African Region

2019
Rachel R Yorlets, Katherine R Iverson, Hannah H Leslie, Anna Davies Gage, Sanam Roder-DeWan, Humphreys Nsona, and Mark G Shrime. 2019. “Latent class analysis of the social determinants of health-seeking behaviour for delivery among pregnant women in Malawi.” BMJ Glob Health, 4, 2, Pp. e000930.Abstract
Introduction: In the era of Sustainable Development Goals, reducing maternal and neonatal mortality is a priority. With one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world, Malawi has a significant opportunity for improvement. One effort to improve maternal outcomes involves increasing access to high-quality health facilities for delivery. This study aimed to determine the role that quality plays in women's choice of delivery facility. Methods: A revealed-preference latent class analysis was performed with data from 6625 facility births among women in Malawi from 2013 to 2014. Responses were weighted for national representativeness, and model structure and class number were selected using the Bayesian information criterion. Results: Two classes of preferences exist for pregnant women in Malawi. Most of the population 65.85% (95% CI 65.847% to 65.853%) prefer closer facilities that do not charge fees. The remaining third (34.15%, 95% CI 34.147% to 34.153%) prefers central hospitals, facilities with higher basic obstetric readiness scores and locations further from home. Women in this class are more likely to be older, literate, educated and wealthier than the majority of women. Conclusion: For only one-third of pregnant Malawian women, structural quality of care, as measured by basic obstetric readiness score, factored into their choice of facility for delivery. Most women instead prioritise closer care and care without fees. Interventions designed to increase access to high-quality care in Malawi will need to take education, distance, fees and facility type into account, as structural quality alone is not predictive of facility type selection in this population.
2019. “National Commissions on High Quality Health Systems: activities, challenges, and future directions.” Lancet Glob Health, 7, 2, Pp. e179-e180.
Emma Clarke-Deelder, Gil Shapira, Hadia Samaha, György Bèla Fritsche, and Günther Fink. 2019. “Quality of care for children with severe disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” BMC Public Health, 19, 1, Pp. 1608.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Despite the almost universal adoption of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of sick children under the age of five in low- and middle-income countries, child mortality remains high in many settings. One possible explanation of the continued high mortality burden is lack of compliance with diagnostic and treatment protocols. We test this hypothesis in a sample of children with severe illness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). METHODS: One thousand one hundred eighty under-five clinical visits were observed across a regionally representative sample of 321 facilities in the DRC. Based on a detailed list of disease symptoms observed, patients with severe febrile disease (including malaria), severe pneumonia, and severe dehydration were identified. For all three disease categories, treatments were then compared to recommended case management following IMCI guidelines. RESULTS: Out of 1180 under-five consultations observed, 332 patients (28%) had signs of severe febrile disease, 189 patients (16%) had signs of severe pneumonia, and 19 patients (2%) had signs of severe dehydration. Overall, providers gave the IMCI-recommended treatment in 42% of cases of these three severe diseases. Less than 15% of children with severe disease were recommended to receive in-patient care either in the facility they visited or in a higher-level facility. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that adherence to IMCI protocols for severe disease remains remarkably low in the DRC. There is a critical need to identify and implement effective approaches for improving the quality of care for severely ill children in settings with high child mortality.
