ResearchPad - zambia https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Towards universal coverage for nutrition services in children under five years—A descriptive analysis of the capacity of level one hospitals to provide nutrition services in five provinces of Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7846 Malnutrition continues to be a major public health challenge in Zambia. To effectively address this, health systems must be well strengthened to deliver an effective continuum of care. This paper examines health systems issues and services in relation to nutritional support to children under five years, in order to identify gaps and propose interventions towards universal coverage of essential nutrition services.MethodsThis analysis utilized data from a cross sectional mixed-methods study on factors associated with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in under-five children to assess health facility nutrition services on offer at select level-one hospitals in five out of ten provinces in Zambia. Stata version 13 was used for analysis. We conducted univariate analysis to assess nutrition services offered, functionality of equipment and tools, availability of human resource and human resource development, and availability of drugs used for assessment and management of nutrition-related health outcomes.ResultsWe found large variations in the level of nutrition services on offer across districts and provinces. Eighty-eight percent of all the hospitals sampled provided group nutrition counseling and 92% of the hospitals in our sample offered individual nutrition counseling to their clients. Overall, the existence of referral and counter-referral systems between the Community Based Volunteers and hospitals were the lowest among all services assessed at 48% and 58% respectively. We also found inadequate numbers of human resource across all cadres with an exception of nutritionists as recommended by the Ministry of Health.ConclusionsThis study has revealed a number of gaps in the health system and health service delivery that requires to be addressed; most notably, a lack of tools, policies and guidelines, drugs and health specialists to help care for malnourished infants and children. Our findings also reveal inadequate referral systems between the community and health facilities in the management of severe acute malnutrition. Achieving universal coverage for nutrition services in Zambia will require a lot more attention to the health systems issues found in this study. ]]> <![CDATA[Effectiveness of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing intimate partner violence and hazardous alcohol use in Zambia (VATU): A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3889b1ed-7187-41ba-b4d5-94f42ba3d649

Background

Both intimate partner violence (IPV) and alcohol misuse are highly prevalent, and partner alcohol misuse is a significant contributor to women’s risk for IPV. There are few evidence-based interventions to address these problems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We evaluated the effectiveness of an evidence-based, multi-problem, flexible, transdiagnostic intervention, the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing (a) women’s experience of IPV and (b) their male partner’s alcohol misuse among couples in urban Zambia.

Methods and findings

This was a single-blind, parallel-assignment randomized controlled trial in Lusaka, Zambia. Women who reported moderate or higher levels of IPV and their male partners with hazardous alcohol use were enrolled as a couple and randomized to CETA or treatment as usual plus safety checks (TAU-Plus). The primary outcome, IPV, was assessed by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale (SVAWS) physical/sexual violence subscale, and the secondary outcome, male alcohol misuse, by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Assessors were blinded. Analyses were intent-to-treat. Primary outcome assessments were planned at post-treatment, 12 months post-baseline, and 24 months post-baseline. Enrollment was conducted between May 23, 2016, and December 17, 2016. In total, 123 couples were randomized to CETA, 125 to TAU-Plus. The majority of female (66%) and a plurality of male (48%) participants were between 18 and 35 years of age. Mean reduction in IPV (via SVAWS subscale score) at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among women who received CETA compared to women who received TAU-Plus (−8.2, 95% CI −14.9 to −1.5, p = 0.02, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.49). Similarly, mean reduction in AUDIT score at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among men who received CETA compared to men who received TAU (−4.5, 95% CI −6.9 to −2.2, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.43). The Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended the trial be stopped early due to treatment effectiveness following the 12-month post-baseline assessment, and CETA was offered to control participants. Limitations of the trial included the lack of a true control condition (i.e., that received no intervention), self-reported outcomes that may be subject to social desirability bias, and low statistical power for secondary IPV outcomes.

Conclusions

Results showed that CETA was more effective than TAU-Plus in reducing IPV and hazardous alcohol use among high-risk couples in Zambia. Future research and programming should include tertiary prevention approaches to IPV, such as CETA, rather than offering only community mobilization and primary prevention.

Trial registration

The trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02790827).

