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1.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 531, 2022 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951100

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of COVID-19 as a global pandemic presents a serious health threat to African countries and the livelihoods of its people. To mitigate the impact of this disease, intervention measures including self-isolation, schools and border closures were implemented to varying degrees of success. Moreover, there are a limited number of empirical studies on the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to control COVID-19. In this study, we considered two models to inform policy decisions about pandemic planning and the implementation of NPIs based on case-death-recovery counts. METHODS: We applied an extended susceptible-infected-removed (eSIR) model, incorporating quarantine, antibody and vaccination compartments, to time series data in order to assess the transmission dynamics of COVID-19. Additionally, we adopted the susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) model to investigate the robustness of the eSIR model based on case-death-recovery counts and the reproductive number (R0). The prediction accuracy was assessed using the root mean square error and mean absolute error. Moreover, parameter sensitivity analysis was performed by fixing initial parameters in the SEIR model and then estimating R0, ß and γ. RESULTS: We observed an exponential trend of the number of active cases of COVID-19 since March 02 2020, with the pandemic peak occurring around August 2021. The estimated mean R0 values ranged from 1.32 (95% CI, 1.17-1.49) in Rwanda to 8.52 (95% CI: 3.73-14.10) in Kenya. The predicted case counts by January 16/2022 in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda were 115,505; 7,072,584; 18,248,566; 410,599; 386,020; 107,265, and 3,145,602 respectively. We show that the low apparent morbidity and mortality observed in EACs, is likely biased by underestimation of the infected and mortality cases. CONCLUSION: The current NPIs can delay the pandemic pea and effectively reduce further spread of COVID-19 and should therefore be strengthened. The observed reduction in R0 is consistent with the interventions implemented in EACs, in particular, lockdowns and roll-out of vaccination programmes. Future work should account for the negative impact of the interventions on the economy and food systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Kenya , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Tanzania
2.
Pan Afr Med J ; 42: 33, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1939419

ABSTRACT

There is scanty data on overall pediatric presentations with COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa and none reported related to stroke. Management of acute stroke in children has been challenging due to delays in presentation and difficulties in deducing the exact etiology. This is the first such case of a stroke in a child with COVID-19 infection reported in Tanzania to the best of our knowledge. A six-and-a-half-year-old male child of Asian origin with no history of chronic illness presented to our facility with fever, rash, gastrointestinal symptoms and conjunctivitis. Subsequently, he developed headache, irritability, altered mentation, loss of speech, facial nerve palsy and hemiparesis. He was provisionally diagnosed with bacterial meningitis with a differential diagnosis of viral encephalitis and received standard treatment for the same. On further investigations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain showed ischemic infarct along the territory of left middle cerebral artery and given the history of the child´s exposure to a relative with COVID-19 infection, child underwent a nasopharyngeal swab for polymerase chain reaction testing which was negative but the serum IgG for COVID was positive. Despite the severe presentation initially, early detection and appropriate management resulted in survival, regained speech and motor function. Due to constraints in health care systems in sub-Saharan Africa, it is difficult to exhaust the diagnostics in order to narrow down the list of differentials in a child with stroke. This case is reported to further describe the diverse presentations of COVID-19 particularly in children which has been under-represented especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Attending physicians should have a high index of suspicion for SARS-CoV-2 as the etiology for exposed children presenting with neurological symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stroke , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/etiology , Tanzania
3.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0270146, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933358

