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1.  Growth effects of exclusive breastfeeding promotion by peer counsellors in sub-Saharan Africa: the cluster-randomised PROMISE EBF trial 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:633.
Background
In this multi-country cluster-randomized behavioural intervention trial promoting exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in Africa, we compared growth of infants up to 6 months of age living in communities where peer counsellors promoted EBF with growth in those infants living in control communities.
Methods
A total of 82 clusters in Burkina Faso, Uganda and South Africa were randomised to either the intervention or the control arm. Feeding data and anthropometric measurements were collected at visits scheduled 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks post-partum. We calculated weight-for-length (WLZ), length-for-age (LAZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) z-scores. Country specific adjusted Least Squares Means with 95% confidence intervals (CI) based on a longitudinal analysis are reported. Prevalence ratios (PR) for the association between peer counselling for EBF and wasting (WLZ < −2), stunting (LAZ < −2) and underweight (WAZ < −2) were calculated at each data collection point.
Results
The study included a total of 2,579 children. Adjusting for socio-economic status, the mean WLZ at 24 weeks were in Burkina Faso −0.20 (95% CI −0.39 to −0.01) and in Uganda −0.23 (95% CI −0.43 to −0.03) lower in the intervention than in the control arm. In South Africa the mean WLZ at 24 weeks was 0.23 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.43) greater in the intervention than in the control arm. Differences in LAZ between the study arms were small and not statistically significant. In Uganda, infants in the intervention arm were more likely to be wasted compared to those in the control arm at 24 weeks (PR 2.36; 95% CI 1.11 to 5.00). Differences in wasting in South Africa and Burkina Faso and stunting and underweight in all three countries were small and not significantly different.
Conclusions
There were small differences in mean anthropometric indicators between the intervention and control arms in the study, but in Uganda and Burkina Faso, a tendency to slightly lower ponderal growth (weight-for-length z-scores) was found in the intervention arms.
Trial registration number
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00397150
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-633
PMCID: PMC4082276  PMID: 24950759
Exclusive breastfeeding promotion; Peer counselling; Child growth; Anthropometry; Stunting; Wasting; Underweight; Undernutrition; Community randomised trial
2.  Physical activity, aerobic fitness and parental socio-economic position among adolescents: the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents 2003–2006 (KiGGS) 
Background
The positive association between parental socio-economic position (PSEP) and health among adolescents may be partly explained by physical activity behaviour. We investigated the associations between physical activity, aerobic fitness and PSEP in a population based sample of German adolescents.
Methods
5,251 participants, aged 11–17 years, in the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents 2003–2006 (KiGGS) underwent a sub-maximal cycle ergometer test and completed a questionnaire obtaining information on physical activity and media use. The associations between physical activity, media use, aerobic fitness and PSEP were analysed with multivariate logistic regression models for boys and girls separately. Odds ratios (ORs) of PSEP (education, occupation and income) on the outcomes were calculated adjusted for age, region, and other influencing factors.
Results
Parental education was more strongly associated with the outcome variables than parental occupation and income. After adjusting for age and region, a higher parental education level was associated with better aerobic fitness – with an OR of 1.5 (95% CI 1.2-1.9) for girls whose parents had secondary education and 1.9 (1.4-2.5) for girls whose parents had tertiary education compared to girls whose parents had primary education. The corresponding ORs for boys were 1.3 (1.0-1.6) and 1.6 (1.2-2.1), respectively. Higher parental education level was associated with lower media use: an OR of 2.1 (1.5-3.0) for girls whose parents had secondary education and 2.7 (1.8-4.1) for girls whose parents had primary education compared to girls whose parents had tertiary education. The corresponding ORs for boys were 1.5 (1.2-1.9) and 1.9 (1.5-2.5), respectively. Higher parental education level was associated with a higher physical activity level only among girls: an OR of 1.3 (1.0-1.6) for girls whose parents had secondary education and 1.2 (0.9-1.5) for girls whose parents had tertiary education compared to girls whose parents had primary education. The corresponding ORs for boys were 0.9 (0.8-1.2) and 0.8 (0.6-1.0), respectively.
Conclusions
Adolescents of parents with low SEP showed a lower level of aerobic fitness and higher levels of media use than adolescents of parents with higher SEP. Health-promotion interventions need to reach adolescents of parents with low PSEP and stimulate physical activity.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-11-43
PMCID: PMC3997963  PMID: 24656205
Socio-economic position; Physical activity; Aerobic fitness; Adolescents; Germany
3.  Dietary Behaviour and Socioeconomic Position: The Role of Physical Activity Patterns 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78390.
Background
The positive association between education level and health outcomes can be partly explained by dietary behaviour. We investigated the associations between education and several indices of food intake and potential influencing factors, placing special emphasis on physical-activity patterns, using a representative sample of the German adult population.
Methods
The German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 (GNHIES98) involved 7,124 participants aged between 18 and 79. Complete information on the exposure (education) and outcome (nutrition) variables was available for 6,767 persons. The associations between ‘education’ and indices of ‘sugar-rich food’, ‘fat-rich food’, ‘fruit-and-vegetable’ and ‘alcohol’ intake were analysed separately for men and women using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Odds ratios (OR) of education level on nutrition outcomes were calculated and adjusted for age, region (former East/West Germany), occupation, income and other influencing factors such as physical activity indicators.
Results
Men and women with only a primary education had a more frequent intake of sugar-rich and fat-rich foods and a less frequent intake of fruit and vegetables and alcohol than people with a tertiary education. ‘Physical work activity’ partly explained the associations between education and sugar-rich food intake. The interference with physical work activity was stronger among men than women. No significant associations between education and energy-dense food intake were observed in the retirement-age group of persons aged 65+ and among persons with low energy expenditure.
