Category Archives: mHealth

Mentorship to Strengthen Quality of Malaria Case Management & Malaria in Pregnancy, Zimbabwe

Gilson Mandigo et al. examine how mentoring can be achieved from a distance in Zimbabwe. Their presentation at the 69th Annual Meeting of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene of “Mentorship to Strengthen Quality of Malaria Case Management And Malaria in Pregnancy (MIP) in Zimbabwe: Lessons Learned From One Year of Implementation” is shared below.

Despite significant investment in training and supervision of facility-based health workers in Zimbabwe, persistent malaria case management and MIP gaps remain. National Malaria Control Program and US President’s Malaria Initiative developed and implemented a mentorship intervention in five high burden malaria districts to motivate provider performance and improve quality services.

From June 2018 – June 2019, 25 health workers proficient in malaria service delivery were selected and trained in clinical mentorship. These individuals mentored 98 providers at 25 facilities, covering clinical case reviews, bedside coaching, simulations, and records review. USAID’s Zimbabwe Assistance Project in Malaria subsequently assessed the mentorship program through review of patient records, feedback from mentors and mentees, and engagement of stakeholders.

Record review compared practices before and after implementation, using a checklist that noted completeness and appropriateness of case management across multiple parameters, including physical examination, diagnosis, classification and treatment. Mentored facilities documented improvements in recommended practices across registers: 58% to 63% for outpatient clinical settings, 53% to 64% for integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses, and 72% to 76% for antenatal care.

A phone-based e-survey of 49 mentees and 21 mentors elicited positive feedback on the mentorship approach: 62% of mentors were “very satisfied” with the program, 67% reported quality improvement and 86% benefited from learning new skills. Among mentees:

  • 60% were “very satisfied”,
  • 67% said that the program has improved service quality and
  • 97% benefited from learning new skills

Common challenges included mentor transportation, mentee availability, and commodity availability. Through a review meeting, stakeholders recommended the intervention continue, as it was acceptable, feasible and achieved promising results. Recommendations include prioritizing high-volume facilities, integrating management of mentorship into District Health Executive functions and use of low-cost communication platforms to aid virtual mentorship.

Authors and Affiliations

Gilson Mandigo(1), Anthony Chisada(1), Noe Rakotondrajaona(2), Paul Matsvimbo(3), Christie Billingsley(4), Chantelle Allen(5), Katherine Wolf(5), Patience Dhliwayo(3). 1.ZAPIM/Jhpiego, Harare, Zimbabwe, 2.ZAPIM/Abt, Harare, Zimbabwe, 3.MOHCC, Harare, Zimbabwe, 4.PMI, Harare, Zimbabwe, 5.Jhpiego HQ, Baltimore, MD, United States

Malaria News Today 2020-09-11

Today’s news and abstracts look at a variety of issues ranging from overall malaria funding funding needs to the effect of climate change on different types of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry (e.g. malaria vs dengue). We also examine the need for surveillance among nomadic groups and the use of cell phones in a saliva based malaria testing system. Please click the links below to read more on each subject.

Rwanda: Government Needs U.S.$70 Million to Fill Malaria Financing Gap

By Nasra Bishumba: The Government needs $73 million to bridge the funding in the funds needed to fight malaria between 2020 and 2024, The New Times can reveal. The Rwanda National Strategic Plan 2020-2024 to fight malaria drawn up in June this year indicates that although the implementation requires Rwf295bn ($280 million), the government already has funding commitment to the tune of $206.8m (equivalent to 74 per cent).

According to the strategic plan, a copy of which The New Times has seen, this leaves a gap of $73m which it hopes to mobilize from different sources. With these funds, the government is seeking to protect at least 85 per cent of the population with preventive interventions and to work towards promptly testing and treating suspected malaria cases by 2024. To achieve this, the biggest chunk of the funds will be invested in malaria prevention to a tune of $186m, an equivalent of 66 per cent of the entire budget.

Climate Change May Shift Risks of Mosquito-borne Diseases

By Asher Jones: More dengue, less malaria. That may be the future in parts of Africa on a warming planet, depending on where you live. New research says it’s all about which mosquitoes will thrive. And the methods to control one don’t necessarily work on the other.

The mosquito that spreads malaria prefers relatively cool temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). The dengue mosquito does best at 29 degrees Celsius (84.2 degrees Fahrenheit). Because of this difference in optimal temperatures, “We would actually predict that climate change might have opposing effects [on disease transmission],” said Erin Mordecai, assistant professor of biology at Stanford University and lead author on the study. “Climate change might make it less suitable for malaria to be transmitted but more suitable for dengue to be transmitted.”

