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1.
JBI Evid Implement ; 21(2): 146-155, 2023 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232261

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This project's aim was to implement vaccine safety surveillance best practices to improve reporting of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination roll out in Uasin Gishu County. INTRODUCTION: Weak vaccine safety surveillance systems in developing countries has contributed to underreporting of AEFIs undermining public confidence in immunization efforts, contributing to low uptake of vaccines critical in the fight against communicable diseases. METHODS: The JBI Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (JBI PACES) and Getting Research into Practice (GRiP) audit tool for promoting change in healthcare practice was utilized. Preimplementation and postimplementation audit cycles carried out utilized six best practice recommendations. Context-specific strategies and resources were used to address the gaps identified. RESULTS: Less than half of the AEFIs reported were in accordance with the local policy recommendation, and most of the AEFIs reported were submitted in a timely manner in the baseline and follow-up cycle. Slight improvement was recorded in the number of health facilities with AEFIs reporting forms. An improvement of 33.7% was recorded in the number of health workers providing COVID-19 vaccination services who had received education and practical training on vaccine pharmacovigilance. CONCLUSION: Underreporting and delayed submission of COVID-19 vaccine AEFI was evident among the healthcare providers offering COVID-19 vaccination services, the majority of healthcare providers had received training on vaccine pharmacovigilance, and AEFI hard copy reporting forms were not adequate in the health facilities. Public education on vaccine safety before administration of vaccine needs emphasis in order to improve reporting of AEFI.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Kenya/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination/adverse effects , Immunization/adverse effects , Vaccines/adverse effects
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(11)2023 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238279

ABSTRACT

Conducting violence and mental health research during the COVID-19 pandemic with vulnerable groups such as female sex workers (FSWs) required care to ensure that participants and the research team were not harmed. Potential risks and harm avoidance needed to be considered as well as ensuring data reliability. In March 2020, COVID-19 restrictions were imposed in Kenya during follow-up data collection for the Maisha Fiti study (n = 1003); hence data collection was paused. In June 2020, the study clinic was re-opened after consultations with violence and mental health experts and the FSW community. Between June 2020 and January 2021, data were collected in person and remotely following ethical procedures. A total of 885/1003 (88.2%) FSWs participated in the follow-up behavioural-biological survey and 47/47 (100%) participated in the qualitative in-depth interviews. A total of 26/885 (2.9%) quantitative surveys and 3/47 (6.4%) qualitative interviews were conducted remotely. Researching sensitive topics like sex work, violence, and mental health must guarantee study participants' safety and privacy. Collecting data at the height of COVID-19 was crucial in understanding the relationships between the COVID-19 pandemic, violence against women, and mental health. Relationships established with study participants during the baseline survey-before the pandemic-enabled us to complete data collection. In this paper, we discuss key issues involved in undertaking violence and mental health research with a vulnerable population such as FSWs during a pandemic. Lessons learned could be useful to others researching sensitive topics such as violence and mental health with vulnerable populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sex Workers , Female , Humans , Sex Workers/psychology , Mental Health , Pandemics , Kenya/epidemiology , Reproducibility of Results , COVID-19/epidemiology , Violence
3.
J Clin Invest ; 133(13)2023 07 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326027

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSARS-CoV-2 infection in Africa has been characterized by a less severe disease profile than what has been observed elsewhere, but the profile of SARS-CoV-2-specific adaptive immunity in these mainly asymptomatic patients has not, to our knowledge, been analyzed.MethodsWe collected blood samples from residents of rural Kenya (n = 80), who had not experienced any respiratory symptoms or had contact with individuals with COVID-19 and had not received COVID-19 vaccines. We analyzed spike-specific antibodies and T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 structural (membrane, nucleocapsid, and spike) and accessory (ORF3a, ORF7, ORF8) proteins. Pre-pandemic blood samples collected in Nairobi (n = 13) and blood samples from mild-to-moderately symptomatic COVID-19 convalescent patients (n = 36) living in the urban environment of Singapore were also studied.ResultsAmong asymptomatic Africans, we detected anti-spike antibodies in 41.0% of the samples and T cell responses against 2 or more SARS-CoV-2 proteins in 82.5% of samples examined. Such a pattern was absent in the pre-pandemic samples. Furthermore, distinct from cellular immunity in European and Asian COVID-19 convalescents, we observed strong T cell immunogenicity against viral accessory proteins (ORF3a, ORF8) but not structural proteins, as well as a higher IL-10/IFN-γ cytokine ratio profile.ConclusionsThe high incidence of T cell responses against different SARS-CoV-2 proteins in seronegative participants suggests that serosurveys underestimate SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in settings where asymptomatic infections prevail. The functional and antigen-specific profile of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in African individuals suggests that environmental factors can play a role in the development of protective antiviral immunity.FundingUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Health Protection; the Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council (COVID19RF3-0060, COVID19RF-001, COVID19RF-008, MOH-StaR17Nov-0001).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Adult , Kenya/epidemiology , T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Prevalence , Antibodies, Viral
4.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 912, 2023 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322972