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that influence beef meat exports in Tanzania, with a particular focus on the years 1985 to 2020, in enhancing the development of beef meat export-oriented policy in Tanzania, thereby enhancing beef exports in Tanzania. A time-series panel dataset was analyzed using both descriptive statistics and ordinary least squares (OLS) linear regression analyses models. As per the descriptive analyses, beef meat exports reached the highest pick of 4,300 tons per year in 1990, whereas from 1991 to date, beef meat exportation in Tanzania has been in declining trends despite an increase in beef meat output and trade openness from 162,500 to 486,736 tons and 7.6 to 98.7%, respectively. Nevertheless, while the prospect of Tanzanian beef meat exports appears bright and promising, the industry will continue to encounter trade barriers and must stay competitive to produce enough volume and quality beef meat to meet the needs of its existing and expanding markets. This is because, Tanzanian beef meat competes for market share with beef meat from other countries in the global markets, where customers pay a premium for lines of beef meat that meet quality standards while discarding those that do not. This indicates that the quantity of beef meat produced has no relevance to its world market share, but its quality standards do. Furthermore, the econometric results revealed that the coefficients of the terms of trade, Tanzania GDP per capita, global beef meat consumption, trade openness, and beef meat outputs were found to be significantly positive (P < 0.05) influencing beef meat exports in Tanzania, whereas the trading partners' GDP per capita and exchange rate were not. The findings have varying implications as to what factors need to be addressed to further improve beef meat exports. From the farmer's perspective, better access to adequate funds as a result of increased income benefit from export will assist in improving beef cattle productivity and quality to compete effectively in the global markets. From the government's perspective, because trade openness promotes economic growth through export benefits, the Tanzania government and policymakers need to establish balanced policies to strengthen bilateral trade relationships to generate more opportunities in global markets.


Subject(s)
Economic Development , Meat , Animals , Cattle , Industry , Meat/analysis , Policy , Tanzania
4.
BMJ Open ; 12(7): e058704, 2022 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1932744

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the potential bidirectional relationship between food insecurity and HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. DESIGN: Nationally representative HIV impact assessment household-based surveys. SETTING: Zambia, Eswatini, Lesotho, Uganda and Tanzania and Namibia. PARTICIPANTS: 112 955 survey participants aged 15-59 years with HIV and recency test results. MEASURES: Recent HIV infection (within 6 months) classified using the HIV-1 limited antigen avidity assay, in participants with an unsuppressed viral load (>1000 copies/mL) and no detectable antiretrovirals; severe food insecurity (SFI) defined as having no food in the house ≥three times in the past month. RESULTS: Overall, 10.3% of participants lived in households reporting SFI. SFI was most common in urban, woman-headed households, and in people with chronic HIV infection. Among women, SFI was associated with a twofold increase in risk of recent HIV infection (adjusted relative risk (aRR) 2.08, 95% CI 1.09 to 3.97). SFI was also associated with transactional sex (aRR 1.28, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.41), a history of forced sex (aRR 1.36, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.66) and condom-less sex with a partner of unknown or positive HIV status (aRR 1.08, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.14) in all women, and intergenerational sex (partner ≥10 years older) in women aged 15-24 years (aRR 1.23, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.46). Recent receipt of food support was protective against HIV acquisition (aRR 0.36, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.88). CONCLUSION: SFI increased risk for HIV acquisition in women by twofold. Heightened food insecurity during climactic extremes could imperil HIV epidemic control, and food support to women with SFI during these events could reduce HIV transmission.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , Female , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Tanzania
5.
Acta Trop ; 233: 106566, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1930664

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Rodents are known to be reservoirs of plague bacteria, Yesinia pestis in the sylvatic cycle. A preliminary investigation of the suspected plague outbreak was conducted in Madunga Ward, Babati District Council in Manyara Region December-2019-January 2020 Following reported two cases which were clinically suspected as showing plague disease symptoms. METHOD: The commensal and field rodents were live trapped using Sherman traps in Madunga Ward, where plague suspect cases were reported and, in the Nou-forest reserve areas at Madunga Ward, Babati District Council, to assess plague risk in the area. Fleas were collected inside the houses using light traps and on the rodents 'body after anaesthetizing the captured rodent to determine flea indices which are used to estimate the risk of plague transmission. Lung impression smears were made from sacrificed rodents to examine for possible bipolar stained Yersinia spp bacilli. RESULTS: A total of 86 rodents consisting of ten rodent species were captured and identified from the study sites. Nine forest rodent species were collected. Field/fallow rodent species were dominated by Mastomys natalensis. whereas domestic rodent species captured was Rattus rattus. Overall lung impression smear showed bipolar stain were 14 (16.28%) while House Flea Index (HFI) was 3.1 and Rodent Flea Index (RFI) was 1.8. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study have shown that, the presence of bipolar stained bacilli in lung impression smears of captured species of rodents indicates (not confirmed) possible circulation of Yesrsinia pests in rodents and the high flea indices in the area which included the most common flea species known to be plague vectors in Tanzania could have played transmission role in this suspected outbreak. The study recommends surveillance follow-up in the area and subject collected samples to the standard plague confirmatory diagnosis.


