Posts or Comments 18 January 2022

Elimination &Monkeys &Zoonoses Bill Brieger | 09 Jan 2022

Humans, Monkeys, and Malaria in Costa Rica: Implications for Elimination

A just-published article by Andrea Chaves and colleagues entitled, “Presence and potential distribution of malaria-infected New World primates of Costa Rica”, Specifically their results state that, “PCR analysis for the Plasmodium presence was conducted in 384 samples of four primates …

  • Howler monkey [n?=?130]
  • White-face monkey [n?=?132]
  • Squirrel monkey [n?=?50]
  • red spider monkey [n?=?72]),

… from across Costa Rica. Three Plasmodium species were detected in all primate species (P. falciparum, P. malariae/P. brasilianum, and P. vivax). Overall, the infection prevalence was 8.9%, but each Plasmodium species ranged 2.1–3.4%. The niche model approach showed that the Pacific and the Atlantic coastal regions of Costa Rica presented suitable climatic conditions for parasite infections. However, the central pacific coast has a more trustable prediction for malaria in primates.”

Last year, Tobias Mourier et al. reported another human/non-human primate connection in Brazil. According to them, “Analysis of the P. simium genome confirmed a close phylogenetic relationship between P. simium and P. vivax, and suggests a very recent American origin for P. simium. The presence of the DBP1 deletion in all human-derived isolates tested suggests that this deletion, in combination with other genetic changes in P. simium, may facilitate the invasion of human red blood cells and may explain, at least in part, the basis of the recent zoonotic infections.

The connection between human and primate malaria also flows toward humans as traditional human plasmodium infections decrease in prevalence in Malaysia. Lai are co-researchers explain that, “The incidence of zoonotic malaria Plasmodium knowlesi infection is increasing and now has been the major cause of malaria in Malaysia.”

In fact, the 2021 World Malaria Report noted that, “Malaysia had no cases of human malaria for 3 consecutive years, but in 2020 reported 2607 cases of P. knowlesi, a zoonotic malaria.” The report does not specify efforts to handle this issue.

These studies raise a continuing question about the feasibility of eliminating malaria in countries when those plasmodium species that infect humans also infect other primates and vice versa. As we have noted before, monkeys do not use bednets. As long as primate Plasmodium reservoirs exist, our ability to eliminate the disease will remain elusive.

Chronic/NCDs &Community &Training Bill Brieger | 08 Jan 2022

Freedom Park Lagos Hosts Revolving Hearts Foundation CPR Training & AED Presentation

In their 2021 presentation at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, “Hands-only CPR Training Program of Secondary School Students in Ibadan, Nigeria”, Olufunso Odunukan and colleagues of the Revolving Heart Foundation mentioned that plans were underway to expand the training. Below, they share their recent public training in Lagos, Nigeria.

Freedom Park Lagos played host to the Revolving Hearts Foundation (RHF) – a non-governmental organisation which advocates Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) trainings and more of the presence/ use of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in public places in Nigeria (and by extension Africa). The foundation represented by its visionary Dr. Olufunso Odunukan, an interventional cardiologist based in the United States, took a wide cadre of staff – from management to the most junior level, and vendor representatives through a detailed and practical session of administering CPR in a bid to save more lives and reduce loss due to not-quick-enough basic interventions in the face of a cardiac arrest or someone passing out due to a heart attack.

The NGO also presented an AED to the management of Freedom Park and in the same training showed how to set up the device following previously programmed instructions on the gadget. After that, with the use of mannequins and simulated AED materials, the RHF representative Dr. Odunukan took the participants through a very hands-on and practical experience of deploying CPR in a model situation. There was a video presentation that detailed what to do in the event a person suffers a cardiac arrest in a public place, at home, on the sidewalk, on stage or similar places.