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccination remains the most effective means of reducing the burden of infectious disease among children. It is estimated to prevent between two to three million child deaths annually. However, despite being a successful intervention, basic vaccination coverage remains below the target. About 20 million infants are either under or not fully vaccinated, most of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa region. In Kenya, the coverage is even lower at 83% than the global average of 86%. The objective of this study is to explore the factors that contribute to low demand or vaccine hesitancy for childhood and adolescent vaccines in Kenya. METHODS: The study used qualitative research design. Key Informant Interviews (KII) was used to obtain information from national and county-level key stakeholders. In-depth Interviews (IDI) was done to collect opinions of caregivers of children 0-23 months and adolescent girls eligible for immunization, and Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine respectively. The data was collected at the national level and counties such as Kilifi, Turkana, Nairobi and Kitui. The data was analyzed using thematic content approach. A total of 41 national and county-level immunization officials and caregivers formed the sample. RESULTS: Insufficient knowledge about vaccines, vaccine supply issues, frequent healthcare worker's industrial action, poverty, religious beliefs, inadequate vaccination campaigns, distance to vaccination centers, were identified as factors driving low demand or vaccine hesitancy against routine childhood immunization. While factors driving low uptake of the newly introduced HPV vaccine were reported to include misinformation about the vaccine, rumors that the vaccine is a form of female contraception, the suspicion that the vaccine is free and available only to girls, poor knowledge of cervical cancer and benefits of HPV vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: Rural community sensitization on both routine childhood immunization and HPV vaccine should be key activities post COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, the use of mainstream and social media outreaches, and vaccine champions could help reduce vaccine hesitancy. The findings are invaluable for informing design of context-specific interventions by national and county-level immunization stakeholders. Further studies on the relationship between attitude towards new vaccines and connection to vaccine hesitancy is necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Papillomavirus Infections , Papillomavirus Vaccines , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Infant , Child , Humans , Adolescent , Female , Kenya/epidemiology , Pandemics , Vaccination , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Papillomavirus Vaccines/therapeutic use , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
5.
Trials ; 23(1): 640, 2022 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314290

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) target night-time indoor biting mosquitoes and effectively reduce malaria transmission in rural settings across Africa, but additional vector control tools are needed to interrupt transmission. Attractive targeted sugar baits (ATSBs) attract and kill mosquitoes, including those biting outdoors. Deployment of ATSBs incorporating the insecticide dinotefuran was associated with major reductions in mosquito density and longevity in Mali. The impact of this promising intervention on malaria transmission and morbidity now needs to be determined in a range of transmission settings. METHODS/DESIGN: We will conduct three similar stand-alone, open-label, two-arm, cluster-randomized, controlled trials (cRCTs) in Mali, Kenya, and Zambia to determine the impact of ATSB + universal vector control versus universal vector control alone on clinical malaria. The trials will use a "fried-egg" design, with primary outcomes measured in the core area of each cluster to reduce spill-over effects. All household structures in the ATSB clusters will receive two ATSBs, but the impact will be measured in the core of clusters. Restricted randomization will be used. The primary outcome is clinical malaria incidence among children aged 5-14 years in Mali and 1-14 years in Kenya and Zambia. A key secondary outcome is malaria parasite prevalence across all ages. The trials will include 76 clusters (38 per arm) in Mali and 70 (35 per arm) in each of Kenya and Zambia. The trials are powered to detect a 30% reduction in clinical malaria, requiring a total of 3850 person-years of follow-up in Mali, 1260 person-years in Kenya, and 1610 person-years in Zambia. These sample sizes will be ascertained using two seasonal 8-month cohorts in Mali and two 6-month seasonal cohorts in Zambia. In Kenya, which has year-round transmission, four 6-month cohorts will be used (total 24 months of follow-up). The design allows for one interim analysis in Mali and Zambia and two in Kenya. DISCUSSION: Strengths of the design include the use of multiple study sites with different transmission patterns and a range of vectors to improve external validity, a large number of clusters within each trial site, restricted randomization, between-cluster separation to minimize contamination between study arms, and an adaptive trial design. Noted threats to internal validity include open-label design, risk of contamination between study arms, risk of imbalance of covariates across study arms, variation in durability of ATSB stations, and potential disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Zambia: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04800055 . Registered on March 15, 2021 Mali: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04149119 . Registered on November 4, 2019 Kenya: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05219565 . Registered on February 2, 2022.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Culicidae , Insecticide-Treated Bednets , Insecticides , Malaria , Animals , Child , Culicidae/parasitology , Humans , Kenya/epidemiology , Malaria/epidemiology , Mali , Mosquito Control/methods , Mosquito Vectors , Pandemics , Sugars/adverse effects , Zambia/epidemiology
6.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e068689, 2023 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320492

