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author:("hicho, Luis")
1.  Incentivos para atraer y retener personal de salud de zonas rurales del Perú: un estudio cualitativo 
Cadernos de saude publica  2012;28(4):729-739.
El objetivo fue identificar incentivos de atracción y retención en zonas rurales y distantes de Ayacucho, Perú. Fueron realizadas entrevistas en profundidad con 80 médicos, enfermeras, obstetras y técnicos (20 por grupo) de las zonas más pobres y con 11 funcionarios. No existen políticas sistemáticas de atracción y retención de personal de salud en Ayacucho. Los principales incentivos, en orden de importancia, fueron mejoras salariales, oportunidades de formación y capacitación, estabilidad laboral y nombramiento, mejoras en infraestructura y equipos, e incremento del personal. Se mencionaron también mejoras en la vivienda y alimentación, mayor cercanía con la familia y reconocimiento por el sistema de salud. Existen coincidencias y singularidades entre los distintos grupos sobre los incentivos clave para estimular el trabajo rural, que deben considerarse al diseñar políticas públicas. Las iniciativas del Estado deben comprender procesos rigurosos de monitoreo y evaluación, para asegurar que las mismas tengan el impacto deseado.
PMCID: PMC4074081  PMID: 22488318
Health Manpower; Rural Population; Developing Countries; Recursos Humanos en Salud; Población Rural; Países en Desarrollo
2.  Epidemiology of Road Traffic Incidents in Peru 1973–2008: Incidence, Mortality, and Fatality 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99662.
The epidemiological profile and trends of road traffic injuries (RTIs) in Peru have not been well-defined, though this is a necessary step to address this significant public health problem in Peru. The objective of this study was to determine trends of incidence, mortality, and fatality of RTIs in Peru during 1973–2008, as well as their relationship to population trends such as economic growth.
Methods and Findings
Secondary aggregated databases were used to estimate incidence, mortality and fatality rate ratios (IRRs) of RTIs. These estimates were standardized to age groups and sex of the 2008 Peruvian population. Negative binomial regression and cubic spline curves were used for multivariable analysis. During the 35-year period there were 952,668 road traffic victims, injured or killed. The adjusted yearly incidence of RTIs increased by 3.59 (95% CI 2.43–5.31) on average. We did not observe any significant trends in the yearly mortality rate. The total adjusted yearly fatality rate decreased by 0.26 (95% CI 0.15–0.43), while among adults the fatality rate increased by 1.25 (95% CI 1.09–1.43). Models fitted with splines suggest that the incidence follows a bimodal curve and closely followed trends in the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita
The significant increasing incidence of RTIs in Peru affirms their growing threat to public health. A substantial improvement of information systems for RTIs is needed to create a more accurate epidemiologic profile of RTIs in Peru. This approach can be of use in other similar low and middle-income settings to inform about the local challenges posed by RTIs.
PMCID: PMC4057259  PMID: 24927195
3.  Patient perspectives on the promptness and quality of care of road traffic incident victims in Peru: a cross-sectional, active surveillance study 
F1000Research  2013;2:167.
Background: Road injuries are the second-leading cause of disease and injury in the Andean region of South America. Adequate management of road traffic crash victims is important to prevent and reduce deaths and serious long-term injuries.
Objective: To evaluate the promptness of health care services provided to those injured in road traffic incidents (RTIs) and the satisfaction with those services during the pre-hospital and hospital periods.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study with active surveillance to recruit participants in emergency departments at eight health care facilities in three Peruvian cities: a large metropolitan city (Lima) and two provincial cities (an urban center in the southern Andes and an urban center in the rainforest region), between August and September 2009. The main outcomes of interest were promptness of care, measured by time between injury and each service offered, as well as patient satisfaction measured by the Service Quality (SERVQUAL) survey. We explored the association between outcomes and city, type of health care facility (HCF), and type of provider.
