Publications by authors named "Martin Amogre Ayanore"

45 Publications

Breastfeeding and weaning practices among mothers in Ghana: A population-based cross-sectional study.

PLoS One 2021 12;16(11):e0259442. Epub 2021 Nov 12.

Department of Medical Law and Ethics, Asian Institute for Bioethics and Health Law, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Background: Children need good nutrition to develop proper immune mechanisms and psychosocial maturity, but malnutrition can affect their ability to realize this. Apart from the national demographic and health survey, which is carried out every 5 years, there have not been enough documented studies on child breastfeeding and weaning practices of caregivers in the Volta Region. We, therefore, examined child breastfeeding and weaning practices of mothers in the Volta Region of Ghana.

Methods: A sub-national survey method was adopted and a semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 396 mothers and their children. Descriptive and inferential statistics comprising frequency, percentage, chi-square, and logistic regression were employed in analysing the data. We defined exclusive breastfeeding as given only breast milk to an infant from a mother or a wet nurse for six months of life except drops or syrups consisting of vitamins, minerals, supplements, or medicines on medical advice, and prolonged breastfeeding as breastfeeding up to 24 months of age.

Results: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) was 43.7%. Mothers constituting 61.1% started breastfeeding within an hour of giving birth. In addition to breast milk, 5.1% gave fluids to their children on the first day of birth. About 66.4% started complementary feeding at 6 months, 22.0% breastfed for 24 months or beyond, while 40.4% fed their children on-demand. Child's age (AOR: 0.23, 95% CI:0.12-0.43, p<0.0001), prolonged breastfeeding (AOR: 0.41, 95%CI: 0.12-0.87, p = 0.001), mother's religion (AOR: 3.92, 95%CI: 1.23-12.61, p = 0.021), feeding practices counselled on (AOR: 1.72, 95%CI: 1.96-3.09, p = 0.023), mother ever heard about EBF (AOR: 0.43, 95%CI: 1.45-2.41, p = 0.039), child being fed from the bottle with a nipple (AOR: 1.53, 95%CI: 1.94-2.48, p = 0.003), and age at which complementary feeding was started (AOR: 17.43, 95%CI: 3.47-87.55, p = 0.008) were statistically associated with EBF.

Conclusion: Breastfeeding education has been ongoing for decades, yet there are still gaps in the breastfeeding practices of mothers. To accelerate progress towards attainment of the sustainable development goal 3 of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages by the year 2030, we recommend innovative policies that include extensive public education to improve upon the breastfeeding and weaning practices of mothers.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0259442PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8589154PMC
November 2021

Leveraging e-Learning technology to enhance pre-service training for healthcare trainees in Ghana: evidence from a pilot project and pointers to policy reforms.

BMC Health Serv Res 2021 Nov 8;21(1):1209. Epub 2021 Nov 8.

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Background: E-Learning solutions are increasingly being advocated to augment existing traditional teaching and learning efforts in health training institutions. Unfortunately, these emerging technologies rarely focus on health sciences education within the context of public universities, hence the need for this study. This project evaluated experiences of healthcare trainees with a pilot e-Learning project (SMART e-Learning project) initiated in one of Ghana's public universities in 2017. The study used a mixed methods cross-sectional approach among 363 healthcare trainees. Data collection was between 17th October, 2019 to 3rd December, 2019. Data was analysed descriptively and test for variable differences done using Pearson Chi-square and Fisher's Exact for categorical variables. Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test was used to test for differences in the Likert scale items. Additionally, rotated varimax factor analysis was performed for the health trainees' rated satisfaction factors.

Results: Out of 446 respondents who consented to participate in the study, 363 responses were complete and valid, representing a response rate of 81 %. Most frequently used e-learning facilities by healthcare trainees were: writing interim assessments (IAs) (82 %) while the least used function was live chating with faculty (5 %). Challenges associated with the e-learning pilot project were: limited workspace in the pilot computer laboratory (33 %), slow internet/intranet speed (29 %) and limited capacity of teaching and ICT staff to support users (28 %).

Conclusions: There is the need to engage relevant stakeholders at the University, ministries of health and education through policy dialogues to develop statutory e-Learning guidelines for health educational institutions of higher learning to complement existing traditional teaching and learning approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-07224-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8574931PMC
November 2021

Prevalence and predictors of depression, anxiety, and stress among adults in Ghana: A community-based cross-sectional study.