Andres G Lescano, Craig R Cohen, Tony Raj, Laetitia Rispel, Patricia J Garcia, Joseph R Zunt, Davidson H Hamer, Douglas C Heimburger, Benjamin H Chi, Albert I Ko, and Elizabeth A Bukusi. 2019. “Strengthening Mentoring in Low- and Middle-Income Countries to Advance Global Health Research: An Overview.” Am J Trop Med Hyg, 100, 1_Suppl, Pp. 3-8.Abstract
Mentoring is a proven path to scientific progress, but it is not a common practice in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Existing mentoring approaches and guidelines are geared toward high-income country settings, without considering in detail the differences in resources, culture, and structure of research systems of LMICs. To address this gap, we conducted five Mentoring-the-Mentor workshops in Africa, South America, and Asia, which aimed at strengthening the capacity for evidence-based, LMIC-specific institutional mentoring programs globally. The outcomes of the workshops and two follow-up working meetings are presented in this special edition of the . Seven articles offer recommendations on how to tailor mentoring to the context and culture of LMICs, and provide guidance on how to implement mentoring programs. This introductory article provides both a prelude and executive summary to the seven articles, describing the motivation, cultural context and relevant background, and presenting key findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
2018
Margaret E Kruk, Anna Gage, Naima T Joseph, Goodarz Danaei, Sebastián García-Saisó, and Joshua A Salomon. 9/5/2018. “Mortality due to low-quality health systems in the universal health coverage era: a systematic analysis of amenable deaths in 137 countries.” The Lancet. Publisher's Version
Margaret E Kruk, Anna D Gage, Godfrey M Mbaruku, and Hannah H Leslie. 2018. “Content of Care in 15,000 Sick Child Consultations in Nine Lower-Income Countries.” Health Serv Res, 53, 4, Pp. 2084-2098.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Describe content of clinical care for sick children in low-resource settings. DATA SOURCES: Nationally representative health facility surveys in Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda from 2007 to 2015. STUDY DESIGN: Clinical visits by sick children under 5 years were observed and caregivers interviewed. We describe duration and content of the care in the visit and estimate associations between increased content and caregiver knowledge and satisfaction. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The median duration of 15,444 observations was 8 minutes; providers performed 8.4 of a maximum 24 clinical actions per visit. Content of care was minimally greater for severely ill children. Each additional clinical action was associated with 2 percent higher caregiver knowledge. CONCLUSIONS: Consultations for children in nine lower-income countries are brief and limited. A greater number of clinical actions was associated with caregiver knowledge and satisfaction.
Omolara T Uwemedimo, Todd P Lewis, Elsie A Essien, Grace J Chan, Humphreys Nsona, Margaret E Kruk, and Hannah H Leslie. 2018. “Distribution and determinants of pneumonia diagnosis using Integrated Management of Childhood Illness guidelines: a nationally representative study in Malawi.” BMJ Glob Health, 3, 2, Pp. e000506.Abstract
Background: Pneumonia remains the leading cause of child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. The Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy was developed to standardise care in low-income and middle-income countries for major childhood illnesses and can effectively improve healthcare worker performance. Suboptimal clinical evaluation can result in missed diagnoses and excess morbidity and mortality. We estimate the sensitivity of pneumonia diagnosis and investigate its determinants among children in Malawi. Methods: Data were obtained from the 2013-2014 Service Provision Assessment survey, a census of health facilities in Malawi that included direct observation of care and re-examination of children by trained observers. We calculated sensitivity of pneumonia diagnosis and used multilevel log-binomial regression to assess factors associated with diagnostic sensitivity. Results: 3136 clinical visits for children 2-59 months old were observed at 742 health facilities. Healthcare workers completed an average of 30% (SD 13%) of IMCI guidelines in each encounter. 573 children met the IMCI criteria for pneumonia; 118 (21%) were correctly diagnosed. Advanced practice clinicians were more likely than other providers to diagnose pneumonia correctly (adjusted relative risk 2.00, 95% CI 1.21 to 3.29). Clinical quality was strongly associated with correct diagnosis: sensitivity was 23% in providers at the 75th percentile for guideline adherence compared with 14% for those at the 25th percentile. Contextual factors, facility structural readiness, and training or supervision were not associated with sensitivity. Conclusions: Care quality for Malawian children is poor, with low guideline adherence and missed diagnosis for four of five children with pneumonia. Better sensitivity is associated with provider type and higher adherence to IMCI. Existing interventions such as training and supportive supervision are associated with higher guideline adherence, but are insufficient to meaningfully improve sensitivity. Innovative and scalable quality improvement interventions are needed to strengthen health systems and reduce avoidable child mortality.
