ResearchPad - sanitation 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.

]]>
<![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.

]]>
<![CDATA[Iron deficiency anemia, population health and frailty in a modern Portuguese skeletal sample]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accd9d5eed0c484990155

Introduction

Portugal underwent significant political, demographic and epidemiological transitions during the 20th century resulting in migration to urban areas with subsequent overcrowding and issues with water sanitation. This study investigates population health during these transitions and interprets results within a framework of recent history and present-day public health information. We investigate skeletal evidence for anemia (cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis) as indicators of stress and frailty–i.e., whether the lesions contribute to susceptibility for disease or increased risk of death.

Methods

The presence and severity of skeletal lesions were compared against known sex and cause of death data to investigate potential heterogeneity in frailty and the relationship between lesions and risk of dying over time. Additionally, we tested for the presence of selective mortality in our data (i.e., whether or not the sample is biased for individuals with higher frailty). Our sample derives from a large, documented, modern Portuguese collection from Lisbon and is the first study of its kind using a documented collection. The collection represents primarily middle-class individuals.

Results and conclusions

Analyses indicated that porotic hyperostosis became more common and severe over time, while cribra orbitalia severity increased over time. Neither process was linked to cause of death. However, there was a significant relationship to sex; males exhibited a higher prevalence and severity of lesions and increased mortality. A Gompertz function showed decreased survivorship in early life but increased survivorship over age 60. Using comorbidities of anemia, we were unable to detect selective mortality–i.e., in our sample, lesions do not represent a sign of poor health or increased frailty and are not significantly linked with a decreased mean age-at-death. However, lesion prevalence and severity do reflect the socioeconomic processes in urban Lisbon during the 1800s and 1900s and the possibility of water-borne parasites as the contributing factor for iron deficiency anemia.

]]>
<![CDATA[Knowledge, attitudes and practices with regard to schistosomiasis prevention and control: Two cross-sectional household surveys before and after a Community Dialogue intervention in Nampula province, Mozambique]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dce7d5eed0c484dec4db

Background

The Community Dialogue Approach is a promising social and behaviour change intervention, which has shown potential for improving health seeking behaviour. To test if this approach can strengthen prevention and control of schistosomiasis at community level, Malaria Consortium implemented a Community Dialogue intervention in four districts of Nampula province, Mozambique, between August 2014 and September 2015.

Methodology/Principal findings

Cross-sectional household surveys were conducted before (N = 791) and after (N = 792) implementation of the intervention to assess its impact on knowledge, attitudes and practices at population level. At both baseline and endline, awareness of schistosomiasis was high at over 90%. After the intervention, respondents were almost twice as likely to correctly name a risk behaviour associated with schistosomiasis (baseline: 18.02%; endline: 30.11%; adjusted odds ratio: 1.91; 95% confidence interval: 1.14–2.58). Increases were also seen in the proportion of people who knew that schistosomiasis can be spread by infected persons and who could name at least one correct transmission route (baseline: 25.74%; endline: 32.20%; adjusted odds ratio: 1.36; 95% confidence interval: 1.01–1.84), those who knew that there is a drug that treats the disease (baseline: 29.20%, endline: 47.55%; adjusted odds ratio: 2.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.67–2.87) and those who stated that they actively protect themselves from the disease and cited an effective behaviour (baseline: 40.09%, endline: 59.30%; adjusted odds ratio: 2.14; 95% confidence interval: 1.40–3.28). The intervention did not appear to lead to a reduction in misconceptions. In particular, the belief that the disease is sexually transmitted continued to be widespread.

Conclusions/Significance

Given its overall positive impact on knowledge and behaviour at population level, Community Dialogue can play an important role in schistosomiasis prevention and control. The intervention could be further strengthened by better enabling communities to take suitable action and linking more closely with community governance structures and health system programmes.

]]>
<![CDATA[“If you will counsel properly with love, they will listen”: A qualitative analysis of leprosy affected patients’ educational needs and caregiver perceptions in Nepal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cc8d5eed0c484c817a0

Background

Leprosy remains a disease of concern in many countries including Nepal. To achieve the target of elimination, the WHO strategy promotes comprehensive education of patients, healthcare workers (HCWs), and the public on leprosy-related issues. However most educational programs are based on the concerns of HCWs and not on patients’ needs. The objective of this paper is to explore the educational needs of leprosy affected patients in Nepal and compare them to the needs perceived by HCWs.