PLoS One 2021 8;16(10):e0258105. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Introduction: Over the past two decades, there have been several global interventions including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at improving health outcomes. Despite efforts by countries to achieve the SDG targets, mental health challenges remain major public health concerns globally. We examined the prevalence and predictors of depression, anxiety, and stress as well as the comorbidities of these mental health issues among adults.

Materials And Methods: This was a community-based cross-sectional study conducted among 2456 adults in four districts of the Volta Region of Ghana using data from the UHAS-Yonsei University Partnership Project. We analysed the data using frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, correlation, and binary logistic regression.

Results: Overall, 51.8% of the participants had at least one of the mental health issues examined. The prevalence of a mental health issue was 25.2%, 53.3%, and 9.7% for depression, anxiety, and stress respectively. Participants constituting 8.3% experienced all three mental health issues as comorbidities. Participants' level of formal education and income significantly predicted depression, anxiety, and stress respectively at the multivariable level. Adults with a tertiary level of education were, for instance, 68% (AOR = 0.32, 95%CI = 0.15-0.66), 65% (AOR = 0.35, 95%CI = 0.17-0.73), and 50% (AOR = 0.50, 95%CI = 0.33-0.76) less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively compared with those who had no formal education.

Conclusion: The majority of our study participants either experienced depression, anxiety, or stress. There were quite high comorbidities of the mental health issues among the adult population. To accelerate progress towards the achievement of SDG 3.4 target of promoting mental health and wellbeing for all by the year 2030, there is a need for effective implementation of the country's 2012 Mental Health Act which makes provisions for the establishment of a Mental Health Fund. This could improve the financial circumstances of indigenes as income has been realised in the present study as an important factor influencing depression, anxiety, and stress among the adult population.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258105PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8500438PMC
November 2021

Prevalence and predictors of depression, anxiety, and stress among adults in Ghana: A community-based cross-sectional study.

PLoS One 2021 8;16(10):e0258105. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Introduction: Over the past two decades, there have been several global interventions including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at improving health outcomes. Despite efforts by countries to achieve the SDG targets, mental health challenges remain major public health concerns globally. We examined the prevalence and predictors of depression, anxiety, and stress as well as the comorbidities of these mental health issues among adults.

Materials And Methods: This was a community-based cross-sectional study conducted among 2456 adults in four districts of the Volta Region of Ghana using data from the UHAS-Yonsei University Partnership Project. We analysed the data using frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, correlation, and binary logistic regression.

Results: Overall, 51.8% of the participants had at least one of the mental health issues examined. The prevalence of a mental health issue was 25.2%, 53.3%, and 9.7% for depression, anxiety, and stress respectively. Participants constituting 8.3% experienced all three mental health issues as comorbidities. Participants' level of formal education and income significantly predicted depression, anxiety, and stress respectively at the multivariable level. Adults with a tertiary level of education were, for instance, 68% (AOR = 0.32, 95%CI = 0.15-0.66), 65% (AOR = 0.35, 95%CI = 0.17-0.73), and 50% (AOR = 0.50, 95%CI = 0.33-0.76) less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively compared with those who had no formal education.

Conclusion: The majority of our study participants either experienced depression, anxiety, or stress. There were quite high comorbidities of the mental health issues among the adult population. To accelerate progress towards the achievement of SDG 3.4 target of promoting mental health and wellbeing for all by the year 2030, there is a need for effective implementation of the country's 2012 Mental Health Act which makes provisions for the establishment of a Mental Health Fund. This could improve the financial circumstances of indigenes as income has been realised in the present study as an important factor influencing depression, anxiety, and stress among the adult population.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258105PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8500438PMC
November 2021

Nutrition Knowledge is Associated With the Consumption of Iron Rich Foods: A Survey Among Pregnant Women From a Rural District in Northern Ghana.

Nutr Metab Insights 2021 30;14:11786388211039427. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Department of Health Professions Education and Innovative Learning, School of Medicine, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.

Introduction: Iron deficiency anaemia is an international public health concern and pregnant women are at an increased risk. We investigated the consumption of iron rich foods and associated factors among pregnant women in a rural district from Ghana.

Methods: Following a cross-sectional design, dietary intake of iron rich foods was obtained from 252 pregnant women using a 24-hour recall food check list. Nutrition knowledge, attitudes and socio-demographic characteristics were also assessed.

