Publications by authors named "Birhanu T Ayele"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Baseline audiological profiling of South African females with cervical cancer: an important attribute for assessing cisplatin-associated ototoxicity.

BMC Womens Health 2021 Apr 20;21(1):164. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Global Health, African Cancer Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, P.O. Box 241, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.

Background: Cisplatin is a popular antineoplastic agent used to treat cervical cancer in women from low and middle-income countries. Cisplatin treatment is associated with ototoxicity, often resulting in hearing loss. In light of this, it is crucial to conduct baseline audiological assessments prior to treatment initiation in order to evaluate the extent of cisplatin-associated-ototoxicity. Additionally, the identification of inherent risk factors and hearing patterns in specific patient cohorts is needed, especially in South Africa, a middle-income country characterized by the quadruple burden of disease (Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Tuberculosis (TB), Diabetes and Hypertension).

Methods: This study aimed to describe a profile of risk factors and hearing in a cohort of females with cervical cancer before cisplatin treatment commenced. A descriptive study design that included 82 cervical cancer patients, who underwent audiological evaluation prescribed for ototoxicity monitoring was conducted.

Results: All participants (n = 82) presented with risk factors (diabetes, hypertension, HIV, and antiretroviral therapy) for cisplatin ototoxicity and/or pre-existing sensorineural hearing loss. High-frequency tinnitus was the most common otological symptom experienced by 25 (31%) participants. Fifty-nine (72%) participants presented with normal hearing, twenty-two (27%) with a sensorineural hearing loss, and 36% were diagnosed with mild hearing loss. Abnormal Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAE) findings were obtained bilaterally in two participants (2.4%), in the right ear only of another two (2.4%) participants and the left ear of three participants (3.7%). Most participants (94%) had excellent word recognition scores, demonstrating an excellent ability to recognize words within normal conversational levels under optimal listening conditions. Age was significantly associated with hearing loss at all thresholds. Among the co-morbidities, an HIV positive status significantly triggered hearing loss, especially at higher frequencies.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that South African females with cervical cancer present with various co-morbidities, which may predispose them to develop cisplatin-associated -ototoxic hearing loss. Identification of these co-morbidities and hearing loss is essential for the accurate monitoring of cisplatin toxicities. Appropriate management of these patients is pivotal to reduce the adverse effects that hearing impairment can have on an individual's quality of life and to facilitate informed decision-making regarding the commencement of cisplatin chemotherapy.
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April 2021

Laboratory biomarkers of COVID-19 disease severity and outcome: Findings from a developing country.

PLoS One 2021 15;16(3):e0246087. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Millennium COVID-19 Care Center, St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Aim: To identify laboratory biomarkers that predict disease severity and outcome among COVID-19 patients admitted to the Millennium COVID-19 Care Center in Ethiopia.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted among 429 COVID-19 patients who were on follow up from July to October 2020. Data was described using frequency tables. Robust Poisson regression model was used to identify predictors of COVID-19 severity where adjusted relative risk (ARR), P-value and 95 CI for ARR were used to test significance. Binary Logistic regression model was used to assess the presence of statistically significant association between the explanatory variables and COVID-19 outcome where adjusted odds ratio (AOR), P-value and 95%CI for AOR were used for testing significance.

Results: Among the 429 patients studied, 182 (42.4%) had Severe disease at admission and the rest 247 (57.6%) had Non-severe disease. Regarding disease outcome, 45 (10.5%) died and 384 (89.5%) were discharged alive. Age group (ARR = 1.779, 95%CI = 1.405-2.252, p-value <0.0001), Neutrophil to Lymphocyte ratio (NLR) (ARR = 4.769, 95%CI = 2.419-9.402 p-value <0.0001), Serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) (ARR = 1.358, 95%CI = 1.109-1.662 p-value = 0.003), Sodium (ARR = 1.321, 95%CI = 1.091-1.600 p-value = 0.004) and Potassium (ARR = 1.269, 95%CI = 1.059-1.521 p-value = 0.010) were found to be significant predictors of COVID-19 severity. The following factors were significantly associated with COVID-19 outcome; age group (AOR = 2.767, 95%CI = 1.099-6.067, p-value = 0.031), white blood cell count (WBC) (AOR = 4.253, 95%CI = 1.918-9.429, p-value = 0.0001) and sodium level (AOR = 3.435, 95%CI = 1.439-8.198, p-value = 0.005).

