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1.  Predictors and outcome of surgical repair of obstetric fistula at a regional referral hospital, Mbarara, western Uganda 
BMC Urology  2011;11:23.
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.
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
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3252285  PMID: 22151960
2.  Navigating the Challenges of Global Reproductive Health Research 
Journal of Women's Health  2010;19(11):2101-2107.
Reproductive health research in low-resource settings poses unique and complex challenges that must be addressed to ensure that global research is conducted with strict adherence to ethical principles, offers direct benefit to the research subjects, and has the potential for adoption of positive findings to the target population. This article addresses challenges to conducting reproductive health research in low-resource settings in the following areas: (1) establishment and maintenance of global collaboration, (2) community partnerships, (3) ethical issues, including informed consent and the role of incentives, (4) staff training and development, (5) data collection and management, and (6) infrastructure and logistics. Particular attention to these challenges is important to ensure that research is culturally appropriate and methodologically sound and enhances the adoption of health-promoting behaviors. Rigorous evaluation of interventions in low-resource settings may be a cost-effective and time-efficient way to identify interventions for large-scale program replication to improve women's health.
PMCID: PMC3004132  PMID: 20849297
3.  The Tibetan Uterotonic Zhi Byed 11: Mechanisms of Action, Efficacy, and Historical Use for Postpartum Hemorrhage 
Objective. To explore evidence for the traditional Tibetan medicine, Zhi Byed 11 (ZB11), for use as a uterotonic. Methods. The eleven ingredients in ZB11 were chemically analyzed by mass spectroscopy. A review was conducted of Western allopathic literature for scientific studies on ZB11's individual components. Literature from Tibetan and other traditional paradigms were reviewed. Results. Potential mechanisms of action for ZB11 as a uterotonic include laxative effects, a dose-dependant increase in smooth muscle tissue peristalsis that may also affect the uterus smooth muscle, and chemical components that are prostaglandin precursors and/or increase prostaglandin synthesis. A recent RCT demonstrated comparable efficacy to misoprostol in reducing severe postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) (>1000 mL) and greater effect than placebo. Historical and anecdotal evidence for ZB11 and its ingredients for childbirth provide further support. Discussion. ZB11 and its ingredients are candidates for potentially effective uterotonics, especially in low-resource settings. Further research is warranted to understand the mechanisms of action and synergy between ingredients.
PMCID: PMC3142552  PMID: 21822444
4.  Risk factors for poor virological outcome at 12 months in a workplace-based antiretroviral therapy programme in South Africa: A cohort study 
Reasons for the variation in reported treatment outcomes from antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes in developing countries are not clearly defined.
Among ART-naïve individuals in a workplace ART programme in South Africa we determined virological outcomes at 12 months, and risk factors for suboptimal virological outcome, defined as plasma HIV-1 viral load >= 400 copies/ml.
Among 1760 individuals starting ART before July 2004, 1172 were in follow-up at 12 months of whom 953 (81%) had a viral load measurement (median age 41 yrs, 96% male, median baseline CD4 count 156 × 106/l). 71% (681/953) had viral load < 400 copies/ml at 12 months. In a multivariable analysis, independent predictors of suboptimal virological outcome at 12 months were <1 log decrease in viral load at six weeks (odds ratio [OR] 4.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.56–8.68), viral load at baseline (OR 3.63 [95% CI 1.88–7.00] and OR 3.54 [95% CI 1.79–7.00] for 10,001–100,000 and >100,000 compared to <= 10,000 copies/ml, respectively), adherence at six weeks (OR 3.50 [95% CI 1.92–6.35]), WHO stage (OR 2.08 [95% CI 1.28–3.34] and OR 2.03 [95% CI 1.14–3.62] for stage 3 and 4 compared to stage 1–2, respectively) and site of ART delivery. Site of delivery remained an independent risk factor even after adjustment for individual level factors. At 6 weeks, of 719 patients with self-reported adherence and viral load, 72 (10%) reported 100% adherence but had <1 log decrease in viral load; conversely, 60 (8%) reported <100% adherence but had >= 1 log decrease in viral load.
Virological response at six weeks after ART start was the strongest predictor of suboptimal virological outcome at 12 months, and may identify individuals who need interventions such as additional adherence support. Self reported adherence was less strongly associated but identified different patients compared with viral load at 6 weeks. Site of delivery had an important influence on virological outcomes; factors at the health system level which influence outcome need further investigation to guide development of effective ART programmes.
PMCID: PMC2494994  PMID: 18631397

Results 1-4 (4)