Results: We recruited 644 adults seeking care for RTIs. This active surveillance strategy yielded 34% more events than anticipated, suggesting under-reporting in traditional registries. Median response time between a RTI and any care at a HCF was 33 minutes overall and only 62% of participants received professional care during the initial “golden” hour after the RTI. After adjustment for various factors, there was strong evidence of higher global dissatisfaction levels among those receiving care at public HCFs compared to private ones (odds ratio (OR) 5.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.88-13.54). This difference was not observed when provincial sites were compared to Lima (OR 1.41, 95% CI 0.42-4.70).
Conclusions: Response time to RTIs was adequate overall, though a large proportion of RTI victims could have received more prompt care. Overall, dissatisfaction was high, mainly at public institutions indicating much need for improvements in service provision.
PMCID: PMC3814912  PMID: 24358877
4.  Association between Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Control in Peruvian School Children: A Cross-Sectional Study 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:861213.
Background. Asthma and allergic rhinitis are highly prevalent conditions that cause major illness worldwide. This study aimed to assess the association between allergic rhinitis and asthma control in Peruvian school children. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 256 children with asthma recruited in 5 schools from Lima and Callao cities. The outcome was asthma control assessed by the asthma control test. A score test for trend of odds was used to evaluate the association between allergic rhinitis severity and the prevalence of inadequate asthma control. A generalized linear regression model was used to estimate the adjusted prevalence ratios of inadequate asthma control. Results. Allergic rhinitis was present in 66.4% of the population with asthma. The trend analysis showed a positive association between allergic rhinitis and the probability of inadequate asthma control (P < 0.001). It was associated with an increased prevalence of inadequate asthma control, with adjusted prevalence ratios of 1.53 (95% confidence interval: 1.19−1.98). Conclusion. This study indicates that allergic rhinitis is associated with an inadequate level of asthma control, giving support to the recommendation of evaluating rhinitis to improve asthma control in children.
PMCID: PMC3741928  PMID: 23984414
5.  Job Preferences of Nurses and Midwives for Taking Up a Rural Job in Peru: A Discrete Choice Experiment 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50315.
Robust evidence on interventions to improve the shortage of health workers in rural areas is needed. We assessed stated factors that would attract short-term contract nurses and midwives to work in a rural area of Peru.
Methods and Findings
A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted to evaluate the job preferences of nurses and midwives currently working on a short-term contract in the public sector in Ayacucho, Peru. Job attributes, and their levels, were based on literature review, qualitative interviews and focus groups of local health personnel and policy makers. A labelled design with two choices, rural community or Ayacucho city, was used. Job attributes were tailored to these settings. Multiple conditional logistic regressions were used to assess the determinants of job preferences. Then we used the best-fitting estimated model to predict the impact of potential policy incentives on the probability of choosing a rural job or a job in Ayacucho city. We studied 205 nurses and midwives. The odds of choosing an urban post was 14.74 times than that of choosing a rural one. Salary increase, health center-type of facility and scholarship for specialization were preferred attributes for choosing a rural job. Increased number of years before securing a permanent contract acted as a disincentive for both rural and urban jobs. Policy simulations showed that the most effective attraction package to uptake a rural job included a 75% increase in salary plus scholarship for a specialization, which would increase the proportion of health workers taking a rural job from 36.4% up to 60%.
Urban jobs were more strongly preferred than rural ones. However, combined financial and non-financial incentives could almost double rural job uptake by nurses and midwifes. These packages may provide meaningful attraction strategies to rural areas and should be considered by policy makers for implementation.
PMCID: PMC3527463  PMID: 23284636
6.  Stated Preferences of Doctors for Choosing a Job in Rural Areas of Peru: A Discrete Choice Experiment 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50567.
Doctors’ scarcity in rural areas remains a serious problem in Latin America and Peru. Few studies have explored job preferences of doctors working in underserved areas. We aimed to investigate doctors’ stated preferences for rural jobs.
