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1.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 943, 2021 Sep 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34503503

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The Gambia has one of the lowest survival rates for breast cancer in Africa. Contributing factors are late presentation, delays within the healthcare system, and decreased availability of resources. We aimed to characterize the capacity and geographic location of healthcare facilities in the country and calculate the proportion of the population with access to breast cancer care. METHODS: A facility-based assessment tool was administered to secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities and private medical centers and clinics in The Gambia. GPS coordinates were obtained, and proximity of service availability and population analysis were performed. Distance thresholds of 10, 20, and 45 km were chosen to determine access to screening, pathologic diagnosis, and surgical management. An additional population analysis was performed to observe the potential impact of targeted development of resources for breast cancer care. RESULTS: All 102 secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities and private medical centers and clinics in The Gambia were included. Breast cancer screening is mainly performed through clinical breast examination and is available in 52 facilities. Seven facilities provide pathologic diagnosis and surgical management of breast cancer. The proportion of the Gambian population with access to screening, pathologic diagnosis, and surgical management is 72, 53, and 62%, respectively. A hypothetical targeted expansion of resources would increase the covered population to 95, 62, and 84%. CONCLUSIONS: Almost half of the Gambian population does not have access to pathologic diagnosis and surgical management of breast cancer within the distance threshold utilized in the study. Mapping and population analysis can identify areas for targeted development of resources to increase access to breast cancer care.


Assuntos
Neoplasias da Mama , Neoplasias da Mama/diagnóstico , Neoplasias da Mama/epidemiologia , Neoplasias da Mama/terapia , Estudos Transversais , Detecção Precoce de Câncer , Feminino , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Acesso aos Serviços de Saúde , Humanos , Programas de Rastreamento
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34445674

RESUMO

Background: DNA methylation is an epigenetic control mechanism that may be altered by environmental exposures. We have previously reported that in utero exposure to the mycotoxin and liver carcinogen aflatoxin B1 from the maternal diet, as measured using biomarkers in the mothers' blood, was associated with differential DNA methylation in white blood cells of 6-month-old infants from The Gambia. Methods: Here we examined aflatoxin B1-associated differential DNA methylation in white blood cells of 24-month-old children from the same population (n = 244), in relation to the child's dietary exposure assessed using aflatoxin albumin biomarkers in blood samples collected at 6, 12 and 18 months of age. HM450 BeadChip arrays were used to assess DNA methylation, with data compared to aflatoxin albumin adduct levels using two approaches; a continuous model comparing aflatoxin adducts measured in samples collected at 18 months to DNA methylation at 24 months, and a categorical time-dose model that took into account aflatoxin adduct levels at 6, 12 and 18 months, for comparison to DNA methylation at 24 months. Results: Geometric mean (95% confidence intervals) for aflatoxin albumin levels were 3.78 (3.29, 4.34) at 6 months, 25.1 (21.67, 29.13) at 12 months and 49.48 (43.34, 56.49) at 18 months of age. A number of differentially methylated CpG positions and regions were associated with aflatoxin exposure, some of which affected gene expression. Pathway analysis highlighted effects on genes involved with with inflammatory, signalling and growth pathways. Conclusions: This study provides further evidence that exposure to aflatoxin in early childhood may impact on DNA methylation.


Assuntos
Aflatoxina B1/efeitos adversos , Metilação de DNA/efeitos dos fármacos , Exposição Ambiental/efeitos adversos , Experiências Adversas da Infância , Aflatoxinas/efeitos adversos , Aflatoxinas/análise , Aflatoxinas/sangue , Albuminas/análise , Pré-Escolar , DNA/metabolismo , Metilação de DNA/genética , Epigênese Genética/genética , Epigenômica/métodos , Feminino , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Lactente , Leucócitos/metabolismo , Masculino
3.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0241942, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34464385

RESUMO

The SARS-CoV-2 disease, first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 has become a global pandemic and is causing an unprecedented burden on health care systems and the economy globally. While the travel history of index cases may suggest the origin of infection, phylogenetic analysis of isolated strains from these cases and contacts will increase the understanding and link between local transmission and other global populations. The objective of this analysis was to provide genomic data on the first six cases of SARS-CoV-2 in The Gambia and to determine the source of infection. This ultimately provide baseline data for subsequent local transmission and contribute genomic diversity information towards local and global data. Our analysis has shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus identified in The Gambia are of European and Asian origin and sequenced data matched patients' travel history. In addition, we were able to show that two COVID-19 positive cases travelling in the same flight had different strains of SARS-CoV-2. Although whole genome sequencing (WGS) data is still limited in sub-Saharan Africa, this approach has proven to be a highly sensitive, specific and confirmatory tool for SARS-CoV-2 detection.