Choolwe Jacobs, Charles Michelo, Mumbi Chola, Nicholas Oliphant, Hikabasa Halwiindi, Sitali Maswenyeho, Kumar Sridutt Baboo, and Mosa Moshabela. 2018. “Evaluation of a community-based intervention to improve maternal and neonatal health service coverage in the most rural and remote districts of Zambia.” PLoS One, 13, 1, Pp. e0190145.Abstract
BACKGROUND: A community-based intervention comprising both men and women, known as Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs), was implemented in four of Zambia's poorest and most remote districts to improve coverage of selected maternal and neonatal health interventions. This paper reports on outcomes in the coverage of maternal and neonatal care interventions, including antenatal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA) and postnatal care (PNC) in the study areas. METHODOLOGY: Three serial cross-sectional surveys were conducted between 2012 and 2015 among 1,652 mothers of children 0-5 months of age using a 'before-and-after' evaluation design with multi-stage sampling, combining probability proportional to size and simple random sampling. Logistic regression and chi-square test for trend were used to assess effect size and changes in measures of coverage for ANC, SBA and PNC during the intervention. RESULTS: Mothers' mean age and educational status were non-differentially comparable at all the three-time points. The odds of attending ANC at least four times (aOR 1.63; 95% CI 1.38-1.99) and SBA (aOR 1.72; 95% CI 1.38-1.99) were at least 60% higher at endline than baseline surveillance. A two-fold and four-fold increase in the odds of mothers receiving PNC from an appropriate skilled provider (aOR 2.13; 95% CI 1.62-2.79) and a SMAG (aOR 4.87; 95% CI 3.14-7.54), respectively, were observed at endline. Receiving birth preparedness messages from a SMAG during pregnancy (aOR 1.76; 95% CI, 1.20-2.19) and receiving ANC from a skilled provider (aOR 4.01; 95% CI, 2.88-5.75) were significant predictors for SBA at delivery and PNC. CONCLUSIONS: Strengthening community-based action groups in poor and remote districts through the support of mothers by SMAGs was associated with increased coverage of maternal and newborn health interventions, measured through ANC, SBA and PNC. In remote and marginalised settings, where the need is greatest, context-specific and innovative task-sharing strategies using community health volunteers can be effective in improving coverage of maternal and neonatal services and hold promise for better maternal and child survival in poorly-resourced parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Jan AC Hontelez, Jacob Bor, Frank C Tanser, Deenan Pillay, Mosa Moshabela, and Till Bärnighausen. 2018. “HIV Treatment Substantially Decreases Hospitalization Rates: Evidence From Rural South Africa.” Health Aff (Millwood), 37, 6, Pp. 997-1004.Abstract
The effect of HIV treatment on hospitalization rates for HIV-infected people has never been established. We quantified this effect in a rural South African community for the period 2009-13. We linked clinical data on HIV treatment start dates for more than 2,000 patients receiving care in the public-sector treatment program with five years of longitudinal data on self-reported hospitalizations from a community-based population cohort of more than 100,000 adults. Hospitalization rates peaked during the first year of treatment and were about five times higher, compared to hospitalization rates after four years on treatment. Earlier treatment initiation could save more than US$300,000 per 1,000 patients over the first four years of HIV treatment, freeing up scarce resources. Future studies on the cost-effectiveness of HIV treatment should include these effects.
