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- ItemAcceptability and feasibility of mHealth and community-based directly observed antiretroviral therapy to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in South African pregnant women under Option B+ : an exploratory study(Dove Medical Press, 2016) Nachega, Jean B.; Skinner, Donald; Jennings, Larissa; Magidson, Jessica F.; Altice, Frederick L.; Burke, Jessica G.; Lester, Richard T.; Uthman, Olalekan A.; Knowlton, Amy R.; Cotton, Mark F.; Anderson, Jean R.; Theron, Gerhard B.ENGLISH SUMMARY : Objective: To examine the acceptability and feasibility of mobile health (mHealth)/short message service (SMS) and community-based directly observed antiretroviral therapy (cDOT) as interventions to improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence for preventing mother-to-child human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission (PMTCT). Design and methods: A mixed-method approach was used. Two qualitative focus group discussions with HIV-infected pregnant women (n=20) examined the acceptability and feasibility of two ART adherence interventions for PMTCT: 1) SMS text messaging and 2) patient-nominated cDOT supporters. Additionally, 109 HIV-infected, pregnant South African women (18–30 years old) receiving PMTCT services under single-tablet antiretroviral therapy regimen during pregnancy and breastfeeding and continuing for life (“Option B+”) were interviewed about mobile phone access, SMS use, and potential treatment supporters. Setting: A community primary care clinic in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants: HIV-infected pregnant women. Main outcomes: Acceptability and feasibility of mHealth and cDOT interventions. Results: Among the 109 women interviewed, individual mobile phone access and SMS use were high (>90%), and 88.1% of women were interested in receiving SMS ART adherence support messages such as reminders, motivation, and medication updates. Nearly all women (95%) identified at least one person close to them to whom they had disclosed their HIV status and would nominate as a cDOT supporter. Focus group discussions revealed that cDOT supporters and adherence text messages were valued, but some concerns regarding supporter time availability and risk of unintended HIV status disclosure were expressed. Conclusion: mHealth and/or cDOT supporter as interventions to improve ART adherence are feasible in this setting. However, safe HIV status disclosure to treatment supporters and confidentiality of text messaging content about HIV and ART were deemed crucial.
- ItemAchieving universal testing for malaria(BMJ Publishing Group, 2016) Ochodo, Eleanor; Garner, Paul; Sinclair, DavidENGLISH SUMMARY : Rapid diagnostic tests have the potential to reduce the overtreatment of malaria by 95%, but time and extensive logistical, behavioural, and technical interventions may be required to achieve this.
- ItemAdvancing research integrity : a programme to embed good practice in Africa(Pan African Medical Journal, 2019-08-13) Rohwer, Anke; Wager, Elizabeth; Young, TarynIn Africa, training programmes as well as institutional policies on research integrity are lacking. Institutions have a responsibility to oversee research integrity through various efforts, including policies and training. We developed, implemented and evaluated an institutional approach to promote research integrity at African institutions, comprising a workshop for researchers ("bottom-up") and discussions with senior faculty on institutional policies ("top-down"). During the first day, we facilitated a workshop to introduce research integrity and promote best practices with regards to authorship, plagiarism, redundant publication and conflicts of interest. We used a variety of interactive teaching approaches to facilitate learning, including individual and group activities, small group discussions and case-based learning. We met with senior faculty on the following day to provide feedback and insights from the workshop, review current institutional policies and provide examples of what other research groups are doing. We evaluated the process. Participants actively engaged in discussions, recognised the importance of the topic and acknowledged that poor practices occurred at their institution. Discussions with senior researchers resulted in the establishment of a working group tasked with developing a publication policy for the institution. Our approach kick-started conversations on research integrity at institutions. There is a need for continued discussions, integrated training programmes and implementation of institutional policies and guidelines to promote good practices.