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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[West Nile Virus in Farmed Crocodiles, Zambia, 2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N27636736-c767-4f12-8a8e-3a1554459c0e

We detected West Nile virus (WNV) nucleic acid in crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in Zambia. Phylogenetically, the virus belonged to lineage 1a, which is predominant in the Northern Hemisphere. These data provide evidence that WNV is circulating in crocodiles in Africa and increases the risk for animal and human transmission.

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<![CDATA[Multiple micronutrient supplementation using spirulina platensis and infant growth, morbidity, and motor development: Evidence from a randomized trial in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc995d5eed0c484529e73

In developing countries, micronutrient deficiency in infants is associated with growth faltering, morbidity, and delayed motor development. One of the potentially low-cost and sustainable solutions is to use locally producible food for the home fortification of complementary foods. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that locally producible spirulina platensis supplementation would achieve the following: 1) increase infant physical growth, 2) reduce morbidity, and 3) improve motor development. We randomly assigned 501 Zambian infants into the control group or the spirulina group. Children in the control group (n = 250) received a soya-maize-based porridge for 12 months; those in the spirulina group (n = 251) received the same food with the addition of spirulina. We assessed the change in infants’ anthropometric status, morbidity (probable pneumonia, cough, probable malaria, and fever), and motor development over 12 months. The baseline characteristics were not different between the two groups. The attrition rate (47/501) was low. The physical growth of infants in the two groups was similar at 12 months of intervention, as measured by height-for-age z-scores and weight-for-age z-scores. Infants in the spirulina group were 11 percentage points less likely to develop a cough (CI: -0.23, -0.00; P < 0.05) and were more likely to be able to walk alone at 15 months (0.96 ± 0.19) than infants in the control group (0.92 ± 0.28). Home-fortification of complementary foods using spirulina had positive effects on upper respiratory infection morbidity prevention and motor milestone acquisition among Zambian infants.

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<![CDATA[Using supervised learning to select audit targets in performance-based financing in health: An example from Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff00d5eed0c4841358af

Independent verification is a critical component of performance-based financing (PBF) in health care, in which facilities are offered incentives to increase the volume of specific services but the same incentives may lead them to over-report. We examine alternative strategies for targeted sampling of health clinics for independent verification. Specifically, we empirically compare several methods of random sampling and predictive modeling on data from a Zambian PBF pilot that contains reported and verified performance for quantity indicators of 140 clinics. Our results indicate that machine learning methods, particularly Random Forest, outperform other approaches and can increase the cost-effectiveness of verification activities.

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<![CDATA[A universal testing and treatment intervention to improve HIV control: One-year results from intervention communities in Zambia in the HPTN 071 (PopART) cluster-randomised trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be01ba

Background

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets require that, by 2020, 90% of those living with HIV know their status, 90% of known HIV-positive individuals receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of individuals on ART have durable viral suppression. The HPTN 071 (PopART) trial is measuring the impact of a universal testing and treatment intervention on population-level HIV incidence in 21 urban communities in Zambia and South Africa. We report observational data from four communities in Zambia to assess progress towards the UNAIDS targets after 1 y of the PopART intervention.

Methods and findings

The PopART intervention comprises annual rounds of home-based HIV testing delivered by community HIV-care providers (CHiPs) who also support linkage to care, ART retention, and other services. Data from four communities in Zambia receiving the full intervention (including immediate ART for all individuals with HIV) were used to determine proportions of participants who knew their HIV status after the CHiP visit; proportions linking to care and initiating ART following referral; and overall proportions of HIV-infected individuals who knew their status (first 90 target) and the proportion of these on ART (second 90 target), pre- and post-intervention. We are not able to assess progress towards the third 90 target at this stage of the study. Overall, 121,130 adults (59,283 men and 61,847 women) were enumerated in 46,714 households during the first annual round (December 2013 to June 2015). Of the 45,399 (77%) men and 55,703 (90%) women consenting to the intervention, 80% of men and 85% of women knew their HIV status after the CHiP visit. Of 6,197 HIV-positive adults referred by CHiPs, 42% (95% CI: 40%–43%) initiated ART within 6 mo and 53% (95% CI: 52%–55%) within 12 mo. In the entire population, the estimated proportion of HIV-positive adults who knew their status increased from 52% to 78% for men and from 56% to 87% for women. The estimated proportion of known HIV-positive individuals on ART increased overall from 54% after the CHiP visit to 74% by the end of the round for men and from 53% to 73% for women. The estimated overall proportion of HIV-positive adults on ART, irrespective of whether they knew their status, increased from 44% to 61%, compared with the 81% target (the product of the first two 90 targets). Coverage was lower among young men and women than in older age groups. The main limitation of the study was the need for assumptions concerning knowledge of HIV status and ART coverage among adults not consenting to the intervention or HIV testing, although our conclusions were robust in sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions

In this analysis, acceptance of HIV testing among those consenting to the intervention was high, although linkage to care and ART initiation took longer than expected. Knowledge of HIV-positive status increased steeply after 1 y, almost attaining the first 90 target in women and approaching it in men. The second 90 target was more challenging, with approximately three-quarters of known HIV-positive individuals on ART by the end of the annual round. Achieving higher test uptake in men and more rapid linkage to care will be key objectives during the second annual round of the intervention.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01900977

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<![CDATA[Hepatitis B Infection, Viral Load and Resistance in HIV-Infected Patients in Mozambique and Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da47ab0ee8fa60b8bff3

Background

Few data on the virological determinants of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are available from southern Africa.

Methods

We enrolled consecutive HIV-infected adult patients initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) at two urban clinics in Zambia and four rural clinics in Northern Mozambique between May 2013 and August 2014. HBsAg screening was performed using the Determine® rapid test. Quantitative real-time PCR and HBV sequencing were performed in HBsAg-positive patients. Risk factors for HBV infection were evaluated using Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests and associations between baseline characteristics and high level HBV replication explored in multivariable logistic regression.

Results

Seventy-eight of 1,032 participants in Mozambique (7.6%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.1–9.3) and 90 of 797 in Zambia (11.3%, 95% CI: 9.3–13.4) were HBsAg-positive. HBsAg-positive individuals were less likely to be female compared to HBsAg-negative ones (52.3% vs. 66.1%, p<0.001). Among 156 (92.9%) HBsAg-positive patients with an available measurement, median HBV viral load was 13,645 IU/mL (interquartile range: 192–8,617,488 IU/mL) and 77 (49.4%) had high values (>20,000 UI/mL). HBsAg-positive individuals had higher levels of ALT and AST compared to HBsAg-negative ones (both p<0.001). In multivariable analyses, male sex (adjusted odds ratio: 2.59, 95% CI: 1.22–5.53) and CD4 cell count below 200/μl (2.58, 1.20–5.54) were associated with high HBV DNA. HBV genotypes A1 (58.8%) and E (38.2%) were most prevalent. Four patients had probable resistance to lamivudine and/or entecavir.

Conclusion

One half of HBsAg-positive patients demonstrated high HBV viremia, supporting the early initiation of tenofovir-containing ART in HIV/HBV-coinfected adults.

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<![CDATA[Community Cultural Norms, Stigma and Disclosure to Sexual Partners among Women Living with HIV in Thailand, Brazil and Zambia (HPTN 063)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f2ab0ee8fa60b6ee6f

Background

Serostatus disclosure may facilitate decreased HIV transmission between serodiscordant partners by raising risk awareness and heightening the need for prevention. For women living with HIV (WLWH), the decision to disclose may be influenced by culturally determined, community-level stigma and norms. Understanding the impact of community HIV stigma and gender norms on disclosure among WLWH in different countries may inform intervention development.

Methods

HPTN063 was a longitudinal, observational study of sexually active HIV-infected individuals, including heterosexual women, in care in Zambia, Thailand and Brazil. At baseline, a questionnaire measuring community HIV stigma and gender norms, anticipated stigma, demographic, partner/relationship characteristics, and intimate partner violence was administered. Longitudinal HIV disclosure to sexual partners was determined via audio-computer assisted self-interview (ACASI) at the baseline and quarterly during the one year following up. Logistic regression was conducted to identify the predictors of disclosure.