Subject(s)
Plague , Siphonaptera , Animals , Disease Outbreaks , Forests , Plague/diagnosis , Plague/epidemiology , Plague/microbiology , Rats , Rodentia/microbiology , Siphonaptera/microbiology , Tanzania/epidemiology
6.
BMJ Case Rep ; 15(5)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861597

ABSTRACT

We report the case of a young female adult in her early 20s, who had COVID-19 infection for 8 weeks and COVID-19 vaccination 4 weeks prior to presentation with an extensive rash associated with erythema multiforme, resembling varicella zoster on initial presentation. After initial acyclovir therapy with no improvement, systemic corticosteroid treatment dramatically resolved the patient's skin rash.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Erythema Multiforme , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Erythema Multiforme/chemically induced , Erythema Multiforme/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Tanzania , Vaccination/adverse effects , Young Adult
7.
Pan Afr Med J ; 41: 174, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847712

ABSTRACT

Introduction: on 16th March 2020, Tanzania announced its first COVID-19 case. The country had already developed a 72-hour response plan and had enacted three compulsory infection prevention and control interventions. Here, we describe public compliance to Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) public health measures in Dar es Salaam during the early COVID-19 response and testing of the feasibility of an observational method. Methods: a cross sectional study was conducted between April and May 2020 in Dar es Salaam City. At that time, Dar es Salaam was the epi centre of the epidemic. Respondents were randomly selected from defined population strata (high, medium and low). Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and through observations. Results: a total of 390 subjects were interviewed, response rate was 388 (99.5%). Mean age of the respondents was 34.8 years and 168 (43.1%) had primary level education. Out of the 388 respondents, 384 (98.9%) reported to have heard about COVID-19 public health and social measures, 90.0% had heard from the television and 84.6% from the radio. Covering coughs and sneezes using a handkerchief was the most common behaviour observed among 320 (82.5%) respondents; followed by hand washing hygiene practice, 312 (80.4%) and wearing face masks, 240 (61.9%). Approximately 215 (55.4%) adhered to physical distancing guidance. Age and gender were associated with compliance to IPC measures (both, p<0.05). Conclusion: compliance to public health measures during the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic in this urban setting was encouraging. As the pandemic continues, it is critical to ensure compliance is sustained and capitalize on risk communication via television and radio.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Tanzania/epidemiology
8.
J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care ; 21: 23259582221084543, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794048

ABSTRACT

Background: Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the key determinant of virological suppression in people living with HIV (PLHIV). This study reports factors associated with non-adherence among PLHIV one year after introducing dolutegravir (DTG) based regimens in Tanzania. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted in two health facilities in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2020. Results: A total of 406 PLHIV were recruited, where the majority (73.4%) were females, with 94.6% of patients being on DTG based regimens. Factors such as refill interval and sharing of antiretrovirals had significant effects on adherence. Multivariate analysis found that patients attending care and treatment center (CTC) at Temeke Regional Referral Hospital (RRH) were 4.3 times more likely to have non-adherence compared to those attending Amana RRH (aOR [adjusted odds ratio] 4.3, 95% CI [confidence interval]: 2.38 - 7.91, p-value < 0.0001). Conclusions: Sustainable adherence counseling is warranted to overcome non-adherence to ART.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , HIV Infections/psychology , Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring , Humans , Male , Oxazines , Piperazines , Pyridones , Tanzania/epidemiology
9.
Front Public Health ; 9: 724562, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775840