Conclusions
In Germany, adults with a low level of education report that they consume energy-dense foods more frequently – and fruit and vegetables and alcohol less frequently – than adults with a high education level. High levels of physical work activity among adults with a low education level may partly explain why they consume more energy-dense foods.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078390
PMCID: PMC3819390  PMID: 24223150
4.  Pregnant women’s experiences of routine counselling and testing for HIV in Eastern Uganda: a qualitative study 
Background
Routine HIV counselling and testing as part of antenatal care has been institutionalized in Uganda as an entry point for pregnant women into the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme. Understanding how women experience this mode of HIV testing is important to generate ideas on how to strengthen the PMTCT programme. We explored pregnant HIV positive and negative women’s experiences of routine counselling and testing in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda and formulated suggestions for improving service delivery.
Methods
This was a qualitative study conducted at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Eastern Uganda between January and May 2010. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with 30 pregnant women (15 HIV positive and 15 HIV negative) attending an antenatal clinic, six key informant interviews with health workers providing antenatal care and observations. Data were analyzed using a content thematic approach.
Results
Prior to attending their current ANC visit, most women knew that the hospital provided HIV counselling and testing services as part of antenatal care (ANC). HIV testing was perceived as compulsory for all women attending ANC at the hospital but beneficial, for mothers, especially those who test HIV positive and their unborn babies. Most HIV positive women were satisfied with the immediate counselling they received from health workers, but identified the need to provide follow up counselling and support after the test, as areas for improvement. However, most HIV negative women mentioned that they were given inadequate attention during post-test counselling. This left them with unanswered questions and, for some, doubts about the negative test results.
Conclusions
In this setting, routine HIV counselling and testing services are known and acceptable to mothers. There is need to strengthen post-test and follow up counselling for both HIV positive and negative women in order to maximize opportunities for primary and post exposure HIV prevention. Partnerships and linkages with people living with HIV, especially those in existing support groups such as those at The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), may help to strengthen counselling and support for pregnant women. For effective HIV prevention, women who test HIV negative should be supported to remain negative.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-189
PMCID: PMC3665685  PMID: 23705793
5.  Physical activity patterns and socioeconomic position: the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 (GNHIES98) 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:1079.
Background
We investigated the associations between education and leisure-time, occupational, sedentary and total physical-activity levels based on data from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 (GNHIES98). The roles of income level, occupational status and other mediating variables for these associations were also examined.
Methods
The total study sample of the GNHIES98 comprised 7,124 participants between the ages of 18 and 79. Complete information was available for 6,800 persons on leisure-time, sedentary and total physical-activity outcomes and for 3,809 persons in regular employment on occupational activity outcomes. The associations between educational level and physical activity (occupational, sedentary, leisure-time and total physical activity) were analysed separately for men and women using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Odds ratios (OR) of educational level on physical-activity outcomes were calculated and adjusted for age, region, occupation, income and other mediating variables.
Results
After adjusting for age and region, a higher education level was associated with more leisure-time activity – with an OR of 1.6 (95% CI, 1.3-2.0) for men with secondary education and 2.1 (1.7-2.7) for men with tertiary education compared to men with primary education. The corresponding ORs for women were 1.3 (1.1-1.6) and 1.7 (1.2-2.4), respectively. Higher education was associated with a lower level of vigorous work activity: an OR of 6.9 (4.6-10.3) for men with secondary education and 18.6 (12.0-27.3) for men with primary education compared to men with tertiary education. The corresponding ORs for women were 2.8 (2.0-4.0) and 5.8 (4.0-8.5), respectively. Higher education was also associated with a lower level of total activity: an OR of 2.9 (2.2-3.8) for men with secondary education and 4.3 (3.3-5.6) for men with tertiary education compared to men with primary education. The corresponding ORs for women were 1.6 (1.2-2.0) and 1.6 (1.2-2.1), respectively.
Conclusions
In Germany adults with a lower level of education are more physically active, both at work and overall, compared to adults with a higher education level, although they are less physically active in their leisure time. Higher work-related activity levels among adults with lower education may explain why they are less active in their leisure time.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1079
PMCID: PMC3561273  PMID: 23241280
Socioeconomic position; Education; Physical activity; Germany
6.  Lopinavir/Ritonavir versus Lamivudine peri-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV-1 transmission by breastfeeding: the PROMISE-PEP trial Protocol ANRS 12174 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:246.
Background
Postnatal transmission of HIV-1 through breast milk remains an unsolved challenge in many resource-poor settings where replacement feeding is not a safe alternative. WHO now recommends breastfeeding of infants born to HIV-infected mothers until 12 months of age, with either maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or peri-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in infants using nevirapine. As PEP, lamivudine showed a similar efficacy and safety as nevirapine, but with an expected lower rate of resistant HIV strains emerging in infants who fail PEP, and lower restrictions for future HIV treatment. Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) is an attractive PEP candidate with presumably higher efficacy against HIV than nevirapine or lamivudine, and a higher genetic barrier to resistance selection. It showed an acceptable safety profile for the treatment of very young HIV-infected infants. The ANRS 12174 study aims to compare the risk of HIV-1 transmission during and safety of prolonged infant PEP with LPV/r (40/10 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg and 80/20 mg twice daily if >4 kg) versus Lamivudine (7,5 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg, 25 mg twice daily if 4-8 kg and 50 mg twice daily if >8 kg) from day 7 until one week after cessation of BF (maximum 50 weeks of prophylaxis) to prevent postnatal HIV-1 acquisition between 7 days and 50 weeks of age.
Methods
The ANRS 12174 study is a multinational, randomised controlled clinical trial conducted on 1,500 mother-infant pairs in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. We will recommend exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) until 26th week of life and cessation of breastfeeding at a maximum of 49 weeks in both trial arms.
HIV-uninfected infants at day 7 (± 2 days) born to HIV-1 infected mothers not eligible for HAART who choose to breastfeed their infants.
The primary endpoint is the acquisition of HIV-1 (as assessed by HIV-1 DNA PCR) between day 7 and 50 weeks of age. Secondary endpoints are safety (including resistance, adverse events and growth) until 50 weeks and HIV-1-free survival until 50 weeks.