Results

Almost half (45%) of women living with HIV acknowledged perceived community HIV stigma (the belief that in their community HIV infection among women is associated with sex work and multiple sexual partners). Many women (42.9%) also acknowledged perceived community gender norms (the belief that traditional gender norms such as submissiveness to husbands/male sexual partners is necessary and that social status is lost if one does not procreate). HIV disclosure to current sex partners was reported by 67% of women. In multivariate analysis, among all women, those who were older [OR 0.16, 95%CI(0.06,0.48)], reported symptoms of severe depression [OR 0.53, 95%CI(0.31, 0.90)], endorsed anticipated stigma [OR 0.30, 95%CI(0.18, 0.50)], and were unmarried [OR 0.43, 95%CI(0.26,0.71)] were less likely to disclose to current partners. In an analysis stratified by marital status and cohabitation, unmarried [OR 0.41, 95%CI(0.20,0.82)] and non-cohabiting women [OR 0.31, 95%CI(0.13,0.73)] who perceived community HIV stigma were less likely to disclose to their sex partners.

Conclusions

Perceived community level HIV stigma, along with individual level factors such as anticipated stigma, depressive symptoms, and older age, predict non-disclosure of HIV status to sexual partners among WLWH in diverse geographic settings. Interventions to promote disclosure among women in serodiscordant relationships should incorporate community-level interventions to reduce stigma and promote gender equality.

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<![CDATA[Health Seeking Behaviour among Individuals with Presumptive Tuberculosis in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3cab0ee8fa60bd5487

Background

Tuberculosis (TB) prevalence surveys offer a unique opportunity to study health seeking behaviour at the population level because they identify individuals with symptoms that should ideally prompt a health consultation.

Objective

To assess the health-seeking behaviour among individuals who were presumptive TB cases in a national population based TB prevalence survey.

Methods

A cross sectional survey was conducted between 2013 and 2014 among 66 survey clusters in Zambia. Clusters were census supervisory areas (CSAs). Participants (presumptive TB cases) were individuals aged 15 years and above; having either cough, fever or chest pain for 2 weeks or more; and/or having an abnormal or inconclusive chest x-ray image. All survey participants were interviewed about symptoms and had a chest X-ray taken. An in-depth interview was conducted to collect information on health seeking behaviour and previous TB treatment.

Results

Of the 6,708 participants, the majority reported at least a history of chest pain (3,426; 51.1%) followed by cough (2,405; 35.9%), and fever (1,030; 15.4%) for two weeks or more. Only 34.9% (2,340) had sought care for their symptoms, mainly (92%) at government health facilities. Of those who sought care, 13.9% (326) and 12.1% (283) had chest x-ray and sputum examinations, respectively. Those ever treated for TB were 9.6% (644); while 1.7% (114) was currently on treatment. The average time (in weeks) from onset of symptoms to first care-seeking was 3 for the presumptive TB cases. Males, urban dwellers and individuals in the highest wealth quintile were less likely to seek care for their symptoms. The likelihood of having ever been treated for TB was highest among males, urban dwellers; respondents aged 35–64 years, individuals in the highest wealth quintile, or HIV positive.

Conclusion

Some presumptive TB patients delay care-seeking for their symptoms. The health system misses opportunities to diagnose TB among those who seek care. Improving health-seeking behaviour among males, urban dwellers and those with a higher social economic status; and addressing health care lapses in TB case detection is required if TB is to be effectively controlled in Zambia.

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<![CDATA[Sex Differences in HIV Prevalence Persist over Time: Evidence from 18 Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f9ab0ee8fa60b717a2

Objective

The aim of this study was to examine changes over time in the female: male HIV prevalence ratio in 18 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, overall and when stratified by area of residence, educational attainment and marital status.

Methodology

We used data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, which are nationally representative household surveys. By using data from 18 countries with at least two survey rounds with HIV testing, and dividing the countries into three regions (Western/Central, Eastern and Southern) we were able to examine cross-country and regional changes in the female: male HIV prevalence ratio over time. Logistic regression was used to estimate female: male HIV prevalence ratios in urban versus rural areas and for different categories of education and marital status. To assess changes over time, we compared the confidence intervals of the prevalence ratios.