Choolwe Jacobs, Charles Michelo, and Mosa Moshabela. 2018. “Implementation of a community-based intervention in the most rural and remote districts of Zambia: a process evaluation of safe motherhood action groups.” Implement Sci, 13, 1, Pp. 74.Abstract
BACKGROUND: A community-based intervention known as Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs) was implemented to increase coverage of maternal and neonatal health (MNH) services among the poorest and most remote populations in Zambia. While the outcome evaluation demonstrated statistically significant improvement in the MNH indicators, targets for key indicators were not achieved, and reasons for this shortfall were not known. This study was aimed at understanding why the targeted key indicators for MNH services were not achieved. METHODS: A process evaluation, in accordance with the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework, was conducted in two selected rural districts of Zambia using qualitative approaches. Focus group discussions were conducted with SMAGs, volunteer community health workers, and mothers and in-depth interviews with healthcare providers. Content analysis was done. RESULTS: We found that SMAGs implemented much of the intervention as was intended, particularly in the area of women's education and referral to health facilities for skilled MNH services. The SMAGs went beyond their prescribed roles to assist women with household chores and personal problems and used their own resources to enhance the success of the intervention. Deficiencies in the intervention were reported and included poor ongoing support, inadequate supplies and lack of effective transportation such as bicycles needed for the SMAGs to facilitate their work. Factors external to the intervention, such as inadequacy of health services and skilled healthcare providers in facilities where SMAGs referred mothers and poor geographical access, may have led SMAGs to engage in the unintended role of conducting deliveries, thus compromising the outcome of the intervention. CONCLUSION: We found evidence suggesting that although SMAGs continue to play pivotal roles in contribution towards accelerated coverage of MNH services among hard-to-reach populations, they are unable to meet some of the critical sets of MNH service-targeted indicators. The complexities of the implementation mechanisms coupled with the presence of setting specific socio-cultural and geographical contextual factors could partially explain this failure. This suggests a need for innovating existing implementation strategies so as to help SMAGs and any other community health system champions to effectively respond to MNH needs of most-at-risk women and promote universal health coverage targeting hard-to-reach groups.
Anna D Gage, Margaret E Kruk, Tsinuel Girma, and Ephrem T Lemango. 2018. “The know-do gap in sick child care in Ethiopia.” PLoS One, 13, 12, Pp. e0208898.Abstract
BACKGROUND: While health care provider knowledge is a commonly used measure for process quality of care, evidence demonstrates that providers don't always perform as much as they know. We describe this know-do gap for malaria care for sick children among providers in Ethiopia and examine what may predict this gap. METHODS: We use a 2014 nationally-representative survey of Ethiopian providers that includes clinical knowledge vignettes of malaria care and observations of care provided to children in facilities. We compare knowledge and performance of assessment, treatment and counseling items and overall. We subtract performance scores from knowledge and use regression analysis to examine what facility and provider characteristics predict the gap. 512 providers that completed the malaria vignette and were observed providing care to sick children were included in the analysis. RESULTS: Vignette and observed performance were both low, with providers on average scoring 39% and 34% respectively. The know-do gap for assessment was only 1%, while the gap for treatment and counseling items was 39%. Doctors had the largest gap between knowledge and performance. Only provider type and availability of key equipment significantly predicted the know-do gap. CONCLUSIONS: While both provider knowledge and performance in sick child care are poor, there is a gap between knowledge and performance particularly with regard to treatment and counseling. Interventions to improve quality of care must address not only deficiencies in provider knowledge, but also the gap between knowledge and action.
Choolwe Jacobs, Charles Michelo, and Mosa Moshabela. 2018. “Why do rural women in the most remote and poorest areas of Zambia predominantly attend only one antenatal care visit with a skilled provider? A qualitative inquiry.” BMC Health Serv Res, 18, 1, Pp. 409.Abstract
BACKGROUND: While focused antenatal care (ANC) has served as an entry point in the continuum of care for both mothers and children, fewer than a third of pregnant women in the most remote and poorest communities of Zambia achieve the four ANC visits recommended by the World Health Organization. Current evidence suggests that attending ANC provided by a skilled healthcare worker at least once is common and associated with skilled birth attendance. The aim of this study was to explain why one ANC visit with a skilled provider seemed more common than four ANC visits among women in the remote and poorest districts of Zambia. METHODS: A qualitative case study design was conducted in 2012 among 84 participants in the selected remote and poorest districts of Zambia. Focus group discussions were conducted with mothers and community health volunteers, while key informant interviews were conducted with healthcare providers. Thematic analysis was conducted. RESULTS: Most women delayed starting antenatal care visits due to uncertainties about the timing for initiation of ANC and due to waiting for confirmation of the pregnancy by an elderly woman. Attendance of ANC once with a skilled provider was due to the need to assess their health status and that of their baby. In some facilities, attendance of ANC at least once was enforced by financial charges imposed on women for late ANC initiation, and/or incentives provided by nongovernmental organisations. Unavailability of services at health posts closest to these remote communities led to failure to return for subsequent ANC visits. Women's livelihoods such as nomadic lifestyles made it harder for them to initiate and make additional ANC visits. CONCLUSION: The popularity of ANC attendance once by a skilled provider among the remote and poorest women of Zambia was explained through perceived unavoidable social and economic barriers to care, and the punitive and incentive procedures implemented by health services. Maximising comprehensive care by skilled healthcare workers in the one visit a woman makes at the health facility, may lead to optimal utilisation of quality focused ANC. Enhancing community-based interventions may increase the potential to reach the vulnerable populations.