Discussion
This study will provide a new evidence-based intervention to support HIV-1-infected women not eligible for HAART to safely breastfeed their babies.
Trial registration number ( http://www.clinicaltrials.gov)
NCT00640263
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-246
PMCID: PMC3482558  PMID: 23039034
7.  Common Coinfections of Giardia intestinalis and Helicobacter pylori in Non-Symptomatic Ugandan Children 
Background
The protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis and the pathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori are well known for their high prevalences in human hosts worldwide. The prevalence of both organisms is known to peak in densely populated, low resource settings and children are infected early in life. Different Giardia genotypes/assemblages have been associated with different symptoms and H. pylori with induction of cancer. Despite this, not much data are available from sub-Saharan Africa with regards to the prevalence of different G. intestinalis assemblages and their potential association with H. pylori infections.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Fecal samples from 427 apparently healthy children, 0–12 years of age, living in urban Kampala, Uganda were analyzed for the presence of H. pylori and G. intestinalis. G. intestinalis was found in 86 (20.1%) out of the children and children age 1<5 years had the highest rates of colonization. H. pylori was found in 189 (44.3%) out of the 427 children and there was a 3-fold higher risk of concomitant G. intestinalis and H. pylori infections compared to non-concomitant G. intestinalis infection, OR = 2.9 (1.7–4.8). No significant association was found in the studied population with regard to the presence of Giardia and gender, type of toilet, source of drinking water or type of housing. A panel of 45 G. intestinalis positive samples was further analyzed using multi-locus genotyping (MLG) on three loci, combined with assemblage-specific analyses. Giardia MLG analysis yielded a total of five assemblage AII, 25 assemblage B, and four mixed assemblage infections. The assemblage B isolates were highly genetically variable but no significant association was found between Giardia assemblage type and H. pylori infection.
Conclusions/Significance
This study shows that Giardia assemblage B dominates in children in Kampala, Uganda and that the presence of H. pylori is an associated risk factor for G. intestinalis infection.
Author Summary
G. intestinalis and H. pylori are known to infect the gastrointestinal tract of humans early in life and to be very prevalent in endemic areas throughout life. H. pylori colonizes the gastric mucosa and may give rise to peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis and gastric cancer whereas Giardia causes diarrhea, bloating, flatulence and malnutrition. The genetic variability within G. intestinalis is high with two genotypes or assemblages (A and B) infecting humans. These two different genetic types of humans have also been associated with differences in symptoms. Here we have studied these two infections in non-symptomatic children in Kampala, Uganda. H. pylori was found in 44% out of the 427 children and G. intestinalis was found in 20% with children age 3<6 years showing the highest rates of colonization. The children were primarily infected with Giardia assemblage B parasites and Giardia infected children had a 3-fold higher risk of also having H. pylori infection. However, this was independent of Giardia assemblage type. This information will be important in the development of new control measures of these prevalent pathogens in Uganda and other low-income countries.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001780
PMCID: PMC3429385  PMID: 22953010
8.  “Telling my husband I have HIV is too heavy to come out of my mouth”: pregnant women's disclosure experiences and support needs following antenatal HIV testing in eastern Uganda 
Introduction
Disclosure of HIV serostatus by women to their sexual partners is critical for the success of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme as an integrated service in antenatal care. We explored pregnant HIV-positive and HIV-negative women's partner disclosure experiences and support needs in eastern Uganda.
Methods
This was a qualitative study conducted at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in eastern Uganda between January and May 2010. Data collection was through in-depth interviews with 15 HIV-positive and 15 HIV-negative pregnant women attending a follow up antenatal clinic (ANC) at Mbale Hospital, and six key informant interviews with health workers at the clinic. Data management was done using NVivo version 9, and a content thematic approach was used for analysis.
Results
All HIV-negative women had disclosed their HIV status to their sexual partners but expressed need for support to convince their partners to also undergo HIV testing. Women reported that their partners often assumed that they were equally HIV-negative and generally perceived HIV testing in the ANC as a preserve for women. Most of the HIV-positive women had not disclosed their HIV status to sexual partners for fear of abandonment, violence and accusation of bringing HIV infection into the family. Most HIV-positive women deferred disclosure and requested health workers’ support in disclosure. Those who disclosed their positive status generally experienced positive responses from their partners.
Conclusions
Within the context of routine HIV testing as part of the PMTCT programme, most women who test HIV-positive find disclosure of their status to partners extremely difficult. Their fear of disclosure was influenced by the intersection of gender norms, economic dependency, women's roles as mothers and young age. Pregnant HIV-negative women and their unborn babies remained at risk of HIV infection owing to the resistance of their partners to go for HIV testing. These findings depict a glaring need to strengthen support for both HIV-positive and HIV-negative women to maximize opportunities for HIV prevention.
doi:10.7448/IAS.15.2.17429
PMCID: PMC3494159  PMID: 22905360
pregnant women; HIV disclosure to partner; HIV testing by proxy; support needs; intersectionality
9.  Early cessation of breastfeeding amongst women in South Africa: an area needing urgent attention to improve child health 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:105.
Background
Breastfeeding is a critical component of interventions to reduce child mortality. Exclusive breastfeeding practice is extremely low in South Africa and there has been no improvement in this over the past ten years largely due to fears of HIV transmission. Early cessation of breastfeeding has been found to have negative effects on child morbidity and survival in several studies in Africa. This paper reports on determinants of early breastfeeding cessation among women in South Africa.
Methods
This is a sub group analysis of a community-based cluster-randomized trial (PROMISE EBF) promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three South African sites (Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal) between 2006 and 2008 (ClinicalTrials.gov no: NCT00397150). Infant feeding recall of 22 food and fluid items was collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks postpartum. Women’s experiences of breast health problems were also collected at the same time points. 999 women who ever breastfed were included in the analysis. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusting for site, arm and cluster, was performed to determine predictors of stopping breastfeeding by 12 weeks postpartum.