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Among youth in Nairobi, we (1) characterised fertility and contraceptive use dynamics by gender; (2) estimated pregnancy prevalence over the pandemic; and (3) assessed factors associated with unintended pandemic pregnancy for young women. DESIGN: Longitudinal analyses use cohort data collected at three timepoints prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic: June to August 2019 (pre-pandemic), August to October 2020 (12-month follow-up) and April to May 2021 (18-month follow-up). SETTING: Nairobi, Kenya. PARTICIPANTS: At initial cohort recruitment, eligible youth were aged 15-24 years, unmarried and residing in Nairobi for at least 1 year. Within-timepoint analyses were restricted to participants with survey data per round; trend and prospective analyses were restricted to those with complete data at all three timepoints (n=586 young men, n=589 young women). PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes comprised fertility and contraceptive use for both genders, and pregnancy for young women. Unintended pandemic pregnancy (assessed at 18-month follow-up) was defined as a current or past 6-month pregnancy with intent to delay pregnancy for more than 1 year at 2020 survey. RESULTS: While fertility intentions remained stable, contraceptive dynamics varied by gender-young men both adopted and discontinued coital-dependent methods, whereas young women adopted coital-dependent or short-acting methods at 12-month follow-up (2020). Current pregnancy was highest at 2020 (4.8%), and approximately 2% at 2019 and 2021. Unintended pandemic pregnancy prevalence was 6.1%, with increased odds for young women recently married (adjusted OR (aOR)=3.79; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.83-7.86); recent contraceptive use was protective against unintended pandemic pregnancy (aOR=0.23; 95% CI 0.11-0.47). CONCLUSIONS: Current pregnancy in Nairobi was highest at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), and subsided to pre-pandemic levels by 2021 data collection; however, requires further monitoring. New marriages posed considerable risk for unintended pandemic pregnancy. Contraceptive use remains a crucial preventive strategy to averting unintended pregnancy, particularly for married young women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy, Unplanned , Pregnancy , Female , Adolescent , Young Adult , Humans , Male , Contraceptive Agents , Kenya/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Fertility , Contraception Behavior
7.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e062686, 2023 05 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315844

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Kenya has long and porous borders with its neighbouring countries. These regions, predominantly inhabited by highly mobile rural communities with strong cross-border cultural ties, present major challenges in managing movement of people and COVID-19 preventive measures. Our study sought to assess knowledge of COVID-19 prevention behaviours, how these varied by socioeconomic (SEC) factors and the challenges of engagement and implementation, in two border counties of Kenya. METHODS: We conducted a mixed methods study using a household e-survey (Busia, N=294; Mandera, N=288; 57% females, 43% males), and qualitative telephone interviews (N=73: Busia 55; Mandera 18) with policy actors, healthcare workers, truckers and traders, and community members. Interviews were transcribed, English translated and analysed using the framework method. Associations between SEC (wealth quintiles, educational level) and knowledge of COVID-19 preventive behaviours were explored using Poisson regression. RESULTS: Participants were mostly educated to primary school level (54.4% Busia, 61.6% Mandera). Knowledge of COVID-19 prevention varied by behaviour: hand washing-86.5%, use of hand sanitiser-74.8%, wearing a face mask-63.1%, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing-56.3% and social distancing-40.1%. Differences in knowledge by area, educational level and the wealth index were marked, greatest for Mandera, the less educated and the poor. Interviews with stakeholders revealed challenges in health messaging, psychosocial and socioeconomic factors, lack of preparedness for truck border crossings, language barrier, denial and livelihood insecurity as key challenges to engagement with and implementation of COVID-19 prevention behaviours in the border regions. CONCLUSION: The influence of SEC disparities and border dynamics on knowledge and engagement with COVID-19 prevention behaviours calls for contextually appropriate risk communication strategies that are cognisant of community needs and local patterns of information flow. Coordinating response measures across border points is crucial in winning communities' trust and maintaining essential economic and social activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Kenya/epidemiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Communication
8.
Int J Gynaecol Obstet ; 162(1): 147-153, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299681