2017
Hannah H Leslie, Zeye Sun, and Margaret E Kruk. 2017. “Association between infrastructure and observed quality of care in 4 healthcare services: A cross-sectional study of 4,300 facilities in 8 countries.” PLoS Med, 14, 12, Pp. e1002464.Abstract
BACKGROUND: It is increasingly apparent that access to healthcare without adequate quality of care is insufficient to improve population health outcomes. We assess whether the most commonly measured attribute of health facilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)-the structural inputs to care-predicts the clinical quality of care provided to patients. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Service Provision Assessments are nationally representative health facility surveys conducted by the Demographic and Health Survey Program with support from the US Agency for International Development. These surveys assess health system capacity in LMICs. We drew data from assessments conducted in 8 countries between 2007 and 2015: Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. The surveys included an audit of facility infrastructure and direct observation of family planning, antenatal care (ANC), sick-child care, and (in 2 countries) labor and delivery. To measure structural inputs, we constructed indices that measured World Health Organization-recommended amenities, equipment, and medications in each service. For clinical quality, we used data from direct observations of care to calculate providers' adherence to evidence-based care guidelines. We assessed the correlation between these metrics and used spline models to test for the presence of a minimum input threshold associated with good clinical quality. Inclusion criteria were met by 32,531 observations of care in 4,354 facilities. Facilities demonstrated moderate levels of infrastructure, ranging from 0.63 of 1 in sick-child care to 0.75 of 1 for family planning on average. Adherence to evidence-based guidelines was low, with an average of 37% adherence in sick-child care, 46% in family planning, 60% in labor and delivery, and 61% in ANC. Correlation between infrastructure and evidence-based care was low (median 0.20, range from -0.03 for family planning in Senegal to 0.40 for ANC in Tanzania). Facilities with similar infrastructure scores delivered care of widely varying quality in each service. We did not detect a minimum level of infrastructure that was reliably associated with higher quality of care delivered in any service. These findings rely on cross-sectional data, preventing assessment of relationships between structural inputs and clinical quality over time; measurement error may attenuate the estimated associations. CONCLUSION: Inputs to care are poorly correlated with provision of evidence-based care in these 4 clinical services. Healthcare workers in well-equipped facilities often provided poor care and vice versa. While it is important to have strong infrastructure, it should not be used as a measure of quality. Insight into health system quality requires measurement of processes and outcomes of care.
Hannah H Leslie, Address Malata, Youssoupha Ndiaye, and Margaret E Kruk. 2017. “Effective coverage of primary care services in eight high-mortality countries.” BMJ Glob Health, 2, 3, Pp. e000424.Abstract
Introduction: Measurement of effective coverage (quality-corrected coverage) of essential health services is critical to monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal for health. We combine facility and household surveys from eight low-income and middle-income countries to examine effective coverage of maternal and child health services. Methods: We developed indices of essential clinical actions for antenatal care, family planning and care for sick children from existing guidelines and used data from direct observations of clinical visits conducted in Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda between 2007 and 2015 to measure quality of care delivered. We calculated healthcare coverage for each service from nationally representative household surveys and combined quality with utilisation estimates at the subnational level to quantify effective coverage. Results: Health facility and household surveys yielded over 40 000 direct clinical observations and over 100 000 individual reports of healthcare utilisation. Coverage varied between services, with much greater use of any antenatal care than family planning or sick-child care, as well as within countries. Quality of care was poor, with few regions demonstrating more than 60% average performance of basic clinical practices in any service. Effective coverage across all eight countries averaged 28% for antenatal care, 26% for family planning and 21% for sick-child care. Coverage and quality were not strongly correlated at the subnational level; effective coverage varied by as much as 20% between regions within a country. Conclusion: Effective coverage of three primary care services for women and children in eight countries was substantially lower than crude service coverage due to major deficiencies in care quality. Better performing regions can serve as examples for improvement. Systematic increases in the quality of care delivered-not just utilisation gains-will be necessary to progress towards truly beneficial universal health coverage.