- ItemAdvocating for efforts to protect African children, families, and communities from the threat of infectious diseases : report of the First International African Vaccinology Conference(African Field Epidemiology Network, 2016) Wiysonge, Charles Shey; Waggie, Zainab; Hawkridge, Anthony; Schoub, Barry; Madhi, Shabir Ahmed; Rees, Helen; Hussey, GregoryOne means of improving healthcare workers' knowledg e of and attitudes to vaccines is through running v accine conferences which are accessible, affordable, and relevant to their everyday work. Va rious vaccinology conferences are held each year wo rldwide. These meetings focus heavily on basic science with much discussion about new develo pments in vaccines, and relatively little coverage of policy, advocacy, and communication issues. A negligible proportion of delegates at the se conferences come from Africa, home to almost 40% of the global burden of vaccine- preventable diseases. To the best of our knowledge, no major vaccinology conference has ever been held on the African continent apart from World Health Organization (WHO) meetings. The conte nt of the first International African Vaccinology C onference was planned to be different; to focus on the science, with a major part of discussi ons being on clinical, programmatic, policy, and ad vocacy issues. The conference was held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 8 to 11 November 2012 . The theme of the conference was “Advocating for e fforts to protect African children, families, and communities from the threat of infect ious diseases”. There were more than 550 registered participants from 55 countries (including 37 African countries). There were nine pre-conferen ce workshops, ten plenary sessions, and 150 oral an d poster presentations. The conference discussed the challenges to universal immunisation in Africa as well as the promotion of dialogue and communication on immunisation among all stakeholders. There was general acknowledgment that giant strides have been made in Africa since the g lobal launch of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in 1974. For example, there has bee n significant progress in introducing new and under -utilised vaccines; including hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type b, pneumococcal conju gate, rotavirus, meningococcal A conjugate, and hum an papillomavirus vaccines. In May 2012, African countries endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan at the World Health Assembly. However, more than six million children remain incompletely vaccinated in Africa leading to more t han one million vaccine-preventable deaths annually . In addition, there are persistent problems with leadership and planning, vaccine stock managem ent, supply chain capacity and quality, provider-pa rent communication, and financial sustainability. The conference delegates agreed to move from talking to taking concrete actions around children's health, and to ensure that African governments commit to saving children's liv es. They would advocate for lower costs of immunisa tion programmes n Africa, perhaps through bulk buying and improved administration of vaccine rollout through the New Partnership for Afr ica's Development.
- ItemAn analysis of trunk kinematics and gait parameters in people with stroke(AOSIS, 2018) Titus, Adnil W.; Hillier, Susan; Louw, Quinette A.; Inglis-Jassiem, GakeemahBackground: Approximately two out of three people with stroke experience gait problems. Trunk movement control and symmetry is an important prerequisite for functional walking gait. Movement control, measured objectively as kinematics during walking gait, is rarely investigated. Objective: To describe the three-dimensional (3D) kinematics of the trunk during gait in people with stroke, including key spatiotemporal characteristics. Methodology: A total of 17 adults with stroke who met the inclusion criteria were selected to participate in this cross-sectional pilot study. An eight-camera T-10 Vicon system with Nexus 1.8 software (Vicon Motion System Limited, Oxford, UK) was used to analyse the 3D kinematics of the trunk during self-selected walking speed. Trunk kinematics throughout the gait cycle and spatiotemporal parameters were extracted using custom-built scripts in MATLAB used at the Stellenbosch University Movement Analysis Laboratory. Stata Version 12.1 software was used to assess differences in trunk kinematics between the affected and unaffected sides during gait using the Sign test (statistical significance level p < 0.05). Results: Participants achieved functional gait speeds although they presented with asymmetrical trunk kinematics. During the full gait cycle, there were statistically significant differences of trunk motion between the affected and unaffected sides in the coronal plane (p < 0.001). There were statistically significant differences in the trunk kinematics between the affected side and unaffected sides at initial contact (p < 0.001) and foot off (p < 0.049) in the coronal plane as well as at initial contact (p < 0.000) and foot off (p < 0.013) in the transverse plane. Conclusion: This pilot study found significant asymmetry in trunk motion between the affected and unaffected sides that varied across the gait cycle. This suggests the trunk may need to be targeted in clinical gait retraining post-stroke.
