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2.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry ; 62(7): 777-790, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233483

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We evaluate the mid-intervention (8 weeks) and short-term (16 weeks) impact of a culturally adapted multiple family group (MFG) intervention, "Amaka Amasanyufu," on the mental health of children with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs) and primary caregivers in Uganda. METHOD: We analyzed data from the Strengthening mental health and research training in Sub-Saharan Africa (SMART) Africa-Uganda study. Schools were randomized to the following: a control group; an MFG facilitated by parent peers (MFG-PP); or an MFG facilitated by community health workers (MFG:CHW). All participants were blinded to interventions provided to other participants and study hypotheses. At 8 weeks and 16 weeks, we evaluated differences in depressive symptoms and self-concept among children and in mental health and caregiving-related stress among caregivers. Three-level linear mixed-effects models were fitted. Pairwise comparisons of post-baseline group means were performed using the Sidak adjustment for multiple comparisons and standardized mean differences. Data from 636 children with DBDs and caregivers (controls: n = 243, n = 10 schools; MFG-PP: n = 194, n = 8 schools; MFG-CHW: n = 199, n = 8 schools) were analyzed. RESULTS: There were significant group-by-time interactions for all outcomes, and differences were observed mid-intervention, with short-term effects at 16 weeks (end-intervention). MFG-PP and MFG-CHW children had significantly lower depressive symptoms and higher self-concept, whereas caregivers had significantly lower caregiving-related stress and fewer mental health problems, than controls. There was no difference between intervention groups. CONCLUSION: Amaka Amasanyufu MFG intervention is effective for reducing depressive symptoms and improving self-concept among children with DBDs while reducing parental stress and mental health problems among caregivers. Given the paucity of culturally adapted mental health interventions, this provides support for adaptation and scale-up in Uganda and other low-resource settings. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION: SMART Africa (Strengthening Mental Health Research and Training); https://clinicaltrials.gov/: NCT03081195.


Subject(s)
Mental Health , Problem Behavior , Humans , Child , Problem Behavior/psychology , Uganda , Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
3.
Transfusion ; 63(7): 1354-1365, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233322

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The true burden of COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries remains poorly characterized, especially in Africa. Even prior to the availability of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, countries in Africa had lower numbers of reported COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths than other regions globally. METHODS: Ugandan blood donors were evaluated between October 2019 and April 2022 for IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N), spike (S), and five variants of the S protein using multiplexed electrochemiluminescence immunoassays (MesoScale Diagnostics, Rockville, MD). Seropositivity for N and S was assigned using manufacturer-provided cutoffs and trends in seroprevalence were estimated by quarter. Statistically significant associations between N and S antibody seropositivity and donor characteristics in November-December 2021 were assessed by chi-square tests. RESULTS: A total of 5393 blood unit samples from donors were evaluated. N and S seropositivity increased throughout the pandemic to 82.6% in January-April 2022. Among seropositive individuals, N and S antibody levels increased ≥9-fold over the study period. In November-December 2021, seropositivity to N and S antibody was higher among repeat donors (61.3%) compared with new donors (55.1%; p = .043) and among donors from Kampala (capital city of Uganda) compared with rural regions (p = .007). Seropositivity to S antibody was significantly lower among HIV-seropositive individuals (58.8% vs. 84.9%; p = .009). CONCLUSIONS: Despite previously reported low numbers of COVID-19 cases and related deaths in Uganda, high SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and increasing antibody levels among blood donors indicated that the country experienced high levels of infection over the course of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Humans , Uganda/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Seroepidemiologic Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Antibodies, Viral
4.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286295, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237690

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to determine whether the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on essential primary healthcare services at public primary healthcare facilities. METHODS: The number of weekly consultations for antenatal care (ANC), outpatient (OPD), immunisations (EPI), family planning (FP) and HIV services, between January 2018 and December 2020, were collected from 25 facilities in Masaka district, Uganda, 21 in Goma, and 29 in Kambia district, Sierra Leone. Negative binomial regression models accounting for clustering and season were used to analyse changes in activity levels between 2018, 2019 and 2020. RESULTS: In Goma, we found no change in OPD, EPI or ANC consultations, FP was 17% lower in March-July 2020 compared to 2019, but this recovered by December 2020. New diagnoses of HIV were 34% lower throughout 2020 compared to 2019. In Sierra Leone, compared to the same periods in 2019, facilities had 18-29% fewer OPD consultations throughout 2020, and 27% fewer DTP3 doses in March-July 2020. There was no evidence of differences in other services. In Uganda there were 20-35% fewer under-5 OPD consultations, 21-66% fewer MCV1 doses, and 48-51% fewer new diagnoses of HIV throughout 2020, compared to 2019. There was no difference in the number of HPV doses delivered. CONCLUSIONS: The level of disruption varied across the different settings and qualitatively appeared to correlate with the strength of lockdown measures and reported attitudes towards the risk posed by COVID-19. Mitigation strategies such as health communications campaigns and outreach services may be important to limit the impact of lockdowns on primary healthcare services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Humans , Female , Pregnancy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Sierra Leone/epidemiology , Uganda/epidemiology , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Prenatal Care , Primary Health Care
5.
Bull World Health Organ ; 101(6): 403-411, 2023 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237589

