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1.  Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection and associated risk factors among pregnant women in Debre Tabor, Northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2015;8:107.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan organism that infects both birds and mammals. Human infections are particularly serious if they occur during pregnancy and may result in abortion or congenitally acquired disorders which primarily affect the central nervous system. This study assessed seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection and associated risk factors among pregnant women at Debre Tabor, Northwest Ethiopia.
An institution based cross-sectional study was conducted from February to May, 2013. A total of 263 pregnant women who came to Debre Tabor public health facilities for antenatal care were selected and included in the study. The venous blood serum was tested using toxolatex agglutination test. Data on socio-demographic and potential risk factors were collected using structured questionnaire through face-to-face interview. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to identify associations between dependent and independent variables.
Of 263 pregnant women included in the study, 180 (68.4%, 95% CI: 63.1-71.4%) were found to be seropositive for anti-toxoplasma antibody. Multivariable analysis showed; age group ≥36 years (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 3.56; 95% CI: 1.01–12.5), cannot read and write (AOR = 4.77; 95% CI: 1.01-30.3), and cat ownership (AOR = 3.36; 95% CI: 1.39-8.12) were significantly associated with seropositivity of T.gondii infection.
Seroprevalence of T.gondii infection in Debre Tabor town was high. Age, educational status and presence of cats in home were identified as factors associated with T.gondii infection. Education of pregnant women about the transmission and prevention methods of this infection through health extension and in antenatal care clinics is important. Besides, studies on incidence of toxoplasmosis in newborns and infants are recommended.
PMCID: PMC4387685  PMID: 25879788
Seroprevalence; Toxoplasma gondii; Risk factors; Pregnant women; Ethiopia
2.  Non-Adherence to Anti-Tuberculosis Treatment and Determinant Factors among Patients with Tuberculosis in Northwest Ethiopia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78791.
Non-adherence to anti tuberculosis treatment is one of the crucial challenges in improving tuberculosis cure-rates and reducing further healthcare costs. The poor adherence to anti-tuberculosis treatment among patients with tuberculosis is a major problem in Ethiopia. Hence, this study assessed level of non-adherence to anti-tuberculosis therapy and associated factors among patients with tuberculosis in northwest Ethiopia.
An institution based cross-sectional survey was conducted among tuberculosis patients who were following anti-tuberculosis treatment in North Gondar zone from February 20 – March 30, 2013. Data were collected by trained data collectors using a structured and pre-tested questionnaire. Data were entered to EPI INFO version 3.5.3 and analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20. Multiple logistic regressions were fitted to identify associations and to control potential confounding variables. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval was calculated and p-values<0.05 were considered statistically significant.
A total of 280 tuberculosis patients were interviewed; 55.7% were males and nearly three quarters (72.5%) were urban dwellers. The overall non-adherence for the last one month and the last four days before the survey were 10% and 13.6% respectively. Non-adherence was high if the patients had forgetfulness (AOR 7.04, 95% CI 1.40–35.13), is on the continuation phase of chemotherapy (AOR: 6.95, 95% CI 1.81–26.73), had symptoms of tuberculosis during the interview (AOR: 4.29, 95% CI 1.53–12.03), and had co-infection with HIV (AOR: 4.06, 95% CI 1.70–9.70).
Non-adherence to anti-tuberculosis treatment was high. Forgetfulness, being in the continuation phases of chemotherapy, having symptoms of tuberculosis during the interview, and co-infected with HIV were significantly associated with non-adherence to anti-tuberculosis therapy. Special attention on adherence counseling should be given to symptomatic patients, TB/HIV co-infected patients, and those in the continuation phase of the tuberculosis therapy.
PMCID: PMC3823971  PMID: 24244364
3.  Prevalence of Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices and associated factors among mothers in Bahir Dar city, Northwest Ethiopia: a community based cross-sectional study 
Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants. World Health Organization (WHO) recommend exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for six months which has a great contribution in reducing under five mortality, which otherwise leads to death of 88/1000 live birth yearly in Ethiopia. Hence, this study aimed to assess prevalence of EBF and associated factors in mothers in the city of Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia.