Tsion Assefa, Damen Haile Mariam, Wubegzier Mekonnen, and Miliard Derbew. 2017. “Health system's response for physician workforce shortages and the upcoming crisis in Ethiopia: a grounded theory research.” Hum Resour Health, 15, 1, Pp. 86.Abstract
BACKGROUND: A rapid transition from severe physician workforce shortage to massive production to ensure the physician workforce demand puts the Ethiopian health care system in a variety of challenges. Therefore, this study discovered how the health system response for physician workforce shortage using the so-called flooding strategy was viewed by different stakeholders. METHODS: The study adopted the grounded theory research approach to explore the causes, contexts, and consequences (at the present, in the short and long term) of massive medical student admission to the medical schools on patient care, medical education workforce, and medical students. Forty-three purposively selected individuals were involved in a semi-structured interview from different settings: academics, government health care system, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Data coding, classification, and categorization were assisted using ATLAs.ti qualitative data analysis scientific software. RESULTS: In relation to the health system response, eight main categories were emerged: (1) reasons for rapid medical education expansion; (2) preparation for medical education expansion; (3) the consequences of rapid medical education expansion; (4) massive production/flooding as human resources for health (HRH) development strategy; (5) cooperation on HRH development; (6) HRH strategies and planning; (7) capacity of system for HRH development; and (8) institutional continuity for HRH development. The demand for physician workforce and gaining political acceptance were cited as main reasons which motivated the government to scale up the medical education rapidly. However, the rapid expansion was beyond the capacity of medical schools' human resources, patient flow, and size of teaching hospitals. As a result, there were potential adverse consequences in clinical service delivery, and teaching learning process at the present: "the number should consider the available resources such as number of classrooms, patient flows, medical teachers, library…". In the future, it was anticipated to end in surplus in physician workforce, unemployment, inefficiency, and pressure on the system: "…flooding may seem a good strategy superficially but it is a dangerous strategy. It may put the country into crisis, even if good physicians are being produced; they may not get a place where to go…". CONCLUSION: Massive physician workforce production which is not closely aligned with the training capacity of the medical schools and the absorption of graduates in to the health system will end up in unanticipated adverse consequences.
Ken Ondenge, Jenny Renju, Oliver Bonnington, Mosa Moshabela, Joyce Wamoyi, Constance Nyamukapa, Janet Seeley, Alison Wringe, and Morten Skovdal. 2017. “'I am treated well if I adhere to my HIV medication': putting patient-provider interactions in context through insights from qualitative research in five sub-Saharan African countries.” Sex Transm Infect, 93, Suppl 3.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The nature of patient-provider interactions and communication is widely documented to significantly impact on patient experiences, treatment adherence and health outcomes. Yet little is known about the broader contextual factors and dynamics that shape patient-provider interactions in high HIV prevalence and limited-resource settings. Drawing on qualitative research from five sub-Saharan African countries, we seek to unpack local dynamics that serve to hinder or facilitate productive patient-provider interactions. METHODS: This qualitative study, conducted in Kisumu (Kenya), Kisesa (Tanzania), Manicaland (Zimbabwe), Karonga (Malawi) and uMkhanyakude (South Africa), draws upon 278 in-depth interviews with purposively sampled people living with HIV with different diagnosis and treatment histories, 29 family members of people who died due to HIV and 38 HIV healthcare workers. Data were collected using topic guides that explored patient testing and antiretroviral therapy treatment journeys. Thematic analysis was conducted, aided by NVivo V.8.0 software. RESULTS: Our analysis revealed an array of inter-related contextual factors and power dynamics shaping patient-provider interactions. These included (1) participants' perceptions of roles and identities of 'self' and 'other'; (2) conformity or resistance to the 'rules of HIV service engagement' and a 'patient-persona'; (3) the influence of significant others' views on service provision; and (4) resources in health services. We observed that these four factors/dynamics were located in the wider context of conceptualisations of power, autonomy and structure. CONCLUSION: Patient-provider interaction is complex, multidimensional and deeply embedded in wider social dynamics. Multiple contextual domains shape patient-provider interactions in the context of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Interventions to improve patient experiences and treatment adherence through enhanced interactions need to go beyond the existing focus on patient-provider communication strategies.