Findings: Participants had a mean (SD) knowledge score of 54.66 (22.74)%. About 73% of the participants had heard about iron-deficiency anaemia. Only 16.3% of the participants knew foods that help the body to absorb and use iron while 9.1% knew beverages that decrease iron absorption. About 71% of the participants ate fish and/or seafood while 67.1% of them ate green leafy vegetables. Only 4.4% of the participants ate organ meat, and 29% took flesh meat. Only 22.4% of the study participants usually drank coffee or tea while 78.2% ate vitamin C-rich foods. With regards to attitudes, 88.5% of the participants perceived anaemia to be a serious disease. Nutrition knowledge was significantly associated with the consumption of iron rich foods (β = .02; 95% CI = 0.01-0.02).

Conclusion: Nutrition knowledge may be an important determinant of the consumption of iron rich foods among pregnant women making it necessary for healthcare providers to continue to provide nutrition education to pregnant women during routine antenatal care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/11786388211039427DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8411617PMC
August 2021

Differences in COVID-19 Preventive Behavior and Food Insecurity by HIV Status in Nigeria.

AIDS Behav 2021 Aug 13. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Mental Health and Wellness Study Group, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

The aim of the study was to assess if there were significant differences in the adoption of COVID-19 risk preventive behaviors and experience of food insecurity by people living with and without HIV in Nigeria. This was a cross-sectional study that recruited a convenience sample of 4471 (20.5% HIV positive) adults in Nigeria. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to test the associations between the explanatory variable (HIV positive and non-positive status) and the outcome variables-COVID-19 related behavior changes (physical distancing, isolation/quarantine, working remotely) and food insecurity (hungry but did not eat, cut the size of meals/skip meals) controlling for age, sex at birth, COVID-19 status, and medical status of respondents. Significantly fewer people living with HIV (PLWH) reported a positive COVID-19 test result; and had lower odds of practicing COVID-19 risk preventive behaviors. In comparison with those living without HIV, PLWH had higher odds of cutting meal sizes as a food security measure (AOR: 3.18; 95% CI 2.60-3.88) and lower odds of being hungry and not eating (AOR: 0.24; 95% CI 0.20-0.30). In conclusion, associations between HIV status, COVID-19 preventive behaviors and food security are highly complex and warrant further in-depth to unravel the incongruities identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03433-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8360820PMC
August 2021

Factors Associated with Financial Security, Food Security and Quality of Daily Lives of Residents in Nigeria during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 07 27;18(15). Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Mental Health and Wellness Study Group, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 220282, Nigeria.

An online survey was conducted to identify factors associated with financial insecurity, food insecurity and poor quality of daily lives of adults in Nigeria during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The associations between the outcome (experience of financial loss, changes in food intake and impact of the pandemic on daily lives) and the explanatory (age, sex, education level, anxiety, depression, HIV status) variables were determined using logistic regression analysis. Of the 4439 respondents, 2487 (56.0%) were financially insecure, 907 (20.4%) decreased food intake and 4029 (90.8%) had their daily life negatively impacted. Males (AOR:0.84), people who felt depressed (AOR:0.62) and people living with HIV -PLHIV- (AOR:0.70) had significantly lower odds of financial insecurity. Older respondents (AOR:1.01) had significantly higher odds of financial insecurity. Those depressed (AOR:0.62) and PLHIV (AOR:0.55) had significantly lower odds of reporting decreased food intake. Respondents who felt anxious (AOR:0.07), depressed (AOR: 0.48) and who were PLHIV (AOR:0.68) had significantly lower odds of reporting a negative impact of the pandemic on their daily lives. We concluded the study findings may reflect a complex relationship between financial insecurity, food insecurity, poor quality of life, mental health, and socioeconomic status of adults living in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157925DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345729PMC
July 2021

