behaviours we employed a Randomised Response Technique designed to elicit more accurate prevalence rates of such behaviours. We found 14% of the public not always hand-washing immediately after handling raw meat, poultry or fish; 32% of chefs and catering students had worked within 48 hours of suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting. 22% of the public admitted having served meat “on the turn” and 33% of chefs and catering students admitted working in kitchens where such meat was served; 12% of the public and 16% of chefs and catering students admitted having served chicken at a barbeque when not totally sure it was fully cooked. Chefs in fine-dining establishment were less likely to wash their hands after handling meat and fish and those who worked in award winning restaurants were more likely to have returned to work within 48 hours of suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting. We found no correlation between the price of a meal in an establishment, nor its Food Hygiene Rating Score, and the likelihood of any of the food malpractices occurring.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of the implementation of community-led total sanitation, hygiene, and associated factors in Diretiyara district, Eastern Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc503

Based on the sustainable development goals, the United Nations plans to achieve equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and to end open defecation by 2030. In Ethiopia, 60% to 80% of health problems are due to communicable diseases attributable to unsafe water supply, unhygienic and unsanitary waste management, which are directly linked to the practice of open defecation. This study has aimed at assessing the implementation of community-led total sanitation and hygiene (CLTSH) and associated factors. A community-based cross-sectional study design involving 420 of the 7,225 households found in Diretiyara district was conducted in June 2014. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Using Logistic Regressions, bivariate and multivariate analyses were computed. This study showed that 66% of the respondents have knowledge of CLTSH. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents have latrine, of which 78% were constructed after the introduction of CLTSH. Eleven percent of the respondents reported to have defected in the open field and 15% of them reported that they had been recently exposed to diarrhea diseases. The occurrence of diarrheal disease was significantly associated with the extent of latrine ownership [AOR = 2.48; 95% CI 1.00, 6.12]. Attitude and perception parameters were significantly associated with consistent latrine utilization. Respondents who agreed that "Open defecation is preferred due to the unpleasant smell and heat from the Latrine'' [COR = 0.58; 95% CI 0.34, 0.99] were 58% less likely to use the latrine consistently. In conclusion, CLTSH has increased the extent of latrine ownership and decreased practice of open defecation, and yet, intermittent latrine use and poor hygienic practice were reported. Although some fundamental misconceptions were reported, the majority of the respondents have accepted CLTSH approach as a means to ending open defecation in their village. Health extension workers and local authorities should give emphasis to achieving sustainable behavioral change on improved sanitation and good hygiene practices.

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<![CDATA[School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Soil-Transmitted Helminths, and Schistosomes: National Mapping in Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad4ab0ee8fa60bb745a

Background

It is thought that improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) might reduce the transmission of schistosomes and soil-transmitted helminths, owing to their life cycles. However, few large-scale studies have yet assessed the real extent of associations between WASH and these parasites.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In the 2013–2014 Ethiopian national mapping of infections with these parasites, school WASH was assessed alongside infection intensity in children, mostly between 10 and 15 years of age. Scores were constructed reflecting exposure to schistosomes arising from water collection for schools, from freshwater sources, and the adequacy of school sanitation and hygiene facilities. Kendall’s τb was used to test the WASH scores against the school-level arithmetic mean intensity of infection with each parasite, in schools with at least one child positive for the parasite in question.

WASH and parasitology data were available for 1,645 schools. More frequent collection of water for schools, from open freshwater sources was associated with statistically significantly higher Schistosoma mansoni infection intensity (Kendall’s τb = 0.097, 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.011 to 0.18), better sanitation was associated with significantly lower Ascaris lumbricoides intensity (Kendall’s τb = -0.067, 95% CI: -0.11 to -0.023) and borderline significant lower hookworm intensity (Kendall’s τb = -0.039, 95% CI: -0.090 to 0.012, P = 0.067), and better hygiene was associated with significantly lower hookworm intensity (Kendall’s τb = -0.076, 95% CI: -0.13 to -0.020). However, no significant differences were observed when comparing sanitation and infection with S. mansoni or Trichuris trichiura, or hygiene and infection with A. lumbricoides or T. trichiura.

Conclusions/Significance

Improving school WASH may reduce transmission of these parasites. However, different forms of WASH appear to have different effects on infection with the various parasites, with our analysis finding the strongest associations between water and S. mansoni, sanitation and A. lumbricoides, and hygiene and hookworm.