ABSTRACT

Efficient and secure supply chains are vital for effective health services worldwide. In low- and middle-income countries, the accessibility, affordability and availability of essential medicines, including antimicrobials, remain challenging. Ineffective supply chains often cause antimicrobial shortages, leading to inappropriate use of alternative agents and increasing the risk of antimicrobial resistance. Shortages, coupled with insecure supply chains, also encourage the infiltration of substandard and falsified medicines, leading to suboptimal treatment and further promoting antimicrobial resistance. Addressing antimicrobial supply-chain issues should be considered a key component of antimicrobial stewardship programmes. We have explored the link between medicine supply chains and antimicrobial use in seven focus countries: Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. We explored country medicine supply-system structures, national medicine supply-chain policy documents and global study reports. Our aim was to develop evidence-based strategies to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the medicine supply chains in supporting antimicrobial stewardship efforts. Better management of medical supply chains involves rational selection, quantification, forecasting, procurement, storage, distribution, use and stock management of antimicrobials. Important supply-chain considerations include pooled procurement networks to ensure consistent pricing of quality-assured antimicrobials, and improved resource utilization and information exchange among relevant stakeholders. We propose adaptable recommendations for integrating medicine supply chains as an essential part of antimicrobial stewardship programmes, with a call for action at the local, regional and national levels in low- and middle-income countries.


Partout dans le monde, les performances des services de santé dépendent de l'efficacité et de la sécurité des chaînes d'approvisionnement. Mais dans les pays à revenu faible et intermédiaire, l'accessibilité et la disponibilité des médicaments à prix abordable, y compris des antimicrobiens, représentent toujours un défi. L'inefficacité des chaînes d'approvisionnement entraîne souvent des pénuries d'antimicrobiens et, par conséquent, un recours à des alternatives inappropriées et une augmentation du risque de résistance aux antimicrobiens. Ces pénuries, alliées à des chaînes d'approvisionnement peu fiables, favorisent également l'introduction de médicaments falsifiés et de qualité inférieure, altérant l'efficacité du traitement et renforçant encore davantage la résistance aux antimicrobiens. Résoudre les problèmes liés aux chaînes d'approvisionnement en antimicrobiens devrait donc figurer parmi les priorités des programmes de gestion des antimicrobiens. Le présent document s'intéresse au lien entre les chaînes d'approvisionnement en médicaments et l'utilisation d'antimicrobiens dans sept pays cibles: le Kenya, le Malawi, le Nigeria, l'Ouganda, la République-Unie de Tanzanie, la Sierra Leone et la Zambie. Pour chacun de ces pays, nous avons examiné les structures du système d'approvisionnement en médicaments, les documents relatifs à la politique d'approvisionnement national et les rapports d'études globaux. Notre objectif consistait à développer des stratégies fondées sur des données factuelles, afin d'améliorer le fonctionnement et l'efficacité des chaînes d'approvisionnement en médicaments et de contribuer ainsi aux efforts de gestion des antimicrobiens. Une meilleure logistique requiert une certaine rationalité dans la sélection, la quantification, la planification, l'approvisionnement, le stockage, la distribution, l'utilisation et la gestion des stocks d'antimicrobiens. Dans ce contexte, plusieurs éléments sont importants tels que les réseaux d'achats groupés, qui assurent la stabilité des prix pour des antimicrobiens de qualité garantie, ou encore l'optimisation des ressources et l'échange d'informations entre les acteurs concernés. Nous formulons des recommandations ajustables en vue de rendre les chaînes d'approvisionnement en médicaments incontournables dans les programmes de gestion des antimicrobiens, avec un appel à agir à l'échelle locale, régionale et nationale dans les pays à revenu faible et intermédiaire.