Conclusions: Assessing and monitoring the laboratory markers of WBC, NLR, SGOT, sodium and potassium levels at the earliest stage of the disease could have a considerable role in halting disease progression and death.
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March 2021

The Critical Need for Pooled Data on COVID-19 in African Children: An AFREhealth Call for Action through Multi-Country Research Collaboration.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Feb 13. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Department of Pediatrics, Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda.

Globally, there are prevailing knowledge gaps in the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children and adolescents; however, these gaps are especially wide in African countries. The availability of robust age-disaggregated data is a critical first step in improving knowledge on disease burden and manifestations of COVID-19 among children. Furthermore, it is essential to improve understanding of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with comorbidities and co-infections such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, sickle cell disease and malnutrition, which are highly prevalent among children in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) COVID-19 Research Collaboration on Children and Adolescents is conducting studies across Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa to address existing knowledge gaps. This consortium is expected to generate key evidence to inform clinical practice and public health policymaking for COVID-19, while concurrently addressing other major diseases affecting children in African countries.
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February 2021

Effect of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Pregnancy on Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes in Africa: An AFREhealth Call for Evidence through Multicountry Research Collaboration.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2020 Dec 28. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tyberberg Teaching Hospital, Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Cape Town, South Africa.

In the African context, there is a paucity of data on SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19 in pregnancy. Given the endemicity of infections such as malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis (TB) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), it is important to evaluate coinfections with SARS-CoV-2 and their impact on maternal/infant outcomes. Robust research is critically needed to evaluate the effects of the added burden of COVID-19 in pregnancy, to help develop evidence-based policies toward improving maternal and infant outcomes. In this perspective, we briefly review current knowledge on the clinical features of COVID-19 in pregnancy; the risks of preterm birth and cesarean delivery secondary to comorbid severity; the effects of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on the fetus/neonate; and in utero mother-to-child SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We further highlight the need to conduct multicountry surveillance as well as retrospective and prospective cohort studies across SSA. This will enable assessments of SARS-CoV-2 burden among pregnant African women and improve the understanding of the spectrum of COVID-19 manifestations in this population, which may be living with or without HIV, TB, and/or other coinfections/comorbidities. In addition, multicountry studies will allow a better understanding of risk factors and outcomes to be compared across countries and subregions. Such an approach will encourage and strengthen much-needed intra-African, south-to-south multidisciplinary and interprofessional research collaborations. The African Forum for Research and Education in Health's COVID-19 Research Working Group has embarked upon such a collaboration across Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.
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December 2020

Implications of COVID-19 in high burden countries for HIV/TB: A systematic review of evidence.

BMC Infect Dis 2020 Oct 9;20(1):744. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: The triple burden of COVID-19, tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus is one of the major global health challenges of the twenty-first century. In high burden HIV/TB countries, the spread of COVID-19 among people living with HIV is a well-founded concern. A thorough understanding of HIV/TB and COVID-19 pandemics is important as the three diseases interact. This may clarify HIV/TB/COVID-19 as a newly related field. However, several gaps remain in the knowledge of the burden of COVID-19 on patients with TB and HIV. This study was conducted to review different studies on SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV or COVID-19 associated with HIV/TB co-infection or only TB, to understand the interactions between HIV, TB and COVID-19 and its implications on the burden of the COVID-19 among HIV/TB co-infected or TB patients, screening algorithm and clinical management.

Methods: We conducted an electronic search of potentially eligible studies published in English in the Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials, PubMed, Medrxiv, Google scholar and Clinical Trials Registry databases. We included case studies, case series and observational studies published between January, 2002 and July, 2020 in which SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and COVID-19 co-infected to HIV/TB or TB in adults. We screened titles, abstracts and full articles for eligibility. Descriptive and meta-analysis were done and results have been presented in graphs and tables.

