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1.  Uterine rupture in a teaching hospital in Mbarara, western Uganda, unmatched case- control study 
Reproductive Health  2013;10:29.
Background
Uterine rupture is one of the most devastating complications of labour that exposes the mother and foetus to grave danger hence contributing to the high maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity in Uganda. Every year, 6000 women die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, uterine rupture accounts for about 8% of all maternal deaths.
The objective of this study was to establish the incidence of uterine rupture, predisposing factors, maternal and fetal outcomes and modes of management at a regional referral university hospital in South-western Uganda.
Methods
Case–control design of women with uterine rupture during 2005–2006. Controls were women who had spontaneous vaginal delivery or were delivered by caesarean section without uterine rupture as a complication. For every case, three consecutive in-patient chart numbers were picked and retrieved as controls. All available case files, labour ward and theater records were reviewed.
Results
A total of 83 cases of uterine rupture out of 10940 deliveries were recorded giving an incidence of uterine rupture of 1 in 131 deliveries. Predisposing factors for uterine rupture were previous cesarean section delivery(OR 5.3 95% CI 2.7-10.2), attending < 4 antenatal visits (OR 3.3 95% CI 1.6-6.9), parity ≥ 5(OR 3.67 95% CI 2.0-6.72), no formal education (OR 2.0 95% CI 1.0-3.9), use of herbs (OR15.2 95% CI 6.2-37.0), self referral (OR 6.1 95% CI 3.3-11.2) and living in a distance >5 km from the facility (OR 10.86 95% CI 1.46-81.03). There were 106 maternal deaths during the study period giving a facility maternal mortality ratio of 1034 /100,000 live births, there were 10 maternal deaths due to uterine rupture giving a case fatality rate of 12%.
Conclusion
Uterine rupture still remains one of the major causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality in Mbarara Regional referral Hospital in Western Uganda. Promotion of skilled attendance at birth, use of family planning among those at high risk, avoiding use of herbs during pregnancy and labour, correct use of partograph and preventing un necesarry c-sections are essential in reducing the occurences of uterine repture.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-10-29
PMCID: PMC3668214  PMID: 23718798
Uterine rupture; Maternal morbidity; Obstructed labour; Fetal outcome; Obstetric fistula; (previous) Caesarean section; Prolonged labour
2.  Food insecurity is associated with morbidity and patterns of healthcare utilization among HIV-infected individuals in a resource-poor setting 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(1):67-75.
Objective
We undertook a longitudinal study in rural Uganda to understand the association of food insecurity with morbidity and patterns of healthcare utilization among HIV-infected individuals enrolled in an antiretroviral therapy program.
Design
Longitudinal cohort study.
Methods
Participants were enrolled from the Uganda AIDS Rural Treatment Outcomes cohort, and underwent quarterly structured interviews and blood draws. The primary predictor was food insecurity measured by the validated Household Food Insecurity Access Scale. Primary outcomes included health-related quality of life measured by the validated Medical Outcomes Study-HIV Physical Health Summary (PHS), incident self-reported opportunistic infections, number of hospitalizations, and missed clinic visits. To estimate model parameters, we used the method of generalized estimating equations, adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical variables. Explanatory variables were lagged by 3 months to strengthen causal interpretations.
Results
Beginning in May 2007, 458 persons were followed for a median of 2.07 years, and 40% were severely food insecure at baseline. Severe food insecurity was associated with worse PHS, opportunistic infections, and increased hospitalizations (results were similar in concurrent and lagged models). Mild/moderate food insecurity was associated with missed clinic visits in concurrent models, whereas in lagged models, severe food insecurity was associated with reduced odds of missed clinic visits.
Conclusion
Based on the negative impact of food insecurity on morbidity and patterns of healthcare utilization among HIV-infected individuals, policies and programs that address food insecurity should be a critical component of HIV treatment programs worldwide.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834cad37
PMCID: PMC3606954  PMID: 21904186
AIDS; food insecurity; healthcare utilization; HIV; morbidity; Uganda
3.  The social context of food insecurity among persons living with HIV/AIDS in rural Uganda 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2011;73(12):1717-1724.
HIV/AIDS and food insecurity are two of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, with each heightening the vulnerability to, and worsening the severity of, the other. Less research has focused on the social determinants of food insecurity in resource-limited settings, including social support and HIV-related stigma. In this study, we analyzed data from a cohort of 456 persons from the Uganda AIDS Rural Treatment Outcomes study, an ongoing prospective cohort of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) initiating HIV antiretroviral therapy in Mbarara, Uganda. Quarterly data were collected by structured interviews. The primary outcome, food insecurity, was measured with the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale. Key covariates of interest included social support, internalized HIV-related stigma, HIV-related enacted stigma, and disclosure of HIV serostatus. Severe food insecurity was highly prevalent overall (38%) and more prevalent among women than among men. Social support, HIV disclosure, and internalized HIV-related stigma were associated with food insecurity; these associations persisted after adjusting for household wealth, employment status, and other previously identified correlates of food insecurity. The adverse effects of internalized stigma persisted in a lagged specification, and the beneficial effect of social support further persisted after the inclusion of fixed effects. International organizations have increasingly advocated for addressing food insecurity as part of HIV/AIDS programming to improve morbidity and mortality. This study provides quantitative evidence on social determinants of food insecurity among PLWHA in resource-limited settings and suggests points of intervention. These findings also indicate that structural interventions to improve social support and/or decrease HIV-related stigma may also improve the food security of PLWHA.
doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.09.026
PMCID: PMC3221802  PMID: 22019367
Uganda; HIV/AIDS; international health; social support; stigma; food security
4.  Predictors and outcome of surgical repair of obstetric fistula at a regional referral hospital, Mbarara, western Uganda 
BMC Urology  2011;11:23.
Background
Obstetric fistula although virtually eliminated in high income countries, still remains a prevalent and debilitating condition in many parts of the developing world. It occurs in areas where access to care at childbirth is limited, or of poor quality and where few hospitals offer the necessary corrective surgery.
Methods
This was a prospective observational study where all women who attended Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital in western Uganda with obstetric fistula during the study period were assessed pre-operatively for social demographics, fistula characteristics, classification and outcomes after surgery. Assessment for fistula closure and stress incontinence after surgery was done using a dye test before discharge
Results
Of the 77 women who were recruited in this study, 60 (77.9%) had successful closure of their fistulae. Unsuccessful fistula closure was significantly associated with large fistula size (Odds Ratio 6 95% Confidential interval 1.46-24.63), circumferential fistulae (Odds ratio 9.33 95% Confidential interval 2.23-39.12) and moderate to severe vaginal scarring (Odds ratio 12.24 95% Confidential interval 1.52-98.30). Vaginal scarring was the only factor independently associated with unsuccessful fistula repair (Odds ratio 10 95% confidential interval 1.12-100.57). Residual stress incontinence after successful fistula closure was associated with type IIb fistulae (Odds ratio 5.56 95% Confidential interval 1.34-23.02), circumferential fistulae (Odds ratio 10.5 95% Confidential interval 1.39-79.13) and previous unsuccessful fistula repair (Odds ratio 4.8 95% Confidential interval 1.27-18.11). Independent predictors for residual stress incontinence after successful fistula closure were urethral involvement (Odds Ratio 4.024 95% Confidential interval 2.77-5.83) and previous unsuccessful fistula repair (Odds ratio 38.69 95% Confidential interval 2.13-703.88).
Conclusions
This study demonstrated that large fistula size, circumferential fistulae and marked vaginal scarring are predictors for unsuccessful fistula repair while predictors for residual stress incontinence after successful fistula closure were urethral involvement, circumferential fistulae and previous unsuccessful fistula repair.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-11-23
PMCID: PMC3252285  PMID: 22151960
5.  Food Insecurity and Sexual Risk in an HIV Endemic Community in Uganda 
AIDS and behavior  2011;15(7):1512-1519.
Food insecurity has been linked to high-risk sexual behavior in sub-Saharan Africa, but there are limited data on these links among people living with HIV/AIDS, and on the mechanisms for how food insecurity predisposes individuals to risky sexual practices. We undertook a series of in-depth open-ended interviews with 41 individuals living with HIV/AIDS to understand the impact of food insecurity on sexual-risk behaviors. Participants were recruited from the Immune Suppression Clinic at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara, Uganda. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated, and coded following the strategy of grounded theory. Four major themes emerged from the interview data: the relationship between food insecurity and transactional sex for women; the impact of a husband’s death from HIV on worsening food insecurity among women and children; the impact of food insecurity on control over condom use, and the relationship between food insecurity and staying in violent/abusive relationships. Food insecurity led to increased sexual vulnerability among women. Women were often compelled to engage in transactional sex or remain in violent or abusive relationships due to their reliance on men in their communities to provide food for themselves and their children. There is an urgent need to prioritize food security programs for women living with HIV/AIDS and address broader gender-based inequities that are propelling women to engage in risky sexual behaviors based on hunger. Such interventions will play an important role in improving the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS, and preventing HIV transmission.
doi:10.1007/s10461-010-9693-0
PMCID: PMC3110536  PMID: 20405316
Food insecurity; HIV/AIDS; Uganda; Sexual-risk behavior; Gender; Transactional sex; Violence
6.  Transportation Costs Impede Sustained Adherence and Access to HAART in a Clinic Population in Southwestern Uganda: A Qualitative Study 
AIDS and behavior  2009;14(4):778-784.