Unas cadenas de suministro eficientes y seguras son vitales para la eficacia de los servicios sanitarios en todo el mundo. En los países de ingresos bajos y medios, la accesibilidad, asequibilidad y disponibilidad de los medicamentos esenciales, incluidos los antimicrobianos, sigue siendo un reto. Con frecuencia, las cadenas de suministro ineficaces provocan escasez de antimicrobianos, lo que conlleva un uso inadecuado de agentes alternativos y aumenta el riesgo de resistencia a los antimicrobianos. La escasez, sumada a la inseguridad de las cadenas de suministro, también favorece la infiltración de medicamentos de calidad inferior y adulterados, lo que conduce a un tratamiento subóptimo y fomenta aún más la resistencia a los antimicrobianos. Abordar los problemas de la cadena de suministro de antimicrobianos se debería considerar un componente clave de los programas de administración de antimicrobianos. Hemos explorado la relación entre las cadenas de suministro de medicamentos y el uso de antimicrobianos en siete países seleccionados: Kenia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leona, Uganda, República Unida de Tanzania y Zambia. Exploramos las estructuras de los sistemas de suministro de medicamentos de los países, los documentos de política nacional sobre la cadena de suministro de medicamentos y los informes de estudios globales. Nuestro objetivo era desarrollar estrategias basadas en evidencias para mejorar la eficacia y la eficiencia de las cadenas de suministro de medicamentos en apoyo de los esfuerzos de administración antimicrobiana. Una mejor gestión de las cadenas de suministro de medicamentos implica la selección racional, la cuantificación, la previsión, la adquisición, el almacenamiento, la distribución, el uso y la gestión de las existencias de antimicrobianos. Entre las consideraciones importantes sobre la cadena de suministro se incluyen las redes de adquisición mancomunada para garantizar precios coherentes de antimicrobianos de calidad garantizada y una mejor utilización de los recursos e intercambio de información entre las partes interesadas pertinentes. Proponemos recomendaciones adaptables para integrar las cadenas de suministro de medicamentos como parte esencial de los programas de administración de antimicrobianos, con una llamada a la acción a nivel local, regional y nacional en los países de ingresos bajos y medios.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , Humans , Kenya , Tanzania , Uganda , Nigeria
6.
Global Health ; 19(1): 36, 2023 06 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234896

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic is one of the most terrifying disasters of the twenty-first century. The non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) implemented to control the spread of the disease had numerous positive consequences. However, there were also unintended consequences-positively or negatively related to the nature of the interventions, the target, the level and duration of implementation. This article describes the unintended economic, Psychosocial and environmental consequences of NPIs in four African countries. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods study in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda. A comprehensive conceptual framework, supported by a clear theory of change was adopted to encompass both systemic and non-systemic interventions. The data collection approaches included: (i) review of literature; (ii) analysis of secondary data for selected indicators; and (ii) key informant interviews with policy makers, civil society, local leaders, and law enforcement staff. The results were synthesized around thematic areas. RESULTS: Over the first six to nine months of the pandemic, NPIs especially lockdowns, travel restrictions, curfews, school closures, and prohibition of mass gathering resulted into both positive and negative unintended consequences cutting across economic, psychological, and environmental platforms. DRC, Nigeria, and Uganda observed reduced crime rates and road traffic accidents, while Uganda also reported reduced air pollution. In addition, hygiene practices have improved through health promotion measures that have been promoted for the response to the pandemic. All countries experienced economic slowdown, job losses heavily impacting women and poor households, increased sexual and gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies, and early marriages, increased poor mental health conditions, increased waste generation with poor disposal, among others. CONCLUSION: Despite achieving pandemic control, the stringent NPIs had several negative and few positive unintended consequences. Governments need to balance the negative and positive consequences of NPIs by anticipating and instituting measures that will support and protect vulnerable groups especially the poor, the elderly, women, and children. Noticeable efforts, including measures to avoid forced into marriage, increasing inequities, economic support to urban poor; those living with disabilities, migrant workers, and refugees, had been conducted to mitigate the negative effects of the NIPs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Pregnancy , Adolescent , Female , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Uganda/epidemiology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Senegal/epidemiology , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control
8.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 969, 2023 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240632