- ItemAntiviral efficacy and safety of abacavir-containing combination antiretroviral therapy as first-line treatment of HIV-infected children and adolescents : a systematic review protocol(BioMed Central, 2014-08) Adetokunboh, Olatunji O.; Schoonees, Anel; Wiysonge, Charles S.Abstract Background: Abacavir is one of the recommended nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) for the treatment of HIV infections among children and adolescents. However, there are concerns that the antiviral efficacy of abacavir might be low when compared to other NRTIs especially among children. There are also concerns that abacavir use may lead to serious adverse events such as hypersensitivity reactions and has potential predisposition to developing cardiovascular diseases. Methods: We plan to do a systematic review to evaluate the antiviral efficacy and safety of abacavir-containing combination antiretroviral therapy as first-line treatment of HIV-infected children aged between 3 months and 18 years, compared with other NRTIs. We will search Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, and Web of Science databases for eligible studies regardless of language or publication status. We will check the reference lists of included studies, search relevant conference proceedings, email the authors of included studies and also look for unpublished and ongoing trials in prospective clinical trial registries. Two authors will independently screen search outputs, select studies, extract data and assess the risk of bias in included studies. All disagreements will be resolved by discussion and consensus. Where data allow, we will conduct meta-analysis for similar types of participants, study designs, interventions, and outcome measures. If the results are statistically homogeneous, we will use the fixed-effect model; otherwise, we will use the random-effects model and explore the reasons for heterogeneity using subgroup analyses. Heterogeneity will be assessed with the Chi-squared test and quantified with the I-squared statistic. Discussion: The findings will be useful to policy makers and programme managers to inform treatment and management of HIV in children and adolescents and to point out research gaps for future research. Trial registration: This review is registered with PROSPERO, registration number CRD42014009157.
- ItemAn approach for setting evidence-based and stakeholder-informed research priorities in low- and middle-income countries(World Health Organization, 2016) Rehfuess, Eva A.; Durao, Solange; Kyamanywa, Patrick; Meerpohl, Joerg J.; Young, Taryn; Rohwer, Anke; The Collaboration for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+)ENGLISH SUMMARY : To derive evidence-based and stakeholder-informed research priorities for implementation in African settings, the international research consortium Collaboration for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+) developed and applied a pragmatic approach. First, an online survey and face-to-face consultation between CEBHA+ partners and policy-makers generated priority research areas. Second, evidence maps for these priority research areas identified gaps and related priority research questions. Finally, study protocols were developed for inclusion within a grant proposal. Policy and practice representatives were involved throughout the process. Tuberculosis, diabetes, hypertension and road traffic injuries were selected as priority research areas. Evidence maps covered screening and models of care for diabetes and hypertension, population-level prevention of diabetes and hypertension and their risk factors, and prevention and management of road traffic injuries. Analysis of these maps yielded three priority research questions on hypertension and diabetes and one on road traffic injuries. The four resulting study protocols employ a broad range of primary and secondary research methods; a fifth promotes an integrated methodological approach across all research activities. The CEBHA+ approach, in particular evidence mapping, helped to formulate research questions and study protocols that would be owned by African partners, fill gaps in the evidence base, address policy and practice needs and be feasible given the existing research infrastructure and expertise. The consortium believes that the continuous involvement of decision-makers throughout the research process is an important means of ensuring that studies are relevant to the African context and that findings are rapidly implemented.
- ItemAssessing the completeness and comparability of outcomes in systematic reviews addressing food security : protocol for a methodological study(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2020-01-09) Durao, Solange; Visser, Marianne; Kredo, Tamara; Saldanha, Ian J.Background: Systematic reviews should specify all outcomes at the protocol stage. Pre-specification helps prevent outcome choice from being influenced by knowledge of included study results. Completely specified outcomes comprise five elements: (1) domain (title), (2) specific measurement (technique/instrument), (3) specific metric (data format for analysis), (4) method of aggregation (how group data are summarised), and (5) time points. This study aims to assess the completeness of outcome pre-specification in systematic reviews of interventions to improve food security, specifically food availability, in low- and middle-income countries, as well as to assess the comparability of outcome elements across reviews reporting the same outcome domains. Methods: We will examine systematic reviews from an ongoing overview of systematic reviews, which assessed the effects of interventions addressing food insecurity through improving food production, access, or utilisation compared with no intervention or a different intervention, on nutrition outcomes. We will examine the original protocols; if unavailable, we will examine the “Methods” section of the systematic reviews’ most recent version. One investigator will identify and group all outcome domains that the authors of the included protocols intended to measure in the systematic review and a second investigator will verify the domains. For outcome domains reported in at least 25% of protocols, one author will extract data using a pre-specified form and a second author will verify the data. We will use descriptive statistics to report the number, types, and degree of specification of outcomes in included protocols. We will assess the extent of completeness of outcome pre-specification based on the number of outcome elements (out of five). We will assess comparability of outcome domains through examining how individual elements are described across SRs reporting the same outcome domains. Discussion: Our findings will contribute to understanding about the best approach to pre-specify outcomes for systematic reviews and primary research in the field of food security.