The cost of transportation for monthly clinic visits has been identified as a potential barrier to antiretroviral (ARV) adherence in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, although there is limited data on this issue. We conducted open-ended interviews with 41 individuals living with HIV/AIDS and attending a clinic in Mbarara, Uganda, to understand structural barriers to ARV adherence and clinical care. Almost all respondents cited the need to locate funds for the monthly clinic visit as a constant source of stress and anxiety, and lack of money for transportation was a key factor in cases of missed doses and missed medical appointments. Participants struggled with competing demands between transport costs and other necessities such as food, housing and school fees. Our findings suggest that transportation costs can compromise both ARV adherence and access to care. Interventions that address this barrier will be important to ensure the success of ARV programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
doi:10.1007/s10461-009-9533-2
PMCID: PMC2888948  PMID: 19283464
HIV/AIDS; Transportation; ARVs; Adherence; Access; Uganda
7.  Food Insecurity as a Barrier to Sustained Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10340.
Background
Food insecurity is emerging as an important barrier to antiretroviral (ARV) adherence in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, but little is known about the mechanisms through which food insecurity leads to ARV non-adherence and treatment interruptions.
Methodology
We conducted in-depth, open-ended interviews with 47 individuals (30 women, 17 men) living with HIV/AIDS recruited from AIDS treatment programs in Mbarara and Kampala, Uganda to understand how food insecurity interferes with ARV therapy regimens. Interviews were transcribed, coded for key themes, and analyzed using grounded theory.
Findings
Food insecurity was common and an important barrier to accessing medical care and ARV adherence. Five mechanisms emerged for how food insecurity can contribute to ARV non-adherence and treatment interruptions or to postponing ARV initiation: 1) ARVs increased appetite and led to intolerable hunger in the absence of food; 2) Side effects of ARVs were exacerbated in the absence of food; 3) Participants believed they should skip doses or not start on ARVs at all if they could not afford the added nutritional burden; 4) Competing demands between costs of food and medical expenses led people either to default from treatment, or to give up food and wages to get medications; 5) While working for food for long days in the fields, participants sometimes forgot medication doses. Despite these obstacles, many participants still reported high ARV adherence and exceptional motivation to continue therapy.
Conclusions
While reports from sub-Saharan Africa show excellent adherence to ARVs, concerns remain that these successes are not sustainable in the presence of widespread poverty and food insecurity. We provide further evidence on how food insecurity can compromise sustained ARV therapy in a resource-limited setting. Addressing food insecurity as part of emerging ARV treatment programs is critical for their long-term success.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010340
PMCID: PMC2860981  PMID: 20442769
8.  Food Insecurity and Sexual Risk in an HIV Endemic Community in Uganda 
AIDS and Behavior  2010;15(7):1512-1519.
Food insecurity has been linked to high-risk sexual behavior in sub-Saharan Africa, but there are limited data on these links among people living with HIV/AIDS, and on the mechanisms for how food insecurity predisposes individuals to risky sexual practices. We undertook a series of in-depth open-ended interviews with 41 individuals living with HIV/AIDS to understand the impact of food insecurity on sexual-risk behaviors. Participants were recruited from the Immune Suppression Clinic at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara, Uganda. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated, and coded following the strategy of grounded theory. Four major themes emerged from the interview data: the relationship between food insecurity and transactional sex for women; the impact of a husband’s death from HIV on worsening food insecurity among women and children; the impact of food insecurity on control over condom use, and the relationship between food insecurity and staying in violent/abusive relationships. Food insecurity led to increased sexual vulnerability among women. Women were often compelled to engage in transactional sex or remain in violent or abusive relationships due to their reliance on men in their communities to provide food for themselves and their children. There is an urgent need to prioritize food security programs for women living with HIV/AIDS and address broader gender-based inequities that are propelling women to engage in risky sexual behaviors based on hunger. Such interventions will play an important role in improving the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS, and preventing HIV transmission.
doi:10.1007/s10461-010-9693-0
PMCID: PMC3110536  PMID: 20405316
Food insecurity; HIV/AIDS; Uganda; Sexual-risk behavior; Gender; Transactional sex; Violence
9.  Transportation Costs Impede Sustained Adherence and Access to HAART in a Clinic Population in Southwestern Uganda: A Qualitative Study 
AIDS and Behavior  2009;14(4):778-784.
The cost of transportation for monthly clinic visits has been identified as a potential barrier to antiretroviral (ARV) adherence in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, although there is limited data on this issue. We conducted open-ended interviews with 41 individuals living with HIV/AIDS and attending a clinic in Mbarara, Uganda, to understand structural barriers to ARV adherence and clinical care. Almost all respondents cited the need to locate funds for the monthly clinic visit as a constant source of stress and anxiety, and lack of money for transportation was a key factor in cases of missed doses and missed medical appointments. Participants struggled with competing demands between transport costs and other necessities such as food, housing and school fees. Our findings suggest that transportation costs can compromise both ARV adherence and access to care. Interventions that address this barrier will be important to ensure the success of ARV programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
doi:10.1007/s10461-009-9533-2
PMCID: PMC2888948  PMID: 19283464
HIV/AIDS; Transportation; ARVs; Adherence; Access; Uganda

Results 1-9 (9)