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Widespread COVID-19 vaccine uptake can facilitate epidemic control. A February 2021 study in Uganda suggested that public vaccine uptake would follow uptake among leaders. In May 2021, Baylor Uganda led community dialogue meetings with district leaders from Western Uganda to promote vaccine uptake. We assessed the effect of these meetings on the leaders' COVID-19 risk perception, vaccine concerns, perception of vaccine benefits and access, and willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccine. METHODS: All departmental district leaders in the 17 districts in Western Uganda, were invited to the meetings, which lasted approximately four hours. Printed reference materials about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines were provided to attendees at the start of the meetings. The same topics were discussed in all meetings. Before and after the meetings, leaders completed self-administered questionnaires with questions on a five-point Likert Scale about risk perception, vaccine concerns, perceived vaccine benefits, vaccine access, and willingness to receive the vaccine. We analyzed the findings using Wilcoxon's signed-rank test. RESULTS: Among 268 attendees, 164 (61%) completed the pre- and post-meeting questionnaires, 56 (21%) declined to complete the questionnaires due to time constraints and 48 (18%) were already vaccinated. Among the 164, the median COVID-19 risk perception scores changed from 3 (neutral) pre-meeting to 5 (strong agreement with being at high risk) post-meeting (p < 0.001). Vaccine concern scores reduced, with medians changing from 4 (worried about vaccine side effects) pre-meeting to 2 (not worried) post-meeting (p < 0.001). Median scores regarding perceived COVID-19 vaccine benefits changed from 3 (neutral) pre-meeting to 5 (very beneficial) post-meeting (p < 0.001). The median scores for perceived vaccine access increased from 3 (neutral) pre-meeting to 5 (very accessible) post-meeting (p < 0.001). The median scores for willingness to receive the vaccine changed from 3 (neutral) pre-meeting to 5 (strong willingness) post-meeting (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 dialogue meetings led to district leaders' increased risk perception, reduced concerns, and improvement in perceived vaccine benefits, vaccine access, and willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. These could potentially influence public vaccine uptake if leaders are vaccinated publicly as a result. Broader use of such meetings with leaders could increase vaccine uptake among themselves and the community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , Uganda/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vaccination
9.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1183983, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326180

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The duration and timing of immunity conferred by COVID-19 vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa are crucial for guiding pandemic policy interventions, but systematic data for this region is scarce. This study investigated the antibody response after AstraZeneca vaccination in COVID-19 convalescent Ugandans. Methods: We recruited 86 participants with a previous rt-PCR-confirmed mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection and measured the prevalence and levels of spike-directed IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies at baseline, 14 and 28 days after the first dose (priming), 14 days after the second dose (boosting), and at six- and nine-months post-priming. We also measured the prevalence and levels of nucleoprotein-directed antibodies to assess breakthrough infections. Results: Within two weeks of priming, vaccination substantially increased the prevalence and concentrations of spike-directed antibodies (p < 0.0001, Wilcoxon signed rank test), with 97.0% and 66% of vaccinated individuals possessing S-IgG and S-IgA antibodies before administering the booster dose. S-IgM prevalence changed marginally after the initial vaccination and barely after the booster, consistent with an already primed immune system. However, we also observed a rise in nucleoprotein seroprevalence, indicative of breakthroughs six months after the initial vaccination. Discussion: Our results suggest that vaccination of COVID-19 convalescent individuals with the AstraZeneca vaccine induces a robust and differential spike-directed antibody response. The data highlights the value of vaccination as an effective method for inducing immunity in previously infected individuals and the importance of administering two doses to maintain protective immunity. Monitoring anti-spike IgG and IgA when assessing vaccine-induced antibody responses is suggested for this population; assessing S-IgM will underestimate the response. The AstraZeneca vaccine is a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19. Further research is needed to determine the durability of vaccine-induced immunity and the potential need for booster doses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Uganda , COVID-19/epidemiology , Vaccination , Immunoglobulin A , Nucleoproteins , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M
10.
BMC Psychiatry ; 23(1): 346, 2023 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321316

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Suicidal behaviors are prevalent among inpatients with severe mental conditions and may result in many dying by suicide. Few studies have focused on the burden of suicidal behaviors among these inpatients in low-income settings, despite suicide being consistently higher in lower-income countries such as Uganda. This study, therefore, provides the prevalence and associated factors of suicidal behaviors and suicide attempts among inpatients with severe mental conditions in Uganda. METHOD: This was a retrospective chart review of all individuals admitted with severe mental conditions to a large psychiatry inpatient unit in Uganda for four years (2018-2021). Two separate logistic regressions were conducted to determine the factors associated with suicidal behaviors or suicidal attempts among the admitted individuals. RESULTS: The prevalence of suicidal behavior and suicidal attempts among 3104 (mean age = 33, Standard deviation [SD] = 14.0; 56% were males) were 6.12% and 3.45%, respectively. Having a diagnosis of depression increased the likelihood of both suicidal behaviors (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 5.36; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.14-13.37; p =0.001) and attempts (aOR: 10.73; 95% CI: 3.44-33.50; p < 0.001). However, a diagnosis of substance-related disorder increased the likelihood of having attempted suicide (aOR: 4.14; 95% CI: 1.21-14.15; p = 0.023). The likelihood of having suicidal behavior decreased as one increased in age (aOR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94-0.99; p = 0.006) and increased among individuals reporting stress from financial constraints (aOR: 2.26; 95% CI: 1.05-4.86; p = 0.036). CONCLUSION: Suicidal behaviors are common among inpatients managed for severe mental health conditions in Uganda, especially those with substance use and depressive disorders. In addition, financial stressors are a main predictor in this low-income country. Therefore, regular screening for suicide behaviors is warranted, especially among individuals with depression, and substance use, among those who are young, and among those reporting financial constraints/stress.