- ItemAssessing variability in results in systematic reviews of diagnostic studies(BioMed Central, 2016) Naaktgeboren, Christiana A.; Ochodo, Eleanor A.; Van Enst, Wynanda A.; De Groot, Joris A. H.; Hooft, Lotty; Leeflang, Mariska M. G.; Bossuyt, Patrick M.; Moons, Karel G. M.; Reitsma, Johannes B.ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: To describe approaches used in systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy studies for assessing variability in estimates of accuracy between studies and to provide guidance in this area. Methods: Meta-analyses of diagnostic test accuracy studies published between May and September 2012 were systematically identified. Information on how the variability in results was investigated was extracted. Results: Of the 53 meta-analyses included in the review, most (n=48; 91 %) presented variability in diagnostic accuracy estimates visually either through forest plots or ROC plots and the majority (n=40; 75 %) presented a test or statistical measure for the variability. Twenty-eight reviews (53 %) tested for variability beyond chance using Cochran’s Q test and 31 (58 %) reviews quantified it with I2. 7 reviews (13 %) presented between-study variance estimates (τ2) from random effects models and 3 of these presented a prediction interval or ellipse to facilitate interpretation. Half of all the meta-analyses specified what was considered a significant amount of variability (n=24; 49 %). Conclusions: Approaches to assessing variability in estimates of accuracy varied widely between diagnostic test accuracy reviews and there is room for improvement. We provide initial guidance, complemented by an overview of the currently available approaches.
- ItemAuthorship, plagiarism and conflict of interest : views and practices from low/ middle-income country health researchers(BMJ Publishing Group, 2017-11) Rohwer, Anke; Young, Taryn; Wager, Elizabeth; Garner, PaulObjectives To document low/middle-income country (LMIC) health researchers’ views about authorship, redundant publication, plagiarism and conflicts of interest and how common poor practice was in their institutions. Design We developed a questionnaire based on scenarios about authorship, redundant publication, plagiarism and conflicts of interest. We asked participants whether the described practices were acceptable and whether these behaviours were common at their institutions. We conducted in-depth interviews with respondents who agreed to be interviewed. Participants We invited 607 corresponding authors of Cochrane reviews working in LMICs. From the 583 emails delivered, we obtained 199 responses (34%). We carried out in-depth interviews with 15 respondents. Results Seventy-seven per cent reported that guest authorship occurred at their institution, 60% reported text recycling. For plagiarism, 12% of respondents reported that this occurred ‘occasionally’, and 24% ‘rarely’. Forty per cent indicated that their colleagues had not declared conflicts of interest in the past. Respondents generally recognised poor practice in scenarios but reported that they occurred at their institutions. Themes identified from in-depth interviews were (1) authorship rules are simple in theory, but not consistently applied; (2) academic status and power underpin behaviours; (3) institutions and culture fuel bad practices and (4) researchers are uncertain about what conflict of interests means and how this may influence research. Conclusions LMIC researchers report that guest authorship is widely accepted and common. While respondents report that plagiarism and undeclared conflicts of interest are unacceptable in practice, they appear common. Determinants of poor practice relate to academic status and power, fuelled by institutional norms and culture.
