A multinutrient-fortified beverage enhances the nutritional status of children in Botswana. (17/208)

Due to their widespread acceptability, multinutrient-fortified foods and beverages may be useful in reducing micronutrient deficiencies, especially in developing countries. We studied the efficacy of a new fortified beverage in improving the nutritional status of children in Botswana. We screened 311 lower income urban school children, ages 6-11 y, in two primary schools near Gaborone. Children were given seven 240-mL servings weekly of either an experimental beverage (EXP) fortified with 12 micronutrients or an isoenergetic placebo drink (CON) for 8 wk. Weight, mid-upper arm circumference, hemoglobin, retinol, ferritin, vitamin B-12, folate and riboflavin status were measured at baseline and at the end of the study. Plasma zinc and serum transferrin receptors also were measured at study end. A total of 145 children in the EXP group and 118 in the CON group completed the trial. Using multivariate analysis, the changes in mid-upper arm circumference, weight for age and total weight were significantly better in the EXP group than in the CON group (P < 0.01). Ferritin, riboflavin and folate status were significantly better in the EXP group than in the CON group at study end (P < 0.01), but serum vitamin B-12 was not. Zinc was significantly higher and transferrin receptors were significantly lower at the conclusion of the study in the EXP group than in the CON group (P < 0.001). Mean plasma retinol concentrations, which were low (<0.7 micro mol/L) in both groups, did not change. We conclude that a micronutrient-fortified beverage may be beneficial as part of a comprehensive nutritional supplementation program in populations at risk for micronutrient deficiencies.  (+info)

Labelling and patient knowledge of dispensed drugs as quality indicators in primary care in Botswana. (18/208)

OBJECTIVES: To assess the quality of dispensing and patient knowledge of drugs dispensed in primary care in Botswana. SETTING: Thirty randomly assigned primary healthcare facilities in three districts of Botswana. PARTICIPANTS: Patients visiting clinics and health posts. DESIGN: Analysis of data from prospective participative observations of the drug dispensing process and interview of patients about their knowledge of drugs received immediately after dispensing. The quality of drug labelling was assessed by calculating mean labelling scores composed of five dispensing attributes: name of patient, and name, strength, dosage, and volume of the drug (incorrect or no labelling=0, 1 point for each correct labelling attribute; maximum score=5). Mean knowledge scores were obtained immediately after dispensing from patient recall of name and dosage of drug, duration of treatment, and reason for prescription (incorrect recall=0, 1 point for each correct recall attribute; maximum score=4). RESULTS: 2994 consecutive patient consultations were analysed. The mean labelling score was 2.75. Family welfare educators and pharmacy technicians scored highest (3.15 and 2.98, respectively) and untrained staff lowest (2.60). Factors independently associated with the labelling score were analgesics v other drugs, district, health posts v clinics, education of prescriber (nurse best), and years of experience of prescriber (4-11 years best). The mean patient knowledge score was 2.50. The reason for prescription of the drug(s), dosage, duration of treatment, and name of the drug(s) was recalled by 92%, 83%, 44%, and 31% of patients, respectively. The qualification level of the dispenser was the strongest factor independently associated with the knowledge score. Antibiotics had the second lowest score, both for labelling (2.39) and patient knowledge (2.39). CONCLUSION: Only trained dispensing staff provided satisfactory quality of labelling. Patients had a fair knowledge of the drugs dispensed. The knowledge of drugs dispensed by family welfare educators was less than satisfactory. The labelling score is a useful indicator of the quality of dispensing, and the knowledge score of both the quality of prescribing and of dispensing. These indicators should be added to the WHO list of patient care indicators.  (+info)

Male circumcision: an acceptable strategy for HIV prevention in Botswana. (19/208)

BACKGROUND: Male circumcision is known to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV, but few studies have been performed to assess its acceptability among either children or adults in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: We conducted a cross sectional survey in nine geographically representative locations in Botswana to determine the acceptability of male circumcision in the country, as well as the preferred age and setting for male circumcision. Interviews were conducted using standardised questionnaires both before and after an informational session outlining the risks and benefits of male circumcision. RESULTS: Among 605 people surveyed, the median age was 29 years (range 18-74 years), 52% were male, and >15 ethnicities were represented. Before the informational session, 408 (68%) responded that they would definitely or probably circumcise a male child if circumcision was offered free of charge in a hospital setting; this number increased to 542 (89%) after the informational session. Among 238 uncircumcised men, 145 (61%) stated that they would definitely or probably get circumcised themselves if it were offered free of charge in a hospital setting; this increased to 192 (81%) after the informational session. In a multivariate analysis of all participants, people with children were more likely to favour circumcision than people without children (adjusted odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.4). Most participants (55%) felt that the ideal age for circumcision is before 6 years, and 90% of participants felt that circumcision should be performed in the hospital setting. CONCLUSIONS: Male circumcision appears to be highly acceptable in Botswana. The option for safe circumcision should be made available to parents in Botswana for their male children. Circumcision might also be an acceptable option for adults and adolescents, if its efficacy as an HIV prevention strategy among sexually active people is supported by clinical trials.  (+info)

Syndromic management of sexually transmitted diseases in Botswana's primary health care: quality of care aspects. (20/208)