Methodology/principal findings

Semi directive interviews were conducted with patients and HCWs. The data was analyzed using the basic interpretative qualitative framework. The study was conducted in two leprosy referral centers, one university hospital and one primary health care center: Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre, Anandaban Hospital and its satellite clinic in Patan, B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, and the Itahari primary health care centre.

The results show that there remains a lack of knowledge regarding the disease (origins, manifestations, prevention and treatment) contributing to late care seeking behavior and high levels of stigma, with an important psychological and financial stress for patients. All of the HCWs displayed a good understanding of patients’ difficulties and needs and acknowledged the key role of patient education. However, they expressed several challenges in managing patients due to lack of time, human resources and training in patient education.

Conclusions/significance

Further efforts need to be made to increase patients’ general knowledge of the disease in order to motivate them to seek healthcare earlier and change their perception of the disease to reduce stigma. HCWs need proper training in patient education and counseling for them to acquire the necessary skills required to address the different educational needs of their patients. The use of lay and peer counselors would be an option to address the workload and lack of time expressed by HCWs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Integrated delivery of school health interventions through the school platform: Investing for the future]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2c3d5eed0c48441ea70

School health and nutrition (SHN) programmes are recognized as a significant contributor to both health and education sector goals. The school system offers an ideal platform from which to deliver basic health interventions that target the most common health conditions affecting school-age children (SAC) in low-income countries, leading to improved participation and learning outcomes. However, governments require evidence to cost, design, and implement these programmes. In Ethiopia, prevalent health conditions affecting SAC's education participation and learning outcomes include infection with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), hunger, and malnutrition. In recognition of the multiple issues affecting the health and education of SAC, the government has taken a proactive approach, coordinating an integrated SHN programme designed to be implemented in partnership and monitored and financed through a single, integrated mechanism. The programme, known as the Enhanced School Health Initiative (ESHI), integrates three complimentary health interventions: deworming; school feeding; and provision of a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) package in schools, which in delivery aim to maximize the benefits of each of the individual components. Operational research surrounding the ESHI programme includes both qualitative and quantitative analyses. Here, we present an overview of the ESHI programme and its genesis. We also introduce three additional supporting papers that provide in-depth analyses of key findings, including the baseline situational analysis, the costs, and community perceptions of the programme. The findings from ESHI provide initial evidence to develop an understanding of the related costs and synergies of integrating multiple health interventions onto a single platform. The work has translated into strengthened institutional capacity and improved cross-sectoral coordination. The government is now committed to supporting 25 million school children in Ethiopia through SHN. The ESHI model serves as a reference point for other countries looking to scale up targeted SHN interventions.

]]>
<![CDATA[Context for layering women’s nutrition interventions on a large scale poverty alleviation program: Evidence from three eastern Indian states]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c47dd5eed0c4845e881d

Over 70 million women of reproductive age are undernourished in India. Most poverty alleviation programs have not been systematically evaluated to assess impact on women’s empowerment and nutrition outcomes. National Rural Livelihoods Mission’s poverty alleviation and livelihoods generation initiative is an opportune platform to layer women’s nutrition interventions being tapped by project Swabhimaan in three eastern Indian states—Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. A cross-sectional baseline survey covering 8755 mothers of children under-two years of age, one of the three primary target groups of program are presented. Standardized questionnaire was administered and anthropometric measurements were undertaken from October 2016 to January 2017. 21 indicators on women’s empowerment, Body Mass Index and Mid-upper Arm Circumference for nutrition status, food insecurity indicators as per the Food Insecurity Experience Scale and selected indicators for assessing women’s access to basic health services were included. National Rural Livelihoods Mission operates in contexts with stark social and gender inequalities. Self-help group members exhibited better control on financial resources and participation in community activities than non-members. Using Body Mass Index, at least 45% mothers were undernourished irrespective of their enrolment in self-help groups. Higher proportion of self-help group members (77%-87%) belonged to food insecure households than non-members (66%-83%). Proportion of mothers reporting receipt of various components of antenatal care service package varied from over 90% for tetanus toxoid vaccination to less than 10% for height measurement. Current use of family planning methods was excruciatingly low (8.2%-32.4%) in all states but positively skewed towards self-help group members. Participation in monthly fixed day health camps was a concern in Bihar. Layering women’s nutrition interventions as stipulated under Swabhimaan may yield better results for women’s empowerment and nutrition status under National Rural Livelihoods Mission. While this opportunity exists in all three states, Bihar with a higher proportion of matured self-help groups offers more readiness for Swabhimaan implementation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Effects of improved drinking water quality on early childhood growth in rural Uttar Pradesh, India: A propensity-score analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f27d5eed0c484d724a1

Context

Recent randomised controlled trials in Bangladesh and Kenya concluded that household water treatment, alone or in combination with upgraded sanitation and handwashing, did not reduce linear growth faltering or improve other child growth outcomes. Whether these results are applicable in areas with distinct constellations of water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) risks is unknown. Analysis of observational data offers an efficient means to assess the external validity of trial findings. We studied whether a water quality intervention could improve child growth in a rural Indian setting with higher levels of circulating pathogens than the original trial sites.