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 to 25 June 2012 among mothers who delivered 12 months earlier in Bahir Dar city, Northwest Ethiopia. A cluster sampling technique was used to select a sample of 819 participants. Data were collected using a structured and pre-tested questionnaire by face-to-face interview technique. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to check associations and control confounding.
Of 819 mother-infant pairs sampled, the overall age appropriate rate of EBF practice was found to be 50.3%. Having a young infant aged 0-1 month (AOR = 3.77, 95% CI = 1.54, 9.24) and 2-3 months (AOR = 2.80, 95% CI = 1.71, 4.58), being a housewife (AOR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.48, 3.16), having prenatal EBF plan (AOR = 3.75, 95% CI = 2.21, 6.37), delivering at a health facility (AOR = 3.02, 95% CI = 1.55, 5.89), giving birth vaginally (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI = 1.40, 3.87) and receiving infant feeding counseling/advice (AOR = 5.20, 95% CI = 2.13, 12.68) were found to be significantly associated with EBF practice.
Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was low in Bahir Dar. Strengthening infant feeding advice/counseling both at the community and institutional levels, promoting institutional delivery, providing adequate pain relief and early assistance for mothers who gave birth by caesarean section, and enabling every mother a prenatal EBF plan during antenatal care were recommended in order to increase the proportion of women practicing EBF.
PMCID: PMC3815630  PMID: 24152996
Prevalence; Exclusive breastfeeding; Associated factors; Northwest Ethiopia
4.  Reproductive health service utilization and associated factors among adolescents (15–19 years old) in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia 
The utilization of reproductive health services is an important component in preventing adolescents from different sexual and reproductive health problems. It plays a vital role in safeguarding youth in Sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia, which accounts for a high proportion of the region’s new HIV infections as well as maternal and infant mortality ratios. Due to this, assessing adolescent reproductive health service utilization and associated factors has its own contribution in achieving the national Millennium Development Goals (MDG), especially goals 4 to 6.
A community based cross-sectional study was conducted from April 5–19, 2012, in 4 randomly selected administrative areas of Gondar town. A total of 1290 adolescents aged 15–19 were interviewed using a pre-tested and structured questionnaire. Data were entered in to the EPI INFO version 3.5.3 statistical software and analyzed using an adapted SPSS version 20 software package. Logistic regression was done to identify possible factors associated with family planning (FP), and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) service utilization.
Out of the total participants, 79.5% and 72.2% utilized FP and VCT services, respectively. In addition, among sexually experienced adolescents, 68.1% and 88.4% utilized contraceptive methods and VCT service during their first sexual encounter, respectively. Educational status, discussion with family/relatives, peer groups, sexual partners and teachers were significantly associated with FP service utilization. Also, adolescents who had a romantic sexual relationship, and those whose last sexual relationship was long-term, were about 6.5 times (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 6.5, 95% CI: 1.23, 34.59), and about 3 times (AOR = 3, 95% CI: 1.02, 8.24) more likely to utilize FP services than adolescents who had no romantic relationship or long-term sexual relationship, respectively. In addition, the variables significantly associated with VCT service utilization were: participants who had secondary education and above, schooling attendance, co- residence with both parents, parental communication, discussion of services with peer groups, health workers, and perception of a risk of HIV/AIDS.
The majority of the adolescents were utilizing FP and VCT service in Northwest Ethiopia. But among the sexually experienced adolescents, utilization of FP at first sexual intercourse and VCT service were found to be low. Educational status, schooling attendance, discussion of services, type of sexual relationship and perception of risk were important factors affecting the utilization of FP and VCT services. Building life skill, facilitating parent to child communication, establishing and strengthening of youth centers and school reproductive health clubs are important steps to improve adolescents’ reproductive health (RH) service utilization.