Results

The female: male HIV prevalence ratio was above one in all countries in at least one survey round for both ages 15–24 years and 25–49 years. In 13 out of 18 countries the prevalence ratio was higher for the younger age group compared to the age group 25–49 years (3 significant) and this difference in prevalence ratios between the age groups did not change over time. Overall, there was a higher frequency of increasing than decreasing prevalence ratios. The gender disparity was greater among those who were married/living together than among the never-married, and over time, the ratio was more stable among the married/living together. The study found no clear differential changes by education.

Conclusion

Women continue to carry the greater burden of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa and there is no clear pattern of change in the gap between men and women as the direction and magnitude of change in the prevalence ratios varied greatly.

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<![CDATA[A Mobile Platform Enables Unprecedented Sanitation Uptake in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdceeb ]]> <![CDATA[The art of mabisi production: A traditional fermented milk]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c94053bd5eed0c484538449

Fermented dairy products can be rich in beneficial microbes and one such product with potential is mabisi. Mabisi is a traditional fermented milk product from Zambia made through spontaneous fermentation of raw milk at ambient temperature using a calabash (gourd), clay pot, plastic or metal container. The fermentation takes about 48 hours after which the product is stirred and ready for consumption. This study was aimed at determining the types of production methods of mabisi and identifying the critical production process parameters. A survey was conducted using interviews and observations to determine the existing production practices/technologies and to capture indigenous knowledge on mabisi production in nine provinces of Zambia. We found seven different production methods which we coined; tonga, thick-tonga, illa, barotse, backslopping, cooked and creamy types. Interestingly, the tonga-type mabisi was produced throughout the country by different ethnic groups. The main process parameters were found to be fermentation time and temperature, type of containers, presence/absence of backslopping, agitation, heating and cooling, removal of whey and addition of raw milk. And further found that mabisi is a versatile product consumed with a wide variety of foods. This basic information is crucial for production process optimisation and microbial communities dynamics studies.

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<![CDATA[Does User Fee Removal Policy Provide Financial Protection from Catastrophic Health Care Payments? Evidence from Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabaab0ee8fa60bae549

Background

Out-of-pocket payments in health care have been shown to impose significant burden on households in Sub-Saharan Africa, leading to constrained access to health care and impoverishment. In an effort to reduce the financial burden imposed on households by user fees, some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have abolished user fees in the health sector. Zambia is one of few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to abolish user fees in primary health care facilities with a view to alleviating financial burden of out-of-pocket payments among the poor. The main aim of this paper was to examine the extent and patterns of financial protection from fees following the decision to abolish user fees in public primary health facilities.

Methods

Our analysis is based on a nationally representative health expenditure and utilization survey conducted in 2014. We calculated the incidence and intensity of catastrophic health expenditure based on households’ out-of-pocket payments during a visit as a percentage of total household consumption expenditure. We further show the intensity of the problem of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) experienced by households.

Results

Our analysis show that following the removal of user fees, a majority of patients who visited public health facilities benefitted from free care at the point of use. Further, seeking care at public primary health facilities is associated with a reduced likelihood of incurring CHE after controlling for economic wellbeing and other covariates. However, 10% of households are shown to suffer financial catastrophe as a result of out-of-pocket payments. Further, there is considerable inequality in the incidence of CHE whereby the poorest expenditure quintile experienced a much higher incidence.

Conclusion

Despite the removal of user fees at primary health care level, CHE is high among the poorest sections of the population. This study also shows that cost of transportation is mainly responsible for limiting the protective effectiveness of user fee removal on CHE among particularly poorest households.

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<![CDATA[Human African Trypanosomiasis in the Kafue National Park, Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3fab0ee8fa60b895df ]]> <![CDATA[Insights and efforts to control rabies in Zambia: Evaluation of determinants and barriers to dog vaccination in Nyimba district]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab084ae463d7e2faeab8ad9

Background

The current rabies control strategy in Zambia is based on dog vaccination, dog population control and dog movement restrictions. In Nyimba district of Zambia, dog vaccination coverage is low but the incidence of dog bites is high which places the community at risk of rabies infection. The renewed global interest eliminating rabies in developing countries has spurred interest to identify determinants and barriers of dog vaccination in an effort to reduce the overall disease burden.