Results
By 12 weeks postpartum, 20% of HIV-negative women and 40% of HIV-positive women had stopped all breastfeeding. About a third of women introduced other fluids, most commonly formula milk, within the first 3 days after birth. Antenatal intention not to breastfeed and being undecided about how to feed were most strongly associated with stopping breastfeeding by 12 weeks (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR 5.6, 95% CI 3.4 – 9.5 and AOR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6 – 10.8, respectively). Also important was self-reported breast health problems associated with a 3-fold risk of stopping breastfeeding (AOR 3.1, 95%CI 1.7 – 5.7) and the mother having her own income doubled the risk of stopping breastfeeding (AOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3 – 2.8).
Conclusion
Early cessation of breastfeeding is common amongst both HIV-negative and positive women in South Africa. There is an urgent need to improve antenatal breastfeeding counselling taking into account the challenges faced by working women as well as early postnatal lactation support to prevent breast health problems.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-105
PMCID: PMC3441849  PMID: 22827969
10.  Listening to health workers: lessons from Eastern Uganda for strengthening the programme for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV 
Background
The implementation and utilization of programmes for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in most low income countries has been described as sub-optimal. As planners and service providers, the views of health workers are important in generating priorities to improve the effectiveness of the PMTCT programme in Uganda. We explored the lessons learnt by health workers involved in the provision of PMTCT services in eastern Uganda to better understand what more needs to be done to strengthen the PMTCT programme.
Methods
A qualitative study was conducted at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) Mbale and at eight neighbouring health centres in eastern Uganda, between January and May 2010. Data were collected through 24 individual interviews with the health workers involved in the PMTCT programme and four key informants (2 district officials and 2 officials from TASO). Data were analyzed using the content thematic approach. Study themes and sub-themes were identified following multiple reading of interview transcripts. Relevant quotations have been used in the presentation of study findings.
Results
The key lessons for programme improvement were: ensuring constant availability of critical PMTCT supplies, such as HIV testing kits, antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for mothers and their babies, regular in-service training of health workers to keep them abreast with the rapidly changing knowledge and guidelines for PMTCT, ensuring that lower level health centres provide maternity services and ARVs for women in the PMTCT programme and provision of adequate facilities for effective follow-up and support for mothers.
Conclusions
The voices of health workers in this study revealed that it is imperative for government, civil society organizations and donors that the PMTCT programme addresses the challenges of shortage of critical PMTCT supplies, continuous health worker training and follow-up and support for mothers as urgent needs to strengthen the PMTCT programme.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-3
PMCID: PMC3280189  PMID: 22222064
11.  Male partner antenatal attendance and HIV testing in eastern Uganda: a randomized facility-based intervention trial 
Background
The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of a written invitation letter to the spouses of new antenatal clinic attendees on attendance by couples and on male partner acceptance of HIV testing at subsequent antenatal clinic visits.
Methods
The trial was conducted with 1060 new attendees from October 2009 to February 2010 in an antenatal clinic at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Mbale District, eastern Uganda. The intervention comprised an invitation letter delivered to the spouses of new antenatal attendees, while the control group received an information letter, a leaflet, concerning antenatal care. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of pregnant women who attended antenatal care with their male partners during a follow-up period of four weeks. Eligible pregnant women were randomly assigned to the intervention or non-intervention groups using a randomization sequence, which was computer generated utilizing a random sequence generator (RANDOM ORG) that employed a simple randomization procedure. Respondents, health workers and research assistants were masked to group assignments.
Results
The trial was completed with 530 women enrolled in each group. Participants were analyzed as originally assigned (intention to treat). For the primary outcome, the percentage of trial participants who attended the antenatal clinic with their partners were 16.2% (86/530) and 14.2% (75/530) in the intervention and non-intervention groups, respectively (OR = 1.2; 95% CI: 0.8, 1.6). For the secondary outcome, most of the 161 male partners attended the antenatal clinic; 82 of 86 (95%) in the intervention group and 68 of 75 (91%) in the non-intervention group were tested for HIV (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 0.6 to 7.5).
Conclusions
The effect of the intervention and the control on couple antenatal attendance was similar. In addition, the trial demonstrated that a simple intervention, such as a letter to the spouse, could increase couple antenatal clinic attendance by 10%. Significantly, the majority of male partners who attended the antenatal clinic accepted HIV testing. Therefore, to further evaluate this simple and cost-effective intervention method, adequately powered studies are required to assess its effectiveness in increasing partner participation in antenatal clinics and the programme for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01144234.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-14-43
PMCID: PMC3192699  PMID: 21914207
12.  The potential role of mother-in-law in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV: a mixed methods study from the Kilimanjaro region, northern Tanzania 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:551.
Background
In the Kilimanjaro region the mother-in-law has traditionally had an important role in matters related to reproduction and childcare. The aim of this study was to explore the role of the mothers-in-law in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) service utilization and adherence to infant feeding guidelines.
Methods
The study was conducted during 2007-2008 in rural and urban areas of Moshi district in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Mixed methods were used and included focus group discussions with mothers-in-law, mothers and fathers; in-depth interviews with mothers-in-law, mothers, fathers and HIV-infected mothers, and a survey of 446 mothers bringing their four-week-old infants for immunisation at five reproductive and child health clinics.
Results
The study demonstrated that the mother-in-law saw herself as responsible for family health issues in general and child care in particular. However she received limited trust, and couples, in particular couples living in urban areas, tended to exclude her from decisions related to childbearing and infant feeding. Mothers-in-law expected their daughters-in-law to breastfeed in a customary manner and were generally negative towards the infant feeding methods recommended for HIV-infected mothers; exclusive replacement feeding and exclusive breastfeeding.
Conclusions
Decreasing influence of the mother-in-law and increasing prominence of the conjugal couples in issues related to reproduction and child care, reinforce the importance of continued efforts to include male partners in the PMTCT programme. The potential for involving mothers-in-law in the infant feeding component, where she still has influence in some areas, should be further explored.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-551
PMCID: PMC3154866  PMID: 21749685
13.  Vaccination coverage and timeliness in three South African areas: a prospective study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:404.
