Publications by authors named "Ebenezer Baba"

9 Publications

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One-arm safety intervention study on community case management of chest indrawing pneumonia in children in Nigeria - a study protocol.

Glob Health Action 2020 12;13(1):1775368

Malaria Consortium , London, UK.

Current recommendations within integrated community case management (iCCM) programmes advise community health workers (CHWs) to refer cases of chest indrawing pneumonia to health facilities for treatment, but many children die due to delays or non-compliance with referral advice. Recent revision of World Health Organization (WHO) pneumonia guidelines and integrated management of childhood illness chart booklet recommend oral amoxicillin for treatment of lower chest indrawing (LCI) pneumonia on an outpatient basis. However, these guidelines did not recommend its use by CHWs as part of iCCM, due to insufficient evidence regarding safety. We present a protocol for a one-arm safety intervention study aimed at increasing access to treatment of pneumonia by training CHWs, locally referred to as Community Oriented Resource Persons (CORPs) in Nigeria. The primary objective was to assess if CORPs could safely and appropriately manage LCI pneumonia in 2-59 month old children, and refer children with danger signs. The primary outcomes were the proportion of children 2-59 months with LCI pneumonia who were managed appropriately by CORPs and the clinical treatment failure within 6 days of LCI pneumonia. Secondary outcomes included proportion of children with LCI followed up by CORPs on day 3; caregiver adherence to treatment for chest indrawing, acceptability and satisfaction of both CORP and caregivers on the mode of treatment, including caregiver adherence to treatment; and clinical relapse of pneumonia between day 7 to 14 among children whose signs of pneumonia disappeared by day 6. Approximately 308 children 2-59 months of age with LCI pneumonia would be needed for this safety intervention study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16549716.2020.1775368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480438PMC
December 2020

Evaluation of a capacity building intervention on malaria treatment for under-fives in rural health facilities in Niger State, Nigeria.

Malar J 2020 Feb 24;19(1):90. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Disease Control Department, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, WC1E 7HT, UK.

Background: Despite the uptake of parasitological testing into policy and practice, appropriate prescription of anti-malarials and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in accordance with test results is variable. This study describes a National Malaria Control Programme-led capacity building intervention which was implemented in 10 States of Nigeria. Using the experience of Niger State, this study assessed the effect on malaria diagnosis and prescription practices among febrile under-fives in rural health facilities.

Methods: The multicomponent capacity building intervention consisted of revised case management manuals; cascade training from national to state level carried out at the local government area (LGA) level; and on the job capacity development through supportive supervision. The evaluation was conducted in 28, principally government-owned, health facilities in two rural LGAs of Niger State, one in which the intervention case management of malaria was implemented and the other acted as a comparison area with no implementation of the intervention. Three outcomes were considered in the context of rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) for malaria which were: the prevalence of RDT testing in febrile children; appropriate treatment of RDT-positive children; and appropriate treatment of RDT-negative children. Outcomes were compared post-intervention between intervention and comparison areas using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: The intervention did not improve appropriate management of under-fives in intervention facilities above that seen for under-fives in comparison facilities. Appropriate treatment with artemisinin-based combinations of RDT-positive and RDT-negative under-fives was equally high in both areas. However, appropriate treatment of RDT-negative children, when defined as receipt of no ACT or any other anti-malarials, was better in comparison areas. In both areas, a small number of RDT-positives were not given ACT, but prescribed an alternative anti-malarial, including artesunate monotherapy. Among RDT-negatives, no under-fives were prescribed artesunate as monotherapy.

Conclusion: In a context of significant stock-outs of both ACT medicines and RDTs, under-fives were not more appropriately managed in intervention than comparison areas. The malaria case management intervention implemented through cascade training reached only approximately half of health workers managing febrile under-fives in this setting. Implementation studies on models of cascade training are needed to define what works in what context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03167-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7041190PMC
February 2020

Consequences of restricting antimalarial drugs to rapid diagnostic test-positive febrile children in south-west Nigeria.

Trop Med Int Health 2019 11 3;24(11):1291-1300. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London, UK.

Objectives: To investigate the consequence of restricting antimalarial treatment to febrile children that test positive to a malaria rapid diagnostic test (MRDT) only in an area of intense malaria transmission.

Methods: Febrile children aged 3-59 months were screened with an MRDT at health facilities in south-west Nigeria. MRDT-positive children received artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ), while MRDT-negative children were treated based on the clinical diagnosis of non-malaria febrile illness. The primary endpoint was the risk of developing microscopy-positive malaria within 28 days post-treatment.

