Publications by authors named "Achamyeleh Alebachew"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Scaling Up Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Contacts of Index Patients - 20 Countries, 2016-2018.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019 May 31;68(21):474-477. Epub 2019 May 31.

In 2017, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that worldwide, 36.9 million persons were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the virus infection that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Among persons with HIV infection, approximately 75% were aware of their HIV status, leaving 9.4 million persons with undiagnosed infection (1). Index testing, also known as partner notification or contact tracing, is an effective case-finding strategy that targets the exposed contacts of HIV-positive persons for HIV testing services. This report summarizes data from HIV tests using index testing in 20 countries supported by CDC through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) during October 1, 2016-March 31, 2018. During this 18-month period, 1,700,998 HIV tests with 99,201 (5.8%) positive results were reported using index testing. The positivity rate for index testing was 9.8% among persons aged ≥15 years and 1.5% among persons aged <15 years. During the reporting period, HIV positivity increased 64% among persons aged ≥15 years (from 7.6% to 12.5%) and 67% among persons aged <15 years (from 1.2% to 2.0%). Expanding index testing services could help increase the number of persons with HIV infection who know their status, are initiated onto antiretroviral treatment, and consequently reduce the number of persons who can transmit the virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6821a2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6542477PMC
May 2019

Establishing a Multicenter Longitudinal Clinical Cohort Study in Ethiopia: Advanced Clinical Monitoring of Antiretroviral Treatment Project.

Ethiop J Health Sci 2017 Feb;27(Suppl 1):3-16

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, United States of America.

Background: The purpose of this paper is to describe the establishment of the Advanced Clinical Monitoring of ART Project in Ethiopia for monitoring and evaluation of the longitudinal effectiveness of the ART program and to show the opportunities it presents. This cohort was established in response to the 2005 call by WHO for establishing additional mechanisms for stronger monitoring of ART and the need for creating the platform to generate evidence to guide the care given for the ever increasing number of patients on ART in Ethiopia.

Method: A participatory and multi-stage process which started from a consensus building workshop and steered by a mother protocol as well as guiding documents which dictated the degree of engagement and expectations was followed. The primary and secondary aims of the study were agreed upon. A multi-site longitudinal observational clinical cohort was established by a consortium of stakeholders including seven Ethiopian medical schools and their affiliated referral hospitals, John Hopkins University, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Ministry of Science and Technology, US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control - CDC-Ethiopia, and the Federal Ministry of Health. Adult and adolescent cohorts covering the age range of 14+ years) and pediatric cohorts covering those below age 14 years were the two main cohorts. During the initial recruitment of these cohorts information was extracted from existing documents for a total of 2,100 adult participants. In parallel, a prospective cohort of 1,400 adult and adolescent patients were enrolled for ART initiation and follow-up. Using similar recruitment procedures, a total of 120 children were enrolled in each of retrospective and prospective cohorts. Replacement of participants were made in subsequent years based on lost follow up and death rates to maintain adequacy of the sample to be followed-up.

Achievements: Between January 2005 and August 2013 a total of 4,339 patients were followed for a median of 41.6 months and data on demographic characteristics, baseline and ongoing clinical features, hospitalization history, medication and laboratory information were collected. 39,762 aliquots and 25,515 specimens of plasma and dryblood-spots respectively were obtained and stored longitudinally from October 2009 to August 2013. The project created a research platform for researchers, policy and decision makers. Moreover, it encouraged local and international investigators to identify and answer clinically and programmatically relevant research questions using the available data and specimens. Calls for concept notes paired with multiple trainings to stimulate investigators to conduct analyses further boosted the potential for doing research.

Conclusions: A comprehensive and resourceful mechanism for scientific inquiry was established to support the national HIV/ART program. With meaningful involvement and defined roles, establishment of a study, which involved multiple institutions and investigators, was possible. Since ACM is the largest multi-site clinical cohort of patients on antiretroviral treatment in Ethiopia-which can be used for research and for improving clinical management-considering options to sustain the project is crucial.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402804PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ejhs.v27i1.2sDOI Listing
February 2017

Scaling up antiretroviral treatment and improving patient retention in care: lessons from Ethiopia, 2005-2013.

Global Health 2014 May 27;10:43. Epub 2014 May 27.

Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Background: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) was provided to more than nine million people by the end of 2012. Although ART programs in resource-limited settings have expanded treatment, inadequate retention in care has been a challenge. Ethiopia has been scaling up ART and improving retention (defined as continuous engagement of patients in care) in care. We aimed to analyze the ART program in Ethiopia.

Methods: A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods was used. Routine ART program data was used to study ART scale up and patient retention in care. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with program managers.

Results: The number of people receiving ART in Ethiopia increased from less than 9,000 in 2005 to more than 439, 000 in 2013. Initially, the public health approach, health system strengthening, community mobilization and provision of care and support services allowed scaling up of ART services. While ART was being scaled up, retention was recognized to be insufficient. To improve retention, a second wave of interventions, related to programmatic, structural, socio-cultural, and patient information systems, have been implemented. Retention rate increased from 77% in 2004/5 to 92% in 2012/13.

Conclusion: Ethiopia has been able to scale up ART and improve retention in care in spite of its limited resources. This has been possible due to interventions by the ART program, supported by health systems strengthening, community-based organizations and the communities themselves. ART programs in resource-limited settings need to put in place similar measures to scale up ART and retain patients in care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1744-8603-10-43DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046386PMC
May 2014

Laboratory investigation of epidemic dropsy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ethiop Med J 2013 Oct;Suppl 2:21-32

Background: Food adulteration including adulteration of edible oils may cause serious health problems. One of the most common edible adulterants is argemone oil. An outbreak of epidemic dropsy occurred in Addis Ababa during May-June, 2008. One hundred and eighty two cases were recorded with twelve confirmed deaths. Dietary history of the cases revealed that vegetable oils were the usual cooking medium.

