Little is known about how to tailor implementation of mental health services in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to the diverse settings encountered within and between countries. In this paper we compare the baseline context, challenges and opportunities in districts in five LMICs (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda) participating in the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME). The purpose was to inform development and implementation of a comprehensive district plan to integrate mental health into primary care.
A situation analysis tool was developed for the study, drawing on existing tools and expert consensus. Cross-sectional information obtained was largely in the public domain in all five districts.
The PRIME study districts face substantial contextual and health system challenges many of which are common across sites. Reliable information on existing treatment coverage for mental disorders was unavailable. Particularly in the low-income countries, many health service organisational requirements for mental health care were absent, including specialist mental health professionals to support the service and reliable supplies of medication. Across all sites, community mental health literacy was low and there were no models of multi-sectoral working or collaborations with traditional or religious healers. Nonetheless health system opportunities were apparent. In each district there was potential to apply existing models of care for tuberculosis and HIV or non-communicable disorders, which have established mechanisms for detection of drop-out from care, outreach and adherence support. The extensive networks of community-based health workers and volunteers in most districts provide further opportunities to expand mental health care.
The low level of baseline health system preparedness across sites underlines that interventions at the levels of health care organisation, health facility and community will all be essential for sustainable delivery of quality mental health care integrated into primary care.
Marital circumstances have been indicated to be a salient risk factor for disproportionately high prevalence of depression and anxiety among Pakistani women. Although social support is a known buffer of psychological distress, there is no clear evidence as to how different aspects of marital relations interact and associate with depression and anxiety in the lives of Pakistani married women and the role of social supports in the context of their marriage.
Two hundred seventy seven married women were recruited from Rawalpindi district of Pakistan using a door knocking approach to psychometrically evaluate five scales for use in the Pakistani context. A confirmatory factor analysis approach was used to investigate the underlying factor structure of Couple satisfaction Index (CSI-4), Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test (LWMAT), Relationship Dynamic Scale (RDS), Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The interplay of the constructs underlying the three aspects of marital relations, and the role of social support on the mental health of married Pakistani women were examined using the Structural Equation Model.
The factor structures of MSPSS, CSI-4, LWMAT, RDS and HADS were similar to the findings reported in the developed and developing countries. Perceived higher social support reduces the likelihood of depression and anxiety by enhancing positive relationship as reflected by a low score on the relationship dynamics scale which decreases CMD symptoms. Moreover, perceived higher social support is positively associated with marital adjustment directly and indirectly through relationship dynamics which is associated with the reduced risk of depression through the increased level of reported marital satisfaction. Nuclear family structure, low level of education and higher socio-economic status were significantly associated with increased risk of mental illness among married women.
Findings of this study support the importance of considering elements of marital relationship: satisfaction, adjustment and negative interactions which can be prioritized to increase the efficiency of marital interventions. It also highlights the role of social support in the context of marital relationships among Pakistani women. Furthermore, the study presents the etiological models of depression and anxiety with reference to the above.
Marriage; Mental health; Social support; Scale validation
Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) complex could be possible between farmers and their cattle in Ethiopia.
A study was conducted in mixed type multi-purposes cattle raising region of Ethiopia on 287 households (146 households with case of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and 141 free of TB) and 287 herds consisting of 2,033 cattle belonging to these households to evaluate transmission of TB between cattle and farmers. Interview, bacteriological examinations and molecular typing were used for human subjects while comparative intradermal tuberculin (CIDT) test, post mortem and bacteriological examinations, and molecular typing were used for animal studies. Herd prevalence of CIDT reactors was 9.4% and was higher (p<0.01) in herds owned by households with TB than in herds owned by TB free households. Animal prevalence was 1.8% and also higher (p<0.01) in cattle owned by households with TB case than in those owned by TB free households. All mycobacteria (141) isolated from farmers were M. tuberculosis, while only five of the 16 isolates from cattle were members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTC) while the remaining 11 were members of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM). Further speciation of the five MTC isolates showed that three of the isolates were M. bovis (strain SB1176), while the remaining two were M. tuberculosis strains (SIT149 and SIT53). Pathology scoring method described by “Vordermeier et al. (2002)” was applied and the average severity of pathology in two cattle infected with M. bovis, in 11 infected with NTM and two infected with M. tuberculosis were 5.5, 2.1 and 0.5, respectively.
The results showed that transmission of TB from farmers to cattle by the airborne route sensitizes the cows but rarely leads to TB. Similarly, low transmission of M. bovis between farmers and their cattle was found, suggesting requirement of ingestion of contaminated milk from cows with tuberculous mastitis.
The occurrence of antibiotic resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates is a serious public health problem in different corners of the globe. The objective of this study was to analyze the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of N. gonorrhoeae in Northwest Ethiopia.
This was a retrospective study of N. gonorrhoeae isolated from genital swabs of patients referred to the Amhara Regional Health Research Laboratory between September 2006 and June 2012 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. A structured check list was used to collect socio-demographic and laboratory variables. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 16.