Background
Timely vaccination is important to induce adequate protective immunity. We measured vaccination timeliness and vaccination coverage in three geographical areas in South Africa.
Methods
This study used vaccination information from a community-based cluster-randomized trial promoting exclusive breastfeeding in three South African sites (Paarl in the Western Cape Province, and Umlazi and Rietvlei in KwaZulu-Natal) between 2006 and 2008. Five interview visits were carried out between birth and up to 2 years of age (median follow-up time 18 months), and 1137 children were included in the analysis. We used Kaplan-Meier time-to-event analysis to describe vaccination coverage and timeliness in line with the Expanded Program on Immunization for the first eight vaccines. This included Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), four oral polio vaccines and 3 doses of the pentavalent vaccine which protects against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B.
Results
The proportion receiving all these eight recommended vaccines were 94% in Paarl (95% confidence interval [CI] 91-96), 62% in Rietvlei (95%CI 54-68) and 88% in Umlazi (95%CI 84-91). Slightly fewer children received all vaccines within the recommended time periods. The situation was worst for the last pentavalent- and oral polio vaccines. The hazard ratio for incomplete vaccination was 7.2 (95%CI 4.7-11) for Rietvlei compared to Paarl.
Conclusions
There were large differences between the different South African sites in terms of vaccination coverage and timeliness, with the poorer areas of Rietvlei performing worse than the better-off areas in Paarl. The vaccination coverage was lower for the vaccines given at an older age. There is a need for continued efforts to improve vaccination coverage and timeliness, in particular in rural areas.
Trial registration number
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00397150
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-404
PMCID: PMC3126743  PMID: 21619642
14.  Multiple micronutrient supplementation improves vitamin B12 and folate concentrations of HIV infected children in Uganda: a randomized controlled trial 
Nutrition Journal  2011;10:56.
Background
The effect of multiple micronutrient supplementation on vitamin B12 and folate has hither to not been reported in African HIV infected children. This paper describes vitamin B12 and folate status of Ugandan HIV infected children aged 1-5 years and reports the effect of multiple micronutrient supplementation on serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations.
Methods
Of 847 children who participated in a multiple micronutrient supplementation trial, 214 were assessed for vitamin B12 and folate concentrations pre and post supplementation. One hundred and four children were randomised to two times the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of a 14 multiple micronutrient supplement (MMS) and 114 to a 'standard of care' supplement of 6 multivitamins (MV). Serum vitamin B12 was measured by an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay and folate by a competitive protein-binding assay using Modular E (Roche) automatic analyzer. Vitamin B12 concentrations were considered low if less than 221picomoles per litre (pmol/L) and folate if < 13.4 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L). The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test was used to measure the difference between pre and post supplementation concentrations.
Results
Vitamin B12 was low in 60/214 (28%) and folate in 62/214 (29.0%) children. In the MMS group, the median concentration (IQR) of vitamin B12 at 6 months was 401.5 (264.3 - 518.8) pmol/L compared to the baseline of 285.5 (216.5 - 371.8) pmol/L, p < 0.001. The median (IQR) folate concentrations increased from 17.3 (13.5 - 26.6) nmol/L to 27.7 (21.1 - 33.4) nmol/L, p < 0.001. In the 'standard of care' MV supplemented group, the median concentration (IQR) of vitamin B12 at 6 months was 288.5 (198.8 - 391.0) pmol/L compared to the baseline of 280.0 (211.5 - 386.3) pmol/L while the median (IQR) folate concentrations at 6 months were 16.5 (11.7 - 22.1) nmol/L compared to 15.7 (11.9 - 22.1) nmol/L at baseline. There was a significant difference in the MMS group in both vitamin B12 and folate concentrations but no difference in the MV group.
Conclusions
Almost a third of the HIV infected Ugandan children aged 1-5 years had low serum concentrations of vitamin B12 and folate. Multiple micronutrient supplementation compared to the 'standard of care' supplement of 6 multivitamins improved the vitamin B12 and folate status of HIV infected children in Uganda.
Trial registration
http://ClinicalTrials.govNCT00122941)
doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-56
PMCID: PMC3118332  PMID: 21600005
15.  Perinatal Mortality in Eastern Uganda: A Community Based Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19674.
Background
To achieve a child mortality reduction according to millennium development goal 4, it is necessary to considerably reduce neonatal mortality. We report stillbirth and early neonatal mortality risks as well as determinants of perinatal mortality in Eastern Uganda.
Methods
A community-based prospective cohort study was conducted between 2006 and 2008. A total of 835 pregnant women were followed up for pregnancy outcome and survival of their children until 7 days after delivery. Mother's residence, age, parity, bed net use and whether delivery took place at home were included in multivariable regression analyses to identify risk factors for perinatal death.
Results
The stillbirth risk was 19 per 1,000 pregnancies and the early neonatal death risk 22 per 1,000 live births. Overall, the perinatal mortality risk was 41 [95%CI: 27, 54] per 1,000 pregnancies. Of the deaths, 47% followed complicated deliveries and 24% preterm births. Perinatal mortality was 63/1,000 pregnancies among teenage mothers, 76/1,000 pregnancies among nulliparous women and 61/1,000 pregnancies among women delivering at home who, after controlling for potential confounders, had a 3.7 (95%CI: 1.8, 7.4) times higher perinatal mortality than women who gave birth in a health facility. This association was considerably stronger among nulliparous women [RR 8.0 (95%CI: 2.9, 21.6)] than among women with a previous live birth [RR 1.8 (95%CI: 0.7, 4.5)]. All perinatal deaths occurred among women who did not sleep under a mosquito net. Women living in urban slums had a higher risk of losing their babies than those in rural areas [RR: 2.7 (95%CI: 1.4, 5.3)].