Subject(s)
Substance-Related Disorders , Suicidal Ideation , Male , Humans , Adult , Female , Inpatients , Mental Health , Retrospective Studies , Hospitals, Psychiatric , Uganda/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Risk Factors
11.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0280338, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320247

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the known link between poor living conditions and mental health, there has been little research on the mental health of slum dwellers worldwide. Although the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an increase in mental health issues, little focus has been given to the impact on slum dwellers. The study aimed to investigate the association between recent COVID-19 diagnosis and the risk of depression and anxiety symptoms among people living in an urban slum in Uganda. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 284 adults (at least 18 years of age) in a slum settlement in Kampala, Uganda between April and May 2022. We assessed depression symptoms and anxiety using validated Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder assessment tool (GAD-7) questionnaires respectively. We collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, and self-reported recent COVID-19 diagnosis (in the previous 30 days). Using a modified Poisson regression, adjusted for age, sex, gender and household income, we separately provided prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the associations between recent COVID-19 diagnosis and depressive and anxiety symptoms. RESULTS: Overall, 33.8% and 13.4% of the participants met the depression and generalized anxiety screening criteria respectively and 11.3% were reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 30 days. People with recent COVID-19 diagnosis were more likely to be depressed (53.1%) than those with no recent diagnosis (31.4%) (p<0.001). Participants who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 reported higher prevalence of anxiety (34.4%) compared to those with no recent diagnosis of COVID-19 (10.7%) (p = 0.014). After adjusting for confounding, recent diagnosis with COVID-19 was associated with depression (PR = 1.60, 95% CI 1.09-2.34) and anxiety (PR = 2.83, 95% CI 1.50-5.31). CONCLUSION: This study suggests an increased risk of depressive symptoms and GAD in adults following a COVID-19 diagnosis. We recommend additional mental health support for recently diagnosed persons. The long-term of COVID-19 on mental health effects also need to be investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Poverty Areas , Cross-Sectional Studies , Uganda/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/etiology
12.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285310, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental disorders are common in people living with HIV (PLHIV) but they are often unrecognized and untreated. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the already limited mental health services in low resource countries such as Uganda, and yet the extent to which the COVID-19 mitigation measures have affected the mental health of PLHIV is not fully known. We aimed to determine the burden of depression, suicidality, substance use and associated factors among adult PLHIV who were seeking care at two HIV clinics in northern and southwestern Uganda. METHODS: We conducted a phenomenological qualitative and quantitative cross-sectional study among 431 PLHIV to determine the burden of depression, suicidality and substance-use disorders at two HIV clinics, at Lira Regional Referral Hospital and Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital in northern and southwestern Uganda respectively, during the COVID-19 lockdown. We used the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess for depression and suicidality, and the Michigan Assessment-Screening Test for Alcohol and drugs (MAST-AD) to assess for substance use disorder. We conducted descriptive statistics analysis to determine the burden of the disorders, and logistic regression to determine the associated factors. For the qualitative method we conducted in-depth interviews with 30 PLHIV and did thematic analysis. RESULTS: Of the 431 PLHIV surveyed, mean age was 40.31 ± 12.20 years; 53.1% (n = 229) had depression; 22.0% (n = 95) had suicidality; and 15.1% (n = 65) had substance-use disorder. Female gender (PR = 1.073, 95%CI 1.004-1.148, P = 0.038), lack of formal education (PR = 1.197, 95% CI 1.057-1.357, P = 0.005), substance-use disorder (PR = 0.924, 95%CI 0.859-0.994, P = 0.034) and suicidality (PR = 0.757, 95%CI 0.722-0.794, p = 0.000) were associated with depression after adjusting for confounders. Further analysis showed that being female (PR = 0.843, 95% CI 0.787-0.903, P = 0.000*) and having depression (PR = 0.927, 95% CI 0.876-0.981, P = 0.009) and owning a large business (PR = 0.886, 95% CI 0.834-0.941, p = 0.000*) were significantly associated with having a substance-use disorder. Only depression was independently associated with suicidality after adjusting for confounding factors (PR 0.108, 95%CI 0.054-0.218, p = 0.000*). For the qualitative results, there were three apriori themes: a) Burden of depression, b) substance-use, and c) suicidality among the PLHIV during the COVID-19 containment measures. CONCLUSION: There was high prevalence of depression, suicidality and substance-use disorder in adult PLHIV in Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown measures. The three mental health problems seem to have bidirectional relationships and gender has a lot of contribution to the relationships. Interventions aimed at any of the disorders should consider these bidirectional relationships.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Substance-Related Disorders , Suicide , Adult , Humans , Female , Middle Aged , Male , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Depression/epidemiology , Uganda/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Communicable Disease Control , Substance-Related Disorders/complications , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
13.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1148877, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317568