Methods and Findings
A labelled discrete choice experiment (DCE) was performed in Ayacucho, an underserved department of Peru. Preferences were assessed for three locations: rural community, Ayacucho city (Ayacucho’s capital) and other provincial capital city. Policy simulations were run to assess the effect of job attributes on uptake of a rural post. Multiple conditional logistic regressions were used to assess the relative importance of job attributes and of individual characteristics. A total of 102 doctors participated. They were five times more likely to choose a job post in Ayacucho city over a rural community (OR 4.97, 95%CI 1.2; 20.54). Salary increases and bonus points for specialization acted as incentives to choose a rural area, while increase in the number of years needed to get a permanent post acted as a disincentive. Being male and working in a hospital reduced considerably chances of choosing a rural job, while not living with a partner increased them. Policy simulations showed that a package of 75% salary increase, getting a permanent contract after two years in rural settings, and getting bonus points for further specialisation increased rural job uptake from 21% to 77%. A package of 50% salary increase plus bonus points for further specialisation would also increase the rural uptake from 21% to 52%.
Doctors are five times more likely to favour a job in urban areas over rural settings. This strong preference needs to be overcome by future policies aimed at improving the scarcity of rural doctors. Some incentives, alone or combined, seem feasible and sustainable, whilst others may pose a high fiscal burden.
PMCID: PMC3525596  PMID: 23272065
7.  Norovirus prevalence in ‘pathogen negative’ gastroenteritis in children from periurban areas in Lima, Peru 
Norovirus was detected in 17.4% of 224 diarrhoeal samples from children younger than 24 months of age in Lima, in whom all common pathogens had been excluded (pathogen negative). Norovirus was identified more frequently in children older than 12 months of age than in younger children (34% vs 8%, P<0.001). Among norovirus-positive samples, genogroup II was the predominant group (92%). Compared with rotavirus, norovirus episodes tended to be of shorter duration and less severe. The role of norovirus as a cause of diarrhoea and the ascertainment of its severity in developing countries needs further confirmation by future epidemiological studies.
PMCID: PMC3215818  PMID: 21962615
Norovirus; gastroenteritis; viral genogroup; diarrhoea; children; Peru
8.  Evaluation of interventions on road traffic injuries in Peru: a qualitative approach 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:71.
Evaluation of interventions on road traffic injuries (RTI) going beyond the assessment of impact to include factors underlying success or failure is an important complement to standard impact evaluations. We report here how we used a qualitative approach to assess current interventions implemented to reduce RTIs in Peru.
We performed in-depth interviews with policymakers and technical officers involved in the implementation of RTI interventions to get their insight on design, implementation and evaluation aspects. We then conducted a workshop with key stakeholders to analyze the results of in-depth interviews, and to further discuss and identify key programmatic considerations when designing and implementing RTI interventions. We finally performed brainstorming sessions to assess potential system-wide effects of a selected intervention (Zero Tolerance), and to identify adaptation and redesign needs for this intervention.
Key programmatic components were consistently identified that should be considered when designing and implementing RTI interventions. They include effective and sustained political commitment and planning; sufficient and sustained budget allocation; training, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of implemented policies; multisectoral participation; and strong governance and accountability. Brainstorming sessions revealed major negative effects of the selected intervention on various system building blocks.
Our approach revealed substantial caveats in current RTI interventions in Peru, and fundamental negative effects on several components of the sectors and systems involved. It also highlighted programmatic issues that should be applied to guarantee an effective implementation and evaluation of these policies. The findings from this study were discussed with key stakeholders for consideration in further designing and planning RTI control interventions in Peru.