Assuntos
COVID-19/patologia , Genoma Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genética , COVID-19/virologia , Gâmbia , Variação Genética , Humanos , Funções Verossimilhança , Filogenia , SARS-CoV-2/classificação , SARS-CoV-2/isolamento & purificação , Sequenciamento Completo do Genoma
4.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(8)2021 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34400549

RESUMO

Clinical research conducted to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) standards is increasingly being undertaken in resource-constrained low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) settings. This presents unique challenges that differ from those faced in high-income country (HIC) contexts, due to a dearth of infrastructure and unique socio-cultural contexts. Field experiences by research teams working in these LMIC contexts are thus critical to advancing knowledge on successful research conduct in these settings. The Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has operated in The Gambia, a resource-constrained LMIC for over 70 years and has developed numerous research support platforms and systems. The unit was the lead clinical collaborator in a recently completed Expanded Program on Immunization Consortium (EPIC) study, involving a multicountry collaboration across five countries including the USA, Canada, Belgium, Papua New Guinea and The Gambia. The EPIC study recruited and completed follow-up of 720 newborn infants over 2 years. In this paper, we provide in-depth field experience covering challenges faced by the Gambian EPIC team in the conduct of this study. We also detail some reflections on these challenges. Our findings are relevant to the international research community as they highlight practical day-to-day challenges in conducting GCP standard clinical research in resource-constrained LMIC contexts. They also provide insights on how study processes can be adapted early during research planning to mitigate challenges.


Assuntos
Renda , Pobreza , Estudos de Coortes , Gâmbia , Humanos , Lactente , Recém-Nascido , Estudos Longitudinais
5.
Front Public Health ; 9: 637714, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34354972

RESUMO

Background: Community participation in global health interventions may improve outcomes and solve complex health issues. Although numerous community participatory approaches have been developed and introduced, there has been little focus on "how" and "who" to involve in the implementation of community-based clinical trials where unequal distribution of power between implementers and communities pre-exists. Addressing how to achieve community-based solutions in a malaria elimination trial in The Gambia, we developed the Community Lab of Ideas for Health (CLIH): a participatory approach that enabled communities to shape trial implementation. Methods: As part of transdisciplinary research, we conducted qualitative research with in-depth interviews, discussions, and observations in 17 villages in the North Bank Region of The Gambia between March 2016 and December 2017. We designed an iterative research process involving ethnography, stakeholder-analysis, participatory-discussions, and qualitative monitoring and evaluation, whereby each step guided the next. We drew upon ethnographic results and stakeholder-analysis to identify key-informants who became participants in study design and implementation. The participatory-discussions provided a co-creative space for sharing community-centric ideas to tackle trial implementation challenges. The proposed strategies for trial implementation were continuously refined and improved through our monitoring and evaluation. Results: The CLIH incorporated communities' insights, to co-create tailored trial implementation strategies including: village health workers prescribing and distributing antimalarial treatments; "compounds" as community-accepted treatment units; medicine distribution following compound micro-politics; and appropriate modes of health message delivery. Throughout the iterative research process, the researchers and communities set the common goal, namely to curtail the medical poverty trap by reducing malaria transmission and the burden thereof. This innovative collaborative process built trust among stakeholders and fully engaged researchers and communities in co-creation and co-implementation of the trial. Discussion: The CLIH approach succeeded in touching the local realities by incorporating a spectrum of perspectives from community-members and discerning project-derived knowledge from local-knowledge. This process allowed us to co-develop locally-oriented solutions and ultimately to co-establish an intervention structure that community-members were ready and willing to use, which resulted in high uptake of the intervention (92% adherence to treatment). Successfully, the CLIH contributed in bridging research and implementation.


Assuntos
Antimaláricos , Malária , Antimaláricos/uso terapêutico , Participação da Comunidade , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Malária/epidemiologia , Saúde Pública
6.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(9): 1293-1302, 2021 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34280357