PMCID: PMC3750465  PMID: 23915299
Reproductive health; Service utilization; Adolescent; Northwest Ethiopia
5.  Mother-to-child transmission of HIV and its predictors among HIV-exposed infants at a PMTCT clinic in northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:398.
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) accounts for more than 90% of pediatric Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases. Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programs are provided for dual benefits i.e. prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child and enrolment of infected pregnant women and their families into antiretroviral treatment (ART). This study assessed risk and predictors of HIV transmission among HIV-exposed infants on follow up at a PMTCT clinic in a referral hospital.
Institution based retrospective follow up study was carried at Gondar University referral hospital PMTCT clinic. All eligible records of HIV-exposed infants enrolled between September 2005 and July 2011 were included. A midwife nurse collected data using a structured data extraction format. Data were then entered in to EPI INFO Version 3.5.1 statistical software and analyzed by SPSS version 20.0. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to identify associations.
A total of 509 infant records were included in the analysis. The median age of infants at enrolment to follow up was 6 weeks (inter quartile range [IQR] = 2 weeks). A total of 51(10%, 95% CI: 7.8% - 13%) infants were infected with HIV. Late enrolment to the exposed infant follow up clinic (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 2.89, 95% CI: 1.35, 6.21), rural residence (AOR = 5.05, 95% CI: 2.34, 10.9), home delivery (AOR = 2.82, 95% CI: 1.2, 6.64), absence of maternal PMTCT interventions (AOR = 5.02, 95% CI: 2.43, 10.4) and mixed infant feeding practices (AOR = 4.18, 95% CI: 1.59, 10.99) were significantly and independently associated with maternal to child transmission of HIV in this study.
There is a high risk of MTCT of HIV among exposed infants on follow up at the PMTCT clinic of the University of Gondar referral hospital. The findings of this study will provide valuable information for policy makers to enhance commitment and support for rural settings in the PMTCT scaling-up program.
PMCID: PMC3639796  PMID: 23621862
HIV-exposed infants; HIV transmission; Predictors; Ethiopia
6.  Predictors of mortality among children on Antiretroviral Therapy at a referral hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: A retrospective follow up study 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:161.
An estimated 2.5 million children were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2009, 2.3 million (92%) in sub-Saharan Africa. Without treatment, a third of children with HIV will die of AIDS before their first birthday, half dying before two years of age. Hence, this study aimed to assess magnitude and predictors of mortality among children on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) at a referral hospital in North-West Ethiopia.
Institution based retrospective follow up study was carried out among HIV-positive children from January 1st, 2006 - March 31st, 2011. Information on relevant variables was collected from patients’ charts and registries. Life table was used to estimate the cumulative survival of children. Log rank tests were employed to compare survival between the different categories of the explanatory variables. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was fitted to identify predictors of mortality.
A total of 549 records were included in the analysis. The mean age at initiation of treatment was 6.35 ±3.78 SD years. The median follow up period was 22 months. At the end of the follow up, 41(7.5%) were dead and 384(69.9%) were alive. Mortality was 4.0 deaths per 100 child-years of follow-up period. The cumulative probabilities of survival at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 60 months of ART were 0.96, 0.94, 0.93, 0.92 and 0.83 respectively. Majority (90.2%) of the deaths occurred within the first year of treatment. Absence of cotrimoxazole preventive therapy (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 4.74, 95% CI: 2.17, 10.34), anaemia (haemoglobin level < 10gm/dl) (AHR=2.44, 95% CI: 1.26, 4.73), absolute CD4 cell count below the threshold for severe immunodeficiency (AHR=2.24, 95% CI: 1.07, 4.69) and delayed or regressing developmental milestones at baseline (AHR=6.31, 95% CI: 2.52, 15.83) were predictors of mortality.
There was a high rate of early mortality. Hence, starting ART very early reduces disease progression and early mortality; close follow up of all children of HIV-positive mothers is recommended to make the diagnosis and start treatment at an earlier time before they develop severe immunodeficiency.
PMCID: PMC3478986  PMID: 23043325
HIV/AIDS; Children; ART; Mortality Predictors; Ethiopia

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