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The burden of anemia in pregnancy is of global health importance. Tanzania is no exception. Its effects vary from one region to another due to the differing causes. Overall, it is a significant cause of maternal mortality. This study sought to assess the prevalence and factors associated with anemia among pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic (ANC) in the Mkuranga district of the Pwani region of Tanzania. Methodology: This cross sectional study was conducted among 418 pregnant women aged 15-49 years attending the Mkuranga District Hospital and Kilimahewa Health Center. The outcome variable of interest was anemia in pregnancy defined as a hemoglobin concentration of 11 g/dl or less. Data was collected using face-to-face interviews with a standardized pretested questionnaire, and through blood samples collected for hemoglobin testing. Descriptive analysis was used to determine the prevalence of anemia while multiple logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with anemia in pregnancy. Results: Anemia was prevalent among 83.5% of pregnant women attending the two major ANCs in Mkuranga district. Categorically, the hemoglobin of 16.3% of the included women was normal, 51.9% had moderate anemia, 24.4% had mild anemia, and 7.2% had severe anemia. Factors associated with anemia included being in the third trimester (AOR = 2.87, p = 0.026), not consuming vegetables (AOR = 2.62, p = 0.008), meat (AOR = 2.71, p = 0.003), eggs (AOR = 2.98, p = 0.002), and fish (AOR = 2.38, p = 0.005). The finding of unadjusted analysis revealed that women with inadequate minimum dietary diversity were having significantly greater odds of being anemic as compared with those with adequate dietary diversity (OR = 1.94, P = 0.016). Conclusion: More than 80% of pregnant women attending ANC in Mkuranga districts were anemic. Such unprecedented burden of anemia is associated with several factors, which include poor dietary practices such as not consuming iron-rich foods, for example vegetables, meat, eggs, and fish. Women in their third trimester were also more likely to suffer from anemia. This unprecedented burden of anemia in pregnancy can be addressed if efforts to improve feeding practices and early monitoring at the ANCs are sustained.


Subject(s)
Anemia , Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic , Anemia/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic/epidemiology , Prenatal Care , Tanzania/epidemiology
10.
Front Public Health ; 9: 719485, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775832

ABSTRACT

The association between hunger and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is less known especially in vulnerable populations receiving HIV care and treatment services. Caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) are vulnerable and likely to experience hunger due to additional economic pressure in caring for OVC. Using data from the community-based, USAID-funded Kizazi Kipya project, this study assesses the association between hunger and ART adherence among caregivers of OVC in Tanzania. HIV positive caregivers enrolled in the project from January to July 2017 were analyzed. The outcome variable was adherence to ART, defined as "not having missed any ART dose in the last 30 days," and household hunger, measured using the Household Hunger Scale (HHS), was the main independent variable. Data analysis included multivariable logistic regression. The study analyzed 11,713 HIV positive caregivers who were on ART at the time of enrollment in the USAID Kizazi Kipya project in 2017. Aged 48.2 years on average, 72.9% of the caregivers were female. While 34.6% were in households with little to no hunger, 59.4 and 6.0% were in moderate hunger and severe hunger households, respectively. Overall, 90.0% of the caregivers did not miss any ART dose in the last 30 days. ART adherence rates declined as household hunger increased (p < 0.001). Multivariable analysis showed that the odds of adhering to ART was significantly lower by 42% among caregivers in moderate hunger households than those in little to no hunger households (OR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.50-0.68). The decline increased to 47% among those in severe hunger households (OR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.41-0.69). Hunger is an independent and a significant barrier to ART adherence among caregivers LHIV in Tanzania. Improving access to adequate food as part of HIV care and treatment services is likely to improve ART adherence in this population.