Out of 352 genital specimens processed, 29 clinical strains of N. gonorrhoeae were identified. The percentage of N. gonorrhoeae isolates non-susceptible to ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline and penicillin G was 27.8%, 40.9%, 92.6% and 94.4% respectively. Twenty percent of the isolates were found to be non-susceptible to both ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. Non-susceptibility to an injectable cephalosporin and any two of quinolones, penicillins or tetracyclines was observed in 27.8% of the isolates. The percentage of N. gonorrhoeae which were non-susceptible to tetracycline or penicillin G was high throughout the study period. However, the percentage of fluoroquinolone or cephalosporine non-susceptible strains showed an increasing trend.
A high percentage of N. gonorrhoeae isolated from genital specimens in Northwest Ethiopia are non-susceptible to an injectable cephalosporin and any two of quinolones, penicillins or tetracyclines. Treatment of gonorrhea in the study area needs to be guided by antibiotic susceptibility testing of isolates.
Non-susceptible; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Ethiopia
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the primary public health problems in developing countries. HIV/AIDS, poverty, undernutrition, over-crowded living conditions and lack of knowledge about the disease have been known to increase the risk of spreading the bacteria and the risk of developing the disease. The objective of this study was to assess the level of TB knowledge, attitudes and practices of rural communities of Itang Special District of the Gambella Regional State of Ethiopia.
Between November 2011 and January 2012, a community-based cross sectional study was carried out in a randomly selected rural kebeles (i.e. the smallest administrative units) of Itang communities. The study participants were interviewed using pre-tested questionnaire. The overall knowledge, attitudes and practices of the study participants were assessed using the mean score of each outcome as a cut-off value. Having a score above the mean on each of the three target outcomes was equated with having a good level of knowledge, or having favorable attitude and good practices towards TB.
Out of 422 study participants (58.5% males and 41.5% females) only 3.3% mentioned bacteria/germ as a cause of pulmonary TB (PTB) and 9.9% mentioned cough for at least two weeks as the sign of TB. Taking the mean knowledge score as the cut-off value, 57.6% (95% CI: 52.7% to 62.3%) of the study participants had good level of knowledge about TB, 40.8% (95% CI: 36.0% to 45.6%) had favorable attitude towards TB and 45.9% (95% CI: 41.1% to 50.9%) had good practices. Female participants were less likely to have good level of knowledge [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.33, 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.51, p < 0.001], less likely to have favorable attitude (AOR = 0.23, 95% CI, 0.14 to 0.37) and less likely to have good practices (AOR = 0.37, 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.57, p < 0.001) compared to male participants.
Majority of the study participants had no correct information about the causative agent of TB and the main symptom of PTB. Moreover, low level of overall knowledge, attitudes and practices about TB was associated with female participants. Hence, TB control strategy in the present study area should include community awareness raising component.
Toxoplasmosis is a globally distributed zoonosis. Consumption of raw or undercooked meat, which is among the main risk factors for acquiring human infection, is a popular tradition in Ethiopia. However, studies on toxoplasmosis in food animals used for human consumption in Ethiopia are very scarce. Thus, the objectives of the present study were to estimate the seroprevalence and the risk factors of T. gondii infection in sheep in Ambo, Ada’a-Liben and Fentale districts of Central Ethiopia. Sera from 1130 sheep were analyzed for Toxoplasma gondii specific IgG antibodies using an indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with the P30 antigen. A questionnaire was administered to assess potential risk factors for T. gondii seropositivity. Association of seroprevalence with potential risk factors related to altitude, host and farm characteristics were analyzed by univariable and multivariable logistic regression.
Overall flock and animal level seroprevalences were 70.48% (160/227; 95% CI: 64.51, 76.46) and 31.59% (357/1130; 95% CI: 28.88, 34.31), respectively. The multivariable logistic regression model indicated that the probability of acquiring T. gondii was higher in sheep from highland (2300 – 3200 meters above sea level) [Odds ratio (OR) = 4.11, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.65, 6.36; P < 0.001] and midland (OR = 4.54, 95% CI: 2.76, 7.49; P < 0.001) than from lowland (<1500 meters above sea level), in females than in males (OR = 1.60, 95% CI: 1.04, 2.43, P = 0.033), in adult than in young animals (OR = 2.93, 95% CI: 1.97, 4.35, P < 0.001), in small than in large flocks (OR = 3.34, 95% CI: 1.26, 8.86, P = 0.016), and in sheep that were given tap water (OR = 4.07, 95% CI: 1.07, 15.42, P = 0.039) and river water (OR = 4.18, 95% CI: 1.54, 11.35, P = 0.005) than in those that drunk water from mixed sources (i.e., river, well, lake and pond).
The high flock and animal level seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in sheep is a good marker of the potential risk for human infections. Altitude, sex, age, flock size and source of water were identified as important risk factors to acquire the infection. Public education and awareness training are imperative in order to alleviate the danger posed to consumers. Further detailed studies to assess the impact of infections are warranted.