PMCID: PMC3293026  PMID: 22269578
9.  Fecal Leukocytes in Children Infected with Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(4):1376-1381.
The purpose of this study was to determine the presence and quantity of fecal leukocytes in children infected with diarrheagenic Escherichia coli and to compare these levels between diarrhea and control cases. We analyzed 1,474 stool samples from 935 diarrhea episodes and 539 from healthy controls of a cohort study of children younger than 2 years of age in Lima, Peru. Stools were analyzed for common enteric pathogens, and diarrheagenic E. coli isolates were studied by a multiplex real-time PCR. Stool smears were stained with methylene blue and read by a blinded observer to determine the number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes per high-power field (L/hpf). Fecal leukocytes at >10 L/hpf were present in 11.8% (110/935) of all diarrheal episodes versus 1.1% (6/539) in controls (P < 0.001). Among stool samples with diarrheagenic E. coli as the only pathogen isolated (excluding coinfection), fecal leukocytes at >10 L/hpf were present in 8.5% (18/212) of diarrhea versus 1.3% (2/157) of control samples (P < 0.01). Ninety-five percent of 99 diarrheagenic E. coli diarrhea samples were positive for fecal lactoferrin. Adjusting for the presence of blood in stools, age, sex, undernutrition, and breastfeeding, enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) isolation as a single pathogen, excluding coinfections, was highly associated with the presence of fecal leukocytes (>10 L/hpf) with an odds ratio (OR) of 4.1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 to 15.51; P < 0.05). Although diarrheagenic E. coli was isolated with similar frequencies in diarrhea and control samples, clearly it was associated with a more inflammatory response during symptomatic infection; however, in general, these pathogens elicited a mild inflammatory response.
PMCID: PMC3122844  PMID: 21325554
10.  Mortality profiles in a country facing epidemiological transition: An analysis of registered data 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:47.
Sub-national analyses of causes of death and time-trends help to define public health policy priorities. They are particularly important in countries undergoing epidemiological transition like Peru. There are no studies exploring Peruvian national and regional characteristics of such epidemiological transition. We aimed to describe Peru's national and regional mortality profiles between 1996 and 2000.
Registered mortality data for the study period were corrected for under-registration following standardized methods. Main causes of death by age group and by geographical region were determined. Departmental mortality profiles were constructed to evaluate mortality transition, using 1996 data as baseline. Annual cumulative slopes for the period 1996–2000 were estimated for each department and region.
For the study period non-communicable diseases explained more than half of all causes of death, communicable diseases more than one third, and injuries 10.8% of all deaths. Lima accounted for 32% of total population and 20% of total deaths. The Andean region, with 38% of Peru's population, accounted for half of all country deaths. Departmental mortality predominance shifted from communicable diseases in 1996 towards non-communicable diseases and injuries in 2000. Maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies and nutritional anaemia declined markedly in all departments and regions. Infectious diseases decreased in all regions except Lima. In all regions acute respiratory infections are a leading cause of death, but their proportion ranged from 9.3% in Lima and Callao to 15.3% in the Andean region. Tuberculosis and injuries ranked high in Lima and the Andean region.
Peruvian mortality shows a double burden of communicable and non-communicable, with increasing importance of non-communicable diseases and injuries. This challenges national and sub-national health system performance and policy making.
PMCID: PMC2640471  PMID: 19187553
11.  Abnormal energy regulation in early life: childhood gene expression may predict subsequent chronic mountain sickness 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:47.
Life at altitude depends on adaptation to ambient hypoxia. In the Andes, susceptibility to chronic mountain sickness (CMS), a clinical condition that occurs to native highlanders or to sea level natives with prolonged residence at high altitude, remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that hypoxia-associated gene expression in children of men with CMS might identify markers that predict the development of CMS in adults. We assessed distinct patterns of gene expression of hypoxia-responsive genes in children of highland Andean men, with and without CMS.
We compared molecular signatures in children of highland (HA) men with CMS (n = 10), without CMS (n = 10) and in sea level (SL) children (n = 20). Haemoglobin, haematocrit, and oxygen saturation were measured. Gene expression in white cells was assessed at HA and then, in the same subjects, within one hour of arrival at sea level.
HA children showed higher expression levels of genes regulated by HIF (hypoxia inducible factor) and lower levels of those involved in glycolysis and in the tricarboxilic acid (TCA) cycle. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1(PDK1) and HIF prolyl hydroxylase 3 (HPH3) mRNA expressions were lowest in children of CMS fathers at altitude. At sea level the pattern of gene expression in the 3 children's groups was indistinguishable.