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The authors evaluated factors contributing to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine hesitancy among pregnant and postpartum women to inform vaccine scale-up strategies. METHODS: This observational study utilized data from pregnant and postpartum women attending four public maternal child health (MCH) clinics in Western Kenya. From October 2020 to July 2022, nurses assessed COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, defined as reporting "unlikely" or "very unlikely" to the question, "If a vaccine for COVID-19 were available today, what is the likelihood that you would get vaccinated?" RESULTS: Among 1023 women (235 pregnant, 788 postpartum), 20% reported worsened MCH care during the pandemic and most (92%) perceived themselves or family members to be at risk for COVID-19, yet 54% of women reported COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine hesitancy was more frequent among women reporting worsened MCH care (P < 0.001) since the pandemic and those who did not trust the government as a source of COVID-19 information (P = 0.016). Over the 2-year period, willingness to receive the vaccine almost doubled (38% to 71%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that sustaining access to quality MCH services may decrease COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Willingness to receive the vaccine doubled over the 2-year period in our cohort, suggesting increased trust for use and acceptance in the unique context of the pregnancy/postpartum period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Child , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , Kenya/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Family , Postpartum Period , Vaccination , Pregnant Women
9.
Sex Health ; 20(2): 105-117, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303035

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Young men who have sex with men (MSM) are a key population at high risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We conducted a respondent-driven sampling (RDS) bio-behavioural survey to estimate the prevalence of five curable STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, trichomoniasis and Mycoplasma genitalium infection, and associated risk factors among tertiary student MSM (TSMSM) in Nairobi, Kenya. METHODS: Between February and March 2021, we recruited 248 TSMSM aged ≥18years who self-reported engaging in anal and/or oral sex with another man in the past year. Samples collected included urine, anorectal and oropharyngeal swabs for pooled Chlamydia trachomatis , Mycoplasma genitalium , Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis testing using multiplex nucleic acid amplification tests, and venous blood for serological Treponema pallidum screening and confirmation of current infection. Participants self-completed a behavioural survey on a REDCap digital platform. Data analysis was done using RDS-Analyst (v0.72) and Stata (v15). Differences in proportions were examined using the chi-squared (χ 2 ) test, and unweighted multivariate logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with STI prevalence. RESULTS: RDS-adjusted prevalence rates of at least one of the five STIs, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, Mycoplasma genitalium infection, trichomoniasis and latent syphilis were 58.8%, 51.0%, 11.3%, 6.0%, 1.5% and 0.7%, respectively. Factors independently associated with STI prevalence were inconsistent condom use (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.89, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03-3.47, P =0.038) and the last sex partner being a regular partner (AOR=2.35, 95% CI: 1.12-4.92, P =0.023). CONCLUSION: STI prevalence among TSMSM in Nairobi, Kenya, is disturbingly high, demonstrating urgent need for tailored testing, treatment and prevention interventions for this population.


Subject(s)
Chlamydia Infections , Gonorrhea , Mycoplasma Infections , Mycoplasma genitalium , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Syphilis , Trichomonas Infections , Male , Humans , Homosexuality, Male , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , Gonorrhea/diagnosis , Syphilis/epidemiology , Prevalence , Kenya/epidemiology , Mycoplasma Infections/epidemiology , Mycoplasma Infections/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Risk Factors , Neisseria gonorrhoeae , Surveys and Questionnaires , Trichomonas Infections/epidemiology , Chlamydia Infections/epidemiology , Chlamydia Infections/diagnosis
10.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 439, 2022 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines are considered the path out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government of Kenya is implementing a phased strategy to vaccinate the Kenyan population, initially targeting populations at high risk of severe disease and infection. We estimated the financial and economic unit costs of procuring and delivering the COVID-19 vaccine in Kenya across various vaccination strategies. METHODS: We used an activity-based costing approach to estimate the incremental costs of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, from a health systems perspective. Document reviews and key informant interviews(n = 12) were done to inform the activities, assumptions and the resources required. Unit prices were derived from document reviews or from market prices. Both financial and economic vaccine procurement costs per person vaccinated with 2-doses, and the vaccine delivery costs per person vaccinated with 2-doses were estimated and reported in 2021USD. RESULTS: The financial costs of vaccine procurement per person vaccinated with 2-doses ranged from $2.89-$13.09 in the 30% and 100% coverage levels respectively, however, the economic cost was $17.34 across all strategies. Financial vaccine delivery costs per person vaccinated with 2-doses, ranged from $4.28-$3.29 in the 30% and 100% coverage strategies: While the economic delivery costs were two to three times higher than the financial costs. The total procurement and delivery costs per person vaccinated with 2-doses ranged from $7.34-$16.47 for the financial costs and $29.7-$24.68 for the economic costs for the 30% and 100% coverage respectively. With the exception of procurement costs, the main cost driver of financial and economic delivery costs was supply chain costs (47-59%) and advocacy, communication and social mobilization (29-35%) respectively. CONCLUSION: This analysis presents cost estimates that can be used to inform local policy and may further inform parameters used in cost-effectiveness models. The results could potentially be adapted and adjusted to country-specific assumptions to enhance applicability in similar low-and middle-income settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization Programs , Kenya/epidemiology , Pandemics
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(6)2023 03 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270478