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The Gambia introduced seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in August 2009, followed by PCV13 in May, 2011, using a schedule of three primary doses without a booster dose or catch-up immunisation. We aimed to assess the long-term impact of PCV on disease incidence. METHODS: We did 10 years of population-based surveillance for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and WHO defined radiological pneumonia with consolidation in rural Gambia. The surveillance population included all Basse Health and Demographic Surveillance System residents aged 2 months or older. Nurses screened all outpatients and inpatients at all health facilities using standardised criteria for referral. Clinicians then applied criteria for patient investigation. We defined IPD as a compatible illness with isolation of Streptococcus pneumoniae from a normally sterile site (cerebrospinal fluid, blood, or pleural fluid). We compared disease incidence between baseline (May 12, 2008-May 11, 2010) and post-vaccine years (2016-2017), in children aged 2 months to 14 years, adjusting for changes in case ascertainment over time. FINDINGS: We identified 22 728 patients for investigation and detected 342 cases of IPD and 2623 cases of radiological pneumonia. Among children aged 2-59 months, IPD incidence declined from 184 cases per 100 000 person-years to 38 cases per 100 000 person-years, an 80% reduction (95% CI 69-87). Non-pneumococcal bacteraemia incidence did not change significantly over time (incidence rate ratio 0·88; 95% CI, 0·64-1·21). We detected zero cases of vaccine-type IPD in the 2-11 month age group in 2016-17. Incidence of radiological pneumonia decreased by 33% (95% CI 24-40), from 10·5 to 7·0 per 1000 person-years in the 2-59 month age group, while pneumonia hospitalisations declined by 27% (95% CI 22-31). In the 5-14 year age group, IPD incidence declined by 69% (95% CI -28 to 91) and radiological pneumonia by 27% (95% CI -5 to 49). INTERPRETATION: Routine introduction of PCV13 substantially reduced the incidence of childhood IPD and pneumonia in rural Gambia, including elimination of vaccine-type IPD in infants. Other low-income countries can expect substantial impact from the introduction of PCV13 using a schedule of three primary doses. FUNDING: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; UK Medical Research Council; Pfizer Ltd.


Assuntos
Infecções Pneumocócicas/psicologia , Vacinas Pneumocócicas/imunologia , Pneumonia/prevenção & controle , Streptococcus pneumoniae/imunologia , Vacinação , Vacinas Conjugadas/imunologia , Adolescente , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Feminino , Gâmbia , Humanos , Imunização , Incidência , Lactente , Masculino , Infecções Pneumocócicas/prevenção & controle , Vacinas Pneumocócicas/administração & dosagem , Vigilância da População
7.
BMJ Case Rep ; 14(7)2021 Jul 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34321263

RESUMO

We describe a rare case of large, fully cystic spinal schwannoma in a young adult from The Gambia. The initial clinical suspicion was spinal cystic echinococcosis. He came to our attention reporting progressive walking impairment and neurological symptoms in the lower limbs. An expansive lesion extending from L2 to S1 was shown by imaging (ie, CT scan and MRI). Differential diagnoses included aneurysmal bone cyst and spinal tuberculosis and abscess; the initial suggested diagnosis of spinal cystic echinococcosis was discarded based on contrast enhancement results. The final diagnosis of cystic schwannoma was obtained by histopathology of the excised mass. Cystic spinal lesions are rare and their differential diagnosis is challenging. Awareness of autochthonous and tropical infectious diseases is important, especially in countries experiencing consistent migration flow; however, it must be kept in mind that migrants may also present with 'non-tropical' pathologies.


Assuntos
Migrantes , Diagnóstico Diferencial , Gâmbia , Humanos , Imageamento por Ressonância Magnética , Masculino , Tomografia Computadorizada por Raios X , Adulto Jovem
8.
BMJ Open ; 11(7): e048688, 2021 07 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34285011

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Chronic aflatoxin (AF) exposure has been shown to occur at high levels in children from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and has been associated with growth retardation and immune dysfunction. Our objective was to investigate the impact of AF exposure on immune development in early infancy using thymic size and antibody (Ab) response to vaccination as indicators of immune function. METHODS: A total of 374 infants born between May 2011 and December 2012 were enrolled into the current study. These infants were recruited from a larger, randomised trial examining the impact of nutritional supplementation of mothers and infants on infant immune development (the Early Nutrition and Immune Development Trial). Thymic size (Thymic Index, TI) was measured by sonography at 1 week, 8 weeks, 24 weeks and 52 weeks of infant age. Infants were given the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age, and Ab responses to each vaccine measured at 12 weeks and 24 weeks of age. AF-albumin (AF-alb) adduct levels in infant blood were measured by ELISA as the biomarker of AF exposure. RESULTS: The geometric mean (GM) level of AF-alb increased with age. Only half of infants had detectable AF-alb with a GM of 3.52 pg/mg at 24 weeks, increasing to 25.39 pg/mg at 52 weeks, when 98% of infants had AF-alb >limit of detection. Significant negative association of AF-alb level with TI was seen in infants during the first 24 weeks, especially at 8 weeks of age (p<0.001), which is the time point of fastest thymus growth. There were no associations between AF exposure level and Ab response to pertussis and tetanus, but a significant positive correlation was observed between AF-alb level and Ab titre to diphtheria (p<0.005). CONCLUSIONS: High levels of AF exposure during early infancy may impact on infant immune development. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN49285450.