Subject(s)
Child, Orphaned , HIV Infections , Caregivers , Child , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Hunger , Middle Aged , Tanzania/epidemiology
11.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0264315, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714777

ABSTRACT

About 2 billion people worldwide suffer moderate or severe forms of food insecurity, calling for correctional measures involving economic strengthening interventions. This study assessed the impact of household economic strengthening (HES) intervention on food security among caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Tanzania. The study was longitudinal in design, based on OVC caregivers' baseline (2017-2018) and midline (2019) data from the USAID Kizazi Kipya project. Food security, the outcome, was measured using the Household Hunger Scale (HHS) in three categories: little to no hunger (food secure), moderate hunger, and severe hunger. Membership in the USAID Kizazi Kipya-supported economic strengthening intervention (i.e. WORTH Yetu) was the main independent variable. Data analysis involved generalized estimating equation (GEE) for multivariate analysis. With mean age of 50.3 years at baseline, the study analyzed 132,583 caregivers, 72.2% of whom were female. At midline, 7.6% of all caregivers enrolled at baseline were members in WORTH Yetu. Membership in WORTH Yetu was significantly effective in reducing household hunger among the caregivers: severe hunger dropped from 9.4% at baseline to 4.1% at midline; moderate hunger dropped from 65.9% at baseline to 62.8% at midline; and food security (i.e., little to no hunger households) increased from 25.2% at baseline to 33.1% at midline. In the multivariate analysis, membership in WORTH Yetu reduced the likelihood of severe hunger by 47% (OR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.48-0.59), and moderate hunger by 21% (OR = 0.79, 95% CI 0.76-0.83), but increased the likelihood of food security by 45% (OR = 1.45, 95% CI 1.39-1.51). The USAID Kizazi Kipya's model of household economic strengthening for OVC caregivers was effective in improving food security and reducing household hunger in Tanzania. This underscores the need to expand WORTH Yetu coverage. Meanwhile, these results indicate a potential of applying the intervention in similar settings to address household hunger.


Subject(s)
Caregivers , Child, Orphaned , Food Security , Hunger , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Tanzania
12.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(2)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691325

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In sub-Saharan Africa, referral hospitals are important sources of key maternal health services, especially during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This study prospectively assessed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal health service utilisation in six large referral hospitals in Guinea, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda during the first year of the pandemic. METHODS: Mixed-methods design combining three data sources: (1) quantitative data based on routine antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care data collected March 2019-February 2021, (2) qualitative data from recurring rounds of semi-structured interviews conducted July 2020-February 2021 with 22 maternity skilled heath personnel exploring their perceptions of service utilisation and (3) timeline data of COVID-19 epidemiology, global, national and hospital-level events. Qualitative and quantitative data were analysed separately, framed based on the timeline analysis and triangulated when reporting. RESULTS: Three periods including a first wave, slow period and second wave were identified. Maternal health service utilisation was lower during the pandemic compared with the prepandemic year in all but one selected referral hospital. During the pandemic, service utilisation was particularly lower during the waves and higher or stable during the slow period. Fear of being infected in hospitals, lack of transportation, and even when available, high cost of transportation and service closures were key reasons affecting utilisation during the waves. However, community perception that the pandemic was over or insinuation by Government of the same appeared to stabilise use of referral hospitals for childbirth. CONCLUSION: Utilisation of maternal health services across the continuum of care varied through the different periods and across countries. In crisis situations such as COVID-19, restrictions and service closures need to be implemented with consideration given to alternative options for women to access and use services. Information on measures put in place for safe hospital use should be communicated to women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Pregnancy , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Tanzania
13.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(2)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685572

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Referral hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa are located in crowded urban areas, which were often epicentres of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper prospectively assesses how maternal healthcare was provided in six referral hospitals in Guinea, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Mixed-methods design using three data sources: (1) qualitative data from repeated rounds of semi-structured interviews conducted between July 2020 and February 2021 with 22 maternity skilled heath personnel (SHP) on perceptions of care provision; (2) quantitative monthly routine data on caesarean section and labour induction from March 2019 to February 2021; and (3) timeline data of COVID-19 epidemiology, national and hospital-level events. Qualitative and quantitative data were analysed separately, framed based on timeline analysis, and triangulated during reporting. RESULTS: We identified three periods: first wave, slow period and second wave. The first wave was challenging for SHP given little knowledge about COVID-19, lack of infection prevention and control training, and difficulties reaching workplace. Challenges that persisted beyond the first wave were shortage of personal protective equipment and no rapid testing for women suspected with COVID-19. We noted no change in the proportion of caesarean sections during the pandemic, and a small increase in the proportion of labour inductions. All hospitals arranged isolation areas for women suspected/confirmed with COVID-19 and three hospitals provided care to women with suspected/confirmed COVID-19. Breastfeeding was not discouraged and newborns were not separated from mothers confirmed with COVID-19. Care provision was maintained through dedication of SHP, support from hospital management and remote communication between SHP. CONCLUSION: Routine maternal care provision was maintained in referral hospitals, despite first wave challenges. Referral hospitals and SHP contributed to guideline development for pregnant women suspected/confirmed with COVID-19. Maternity SHP, women and pregnancy must always be included in priority setting when responding to health system shocks, including outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cesarean Section , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Tanzania
14.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 11(1): 34, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1679967