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<![CDATA[The Determinants of Reported Personal and Household Hygiene Behaviour: A Multi-Country Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7aab0ee8fa60b98040

A substantial proportion of the total infectious disease burden world-wide is due to person-to-person spread of pathogens within households. A questionnaire-based survey on the determinants of hand-washing with soap and cleaning of household surfaces was conducted in at least 1000 households in each of twelve countries across the world (N = 12,239). A structural equation model of hygiene behaviour and its consequences derived from theory was then estimated on this dataset for both behaviours, using a maximum likelihood procedure. The analysis showed that the frequency of handwashing with soap is significantly related to how automatically it is performed, and whether or not someone is busy, or tired. Surface cleaning was strongly linked to possessing a cleaning routine, the perception that one is living in a dirty environment and that others are doing the behaviour, whether one has a strong sense of contamination, as well as a felt need to keep one’s surroundings tidy. Being concerned with good manners is also linked to the performance of both behaviours. This study is the first to identify the role of manners, orderliness and routine on hygiene behaviours globally. Such findings should prove helpful in designing programs to improve domestic hygiene practices.

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<![CDATA[A Time for Global Action: Addressing Girls’ Menstrual Hygiene Management Needs in Schools]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad6ab0ee8fa60bb7e7e

Marni Sommer and colleagues reflect on priorities needed to guide global, national, and local action to address girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools.

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<![CDATA[Cost-Effectiveness of a National Initiative to Improve Hand Hygiene Compliance Using the Outcome of Healthcare Associated Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da95ab0ee8fa60ba16e7

Background

The objective is to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of the Australian National Hand Hygiene Inititiave implemented between 2009 and 2012 using healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia as the outcome. Baseline comparators are the eight existing state and territory hand hygiene programmes. The setting is the Australian public healthcare system and 1,294,656 admissions from the 50 largest Australian hospitals are included.

Methods

The design is a cost-effectiveness modelling study using a before and after quasi-experimental design. The primary outcome is cost per life year saved from reduced cases of healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia, with cost estimated by the annual on-going maintenance costs less the costs saved from fewer infections. Data were harvested from existing sources or were collected prospectively and the time horizon for the model was 12 months, 2011–2012.

Findings

No useable pre-implementation Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia data were made available from the 11 study hospitals in Victoria or the single hospital in Northern Territory leaving 38 hospitals among six states and territories available for cost-effectiveness analyses. Total annual costs increased by $2,851,475 for a return of 96 years of life giving an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $29,700 per life year gained. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis revealed a 100% chance the initiative was cost effective in the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland, with ICERs of $1,030 and $8,988 respectively. There was an 81% chance it was cost effective in New South Wales with an ICER of $33,353, a 26% chance for South Australia with an ICER of $64,729 and a 1% chance for Tasmania and Western Australia. The 12 hospitals in Victoria and the Northern Territory incur annual on-going maintenance costs of $1.51M; no information was available to describe cost savings or health benefits.

Conclusions

The Australian National Hand Hygiene Initiative was cost-effective against an Australian threshold of $42,000 per life year gained. The return on investment varied among the states and territories of Australia.

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<![CDATA[Nitrile versus Latex for Glove Juice Sampling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da66ab0ee8fa60b91ffb

The objective of this study was to explore the utility of nitrile gloves as a replacement for latex surgical gloves in recovering bacteria from the hands. Two types of nitrile gloves were compared to latex gloves using the parallel streak method. Streaks of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus were made on tryptic soy agar plates, and the zones of inhibition were measured around pieces of glove material placed on the plates. Latex gloves produced a mean zone of inhibition of 0.28 mm, compared to 0.002 mm for nitrile gloves (p<.001). While the parallel streak method is not intended as a quantitative estimate of antimicrobial properties, these results suggest that nitrile may be a viable alternative to latex in glove juice sampling methods, since nitrile avoids the risk of latex exposure.

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<![CDATA[Hard Surface Biocontrol in Hospitals Using Microbial-Based Cleaning Products]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daecab0ee8fa60bbf9cc

Background

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are one of the most frequent complications occurring in healthcare facilities. Contaminated environmental surfaces provide an important potential source for transmission of many healthcare-associated pathogens, thus indicating the need for new and sustainable strategies.

Aim

This study aims to evaluate the effect of a novel cleaning procedure based on the mechanism of biocontrol, on the presence and survival of several microorganisms responsible for HAIs (i.e. coliforms, Staphyloccus aureus, Clostridium difficile, and Candida albicans) on hard surfaces in a hospital setting.

Methods

The effect of microbial cleaning, containing spores of food grade Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus megaterium, in comparison with conventional cleaning protocols, was evaluated for 24 weeks in three independent hospitals (one in Belgium and two in Italy) and approximately 20000 microbial surface samples were collected.