Assuntos
Aflatoxinas , Anticorpos Antibacterianos , Criança , Estudos de Coortes , Dieta , Vacina contra Difteria, Tétano e Coqueluche , Feminino , Gâmbia , Humanos , Lactente , Estado Nutricional
9.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1442, 2021 07 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34294074

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: In rural Gambia, rates of malnutrition and infection are higher during the annual rainy/'hungry' season (June-October) in comparison to the dry/'harvest' season (November-May). The effects of this seasonal pattern on an infant's immune development and their capacity to respond to childhood vaccinations remain unclear. The aim of the current analysis was to determine whether antibody responses to diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccinations in infants differ between seasons. METHODS: Infants received the DTP vaccine at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age and antibody titres were measured in blood samples collected at 12 (n = 710) and 24 (n = 662) weeks of age. Mean DTP antibody titres, adjusted for maternal and infant confounders, were compared by t-tests and the effect sizes of the mean differences were calculated between seasons at mid-gestation (20 weeks gestation) and first vaccination (8 weeks of infant age). RESULTS: A smaller number of infants received their first vaccination during the rainy/hungry season months compared to the dry/harvest season (n = 224 vs. n = 486). At 12 weeks, infants vaccinated during the rainy/hungry season had lower weight-for-length Z-scores (p = 0.01) and were more likely to be anaemic (p < 0.001). Their mothers, however, were pregnant mostly during the dry/harvest season, had higher weight gain (p < 0.001) and were less likely to be anaemic during pregnancy (p < 0.001). At 12 weeks, infants vaccinated during the rainy/hungry season had significantly higher mean diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis antibody titres; by 62.3, 16.9 and 19.7%, respectively (all, p < 0.001). However, at 24 weeks, they had lower mean anti-diphtheria titres (by 20.6%, p < 0.001) compared with infants vaccinated during the dry/harvest season, and no differences were observed in mean tetanus and pertussis antibody titres by vaccination season. CONCLUSIONS: Infant antibody response to the primary dose of the DTP vaccine was influenced by both season of pregnancy and infancy, although effects were diminished following three doses. Environmental exposures, including nutrition, to both the mother and infant are hypothesised as likely drivers of these seasonal effects.


Assuntos
Difteria , Tétano , Coqueluche , Anticorpos Antibacterianos , Formação de Anticorpos , Estudos de Coortes , Difteria/prevenção & controle , Vacina contra Difteria, Tétano e Coqueluche , Feminino , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Lactente , Gravidez , Estações do Ano , Tétano/prevenção & controle , Vacinação
10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34207895

RESUMO

INTRODUCTION: Second-hand smoke is associated with more than 1.2 million deaths per year among non-smokers. Smoking in public places is prohibited in The Gambia but there is no information on the level of exposure to second-hand smoke among adolescents and adults 15-64 years. The aim of this study was to assess the level and predictors of exposure to second-hand smoke in public places and compliance with smoke-free regulations in The Gambia. METHODS: A population-based survey was conducted in an established Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS). A total of 4547 participants (15-64 years) from households within the Farafenni HDSS were interviewed at their homes but only 3343 were included in our analysis. Factors associated with exposure to second-hand smoke in public places were assessed by three different multivariable regression models. RESULTS: Exposure to tobacco smoke in public places was high (66.1%), and higher in men (79.9%) than women (58.7%). Besides being male, less education, lower household income, urban residence and not aware of smoke-free regulations were strongly associated with exposure to second-hand smoke. CONCLUSION: Despite existing smoke-free regulations, reported exposure to second-hand smoke remains high in public places in The Gambia. The Ministry of Health should continue to strengthen their advocacy and sensitization programs to ensure smoke-free regulations are fully implemented. Some population subgroups are at a higher risk of exposure and could be targeted by interventions; and settings where these subgroups are exposed should be targeted by enforcement efforts.