Predicting the environmental suitability for onchocerciasis in Africa as an aid to elimination planning.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2021 07 28;15(7):e0008824. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Health Policy Planning and Management, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Recent evidence suggests that, in some foci, elimination of onchocerciasis from Africa may be feasible with mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin. To achieve continental elimination of transmission, mapping surveys will need to be conducted across all implementation units (IUs) for which endemicity status is currently unknown. Using boosted regression tree models with optimised hyperparameter selection, we estimated environmental suitability for onchocerciasis at the 5 × 5-km resolution across Africa. In order to classify IUs that include locations that are environmentally suitable, we used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis to identify an optimal threshold for suitability concordant with locations where onchocerciasis has been previously detected. This threshold value was then used to classify IUs (more suitable or less suitable) based on the location within the IU with the largest mean prediction. Mean estimates of environmental suitability suggest large areas across West and Central Africa, as well as focal areas of East Africa, are suitable for onchocerciasis transmission, consistent with the presence of current control and elimination of transmission efforts. The ROC analysis identified a mean environmental suitability index of 0·71 as a threshold to classify based on the location with the largest mean prediction within the IU. Of the IUs considered for mapping surveys, 50·2% exceed this threshold for suitability in at least one 5 × 5-km location. The formidable scale of data collection required to map onchocerciasis endemicity across the African continent presents an opportunity to use spatial data to identify areas likely to be suitable for onchocerciasis transmission. National onchocerciasis elimination programmes may wish to consider prioritising these IUs for mapping surveys as human resources, laboratory capacity, and programmatic schedules may constrain survey implementation, and possibly delaying MDA initiation in areas that would ultimately qualify.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008824DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318275PMC
July 2021

HIV Stigma and Status Disclosure in Three Municipalities in Ghana.

Ann Glob Health 2021 06 18;87(1):49. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Department of Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Background: HIV-related stigma and HIV status disclosure are important elements in the continuous fight against HIV as these impact the prevention efforts and antiretroviral treatment adherence among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in many communities.

Objectives: The objectives of the study were to examine the prevalence and experience of various types of HIV-related stigma and HIV status disclosure among PLWHA in Volta region.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to collect quantitative data from 301 PLWHA. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze and present data on socio-demographic variables. Correlation analysis was done to determine factors associated with HIV stigma and status disclosure while a Mann-Whitney U test was used to determine differences in internalized HIV stigma.

Findings: The mean age of the participants was 44.82 (SD: 12.22), 224 (74.4%) were female, and 90% attained at least primary education. A Pearson analysis revealed that ethnicity (r[299] = 0.170, p = 0.003), religious affiliation (r[299] = -0.205, p = 0.001) and social support (r[299] = 0.142, p = 0.014) significantly predicted disclosure of HIV status. Fear of family rejection (62%) and shame (56%) were reasons for non-disclosure of HIV status. A Mann-Whitney's revealed that females are more likely than males to internalize HIV stigma. Community-related HIV stigma in the form of gossip (56.1%), verbal harassment (30.9%), and physical harassment (8.6%) was reported.

Conclusion: A high rate of HIV status disclosure was found with social support, ethnicity, and religious affiliation being the associated factors. Internalized HIV stigma is prevalent among PLWHA while community-related stigma impacts HIV status disclosure. Strengthening social support systems and implementing culturally appropriate educational interventions may help in reducing community-related HIV stigma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/aogh.3120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8212837PMC
June 2021

Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding neonatal jaundice among caregivers in a tertiary health facility in Ghana.

PLoS One 2021 4;16(6):e0251846. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Centre for Health Policy and Implementation Research, Institute of Health Research, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Background: Neonatal jaundice is a major reason babies are frequently re-admitted after hospital discharge following delivery. One means of improving neonatal care and reducing potential mortality associated with neonatal jaundice in resource-limited settings is to create awareness among caregivers. Caregivers who tend to have higher knowledge and awareness, also have positive attitudes, and are not guided by outmoded socio-cultural beliefs and practices are more likely to seek early care and treatment for neonatal jaundice.

Objective: This study investigated caregivers' knowledge, attitude and practices regarding neonatal jaundice in a tertiary health facility in the Volta region of Ghana.

Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study that employed a quantitative approach for data collection. A total of 202 caregivers from the Ho Teaching Hospital in the Volta region of Ghana were sampled using a systematic random sampling strategy where quantitative data was collected using a questionnaire and analyzed with STATA version 14.0. Ordered logistic regression was used to determine the factors that were associated with caregivers' knowledge regarding neonatal jaundice and attitude after controlling for relevant covariates.

Results: Less than half of the caregivers demonstrated good knowledge (45.5%) and attitude (47.5%) but 58.9% had good practices regarding neonatal jaundice. Caregivers who had prior awareness and education on neonatal jaundice were three times more likely to have good knowledge about jaundice than those without previous education [AOR = 3.02, (95%CI: 1.59-5.74), p = 0.001]. A caregiver employed in the public sector was two times more likely to have a good attitude about jaundice than those employed in the private sector [AOR = 2.08, (95%CI: 1.03-4.21), p = 0.042].