- ItemBarriers and enablers for the development and implementation of allied health clinical practice guidelines in South African primary healthcare settings : a qualitative study(BioMed Central, 2017) Dizon, J. M.; Grimmer, K.; Louw, Q.; Machingaidze, S.; Parker, H.; Pillen, H.Background: The South African allied health (AH) primary healthcare (PHC) workforce is challenged with the complex rehabilitation needs of escalating patient numbers. The application of evidence-based care using clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) is one way to make efficient and effective use of resources. Although CPGs are common for AH in high-income countries, there is limited understanding of how to do this in low- to middle-income countries. This paper describes barriers and enablers for AH CPG uptake in South African PHC. Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews were undertaken with 25 South African AH managers, policymakers, clinicians and academics to explore perspectives on CPGs. Interviews were conducted by researcher dyads, one being familiar with South African AH PHC practice and the other with CPG expertise. Rigour and transparency of data collection was ensured. Interview transcripts were analysed by structuring content into codes, categories and themes. Exemplar quotations were extracted to support themes. Results: CPGs were generally perceived to be relevant to assist AH providers to address the challenges of consistently providing evidence-based care in South African PHC settings. CPGs were considered to be tools for managing clinical, social and economic complexities of AH PHC practice, particularly if CPG recommendations were contextusalised. CPG uptake was one way to deal with increasing pressures to make efficient use of scarce financial resources, and to demonstrate professional legitimacy. Themes comprised organisational infrastructures and capacities for CPG uptake, interactions between AH actors and interaction with broader political structures, the nature of AH evidence in CPGs, and effectively implementing CPGs into practice. Conclusion: CPGs contextualised to local circumstances offer South African PHC AH services with an efficient vehicle for putting evidence into practice. There are challenges to doing this, related to local barriers such as geography, AH training, workforce availability, scarce resources, an escalating number of patients requiring complex rehabilitation, and local knowledge. Concerted attempts to implement locally relevant CPGs for AH primary care in South Africa are required to improve widespread commitment to evidence-based care, as well as to plan efficient and effective service delivery models.
- ItemBeta‐blockers for hypertension(John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration, 2017) Wiysonge, Charles S.; Bradley, H. A.; Volmink, J.; Mayosi, B. M.; Opie, L. H.Background: Beta-blockers refer to a mixed group of drugs with diverse pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties. They have shown longterm beneficial effects on mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) when used in people with heart failure or acute myocardial infarction. Beta-blockers were thought to have similar beneficial effects when used as first-line therapy for hypertension. However, the benefit of beta-blockers as first-line therapy for hypertension without compelling indications is controversial. This review is an update of a Cochrane Review initially published in 2007 and updated in 2012. Objectives: To assess the effects of beta-blockers on morbidity and mortality endpoints in adults with hypertension. Search methods: The Cochrane Hypertension Information Specialist searched the following databases for randomized controlled trials up to June 2016: the Cochrane Hypertension Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2016, Issue 6), MEDLINE (from 1946), Embase (from 1974), and ClinicalTrials.gov. We checked reference lists of relevant reviews, and reference lists of studies potentially eligible for inclusion in this review, and also searched the the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform on 06 July 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of at least one year of duration, which assessed the effects of beta-blockers compared to placebo or other drugs, as first-line therapy for hypertension, on mortality and morbidity in adults. Data collection and analysis: We selected studies and extracted data in duplicate, resolving discrepancies by consensus. We expressed study results as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and conducted fixed-effect or random-effects meta-analyses, as appropriate.We also used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence. GRADE classifies the certainty of evidence as high (if we are confident that the true effect lies close to that of the estimate of effect), moderate (if the true effect is likely to be close to the estimate of effect), low (if the true effect may be substantially different from the estimate of effect), and very low (if we are very uncertain about the estimate of effect). Main results: Thirteen RCTs met inclusion criteria. They compared beta-blockers to placebo (4 RCTs, 23,613 participants), diuretics (5 RCTs, 18,241 participants), calcium-channel blockers (CCBs: 4 RCTs, 44,825 participants), and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors (3 RCTs, 10,828 participants). These RCTs were conducted between the 1970s and 2000s and most of them had a high risk of bias resulting from limitations in study design, conduct, and data analysis. There