Assuntos
Política Antifumo , Poluição por Fumaça de Tabaco , Adolescente , Adulto , Escolaridade , Feminino , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Masculino , não Fumantes , Inquéritos e Questionários , Poluição por Fumaça de Tabaco/análise
11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34200769

RESUMO

Few estimates are available of the need for assistive devices (ADs) in African settings. This study aimed to estimate population-level need for glasses and hearing aids in The Gambia based on (1) clinical impairment assessment, and (2) self-reported AD awareness, and explore the relationship between the two methods. The Gambia 2019 National Eye Health Survey is a nationally representative population-based sample of 9188 adults aged 35+ years. Participants underwent standardised clinical vision assessments including the need for glasses (distance and near). Approximately 25% of the sample underwent clinical assessment of hearing and hearing aid need. Data were also collected on self-reported awareness, need and access barriers to vision and hearing ADs. Overall, 5.6% of the study population needed distance glasses (95% CI 5.0-6.3), 45.9% (95% CI 44.2-47.5) needed near glasses and 25.5% (95% CI 22.2-29.2) needed hearing aids. Coverage for each AD was very low (<4%). The agreement between self-report and clinical impairment assessment for AD need was poor. In conclusion, there is high prevalence and very low coverage for distance glasses, near glasses and hearing aids in The Gambia. Self-report measures alone will not provide an accurate estimate of AD need.


Assuntos
Auxiliares de Audição , Equipamentos de Autoajuda , Óculos , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Autorrelato
12.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(8): 2064-2072, 2021 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34286683

RESUMO

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is evolving differently in Africa than in other regions. Africa has lower SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates and milder clinical manifestations. Detailed SARS-CoV-2 epidemiologic data are needed in Africa. We used publicly available data to calculate SARS-CoV-2 infections per 1,000 persons in The Gambia. We evaluated transmission rates among 1,366 employees of the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia (MRCG), where systematic surveillance of symptomatic cases and contact tracing were implemented. By September 30, 2020, The Gambia had identified 3,579 SARS-CoV-2 cases, including 115 deaths; 67% of cases were identified in August. Among infections, MRCG staff accounted for 191 cases; all were asymptomatic or mild. The cumulative incidence rate among nonclinical MRCG staff was 124 infections/1,000 persons, which is >80-fold higher than estimates of diagnosed cases among the population. Systematic surveillance and seroepidemiologic surveys are needed to clarify the extent of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Africa.


Assuntos
COVID-19 , África , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Pandemias , SARS-CoV-2 , Estudos Soroepidemiológicos
13.
Malar J ; 20(1): 282, 2021 Jun 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34172046

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Severe metabolic acidosis and acute kidney injury are major causes of mortality in children with severe malaria but are often underdiagnosed in low resource settings. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the 'Artesunate versus quinine in the treatment of severe falciparum malaria in African children' (AQUAMAT) trial was conducted to identify clinical features of severe metabolic acidosis and uraemia in 5425 children from nine African countries. Separate models were fitted for uraemia and severe metabolic acidosis. Separate univariable and multivariable logistic regression were performed to identify prognostic factors for severe metabolic acidosis and uraemia. Both analyses adjusted for the trial arm. A forward selection approach was used for model building of the logistic models and a threshold of 5% statistical significance was used for inclusion of variables into the final logistic model. Model performance was assessed through calibration, discrimination, and internal validation with bootstrapping. RESULTS: There were 2296 children identified with severe metabolic acidosis and 1110 with uraemia. Prognostic features of severe metabolic acidosis among them were deep breathing (OR: 3.94, CI 2.51-6.2), hypoglycaemia (OR: 5.16, CI 2.74-9.75), coma (OR: 1.72 CI 1.17-2.51), respiratory distress (OR: 1.46, CI 1.02-2.1) and prostration (OR: 1.88 CI 1.35-2.59). Features associated with uraemia were coma (3.18, CI 2.36-4.27), Prostration (OR: 1.78 CI 1.37-2.30), decompensated shock (OR: 1.89, CI 1.31-2.74), black water fever (CI 1.58. CI 1.09-2.27), jaundice (OR: 3.46 CI 2.21-5.43), severe anaemia (OR: 1.77, CI 1.36-2.29) and hypoglycaemia (OR: 2.77, CI 2.22-3.46) CONCLUSION: Clinical and laboratory parameters representing contributors and consequences of severe metabolic acidosis and uraemia were independently associated with these outcomes. The model can be useful for identifying patients at high risk of these complications where laboratory assessments are not routinely available.