Toxoplasma gondii; Sheep; Central Ethiopia; ELISA; Seroprevalence
Toxoplasma gondii infections during pregnancy can result in abortion or congenital defects. Prevalence and risk factors of toxoplasmosis in women of child-bearing age in Ethiopia are unknown. The current study was conducted with the objectives of estimating the seroprevalence and potential risk factors in acquiring T. gondii infection by women of child-bearing age in Central Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from March 2011 to September 2011. Sera of 425 women were analyzed by indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A questionnaire survey was administered for all study participants to gather information on risk factors.
The study revealed that anti- T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected in 81.4% of the samples of which 78.4% were positive for only IgG and 3.06% positive for both IgG and IgM antibodies. Seroprevalence of IgM antibodies to T. gondii (4.0%, 95% CI: 2.14, 5.86) was suggestive of recent infections. Of the 213 pregnant women 9 (4.2 %) were IgM reactive. Out of 17 potential risk factors investigated, univariate logistic regression showed significant association of T. gondii infection with study area, age, pregnancy status, raw vegetable consumption, source of water, presence of cats at home, contact with cats, HIV status and precaution during cats’ feces cleaning (P ≤ 0.05). The final logistic regression model revealed that: the probability of acquiring T. gondii infection by women of Debre-Zeit was 4.46 times (95% CI of adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.67, 11.89; P =0.003) higher compared to women of Ambo, pregnant women were twice (95% CI aOR: 1.13, 3.59; P = 0.018) more likely to be seropositive than non-pregnant women and women who consume raw vegetable were at increased risk of infection (aOR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.03, 4.78; P = 0.043) than women who didn’t consume.
The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in women of child-bearing age in Central Ethiopia is high. Study area, pregnancy and raw vegetable consumption are risk factors to acquire T. gondii infection. Educational program, antenatal screening of pregnant women and further epidemiological studies to uncover the economic and health impact of toxoplasmosis are suggested.
Toxoplasma gondii; Seroprevalence; Cross-sectional; Risk factors; Central Ethiopia; ELISA
The effects of helminth co-infection on malaria in humans remain uncertain. This study aimed to evaluate the nature of association of intestinal helminths with prevalence and clinical outcomes of Plasmodium infection.
A cross-sectional study involving 1,065 malaria suspected febrile patients was conducted at Dore Bafeno Health Center, Southern Ethiopia, from December 2010 to February 2011. Plasmodium and intestinal helminth infections were diagnosed using Giemsa-stained blood films and Kato-Katz technique, respectively. Haemoglobin level was determined using a haemocue machine.
Among 1,065 malaria suspected febrile patients, 28.8% were positive for Plasmodium parasites (P. falciparum =13.0%, P. vivax =14.5%, P. falciparum and P. vivax =1.3%). Among 702 patients who provided stool samples, 53.8%, 31.6% and 19.4% were infected with intestinal helminths, Plasmodium alone and with both Plasmodium and intestinal helminths, respectively. The prevalence of infections with Ascaris lumbricoides (A. lumbricoides), Trichuris trichiura (T. trichiura), Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) and hookworm (9.8%) were 35.9%, 15.8%, 11.7% and 9.8%, respectively. Out of the 222 (31.6%) Plasmodium infected cases, 9 (4.1%) had severe malaria. P. falciparum infection was more common in febrile patients infected with A. lumbricoides alone (21.3%), T. trichiura alone (23.1%) and S. mansoni alone (23.1%) compared to those without intestinal helminth infections (9.3%) (p<0.001 for all). Prevalence of non-severe malaria was significantly higher in individuals infected with intestinal helminths than in those who were not infected with intestinal helminths (adjusted OR=1.58, 95% CI=1.13-2.22). The chance of developing non-severe P. falciparum malaria were 2.6, 2.8 and 3.3 times higher in individuals infected with A. lumbricoides alone, T. trichiura alone and S. mansoni alone, respectively, compared to intestinal helminth-free individuals (p<0.05 for all). The odds ratio for being infected with non-severe P. falciparum increased with the number of intestinal helminth species (p<0.001). Mean Plasmodium density among intestinal helminth infected individuals was significantly increased with the number of intestinal helminths species (p=0.027). Individuals who were co-infected with different species of intestinal helminths and Plasmodium showed lower mean haemoglobin concentration than individuals who were infected only with Plasmodium.
Infections with A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura and S. mansoni were positively associated with P. falciparum infection. However, further studies are required to investigate how these helminths could contribute to increased prevalence of P. falciparum infection.
Non-severe malaria; Association; Intestinal helminths; Plasmodium; Co-infections; Ethiopia
One third of the world’s population is thought to have latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) with the potential for subsequent reactivation of disease. To better characterize this important population, studies comparing Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) and the new interferon-γ release assays including QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) have been conducted in different parts of the world, but most of these have been in countries with a low incidence of tuberculosis (TB). The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the use of QFT-GIT assay as compared with TST in the diagnosis of LTBI in Ethiopia, a country with a high burden of TB and routine BCG vaccination at birth.
Healthy medical and paramedical male students at the Faculty of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia were enrolled into the study from December 2008 to February 2009. The TST and QFTG-IT assay were performed using standard methods.