Conclusion
Our findings strengthen arguments for ensuring that pregnant women have access to and use adequate delivery facilities and bed nets.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019674
PMCID: PMC3090412  PMID: 21573019
16.  "It is her responsibility": partner involvement in prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV programmes, northern Tanzania 
Background
Partner involvement has been deemed fundamental in prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programmes, but is difficult to achieve. This study aimed to explore acceptability of the PMTCT programme components and to identify structural and cultural challenges to male involvement.
Methods
The study was conducted during 2007-2008 in rural and urban areas of Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Mixed methods were used, and included focus group discussions with fathers and mothers, in-depth interviews with fathers, mothers and health personnel, and a survey of 426 mothers bringing their four-week-old infants for immunization at five reproductive and child health clinics.
Results
Routine testing for HIV of women at the antenatal clinic was highly acceptable and appreciated by men, while other programme components, notably partner testing, condom use and the infant feeding recommendations, were met with continued resistance. Very few men joined their wives for testing and thus missed out on PMTCT counselling. The main barriers reported were that women did not have the authority to request their husbands to test for HIV and that the arena for testing, the antenatal clinic, was defined as a typical female domain where men were out of place.
Conclusions
Deep-seated ideas about gender roles and hierarchy are major obstacles to male participation in the PMTCT programme. Empowering women remains a huge challenge. Empowering men to participate by creating a space within the PMTCT programme that is male friendly should be feasible and should be highly prioritized for the PMTCT programme to achieve its potential.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-14-21
PMCID: PMC3108267  PMID: 21521511
17.  Maternal education is associated with vaccination status of infants less than 6 months in Eastern Uganda: a cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:92.
Background
Despite provision of free childhood vaccinations, less than half of all Ugandan infants are fully vaccinated. This study compares women with some secondary schooling to those with only primary schooling with regard to their infants' vaccination status.
Methods
A community-based prospective cohort study conducted between January 2006 and May 2008 in which 696 pregnant women were followed up to 24 weeks post partum. Information was collected on the mothers' education and vaccination status of the infants.
Results
At 24 weeks, the following vaccinations had been received: bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG): 92%; polio-1: 91%; Diphteria-Pertussis-Tetanus-Hepatitis B-Haemophilus Influenza b (DPT-HB-Hib) 3 and polio-3: 63%. About 51% of the infants were fully vaccinated (i.e., had received all the scheduled vaccinations: BCG, polio 0, polio 1, DPT-HB-Hib1, polio 2, DPT-HB-Hib 2, polio 3 and DPT-HB-Hib 3). Only 46% of the infants whose mothers' had 5-7 years of primary education had been fully vaccinated compared to 65% of the infants whose mothers' had some secondary education. Infants whose mothers had some secondary education were less likely to miss the DPT-HB-Hib-2 vaccine (RR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3, 0.8), Polio-2 (RR: 0.4, 95%CI: 0.3, 0.7), polio-3 (RR: 0.5, 95%CI: 0.4, 0.7) and DPT-HB-Hib-3 (RR: 0.5, 95%CI: 0.4, 0.7). Other factors showing some association with a reduced risk of missed vaccinations were delivery at a health facility (RR = 0.8; 95%CI: 0.7, 1.0) and use of a mosquito net (RR: 0.8; 95%CI: 0.7, 1.0).
Conclusion
Infants whose mothers had a secondary education were at least 50% less likely to miss scheduled vaccinations compared to those whose mothers only had primary education. Strategies for childhood vaccinations should specifically target women with low formal education.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-92
PMCID: PMC3019133  PMID: 21159193
18.  Attitudes to routine HIV counselling and testing, and knowledge about prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in eastern Uganda: a cross-sectional survey among antenatal attendees 
Background
HIV testing rates have exceeded 90% among the pregnant women at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Mbale District, eastern Uganda, since the introduction of routine antenatal counselling and testing for HIV in June 2006. However, no documented information was available about opinions of pregnant women in eastern Uganda about this HIV testing approach. We therefore conducted a study to assess attitudes of antenatal attendees towards routine HIV counselling and testing at Mbale Hospital. We also assessed their knowledge about mother to child transmission of HIV and infant feeding options for HIV-infected mothers.
Methods
The study was a cross-sectional survey of 388 women, who were attending the antenatal clinic for the first time with their current pregnancy at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital from August to October 2009. Data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Makerere University College of Health Sciences, the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology, and Mbale Hospital.
Results
The majority of the antenatal attendees (98.5%, 382/388) had positive attitudes towards routine HIV counselling and testing, and many of them (more than 60%) had correct knowledge of how mother to child transmission of HIV could occur during pregnancy, labour and through breastfeeding, and ways of preventing it. After adjusting for independent variables, having completed secondary school (odds ratio: 2.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-4.9), having three or more pregnancies (OR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.4-4.5) and belonging to a non-Bagisu ethnic group (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0-2.7) were associated with more knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding as one of the measures for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. Out of 388 antenatal attendees, 386 (99.5%) tested for HIV and 382 (98.5%) received same-day HIV test results.
Conclusions
Routine offer of antenatal HIV counselling and testing is largely acceptable to the pregnant women in eastern Uganda and has enabled most of them to know their HIV status as part of the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV package of services. Our findings call for further strengthening and scaling up of this HIV testing approach in many more antenatal clinics countrywide in order to maximize its potential benefits to the population.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-13-52
PMCID: PMC3017012  PMID: 21144037
19.  Gendered perceptions on infant feeding in Eastern Uganda: continued need for exclusive breastfeeding support 
Background
In resource-poor settings, HIV positive mothers are recommended to choose between 'Exclusive breastfeeding' (EBF) or 'Exclusive replacement feeding' (ERF). Acceptability, Feasibility, Affordability, Sustainability and Safety (AFASS) has been the World Health Organization (WHO)'s a priori criteria for ERF the last ten years. 'AFASS' has become a mere acronym among many workers in the field of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, PMTCT. Thereby, non-breastfeeding has been suggested irrespective of social norms. EBF for the first half of infancy is associated with huge health benefits for children in areas where infant mortality is high. But, even if EBF has been recommended for a decade, few mothers are practicing it. We set out to understand fathers' and mothers' infant feeding perceptions and the degree to which EBF and ERF were 'AFASS.'