Methods

We analysed a cross-sectional dataset including a microbiological measure of household water quality. All households accessed water from an improved source. We applied propensity score methods to emulate a randomised trial investigating the hypothesis that receipt of drinking water meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.1 quality standards for absence of faecal contamination leads to improved growth. Growth outcomes (stunting, underweight, wasting, and their corresponding Z-scores) were assessed in children 12–23 months of age. For each outcome, we estimated the mean and 95% confidence interval of the absolute risk difference between treatment groups.

Findings

Of 1088 households, 442 (40.62%) received drinking water meeting SDG 6.1 standards. The adjusted risk of child underweight was 7.4% (1.3% to 13.4%) lower among those drinking water satisfying SDG 6.1 norms than among controls. Evidence concerning the relationship of drinking water meeting SDG 6.1 norms to length-for-age and weight-for-age was inconclusive, and there was no apparent relationship with stunting or wasting.

Conclusions

In contexts characterised by high pathogen transmission, water quality improvements have the potential to reduce the proportion of underweight children, but are unlikely to impact stunting or wasting. Further research is required to assess how these modelled benefits can best be achieved in real world settings.

]]>
<![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.

]]>
<![CDATA[Diagnosing the double burden of malnutrition using estimated deviation values in low- and lower-middle-income countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf93d5eed0c4849149b3

Objective

To examine the possibility of diagnosing the double burden of malnutrition using estimated deviation values in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

Methods

A modified version of the Japanese Diagnostic Tool was used. Data on 194 countries were analyzed, including data from the United Nations International Children’s Fund, World Health Organization and World Bank. After conducting a Box–Cox transformation, deviation values were calculated. The degree to which the values deviated relative to a deviation cutoff value of 50 was assessed. Focusing on countries with low- and middle-income economic levels, we examined the utility of this tool to show characteristic nutritional problems in each country.

Results

The deviation values had normal, distorted, bimodal, or trimodal distributions. In the lower-middle-income countries, almost all countries had values ranging from 40 to 60 for education and water environments (urban and rural), and the differences were minimal. However, different causes of noncommunicable disease-related deaths were considered, and the primary cause appeared to be related to lifestyle factors, particularly alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking. In comparison, the deviation values related to death among low-income countries also appeared to be related to differences in education and sanitation in urban and rural areas.

Conclusion

The study results can help to determine the status of nutritional inequalities and plan country-specific strategies to reduce the double burden of malnutrition.

]]>
<![CDATA[Reactive and pre-emptive vaccination strategies to control hepatitis E infection in emergency and refugee settings: A modelling study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bb3df4740307c54ff8ce8f7

Background

Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) is the leading cause of acute viral hepatitis globally. Symptomatic infection is associated with case fatality rates of ~20% in pregnant women and it is estimated to account for ~10,000 annual pregnancy-related deaths in southern Asia alone. Recently, large and well-documented outbreaks with high mortality have occurred in displaced population camps in Sudan, Uganda and South Sudan. However, the epidemiology of HEV is poorly defined, and the value of different immunisation strategies in outbreak settings uncertain. We aimed to estimate the critical epidemiological parameters for HEV and to evaluate the potential impact of both reactive vaccination (initiated in response to an epidemic) and pre-emptive vaccination.

Methods

We analysed data from one of the world's largest recorded HEV epidemics, which occurred in internally-displaced persons camps in Uganda (2007–2009), using transmission dynamic models to estimate epidemiological parameters and assess the potential impact of reactive and pre-emptive vaccination strategies.

Results

Under baseline assumptions we estimated the basic reproduction number of HEV in three separate camps to range from 3.7 (95% Credible Interval [CrI] 2.8, 5.1) to 8.5 (5.3, 11.4). Mean latent and infectious periods were estimated to be 34 (95% CrI 28, 39) and 40 (95% CrI 23, 71) days respectively.