The mean age of the study participants was 20.9 years. From a total of 107 study participants, 46.7% (95%CI: 37.0% to 56.6%) had a positive TST result (TST≥10 mm), 43.9% (95%CI: 34.3% to 53.9%) had a positive QFT-GIT assay result and 44.9% (95%CI: 35.2% to 54.8%) had BCG scar. There was strong agreement between TST (TST ≥10mm) and QFT-GIT assay (Kappa = 0.83, p value = 0.000).
The TST and QFT-GIT assay show similar efficacy for the diagnosis of LTBI in healthy young adults residing in Ethiopia, a country with high TB incidence.
Tuberculosis; Latent; BCG; Tuberculin skin test; Interferon-γ release assay; Ethiopia
A cross sectional study was conducted on 2231 small ruminants in four districts of the Afar Pastoral Region of Ethiopia to investigate the
epidemiology of tuberculosis in goats and sheep using comparative intradermal tuberculin skin test, postmortem examination, mycobacteriological culture and molecular typing methods. The overall animal prevalence of TB in small ruminants was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.2%–0.7%) at ≥4 mm and 3.8% (95% CI: 3%–4.7%) at cutoff ≥2 mm. The herd prevalence was 20% (95% CI: 12–28%) and 47% (95% CI: 37–56%) at ≥4 mm and ≥2 mm cut-off points, respectively. The overall animal prevalence of Mycobacterium avium complex infection was 2.8% (95% CI: 2.1–3.5%) and 6.8% (95% CI: 5.8–7.9%) at ≥4 mm and ≥2 mm cut-off points, respectively. Mycobacteriological culture and molecular characterization of isolates from tissue lesions of tuberculin reactor goats resulted in isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (SIT149) and non-tuberculosis mycobacteria as causative agents of tuberculosis and tuberculosis-like diseases in goats, respectively. The isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in goat suggests a potential transmission of the causative agent from human and warrants further investigation in the role of small ruminants in epidemiology of human tuberculosis in the region.
Little is known of the relationship between perinatal somatic and common mental disorder (CMD) symptoms and impaired functioning in women from settings where the burden of undernutrition and infectious disease morbidity is high.
A population-based sample of 1065 women from Butajira, Ethiopia, was recruited in pregnancy (86.4% of those eligible) and reassessed two months postnatal (954 with singleton, live infants). At both time-points, women were administered a modified version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 and the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (locally-validated) to assess somatic and CMD symptoms, respectively. Negative binomial regression was used to investigate associations of CMD and somatic symptoms with functional impairment (World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Scale, version-II), after adjusting for maternal anthropometric measures, physical ill-health and sociodemographic factors.
In pregnancy, somatic and CMD symptoms were independently associated with worse maternal functional impairment after adjustment for confounders (WHODAS-II score multiplied by 1.09 (95%CI 1.06, 1.13) and 1.11 (95%CI 1.08, 1.14) respectively for each additional symptom). In the postnatal period, the size of association between somatic symptoms and functional impairment was diminished, but the association with CMD symptoms was virtually unchanged (multiplier value 1.04 (95%CI 1.00, 1.09) and 1.11 (95%CI 1.07, 1.16) respectively).
Use of largely self-report measures.
Somatic and CMD symptoms were independently associated with functional impairment in both pregnancy and the postnatal period, with CMD symptoms showing a stronger and more consistent association. This emphasises the public health relevance of both CMD and somatic symptoms in the perinatal period.
Sub-Saharan Africa; Pregnancy; Postnatal; Somatic symptoms; Depression; Disability
Schizophrenia is associated with a two to three fold excess mortality. Both natural and unnatural causes were reported. However, there is dearth of evidence from low and middle income (LAMIC) countries, particularly in Africa. To our knowledge this is the first community based report from Africa.
We followed a cohort of 307 (82.1% males) patients with schizophrenia for five years in Butajira, rural Ethiopia. Mortality was recorded using broad rating schedule as well as verbal autopsy. Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) was calculated using the mortality in the demographic and surveillance site as a reference.
Thirty eight (12.4%) patients, 34 men (11.1%) and 4 women (1.3%), died during the five-year follow up period. The mean age (SD) of the deceased for both sexes was 35 (7.35). The difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.69). It was 35.3 (7.4) for men and 32.3 (6.8) for women. The most common cause of death was infection, 18/38 (47.4%) followed by severe malnutrition, 5/38 (13.2%) and suicide 4/38 (10.5%). The overall SMR was 5.98 (95% CI = 4.09 to7.87). Rural residents had lower mortality with adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.30 (95% CI = 0.12-0.69) but insidious onset and antipsychotic treatment for less than 50% of the follow up period were associated with higher mortality, adjusted HR 2.37 (95% CI = 1.04-5. 41) and 2.66(1.054-6.72) respectively.
The alarmingly high mortality observed in this patient population is of major concern. Most patients died from potentially treatable conditions. Improving medical and psychiatric care as well as provision of basic needs is recommended.