Maria Steenland, Paul Jacob Robyn, Philippe Compaore, Moussa Kabore, Boukary Tapsoba, Aloys Zongo, Ousmane Diadie Haidara, and Günther Fink. 2017. “Performance-based financing to increase utilization of maternal health services: Evidence from Burkina Faso.” SSM Popul Health, 3, Pp. 179-184.Abstract
Performance-based financing (PBF) programs are increasingly implemented in low and middle-income countries to improve health service quality and utilization. In April 2011, a PBF pilot program was launched in Boulsa, Leo and Titao districts in Burkina Faso with the objective of increasing the provision and quality of maternal health services. We evaluate the impact of this program using facility-level administrative data from the national health management information system (HMIS). Primary outcomes were the number of antenatal care visits, the proportion of antenatal care visits that occurred during the first trimester of pregnancy, the number of institutional deliveries and the number of postnatal care visits. To assess program impact we use a difference-in-differences approach, comparing changes in health service provision post-introduction with changes in matched comparison areas. All models were estimated using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models with standard errors clustered at the facility level. On average, PBF facilities had 2.3 more antenatal care visits (95% CI [0.446-4.225]), 2.1 more deliveries (95% CI [0.034-4.069]) and 9.5 more postnatal care visits (95% CI [6.099, 12.903]) each month after the introduction of PBF. Compared to the service provision levels prior to the interventions, this implies a relative increase of 27.7 percent for ANC, of 9.2 percent for deliveries, and of 118.7 percent for postnatal care. Given the positive results observed during the pre-pilot period and the limited resources available in the health sector, the PBF program in Burkina Faso may be a low-cost, high impact intervention to improve maternal and child health.
Choolwe Jacobs, Mosa Moshabela, Sitali Maswenyeho, Nildah Lambo, and Charles Michelo. 2017. “Predictors of Antenatal Care, Skilled Birth Attendance, and Postnatal Care Utilization among the Remote and Poorest Rural Communities of Zambia: A Multilevel Analysis.” Front Public Health, 5, Pp. 11.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Optimal utilization of maternal health-care services is associated with reduction of mortality and morbidity for both mothers and their neonates. However, deficiencies and disparity in the use of key maternal health services within most developing countries still persist. We examined patterns and predictors associated with the utilization of specific indicators for maternal health services among mothers living in the poorest and remote district populations of Zambia. METHODS: A cross-sectional baseline household survey was conducted in May 2012. A total of 551 mothers with children between the ages 0 and 5 months were sampled from 29 catchment areas in four rural and remote districts of Zambia using the lot quality assurance sampling method. Using multilevel modeling, we accounted for individual- and community-level factors associated with utilization of maternal health-care services, with a focus on antenatal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA), and postnatal care (PNC). RESULTS: Utilization rates of focused ANC, SBA, and PNC within 48 h were 30, 37, and 28%, respectively. The mother's ability to take an HIV test and receiving test results and uptake of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria were positive predictors of focused ANC. Receiving ANC at least once from skilled personnel was a significant predictor of SBA and PNC within 48 h after delivery. Women who live in centralized rural areas were more likely to use SBA than those living in remote rural areas. CONCLUSION: Utilization of maternal health services by mothers living among the remote and poor marginalized populations of Zambia is much lower than the national averages. Finding that women that receive ANC once from a skilled attendant among the remote and poorest populations are more likely to have a SBA and PNC, suggests the importance of contact with a skilled health worker even if it is just once, in influencing use of services. Therefore, it appears that in order for women in these marginalized communities to benefit from SBA and PNC, it is important for them to have at least one ANC provided by a skilled personnel, rather than non-skilled health-care providers.