Methods
Eight focus groups with 81 informants provided information for inductive content analysis. Four groups were held by men among men and four groups by women among women in Mbale District, Eastern Uganda.
Results
Two study questions emerged: How are the different feeding options understood and accepted? And, what are men's and women's responsibilities related to infant feeding? A mother's commitment to breastfeed and the husband's commitment to provide for the family came out strongly. Not breastfeeding a newborn was seen as dangerous and as unacceptable, except in cases of maternal illness. Men argued that not breastfeeding could entail sanctions by kin or in court. But, in general, both men and women regarded EBF as 'not enough' or even 'harmful.' Among men, not giving supplements to breast milk was associated with poverty and men's failure as providers. Women emphasised lack of time, exhaustion, poverty and hunger as factors for limited breast milk production. Although women had attended antenatal teaching they expressed a need to know more. Most men felt left out from health education.
Conclusion
Breastfeeding was the expected way to feed the baby, but even with existing knowledge among mothers, EBF was generally perceived as impossible. ERF was overall negatively sanctioned. Greater culture-sensitivity in programs promoting safer infant feeding in general and in HIV-contexts in particular is urgently needed, and male involvement is imperative.
Trial Registration
The study was part of formative studies for the ongoing study PROMISE EBF registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00397150).
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-5-13
PMCID: PMC2987848  PMID: 20977712
20.  "She would sit with me": mothers' experiences of individual peer support for exclusive breastfeeding in Uganda 
Background
Different strategies have been used to improve the initiation and duration of breastfeeding. Peer counsellors are reported to improve exclusive breastfeeding levels, but few studies have assessed the satisfaction of women with the support given, especially in Africa. In this paper we describe women's experiences of peer counselling for exclusive breastfeeding in an East African setting.
Methods
In the Ugandan site of PROMISE-EBF, a multi-centre community randomised trial to evaluate the effect of peer counselling for exclusive breastfeeding on infant health, 370 women in the intervention arm participated in a study exit interview. Individual peer counselling was offered to women in 12 of the 24 study clusters, scheduled as five visits: before childbirth and during weeks 1, 4, 7 and 10 after childbirth. During the visits, the women were given information and skills to help them breastfeed exclusively. After the 10-week visit, they were interviewed about their feelings and experiences related to the peer counselling.
Results
Overall, more than 95% of the women expressed satisfaction with the various aspects of peer counselling offered. Those who had received five or more visits were more likely to give positive responses about their experience with peer counselling than those who had received fewer visits. They explained their satisfaction with time spent with the peer counsellor in terms of how much she discussed with them. Most women felt their knowledge needs about breastfeeding were covered by the peer counsellors, while others expressed a desire to learn about complementary feeding and family planning. Attributes of the peer counsellors included their friendliness, being women and giving support in a familiar and relaxed way. Women were positive about the acquisition of knowledge and the benefit to their babies from the peer counselling. They preferred a peer counsellor to a health worker for support of exclusive breastfeeding because of their friendly approach.
Conclusions
Individual peer counselling to support exclusive breastfeeding was positively received by the women.
Trial Registration
clinicaltrials.gov no: NCT00397150.
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-5-16
PMCID: PMC2987850  PMID: 20977715
21.  Dramatic and sustained increase in HIV-testing rates among antenatal attendees in Eastern Uganda after a policy change from voluntary counselling and testing to routine counselling and testing for HIV: a retrospective analysis of hospital records, 2002-2009 
Background
The burden of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Uganda is high. The aim of this paper is to describe the experience of the first 7 years of the prevention of mother- to- child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme in Mbale Regional Hospital, Eastern Uganda, with particular reference to the lessons learnt in changing from voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to routine counselling and testing (RCT) for HIV testing in antenatal services.
Methods
The study was a retrospective analysis of the PMTCT records of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Uganda, from May 2002 to April 2009. The data on HIV testing of pregnant women and their male partners was extracted from the reports and registers using a standardized data extraction form, and data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences; Uganda National Council of Science and Technology, and Mbale Hospital.
Results
A total of 54 429 new antenatal (ANC) attendees and 469 male-partners accessed antenatal services at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. There was a sustained, significant increase in HIV testing among new ANC attendees from 22% during the VCT period to 88% during the RCT period (p = 0.002), while among male partners, HIV testing increased from 88% to 100% (p = 0.010) However, the overall number of male partners who tested for HIV remained very low despite the change from VCT to RCT approach in HIV testing.
Conclusions
Routine offer of antenatal HIV testing dramatically increased HIV testing in pregnant women and their partners in Uganda. Our findings call for further strengthening of the policy for routine HIV testing in antenatal clinics. Our study also showed that male partner HIV testing in antenatal clinics is low and this area needs further work through research and innovative interventions in order to improve male partner involvement.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-290
PMCID: PMC2964695  PMID: 20946632
22.  Zinc status in HIV infected Ugandan children aged 1-5 years: a cross sectional baseline survey 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:68.
Background
Low concentrations of serum zinc have been reported in HIV infected adults and are associated with disease progression and an increased risk of death. Few studies have been conducted in HIV infected children in Africa. We determined serum zinc levels and factors associated with zinc deficiency in HIV infected Ugandan children.
Methods
We measured the baseline zinc status of 247 children aged 1-5 years enrolled in a randomised trial for multiple micronutrient supplementation at paediatric HIV clinics in Uganda (http://ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00122941). Zinc status was determined using inductively coupled atomic emission spectrophotometry (ICP-AES). Clinical and laboratory characteristics were compared among zinc deficient (zinc < 10.0 μmol/L) and non deficient children. Logistic regression was used to determine predictors of low serum zinc.