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has revolutionised our lives, bringing with it the twin crises of illness and the need for an optimal mix of policies to alleviate its impact on the population. There needs to be more evidence on the effects of the pandemic on livelihood outcomes, including an understanding of whether female-headed families in low-income countries fare worse than their male-headed counterparts during pandemics. Using high-frequency phone surveys conducted in Ethiopia and Kenya, we examine the aggregate impact of the pandemic on income and consumption losses, as well as food insecurity. The empirical analysis estimates linear probability models that relate livelihood outcomes with household headship and other socioeconomic characteristics as controls. Overall, the pandemic increased the likelihood of food insecurity while decreasing income and consumption, particularly among female-headed households. In Kenya, living in a female-headed home increased the possibility of an adult going without food by about 10%, an adult skipping a meal by about 9.9%, and a child missing a meal by about 17% in the seven days preceding the telephone survey. In Ethiopia, living in a female-headed household increased the likelihood of an adult going hungry, skipping a meal, and running out of food by about 24.35%, 18.9%, and 26.7%, respectively. Salient pre-existing socioeconomic inequalities further exacerbated the effects of the pandemic on livelihoods. The findings have important implications for public policy and preparations by governments and other organisations interested in developing suitable gender-sensitive measures to lessen the impact of future pandemics in low- and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Insecurity , Pandemics , Adult , Child , Female , Humans , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Food Supply , Kenya/epidemiology
12.
Ann Ist Super Sanita ; 59(1): 80-92, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253601

ABSTRACT

Kenya is home to one of the worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, with higher prevalence rates in youths in urban slums. We conducted a cross-sectional mixed-methods study in Nairobi informal settlements. The aim was to investigate knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of this marginalized community, and to identify, with a bottom-up approach, the most appropriate interventions to increase the utilization of HIV/STIs services. Preliminary qualitative research was used to draw questionnaires, which assessed: STIs/HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours; access and barriers to STIs/HIV/AIDS services; perceived quality of services; the impact of COVID-19. One thousand and fifty-four respondents completed the questionnaire. 48.3% were youth in the community, 23% youth in school, 16.8% young mothers, 6.9% drug users and 5% people attending a technical-vocational training. We found unsatisfactory knowledge of STIs/HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, and low condom use, mainly due to difficult access, poverty, and gender-based violence. We also found limited use of health services, and lack of trust due to poor attitude of the staff. COVID-19 has widened barriers to access to health services. To reach this population, it is necessary to implement educational interventions, facilitate access to free condoms, and train health centre staff to be more welcoming. Respondents found proximity strategies more efficient, including door-to-door testing and community outreach.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Adolescent , Humans , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/prevention & control , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Kenya/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Cross-Sectional Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
13.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 17(1): e0011043, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2265991

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Accurate mapping of schistosomiasis (SCH) and soil transmitted helminths (STH) is a prerequisite for effective implementation of the control and elimination interventions. A precision mapping protocol was developed and implemented in the coastal region of Kenya by applying the current World Health Organization (WHO) mapping guide at a much lower administrative level (ward). METHODS: A two-stage cluster survey design was undertaken, with 5 villages in each ward selected. From within each village 50 households were randomly selected, and a single child between the ages of 8 and 14 sampled following appropriate assent. The prevalence and intensity of infection of Schistosoma mansoni and STH were determined using the Kato-Katz method (single stool, duplicate slides) and urine filtration for S. haematobium. RESULTS: Of the 27,850 school age children sampled, 6.9% were infected with at least one Schistosoma species, with S. haematobium being the most common 6.1% (95% CI: 3.1-11.9), and Tana River County having highest prevalence 19.6% (95% CI: 11.6-31.3). Prevalence of any STH infection was 5.8% (95% CI: 3.7-8.9), with Lamu County having the highest prevalence at 11.9% (95% CI: 10.0-14.1). The most prevalent STH species in the region was Trichuris trichiura at 3.1% (95% CI: 2.0-4.8). According to the WHO threshold for MDA implementation, 31 wards (in 15 sub-Counties) had a prevalence of ≥10% for SCH and thus qualify for annual MDA of all age groups from 2 years old. On the other hand, using the stricter Kenya BTS MDA threshold of ≥2%, 72 wards (in 17 sub-Counties) qualified for MDA and were targeted for treatment in 2021. CONCLUSIONS: The precision mapping at the ward level demonstrated the variations of schistosomiasis prevalence and endemicity by ward even within the same sub-counties. The data collected will be utilized by the Kenyan Ministry of Health to improve targeting.