The participants who included a wide array – cleaners, vendor workers, senior staff and middle management all gave good feedback as to the extent and impact that the training would have, even beyond the four walls of the Park. They also participated in a skit of a proper situation where they might need to take charge or be part of helping in an emergency situation, especially with the benefit of the lessons they had picked up in the training.

Dr. Odunukan equally advocated that this shouldn’t be a one-off session as the training could be replicated from time to time, so that everyone is prepared and savvy in the proper manner to be able to intervene and save lives, at least as a first aid in such situations, until professional medical assistance arrives. After the latter, on behalf of RHF, he presented the AED to the management of Freedom Park represented by the C.O.O.  Ms. Iyabo Aboaba who gladly accepted the device and reiterated the necessity of such gesture with the pledge to put it to good use, in line with the vision of the NGO to save more lives.

The training which lasted about 1hour 30 minutes ended with FAQs and an interactive and enlightening session based on the model skit and how to replicate an efficient process in the event of a real-life situation.

Antenatal Care (ANC) &Behavior Change &Communication &ITNs Bill Brieger | 20 Nov 2021

Factors affecting adoption of malaria-preventive behaviors among populations at high risk of malaria in Cote d’Ivoire

Save the Children designs programs to protect children and families from malaria. An important aspect of the design process is learning about the factors that influence community members’ behaviors related to the prevention of the disease. Here we learn about behavioral factors that must be considered to design effective programs. This information is being presented at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting. See Author List below.

Understanding the drivers of malaria-related behavior helps national malaria control programs and implementing partners to plan national malaria strategies and to tailor interventions accordingly. This study examined the factors affecting adoption of malaria behaviors and those that drive or inhibit them among populations at high risk of malaria in Cote d’Ivoire.

This study was a multi-method, qualitative study with an exploratory approach using focus group discussions (FGDs), in-depth interviews (IDIs) and life stories. The study was conducted in 12 health districts across 10 health regions of Cote d’Ivoire in both urban and rural areas. FGDs and life stories were conducted with pregnant women and mothers of children under 5 and men (heads of household). IDIs were conducted with a number of stakeholders including: departmental district directors; midwives, nurses, community health workers, leaders of women’s groups, community leaders, and the local media.

The findings from this study show that incorrect knowledge about LLINs, LLIN dislike and discomfort, housing structure and size, sleeping arrangements for children under 5, and lack of LLIN recycling strategies were among the root causes for incorrect, non-use and/or inconsistent use of LLINs. In terms of ANC attendance, the main reported barriers were influence of their beliefs and norms, cost, perceived poor services provided, bad experiences from gynecological examinations, and the distance of health facilities in rural areas. Additionally, the lack of information on the benefits of SP for prevention of malaria in pregnancy and the use of traditional medicine were the main barriers for SP in pregnancy. Cost, poor services by health care providers and stock outs were the main barriers to diagnosis and treatment for children U5.  The main factor that influenced the adoption of preventive measures was free LLIN distribution through ANC viists and mass distribution campaigns.

Findings from this study are useful to inform the revision of the Social Behavior Change Communication Strategy in Cote d’Ivoire. Additionally, they can inform key messaging and the design of interventions in a context where malaria is the main cause of morbidity and mortality and children under 5 and pregnant women are the most affected.

AUTHOR LIST:

Jacob Y. Agniman1, Manasse N. Kassi1, Yssouf Ouattara1, Edouard C. Balogoun1, Serge B. Assi2, Philomène A. Beda1, Michel N’da-Ezoa3, Aristide E. Kouadio1, Joel Koffi1, Apollinaire N. Kouadio1, Paul Bouey4, Sara Canavati4, Eric Swedberg4 — 1Save the Children, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 2Le Programme Nationale de Lutte contre le Paludisme (PNLP), Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 3Socio-Anthropologue de la Santé, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 4Save the Children, Washington, DC, United States

Antenatal Care (ANC) &Communication &Health Systems &ITNs Bill Brieger | 20 Nov 2021

Education and knowledge help fighting malaria, but health systems strengthening in Cote d’Ivoire

Save the Children recognizes the importance of strong health systems to deliver malaria interventions. Here they arsharing a wealth of information on these efforts at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting. Here is an abstract from one of their malaria efforts. See Author List below.