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The current Coronavirus disease pandemic reveals political and structural inequities of the world's poorest people who have little or no access to health care and yet the largest burdens of poor health. This is in parallel to a more persistent but silent global health crisis, antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We explore the fundamental challenges of health care in humans and animals in relation to AMR in Tanzania. METHODS: We conducted 57 individual interviews and focus groups with providers and patients in high, middle and lower tier health care facilities and communities across three regions of Tanzania between April 2019 and February 2020. We covered topics from health infrastructure and prescribing practices to health communication and patient experiences. RESULTS: Three interconnected themes emerged about systemic issues impacting health. First, there are challenges around infrastructure and availability of vital resources such as healthcare staff and supplies. Second, health outcomes are predicated on patient and provider access to services as well as social determinants of health. Third, health communication is critical in defining trusted sources of information, and narratives of blame emerge around health outcomes with the onus of responsibility for action falling on individuals. CONCLUSION: Entanglements between infrastructure, access and communication exist while constraints in the health system lead to poor health outcomes even in 'normal' circumstances. These are likely to be relevant across the globe and highly topical for addressing pressing global health challenges. Redressing structural health inequities can better equip countries and their citizens to not only face pandemics but also day-to-day health challenges.


Subject(s)
Health Services Accessibility/standards , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Public Health/standards , Social Determinants of Health/standards , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Global Health/standards , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Social Determinants of Health/economics , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , Tanzania/epidemiology
15.
Am J Hum Genet ; 109(3): 471-485, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1679508

ABSTRACT

Humans exhibit remarkable interindividual and interpopulation immune response variability upon microbial challenges. Cytokines play a vital role in regulating inflammation and immune responses, but dysregulation of cytokine responses has been implicated in different disease states. Host genetic factors were previously shown to significantly impact cytokine response heterogeneity mainly in European-based studies, but it is unclear whether these findings are transferable to non-European individuals. Here, we aimed to identify genetic variants modulating cytokine responses in healthy adults of East African ancestry from Tanzania. We leveraged both cytokine and genetic data and performed genome-wide cytokine quantitative trait loci (cQTLs) mapping. The results were compared with another cohort of healthy adults of Western European ancestry via direct overlap and functional enrichment analyses. We also performed meta-analyses to identify cQTLs with congruent effect direction in both populations. In the Tanzanians, cQTL mapping identified 80 independent suggestive loci and one genome-wide significant locus (TBC1D22A) at chromosome 22; SNP rs12169244 was associated with IL-1b release after Salmonella enteritidis stimulation. Remarkably, the identified cQTLs varied significantly when compared to the European cohort, and there was a very limited percentage of overlap (1.6% to 1.9%). We further observed ancestry-specific pathways regulating induced cytokine responses, and there was significant enrichment of the interferon pathway specifically in the Tanzanians. Furthermore, contrary to the Europeans, genetic variants in the TLR10-TLR1-TLR6 locus showed no effect on cytokine response. Our data reveal both ancestry-specific effects of genetic variants and pathways on cytokine response heterogeneity, hence arguing for the importance of initiatives to include diverse populations into genomics research.