were 40,245 participants taking beta-blockers, threequarters of them taking atenolol. We found no outcome trials involving the newer vasodilating beta-blockers (e.g. nebivolol). There was no difference in all-cause mortality between beta-blockers and placebo (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.11), diuretics or RAS inhibitors, but it was higher for beta-blockers compared to CCBs (RR 1.07, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.14). The evidence on mortality was of moderate-certainty for all comparisons. Total CVD was lower for beta-blockers compared to placebo (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.97; low-certainty evidence), a reflection of the decrease in stroke (RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.96; low-certainty evidence) since there was no difference in coronary heart disease (CHD: RR 0.93, 95%CI 0.81 to 1.07; moderate-certainty evidence). The effect of beta-blockers on CVDwas worse than that of CCBs (RR 1.18, 95%CI 1.08 to 1.29; moderate-certainty evidence), but was not different fromthat of diuretics (moderate-certainty) or RAS inhibitors (low-certainty). In addition, there was an increase in stroke in beta-blockers compared to CCBs (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.40; moderate-certainty evidence) and RAS inhibitors (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.53; moderate-certainty evidence). However, there was little or no difference in CHD between beta-blockers and diuretics (low-certainty evidence), CCBs (moderate-certainty evidence) or RAS inhibitors (low-certainty evidence). In the single trial involving participants aged 65 years and older, atenolol was associated with an increased CHD incidence compared to diuretics (RR 1.63, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.32). Participants taking beta-blockers were more likely to discontinue treatment due to adverse events than participants taking RAS inhibitors (RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.54; moderate-certainty evidence), but there was little or no difference with placebo, diuretics or CCBs (low-certainty evidence). Authors’ conclusions: Most outcome RCTs on beta-blockers as initial therapy for hypertension have high risk of bias. Atenolol was the beta-blocker most used. Current evidence suggests that initiating treatment of hypertension with beta-blockers leads to modest CVD reductions and little or no effects on mortality. These beta-blocker effects are inferior to those of other antihypertensive drugs. Further research should be of high quality and should explore whether there are differences between different subtypes of beta-blockers or whether beta-blockers have differential effects on younger and older people.
- ItemBrief school-based interventions and behavioural outcomes for substance-using adolescents(Cochrane, 2016-01-20) Okwundu, Charles I.; Louw, Johann; Myers, Bronwyn J.; Carney, TaraBackground: Adolescent substance use is a major problem in and of itself, and because it acts as a risk factor for other problem behaviours. As substance use during adolescence can lead to adverse and often long-term health and social consequences, it is important to intervene early in order to prevent progression to more severe problems. Brief interventions have been shown to reduce problematic substance use among adolescents and are especially useful for individuals who have moderately risky patterns of substance use. Such interventions can be conducted in school settings. This review set out to evaluate the effectiveness of brief school-based interventions for adolescent substance use. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of brief school-based interventions in reducing substance use and other behavioural outcomes among adolescents compared to another intervention or assessment-only conditions.
- ItemBuilding capacity in clinical epidemiology in Africa : experiences from Masters programmes(BioMed Central, 2017-02-27) Young, Taryn; Naude, Celeste; Brodovcky, Tania; Esterhuizen, TonyaENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: To describe and contrast programmatic offering of Clinical Epidemiology Masters programmes in Africa, to evaluate experiences of graduates and faculty, and assess if graduates are playing roles in research, practice and teaching of Clinical Epidemiology. Methods: We searched and identified relevant programmes, reviewed programmatic documentation, interviewed convenors and surveyed graduates. Participants provided informed consent, interviews with faculty were recorded and transcribed for analysis purposes, and graduates participated in an online survey. Results: Five structured Masters programmes requiring health science professionals to complete modules and research projects were assessed. Demand for programmes was high. Graduates enjoyed the variety of modules, preferred blended teaching, and regarded assessments as fair. Graduates felt that career paths were not obvious after graduating. Despite this, some have gone on to promote and teach evidence-based health care, and conduct and disseminate research. Areas of concern raised by faculty were quality assurance; research project initiation, implementation and supervisory capacity; staff availability; funding to support implementation and lack of experiential learning. Conclusion: Although faced with challenges, these programmes build capacity of health professionals to practice in an evidence-informed way, and conduct rigorous research, which are central to advancing the practice of Clinical Epidemiology in Africa.
