Design and implementation of a training programme for general practitioners in emergency surgery and obstetrics in precarious situations in Ethiopia. (17/1130)

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has been implementing medical assistance programs in Ethiopia since 1994, including the rehabilitation of health structures and the supply of drugs and medical equipment. In 1995, the serious shortage of surgeons in Ethiopia prompted MSF to add a programme to train general practitioners to perform surgery in the Woldya region. The results of the relevant feasibility study were encouraging. The programme's design is based on recent educational data and MSF's experience with introducing transcultural training in countries where unstable conditions prevail. The training programme is currently being studied by the Ethiopian Health Ministry for use as a model for training general practitioners in surgery throughout the country.  (+info)

Diagnostic accuracy of physician review, expert algorithms and data-derived algorithms in adult verbal autopsies. (18/1130)

BACKGROUND: The verbal autopsy (VA) is used to collect information on cause-specific mortality from bereaved relatives. A cause of death may be assigned by physician review of the questionnaires, or by an algorithm. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of physician review, an expert algorithm, and data-derived algorithms. METHODS: Data were drawn from a multicentre validation study of 796 adult deaths that occurred in hospitals in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Ghana. A 'gold standard' cause of death was assigned using hospital records and death certificates. The VA interviews were carried out by trained fieldworkers 1-21 months after the subject's death. A cause of death was assigned by physician review and an expert algorithm. Data-derived algorithms that most accurately estimated the cause-specific mortality fraction (CSMF) for each cause of death were identified using logistic regression. RESULTS: The most common causes of death were tuberculosis/AIDS (CSMF = 18.6%), malaria (CSMF = 10.7%), meningitis (CSMF = 8.3%), and cardiovascular disorders (CSMF = 8.2%). The CSMF obtained using physician review was within +/-20% of the gold standard value for 12 causes of death including the four common causes. The CSMF obtained using the expert algorithm was within +/-20% of the gold standard for eight causes of death, including tuberculosis/AIDS, malaria, and meningitis. The CSMF obtained using the data-derived algorithms was within +/-20% of the gold standard for seven causes of death, including tuberculosis/ AIDS, meningitis, and cardiovascular disorders. All three methods yielded a specificity of at least 80% for all causes of death, and a sensitivity of at least 80% for deaths due to injuries and rabies. CONCLUSIONS: For those settings where physician review is not feasible, expert and data-derived algorithms provide an alternative approach for assigning many causes of death. We recommend that the algorithms proposed herein are validated further.  (+info)

Passive sentinel surveillance system for sexually transmitted diseases in primary healthcare sites in Ethiopia, 1991-3. (19/1130)

BACKGROUND: In 1989 the ministry of health of Ethiopia launched an STD control programme to strengthen the STD case management capabilities at public health centres and hospitals. The programme included the introduction of a syndrome based system for notification of STD cases. We here report the data originated by the syndromic case reporting system under programme conditions. METHODS: 35 (17%) of the total 225 hospitals and public health centres of Ethiopia were included in the programme. Information relevant to the years 1991 to 1993 was analysed at mid 1994. RESULTS: 32 clinical sites (91% of the total) provided at least one monthly report. The proportion of monthly reports received was 65% of those due, ranging from 51% in 1991 to 73% in 1992 and 42% in 1993. A total of 77,294 consultations for STD related symptoms were recorded, including 70,200 new cases, 6588 repeated consultations, and 506 partners of STD patients. Among first attendant patients 38,459 (52.7%) were males with a male to female ratio of 1:1. Urethral discharge and vaginal discharge were the leading cause of consultation among males (58%) and females (64%) respectively. The frequency of genital ulcer diseases was 26% among males and 15% among females. Inguinal adenopathy in the absence of genital ulcers was also frequent, accounting for 10% of consulting males and 5% of females. Based on Gram stain, gonorrhoea was identified in 64% of the cases of urethral discharge, while trichomoniasis and candidiasis were identified by wet mount in 28% and 16% of the cases of vaginal discharge respectively. CONCLUSIONS: STDs are a common cause of consultation at public health centre sites in Ethiopia. A syndromic case reporting system proved to be efficient and produced valuable information to initiate assessment of the problem and to set up bases for monitoring trends of STD morbidity.  (+info)

Testing the application of a Western scientific theory of AIDS risk behavior among adolescents in Ethiopia. (20/1130)

OBJECTIVE: To test whether a theoretical scheme developed in the United States within the framework of Western science could be applied to a study of HIV risk behaviors among Ethiopian youths. METHODS: Informal interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to determine the relevance of particular AIDS-related risk and protective factors suggested by Jessor's theoretical framework and to generate additional risk and protective factors that were not suggested by a review of the (predominantly Western) literature on adolescent risk behavior. Data from informal interviews and focus group discussions were used to develop survey instruments and procedures for administering survey instruments A pilot study among 99 youths was conducted to examine the reliability and construct validity of the survey instrument. RESULTS: Based on information from focus group discussions and informal interviews, we confirmed the relevance of particular AIDS-related risk and protective factors. The definition of existing constructs was expanded and additional risk and protective factors were incorporated into the existing framework. Existing items and procedures for administering survey instruments were improved and new items were generated. The reliability of survey instruments was determined and improved whenever possible. CONCLUSIONS: We discuss the value of these preliminary steps for securing external validity by identifying theoretical constructs that are relevant to the population at hand and the use of a survey instrument that adequately captures these constructs and provides reliable information.  (+info)