Results
Of the 247 children, 134 (54.3%) had low serum zinc (< 10.0 μmol/L). Of the 44 children on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), 13 (29.5%) had low zinc compared to 121/203 (59.6%) who were not on HAART. Overall, independent predictors of low zinc were fever (OR 2.2; 95%CI 1.1 - 4.6) and not taking HAART (OR 3.7; 95%CI 1.8 - 7.6).
Conclusion
Almost two thirds of HAART naïve and a third of HAART treated HIV infected children were zinc deficient. Increased access to HAART among HIV infected children living in Uganda might reduce the prevalence of zinc deficiency.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-68
PMCID: PMC2955670  PMID: 20858275
23.  Mothers' knowledge and utilization of prevention of mother to child transmission services in northern Tanzania 
Background
More than 90% of children living with HIV have been infected through mother to child transmission. The aims of our present study were to: (1) assess the utilization of the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services in five reproductive and child health clinics in Moshi, northern Tanzania, after the implementation of routine counselling and testing; (2) explore the level of knowledge the postnatal mothers had about PMTCT; and (3) assess the quality of the counselling given.
Methods
This study was conducted in 2007 and 2008 in rural and urban areas of Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Mixed methods were used. We interviewed 446 mothers when they brought their four-week-old infants to five reproductive and child health clinics for immunization. On average, the urban clinics included in the study had implemented the programme two years earlier than the rural clinics. We also conducted 13 in-depth interviews with mothers and nurses, four focus group discussions with mothers, and four observations of mothers receiving counselling.
Results
Nearly all mothers (98%) were offered HIV testing, and all who were offered accepted. However, the counselling was hasty with little time for clarifications. Mothers attending urban antenatal clinics tended to be more knowledgeable about PMTCT than the rural attendees. Compared with previous studies in the area, our study found that PMTCT knowledge had increased and the counsellors had greater confidence in their counselling.
Conclusions
Routine counselling and testing for HIV at the antenatal clinics was greatly accepted and included practically every mother in this time period. However, the counselling was suboptimal due to time and resource constraints. We interpret the higher level of PMTCT knowledge among the urban as opposed to the rural attendees as a result of differences in the start up of the PMTCT programme and, thus, programme maturation. After comparison with earlier studies conducted in this setting, we conclude that when the programme has had time to get established, both its acceptance and the understanding of the topics dealt with during the counselling increases.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-13-36
PMCID: PMC3161341  PMID: 20840784
24.  Infant feeding counselling in Uganda in a changing environment with focus on the general population and HIV-positive mothers - a mixed method approach 
Background
Health workers' counselling practices are essential to improve infant feeding practices. This paper will assess how infant feeding counselling was done and experienced by counsellors and mothers in Eastern Uganda in the context of previous guidelines. This has implications for implementation of the new infant feeding guidelines from 2009.
Methods
This paper combines qualitative and quantitative data from Mbale District in Eastern Uganda. Data was collected from 2003 to 2005 in a mixed methods approach. This includes: key-informant interviews among eighteen health workers in the public hospital, health clinics and non-governmental organisations working with people living with HIV, fifteen focus group discussions in the general population and among clients from an HIV clinic, two cross-sectional surveys including 727 mothers from the general population and 235 HIV-positive mothers.
Results
The counselling sessions were often improvised. Health workers frequently had pragmatic approaches to infant feeding as many clients struggled with poverty, stigma and non-disclosure of HIV. The feasibility of the infant feeding recommendations was perceived as challenging among health workers, both for HIV-positive mothers and in the general population. Group counselling with large groups was common in the public health service. Some extra infant feeding teaching capacities were mobilised for care-takers of undernourished children. A tendency to simplify messages giving one-sided information was seen. Different health workers presented contradicting simplified perspectives in some cases. Outdated training was a common concern with many health workers not being given courses or seminars on infant feeding since professional graduation. Other problems were minimal staffing, lack of resources, and programs being started and subsequently stopped abruptly. Many of the HIV-counsellors in the non-governmental organisations got extended training in counselling which seemed to be beneficial.
Conclusions
Health workers were faced with challenges related to workload, resources, scientific updating, and also a need to adjust to frequent changes in programs, recommendations and guidelines. The clients were faced with difficult choices, poverty, lack of education and stigma. Feasibility of the recommendations was a major concern. Systematic approaches to update health workers should be a priority.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-260
PMCID: PMC2944269  PMID: 20815932
25.  Perinatal mortality in rural Burkina Faso: a prospective community-based cohort study 
Background
There is a scarcity of reliable data on perinatal mortality (PNM) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The PROMISE-EBF trial, during which we promoted exclusive breastfeeding, gave us the opportunity to describe the epidemiology of PNM in Banfora Health District, South-West in Burkina Faso.
Study objectives
To measure the perinatal mortality rate (PNMR) in the PROMISE-EBF cohort in Banfora Health District and to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death.
Methods
We used data collected prospectively during the PROMISE-EBF-trial to estimate the stillbirth rate (SBR) and early neonatal mortality rate (ENMR). We used binomial regression with generalized estimating equations to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death.
Results
895 pregnant women were enrolled for data collection in the EBF trial and followed-up to 7 days after birth. The PNMR, the SBR and the ENMR, were 79 per 1000 (95% CI: 59-99), 54 per 1000 (95% CI: 38-69) and 27 per 1000 (95% CI: 9-44), respectively. In a multivariable analysis, nulliparous women (RR = 2.90, 95% CI: 1.6-5.0), primiparae mothers (RR = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.2-3.9), twins (RR = 4.0, 95% CI: 2.3-6.9) and giving birth during the dry season (RR = 2.1 95% CI: 1.3-3.3) were factors associated with increased risk of perinatal death. There was no evidence that risk of perinatal death differed between deliveries at home and at a health centre
Conclusion
Our study observed the highest PNMR ever reported in Burkina. There is an urgent need for sustainable interventions to improve maternal and newborn health in the country.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-10-45
PMCID: PMC2931454  PMID: 20716352

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