Hannah H Leslie, Donna Spiegelman, Xin Zhou, and Margaret E Kruk. 2017. “Service readiness of health facilities in Bangladesh, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.” Bull World Health Organ, 95, 11, Pp. 738-748.Abstract
Objective: To evaluate the service readiness of health facilities in Bangladesh, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Methods: Using existing data from service provision assessments of the health systems of the 10 study countries, we calculated a service readiness index for each of 8443 health facilities. This index represents the percentage availability of 50 items that the World Health Organization considers essential for providing health care. For our analysis we used 37-49 of the items on the list. We used linear regression to assess the independent explanatory power of four national and four facility-level characteristics on reported service readiness. Findings: The mean values for the service readiness index were 77% for the 636 hospitals and 52% for the 7807 health centres/clinics. Deficiencies in medications and diagnostic capacity were particularly common. The readiness index varied more between hospitals and health centres/clinics in the same country than between them. There was weak correlation between national factors related to health financing and the readiness index. Conclusion: Most health facilities in our study countries were insufficiently equipped to provide basic clinical care. If countries are to bolster health-system capacity towards achieving universal coverage, more attention needs to be given to within-country inequities.
2016
Tsion Assefa, Damen Haile Mariam, Wubegzier Mekonnen, Miliard Derbew, and Wendimagegn Enbiale. 2016. “Physician distribution and attrition in the public health sector of Ethiopia.” Risk Manag Healthc Policy, 9, Pp. 285-295.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Shortages and imbalances in physician workforce distribution between urban and rural and among the different regions in Ethiopia are enormous. However, with the recent rapid expansion in medical education training, it is expected that the country can make progress in physician workforce supply. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the distribution of physician workforce in Ethiopia and assess the role of retention mechanisms in the reduction of physician migration from the public health sector of Ethiopia. METHODS: This organizational survey examined physician workforce data from 119 hospitals from 5 regions (Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region [SNNPR], Tigray, and Harari) and 2 city administrations (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa City). Training opportunity, distribution, and turnover between September 2009 and July 2015 were analyzed descriptively. Poisson regression model was used to find the association of different covariates with physician turnover. RESULTS: There were 2,300 medical doctors in 5 regions and 2 city administrations in ~6 years of observations. Of these, 553 (24.04%) medical doctors moved out of their duty stations and the remaining 1,747 (75.96%) were working actively. Of the actively working, the majority of the medical doctors, 1,407 (80.5%), were males, in which 889 (50.9%) were born after the year 1985, 997 (57%) had work experience of <3 years, and most, 1,471 (84.2%), were general practitioners. Within the observation period, physician turnover among specialists ranged from 21.4% in Dire Dawa to 43.3% in Amhara region. The capital, Addis Ababa, was the place of destination for 32 (82%) of the physicians who moved out to other regions from elsewhere in the country. The Poisson regression model revealed a decreased incidence of turnover among physicians born between the years 1975 and 1985 (incident rate ratio [IRR]: 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.51, 0.79) and among those who were born prior to 1975 (IRR: 0.24; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.34) compared to those who were born after 1985. Female physicians were 1.4 times (IRR: 1.44; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.81) more likely to move out from their duty stations compared to males. In addition, physicians working in district hospitals were 2 times (IRR: 2.14; 95% CI: 1.59, 2.89) more likely to move out and those working in general hospitals had 1.39 times (IRR: 1.39; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.78) increased rate of turnover in comparison with those who were working in referral hospitals. Physicians working in the Amhara region had 2 times (IRR: 2.01; 95% CI: 1.49, 2.73) increased risk of turnover in comparison with those who were working in the capital, Addis Ababa. The probability of migration did not show a statistically significant difference in all other regions (>0.05). CONCLUSION: The public health sector physician workforce largely constituted of male physicians, young and less experienced. High turnover rate among females, the young and less experienced physicians, and those working in distant places (district hospitals) indicate the need for special attention in devising human resources management and retention strategies.

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