- ItemBurden of diabetes and first evidence for the utility of HbA1c for diagnosis and detection of diabetes in urban Black South Africans : the Durban diabetes study(Public Library of Science, 2016) Hird, Thomas R.; Pirie, Fraser J.; Esterhuizen, Tonya M.; O’Leary, Brian; McCarthy, Mark I.; Young, Elizabeth H.; Sandhu, Manjinder S.; Motala, Ayesha A.Objective: Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) is recommended as an additional tool to glucose-based measures (fasting plasma glucose [FPG] and 2-hour plasma glucose [2PG] during oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT]) for the diagnosis of diabetes; however, its use in sub-Saharan African populations is not established. We assessed prevalence estimates and the diagnosis and detection of diabetes based on OGTT, FPG, and HbA1c in an urban black South African population. Research Design and Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey using multistage cluster sampling of adults aged ≥18 years in Durban (eThekwini municipality), KwaZulu-Natal. All participants had a 75-g OGTT and HbA1c measurements. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to assess the overall diagnostic accuracy of HbA1c, using OGTT as the reference, and to determine optimal HbA1c cut-offs. Results: Among 1190 participants (851 women, 92.6% response rate), the age-standardised prevalence of diabetes was 12.9% based on OGTT, 11.9% based on FPG, and 13.1% based on HbA1c. In participants without a previous history of diabetes (n = 1077), using OGTT as the reference, an HbA1c ≥48 mmol/mol (6.5%) detected diabetes with 70.3% sensitivity (95%CI 52.7–87.8) and 98.7% specificity (95%CI 97.9–99.4) (AUC 0.94 [95%CI 0.89–1.00]). Additional analyses suggested the optimal HbA1c cut-off for detection of diabetes in this population was 42 mmol/mol (6.0%) (sensitivity 89.2% [95%CI 78.6–99.8], specificity 92.0% [95%CI: 90.3–93.7]). Conclusions: In an urban black South African population, we found a high prevalence of diabetes and provide the first evidence for the utility of HbA1c for the diagnosis and detection of diabetes in black Africans in sub-Saharan Africa.
- ItemThe burden of hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa : a four-country cross sectional study(BioMed Central, 2015) Guwatudde, David; Nankya-Mutyoba, Joan; Kalyesubula, Robert; Laurence, Carien; Adebamowo, Clement; Ajayi, IkeOluwapo; Bajunirwe, Francis; Njelekela, Marina; Chiwanga, Faraja S.; Reid, Todd; Volmink, Jimmy; Adami, Hans-Olov; Holmes, Michelle D.; Dalal, ShonaENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: Hypertension, the leading single cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, is a growing publichealth problem in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Few studies have estimated and compared the burden of hypertension across different SSA populations. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of blood pressure data collected through a cohort study in four SSA countries, to estimate the prevalence of pre-hypertension, the prevalence of hypertension,and to identify the factors associated with hypertension. Methods: Participants were from five different population groups defined by occupation and degree of urbanization, including rural and peri-urban residents in Uganda, school teachers in South Africa and Tanzania, and nurses in Nigeria. We used a standardized questionnaire to collect data on demographic and behavioral characteristics, injuries, and history of diagnoses of chronic diseases and mental health. We also made physical measurements (weight, height and blood pressure), as well as biochemical measurements; which followed standardized protocols across the country sites. Modified Poison regression modelling was used to estimate prevalence ratios (PR) as measures of association between potential risk factors and hypertension. Results: The overall age-standardized prevalence of hypertension among the 1216 participants was 25.9 %. Prevalence was highest among nurses with an age-standardized prevalence (ASP) of 25.8 %, followed by school teachers (ASP = 23.2 %), peri-urban residents (ASP = 20.5 %) and lowest among rural residents (ASP = 8.7 %). Only 50.0 % of participants with hypertension were aware of their raised blood pressure. The overall age-standardized prevalence of pre-hypertension was 21.0 %. Factors found to be associated with hypertension were: population group, older age, higher body mass index, higher fasting plasma glucose level, lower level of education, and tobacco use. Conclusions: The prevalence of hypertension and pre-hypertension are high, and differ by population group defined by occupation and degree of urbanization. Only half of the populations with hypertension are aware of their hypertension, indicating a high burden of undiagnosed and un-controlled high blood pressure in these populations.