Conclusion: Less than two thirds of the caregivers demonstrated good practice with limited knowledge and poor attitude. Efforts to promote well informed and improved caregivers' attitude will advance positive maternal health-seeking behavior and reduce disabilities and death through early detection and intervention of infants with neonatal jaundice. Public awareness and education about neonatal jaundice especially among caregivers in the private sector should also be intensified.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0251846PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8177863PMC
October 2021

Maternal risk factors and neonatal outcomes associated with low birth weight in a secondary referral hospital in Ghana.

Heliyon 2021 May 1;7(5):e06962. Epub 2021 May 1.

School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Introduction: Over the past decade, the incidence of low birth weight (LBW) in sub-Saharan Africa has not seen any decline and this is a matter of grave concern for healthcare providers, policymakers, and researchers. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the incidence of LBW and related maternal risk factors (during pregnancy or delivery) as well as neonatal outcomes.

Methods: An institutional-based retrospective cross-sectional study design was employed to select 1,017 mothers who delivered in the study hospital from January to December 2017 with singleton newborn babies without congenital diseases. Data were analysed using STATA version 14.1 (StataCorp. 2015. . College Station, TX: Stata Corp LP). Chi-square test of independence was used to test the association between the dependent variable (LBW) and risk factors of LBW. Bivariate and multivariable unconditional logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with LBW.

Results: The incidence of LBW was 23.7%. The findings show that being married has a protective effect on LBW [AOR = 0.60 (95%CI: 0.40-0.90), p = 0.013] compared to single mothers. Neonates born between gestational age of 37-42 weeks had 85% lower odds of LBW [AOR = 0.15, (95%CI: 0.10-0.24), p < 0.001)]. Neonates with LBW had a higher risk of low Apgar score in the first minute compared to neonates with normal birth weight [AOR = 0.52 (95%CI: 0.37-0.73), p < 0.001]. Female neonates had 64% higher odds of LBW compared to their male counterparts [AOR = 1.64 (95%CI: 1.19-2.24), p = 0.002].

Conclusion: This study revealed a high incidence of LBW. Women's marital status (single mothers), gestational age (<37 weeks), neonatal sex (female), are independent risk factors associated with LBW, while a higher risk of an Apgar score of less than 7 in the first minute was an independent outcome of low birth weight births. The current study findings contribute to the growing literature on the influence of maternal and neonatal factors on LBW in resource-constrained settings. These findings could guide healthcare providers, hospital administrators, stakeholders, and policymakers to develop and implement appropriate clinical and public health strategies aimed at reducing LBW.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06962DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8111250PMC
May 2021

Managing urban solid waste in Ghana: Perspectives and experiences of municipal waste company managers and supervisors in an urban municipality.

PLoS One 2021 11;16(3):e0248392. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Work and Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Increased population growth and rapid urbanization have resulted in the generation of large quantities of solid waste across major urban cities in Ghana, outstripping local authorities' ability to manage and dispose of waste in a sanitary manner. This study explored the perspectives and experiences of municipal waste company managers and supervisors in the Ho municipality of Ghana on solid waste management practices. A qualitative inquiry was conducted by adopting a phenomenological approach, using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions for data collection. A total of 35 participants, made up of 12 managers and 23 supervisors took part in the study. Transcribed data were imported into NVivo 11.0 software for coding. Content analysis was applied to analyze all transcribed data using processes of induction and deduction. The results showed that organizational capacity, resources, and expertise; community factors such as socio-cultural beliefs and a low sense of responsibility towards solid waste management among urban residents; contextual factors such as regulations, and weak enforcement all influence and shape the level of efficiency and effectiveness of solid waste management practices in the study setting. The findings suggest that policy frameworks and procedures implemented to curb poor urban waste management practices should be systematic and thorough in order to tackle the issue of solid waste in the study setting and Ghana in general. The nature of the identified issues and challenges requires multidimensional and multilevel interventions to provide sustainable solutions for managing urban waste in Ghana.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248392PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7951920PMC
October 2021

The shared experiences of insured members and the uninsured in health care access and utilization under Ghana's national health insurance scheme: Evidence from the Hohoe Municipality.