Subject(s)
Helminthiasis , Helminths , Schistosomiasis , Animals , Humans , Child , Adolescent , Child, Preschool , Kenya/epidemiology , Soil/parasitology , Helminthiasis/epidemiology , Schistosomiasis/epidemiology , Schistosoma mansoni , Feces/parasitology , Prevalence
14.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 353, 2023 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2258233

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding healthcare-seeking patterns for respiratory illness can help improve estimation of disease burden and target public health interventions to control acute respiratory disease in Kenya. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey to determine healthcare utilization patterns for acute respiratory illness (ARI) and severe pneumonia in four diverse counties representing urban, peri-urban, rural mixed farmers, and rural pastoralist communities in Kenya using a two-stage (sub-locations then households) cluster sampling procedure. Healthcare seeking behavior for ARI episodes in the last 14 days, and severe pneumonia in the last 12 months was evaluated. Severe pneumonia was defined as reported cough and difficulty breathing for > 2 days and report of hospitalization or recommendation for hospitalization, or a danger sign (unable to breastfeed/drink, vomiting everything, convulsions, unconscious) for children < 5 years, or report of inability to perform routine chores. RESULTS: From August through September 2018, we interviewed 28,072 individuals from 5,407 households. Of those surveyed, 9.2% (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 7.9-10.7) reported an episode of ARI, and 4.2% (95% CI 3.8-4.6) reported an episode of severe pneumonia. Of the reported ARI cases, 40.0% (95% CI 36.8-43.3) sought care at a health facility. Of the74.2% (95% CI 70.2-77.9) who reported severe pneumonia and visited a medical health facility, 28.9% (95% CI 25.6-32.6) were hospitalized and 7.0% (95% CI 5.4-9.1) were referred by a clinician to the hospital but not hospitalized. 21% (95% CI 18.2-23.6) of self-reported severe pneumonias were hospitalized. Children aged < 5 years and persons in households with a higher socio-economic status were more likely to seek care for respiratory illness at a health facility. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that hospital-based surveillance captures less than one quarter of severe pneumonia in the community. Multipliers from community household surveys can account for underutilization of healthcare resources and under-ascertainment of severe pneumonia at hospitals.


Subject(s)
Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Pneumonia , Child , Female , Humans , Infant , Kenya/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Pneumonia/therapy , Pneumonia/diagnosis , Cost of Illness
15.
Infect Dis Poverty ; 12(1): 24, 2023 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2258196