Assuntos
Acidose/diagnóstico , Malária Falciparum/complicações , Uremia/diagnóstico , Acidose/parasitologia , África ao Sul do Saara , Criança , Pré-Escolar , República Democrática do Congo , Feminino , Gâmbia , Gana , Humanos , Lactente , Quênia , Malária Falciparum/parasitologia , Masculino , Moçambique , Nigéria , Prognóstico , Estudos Retrospectivos , Ruanda , Tanzânia , Uganda , Uremia/parasitologia
14.
Malar J ; 20(1): 253, 2021 Jun 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34098984

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Selectively targeting and treating malaria-infected individuals may further decrease parasite carriage in low-burden settings. Using a trans-disciplinary approach, a reactive treatment strategy to reduce Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in participating communities was co-developed and tested. METHODS: This is a 2-arm, open-label, cluster-randomized trial involving villages in Central Gambia during the 2017 and 2018 malaria transmission season. Villages were randomized in a 1:1 ratio using a minimizing algorithm. In the intervention arm, trained village health workers delivered a full course of pre-packed dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine to all residents of compounds where clinical cases were reported while in the control arm, compound residents were screened for infection at the time of the index case reporting. All index cases were treated following national guidelines. The primary endpoint was malaria prevalence, determined by molecular methods, at the end of the intervention period. RESULTS: The trial was carried out in 50 villages: 34 in 2017 and 16 additional villages in 2018. At the end of the 2018 transmission season, malaria prevalence was 0.8% (16/1924, range 0-4%) and 1.1% (20/1814, range 0-17%) in the intervention and control arms, respectively. The odds of malaria infection were 29% lower in the intervention than in the control arm after adjustment for age (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.27-1.84, p = 0.48). Adherence to treatment was high, with 98% (964/979) of those treated completing the 3-day treatment. Over the course of the study, only 37 villages, 20 in the intervention and 17 in the control arm, reported at least one clinical case. The distribution of clinical cases by month in both transmission seasons was similar and the odds of new clinical malaria cases during the trial period did not vary between arms (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.57-1.91, p = 0.893). All adverse events were classified as mild to moderate and resolved completely. CONCLUSION: The systematic and timely administration of an anti-malarial treatment to residents of compounds with confirmed malaria cases did not significantly decrease malaria prevalence and incidence in communities where malaria prevalence was already low. Treatment coverage and adherence was very high. Results were strongly influenced by the lower-than-expected malaria prevalence, and by no clinical cases in villages with asymptomatic malaria-infected individuals. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02878200. Registered 25 August 2016. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02878200 .


Assuntos
Antimaláricos/administração & dosagem , Artemisininas/administração & dosagem , Malária Falciparum/prevenção & controle , Quinolinas/administração & dosagem , Autoadministração/estatística & dados numéricos , Adolescente , Adulto , Idoso , Idoso de 80 Anos ou mais , Infecções Assintomáticas/epidemiologia , Infecções Assintomáticas/terapia , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Análise por Conglomerados , Combinação de Medicamentos , Feminino , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Incidência , Lactente , Malária Falciparum/epidemiologia , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Prevalência , Adulto Jovem
16.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(6)2021 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34140303

RESUMO

Health systems in sub-Saharan Africa have remained overstretched from dealing with endemic diseases, which limit their capacity to absorb additional stress from new and emerging infectious diseases. Against this backdrop, the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic presented an additional challenge of insufficient hospital beds and human resource for health needed to deliver hospital-based COVID-19 care. Emerging evidence from high-income countries suggests that a 'virtual ward' (VW) system can provide adequate home-based care for selected patients with COVID-19, thereby reducing the need for admissions and mitigate additional stress on hospital beds. We established a VW at the Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a biomedical research institution located in The Gambia, a low-income west African country, to care for members of staff and their families infected with COVID-19. In this practice paper, we share our experience focusing on the key components of the system, how it was set up and successfully operated to support patients with COVID-19 in non-hospital settings. We describe the composition of the multidisciplinary team operating the VW, how we developed clinical standard operating procedures, how clinical oversight is provided and the use of teleconsultation and data capture systems to successfully drive the process. We demonstrate that using a VW to provide an additional level of support for patients with COVID-19 at home is feasible in a low-income country in sub-Saharan Africa. We believe that other low-income or resource-constrained settings can adopt and contextualise the processes described in this practice paper to provide additional support for patients with COVID-19 in non-hospital settings.


Assuntos
COVID-19 , África ao Sul do Saara , Gâmbia , Hospitais , Humanos , Pandemias , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Front Immunol ; 12: 578700, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34122398