ABSTRACT

Introduction: We investigated whether prior SARS-CoV-2-specific IFN-γ and antibody responses in Ugandan COVID-19 pre-pandemic specimens aligned to this population's low disease severity. Methods: We used nucleoprotein (N), spike (S), NTD, RBD, envelope, membrane, SD1/2-directed IFN-γ ELISpots, and an S- and N-IgG antibody ELISA to screen for SARS-CoV-2-specific cross-reactivity. Results: HCoV-OC43-, HCoV-229E-, and SARS-CoV-2-specific IFN-γ occurred in 23, 15, and 17 of 104 specimens, respectively. Cross-reactive IgG was more common against the nucleoprotein (7/110, 15.5%; p = 0.0016, Fishers' Exact) than the spike (3/110, 2.72%). Specimens lacking anti-HuCoV antibodies had higher rates of pre-epidemic SARS-CoV-2-specific IFN-γ cross-reactivity (p-value = 0.00001, Fishers' exact test), suggesting that exposure to additional factors not examined here might play a role. SARS-CoV-2-specific cross-reactive antibodies were significantly less common in HIV-positive specimens (p=0.017; Fishers' Exact test). Correlations between SARS-CoV-2- and HuCoV-specific IFN-γ responses were consistently weak in both HIV negative and positive specimens. Discussion: These findings support the existence of pre-epidemic SARS-CoV-2-specific cellular and humoral cross-reactivity in this population. The data do not establish that these virus-specific IFN-γ and antibody responses are entirely specific to SARS-CoV-2. Inability of the antibodies to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 implies that prior exposure did not result in immunity. Correlations between SARS-CoV-2 and HuCoV-specific responses were consistently weak, suggesting that additional variables likely contributed to the pre-epidemic cross-reactivity patterns. The data suggests that surveillance efforts based on the nucleoprotein might overestimate the exposure to SARS-CoV-2 compared to inclusion of additional targets, like the spike protein. This study, while limited in scope, suggests that HIV-positive people are less likely than HIV-negative people to produce protective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Seropositivity , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Uganda/epidemiology , Antibodies, Viral , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay
14.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 441, 2023 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317518

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed the capacity of health facilities globally, emphasizing the need for readiness to respond to rapid increases in cases. The first wave of COVID-19 in Uganda peaked in late 2020 and demonstrated challenges with facility readiness to manage cases. The second wave began in May 2021. In June 2021, we assessed the readiness of health facilities in Uganda to manage the second wave of COVID-19. METHODS: Referral hospitals managed severe COVID-19 patients, while lower-level health facilities screened, isolated, and managed mild cases. We assessed 17 of 20 referral hospitals in Uganda and 71 of 3,107 lower-level health facilities, selected using multistage sampling. We interviewed health facility heads in person about case management, coordination and communication and reporting, and preparation for the surge of COVID-19 during first and the start of the second waves of COVID-19, inspected COVID-19 treatment units (CTUs) and other service delivery points. We used an observational checklist to evaluate capacity in infection prevention, medicines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and CTU surge capacity. We used the "ReadyScore" criteria to classify readiness levels as > 80% ('ready'), 40-80% ('work to do'), and < 40% ('not ready') and tailored the assessments to the health facility level. Scores for the lower-level health facilities were weighted to approximate representativeness for their health facility type in Uganda. RESULTS: The median (interquartile range (IQR)) readiness scores were: 39% (IQR: 30, 51%) for all health facilities, 63% (IQR: 56, 75%) for referral hospitals, and 32% (IQR: 24, 37%) for lower-level facilities. Of 17 referral facilities, two (12%) were 'ready' and 15 (88%) were in the "work to do" category. Fourteen (82%) had an inadequate supply of medicines, 12 (71%) lacked adequate supply of oxygen, and 11 (65%) lacked space to expand their CTU. Fifty-five (77%) lower-level health facilities were "not ready," and 16 (23%) were in the "work to do" category. Seventy (99%) lower-level health facilities lacked medicines, 65 (92%) lacked PPE, and 53 (73%) lacked an emergency plan for COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Few health facilities were ready to manage the second wave of COVID-19 in Uganda during June 2021. Significant gaps existed for essential medicines, PPE, oxygen, and space to expand CTUs. The Uganda Ministry of Health utilized our findings to set up additional COVID-19 wards in hospitals and deliver medicines and PPE to referral hospitals. Adequate readiness for future waves of COVID-19 requires additional support and action in Uganda.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 , Humans , Uganda/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Health Facilities
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(9)2023 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316387