Since 2010, Cote d’Ivoire has made significant progress in the fight against malaria; however, since 2016 progress has stagnated and malaria incidence is steadily increasing. The aims of this study were to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices among heads of households, pregnant women and caretakers of children under 5 years of age (U5) and IPTp-SP compliance.

A mixed-methods study was conducted in rural and urban areas in 20 health districts of Cote d’Ivoire. A total of 1,812 households composed of 8,813 members were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. Qualitative data were gathered through twenty focus group discussions. Data triangulation was used during analysis.

Fever was the main malaria symptom reported by heads of households (38.5%) followed by headache (25.5%). Additionally, many FGD participants also reported sadness as a symptom of malaria. The primary cause of malaria was mosquito bites, followed by fatigue, the sun, and salty water, 70.7%, 15.1% and 10.9%, 3.3% respectively. The main prevention methods reported were sleeping under an ITN (60.4%), spraying the house (25.9%), taking medication (5.8%), and using a fan (7.9%). In FGDs, additional means of prevention were discussed including sanitation of the environment, personal hygiene, and stopping alcohol consumption.

The majority of women with at least one child reported having attended at least three ANC visits in their last pregnancy (85.1%). The cost of ANC was a main factor affecting attendance.  Overall, 78.2% of them received SP and of these women, 98.1% said they received it during their ANC visits. However, only 55.4% received 3 doses or more of SP and 76.79% received SP free of charge. The reasons for not taking SP were stock outs, side effects, bitter taste, and preference for injections.

Our study revealed that knowledge of prevention measures (ITNs) and causes of malaria (mosquito bites) were high and in line with the targets of the National BCC Strategy 2021-2025. However, even though the majority of pregnant women would like to take SP, they were blocked by the health system unable to provide them with the drugs and others had to pay for them. These problems within the health system are likely to contribute to the high malaria incidence in Cote d’Ivoire.

AUTHOR LIST

Edouard C. Balogoun1, Manasse Kassi1, Philomène A. Beda1, Jacob Y. Agniman1, Serge B. Assi2, Florence Kadjo-Kouadio3, Michel N’da-Ezoa4, Aristide E. Kouadio1, Joel Koffi1, Apollinaire N. Kouadio1, Paul Bouey5, Sara Canavati5, Eric Swedberg5 — 1Save the Children, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 2Le Programme Nationale de Lutte contre le Paludisme (PNLP), Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 3Médecin Spécialiste de Santé, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 4Socio-Anthropologue de la Santé, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 5Save the Children, Washington, DC, United States

ITNs &Mosquitoes Bill Brieger | 19 Nov 2021

Mosquito net knowledge, ownership, use, acceptability and preferences

Save the Children addresses various ways to protect children and families from malaria. Here we learn about Mosquito net knowledge, ownership, use, acceptability and preferences among primary caregivers of children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and household heads in Cote d’Ivoire. This information is being presented at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting. See Author List below.

Strengthening vector control measures among populations at higher risk of malaria, such as pregnant women and children under 5 years of age (U5s), is crucial to malaria control. Cote d’Ivoire has set itself a number of targets for malaria control by 2025. These include: at least 90% of the population are aware of national malaria prevention measures and at least 80% of the general population, pregnant women and children U5 sleep under an LLIN. One of the specific aims of this study was to assess mosquito net knowledge, ownership, use, acceptability and preferences of primary caregivers of children U5, pregnant women and household heads.

A mixed-methods study was conducted in rural and urban areas in 20 health districts of Cote d’Ivoire. A total of 1,812 households composed of 8,813 members were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. Only households who had one or more children under five years of age and/or a pregnant woman were included in the study. Qualitative data were gathered through twenty focus group discussions. Data triangulation of the qualitative and quantitative data was used during analysis.

