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1.  Outpatient Therapeutic Feeding Program Outcomes and Determinants in Treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65840.
Outpatient Therapeutic feeding Program (OTP) brings the services for management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) closer to the community by making services available at decentralized treatment points within the primary health care settings, through the use of ready-to-use therapeutic foods, community outreach and mobilization. Little is known about the program outcomes. This study revealed the levels of program outcome indictors and determinant factors to recovery rate.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 628 children who had been managed for SAM under OTP from April/2008 to January/2012. The children were selected using systematic random sampling from 12 health posts and 4 health centers. The study relied on information of demographic characteristics, anthropometries, Plumpy'Nut, medical problems and routine medications intakes. The results were estimated using Kaplan-Meier survival curves, log-rank test and Cox-regression.
The recovery, defaulter, mortality and weight gain rates were 61.78%, 13.85%, 3.02% and 5.23 gm/kg/day, respectively. Routine medications were administered partially and children with medical problems were managed inappropriately under the program. As a child consumed one more sachet of Plumpy'Nut, the recovery rate from SAM increased by 4% (HR = 1.04, 95%-CI = 1.03, 1.05, P<0.001). The adjusted hazard ratios to recovery of children with diarrhea, appetite loss with Plumpy'Nut and failure to gain weight were 2.20 (HR = 2.20, 95%-CI = 1.31, 3.41, P = 0.001), 4.49 (HR = 1.74, 95%-CI = 1.07, 2.83, P = 0.046) and 3.88 (HR = 1.95, 95%-CI = 1.17, 3.23, P<0.001), respectively. Children who took amoxicillin and de-worming had 95% (HR = 1.95, 95%-CI = 1.17, 3.23) and 74% (HR = 1.74, 95%-CI = 1.07, 2.83) more probability to recover from SAM as compared to those who didn't take them.
The OTP was partially successful. Management of children with comorbidities under the program and partial administration of routine drugs were major threats for the program effectiveness. The stakeholders should focus on creating the capacity of the OTP providers on proper management of SAM to achieve fully effective program.
PMCID: PMC3675046  PMID: 23755286
2.  Missed opportunities for participation in prevention of mother to child transmission programmes: Simplicity of nevirapine does not necessarily lead to optimal uptake, a qualitative study 
The objective of this study was to examine missed opportunities for participation in a prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme in three sites in South Africa. A rapid anthropological assessment was used to collect in-depth data from 58 HIV-positive women who were enrolled in a larger cohort study to assess mother-to-child HIV transmission. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the women in order to gain an understanding of their experiences of antenatal care and to identify missed opportunities for participation in PMTCT.
15 women actually missed their nevirapine not because of stigma and ignorance but because of health systems failures. Six were not tested for HIV during antenatal care. Two were tested but did not receive their results. Seven were tested and received their results, but did not receive nevirapine. Health Systems failure for these programme leakages ranged from non-availability of counselors, supplies such as HIV test kits, consent forms, health staff giving the women incorrect instructions about when to take the tablet and health staff not supplying the women with the tablet to take.
HIV testing enables access to PMTCT interventions and should therefore be strengthened. The single dose nevirapine regimen is simple to implement but the all or nothing nature of the regimen may result in many missed opportunities. A short course dual or triple drug regimen could increase the effectiveness of PMTCT programmes.
PMCID: PMC2211501  PMID: 18034877

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