Publications by authors named "Elwyn N Chomba"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Fertility goal-based counseling increases contraceptive implant and IUD use in HIV-discordant couples in Rwanda and Zambia.

Contraception 2013 Jul 12;88(1):74-82. Epub 2012 Nov 12.

Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Background: HIV-discordant heterosexual couples are faced with the dual challenge of preventing sexual HIV transmission and unplanned pregnancies with the attendant risk of perinatal HIV transmission. Our aim was to examine uptake of two long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods--intrauterine devices (IUD) and hormonal implants--among HIV-discordant couples in Rwanda and Zambia.

Study Design: Women were interviewed alone or with their partner during routine cohort study follow-up visits to ascertain fertility goals; those not pregnant, not infertile, not already using LARC, and wishing to limit or delay fertility for ≥3 years were counseled on LARC methods and offered an IUD or implant on-site.

Results: Among 409 fertile HIV-discordant Rwandan women interviewed (126 alone, 283 with partners), 365 (89%) were counseled about LARC methods, and 130 (36%) adopted a method (100 implant, 30 IUD). Of 787 fertile Zambian women interviewed (457 alone, 330 with partners), 528 (67%) received LARC counseling, of whom 177 (34%) adopted a method (139 implant, 38 IUD). In both countries, a woman's younger age was predictive of LARC uptake. LARC users reported fewer episodes of unprotected sex than couples using only condoms.

Conclusions: Integrated fertility goal-based family planning counseling and access to LARC methods with reinforcement of dual-method use prompted uptake of IUDs and implants and reduced unprotected sex among HIV-discordant couples in two African capital cities.
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July 2013

Epilepsy-associated stigma in Zambia: what factors predict greater felt stigma in a highly stigmatized population?

Epilepsy Behav 2010 Nov 17;19(3):414-8. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Department of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.

Epilepsy-associated stigma in Africa has been described largely in terms of enacted stigma or discrimination. We conducted a study of 169 adults with epilepsy attending epilepsy clinics in Zambia's Lusaka or Southern province using a three-item instrument (maximum score = 3). Potential determinants of felt stigma including age, gender, education, wealth, disclosure status (meaning whether or how their community members knew of their condition), seizure type (generalized vs partial), seizure frequency, the presence of visible epilepsy-associated stigmata, personal contagion beliefs, and community contagion beliefs. The median stigma score was 2.5, suggesting some ceiling effect in the instrument. People with epilepsy who believed their condition to be contagious, who thought their community believed epilepsy to be contagious, and whose condition had been revealed to their community against their wishes reported more felt stigma. Community and clinic-based educational campaigns to dispel contagion beliefs are needed.
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November 2010

Zambian health care workers' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices regarding epilepsy.

Epilepsy Behav 2007 Feb 18;10(1):111-9. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Zambia School of Medicine, Nationalist Road, Lusaka, Zambia.

Objective: Zambia suffers from a physician shortage, leaving the provision of care for those with epilepsy to nonphysician health care workers who may not be adequately trained for this task. These individuals are also important community opinion leaders. Our goal in this study was to determine the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices of these health care workers with respect to epilepsy.

Methods: Health care workers in urban and rural districts of Zambia completed a self-administered, 48-item questionnaire containing items addressing demographics, personal experience with epilepsy, social tolerance, willingness to provide care, epilepsy care knowledge, and estimates of others' attitudes. Analyses were conducted to assess characteristics associated with more epilepsy care knowledge and social tolerance.

Results: The response rate was 92% (n=276). Those who had received both didactic and bedside training (P=0.02) and more recent graduates (P=0.007) had greater knowledge. Greater knowledge was associated with more social tolerance (P=0.005), but having a family member with epilepsy was not (P=0.61). Health care workers were generally willing to provide care to this patient population, but approximately 25% would not allow their child to marry someone with epilepsy and 20% thought people with epilepsy should not marry or hold employment. Respondents reported that people with epilepsy are feared and/or rejected by both their families (75%) and their community (88.8%).

Conclusions: Knowledge gaps exist particularly in acute management and recognition of partial epilepsy. More recent graduates were more knowledgeable, suggesting that curriculum changes instituted in 2000 may be improving care. Health care workers expressed both personal and professional reservations about people with epilepsy marrying. In addition to improving diagnosis and treatment skills, educational programs must address underlying attitudes that may worsen existing stigmatizing trends.
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February 2007