Results: 309 (60.5%) of 511 children were MRDT-positive while 202 (39.5%) were MRDT-negative at enrolment. 18.5% (50/275) of MRDT-positive children and 7.6% (14/184) of MRDT-negative children developed microscopy-positive malaria by day 28 post-treatment (ρ = 0.001). The risk of developing clinical malaria by day 28 post-treatment was higher among the MRDT-positive group than the MRDT-negative group (adjusted OR 2.74; 95% CI, 1.4, 5.4). A higher proportion of children who were MRDT-positive at enrolment were anaemic on day 28 compared with the MRDT-negative group (12.6% vs. 3.1%; ρ = 0.001). Children in the MRDT-negative group made more unscheduled visits because of febrile illness than those in MRDT-positive group (23.2% vs. 12.0%; ρ = 0.001).

Conclusion: Restricting ACT treatment to MRDT-positive febrile children only did not result in significant adverse outcomes. However, the risk of re-infection within 28 days was significantly higher among MRDT-positive children despite ASAQ treatment. A longer-acting ACT may be needed as the first-line drug of choice for treating uncomplicated malaria in high-transmission settings to prevent frequent re-infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13304DOI Listing
November 2019

Molecular determinants of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in Nigeria and the regional emergence of dhps 431V.

Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist 2016 12 29;6(3):220-229. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

There are few published reports of mutations in dihydropteroate synthetase (dhps) and dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) genes in P. falciparum populations in Nigeria, but one previous study has recorded a novel dhps mutation at codon 431 among infections imported to the United Kingdom from Nigeria. To assess how widespread this mutation is among parasites in different parts of the country and consequently fill the gap in sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance data in Nigeria, we retrospectively analysed 1000 filter paper blood spots collected in surveys of pregnant women and children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria between 2003 and 2015 from four sites in the south and north. Genomic DNA was extracted from filter paper blood spots and placental impressions. Point mutations at codons 16, 50, 51, 59, 108, 140 and 164 of the dhfr gene and codons 431, 436, 437, 540, 581 and 613 of the dhps gene were evaluated by nested PCR amplification followed by direct sequencing. The distribution of the dhps-431V mutation was widespread throughout Nigeria with the highest prevalence in Enugu (46%). In Ibadan where we had sequential sampling, its prevalence increased from 0% to 6.5% between 2003 and 2008. Although there were various combinations of dhps mutations with 431V, the combination 431V + 436A + 437G+581G+613S was the most common. All these observations support the view that dhps-431V is on the increase. In addition, P. falciparum DHPS crystal structure modelling shows that the change from Isoleucine to Valine (dhps-431V) could alter the effects of both S436A/F and A437G, which closely follow the 2nd β-strand. Consequently, it is now a research priority to assess the implications of dhps-VAGKGS mutant haplotype on continuing use of SP in seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). Our data also provides surveillance data for SP resistance markers in Nigeria between 2003 and 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpddr.2016.08.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5094156PMC
December 2016

Health worker and policy-maker perspectives on use of intramuscular artesunate for pre-referral and definitive treatment of severe malaria at health posts in Ethiopia.

Malar J 2016 Oct 18;15(1):507. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Malaria Consortium UK, London, UK.

Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends injectable artesunate given either intravenously or by the intramuscular route for definitive treatment for severe malaria and recommends a single intramuscular dose of intramuscular artesunate or intramuscular artemether or intramuscular quinine, in that order of preference as pre-referral treatment when definitive treatment is not possible. Where intramuscular injections are not available, children under 6 years may be administered a single dose of rectal artesunate. Although the current malaria treatment guidelines in Ethiopia recommend intra-rectal artesunate or alternatively intramuscular artemether or intramuscular quinine as pre-referral treatment for severe malaria at the health posts, there are currently no WHO prequalified suppliers of intra-rectal artesunate and when available, its use is limited to children under 6 years of age leaving a gap for the older age groups. Intramuscular artesunate is not part of the drugs recommended for pre-referral treatment in Ethiopia. This study assessed the perspectives of health workers, and policy-makers on the use of intramuscular artesunate as a pre-referral and definitive treatment for severe malaria at the health post level.

Methods: In-depth interviews were held with 101 individuals including health workers, malaria focal persons, and Regional Health Bureaus from Oromia and southern nations, nationalities, and peoples' region, as well as participants from the Federal Ministry of Health and development partners. An interview guide was used in the data collection and thematic content analysis was employed for analysis.