In Pakistan, preference for boys over girls is deeply culturally embedded. From birth, many women experience gendered disadvantages; less access to scarce resources, poorer health care, higher child mortality, limited education, less employment outside of the home and circumscribed autonomy. The prevalence of psychological morbidity is exceptionally high among women. We hypothesise that, among women of childbearing age, gender disadvantage is an independent risk factor for psychological morbidity
A cross-sectional catchment area survey of 525 women aged 18 to 35 years living in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The effect of gender disadvantage was assessed as a latent variable using structural equation modelling. Indicators were parental gender preference, low parental care, parental overprotection, limited education, early age at marriage, marital dissatisfaction and low autonomy. Psychological morbidity was assessed using the 20 item Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ).
Gender disadvantage was independently predictive of psychological morbidity. Among married women, socio-economic status did not predict psychological morbidity, and the effect of education was mediated through gender disadvantage rather than socioeconomic status (SES). The women's own preference for a male child was strongly predicted by their perceptions of having been disadvantaged by their gender in their families of origin.
The high prevalence of psychological morbidity among women in Pakistan is concerning given recently reported strong associations with low birth weight and infant stunting. Social action, public policies and legislation are indicated to reduce culturally embedded preferences. Neglect of these fundamentals will entrench consequent inequities including gender bias in access to education, a key millennium development goal.
The hypothesis that paracetamol might increase the risk of asthma and other allergic diseases have gained support from a range of independent studies. However, in studies based in developed countries, the possibility that paracetamol and asthma are associated through aspirin avoidance is difficult to exclude.
To explore this hypothesis among women in a developing country, where we have previously reported aspirin avoidance to be rare.
In 2005/6 a population based cohort of 1065 pregnant women was established in Butajira, Ethiopia and baseline demographic data collected. At 3 years post birth, an interview-based questionnaire administered to 945 (94%) of these women collected data on asthma, eczema, and hay fever in the past 12 month, frequency of paracetamol use and potential confounders. Allergen skin tests to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and cockroach were also performed. The independent effects of paracetamol use on allergic outcomes were determined using multiple logistic regression analysis.
The prevalence of asthma, eczema and hay fever was 1.7%, 0.9% and 3.8% respectively; of any one of these conditions 5.5%, and of allergen sensitization 7.8%. Paracetamol use in the past month was reported by 29%, and associations of borderline significance were seen for eczema (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 8.51 (1.68 to 43.19) for 1–3 tablets and 2.19 (0.36 to 13.38) for ≥4 tablets, compared to no tablets in the past month; overall p = 0.055) and for ‘any allergic condition’ (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 2.73 (1.22 to 6.11) for 1–3 tablets and 1.35 (0.67 to 2.70) for ≥4 tablets compared to 0 in the past month; overall p = 0.071).
This study provides further cross-sectional evidence that paracetamol use increases the risk of allergic disease.
Rationale: Acetaminophen has been hypothesized to increase the risk of asthma and allergic disease, and geohelminth infection to reduce the risk, but evidence from longitudinal cohort studies is lacking.
Objectives: To investigate the independent effects of these exposures on the incidence of wheeze and eczema in a birth cohort.
Methods: In 2005–2006 a population-based cohort of 1,065 pregnant women from Butajira, Ethiopia, was established, to whom 1,006 live singleton babies were born. At ages 1 and 3, questionnaire data were collected on wheeze, eczema, child's use of acetaminophen, and various potential confounders, along with a stool sample for geohelminth analysis. Those without wheeze (n = 756) or eczema (n = 780) at age 1 were analyzed to determine the independent effects of geohelminth infection and acetaminophen use in the first year of life on the incidence of wheeze and eczema by age 3.
Measurements and Main Results: Wheeze and eczema incidence between the ages of 1 and 3 were reported in 7.7% (58 of 756) and 7.3% (57 of 780) of children, respectively. Acetaminophen use was significantly associated with a dose-dependent increased risk of incident wheeze (adjusted odds ratio = 1.88 and 95% confidence interval 1.03–3.44 for one to three tablets and 7.25 and 2.02–25.95 for ≥4 tablets in the past month at age 1 vs. never), but not eczema. Geohelminth infection was insufficiently prevalent (<4%) to compute estimates of effect.
Conclusions: These findings suggest frequent acetaminophen use early in life increases the risk of new-onset wheeze, whereas the role of geohelminth infection on allergic disease incidence remains to be seen as the cohort matures.