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the quality of care of the syndromic management of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Botswana's primary health care. METHODS: Participative observations of 224 consecutive consultations of patients with STDs (135 females and 89 males) by nurses. Twenty-one cases were excluded because no STD checklist was filled in. Criteria for acceptable history taking, physical examination and correct treatment were agreed upon. RESULTS: The quality of history taking and physical examination was acceptable for 25% and 23% of the women and for 54% and 57% of the men, respectively. Approximately, 65% of the women and 81% of the men received appropriate treatment. On average, consultations took 5.4 min for women and 4.6 min for men. STD contacts comprised 11% of STD cases. Advice on partner notification was provided to 66% of the women and 86% of men, and 75% and 89%, respectively, were counselled on the use of condoms. In half of the health facilities the lack of a fixed light source was the main constraint in carrying out a vaginal speculum examination. The availability of antibiotics and condoms was excellent. In 40% of the health facilities, all STD algorithms were displayed in the consultation room. CONCLUSION: One-third of women and one-fifth of men did not receive appropriate treatment for their STD, in spite of excellent provision of drugs. Although Botswana health workers perform relatively well on partner notification and counselling, there is considerable scope for improving the quality of medical history and clinical examination, especially in women. Emphasis should be given on training health workers in clinical examinations, in particular in pelvic examinations, and to supervision and in-service training.  (+info)

Comparative prediction of perinatal human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transmission, using multiple virus load markers. (21/208)

Maternal plasma human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 RNA load has a role in perinatal transmission, but significant overlap in the range of plasma virus loads among transmitters and nontransmitters is often observed, which makes it difficult to predict transmission outcome. We measured several virus markers in a drug-naive population of HIV-1-infected mothers in Botswana. Maternal plasma HIV-1 RNA load, peripheral blood mononuclear cell-associated blood HIV-1 DNA load, and cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) HIV-1 DNA load were determined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The overall rate of transmission among these mother-infant pairs was 35.7%. Median infant age was 2.5 months. An association between increased plasma HIV-1 RNA load and perinatal transmission was observed (odds ratio [OR], 2.20/1-log virus load; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-4.18). However, the association between increased blood HIV-1 DNA load and perinatal transmission was stronger (OR, 10.30; 95% CI, 2.11-50.38). When blood HIV-1 DNA load was combined with CVF HIV-1 DNA load, the association with transmission increased (OR, 25.0; 95% CI 2.73-228.60).  (+info)

Case holding in patients with tuberculosis in Botswana. (22/208)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of daily supervised short course chemotherapy in a national tuberculosis programme. DESIGN: Observation of programme during 1984-90. In October 1986 short course chemotherapy was introduced with patients receiving treatment daily from staff in their nearest health facility. SETTING: Botswana national tuberculosis programme. SUBJECTS: All patients with tuberculosis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportions of patients complying with and defaulting from treatment (missing > or = 43 days' treatment). RESULTS: 2938 cases of tuberculosis were recorded in 1990, 1528 of which were of sputum positive pulmonary disease. 2711 (92.3%) patients complied with treatment and 227 (7.7%) defaulted. Before introduction of short course chemotherapy compliance was about 60% compared with over 90% in 1987-90. CONCLUSIONS: A programme using daily supervised short course chemotherapy integrated into the primary health care system is an effective method of treating tuberculosis. The costs of the programme need to be evaluated.  (+info)

Hierarchical classification by rank and kinship in baboons. (23/208)

Humans routinely classify others according to both their individual attributes, such as social status or wealth, and membership in higher order groups, such as families or castes. They also recognize that people's individual attributes may be influenced and regulated by their group affiliations. It is not known whether such rule-governed, hierarchical classifications are specific to humans or might also occur in nonlinguistic species. Here we show that baboons recognize that a dominance hierarchy can be subdivided into family groups. In playback experiments, baboons respond more strongly to call sequences mimicking dominance rank reversals between families than within families, indicating that they classify others simultaneously according to both individual rank and kinship. The selective pressures imposed by complex societies may therefore have favored cognitive skills that constitute an evolutionary precursor to some components of human cognition.  (+info)

Detection and characterization of human rotavirus among children with diarrhoea in Botswana. (24/208)

This study reports the detection, for the first time, of human rotavirus in stools of children and the molecular characterization of isolated circulating strains in Botswana. We collected 249 stool samples between 1999 and 2001 from children with diarrhoea in three health districts of Botswana and examined them for the presence of rotavirus antigens and particles. Group A rotavirus antigen was detected in 43 of 249 (17%) of the samples tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Of the 43 children shedding rotaviruses, 37 (86%) were infants < or =2 years of age. The presence of rotavirus particles was also confirmed by direct electron microscopy. The characteristic 11 segments of the double-stranded RNA mobility pattern of rotavirus were demonstrated by polyacrylamide electrophoresis in 20 of 43 (47%) of the rotavirus-positive samples. The predominant electrophoretic pattern detected was the long (L) electrophoretype 14 of 20 (70%) followed by the short (S) electrophoretype five of 20 (25%). One strain had a mixed (L/S) pattern. Of the 26 samples subjected to subgrouping by enzyme immuno assay, eight were typed as subgroup-II specific and seven were subgroup I. The predominant VP7 genotypes detected were G1 (59%). Two mixed strains of G1 + G3 (5%) and G1 + G2 (5%) were also detected. VP4 genotypes in circulation were: P[4] (5%), P[6] (33%) and P[8] (33%). Mixed P-types P[4 + 6] (5%) and P[6 + 8] (18%) were also detected. Rotavirus strains G1 P[8] and GI P[6 + 8] were the most common cause of diarrhoea in our study area.  (+info)