Objective: The aim of the study was hence to investigate the causes of this outbreak.

Methods: Contaminant identification was done using standard chemical tests, complemented with TLC. Toxicity study was done using Swiss albino mice feed with contaminated and non contaminated standard diet for 30 days.

Results: Laboratory investigation of the edible oils has indicated that 47 of the 280 edible oils analyzed were adulterated with argemone oil. About 81% of the edible oil samples collected from Lideta sub-city were adulterated with argemone oil. Toxicological investigation of the adulterated oils also indicated typical features of argemone alkaloid poisoning in mice.

Conclusion: Results of both laboratory analysis and toxicological studies confirmed consumption of edible oils adulterated with argemone oil as the cause of epidemic dropsy in Addis Ababa.
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October 2013

Outbreak investigation of epidemic dropsy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:.

Ethiop Med J 2013 Oct;Suppl 2:9-20

Background: A 17 year old female patient who presented to a tertiary Hospital in Addis Ababa with bilateral painful leg swelling of two months and shortness of breath, associated with cough and haemoptysis of one week duration was reported to the Ministry of Health and the Addis Ababa Health Bureau. The condition was later detected in 18 individuals from 4 households indicating occurrence of an outbreak of unknown cause in Addis Ababa which lasted during May-July 2008.

Objective: An outbreak investigation was initiated to identify the cause and prevent further spread, morbidity and mortality.

Methods: Using semi-structured questionnaire, quantitative assessment involving individual cases and affected households was conducted to detect aetiology and risk factors. Unaffected households as well as unaffected members of affected households were also included for comparison purpose. Record review of patients visiting hospitals was also done. Data were collected through house to house visits, and using interview of cases admitted to hospital. Samples of cooking oil were collected for laboratory testing. Data analysis was done using SPSS.

Results: A total of 182 patients, 50 (27.5%) males and 132 (72.5%) females, were identified till the outbreak was controlled fully. Age varied from 6-90 years. Death was confirmed in 12 cases, 8 of whom were female. The majority of the patients came from the adjoining Lideta (39.0%) and Kolfe Keranyo (31.9%) subcities. History of illness ranged from less than a week to 12 weeks before presentation. Out of the 106 household members of the 24 affected households identified during the first phase of the investigation, 83 were affected. Most family members who infrequently take meals at home, and children aged 3 years and below were spared. The 21 visited affected households from Kolfe keranyo, Lideta and Bole subcities bought cooking oil produced by a firm in Lideta subcity and all had bought their last supplies in March and April 2008. Samples of cooking food oil taken from this firm and from the affected households were found to have alkaloids of Argemone Mexicana. The number of new cases dropped to zero within 6 weeks after the source was closed.

Conclusion: The occurrence of bilateral leg swelling in more than one family member of affected households, that bought cooking oil from the same source, sparing the toddlers, and those who infrequently take meals at home, further strengthened by laboratory confirmation of presence of argemone alkaloids in the cooking oil samples taken from the affected households and the common sources led to the diagnosis of the outbreak to be epidemic dropsy.
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October 2013

Outbreak of epidemic dropsy in Ethiopia: the clinical and therapeutic observation.

Ethiop Med J 2013 Oct;Suppl 2:1-7

Introduction: Epidemic dropsy results from ingestion of argemone oil contaminated food staffs. The oil from Argemone Mexican seeds contains toxic alkaloids called sanguinarine and dehydrosangunarine. These cause wide spread capillary dilatation, proliferation and leakages. This leads to oedema, hypovolemia and hypotension.

Objective: To describe the socio-demographic and clinical manifestations of the patients affected with epidemic dropsy in Tikur Anbessa specialized Hospital (TASH).

Methods: A case series study was conducted in an outbreak with unusual cases which was later diagnosed to be epidemic dropsy. Clinical evaluation of suspects was done and optimal therapy given for the complications detected and information was filled in structured format by medical residents and medial chart records review was made for occurrence of new complications in the end of 9 months.

Results: A total of 164 patients were seen at TASH from 26 households, in 8 sub-cities of Addis Ababa. A wide range of age group was affected with 70% from 16 to 40 years of age. There was no case among less than 5 years of age. Females were affected more than threefold as compared to males. All the patients manifested with bilateral leg swelling and pitting oedema. It was tender in 50 (30.4%) of them while 43 (26.2%) had erythema. Tachycardia was the next common manifestation occurring in 135 (82.3%), followed by cough in 123 (75%), anaemia in 59 (36%), headache in 58 (35.4%), shortness of breathing in 52 (31.2%), hair loss in 44 (26.8%) and respiratory distress in 35 (21.3%). Abdominal pain, hepatomegally, nausea and vomiting were also seen. There was abnormality in the chest X-ray of 31 (27.2%). Hair loss, tingling and burning extremities, difficulty of standing, hyperpigmentation, pruritic rash and eye symptoms were observed lately during follow up. Five of the patients died while in hospital care due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Conclusions: The commonest clinical manifestation in our patients is bilateral leg swelling which is similar to other outbreaks of epidemic dropsy elsewhere. The mortality rate is also comparable with other series but all cases died by ARDS in our series which is unusual in other reports. As this is the first reported epidemics in Ethiopia the findings will create awareness of clinical features of epidemic dropsy among clinicians, and therefore, helps for diagnoses of similar problems in the future.
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October 2013