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Women employed by sex work (WESW) have a high risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and experience economic barriers in accessing care. However, few studies have described their financial lives and the relationship between expenditures and HIV-related behaviors. METHODS: This exploratory study used financial diaries to collect expenditure and income data from WESW in Uganda over 6 months. Data were collected as part of a larger trial that tested the efficacy of an HIV prevention intervention method. Descriptive statistics were used to quantify women's income, relative expenditures, and negative cash balances. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to examine the odds of sexual risk behavior or use of HIV medications for several cash scenarios. RESULTS: A total of 163 WESW were enrolled; the participants mean age was 32 years old. Sex work was the sole source of employment for most WESW (99%); their average monthly income was $62.32. Food accounted for the highest proportion of spending (44%) followed by sex work (20%) and housing expenditures (11%). WESW spent the least on health care (5%). Expenditures accounted for a large but variable proportion of these women's income (56% to 101%). Most WESW (74%) experienced a negative cash balance. Some also reported high sex work (28%), health care (24%), and education (28%) costs. The prevalence of condomless sex (77%) and sex with drugs/alcohol (70%) was high compared to use of ART/PrEP (Antiretroviral therapy/Pre-exposure prophylaxis) medications (45%). Women's cash expenditures were not statistically significantly associated with HIV-related behaviors. However, the exploratory study observed a consistent null trend of lower odds of condomless sex (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28-1.70), sex with drugs/alcohol (AOR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.42-2.05), and use of ART/PrEP (AOR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.39-1.67) among women who experienced a negative cash balance versus those who did not. Similar trends were observed for other cash scenarios. CONCLUSION: Financial diaries are a feasible tool to assess the economic lives of vulnerable women. Despite having paid work, most WESW encountered a myriad of financial challenges with limited spending on HIV prevention. Financial protections and additional income-generating activities may improve their status. More robust research is needed to understand the potentially complex relationship between income, expenditures, and HIV risk among vulnerable sex workers.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Sex Work , Humans , Female , Adult , Health Expenditures , Uganda/epidemiology , Sexual Behavior , HIV Infections/prevention & control
16.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 835, 2023 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314464

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: As part of efforts to rapidly identify and care for individuals with COVID-19, trace and quarantine contacts, and monitor disease trends over time, most African countries implemented interventions to strengthen their existing disease surveillance systems. This research describes the strengths, weaknesses and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 surveillance strategies implemented in four African countries to inform the enhancement of surveillance systems for future epidemics on the continent. METHODS: The four countries namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda, were selected based on their variability in COVID-19 response and representation of Francophone and Anglophone countries. A mixed-methods observational study was conducted including desk review and key informant interviews, to document best practices, gaps, and innovations in surveillance at the national, sub-national, health facilities, and community levels, and these learnings were synthesized across the countries. RESULTS: Surveillance approaches across countries included - case investigation, contact tracing, community-based, laboratory-based sentinel, serological, telephone hotlines, and genomic sequencing surveillance. As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, the health systems moved from aggressive testing and contact tracing to detect virus and triage individual contacts into quarantine and confirmed cases, isolation and clinical care. Surveillance, including case definitions, changed from contact tracing of all contacts of confirmed cases to only symptomatic contacts and travelers. All countries reported inadequate staffing, staff capacity gaps and lack of full integration of data sources. All four countries under study improved data management and surveillance capacity by training health workers and increasing resources for laboratories, but the disease burden was under-detected. Decentralizing surveillance to enable swifter implementation of targeted public health measures at the subnational level was a challenge. There were also gaps in genomic and postmortem surveillance including community level sero-prevalence studies, as well as digital technologies to provide more timely and accurate surveillance data. CONCLUSION: All the four countries demonstrated a prompt public health surveillance response and adopted similar approaches to surveillance with some adaptations as the pandemic progresses. There is need for investments to enhance surveillance approaches and systems including decentralizing surveillance to the subnational and community levels, strengthening capabilities for genomic surveillance and use of digital technologies, among others. Investing in health worker capacity, ensuring data quality and availability and improving ability to transmit surveillance data between and across multiple levels of the health care system is also critical. Countries need to take immediate action in strengthening their surveillance systems to better prepare for the next major disease outbreak and pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology , Senegal , Uganda , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology
17.
Clin Infect Dis ; 76(11): 2014-2017, 2023 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2310085

ABSTRACT

Using data from 67 Ugandan human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinics (July 2019-January 2022), we report a 40% (1005/1662) reduction in the number of people with HIV presenting to care after August 2021 compared to prepandemic levels, with a greater proportion presenting with advanced HIV disease (20% vs 16% in the pre-coronavirus disease 2019 period).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Humans , Uganda/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV , Ambulatory Care Facilities
18.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 108(6): 1240-1243, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301072