Results

Microbial cleaning, as part of the daily cleaning protocol, resulted in a reduction of HAI-related pathogens by 50 to 89%. This effect was achieved after 3–4 weeks and the reduction in the pathogen load was stable over time. Moreover, by using microbial or conventional cleaning alternatively, we found that this effect was directly related to the new procedure, as indicated by the raise in CFU/m2 when microbial cleaning was replaced by the conventional procedure. Although many questions remain regarding the actual mechanisms involved, this study demonstrates that microbial cleaning is a more effective and sustainable alternative to chemical cleaning and non-specific disinfection in healthcare facilities.

Conclusions

This study indicates microbial cleaning as an effective strategy in continuously lowering the number of HAI-related microorganisms on surfaces. The first indications on the actual level of HAIs in the trial hospitals monitored on a continuous basis are very promising, and may pave the way for a novel and cost-effective strategy to counteract or (bio)control healthcare-associated pathogens.

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<![CDATA[A School Health Project Can Uplift the Health Status of School Children in Nepal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da96ab0ee8fa60ba2047

Background

School health is effective in helping students achieve health literacy, enhance their health-related behaviors, and thereby improve their health status. However, in resource-limited countries, evidence is limited to show the impact of school health. We determined the association of the school health and nutrition (SHN) project activities on students’ a) health knowledge, b) hygiene practices, and c) health outcomes, one year after the project completion.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study conducted among the schools with the SHN project and without the project in four districts of Nepal. We recruited 604 students from six schools in the project group and 648 students from other six schools in the comparison group. We used a self-administered questionnaire to collect the data, and analyzed them using regression models and a structural equation model (SEM).

Results

Students from the SHN project group reported the decreased odds of worm infestation (AOR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.34 to 0.75) and diarrhea/ dysentery infection (AOR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.47 to 0.97) compared to those in the comparison group. Furthermore, the SEM analysis also showed that the students in the project group were more likely to have better health outcomes (β = 0.03, p< 0.05).

Conclusion

Students in the SHN project group were more likely to have better health outcomes compared to those in the comparison group, even after one year of the project completion. As it can bring about sustainable changes for students, it should be scaled up in other parts of the country.

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<![CDATA[Health-Seeking Behaviour towards Poverty-Related Disease (PRDs): A Qualitative Study of People Living in Camps and on Campuses in Cameroon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcdb1

Poverty-Related Diseases (PRDs) emphasize poverty as a ‘breeding-ground’ for a range of diseases. The study presented here starts from the premise that poverty is a general condition that can limit people’s capacity to prevent, mitigate or treat diseases. Using an interpretation of health seeking behaviour (HSB), inspired by the salutogenic approach, we investigated how people deal with PRDs, their ability and strategies put in place to cope. We collected HSB data from two groups of respondents in Cameroon: labourers of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) living in settlements called camps and students of the state universities of Buea and Yaoundé living in settlements we refer to as campuses. By selecting these groups, the study offers a unique view of how different people cope with similar health challenges. We carried out semi-structured interviews with 21 camp dwellers and 21 students in a cross-sectional study. Our findings revealed 1) respondents use multiple resources to cope with PRDs. 2) Respondents’ perceptions of diseases and connection with poverty closely ties to general hygienic conditions of their living environment. 3) Utilisation of health facilities is not strongly dependent on financial resources. 4) Volatile health facilities are a major challenge and reason for people to revert to other health resources. The study brings out the need for organisations (governmental and non-governmental) to strengthen people’s capacities to cope with health situations through better health and housing policies geared at incorporating practices currently used by the people and supporting pro-hygienic initiatives.

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<![CDATA[An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd9540

Background

It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) must leave their home to collect water, putting them at risk for a variety of negative health outcomes. There is little research, however, quantifying who is most affected by long water collection times.

Objectives

This study aims to a) describe gender differences in water collection labor among both adults and children (< 15 years of age) in the households (HHs) that report spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, disaggregated by urban and rural residence; and b) estimate the absolute number of adults and children affected by water collection times greater than 30 minutes in 24 SSA countries.

Methods

We analyzed data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) (2005–2012) to describe water collection labor in 24 SSA countries.

Results

Among households spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, adult females were the primary collectors of water across all 24 countries, ranging from 46% in Liberia (17,412 HHs) to 90% in Cote d’Ivoire (224,808 HHs). Across all countries, female children were more likely to be responsible for water collection than male children (62% vs. 38%, respectively). Six countries had more than 100,000 households (HHs) where children were reported to be responsible for water collection (greater than 30 minutes): Burundi (181,702 HHs), Cameroon (154,453 HHs), Ethiopia (1,321,424 HHs), Mozambique (129,544 HHs), Niger (171,305 HHs), and Nigeria (1,045,647 HHs).

Conclusion

In the 24 SSA countries studied, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection in households with collection times greater than 30 minutes. We suggest that accessibility to water, water collection by children, and gender ratios for water collection, especially when collection times are great, should be considered as key indicators for measuring progress in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

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