- ItemBurden of non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, 1990–2017 : results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017(Elsevier, 2019-10) Gouda, Hebe N.; Charlson, Fiona; Sorsdahl, Katherine; Ahmadzada, Sanam; Ferrari, Alize J.; Erskine, Holly; Leung, Janni; Santamauro, Damian; Lund, Crick; Aminde, Leopold Ndemnge; Mayosi, Bongani M.; Kengne, Andre Pascal; Harris, Meredith; Achoki, Tom; Wiysonge, Charles S.; Stein, Dan J.; Whiteford, HarveyBackground: Although the burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa continues to be dominated by infectious diseases, countries in this region are undergoing a demographic transition leading to increasing prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). To inform health system responses to these changing patterns of disease, we aimed to assess changes in the burden of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa from 1990 to 2017. Methods: We used data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2017 to analyse the burden of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs)—with crude counts as well as all-age and age-standardised rates per 100000 population—with 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). We examined changes in burden between 1990 and 2017, and differences across age, sex, and regions. We also compared the observed NCD burden across countries with the expected values based on a country’s Socio-demographic Index. Findings: All-age total DALYs due to NCDs increased by 67·0% between 1990 (90·6 million [95% UI 81·0–101·9]) and 2017 (151·3 million [133·4–171·8]), reflecting an increase in the proportion of total DALYs attributable to NCDs (from 18·6% [95% UI 17·1–20·4] to 29·8% [27·6–32·0] of the total burden). Although most of this increase can be explained by population growth and ageing, the age-standardised DALY rate (per 100000 population) due to NCDs in 2017 (21757·7 DALYs [95% UI 19 377·1–24380·7]) was almost equivalent to that of communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (26491·6 DALYs [25165·2–28129·8]). Cardiovascular diseases were the second leading cause of NCD burden in 2017, resulting in 22·9 million (21·5–24·3) DALYs (15·1% of the total NCD burden), after the group of disorders categorised as other NCDs (28·8 million [25·1–33·0] DALYs, 19·1%). These categories were followed by neoplasms, mental disorders, and digestive diseases. Although crude DALY rates for all NCDs have decreased slightly across sub-Saharan Africa, age-standardised rates are on the rise in some countries (particularly those in southern sub-Saharan Africa) and for some NCDs (such as diabetes and some cancers, including breast and prostate cancer). Interpretation: NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa are posing an increasing challenge for health systems, which have to date largely focused on tackling infectious diseases and maternal, neonatal, and child deaths. To effectively address these changing needs, countries in sub-Saharan Africa require detailed epidemiological data on NCDs.
- ItemCalcium channel blockers for people with chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis(Cochrane, 2014) Esterhuizen, T. M.; Mugendi, G. A.; Strippoli, G. F. M.; Mutua, F. M.This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows: This review aims to look at the benefits and harms of CCB for people with CKD requiring dialysis.
- ItemCaregiver involvement in interventions for improving children’s dietary intake and physical activity behaviors(John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration, 2017) Morgan, E. H.; Schoonees, A.; Faure, M.; Seguin, R. A.This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the effects of caregiver involvement in interventions for improving children's dietary intake and physical activity behavior, including those intended to prevent overweight and obesity. We will also describe the intervention content and the behavior change techniques employed, drawing from behavior change technique taxonomy developed and advanced by Abraham, Michie, and colleagues (Abraham 2008; Michie 2011; Michie 2013; Michie 2015). We will identify content and techniques related to the reported outcomes, where such information has been reported in included studies.
- ItemChanges in lipid profiles of HIV+ adults over nine months at a Harare HIV clinic : a longitudinal study(Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2016) Zhou, Danai Tavonga; Nehumba, Doreen; Oktedalen, Olav; Marange, Princess; Kodogo, Vitaris; Gomo, Zvenyika Alfred; Esterhuizen, Tonya M.; Stray-Pedersen, BabillENGLISH SUMMARY : HIV infection, together with ART, is associated with changes in biochemical, metabolic parameters and lipid profiles. The aim of this study was to compare changes in lipid profiles among HIV positive outpatients over nine months. 171 patients were investigated, 79% were ART experienced, and 82% of ART experienced patients were on NVP/EFV first line at baseline, but some patients changed ART groups over follow-up and classification was based on intent to treat. More than 60% ART naïve and ART experienced patients had some form of dyslipidemia either at baseline or at follow-up, but mean lipid values for the two groups were within normal limits. At baseline and follow-up, mean levels of TC and HDL were slightly higher in the ART experienced group. Interestingly, there was higher increase in HDL over time in the ART negative group compared to the ART positive group. There was a decrease in TC/HDL ratio in both groups over time, suggesting a reduction in calculated risk of CHD over time. HIV positive patients frequently show various forms of dyslipidemia, but there are no changes in average atherogenic lipid levels and results suggest reduced risk of CHD, mainly due to increases in HDL, after nine months of observation time.