Results: Key findings from this study are: (1) provision of intramuscular artesunate as pre-referral and definitive treatment for severe malaria at health posts could be lifesaving; (2) with adequate training, and provision of facilities including beds, health posts can provide definitive treatment for severe malaria using intramuscular artesunate where referral is delayed or not possible; (3) health workers at health centres and hospitals frequently use the intravenous route because it allows for co-administration of other drugs, but they find the intramuscular route easier to use at the health post level; (4) the reasons commonly cited against the management of severe malaria using intramuscular artesunate at health post level were: lack of capacity to manage complications and fear of irrational drug use; (5) use of intramuscular artesunate at health post level will require evidence on safety and feasibility before policy shift.

Conclusion: From the perspective of health workers, use of intramuscular artesunate as pre-referral treatment of severe malaria cases at the health post is possible but dependent on training and availability of skilled workers. Use of intramuscular artesunate as definitive treatment at health posts was not supported, however, operational research to establish its feasibility, safety and efficacy was recommended to guide any implementation of such an intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-016-1561-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5070158PMC
October 2016

Health worker perspectives on the possible use of intramuscular artesunate for the treatment of severe malaria at lower-level health facilities in settings with poor access to referral facilities in Nigeria: a qualitative study.

BMC Health Serv Res 2016 10 12;16(1):566. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Malaria Consortium Africa Region, P.O Box 8045, Kampala, Uganda.

Background: Innovative strategies are needed to reduce malaria mortality in high burden countries like Nigeria. Given that one of the important reasons for this high malaria mortality is delay in receiving effective treatment, improved access to such treatment is critical. Intramuscular artesunate could be used at lower-level facilities given its proven efficacy, ease of use and excellent safety profile. The objective of this study was therefore to explore health workers' perspectives on the possible use of intramuscular artesunate as definitive treatment for severe malaria at lower-level facilities, especially when access to referral facilities is challenging. The study was to provide insight as a formative step into the conduct of future experimental studies to ascertain the feasibility of the use of intramuscular artesunate for definitive treatment of severe malaria in lower level facilities where access to referral care is limited.

Methods: This qualitative study was done across three southern States in Nigeria (Oyo, Cross River and Enugu). Key informant interviews were conducted over a period of three months between October and December 2014 among 90 purposively selected health workers with different roles in malaria case management from primary care to policy level. A thematic content analysis was used to analyse data.

Results: Overall, most of health workers and other key informant groups thought that the use of intramuscular artesunate for definitive treatment of severe malaria at lower-level facilities was possible. They however reported human resource and infrastructure constraints as factors affecting the feasibility of intramuscular artesunate use as definitive treatment for severe malaria in lower-level facilities.. Specifically identified barriers included limited numbers of skilled health workers available to manage potential complications of severe malaria and poorly equipped facilities for supportive treatment. Intramuscular artesunate was considered easy to administer and the proximity of lower-level facilities to communities was deemed important in considering the possibility of its use at lower-level facilities. Health workers also emphasised the important role of operational research to provide additional evidence to guide the implementation of existing policy recommendations and inform future policy revisions.

Conclusions: From the perspective of health workers, use of intramuscular artesunate for definitive treatment of severe malaria at lower-level health facilities in Nigeria is possible but dependent on availability of skilled workers, well-equipped lower-level facilities to provide supportive treatment There is need for further operational research to establish feasibility and guide the implementation of such an intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1811-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5059903PMC
October 2016

The use of formative research to inform the design of a seasonal malaria chemoprevention intervention in northern Nigeria.

Malar J 2016 09 15;15:474. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

Malaria Consortium, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4LT, UK.

Background: Experience of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) is growing in the Sahel sub-region of Africa, though there remains insufficient evidence to recommend a standard deployment strategy. In 2012, a project was initiated in Katsina state, northern Nigeria, to design an appropriate and effective community-based delivery approach for SMC, in consultation with local stakeholders. Formative research (FR) was conducted locally to explore the potential feasibility and acceptability of SMC and to highlight information gaps and practical considerations to inform the intervention design.

Methods: The FR adopted qualitative methods; 36 in-depth interviews and 18 focus group discussions were conducted across 13 target groups active across the health system and within the community. Analysis followed the 'framework' approach. The process for incorporating the FR results into the project design was iterative which was initiated by a week-long 'intervention design' workshop with relevant stakeholders.