The molecular signatures of children of CMS patients show impaired adaptation to hypoxia. At altitude children of CMS fathers had defective coupling between glycolysis and mitochondria TCA cycle, which may be a key mechanism/biomarker for adult CMS. Early biologic markers of disease susceptibility in Andeans might impact health services and social planning.
PMCID: PMC2582028  PMID: 18954447
14.  Adaptation and Mal-Adaptation to Ambient Hypoxia; Andean, Ethiopian and Himalayan Patterns 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(6):e2342.
The study of the biology of evolution has been confined to laboratories and model organisms. However, controlled laboratory conditions are unlikely to model variations in environments that influence selection in wild populations. Thus, the study of “fitness” for survival and the genetics that influence this are best carried out in the field and in matching environments.
Therefore, we studied highland populations in their native environments, to learn how they cope with ambient hypoxia. The Andeans, African highlanders and Himalayans have adapted differently to their hostile environment.
Chronic mountain sickness (CMS), a loss of adaptation to altitude, is common in the Andes, occasionally found in the Himalayas; and absent from the East African altitude plateau.
We compared molecular signatures (distinct patterns of gene expression) of hypoxia-related genes, in white blood cells (WBC) from Andeans with (n = 10), without CMS (n = 10) and sea-level controls from Lima (n = 20) with those obtained from CMS (n = 8) and controls (n = 5) Ladakhi subjects from the Tibetan altitude plateau. We further analyzed the expression of a subset of these genes in Ethiopian highlanders (n = 8). In all subjects, we performed the studies at their native altitude and after they were rendered normoxic.
We identified a gene that predicted CMS in Andeans and Himalayans (PDP2). After achieving normoxia, WBC gene expression still distinguished Andean and Himalayan CMS subjects.
Remarkably, analysis of the small subset of genes (n = 8) studied in all 3 highland populations showed normoxia induced gene expression changes in Andeans, but not in Ethiopians nor Himalayan controls. This is consistent with physiologic studies in which Ethiopians and Himalayans show a lack of responsiveness to hypoxia of the cerebral circulation and of the hypoxic ventilatory drive, and with the absence of CMS on the East African altitude plateau.
PMCID: PMC2396283  PMID: 18523639
15.  National and sub-national under-five mortality profiles in Peru: a basis for informed policy decisions 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:173.
Information on profiles for under-five causes of death is important to guide choice of child-survival interventions. Global level data have been published, but information at country level is scarce. We aimed at defining national and departmental trends and profiles of under-five mortality in Peru from 1996 through 2000.
We used the Ministry of Health registered under-five mortality data. For correction of under-registration, a model life-table that fitted the age distribution of the population and of registered deaths was identified for each year. The mortality rates corresponding to these model life-tables were then assigned to each department in each particular year. Cumulative reduction in under-five mortality rate in the 1996–2000 period was estimated calculating the annual reduction slope for each department. Departmental level mortality profiles were constructed. Differences in mortality profiles and in mortality reduction between coastal, andean and jungle regions were also assessed.
At country level, only 4 causes (pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal diseases and injuries) accounted for 68% of all deaths in 1996, and for 62% in 2000. There was 32.7% of under-five death reduction from 1996 to 2000. Diarrhoea and pneumonia deaths decreased by 84.5% and 41.8%, respectively, mainly in the andean region, whereas deaths due to neonatal causes and injuries decreased by 37.2% and 21.7%. For 1996–2000 period, the andean, coast and jungle regions accounted for 52.4%, 33.1% and 14.4% of deaths, respectively. These regions represent 41.0%, 46.4% and 12.6% of under-five population. Both diarrhoea and pneumonia constitute 30.6% of under-five deaths in the andean region. As a proportion, neonatal deaths remained stable in the country from 1996 to 2000, accounting for about 30% of under-five deaths, whereas injuries and "other" causes, including congenital anomalies, increased by about 5%.