RESUMO

Background: Human adenosine deaminases (ADAs) modulate the immune response: ADA1 via metabolizing adenosine, a purine metabolite that inhibits pro-inflammatory and Th1 cytokine production, and the multi-functional ADA2, by enhancing T-cell proliferation and monocyte differentiation. Newborns are relatively deficient in ADA1 resulting in elevated plasma adenosine concentrations and a Th2/anti-inflammatory bias compared to adults. Despite the growing recognition of the role of ADAs in immune regulation, little is known about the ontogeny of ADA concentrations. Methods: In a subgroup of the EPIC002-study, clinical data and plasma samples were collected from 540 Gambian infants at four time-points: day of birth; first week of life; one month of age; and four months of age. Concentrations of total extracellular ADA, ADA1, and ADA2 were measured by chromogenic assay and evaluated in relation to clinical data. Plasma cytokines/chemokine were measured across the first week of life and correlated to ADA concentrations. Results: ADA2 demonstrated a steady rise across the first months of life, while ADA1 concentration significantly decreased 0.79-fold across the first week then increased 1.4-fold by four months of life. Males demonstrated significantly higher concentrations of ADA2 (1.1-fold) than females at four months; newborns with early-term (37 to <39 weeks) and late-term (≥41 weeks) gestational age demonstrated significantly higher ADA1 at birth (1.1-fold), and those born to mothers with advanced maternal age (≥35 years) had lower plasma concentrations of ADA2 at one month (0.93-fold). Plasma ADA1 concentrations were positively correlated with plasma CXCL8 during the first week of life, while ADA2 concentrations correlated positively with TNFα, IFNγ and CXCL10, and negatively with IL-6 and CXCL8. Conclusions: The ratio of plasma ADA2/ADA1 concentration increased during the first week of life, after which both ADA1 and ADA2 increased across the first four months of life suggesting a gradual development of Th1/Th2 balanced immunity. Furthermore, ADA1 and ADA2 were positively correlated with cytokines/chemokines during the first week of life. Overall, ADA isoforms demonstrate robust ontogeny in newborns and infants but further mechanistic studies are needed to clarify their roles in early life immune development and the correlations with sex, gestational age, and maternal age that were observed.


Assuntos
Adenosina Desaminase/sangue , Biomarcadores , Peptídeos e Proteínas de Sinalização Intercelular/sangue , Citocinas/sangue , Citocinas/metabolismo , Feminino , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Humanos , Imunomodulação , Lactente , Recém-Nascido , Masculino , Vigilância em Saúde Pública , Subpopulações de Linfócitos T/imunologia , Subpopulações de Linfócitos T/metabolismo
18.
Vaccine ; 39(29): 3926-3934, 2021 06 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34088509

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Vaccination during pregnancy can protect pregnant women and their babies from infectious diseases. Tetanus vaccine, also known as tetanus toxoid, is the only vaccine given to pregnant women in The Gambia and Senegal, where it is given by antenatal care providers as part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization. A qualitative study was undertaken to explore factors influencing acceptance of vaccination during pregnancy in The Gambia and Senegal. METHODS: Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted across urban and rural settlements of The Gambia and Senegal. We explored the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of 152 women who were either pregnant or with an infant. NVivo 11 Qualitative Data Analysis Software was used for management and thematic analysis of the data. RESULTS: Women had sufficient knowledge of the need for tetanus vaccine from different information sources but insufficient knowledge of tetanus causes, signs and symptoms. Tetanus vaccine was perceived to be safe and side effects such as pain and swelling at site of injection did not deter uptake of future doses. Women overall had confidence in their sources of vaccine information and the health care workers who administered maternal vaccinations. Their willingness to accept vaccination during pregnancy was particularly influenced by their husbands and trusted healthcare workers. Women across all sites mentioned they would accept new maternal vaccines if they are sensitized beforehand about any potential risks and benefits to them and their babies. CONCLUSION: Vaccine acceptance can be influenced by several factors including contextual, individual or group influences and vaccine or vaccination-specific issues. Women across The Gambia and Senegal are generally vaccine acceptors with confidence in the health care workers who vaccinate them and few concerns about maternal vaccines. Women's acceptance of vaccination during pregnancy is based on previous vaccination experiences and individual weighing of risks and benefits.


Assuntos
Tétano , Vacinação , Feminino , Gâmbia , Humanos , Lactente , Aceitação pelo Paciente de Cuidados de Saúde , Gravidez , Gestantes , Senegal , Tétano/prevenção & controle
19.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(5): e0009380, 2021 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33974623