Methodology

A mixed methods cross sectional design was used in the study. This consisted of three parts: Evaluation of medical records regarding dog bite injuries, implementation and analysis of a household survey and in-depth review of key informant interviews. Data was collected into a Microsoft Excel database and subsequently transferred to STATA for descriptive, inferential and thematic analysis.

Results

Dog vaccination coverage overall was 8.7% (57/655), with 3.4% (22/655) in urban areas, 1.8% (12/655) in peri-urban and 3.5 (23/655) in the rural regions. Financially stable households were more likely to have their dogs vaccinated. Only 10.3% (31/300) of the respondents had vaccinated their dogs and these had a reliable source of income as 6% (18/300) were peasant farmers, 2% (6/300) were dependants whose guardians were financially stable and 2.3% (7/300) were in steady employment. Important barriers to dog vaccination included cost, limited awareness of vaccination program and access.

Conclusion

Current rabies control strategies in Nyimba district, Zambia, appear quite limited. Improvements in the regional dog vaccination program may provide benefits. Enhancement of educational efforts targeting behavioural factors may also prove useful. Finally, the cost of dog vaccination can be reduced with scaled up production of a local vaccine.

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<![CDATA[Women’s Perceptions and Misperceptions of Male Circumcision: A Mixed Methods Study in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9eab0ee8fa60ba4daf

Women’s perceptions of male circumcision (MC) have implications for behavioral risk compensation, demand, and the impact of MC programs on women’s health. This mixed methods study combines data from the first two rounds of a longitudinal study (n = 934) and in-depth interviews with a subsample of respondents (n = 45) between rounds. Most women correctly reported that MC reduces men’s risk of HIV (64% R1, 82% R2). However, 30% of women at R1, and significantly more (41%) at R2, incorrectly believed MC is fully protective for men against HIV. Women also greatly overestimated the protection MC offers against STIs. The proportion of women who believed MC reduces a woman’s HIV risk if she has sex with a man who is circumcised increased significantly (50% to 70%). Qualitative data elaborate women’s misperception regarding MC. Programs should address women’s informational needs and continue to emphasize that condoms remain critical, regardless of male partner’s circumcision status.

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<![CDATA[Could Circumcision of HIV-Positive Males Benefit Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Programs in Africa? Mathematical Modeling Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcd03

Background

The epidemiological and programmatic implications of inclusivity of HIV-positive males in voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs are uncertain. We modeled these implications using Zambia as an illustrative example.

Methods and Findings

We used the Age-Structured Mathematical (ASM) model to evaluate, over an intermediate horizon (2010–2025), the effectiveness (number of VMMCs needed to avert one HIV infection) of VMMC scale-up scenarios with varying proportions of HIV-positive males. The model was calibrated by fitting to HIV prevalence time trend data from 1990 to 2014. We assumed that inclusivity of HIV positive males may benefit VMMC programs by increasing VMMC uptake among higher risk males, or by circumcision reducing HIV male-to-female transmission risk. All analyses were generated assuming no further antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up.

The number of VMMCs needed to avert one HIV infection was projected to increase from 12.2 VMMCs per HIV infection averted, in a program that circumcises only HIV-negative males, to 14.0, in a program that includes HIV-positive males. The proportion of HIV-positive males was based on their representation in the population (e.g. 12.6% of those circumcised in 2010 would be HIV-positive based on HIV prevalence among males of 12.6% in 2010). However, if a program that only reaches out to HIV-negative males is associated with 20% lower uptake among higher-risk males, the effectiveness would be 13.2 VMMCs per infection averted. If improved inclusivity of HIV-positive males is associated with 20% higher uptake among higher-risk males, the effectiveness would be 12.4. As the assumed VMMC efficacy against male-to-female HIV transmission was increased from 0% to 20% and 46%, the effectiveness of circumcising regardless of HIV status improved from 14.0 to 11.5 and 9.1, respectively. The reduction in the HIV incidence rate among females increased accordingly, from 24.7% to 34.8% and 50.4%, respectively.