Under-five mortality declined substantially in all departments from 1996 to 2000, which is explained mostly by reduction in diarrhoea and pneumonia deaths, particularly in the andean region. There is the need to emphasize interventions to reduce neonatal deaths and emerging causes of death such as injuries and congenital anomalies.
PMCID: PMC1524945  PMID: 16820049
16.  Accuracy of clinical pallor in the diagnosis of anaemia in children: a meta-analysis 
BMC Pediatrics  2005;5:46.
Anaemia is highly prevalent in children of developing countries. It is associated with impaired physical growth and mental development. Palmar pallor is recommended at primary level for diagnosing it, on the basis of few studies. The objective of the study was to systematically assess the accuracy of clinical signs in the diagnosis of anaemia in children.
A systematic review on the accuracy of clinical signs of anaemia in children. We performed an Internet search in various databases and an additional reference tracking. Studies had to be on performance of clinical signs in the diagnosis of anaemia, using haemoglobin as the gold standard. We calculated pooled diagnostic likelihood ratios (LR's) and odds ratios (DOR's) for each clinical sign at different haemoglobin thresholds.
Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were performed in Africa, in children underfive. Chi-square test for proportions and Cochran Q for DOR's and for LR's showed heterogeneity. Type of observer and haemoglobin technique influenced the results. Pooling was done using the random effects model. Pooled DOR at haemoglobin <11 g/dL was 4.3 (95% CI 2.6–7.2) for palmar pallor, 3.7 (2.3–5.9) for conjunctival pallor, and 3.4 (1.8–6.3) for nailbed pallor. DOR's and LR's were slightly better for nailbed pallor at all other haemoglobin thresholds. The accuracy did not vary substantially after excluding outliers.
This meta-analysis did not document a highly accurate clinical sign of anaemia. In view of poor performance of clinical signs, universal iron supplementation may be an adequate control strategy in high prevalence areas. Further well-designed studies are needed in settings other than Africa. They should assess inter-observer variation, performance of combined clinical signs, phenotypic differences, and different degrees of anaemia.
PMCID: PMC1325025  PMID: 16336667
17.  Audit of therapeutic interventions in inpatient children using two scores: are they evidence-based in developing countries? 
The evidence base of clinical interventions in paediatric hospitals of developing countries has not been formally assessed. We performed this study to determine the proportion of evidence-based therapeutic interventions in a paediatric referral hospital of a developing country
The medical records of 167 patients admitted in one-month period were revised. Primary diagnosis and primary therapeutic interventions were determined for each patient. A systematic search was performed to assess the level of evidence for each intervention. Therapeutic interventions were classified using the Ellis score and the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine Levels of Evidence
Any dehydration due to diarrhoea (59 cases) and pneumonia (42 cases) were the most frequent diagnoses. Based on Ellis score, level I evidence supported the primary therapeutic intervention in 21%, level II in 73% and level III in 6% cases. Using the Oxford classification 16%, 8%, 1% and 75% therapeutic interventions corresponded to grades A, B, C, and D recommendations, respectively. Overall, according to Ellis score, 94% interventions were evidence based. However, out of the total, 75% interventions were based on expert opinion or basic sciences. Most children with mild to moderate dehydration (52 cases) were inappropriately treated with slow intravenous fluids, and most children with non-complicated community acquired pneumonia (42 cases) received intravenous antibiotics
Most interventions were inappropriate, despite the availability of effective therapy for several of them. Diarrhoeal dehydration and community acquired pneumonia were the most common diagnoses and were inappropriately managed. Existing effective interventions for dehydration and pneumonia need to be put into practice at referral hospitals of developing countries. For the remaining problems, there is the need to conduct appropriate clinical studies. Caution must be taken when assigning the level of evidence supporting therapeutic interventions, as commonly used classifications may be misleading
PMCID: PMC544399  PMID: 15625006

Results 1-17 (17)