ABSTRACT

The clinical features and outcomes of tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 coinfection are not well established. This short report describes 11 people with TB/COVID-19 coinfection in Uganda. The mean age was 46.9 ± 14.5 years; eight (72.7%) were male and two (18.2%) were coinfected with HIV. All patients presented with cough whose median duration was 71.1 (interquartile range, 33.1, 109) days. Eight (72.7%) had mild COVID-19 whereas two (18.2%) died, including one with advanced HIV disease. All patients were treated with first-line anti-TB drugs and adjunct therapy for COVID-19 using national treatment guidelines. This report presents the possibility of the coexistence of the two diseases and calls for more vigilance, screening, and collective prevention measures for both COVID-19 and TB.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , HIV Infections , Tuberculosis , Humans , Male , Adult , Middle Aged , Female , Coinfection/complications , Uganda/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Tuberculosis/complications , Tuberculosis/drug therapy , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Antitubercular Agents/therapeutic use , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy
19.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 678, 2023 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300801

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Adolescents experience a host of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges, with detrimental SRH and socio-economic consequences. These include early sexual debut, sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, and early childbearing. Parent-adolescent communication about SRH has significant potential to reduce adolescents' risky sexual behaviors. However, communication between parents and adolescents is limited. This study explored the facilitators and barriers to parent-adolescent communication about sexual and reproductive health. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study in the border districts of Busia and Tororo in Eastern Uganda. Data collection entailed 8 Focus Group Discussions comprising of parents, adolescents (10-17 years), and 25 key informants. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and translated into English. Thematic analysis was conducted with the aid of NVIVO 12 software. RESULTS: Participants acknowledged the key role parents play in communicating SRH matters; however, only a few parents engage in such discussions. Facilitators of parent-adolescent communication were: having a good parent-child relationship which makes parents approachable and motivates children to discuss issues openly, a closer bond between mothers and children which is partly attributed to gender roles and expectations eases communication, and having parents with high education making them more knowledgeable and confident when discussing SRH issues with children. However, the discussions are limited by cultural norms that treat parent-child conversations on SRH as a taboo, parents' lack of knowledge, and parents busy work schedules made them unavailable to address pertinent SRH issues. CONCLUSION: Parents' ability to communicate with their children is hindered by cultural barriers, busy work schedules, and a lack of knowledge. Engaging all stakeholders including parents to deconstruct sociocultural norms around adolescent SRH, developing the capacity of parents to confidently initiate and convey accurate SRH information, initiation of SRH discussions at early ages, and integrating parent-adolescent communication into parenting interventions, are potential strategies to improve SRH communication between parents and adolescents in high-risk settings such as borders.


Subject(s)
Health Communication , Mothers , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Reproductive Health , Uganda , Parents
20.
PLoS One ; 18(4): e0283078, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300666

ABSTRACT

We assessed food insecurity, dietary diversity and the right to adequate food among households in communities in Eastern Uganda that were affected by major landslides in 2010 and 2018. A prospective cohort study was applied to select 422 households during May-August (the food-plenty season) of 2019. In January-March (the food-poor season) of 2020, 388 households were re-assessed. Socio-demographic, food security, dietary diversity and right to adequate food data were collected using structured questionnaires. Four focus groups discussions and key informant interviews with 10 purposively sampled duty-bearers explored issues of food insecurity, dietary and the right to adequate food. The affected households had significantly higher mean (SE) food insecurity scores than controls, both during the food plenty season: 15.3 (0.5) vs. 10.8 (0.5), and during food-poor season: 15.9 (0.4) vs. 12.5 (0.0). The affected households had significantly lower mean (SE) dietary diversity scores than controls during the food plenty season: 5.4 (0.2) vs. 7.5 (0.2) and during the food poor season: 5.2 (0.2) vs. 7.3 (0.1). Multivariate analyses showed that the disaster event, education and main source of livelihood, were significantly associated with household food security and dietary diversity during the food-plenty season whereas during the food-poor season, the disaster event and education were associated with household food security and dietary diversity. During both food seasons, the majority of affected and control households reported to have consumed unsafe food. Cash-handout was the most preferred for ensuring the right to adequate food. Comprehension and awareness of human rights principles and state obligations were low. The severity of food-insecurity and dietary diversity differed significantly between the affected and control households during both food seasons. Moreover, the right to adequate food of landslide victims faced challenges to its realization. There is need for policy and planning frameworks that cater for seasonal variations, disaster effects and right to adequate food in order to reduce landslide victims' vulnerability to food insecurity and poor dietary diversity. In the long-term, education and income diversification program interventions need to be integrated into disaster recovery programs since they are central in enhancing the resilience of rural livelihoods to shocks and stressors on the food system.


Subject(s)
Landslides , Humans , Uganda , Cohort Studies , Prospective Studies , Family Characteristics , Food Supply , Diet , Food Insecurity
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