Sixty percent of participants cited mosquito nets as the main malaria preventive measure. The majority of participants (95.6%) received information on the use of mosquito nets and over half of them received it from mass distribution campaign agents (51.1%). Although 79.5% of households owned at least one mosquito net, less than half (46.47%) owned one mosquito net for two people. The majority (98.2%) of participants received a free mosquito net. Nets were reportedly received mainly through mass distribution campaigns (54.99%) and ANC visits (39.0%). Self-reported mosquito net use by the head of households was 53.5%. This was higher for pregnant women and children U5, 76.2% and 83.2% respectively. However, only 53.0% of mosquito nets were suspended over a bed. Reasons for not using a mosquito nets were feeling of suffocation, heat, side effects, and poor condition of the mosquito net.

While mosquito net was reported as the main malaria preventive measure, mosquito net coverage and use remains below national targets. In addition, there was a noted gap between coverage and net use, potentially undermining the effectiveness of net-related interventions that could impact malaria control efforts in Cote d’Ivoire. The design, material, and condition of nets are important factors for user preferences that appear to drive net use.

AUTHOR LIST:

Edouard C. Balogoun1, Manasse N. Kassi1, Philomène A. Beda1, Serge B. Assi2, Jacob Y. Agniman1, Florence Kadjo-Kouadio3, Michel N’da-Ezoa4, Aristide E. Kouadio1, Joel Koffi1, Apollinaire N. Kouadio1, Paul Bouey5, Sara Canavati5, Eric Swedberg5 — 1Save the Children, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 2Le Programme Nationale de Lutte contre le Paludisme (PNLP), Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 3Médecin spécialiste de Santé, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 4Socio-Anthropologue de la Santé, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 5Save the Children, Washington, DC, United States

Antenatal Care (ANC) &CHW &IPTp Bill Brieger | 19 Nov 2021

Changes in ANC Attendance and IPTp Uptake after Introduction of Complimentary Community Interventions

The TiPToP malaria in pregnancy project of Jhpiego and Unitaid has been aiming to increase coverage of Intermittent Preventive Treatment of malaria in pregnancy. The abstract below shares experiences from Nigeria, one of 4 TiPToP countries, is being presented at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting. Described are Changes in antenatal care (ANC) attendance and uptake of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) after introduction of community-based distribution of IPTp in three local government areas (LGA) in Nigeria. See Author List below.

In Nigeria, community health workers (CHWs) from three LGAs were engaged to introduce community delivery of IPTp (C-IPTp) with quality-assured sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine to prevent malaria. This approach, which complements IPTp delivery during ANC visits, was carried out in Ohaukwu, Akure South, and Bosso LGAs. C-IPTp was introduced in September 2018 in Ohaukwu and in December 2019 in Akure South and Bosso.

A total of 1,062 CHWs were trained on early identification of pregnant women, referral to ANC, IPTp administration, and use of mobile phones to capture and report data. CHWs conduct household visits, provide malaria health education, refer and encourage pregnant women to attend ANC, and provide IPTp.

Routine facility data from 2017 before introduction of C-IPTp were compared with 2020 facility and CHW data to understand the effect of C-IPTp across the LGAs. Before C-IPTp, 43% of the estimated number of pregnant women in these areas attended at least one ANC visit as compared to 57% in 2020 (p<.05).

Attending at least four ANC (ANC4) visits increased in Ohaukwu by ten percentage points to 29% in 2020 (p<.05). In Akure South, ANC4 remained steady Bosso pre-C-IPTp data on ANC4 visits were of too poor quality to conduct a meaningful analysis. Though this project focused on C-IPTp, it also resulted in statistically significant increases in IPTp distribution during ANC visits.