Subject(s)
Genome-Wide Association Study , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Adult , Cytokines/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genomics , Humans , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , Tanzania
16.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e054163, 2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673436

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Poor adolescent mental health is a barrier to achieving several sustainable development goals in Tanzania, where adolescent mental health infrastructure is weak. This is compounded by a lack of community and policy maker awareness or understanding of its burden, causes and solutions. Research addressing these knowledge gaps is urgently needed. However, capacity for adolescent mental health research in Tanzania remains limited. The existence of a National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), with a nationwide mandate for research conduct and oversight, presents an opportunity to catalyse activity in this neglected area. Rigorous research priority setting, which includes key stakeholders, can promote efficient use of limited resources and improve both quality and uptake of research by ensuring that it meets the needs of target populations and policy makers. We present a protocol for such a research priority setting study and how it informs the design of an interinstitutional adolescent mental health research capacity strengthening strategy in Tanzania. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: From May 2021, this 6 month mixed-methods study will adapt and merge the James Lind Alliance approach and validated capacity strengthening methodologies to identify priorities for research and research capacity strengthening in adolescent mental health in Tanzania. Specifically, it will use online questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, focus groups, scoping reviews and a consensus meeting to consult expert and adolescent stakeholders. Key evidence-informed priorities will be collaboratively ranked and documented and an integrated strategy to address capacity gaps will be designed to align with the nationwide infrastructure and overall strategy of NIMR. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: National and institutional review board approvals were sought and granted from the National Health Research Ethics Committee of the NIMR Medical Research Coordinating Committee (Tanzania) and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom). Results will be disseminated through a national workshop involving all stakeholders, through ongoing collaborations and published commentaries, reviews, policy briefs, webinars and social media.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , Mental Health , Academies and Institutes , Adolescent , Ethics Committees, Research , Humans , Tanzania
17.
Hum Resour Health ; 20(1): 9, 2022 01 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638058

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: International medical electives are one the highlights of medical training. Literature about international electives is scarce, and understanding what made a student choose one destination over another is unclear. Many medical students based in Europe travel to Africa each year for their elective, however, students' expectations and motivations are yet largely unexplored. METHODS: To gain insights into the factors driving students to travel to Africa, we analyzed two large international elective databases based in Germany. We reviewed elective testimonies and extrapolated geographical data as well as the choice of discipline for electives completed in Africa. Based on pre-defined categories, we also investigated students' motivations and expectations. RESULTS: We identified approximately 300 elective reports from medical students from German-speaking countries who chose to travel to Africa for their elective. Students commonly reported destinations in Southern and East Africa, with the Republic of South Africa and Tanzania being the most frequently selected destinations. Surgical disciplines were the most commonly reported choice. Diverse motivations were identified, including the desire to improve knowledge and clinical examination skills. A large proportion of students reported a link between destination choice and the potential to partake in surgical procedures not feasible at home; whether these surgeries were not or no longer practiced at home, or whether students could not partake due to level of training, was not ascertainable from the data. A trend-analysis revealed a growing interest in travelling to Africa for electives within the last 15 years. We observed a sharp decline in reports in 2020, a phenomenon most likely related to SARS-CoV-2-related travel restrictions. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that medical electives in Africa are commonly reported by medical students from German-speaking countries, with diverse motivations for the choice of destination. A non-neglectable proportion of students identified the possibility to engage in surgical procedures as one of the main reasons for choosing Africa. This poses a series of ethical dilemmas, and well-structured pre-departure trainings may be a solution to this. The recent dip in overseas electives should be seen as a unique opportunity for medical schools and universities to restructure their international elective programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Medical, Undergraduate , Students, Medical , Global Health , Humans , Motivation , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa , Tanzania
18.
Glob Health Sci Pract ; 9(3): 690-697, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542965