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tungiasis is a neglected tropical skin disease caused by the sand flea Tunga penetrans. Female fleas penetrate the skin, particularly at the feet, and cause severe inflammation. This study aimed to characterize disease burden in two highly affected regions in Kenya, to test the use of thermography to detect tungiasis-associated inflammation and to create a new two-level classification of disease severity suitable for mapping, targeting, and monitoring interventions. METHODS: From February 2020 to April 2021, 3532 pupils age 8-14 years were quasi-randomly selected in 35 public primary schools and examined for tungiasis and associated symptoms. Of the infected pupils, 266 were quasi-randomly selected and their households visited, where an additional 1138 family members were examined. Inflammation was assessed using infra-red thermography. A Clinical score was created combining the number of locations on the feet with acute and chronic symptoms and infra-red hotspots. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of tungiasis among all the school pupils who were randomly selected during survey rounds 1 and 3 was 9.3% [95% confidence interval (CI): 8.4-10.3]. Based on mixed effects logistic models, the odds of infection with tungiasis among school pupils was three times higher in Kwale (coastal Kenya) than in Siaya [western Kenya; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.18-0.74]; three times higher in males than in females (aOR = 3.0, 95% CI: 2.32-3.91) and three times lower among pupils sleeping in a house with a concrete floor (aOR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.24-0.44). The odds of finding an infected person among the household population during surveys before the COVID-19 pandemic was a third (aOR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.19-0.53) of that when schools were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions and approximately half (aOR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.29-0.68) in surveys done after school re-opening (round 3). Infection intensity was positively correlated with inflammation as measured by thermography (Spearman's rho = 0.68, P < 0.001) and with the clinical score (rho = 0.86, P < 0.001). Based on the two-level classification, severe cases were associated with a threefold higher level of pain (OR = 2.99, 95% CI: 2.02-4.43) and itching (OR = 3.31, 95% CI: 2.24-4.89) than mild cases. CONCLUSIONS: Thermography was a valuable addition for assessing morbidity and the proposed two-level classification of disease severity clearly separated patients with mild and severe impacts. The burden of tungiasis was considerably higher in households surveyed during COVID-19 restrictions suggesting underlying risks are found in the home environment more than in school.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tungiasis , Male , Animals , Humans , Female , Child , Adolescent , Tungiasis/diagnosis , Tungiasis/epidemiology , Kenya/epidemiology , Thermography , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Prevalence , Cost of Illness , Tunga , Inflammation/epidemiology , Schools
16.
Harm Reduct J ; 20(1): 21, 2023 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257543

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa many people who inject drugs (PWID) are living with undiagnosed or untreated HIV and experience high levels of poverty and conditions that can contribute to worse outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Identifying the burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection in marginalized populations like PWID may contribute to controlling the pandemic. METHODS: This is a nested cross-sectional study within an ongoing cohort study that recruits PWID living with HIV and their injecting and/or sexual partners at needle and syringe program sites and methadone clinics in Kenya. Blood samples were collected from consenting participants at enrollment to determine SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using a Platellia BioRad SARS-CoV-2 total antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Baseline data were collected on HIV status, antiretroviral therapy and methadone adherence. We used logistic regression to identify factors associated with antibody positivity and descriptive statistics to report SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence. RESULTS: One thousand participants were enrolled between April and July 2021, of whom 323 (32.3%) were women and 677 (67.7%) were men. Median age of participants was 36 years (interquartile range: 30, 42). SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity was found in 309 (30.9%) participants. Disruption in obtaining methadone service was reported by 106 (24.3%) of the participants. Men were significantly less likely than women to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51, 0.95; p < 0.01) Participants who reported a sexual or injecting partner diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 were twofold more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detected (aOR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.06, 4.58; p < 0.032). Living with HIV was not associated with presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. CONCLUSION: The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 of 30.9% in this cohort suggests high transmission rates within this population. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was similar for people living with and without HIV. A large portion of this population was noted to have had disruption in access to harm reduction services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Users , HIV Infections , Substance Abuse, Intravenous , Male , Humans , Female , Adult , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/epidemiology , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Cohort Studies , Prevalence , Kenya/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Harm Reduction , COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/complications , Methadone
17.
Matern Child Nutr ; 19(2): e13466, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2248366

ABSTRACT

This implementation research study sought to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and infant nutrition practices, and related aspects of health and food systems in Nairobi and Uasin Gishu Counties, Kenya. The study triangulated in-depth interviews with 16 pregnant women, 31 lactating women (including COVID-19 positive), 10 facility health workers, 10 community health volunteers, 6 focus group discussions (FGDs) with food vendors, 4 FGDs and 15 stakeholder interviews with government and implementing partners. Trends from Kenyan Health Information System indicators (i.e., exclusive breastfeeding and initiation of breastfeeding, antenatal care) were also examined. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a decline in attendance of antenatal care, and maternity facilities was observed, and corroborated by Kenyan Health Information System data. Lack of clarity among health workers on COVID-19 breastfeeding guidance and fear of COVID-19 infection early in the pandemic were key drivers of early infant formula use, mother-child separation following delivery and delayed initiation of breastfeeding. Most women exclusively breastfed due to Government of Kenya restrictions in movement. Unemployment and job loss was linked to food insecurity and worsened by increased food prices and limited social protection measures. In response, pregnant and lactating women resorted to skipping meals and reducing quantity and variety of foods consumed. Efforts to build forward from COVID-19 in Kenya should include facility and community health education to prevent disruptions in breastfeeding and to support maternal dietary intake, and in the provision of targeted social protection measures alongside other multisectoral interventions (i.e., psychosocial support) for Kenyan pregnant and lactating women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Female , Infant , Pregnancy , Humans , Kenya/epidemiology , Lactation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Breast Feeding , Prenatal Care
18.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 26(2): e26055, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2236617