acetaminophen; parasite; asthma; wheeze; eczema
Various infectious agents, such as Toxoplasma gondii, have been hypothesized to be potentially relevant etiological factors in the onset of some cases of schizophrenia. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial in an attempt to explore the hypothesis that the symptoms of schizophrenia may be related to infection of the central nervous system with toxoplasma gondii. Systematically selected patients with ongoing and at least moderately severe schizophrenia from Butajira, in rural Ethiopia, were randomly allocated to trimethoprim or placebo, which were added on to participants' regular antipsychotic treatments. Trial treatments were given for 6 months. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used to assess outcome. Ninety-one patients were included in the study, with 80 cases (87.9%) positive for T. gondii immunoglobulin G antibody. Seventy-nine subjects (87.0%) completed the trial. The mean age of subjects was 35.3 (SD = 8.0) years, with a mean duration of illness of 13.2 (SD = 6.7) years. Both treatment groups showed significant reduction in the overall PANSS score with no significant between-group difference. In this sample of patients with chronic schizophrenia, trimethoprim used as adjuvant treatment is not superior to placebo. However, it is not possible to draw firm conclusion regarding the etiological role of toxoplasmosis on schizophrenia based on this study because the timing and the postulated mechanisms through which toxoplasmosis produces schizophrenia are variable.
schizophrenia; infectious etiology; Toxoplasma gondii; randomized controlled trial; Ethiopia
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of mortality among infectious diseases worldwide. Ninty five percent of TB cases and 98% of deaths due to TB occur in developing countries. Globally, the mortality rate has declined with the introduction of effective anti TB chemotherapy. Nevertheless, some patients with active TB still die while on treatment for their disease. In Ethiopia, little is known on survival and risk factors for mortality among a cohort of TB patients. The objective of the study is to determine the magnitude and identify risk factors associated with time to death among TB patients treated under DOTS programme in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This is a retrospective cohort study. Data was obtained by assessing medical records of TB patients registered from June 2004 to July 2009 G.C and treated under the DOTS strategy in three randomly selected health centers. A step-wise multivariable Cox's regression model and Kaplan- Meier curves were used to model the outcome of interest. Mortality was used as an outcome measure. Person-years of observation (PYO) were calculated from the date of starting anti-TB treatment to date of outcome and was calculated as the number of deaths/100 PYO. Statistical analysis SPSS version 16 was used for data analysis and results were reported significant whenever P-value was less than 5%.
From a total of 6,450 registered TB patients 236(3.7%) were died. More than 75% death occurred within eight month of treatment initiation. The mean and median times of survival starting from the date of treatment initiation were 7.2 and 7.9 months, respectively. Comparison of survival curves using Kaplan Meier curves method with log-rank test showed that the survival status was significantly different between patient categories as well as across treatment centers (P < 0.05). The death rate of pulmonary positive, pulmonary negative and extra pulmonary TB patients were 2.7%, 3.6%, and 4.3%, respectively. Body weight at initiation of anti-TB treatment (<35 kg), patient category, year of enrollment and treatment center were independent predictors for time to death.
Most of the patients were died at the end of treatment period. This underlines the need for devising a mechanism of standardizing the existing DOTS programme and nutritional support for underweight patients for better clinical and treatment outcome.
Mortality; cohort; tuberculosis; DOTS; Ethiopia
There is little information concerning community-based prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) using T-cell based interferon-γ (IFN-γ) release assays (IGRAs), particularly in TB endemic settings. In this study, the prevalence of LTBI in the Afar pastoral community was assessed using QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFTGIT) and tuberculin skin tests (TST).
A community-based cross-sectional survey of LTBI involving 652 apparently healthy adult pastoralists was undertaken in the pastoral community of Amibara District of the Afar Region between April and June 2010.
The prevalence of LTBI was estimated as 63.7% (363/570) using QFTGIT at the cut-off point recommended by the manufacturer (≥ 0.35 IU/ml IFN-γ), while it was 74.9% (427/570) using a cut-off point ≥ 0.1 IU/ml IFN-γ. The QFTGIT-based prevalence of LTBI was not significantly associated with the gender or age of the study participants. However, the prevalence of LTBI was 31.2% (183/587) using TST at a cut-off point ≥ 10 mm of skin indurations, and it was higher in males than females (36.8% vs. 23.5%, X2 = 11.76; p < 0.001). There was poor agreement between the results of the tests (k = 0.098, 95% CI, 0.08 - 0.13). However, there was a positive trend between QFTGIT and TST positivity (X2 = 96.76, P < 0.001). Furthermore, individuals with skin indurations ≥ 10 mm were 13.6 times more likely to have positive results using QFTGIT than individuals with skin indurations of 0 mm (adjusted OR = 13.6; 95%CI, 7.5 to 24.7, p < 0.001).
There is currently no agreed gold standard for diagnosis of LTBI. However, the higher prevalence of LTBI detected using QFTGIT rather than TST suggests that QFTGIT could be used for epidemiological studies concerning LTBI at the community level, even in a population unreactive to TST. Further studies of adults and children will be required to assess the effects of factors such as malnutrition, non-tuberculosis mycobacterial infections, HIV and parasitic infections on the performance of QFTGIT.
Infection with Mycobacterium bovis (Mb) predominantly causes cervical TB lymphadenitis (TBL). Raw milk is considered the main source of Mb infection and raw milk is a major food source for Afar pastoralists. The aim of this study was to assess Afar pastoralists' knowledge concerning cervical TBL and its treatment.
A community-based cross-sectional survey involving 818 interviewees was conducted in two districts of the Afar Region, Ethiopia. In addition, two focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in each of the study areas, one with men and the other with women.
