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1.  Are slum dwellers at heightened risk of HIV infection than other urban residents? Evidence from population-based HIV prevalence surveys in Kenya 
Health & Place  2012;18(5):1144-1152.
In 2008, the global urban population surpassed the rural population and by 2050 more than 6 billion will be living in urban centres. A growing body of research has reported on poor health outcomes among the urban poor but not much is known about HIV prevalence among this group. A survey of nearly 3000 men and women was conducted in two Nairobi slums in Kenya between 2006 and 2007, where respondents were tested for HIV status. In addition, data from the 2008/2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey were used to compare HIV prevalence between slum residents and those living in other urban and rural areas. The results showed strong intra-urban differences. HIV was 12% among slum residents compared with 5% and 6% among non-slum urban and rural residents, respectively. Generally, men had lower HIV prevalence than women although in the slums the gap was narrower. Among women, sexual experience before the age of 15 compared with after 19 years was associated with 62% higher odds of being HIV positive. There was ethnic variation in patterns of HIV infection although the effect depended on the current place of residence.
► HIV prevalence in Nairobi slums is 12%, compared with 5% among non-slum urban residents, and 6% in rural areas. ► HIV prevalence in Kenyan urban areas is principally fuelled by very high HIV infection rates in slum areas. ► Women who have first sexual intercourse at early ages are at increased risk of becoming HIV infected. ► In Kenya there are strong patterns of HIV infection by ethnicity but living in urban areas dilutes this effect.
PMCID: PMC3427858  PMID: 22591621
HIV prevalence; Intra-urban; Slums; Kenya
2.  Determinants for HIV testing and counselling in Nairobi urban informal settlements 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:663.
Counselling and testing is important in HIV prevention and care. Majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa do not know their HIV status and are therefore unable to take steps to prevent infection or take up life prolonging anti-retroviral drugs in time if infected. This study aimed at exploring determinants of HIV testing and counselling in two Nairobi informal settlements.
Data are derived from a cross-sectional survey nested in an ongoing demographic surveillance system. A total of 3,162 individuals responded to the interview and out of these, 82% provided a blood sample which was tested using rapid test kits. The outcome of interest in this paper was HIV testing status in the past categorised as "never tested"; "client-initiated testing and counselling (CITC)" and provider-initiated testing and counselling (PITC). Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify determinants of HIV testing.
Approximately 31% of all respondents had ever been tested for HIV through CITC, 22% through PITC and 42% had never been tested but indicated willingness to test. Overall, 62% of females and 38% of males had ever been tested for HIV. Males were less likely to have had CITC (OR = 0.47; p value < 0.001) and also less likely to have had PITC (OR = 0.16; p value < 0.001) compared to females. Individuals aged 20-24 years were more likely to have had either CITC or PITC compared to the other age groups. The divorced/separated/widowed were more likely (OR = 1.65; p value < 0.01) to have had CITC than their married counterparts, while the never married were less likely to have had either CITC or PITC. HIV positive individuals (OR = 1.60; p value < 0.01) and those who refused testing in the survey (OR = 1.39; p value < 0.05) were more likely to have had CITC compared to their HIV negative counterparts.
Although the proportion of individuals ever tested in the informal settlements is similar to the national average, it remains low compared to that of Nairobi province especially among men. Key determinants of HIV testing and counselling include; gender, age, education level, HIV status and marital status. These factors need to be considered in efforts aimed at increasing participation in HIV testing.
PMCID: PMC3179452  PMID: 21861898
3.  The effect of participant nonresponse on HIV prevalence estimates in a population-based survey in two informal settlements in Nairobi city 
Participant nonresponse in an HIV serosurvey can affect estimates of HIV prevalence. Nonresponse can arise from a participant's refusal to provide a blood sample or the failure to trace a sampled individual. In a serosurvey conducted by the African Population and Health Research Center and Kenya Medical Research Centre in the slums of Nairobi, 43% of sampled individuals did not provide a blood sample. This paper describes selective participation in the serosurvey and estimates bias in HIV prevalence figures.
The paper uses data derived from an HIV serosurvey nested in an on-going demographic surveillance system. Nonresponse was assessed using logistic regression and multiple imputation methods to impute missing data for HIV status using a set of common variables available for all sampled participants.
Age, residence, high mobility, wealth, and ethnicity were independent predictors of a sampled individual not being contacted. Individuals aged 30-34 years, females, individuals from the Kikuyu and Kamba ethnicity, married participants, and residents of Viwandani were all less likely to accept HIV testing when contacted. Although men were less likely to be contacted, those found were more willing to be tested compared to females. The overall observed HIV prevalence was overestimated by 2%. The observed prevalence for male participants was underestimated by about 1% and that for females was overestimated by 3%. These differences were small and did not affect the overall estimate substantially as the observed estimates fell within the confidence limits of the corrected prevalence estimate.
Nonresponse in the HIV serosurvey in the two informal settlements was high, however, the effect on overall prevalence estimate was minimal.
PMCID: PMC2918531  PMID: 20649957
4.  Sero-prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B virus infection among health care workers in a tertiary hospital in Uganda 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:191.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global public health challenge. Prevalence of current hepatitis B virus infection in the general population in Uganda is about 10%. Health care workers (HCW) have an extra risk of getting infected from their workplace and yet they are not routinely vaccinated against HBV infection. This study aimed at estimating prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection and associated risk factors among health care workers in a tertiary hospital in Uganda.