Africa’s Nomadic Pastoralists and Their Animals Are an Invisible Frontier in Pandemic Surveillance

@ASTMH The effects of COVID-19 have gone undocumented in nomadic pastoralist communities across Africa, which are largely invisible to health surveillance systems despite the fact that they are of key significance in the setting of emerging infectious disease. We expose these landscapes as a “blind spot” in global health surveillance, elaborate on the ways in which current health surveillance infrastructure is ill-equipped to capture pastoralist populations and the animals with which they coexist, and highlight the consequential risks of inadequate surveillance among pastoralists and their livestock to global health. As a platform for further dialogue, we present concrete solutions to address this gap.

Mobile phone-based saliva test wins NIH prize

Cornell researchers’ concept for a quick, non-invasive, mobile phone-based system to detect infectious diseases, inflammation and nutritional deficiencies in saliva was awarded a $100,000 National Institutes of Health Technology Accelerator Challenge prize. The NIH’s prize challenge encourages the development of new, non-invasive diagnostic technologies important for global health. For the group’s saliva-based test, a small 3D-printed adapter is clipped to a mobile phone and synced with a mobile app. The app uses the phone’s camera to image test strips to detect malaria, iron deficiency and inflammation, with results in under 15 minutes.

The proposal builds on the FeverPhone and NutriPhone platforms developed by the team at Cornell’s Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Global Health and Technology (INSiGHT). The technologies, funded by the NIH and the National Science Foundation, evaluate infections and nutritional status using blood. According to Mehta, technologies using salivary biomarkers could revolutionize how conditions such as malaria and iron deficiency are identified and addressed, especially in settings where access to primary health care and traditional, laboratory-based tests is limited.

Monsoon infections: How to tell the difference between dengue and malaria? Watch out for these symptoms

While both diseases are mosquito-borne and cause similar symptoms such as fever, joint/muscle pain, headaches, and fatigue, some differences between their symptoms can help you identify the specific infections. Unique symptoms of Malaria: Stomach problems such as vomiting, Diarrhoea, Dry cough, Shivering, Spleen enlargement Unique symptoms of Dengue: Pain behind the eyes, Swollen glands, Rashes

mMentoring, a New Approach to Improve Malaria Care in Burkina Faso

Moumouni Bonkoungou,* Ousmane Badolo, Youssouf Sawadogo, Stanislas Nebie, Thierry Ouedraogo, Yacouba Sawadogo, William Brieger, Gladys Tetteh, and Blami Dao presented their work on “mMentoring, a New Approach to Improve Malaria Care in Burkina Faso” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene as seen below.

Malaria is the leading cause of consultation (43.3%), hospitalization (44.1%) and death (16.1 %) in Burkina Faso. In the Sahel Region, the case fatality proportion due to malaria is 2% compared to 0.8% for the national average. This region is most affected by malaria than others. Also, the Sahel Region is currently experiencing high levels of insecurity making movement of health teams difficult and unsafe.

mMentoring is the use of mobile technology to ensure capacity building and continuing education among health staff. The process started by a workshop to develop messages, and briefing of the main actors.

Each week, messages and quizzes (An automatic answer is sent to each quiz) are sent to 753 providers (nurses, midwives, medical doctors) of the 115 health centers in the Sahel Region. Each month, messages are revised by a team at national level before being sent.

The messages sent were related to several key malaria prevention and control interventions, such as case definition, parasitological diagnosis, clinical case management of simple and severe cases, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp), pre-referral treatment with rectal artesunate in children under 5 years, insecticide-treated bed nets.

After 10 months of implementation, 64 reinforcement messages on case management and prevention guideline and 63 quizzes were sent. Proportion of correct responses to the quizzes ranged from 43% and 96%. The lowest scores related to topics on management of severe cases while the highest were related to diagnosis of malaria.

The participation rate (number of respondents of the 753 targeted health workers) is on average 22% with 71% of participants from primary health facilities. Also, we notice IPT3 increased from 14.8% in the quarter 3 of 2017 to 45.6% in the same quarter of 2018 (with mMentoring).

The rate of performance of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) rose from 67.5% to 77.8%. The case fatality rate during this quarter of 2017 was 3.3% and 1.8% in 2018. As a real platform for continuing training, it would be wise to extend this approach to other regions of the country and also to other health actors like community health workers.

 

 

 

 

 

*Affiliations: PMI Improving Malaria Care Project, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Ministry of Health, National Malaria Control Program, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States, Jhpiego Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, United States