Of the 818 interviewees [357 (43.6%) females and 461 (56.4%) males], 742 (90.7%) reported that they had knowledge of cervical TBL, mentioning that swelling(s) on the neck resulting in a lesion and scar are common symptoms. However, only 11 (1.5%) individuals mentioned that bacteria or germs are the causative agents of TBL. Three interviewees and a male discussant mentioned drinking raw milk as the cause of TBL. A considerable proportion (34.2%) of the interviewees and almost all the discussants suggested herbal medicine as an effective treatment. Male study participants were 1.82 times more likely to have overall knowledge of TBL than female study participants (adjusted OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.32 to 2.51, p < 0.001).
The pastoral community members in the study areas had little biomedical knowledge of the cause, the source of infection and the transmission route of cervical TBL. Furthermore, most community members believed that herbal medicines are the most effective treatment for TBL. Therefore, TB control programs in the Afar Region require the incorporation of public health education introducing current biomedical knowledge of the disease. In addition, further studies are important to elucidate which medicinal plants are used by Afar pastoralists to treat TBL.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is significant health problem, as it can lead to chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatic carcinoma. Due to shared routes of transmission, HBV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection is common and is an emerging concern in the clinical management of patients because of increased mortality, accelerated hepatic disease progression, and the frequent hepatotoxicity caused by anti-retroviral therapy. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and its risk factors, among individuals visiting Shashemene General Hospital VCT center.
Institution based cross-sectional study was performed from November 3, 2008 to December 29, 2008 and 384 voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) clients were investigated. Data on socio demographic and HBV risk factors was collected using structured questionnaires. Blood samples were collected and screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HIV by commercially available rapid test kits. The prevalence of HBsAg in this study group was 5.7%. Fourteen percent of HIV positive subjects (8/57) and 4.3% (14/327) of HIV negative subjects were positive for HBsAg. Significantly high prevalence of HBsAg was observed among individuals who had history of invasive procedures, like tooth extraction, abortion and ear piercing; history of hospital admission, history of unsafe inject and HIV positives.
Although HBsAg prevalence is much higher among subjects who are HIV positive (14.0% versus 4.3%), the prevalence of HBsAg in HIV negative subjects is high enough to warrant a recommendation to screen all clients at VCT centers irrespective of HIV status.
A cross sectional study was conducted on 906 apparently healthy camels slaughtered at Akaki and Metehara abattoirs to investigate the pathology of camel tuberculosis (TB) and characterize its causative agents using postmortem examination, mycobacteriological culturing, and multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), region of difference-4 (RD4)-based PCR and spoligotyping. The prevalence of camel TB was 10.04% (91/906) on the basis of pathology and it was significantly higher in females (χ2 = 4.789; P = 0.029). The tropism of TB lesions was significantly different among the lymph nodes (χ2 = 22.697; P = 0.002) and lung lobes (χ2 = 17.901; P = 0.006). Mycobacterial growth was observed in 34% (31/91) of camels with grossly suspicious TB lesions. Upon further molecular characterization using multiplex PCR, 68% (21/31) of the colonies showed a positive signal for the genus Mycobacterium, of which two were confirmed Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) by RD4 deletion typing. Further characterization of the two M. bovis at strains level revealed that one of the strains was SB0133 while the other strain was new and had not been reported to the M. bovis database prior to this study. Hence, it has now been reported to the database, and designated as SB1953. In conclusion, the results of the present study have shown that the majority of camel TB lesions are caused by mycobacteria other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. And hence further identification and characterization of these species would be useful towards the efforts made to control TB in camels.
Currently, T-cell based gamma interferon (IFNγ) release assays (IGRAs) are acknowledged as the best methods available for the screening of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and also as aid for the diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB). To our information, the performance of these diagnostic tests has not been evaluated in Ethiopia. Therefore, the intent of this study was to evaluate the performance of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFTGIT) in patients clinically suspected of active pulmonary TB (PTB) as well as in healthy subjects prior to its utilization for the epidemiological study of active TB and LTBI in Afar pastoralists.
The sensitivity of QFTGIT was evaluated in 140 subjects who were clinically suspected of PTB using the cut-off value recommended by the manufacturer (≥ 0.35 IU/ml) and disease-specific cut-off value. Sputum culture result was used as a gold standard. The specificity of the test was evaluated both in patients and in 55 tuberculin skin test (TST) negative healthy subjects.
Out of the 140 study participants, 37 (26.4%) were positive for active PTB by culture. Out of the 37 subjects who had positive results by culture, 6 individuals were HIV-seropositive. Out of the 103 subjects who were negative by culture, 6 subjects had indeterminate results and 21 were HIV-seropositive. The performance of the test was assessed using data from 107 (31 culture positive and 76 culture negative) individuals who were clinically suspected of PTB and HIV-seronegatives. Using the manufacturer recommended cut-off value, the sensitivity of the test was 64.5% (20/31), while its specificity was 36.8% (28/76). The sensitivity of the test was increased to 77.4%, while the specificity was reduced to 23.7% using a cut-off value ≥ 0.1 IU/ml of IFNγ as disease-specific cut-off value. In TST negative healthy subjects, the specificity of the test was 58.2%.