ABSTRACT

Emergency medicine (EM) is rapidly being recognized as a specialty around the globe. This has particular promise for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that experience the largest burden of disease for emergency conditions. Specialty education and training in EM remain essentially an apprenticeship model. Finding the required expertise to educate graduate learners can be challenging in regions where there are low densities of specialty providers.We describe an initiative to implement a sustainable, bidirectional partnership between the Emergency Medicine Departments of Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) in New York, NY, USA, and Bugando Medical Center (BMC) in Mwanza, Tanzania. We used synchronous and asynchronous telecommunication technology to enhance an ongoing emergency medicine education collaboration.The Internet infrastructure for this collaboration was created by bolstering 4G services available in Mwanza, Tanzania. By maximizing the 4G signal, sufficient bandwidth could be created to allow for live 2-way audio/video communication. Using synchronous and asynchronous applications such as Zoom and WhatsApp, providers at WCM and BMC can attend real-time didactic lectures, participate in discussion forums on clinical topics, and collaborate on the development of clinical protocols. Proof of concept exercises demonstrated that this system can be used for real-time mentoring in EKG interpretation and ultrasound technique, for example. This system was also used to share information and develop operations flows during the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of telecommunication technology and e-learning in a format that promotes long-term, sustainable interaction is practical and innovative, provides benefit to all partners, and should be considered as a mechanism by which global partnerships can assist with training in emergency medicine in LMICs.


Subject(s)
Curriculum , Education, Distance/methods , Education, Medical, Graduate/methods , Emergency Medicine/education , Emergency Medicine/methods , Academic Medical Centers , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Mobile Applications , New York City , Social Media , Tanzania
19.
Pan Afr Med J ; 40: 28, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472503

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic has affected residency training globally. The aim of this study was to understand how the pandemic affected teaching and learning in residency programs in low resource settings where residents and faculty were working on the front line treating patients with the disease. METHODS: this qualitative study enrolled residents and faculty from the Aga Khan University in Tanzania who were providing front line care during the pandemic. Purposeful sampling was used and data was collected using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews between August and September 2020. Analysis was done using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: twelve residents and six faculty members participated in this study. Two main themes emerged. The first was: "New and unfamiliar teaching and learning experiences." Residents and faculty had to adapt to changes in the learning environment and the academic program. Residents had increased responsibilities, including providing front line care and working with reduced supervision. The second theme was: "Learning opportunities amidst crisis." There were opportunities to improve critical care and procedural skills. They also had opportunities to improve non-technical skills like teamwork and communication. CONCLUSION: residents and faculty had to adapt to changes in teaching and learning. Residents also had to take up additional responsibilities. Support systems are required to help them adapt to the changes and settle in their new roles. There were opportunities to learn new skills, and training should be restructured to maximize the use of these opportunities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Education, Medical, Graduate/trends , Internship and Residency , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Communication , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Learning , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Tanzania , Teaching
20.
BMJ Open ; 11(8): e046125, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376488

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Leprosy, or Hansen's disease, remains a cause of preventable disability. Early detection, treatment and prevention are key to reducing transmission. Post-exposure prophylaxis with single-dose rifampicin (SDR-PEP) reduces the risk of developing leprosy when administered to screened contacts of patients. This has been adopted in the WHO leprosy guidelines. The PEP4LEP study aims to determine the most effective and feasible method of screening people at risk of developing leprosy and administering chemoprophylaxis to contribute to interrupting transmission. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: PEP4LEP is a cluster-randomised implementation trial comparing two interventions of integrated skin screening combined with SDR-PEP distribution to contacts of patients with leprosy in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania. One intervention is community-based, using skin camps to screen approximately 100 community contacts per leprosy patient, and to administer SDR-PEP when eligible. The other intervention is health centre-based, inviting household contacts of leprosy patients to be screened in a local health centre and subsequently receive SDR-PEP when eligible. The mobile health (mHealth) tool SkinApp will support health workers' capacity in integrated skin screening. The effectiveness of both interventions will be compared by assessing the rate of patients with leprosy detected and case detection delay in months, as well as feasibility in terms of cost-effectiveness and acceptability. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the national ethical committees of Ethiopia (MoSHE), Mozambique (CNBS) and Tanzania (NIMR/MoHCDEC). Study results will be published open access in peer-reviewed journals, providing evidence for the implementation of innovative leprosy screening methods and chemoprophylaxis to policymakers. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NL7294 (NTR7503).


Subject(s)
Leprosy , Ethiopia , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/prevention & control , Mozambique , Tanzania
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