Results: The FR highlighted both supportive and hindering factors to be considered in the intervention design. Malaria control was identified as a community priority, the community health workers were a trusted resource and the local leadership exerted strong influence over household decisions. However, there were perceived challenges with quality of care at both community and health facility levels, referral linkage and supportive supervision were weak, literacy levels lower than anticipated and there was the potential for suspicion of 'outside' interventions. There was broad consensus across target groups that community-based SMC drug delivery would better enable a high coverage of beneficiaries and potentially garner wider community support. A mixed approach was recommended, including both community fixed-point and household-to-household SMC delivery. The FR findings were used to inform the overall distribution strategy, mechanisms for integration into the health system, capacity building and training approaches, supportive interventions to strengthen the health system, and the social mobilization strategy.

Conclusions: Formative research played a valuable role in exploring local socio-cultural contexts and health system realities. Both opportunities and challenges for the introduction of SMC delivery were highlighted, which were appropriately considered in the design of the project.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-016-1526-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025607PMC
September 2016

The impact of behaviour change communication on the use of insecticide treated nets: a secondary analysis of ten post-campaign surveys from Nigeria.

Malar J 2016 08 19;15(1):422. Epub 2016 Aug 19.

Malaria Consortium Nigeria Office, Abuja, Nigeria.

Background: Mass distribution campaigns of insecticide-treated nets for malaria prevention are usually accompanied by intensive behaviour change communication (BCC) to encourage hanging and use of nets. However, data on the effectiveness of these communication efforts are scarce. In preparation for the next round of mass campaigns in Nigeria, a secondary analysis of existing data from post-campaign surveys was undertaken to investigate the influence of BCC on net hanging and use.

Methods: Surveys were undertaken between 2009 and 2012 in ten states in Nigeria using standardized questionnaires. Two-stage cluster sampling was used to select households in each study site. Outcomes were defined as the effects of BCC message exposure and recall on knowledge, attitudes, perception as well as intentions and actual use. From the univariable analysis, potential confounders and explanatory variables were identified and key effects explored in multivariable linear or logistic regression models; terms in the models were kept if they had a marginal significance with p < 0.2. To quantify the effects from BCC, a treatment effect model was used with an inverse-probability weight regression adjustment.

Results: More than half of the respondents (58.4 %; 95 % CI 56.0, 60.7) had heard a message about net use or hanging during or after the distribution campaign, with media cited as the most common source of information. Attitude towards net use was positively linked to the number of messages recalled and was overall better in the northern study sites. The number of messages recalled was also the strongest predictor of knowledge (p < 0.001). All BCC outcomes showed a significant increase in net use, which was strongest for the confidence to take action regarding nets with an overall effect of 17 %-point increase of net use comparing poor and excellent confidence levels. Intention to use every night increased net use by 15 %-points and discussing net use in the family by 8 % points. All these effects were statistically significant (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Multichannel BCC campaigns as well as other media were effective in contributing to an increase in net culture, hanging and use, particularly by vulnerable groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-016-1463-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4992294PMC
August 2016

Universal coverage with insecticide-treated nets - applying the revised indicators for ownership and use to the Nigeria 2010 malaria indicator survey data.

Malar J 2013 Sep 10;12:314. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Malaria Consortium, London, UK.

Background: Until recently only two indicators were used to evaluate malaria prevention with insecticide-treated nets (ITN): "proportion of households with any ITN" and "proportion of the population using an ITN last night". This study explores the potential of the expanded set of indicators recommended by the Roll Back Malaria Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (MERG) for comprehensive analysis of universal coverage with ITN by applying them to the Nigeria 2010 Malaria Indicator Survey data.

Methods: The two additional indicators of "proportion of households with at least one ITN for every two people" and "proportion of population with access to an ITN within the household" were calculated as recommended by MERG. Based on the estimates for each of the four ITN indicators three gaps were calculated: i) households with no ITN, ii) households with any but not enough ITN, iii) population with access to ITN not using it. In addition, coverage with at least one ITN at community level was explored by applying Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) decision rules to the cluster level of the data. All outcomes were analysed by household background characteristics and whether an ITN campaign had recently been done.

Results: While the proportion of households with any ITN was only 42% overall, it was 75% in areas with a recent mass campaign and in these areas 66% of communities had coverage of 80% or better. However, the campaigns left a considerable intra-household ownership gap with 66% of households with any ITN not having enough for every family member. In contrast, the analysis comparing actual against potential use showed that ITN utilization was good overall with only 19% of people with access not using the ITN, but with a significant difference between the North, where use was excellent (use gap 11%), and the South (use gap 36%) indicating the need for enhanced behaviour change communication.

Conclusions: The expanded ITN indicators to assess universal coverage provide strong tools for a comprehensive system effectiveness analysis that produces clear, actionable evidence of progress as well as the need for specific additional interventions clearly differentiating between gaps in ownership and use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-12-314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3846735PMC
September 2013
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