From 2017 to 2020, coverage of IPTp doses 1, 2, and 3 all saw increases across the three sites: IPTp1 increased from 54%?to 57%; IPTp2 from 36% to 42%; and IPTp3 increased 20 percentage points from 5% to 25%. Of pregnant women receiving all doses of IPTp, 39% did so through ANC with 61% receiving IPTp from CHWs.

These data suggest that in addition to contributing to overall increases in IPTp coverage, C-IPTp may also contribute to increases IPTp delivery in ANC and ANC attendance.

AUTHORS LIST:

Herbert Enyeribe Onuoha1, Bartholomew Odio1, Christina Maly2, Lawrence Nwankwo3, Folayan Waheed Adewale4, Elizabeth Njoku1, Oniyire Adetiloye1, Orji Bright1, Emmanuel Dipo Otolorin1, Elaine Roman2 — 1Jhpiego, Abakaliki, Nigeria, 2Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3Ebonyi State Ministry of Health, Abakaliki, Nigeria, 4Ondo State Ministry of Health, Alagbaka, Akure, Nigeria

Chronic/NCDs &NCDs &Schools &Training Bill Brieger | 19 Nov 2021

Hands-only CPR Training Program of Secondary School Students in Ibadan, Nigeria

NCDs are increasingly being recognized as health problems in Nigeria and other LMICs.  Here, Bolanle Akinyele, Olufunso Odunukan, Oluwaseyi Bolorunduro, and William Brieger describe a Pilot project to help high school students learn to perform CPR through a Combination Virtual and In-person Learning. This is being presented at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is estimated to have an average global incidence of 55 adults per 100,000 person-years. However, despite advances in medical care and technology, survival to hospital discharge remains abysmally low at 8-10%. In low to middle income countries like Nigeria, where cardiovascular disease is rising but emergency response systems are poor, the rate of survival after OHCA is lower.

Interventions such as bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and automated external defibrillator (AED) use are effective, scalable, and low-cost interventions that can reduce the OHCA mortality. Training schoolchildren to perform Hands-only CPR has been shown to increase bystander CPR.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Peer Educator’s Program (CPEP) is a community-based program in Ibadan, Nigeria, designed enhance understanding of CPR in secondary school students. The American Heart Association’s school health module was adapted. The training was run jointly by staff of the four pilot schools, a Nigerian NGO, and the Revolving Hearts Foundation, Atlanta.

The training had both in-person and virtual components due to COVID-19 travel restrictions on Atlanta based partners. Here we present the results of training on knowledge, comfort level and perceived barriers of performing hands-only CPR.

A pre-training survey was conducted in February 2021 using convenience sampling that also was used to recruit participants. Pre- and post- training responses were matched by participants to assess the changes. Data were analyzed using Stata 16.1 software. A paired t-test analysis was conducted. The primary outcome was a percentage change in mean knowledge scores and secondary outcome was a change in comfort level and perceived barriers pre- and post- training.

A total of 45 secondary school students from 4 schools completed the tests. Females comprised 31.1% of students and the average age was 15.02 + 0.18 years. Paired t-test showed a significant change of 44.6% (p <0.0001) in the mean knowledge score. There was also an increase in comfort level in performing hands-only CPR, and a decrease in perceived barriers.

Trainees have started sharing what they learned through skits at school assemblies. Planning is underway to follow-up on training and to expand to other schools and states.

PS: as a followup another training session with a new group of 45 students and 15 teachers was conducted. The students made videos of their understanding of CPR from the program so it could be used for peer education, and most of them were pretty good and creative.

Antenatal Care (ANC) &Case Management &CHW Bill Brieger | 19 Nov 2021

The role of community health workers in malaria control in in Cote d’Ivoire

Save the Children is sharing a wealth of information on programs at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting. Here is an abstract from one of their malaria efforts. See Author List below.

Since the Alma Ata Declaration in 1978, international efforts to improve access to primary health care have shifted towards the deployment of various types of community health workers (CHWs). This study aimed to assess the contribution of CHWs and identify challenges faced, which may impede malaria control efforts in Cote d’Ivoire.