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an essential prevention strategy being scaled up for priority populations in Kenya, including for HIV serodiscordant couples. The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to PrEP rollout. We conducted a qualitative study of PrEP providers to understand how clinics adjusted PrEP delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Since 2017, the Partners Scale-Up Project has integrated PrEP into 25 HIV clinics in Central and Western Kenya. We conducted qualitative interviews with 40 purposively sampled clinic personnel. We interviewed personnel once during the first pandemic wave (May-Aug 2020) and again after some decline in COVID-19 rates (Nov-Jan 2021). We analysed data using inductive memo-writing and summarized data by themes along the PrEP delivery cascade, guided by the Framework for Reporting Adaptation and Modifications (FRAME). RESULTS: We interviewed 27 clinical officers, five nurses, four health records and information officers, and four counsellors from Central (n = 20) and Western (n = 20) Kenya. About half (n = 19) were female, with a median age of 32 (IQR: 29-34) and 2.3 years of experience delivering PrEP (IQR: 2-3). All participants reported clinic changes in PrEP demand creation and service delivery during the pandemic. Modifications occurred during PrEP implementation and sustainment phases, were partly reactive to the pandemic and also facilitated by interim Ministry of Health guidance on PrEP delivery during COVID, and were made by PrEP delivery teams, clients and clinic managers. Commonly reported modifications included dispensing multiple-month PrEP refills, intensifying phone-based client engagement and collaborating with other HIV clinics to ensure that clients with prolonged stays in other regions could continue to access PrEP. Some clinics also adopted practices to streamline visits, such as within clinical-room PrEP dispensing, pre-packing PrEP and task-shifting. Most providers liked these changes and hoped they would continue after the pandemic subsides. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 served as a catalyst for PrEP delivery innovations in Kenya. HIV clinics successfully and rapidly adapted their PrEP demand creation, refill and retention strategies to promote PrEP uptake and effective use. These modified implementation strategies highlight opportunities to streamline the delivery of PrEP, as well as other HIV and chronic care services, and strengthen engagement with populations post-pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Humans , Female , Adult , Male , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Kenya/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use
19.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 16(12): 1800-1808, 2022 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2233991

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection among pregnant women can lead to an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Preventive measures are essential as there is no definite cure. This study determined the knowledge, attitude and practice of COVID-19 preventive measures including COVID-19 vaccine uptake, among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in western Kenya. METHODOLOGY: A mixed-methods study was conducted during the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Kisumu and Siaya counties in Kenya from December 2021 to January 2022. Fishers' Exact/Chi-square tests were used to determine the association between variables, and multinomial logistics regression were used to identify the predictors of knowledge, attitude and practice. Thematic analyses were used to describe qualitative findings. RESULTS: Of the 385 women interviewed, 99.7% and 100%, had good and above knowledge and attitude respectively, while 23%, had adequate practices. COVID-19 vaccine uptake was 28%. Respondents from households with 3-5 and 6-8 members were 2.11 and 2.58 times more likely to have poor practices, whereas respondents with tertiary level of education were 0.48 times less likely to have poor practices. Focus group discussions revealed that poor COVID-19 vaccine uptake was caused by vaccine myths and misconceptions, whereas the cost of masks, the smell of soaps and sanitizers and inadequate space in the clinics and workplaces were identified as barriers to COVID-19 prevention practices. CONCLUSIONS: Although knowledge and attitude scores towards COVID-19 preventive measures were high, this did not reflect in pregnant women engaging in adequate preventive practices and vaccine uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnant Women , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , COVID-19 Vaccines , Kenya/epidemiology
20.
J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care ; 22: 23259582231152041, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224106

ABSTRACT

During public health crises, people living with HIV (PLWH) may become disengaged from care. The goal of this study was to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent flooding disasters on HIV care delivery in western Kenya. We conducted ten individual in-depth interviews with HIV providers across four health facilities. We used an iterative and integrated inductive and deductive data analysis approach to generate four themes. First, increased structural interruptions created exacerbating strain on health facilities. Second, there was increased physical and psychosocial burnout among providers. Third, patient uptake of services along the HIV continuum decreased, particularly among vulnerable patients. Finally, existing community-based programs and teleconsultations could be adapted to provide differentiated HIV care. Community-centric care programs, with an emphasis on overcoming the social, economic, and structural barriers will be crucial to ensure optimal care and limit the impact of public health disruptions on HIV care globally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Natural Disasters , Humans , Pandemics , Kenya/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/therapy , Health Personnel/psychology , Qualitative Research
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