Assuming 90% vaccine coverage, reactive two-dose vaccination of those aged 16–65 years excluding pregnant women (for whom vaccine is not licensed), if initiated after 50 reported cases, led to mean camp-specific reductions in mortality of 10 to 29%. Pre-emptive vaccination with two doses reduced mortality by 35 to 65%. Both strategies were more effective if coverage was extended to groups for whom the vaccine is not currently licensed. For example, two dose pre-emptive vaccination, if extended to include pregnant women, led to mean reductions in mortality of 66 to 82%.

Conclusions

HEV has a high transmission potential in displaced population settings. Substantial reductions in mortality through vaccination are expected, even if used reactively. There is potential for greater impact if vaccine safety and effectiveness can be established in pregnant women.

]]>
<![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.

]]>
<![CDATA[Clinical, environmental, and behavioral characteristics associated with Cryptosporidium infection among children with moderate-to-severe diarrhea in rural western Kenya, 2008–2012: The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c09a48dd5eed0c4842caaab

Background

Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) in young children in Africa. We examined factors associated with Cryptosporidium infection in MSD cases enrolled at the rural western Kenya Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) site from 2008-2012.

Methodology/Principal findings

At health facility enrollment, stool samples were tested for enteric pathogens and data on clinical, environmental, and behavioral characteristics collected. Each child’s health status was recorded at 60-day follow-up. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. Of the 1,778 children with MSD enrolled as cases in the GEMS-Kenya case-control study, 11% had Cryptosporidium detected in stool by enzyme immunoassay; in a genotyped subset, 81% were C. hominis. Among MSD cases, being an infant, having mucus in stool, and having prolonged/persistent duration diarrhea were associated with being Cryptosporidium-positive. Both boiling drinking water and using rainwater as the main drinking water source were protective factors for being Cryptosporidium-positive. At follow-up, Cryptosporidium-positive cases had increased odds of being stunted (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.06–2.57), underweight (aOR = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.34–3.22), or wasted (aOR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.21–3.43), and had significantly larger negative changes in height- and weight-for-age z-scores from enrollment.

Conclusions/Significance

Cryptosporidium contributes significantly to diarrheal illness in young children in western Kenya. Advances in point of care detection, prevention/control approaches, effective water treatment technologies, and clinical management options for children with cryptosporidiosis are needed.

]]>
<![CDATA[Socioeconomic risk markers of leprosy in high-burden countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4f2ccc463d7e25bffba86f

Over 200,000 new cases of leprosy are detected each year, of which approximately 7% are associated with grade-2 disabilities (G2Ds). For achieving leprosy elimination, one of the main challenges will be targeting higher risk groups within endemic communities. Nevertheless, the socioeconomic risk markers of leprosy remain poorly understood. To address this gap we systematically reviewed MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, LILACS and Web of Science for original articles investigating the social determinants of leprosy in countries with > 1000 cases/year in at least five years between 2006 and 2016. Cohort, case-control, cross-sectional, and ecological studies were eligible for inclusion; qualitative studies, case reports, and reviews were excluded. Out of 1,534 non-duplicate records, 96 full-text articles were reviewed, and 39 met inclusion criteria. 17 were included in random-effects meta-analyses for sex, occupation, food shortage, household contact, crowding, and lack of clean (i.e., treated) water. The majority of studies were conducted in Brazil, India, or Bangladesh while none were undertaken in low-income countries. Descriptive synthesis indicated that increased age, poor sanitary and socioeconomic conditions, lower level of education, and food-insecurity are risk markers for leprosy. Additionally, in pooled estimates, leprosy was associated with being male (RR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.06–1.67), performing manual labor (RR = 2.15, 95% CI = 0.97–4.74), suffering from food shortage in the past (RR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.05–1.85), being a household contact of a leprosy patient (RR = 3.40, 95% CI = 2.24–5.18), and living in a crowded household (≥5 per household) (RR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.14–1.67). Lack of clean water did not appear to be a risk marker of leprosy (RR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.65–1.35). Additionally, ecological studies provided evidence that lower inequality, better human development, increased healthcare coverage, and cash transfer programs are linked with lower leprosy risks. These findings point to a consistent relationship between leprosy and unfavorable economic circumstances and, thereby, underscore the pressing need of leprosy control policies to target socially vulnerable groups in high-burden countries.