Our findings revealed a low sensitivity of QFTGIT in the diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection in the present study area using the cut-off value recommended by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, the sensitivity increased from 64.5% to 77.4% by lowering the cut-off value recommended by the manufacturer to ≥ 0.1 IU/ml of IFNγ level. Hence, it is of practical importance to evaluate the performance of QFTGIT in population under different settings prior to its application either for the diagnosis of active TB or LTBI.
Traditional perinatal practices may protect against postnatal common mental
disorders (CMD) in non-Western societies.
To evaluate the association between perinatal practices and postnatal CMD
in rural Ethiopia.
A population-based sample of 1065 women was followed up from pregnancy
until 2 months postpartum. Qualitative investigation informed the development
of scales measuring attitudes towards and adherence to perinatal practices.
Postnatal CMD was measured using the Self-Reporting Questionnaire.
Endorsement of sociocultural perinatal practices was associated with lower
odds of antenatal CMD persisting into the postnatal period (adjusted odds
ratio (OR) = 0.66, 95% CI 0.45–0.95). Women who endorsed protective and
celebratory perinatal practices but were unable to complete them had increased
odds of incident (adjusted OR = 7.26, 95% CI 1.38–38.04) and persistent
postnatal CMD (adjusted OR = 2.16, 95% CI 1.11–4.23) respectively.
There is evidence for an independent role of sociocultural practices in
maintaining perinatal mental health in this Ethiopian community.
Chronicity and severity of early exposure to maternal common mental disorders (CMD) has been associated with poorer infant development in high-income countries. In low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs), perinatal CMD is inconsistently associated with infant development, but the impact of severity and persistence has not been examined.
A nested population-based cohort of 258 pregnant women was identified from the Perinatal Maternal Mental Disorder in Ethiopia (P-MaMiE) study, and 194 (75.2%) were successfully followed up until the infants were 12 months of age. Maternal CMD was measured in pregnancy and at two and 12 months postnatal using the WHO Self-Reporting Questionnaire, validated for use in this setting. Infant outcomes were evaluated using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
Antenatal maternal CMD symptoms were associated with poorer infant motor development (β^ -0.20; 95% CI: -0.37 to -0.03), but this became non-significant after adjusting for confounders. Postnatal CMD symptoms were not associated with any domain of infant development. There was evidence of a dose-response relationship between the number of time-points at which the mother had high levels of CMD symptoms (SRQ ≥ 6) and impaired infant motor development (β^ = -0.80; 95%CI -2.24, 0.65 for ante- or postnatal CMD only, β^ = -4.19; 95%CI -8.60, 0.21 for ante- and postnatal CMD, compared to no CMD; test-for-trend χ213.08(1), p < 0.001). Although this association became non-significant in the fully adjusted model, the β^ coefficients were unchanged indicating that the relationship was not confounded. In multivariable analyses, lower socio-economic status and lower infant weight-for-age were associated with significantly lower scores on both motor and cognitive developmental scales. Maternal experience of physical violence was significantly associated with impaired cognitive development.
The study supports the hypothesis that it is the accumulation of risk exposures across time rather than early exposure to maternal CMD per se that is more likely to affect child development. Further investigation of the impact of chronicity of maternal CMD upon child development in LAMICs is indicated. In the Ethiopian setting, poverty, interpersonal violence and infant undernutrition should be targets for interventions to reduce the loss of child developmental potential.
(1) To investigate the impact of perinatal common mental disorders (CMD) in Ethiopia on the risk of key illnesses of early infancy: diarrhoea, fever and acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) and (2) to explore the potential mediating role of maternal health behaviours.
Population-based cohort study.
Demographic surveillance site in a predominantly rural area of Ethiopia.
1065 women (86.3% of eligible) in the third trimester of pregnancy were recruited and 954 (98.6%) of surviving, singleton mother–infant pairs were followed up until 2 months after birth.
Main exposure measure
High levels of CMD symptoms, as measured by the locally validated Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20 ≥6), in pregnancy only, postnatally only and at both time-points (‘persistent’).
Main outcome measures
Maternal report of infant illness episodes in first 2 months of life.
The percentages of infants reported to have experienced diarrhoea, ARI and fever were 26.0%, 25.0% and 35.1%, respectively. Persistent perinatal CMD symptoms were associated with 2.15 times (95% CI 1.39 to 3.34) increased risk of infant diarrhoea in a fully adjusted model. The strength of association was not affected by including potential mediators: breast feeding practices, hygiene, the infant's vaccination status or impaired maternal functioning. Persistent perinatal CMD was not associated with infant ARI or fever after adjusting for confounders.
Persistent perinatal CMD was associated with infant diarrhoea in this low-income country setting. The observed relationship was independent of maternal health-promoting practices. Future research should further explore the mechanisms underlying the observed association to inform intervention strategies.