Results: After removing 95 duplicates, 58 out of 437 articles were assessed for eligibility, of which 14 studies were included for descriptive analysis and seven studies were included in the meta-analysis. Compared to the descriptive analysis, the meta-analysis showed strong evidence that current TB exposure was high-risk COVID-19 group (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.06-2.65, P = 0.03). The pooled of COVID-19/TB severity rate increased from OR 4.50 (95% CI 1.12-18.10, P = 0.03), the recovery rate was high among COVID-19 compared to COVID-19/TB irrespective of HIV status (OR 2.23, 95% CI 1.83-2.74, P < 0.001) and the mortality was reduced among non-TB group (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: In summary, TB was a risk factor for COVID-19 both in terms of severity and mortality irrespective of HIV status. Structured diagnostic algorithms and clinical management are suggested to improve COVID-19/HIV/TB or COVID-19/TB co-infections outcomes.
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October 2020

Physicians' satisfaction with clinical laboratory services at public hospitals in Ethiopia: A national survey.

PLoS One 2020 30;15(4):e0232178. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Introduction: Physician is a central figure in the client list of clinical laboratory. Monitoring physicians' satisfaction with laboratory service is an important indicator of the quality management system and required by international laboratory standards. However, there is no national data on physician satisfaction with laboratory services in Ethiopia. Therefore, the aim of this national survey was to assess satisfaction level of physicians with laboratory services at public hospitals in Ethiopia.

Methods: Institutional based cross-sectional study design was employed from November 1-30/2017. A total of 327 physicians were randomly selected from 60 public hospitals from all regions of Ethiopia. Data was collected using pre-tested self-administered questionnaire and analyzed with SPSS version 23 software. Logistic regression model was fitted to identify predictors of physician satisfaction with laboratory services. A p-value of less than 0.05 was taken as statistically significant.

Results: Overall, 55% of physicians were satisfied with the clinical laboratory services. More than half of the physicians were satisfied with the existing laboratory request form (69%), legibility and completeness of laboratory report (61%), notification of new test (78%) and test interruption (70%). On the other hand, many physicians were dissatisfied with the absence of laboratory hand book (87.5%), the existing test menu (68%), lab-physician interface (62%), availability of referral and/or back up service (62%), notification of Turn Around Time (TAT) (54%), timely notification of panic result (55%), long TAT (33.1%), provision of urgent service (67%), and timely advisory service (57%). Most of the physicians perceived that consistent quality of service was not delivered at all working shifts (71%). At 5% level of significance, we did not find enough evidence to conclude that sex, age, marital status, education level, and experience were statistically associated with physician satisfaction (p-values > 0.05).

Conclusion: This national survey revealed nearly half of the physicians were unsatisfied with laboratory service at public hospitals in Ethiopia, which mainly related to lack of adequate test menu, laboratory hand book, on time notification of panic result, provision of urgent service, timely advisory service, delivery of quality services in all working shifts and weak lab-physician interface. Therefore, hospital management should address the gaps and improve the needs of physicians for better patient health care. In addition, laboratories should evaluate and monitor physician satisfaction level at regular interval.
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July 2020

Time to optimal glycaemic control and prognostic factors among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients in public teaching hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

PLoS One 2019 31;14(7):e0220309. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

Divison of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.

Aim: To estimate time to first optimal glycaemic control and identify prognostic factors among type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients attending diabetes clinic of public teaching hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: A retrospective chart review study was conducted at diabetes clinic of Addis Ababa's public teaching hospitals among a randomly selected sample of 685 charts of patients with T2DMwho were on follow up from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017. Data was collected using data abstraction tool. Descriptive statistics, Kaplan Meier plots, median survival time, Log-rank test and Cox proportional hazard survival models were used for analysis.

Results: Median time to first optimal glycaemic control among the study population was 9.5 months. Factors that affect time to first optimal glycaemic control were age group (HR = 0.635, 95% CI: 0.486-0.831 for 50-59 years, HR = 0.558, 95% CI: 0.403-0.771for 60-69 years and HR = 0.495, 95% CI: 0.310-0.790 for > = 70 years), diabetes neuropathy (HR = 0.502, 95% CI: 0.375-0.672), more than one complication (HR = 0.381, 95% CI: 0.177-0.816), hypertension (HR = 0.611, 95% CI: 0.486-0.769), dyslipidemia (HR = 0.609, 95% CI: 0.450-0.824), cardiovascular disease (HR = 0.670, 95% CI: 0.458-0.979) and hospital patient being treated (HR = 1.273, 95% CI: 1.052-1.541).

Conclusions: Median time to first optimal glycaemic control among T2DM patients is longer than expected which might imply that patients are being exposed to more risk of complication and death.
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March 2020