]]>
<![CDATA[The current epidemiological status of urogenital schistosomiasis among primary school pupils in Katsina State, Nigeria: An imperative for a scale up of water and sanitation initiative and mass administration of medicines with Praziquantel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a2868463d7e4513b897e8

Introduction

Human schistosomiasis, a debilitating and chronic disease, is among a set of 17 neglected tropical infectious diseases of poverty that is currently posing a threat to the wellbeing of 2 billion people in the world. The SHAWN/WASH and MAM programmes in the study area require epidemiological data to enhance their effectiveness. We therefore embarked on this cross-sectional study with the aim of investigating the prevalence, intensity and risk factors of urogenital schistosomiasis.

Methodology/ Principal findings

Interviewed 484 respondents produced terminal urine samples (between 10.00h – 14.00h) which were analyzed with Medi ─Test Combi 10 and centrifuged at 400 r.p.m for 4 minutes using C2 series Centurion Scientific Centrifuge. Eggs of S. haematobium were identified with their terminal spines using Motic Binocular Microscope. Data were analyzed with Epi Info 7. In this study, the overall prevalence and arithmetic mean intensity of the infection were 8.68% (6.39─ 11.64) and 80.09 (30.92─129.28) eggs per 10ml of urine respectively. Urogenital schistosomiasis was significantly associated with knowledge about the snail host (χ2 = 4.23; P = 0.0398); water contact activities (χ2 = 25.788; P = 0.0001), gender (χ2 = 16.722; P = 0.0001); age (χ2 = 9.589; P = 0.0019); economic status of school attended (χ2 = 4.869; P = 0.0273); residence distance from open water sources (χ2 = 10.546; P = 0.0012); mothers’ occupational (χ2 = 6.081; P = 0.0137) and educational status (χ2 = 4.139; P = 0.0419).

Conclusion/ Significance

The overall prevalence obtained in this survey shows that the study area was at a low-risk degree of endemicity for urogenital schistosomiasis. Beneath this is a subtle, latent and deadly morbidity-inducing heavy mean intensity of infection, calling for urgent implementation of WHO recommendation that MAM with PZQ be carried out twice for School-Age Children (enrolled or not enrolled) during their primary schooling age (once each at the point of admission and graduation). The criteria for classifying endemic areas for schistosomiasis should also be reviewed to capture the magnitude of mean intensity of infection rather than prevalence only as this may underplay its epidemiological severity.

]]>
<![CDATA[Measuring wealth in rural communities: Lessons from the Sanitation, Hygiene, Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49f73a463d7e3c6cfa9216

Background

Poverty and human capital development are inextricably linked and therefore research on human capital typically incorporates measures of economic well-being. In the context of randomized trials of health interventions, for example, such measures are used to: 1) assess baseline balance; 2) estimate covariate-adjusted analyses; and 3) conduct subgroup analyses. Many factors characterize economic well-being, however, and analysts often generate summary measures such as indices of household socio-economic status or wealth. In this paper, a household wealth index is developed and tested for participants in the cluster-randomized Sanitation, Hygiene, Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial in rural Zimbabwe.

Methods

Building on the approach used in the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS), we combined a set of housing characteristics, ownership of assets and agricultural resources into a wealth index using principal component analysis (PCA) on binary variables. The index was assessed for internal and external validity. Its sensitivity was examined considering an expanded set of variables and an alternative statistical approach of polychoric PCA. Correlation between indices was determined using the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient and agreement between quintiles using a linear weighted Kappa statistic. Using the 2015 ZDHS data, we constructed a separate index and applied the loadings resulting from that analysis to the SHINE study population, to compare the wealth distribution in the SHINE study with rural Zimbabwe.

Results

The derived indices using the different methods were highly correlated (r>0.9), and the wealth quintiles derived from the different indices had substantial to near perfect agreement (linear weighted Kappa>0.7). The indices were strongly associated with a range of assets and other wealth measures, indicating both internal and external validity. Households in SHINE were modestly wealthier than the overall population of households in rural Zimbabwe.

Conclusion

The SHINE wealth index developed here is a valid and robust measure of wealth in the sample.

]]>
<![CDATA[Epidemiology and risk factors for typhoid fever in Central Division, Fiji, 2014–2017: A case-control study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b939463d7e146ff345d3

Background

Typhoid fever is endemic in Fiji, with high reported annual incidence. We sought to identify the sources and modes of transmission of typhoid fever in Fiji with the aim to inform disease control.