Sero-epidemiology of rubella in the urban population of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (21/1130)

We conducted a community-based cluster sample survey of rubella sero-epidemiology in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1994. Among 4666 individuals for whom complete data were available, rubella antibody prevalence was 91% (95% confidence interval: 90, 92). On multivariable analysis, seroprevalence was lower among individuals who were resident in Addis Ababa for 1 year or less. Approx. 50% seroprevalence was attained by age 4 years, and the estimated average age at infection was 5.2 years. The highest age-specific force of infection was estimated to occur in 5- to 9-year-olds. The early age at infection corresponded with a low estimated incidence of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) of 0.3 per 1000 live births, equivalent to nine cases of CRS in 1994. The predicted critical level of immunity for elimination of rubella via vaccination was 85-91%, requiring 89-96% coverage with a vaccine of 95% effectiveness. Unless very high coverage of rubella vaccine could be guaranteed, the introduction of childhood vaccination could increase the incidence of CRS in Addis Ababa.  (+info)

Serodiagnosis of Louse-Borne relapsing fever with glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (GlpQ) from Borrelia recurrentis. (22/1130)

Human louse-borne relapsing fever occurs in sporadic outbreaks in central and eastern Africa that are characterized by significant morbidity and mortality. Isolates of the causative agent, Borrelia recurrentis, were obtained from the blood of four patients during a recent epidemic of the disease in southern Sudan. The glpQ gene, encoding glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase, from these isolates was sequenced and compared with the glpQ sequences obtained from other relapsing-fever spirochetes. Previously we showed that GlpQ of Borrelia hermsii is an immunogenic protein with utility as a serological test antigen for discriminating tick-borne relapsing fever from Lyme disease. In the present work, we cloned and expressed the glpQ gene from B. recurrentis and used recombinant GlpQ in serological tests. Acute- and convalescent-phase serum samples obtained from 42 patients with louse-borne relapsing fever were tested with an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that used whole cells of B. recurrentis and with immunoblotting to whole-cell lysates of the spirochete and Escherichia coli producing recombinant GlpQ. The geometric mean titers of the acute- and convalescent-phase serum samples measured by IFA were 1:83 and 1:575, respectively. The immunoblot analysis identified a high level of reactivity and seroconversion to GlpQ, and the assay was more sensitive than the whole-cell IFA and ELISA using purified, recombinant histidine-tagged GlpQ. Serum antibodies to GlpQ and other antigens persisted for 27 years in one patient. We conclude that assessment of anti-GlpQ antibodies will allow serological confirmation of louse-borne relapsing fever and determination of disease prevalence.  (+info)

Progress toward poliomyelitis eradication--Ethiopia, 1997-August 2000. (23/1130)

In 1988, the World Health Assembly resolved to eradicate poliomyelitis globally by 2000 (1). Following the signing of the Yaounde Declaration on Polio Eradication in Africa in 1996, Ethiopia joined global efforts toward polio eradication (2). Since then, Ethiopia has accelerated implementation of polio eradication strategies. This report summarizes progress toward polio eradication in Ethiopia during 1997-August 2000 and highlights the remaining challenges toward achieving the goal.  (+info)

Chronic immune activation associated with intestinal helminth infections results in impaired signal transduction and anergy. (24/1130)

Helminthic parasites cause widespread, persistent infections in humans. The immigration of Ethiopians to Israel (a group denoted here by "Eth."), many of them infested with helminths and in a chronic immune-activation state, enabled us to investigate the effects of such immune activation on immune responses. We studied the immune profile and immune functions of 190 Eth. and Israeli non-Eth. (Isr.) highly, partially, or non-immune-activated individuals. Immune cells from highly immune-activated individuals were defective in several signaling responses, all of which were restored gradually following anti-helminthic treatment. These cells showed poor transmembrane signaling, as seen by the phosphorylation of various tyrosine kinases and of the MAPK kinases, ERK1/2 and p38; deficient degradation of phosphorylated IkappaBalpha; increased expression of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), which appears to block proliferative responses in these cells; decreased beta-chemokine secretion by CD8(+) cells after stimulation; and reduced proliferation to recall antigen stimulation. Highly immune-activated individuals also showed decreased delayed-type skin hypersensitivity responses to recall antigen before deworming. These findings support the notion that chronic helminthic infections cause persistent immune activation that results in hyporesponsiveness and anergy. Such impaired immune functions may diminish the capacity of these individuals to cope with infections and to generate cellular protective immunity after vaccination.  (+info)