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The Gambia initiated a control programme for schistosomiasis in 2015. In light of this, recent and comprehensive data on schistosomiasis is required to effectively guide the control programme. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and associated risk factors of schistosomiasis among primary school children in The Gambia. METHODS: We utilised data from a previous study conducted in 2015 in 4 regions of The Gambia: North Bank Region (NBR), Lower River Region (LRR), Central River Region (CRR) and Upper River Region (URR). In the parent study, ten schools were selected randomly from each region. Urine and stool samples collected from 25 boys and 25 girls (7-14 years) in each school were examined for urinary schistosomiasis (Schistosoma haematobium infection) and intestinal schistosomiasis (Schistosoma mansoni infection) using urine filtration, dipstick and Kato-Katz methods. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Urinary schistosomiasis had an overall prevalence of 10.2% while intestinal schistosomiasis had a prevalence of 0.3% among the sampled school children. Prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis was significantly different among regions (χ 2 = 279.958, df = 3, p < 0.001), with CRR (27.6%) being the most endemic region, followed by URR (12.0%), then LRR (0.6%), and NBR (0.0%). Prevalence of intestinal schistosomiasis was also significantly variable among regions, with 4 of the 5 positive cases detected in CRR and 1 case in URR. Every school sampled in CRR had at least one student infected with S. haematobium, 50% of schools in URR had S. haematobium infection, and just one school in LRR had S. haematobium infection. While S. haematobium infection was significantly higher in boys (χ 2 = 4.440, df = 1, p = 0.035), no significant difference in infection rate was observed among age groups (χ 2 = 0.882, df = 2, p = 0.643). Two of the 5 students infected with S. mansoni were boys and 3 were girls. Four of these 5 students were in the 10-12 years age group and 1 was in the 7-9 years age group. Macrohaematuria and microhaematuria were found to be statistically associated with presence of S. haematobium eggs in urine. Being a male was a risk factor of S. haematobium infection. Bathing, playing and swimming in water bodies were found to pose less risk for S. haematobium infection, indicating that the true water contact behaviour of children was possibly underrepresented. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study provide invaluable information on the prevalence of schistosomiasis in The Gambia. This was useful for the schistosomiasis control efforts of the country, as it guided mass drug administration campaigns in eligible districts in the study area. More studies on S. mansoni and its intermediate snail hosts are required to establish its true status in The Gambia. As children sometimes tend to provide responses that potentially please the research or their teacher, data collection frameworks and approaches that ensure true responses in studies involving children should be devised and used.


Assuntos
Controle de Doenças Transmissíveis/estatística & dados numéricos , Schistosoma haematobium/isolamento & purificação , Schistosoma mansoni/isolamento & purificação , Esquistossomose Urinária/epidemiologia , Esquistossomose mansoni/epidemiologia , Adolescente , Animais , Criança , Feminino , Gâmbia/epidemiologia , Programas Governamentais , Hematúria/diagnóstico , Hematúria/epidemiologia , Humanos , Masculino , Prevalência , Fatores de Risco , Esquistossomose Urinária/prevenção & controle , Esquistossomose mansoni/prevenção & controle , Instituições Acadêmicas/estatística & dados numéricos
20.
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e040507, 2021 03 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34006021

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: To measure the usefulness of a Speaking Book (SB) as an educational tool for enhancing knowledge, understanding and recall of key vaccine-related information among caregivers in The Gambia, as well as its acceptability and relevance as a health promotion tool for caregivers and healthcare workers. DESIGN AND SETTING: We developed a multimedia educational tool, the vaccine Speaking Book, which contained prerecorded information about vaccines provided in The Gambia's Expanded Programme on Immunization. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, we then conducted a sequential study assessing the use of this tool among caregivers andhealthcare workers in The Gambia.Participants200 caregivers attending primary healthcare centres in The Gambia for routine immunisation services for their infants, and 15 healthcare workers employed to provide immunisation services at these clinics. OUTCOME MEASURES: We calculated the median knowledge scores on vaccine-related information obtained at baseline, 1-month and 3-month follow-up visits. Wilcoxon's matched-pairs signed-rank test was used to compare the difference in the median knowledge scores between baseline and 1-month, and between baseline and 3-month follow-up visits. RESULTS: Of the 113 caregivers who participated, 104 (92%) completed all three study visits, 108 (95.6%) completed the baseline and 1-month follow-up visits, and 107 (94.7%) completed the baseline and 3-month follow-up visits. The median knowledge score increased from 6.0 (IQR 5.0-7.0) at baseline to 11.0 (IQR 8.0-14.0) at 1-month visit (p<0.001), and 15.0 (IQR 10.0-20.0) at 3-month visit (p<0.001). Qualitative results showed high acceptability and enthusiasm for the Speaking Book among both caregivers and healthcare workers. The Speaking Book was widely shared in the community and this facilitated communication with healthcare workers at the primary healthcare centres. CONCLUSIONS: Context-specific and subject-specific Speaking Books are a useful communication and educational tool to increase caregiver vaccine knowledge in low/middle-income countries.


Assuntos
Cuidadores , Vacinas , Livros , Gâmbia , Humanos , Programas de Imunização , Lactente
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