A mixed-methods assessment was conducted in 16 health districts. A total of 1,922 community members were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. Qualitative data was gathered through 48 focus group discussions with pregnant women and mothers of children under 5, women’s groups and men and 132 in-depth interviews with government and implementation stakeholders, community members, caregivers and community leaders. Thematic content analysis around the key themes of the project implementation was used.

Over 50% of participants knew the CHW. The reported services provided by the CHW were diagnosis and treatment (47.4%), referrals to the health center (17.3%), education (14.1%), other medicines (12.2 %), and support at the health center (6.4%).  The benefits to children U5 reported by the participants were home-based treatment (22.9%), children get less sick (20.4%) and are in good health (14.7%), children suffer less from malaria (14%), and families spend less money on treatment (12.8%).

Additionally, up to 53% of pregnant women who had stopped attending ANC started to go again after being sensitized by the CHW. The main challenges reported by community members in accessing CHW services were non-coverage of all households by CHWs (13.6%), stock-outs of ACTs (10.9%), treatment provided is mostly for children U5 (10.4%). Distances between the CHW and the households were a major barrier to malaria treatment by CHWs.

CHWs were well perceived by the communities they serve. Expanding CHW coverage as well as CHW’s role to diagnose and treat adults is necessary for malaria control. Additionally, the lack of consistent supplies necessary for day-to-day activities, like ACTs and RDTs, must be addressed at the system level. Supply chain strengthening in Cote d’Ivoire, including forecasting and monitoring, is vital for CHWs to be effective.

AUTHOR LIST

Edouard C. Balogoun1, Manasse N. Kassi1, Philomène A. Beda1, Serge B. Assi2, Jacob Y. Agniman1, Théodore D. Doudou3, Rodolphe H. Yao4, Adama Z. Ouattara5, Joel Koffi1, Aristide E. Kouadio1, Apollinaire N. Kouadio1, Paul Bouey6, Sara Canavati6, Eric Swedberg6 — 1Save the Children, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 2Le Programme Nationale de Lutte contre le Paludisme (PNLP), Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 3Sociologue de la Santé CRD/UAO, Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 4National Statistical Institute (INS), Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 5Socio-Anthropologue de la Santé (CRD/UAO), Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, 6Save the Children, Washington, DC, United States

Antenatal Care (ANC) &COVID-19 Bill Brieger | 18 Nov 2021

Factors related to changes in health facility attendance among pregnant women during COVID-19

As mentioned previously, the TiPToP malaria in pregnancy project of Jhpiego and Unitaid has been adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic by training health workers to be more conscious of infection prevention skills. The abstract below is being presented at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting outlines what is happening with clinic attendance. See Author List below.

COVID-19 disrupted public health interventions and weakened global and national health systems. We used a mixed-methods study to explore factors related to changes in health facility attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic in three local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria: Ohaukwu, Akure South and Bosso.

Three hundred fifteen pregnant women seen for antenatal care (ANC) in November 2020 participated in a survey about their attendance before and during the pandemic; 198 women participated in focus group discussions (FGDs). One quarter of women surveyed reported that they reduced the frequency of their visits or did not visit during the pandemic.

The biggest reported changes in visits were for immunization (47% visited before the pandemic versus 30% during the pandemic, p<0.001) and other outpatient services (66% to 57%, p=0.027), with small but statistically significant declines in ANC (99% to 94%, p=0.002) and family planning (11% to 5%, p=0.002). Both LGA and religion were significantly correlated with reduced/no visits during the pandemic; other socio-demographic characteristics were not. Whereas 33% of Christian women reported reduced/no care seeking, only 7% of Muslim women did (p<0.001).

Women in Ohaukwu were most likely to report reduced/no visits (39%), followed by those in Akure South (26%), and Bosso (7%) (p=0.012). During FGDs transport issues, proximity to health facilities, and fear of contracting COVID-19 or being labeled as COVID-positive were the most common reasons mentioned for not seeking care during the pandemic.