Methodology/Principal findings

We identified and surveyed patients with blood culture-confirmed typhoid fever from January 2014 through January 2017. For each typhoid fever case we matched two controls by age interval, gender, ethnicity, and residential area. Univariable and multivariable analysis were used to evaluate associations between exposures and risk for typhoid fever. We enrolled 175 patients with typhoid fever and 349 controls. Of the cases, the median (range) age was 29 (2–67) years, 86 (49%) were male, and 84 (48%) lived in a rural area. On multivariable analysis, interrupted water availability (odds ratio [OR] = 2.17; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18–4.00), drinking surface water in the last 2 weeks (OR = 3.61; 95% CI 1.44–9.06), eating unwashed produce (OR = 2.69; 95% CI 1.48–4.91), and having an unimproved or damaged sanitation facility (OR = 4.30; 95% CI 1.14–16.21) were significantly associated with typhoid fever. Frequent handwashing after defecating (OR = 0.57; 95% CI 0.35–0.93) and using soap for handwashing (OR = 0.61; 95% CI 0.37–0.95) were independently associated with a lower odds of typhoid fever.

Conclusions

Poor sanitation facilities appear to be a major source of Salmonella Typhi in Fiji, with transmission by drinking contaminated surface water and consuming unwashed produce. Improved sanitation facilities and protection of surface water sources and produce from contamination by human feces are likely to contribute to typhoid control in Fiji.

]]>
<![CDATA[Baseline trachoma prevalence in Guinea: Results of national trachoma mapping in 31 health districts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28ba9e463d7e156497707f

Background

Based on previous studies, historical records and risk factors, trachoma was suspected to be endemic in 31 health districts (HDs) in Guinea. To facilitate planning for the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem, national trachoma surveys were conducted between 2011 and 2016 to determine the prevalence of trachomatous inflammation—follicular (TF) and trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in all 31 endemic HDs.

Methodology/Principal findings

A total of 27 cross-sectional surveys were conducted, each using two-stage cluster sampling (one survey in 2011 covered five HDs). Children aged 1–9 years and adults aged ≥15 years were examined for TF and TT, respectively, using the World Health Organization (WHO) simplified grading system. Indicators of household access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) were also collected. A total of 100,051 people from 13,725 households of 556 clusters were examined, of whom 44,899 were male and 55,152 were female. 44,209 children aged 1–9-years and 48,745 adults aged ≥15 years were examined. The adjusted prevalence of TF varied between 1.0% (95%CI: 0.6–1.5%) to 41.8% (95%CI: 39.4–44.2%), while the adjusted prevalence of TT ranged from 0.0% (95%CI: 0.0–0.2%) to 2.8% (95%CI: 2.3–3.5%) in the 27 surveys. In all, 18 HDs had a TF prevalence ≥5% in children aged 1–9 years and 21 HDs had a TT prevalence ≥0.2% in adults aged ≥15 years. There were an estimated 32,737 (95% CI: 19,986–57,811) individuals with TT living in surveyed HDs at the time of surveys.

Conclusions/Significance

Trachoma is a public health problem in Guinea. 18 HDs required intervention with at least one round of mass drug administration and an estimated 32,737 persons required TT surgery in the country. The results provided clear evidence for Guinea to plan for national trachoma elimination.

]]>
<![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.

]]>
<![CDATA[What Explains Cambodia’s Success in Reducing Child Stunting-2000-2014?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da33ab0ee8fa60b853b4

In many developing countries, high levels of child undernutrition persist alongside rapid economic growth. There is considerable interest in the study of countries that have made rapid progress in child nutrition to uncover the driving forces behind these improvements. Cambodia is often cited as a success case having reduced the incidence of child stunting from 51% to 34% over the period 2000 to 2014. To what extent is this success driven by improvements in the underlying determinants of nutrition, such as wealth and education, (“covariate effects”) and to what extent by changes in the strengths of association between these determinants and nutrition outcomes (“coefficient effects”)? Using determinants derived from the widely-applied UNICEF framework for the analysis of child nutrition and data from four Demographic and Health Surveys datasets, we apply quantile regression based decomposition methods to quantify the covariate and coefficient effect contributions to this improvement in child nutrition. The method used in the study allows the covariate and coefficient effects to vary across the entire distribution of child nutrition outcomes. There are important differences in the drivers of improvements in child nutrition between severely stunted and moderately stunted children and between rural and urban areas. The translation of improvements in household endowments, characteristics and practices into improvements in child nutrition (the coefficient effects) may be influenced by macroeconomic shocks or other events such as natural calamities or civil disturbance and may vary substantially over different time periods. Our analysis also highlights the need to explicitly examine the contribution of targeted child health and nutrition interventions to improvements in child nutrition in developing countries.

]]>