Data were obtained from a cross sectional survey conducted in Mulago, a national referral and teaching hospital in Uganda among health care workers in 2003. A proportionate to size random sample was drawn per health care worker category. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics and risk factors. ELISA was used to test sera for HBsAg, anti-HBs and total anti-HBc. Descriptive and logistic regression models were used for analysis.
Among the 370 participants, the sero-prevalence of current hepatitis B virus infection was 8.1%; while prevalence of life time exposure to hepatitis B virus infection was 48.1%. Prevalence of needle stick injuries and exposure to mucous membranes was 67.8% and 41.0% respectively. Cuts were also common with 31.7% of doctors reporting a cut in a period of one year preceding the survey. Consistent use of gloves was reported by 55.4% of respondents. The laboratory technicians (18.0% of respondents) were the least likely to consistently use gloves. Only 6.2% of respondents were vaccinated against hepatitis B virus infection and 48.9% were susceptible and could potentially be protected through vaccination. Longer duration in service was associated with a lower risk of current infection (OR = 0.13; p value = 0.048). Being a nursing assistant (OR = 17.78; p value = 0.007) or a laboratory technician (OR = 12.23; p value = 0.009) were associated with a higher risk of current hepatitis B virus infection. Laboratory technicians (OR = 3.99; p value = 0.023) and individuals with no training in infection prevention in last five years (OR = 1.85; p value = 0.015) were more likely to have been exposed to hepatitis B virus infection before.
The prevalence of current and life time exposure to hepatitis B virus infection was high. Exposure to potentially infectious body fluids was high and yet only a small percentage of HCW were vaccinated. There is need to vaccinate all health care workers as a matter of policy and ensure a safer work environment.
PMCID: PMC2910699  PMID: 20587047
5.  Overweight and obesity in urban Africa: A problem of the rich or the poor? 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:465.
Obesity is a well recognized risk factor for various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to shed light on the patterns of overweight and obesity in sub-Saharan Africa, with special interest in differences between the urban poor and the urban non-poor. The specific goals were to describe trends in overweight and obesity among urban women; and examine how these trends vary by education and household wealth.
The paper used Demographic and Health Surveys data from seven African countries where two surveys had been carried out with an interval of at least 10 years between them. Among the countries studied, the earliest survey took place in 1992 and the latest in 2005. The dependent variable was body mass index coded as: Not overweight/obese; Overweight; Obese. The key covariates were time lapse between the two surveys; woman's education; and household wealth. Control variables included working status, age, marital status, parity, and country. Multivariate ordered logistic regression in the context of the partial proportional odds model was used.
Descriptive results showed that the prevalence of urban overweight/obesity increased by nearly 35% during the period covered. The increase was higher among the poorest (+50%) than among the richest (+7%). Importantly, there was an increase of 45-50% among the non-educated and primary-educated women, compared to a drop of 10% among women with secondary education or higher. In the multivariate analysis, the odds ratio of the variable time lapse was 1.05 (p < 0.01), indicating that the prevalence of overweight/obesity increased by about 5% per year on average in the countries in the study. While the rate of change in urban overweight/obesity did not significantly differ between the poor and the rich, it was substantially higher among the non-educated women than among their educated counterparts.
Overweight and obesity are on the rise in Africa and might take epidemic proportions in the near future. Like several other public health challenges, overweight and obesity should be tackled and prevented early as envisioned in the WHO Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health.
PMCID: PMC2803188  PMID: 20003478
6.  The state of emergency obstetric care services in Nairobi informal settlements and environs: Results from a maternity health facility survey 
Maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa remains a challenge with estimates exceeding 1,000 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in some countries. Successful prevention of maternal deaths hinges on adequate and quality emergency obstetric care. In addition to skilled personnel, there is need for a supportive environment in terms of essential drugs and supplies, equipment, and a referral system. Many household surveys report a reasonably high proportion of women delivering in health facilities. However, the quality and adequacy of facilities and personnel are often not assessed. The three delay model; 1) delay in making the decision to seek care; 2) delay in reaching an appropriate obstetric facility; and 3) delay in receiving appropriate care once at the facility guided this project. This paper examines aspects of the third delay by assessing quality of emergency obstetric care in terms of staffing, skills equipment and supplies.
We used data from a survey of 25 maternity health facilities within or near two slums in Nairobi that were mentioned by women in a household survey as places that they delivered. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Kenya Medical Research Institute. Permission was also sought from the Ministry of Health and the Medical Officer of Health. Data collection included interviews with the staff in-charge of maternity wards using structured questionnaires. We collected information on staffing levels, obstetric procedures performed, availability of equipment and supplies, referral system and health management information system.
Out of the 25 health facilities, only two met the criteria for comprehensive emergency obstetric care (both located outside the two slums) while the others provided less than basic emergency obstetric care. Lack of obstetric skills, equipment, and supplies hamper many facilities from providing lifesaving emergency obstetric procedures. Accurate estimation of burden of morbidity and mortality was a challenge due to poor and incomplete medical records.
The quality of emergency obstetric care services in Nairobi slums is poor and needs improvement. Specific areas that require attention include supervision, regulation of maternity facilities; and ensuring that basic equipment, supplies, and trained personnel are available in order to handle obstetric complications in both public and private facilities.
PMCID: PMC2662828  PMID: 19284626

Results 1-6 (6)