Conclusion

Improving inclusivity of males in VMMC programs regardless of HIV status increases VMMC effectiveness, if there is moderate increase in VMMC uptake among higher-risk males and/or if there is moderate efficacy for VMMC against male-to-female transmission. In these circumstances, VMMC programs can reduce the HIV incidence rate in males by nearly as much as expected by some ART programs, and additionally, females can benefit from the intervention nearly as much as males.

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<![CDATA[Why don’t urban youth in Zambia use condoms? The influence of gender and marriage on non-use of male condoms among young adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf9f

Background

Zambia experiences high unmet need for family planning and high rates of HIV, particularly among youth. While male condoms are widely available and 95% of adults have heard of them, self-reported use in the past 12 months is low among young adults (45%). This study describes factors associated with non-use of male condoms among urban young adults in Zambia.

Methods

A household cross-sectional survey in four urban districts was conducted from November 2015 to January 2016 among sexually active young adults ages 18–24 years. A random walk strategy was implemented in urban areas; eligible, enrolled participants were administered a survey on household characteristics, health access, and knowledge, attitudes and practices related to contraception. Relative risk regression models were built to determine factors associated with the decision to not use a male condom (non-use) at most recent sexual intercourse.

Results

A total of 2,388 individuals were interviewed; 69% were female, 35% were married, and average lifetime sex partners was 3.45 (SD±6.15). Non-use of male condoms was 59% at most recent sexual intercourse. In a multivariate model, women were more likely to report non-use of a male condom compared with men (aRR = 1.24 [95% CI: 1.11, 1.38]), married individuals were more likely to report non-use compared with unmarried individuals (aRR = 1.59 [1.46, 1.73]), and those residing in the highest poverty wards were more likely to report non-use compared with those in the lowest poverty wards (aRR = 1.31 [1.16, 1.48]). Those with more negative perceptions of male condom use were 6% more likely to report non-use (aRR = 1.06 [1.03, 1.09]). Discussion regarding contraception with a partner decreased non-use 13% (aRR = 0.87 [0.80, 0.95]) and agreement regarding male condom use with a partner decreased non-use 16% (aRR = 0.84 [0.77, 0.91)]).

Discussion

Non-use of male condoms is high among young, married adults, particularly women, who may be interested in contraception for family planning but remain at risk of STI infection. Effective marketing strategy of dual protection methods to this population is critical.

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<![CDATA[Quality improvement intervention to increase adherence to ART prescription policy at HIV treatment clinics in Lusaka, Zambia: A cluster randomized trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc96d

Introduction

In urban areas, crowded HIV treatment facilities with long patient wait times can deter patients from attending their clinical appointments and picking up their medications, ultimately disrupting patient care and compromising patient retention and adherence.

Methods

Formative research at eight facilities in Lusaka revealed that only 46% of stable HIV treatment patients were receiving a three-month refill supply of antiretroviral drugs, despite it being national policy for stable adult patients. We designed a quality improvement intervention to improve the operationalization of this policy. We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial in sixteen facilities in Lusaka with the primary objective of examining the intervention’s impact on the proportion of stable patients receiving three-month refills. The secondary objective was examining whether the quality improvement intervention reduced facility congestion measured through two proxy indicators: daily volume of clinic visits and average clinic wait times for services.

Results

The mean change in the proportion of three-month refills among control facilities from baseline to endline was 10% (from 38% to 48%), compared to a 25% mean change (an increase from 44% to 69%) among intervention facilities. This represents a significant 15% mean difference (95% CI: 2%-29%; P = 0.03) in the change in proportion of patients receiving three-month refills. On average, control facilities had 15 more visits per day in the endline than in the baseline, while intervention facilities had 20 fewer visits per day in endline than in baseline, a mean difference of 35 fewer visits per day (P = 0.1). The change in the mean facility total wait time for intervention facilities dropped 19 minutes between baseline and endline when compared to control facilities (95% CI: -10.2–48.5; P = 0.2).

Conclusion

A more patient-centred service delivery schedule of three-month prescription refills for stable patients is viable. We encourage the expansion of this sustainable intervention in Zambia’s urban clinics.

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