Differences by LGA are likely related to differences in both levels of transmission and the State-level response to the pandemic. Ebonyi state, where Ohaukwu is located, had the longest lockdown and most restricted movement; better understanding of differences in the pandemic and state response could inform future actions.

The FGDs findings highlight the need for health systems to consider how to facilitate service utilization during a pandemic, such as providing safe transport or increasing outreach, and to minimize stigma for those seeking care.

AUTHOR LIST

Bright Orji 1, Elizabeth Oliveras 2, Emmanuel Ugwa 3, Aishatu Bintu Gubio 4, Edima Akpan 5, Bartholomew Odio 1, Herbert Onuoha 1, Ibrahim Idris 6, Emmanuel Dipo Otolorin 1, Elaine Roman 2 1Jhpiego, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3Federal Medical Center, Birnin kudu, Jigawa state, Nigeria, 4National Malaria Elimination Program, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria, 5Reproductive Health Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria, 6Niger State Ministry of Health, Minna, Nigeria

Uncategorized Bill Brieger | 18 Nov 2021

Infection Prevention and control knowledge and practices of frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

COVID-19 has caused many health projects in Nigeria to reconsider how they function. The TiPToP malaria in pregnancy project of Jhpiego and Unitaid has been adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic by training health workers to be more conscious of infection prevention skills. The abstract below is being presented at the 2021 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting explains what is being done. See Author List below.

Given the importance of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures for reducing the transmission of COVID-19, a cross-sectional, mixed-methods study was conducted to assess IPC knowledge and practices of frontline health workers – both facility- and community-based health workers (CHWs) – in three local government areas (LGA) in Nigeria: Akure South, Bosso and Ohaukwu. In November 2020, a structured survey was administered to 622 health workers – 294 facility-based (47%) and 328 CHWs (53%) – at 174 primary health care centers.

In each LGA, key informant interviews (KII) were conducted with health department management teams; 5 members from LGA and 3 from State health teams. Of all health workers surveyed, 58% had been trained in IPC during COVID and 5 of 11 questions were correctly answered by >94% of providers; however, 3 questions were correctly answered by 65% or fewer.

More health workers reported that they practiced recommended IPC behaviors during than before the COVID 19. Significant differences were seen for reported washing hands before glove use (70.5% vs 95.2% during COVID), washing hands after glove use (70.5% vs 95.2%), and using a surgical mask in the workplace (61.7% vs 97.6%).

There was no change in reported washing and disinfecting of hands after contact with each patient (69.0% vs 68.6%) or use of an N95 mask in the workplace (8.2% vs 9.1%). Incorrect use of hand sanitizer when hands are visibly soiled however increased (35.8% vs 95.7%). The KIIs confirmed these findings.

As one CHW in Ohaukwu said, “We increased our use of face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves,” while a facility-based health worker from Bosso said, “. . . now we take more precaution than then . . . unlike before we palpate with our hands but now we use gloves.”

KII showed that fear of contracting the disease was the reason for change in behaviors. Despite reports of improved IPC measures, use of N-95 masks and hand sanitizer practices remain sub-optimal. There is need for continued support for correct hand hygiene, and to reinforce the relative importance of different IPC practices to ensure adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures

AUTHOR LIST

Bright Orji 1, Elizabeth Oliveras 2, Emmanuel Ugwa 3, Bartholomew Odio 1, Herbert Onuoha 1, Christina Maly 2, Ibrahim Idris 4, Festus Okoh 5, Emmanuel Dipo Otolorin 1, Elaine Roman 2 — 1Jhpiego, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3Federal Medical Center, Birnin kudu, Jigawa state, Nigeria, 4Niger State Ministry of Health, Minna, Nigeria, 5National Malaria Elimination Program, Federal MOH, Abuja, Nigeria

 

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