PLoS One 2020 23;15(12):e0244155. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Background: The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was introduced in Ghana in 2003 to remove financial barriers and to promote equitable access to health care services. Post implementation has been characterized by increases in access and utilization of services among the insured. The uninsured have been less likely to utilize services due to unaffordability of health care costs. In this study, we explored the experiences of the insured members of the NHIS, the uninsured and health professionals in accessing and utilizing health care services under the NHIS in the Hohoe Municipality of Ghana.

Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews were held with twenty-five NHIS insured, twenty-five uninsured, and five health care professionals, who were randomly sampled from the Hohoe Municipality to collect data for this study. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Participants identified both enablers or motivating factors and barriers to health care services of the insured and uninsured. The major factors motivating members to access and use health care services were illness severity and symptom persistence. On the other hand, barriers identified included perceived poor service quality and lack of health insurance among the insured and uninsured respectively. Other barriers participants identified included financial constraints, poor attitudes of service providers, and prolonged waiting time. However, the level of care received were reportedly about the same among the insured and uninsured with access to quality health care much dependent on ability to pay, which favors the rich and thereby creating inequity in accessing the needed quality care services.

Conclusion: The implication of the financial barriers to health care access identified is that the poor and uninsured still suffer from health care access challenges, which questions the efficiency and core goal of the NHIS in removing financial barrier to health care access. This has the potential of undermining Ghana's ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 3.8 of universal health coverage by the year 2030.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244155PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7757881PMC
March 2021

Estimating global injuries morbidity and mortality: methods and data used in the Global Burden of Disease 2017 study.

Inj Prev 2020 10 24;26(Supp 1):i125-i153. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Pharmacy, Adigrat University, Adigrat, Ethiopia.

Background: While there is a long history of measuring death and disability from injuries, modern research methods must account for the wide spectrum of disability that can occur in an injury, and must provide estimates with sufficient demographic, geographical and temporal detail to be useful for policy makers. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 study used methods to provide highly detailed estimates of global injury burden that meet these criteria.

Methods: In this study, we report and discuss the methods used in GBD 2017 for injury morbidity and mortality burden estimation. In summary, these methods included estimating cause-specific mortality for every cause of injury, and then estimating incidence for every cause of injury. Non-fatal disability for each cause is then calculated based on the probabilities of suffering from different types of bodily injury experienced.

Results: GBD 2017 produced morbidity and mortality estimates for 38 causes of injury. Estimates were produced in terms of incidence, prevalence, years lived with disability, cause-specific mortality, years of life lost and disability-adjusted life-years for a 28-year period for 22 age groups, 195 countries and both sexes.

Conclusions: GBD 2017 demonstrated a complex and sophisticated series of analytical steps using the largest known database of morbidity and mortality data on injuries. GBD 2017 results should be used to help inform injury prevention policy making and resource allocation. We also identify important avenues for improving injury burden estimation in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043531DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571362PMC
October 2020

Self-reported breast and cervical cancer screening practices among women in Ghana: predictive factors and reproductive health policy implications from the WHO study on global AGEing and adult health.

BMC Womens Health 2020 07 28;20(1):158. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Background: Breast and cervical cancers constitute the two leading causes of cancer deaths among women in Ghana. This study examined breast and cervical screening practices among adult and older women in Ghana.

Methods: Data from a population-based cross-sectional study with a sample of 2749 women were analyzed from the study on global AGEing and adult health conducted in Ghana between 2007 and 2008. Binary and multivariable ordinal logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the association between socio-demographic factors, breast and cervical screening practices.

Results: We found that 12.0 and 3.4% of adult women had ever had pelvic screening and mammography respectively. Also, 12.0% of adult women had either one of the screenings while only 1.8% had both screening practices. Age, ever schooled, ethnicity, income quantile, father's education, mother's employment and chronic disease status were associated with the uptake of both screening practices.

Conclusion: Nationwide cancer awareness campaigns and education should target women to improve health seeking behaviours regarding cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. Incorporating cancer screening as a benefit package under the National Health Insurance Scheme can reduce financial barriers for breast and cervical screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-020-01022-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7388217PMC
July 2020

Women's knowledge and its associated factors regarding optimum utilisation of antenatal care in rural Ghana: A cross-sectional study.

PLoS One 2020 9;15(7):e0234575. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Introduction: Improving maternal health is a global public health challenge especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The optimum utilisation of antenatal care (ANC) by pregnant women is known to improve maternal health outcomes. Maternal morbidity and mortality rates in Ghana remain unacceptably high, particularly in rural settings where skilled delivery care often times is disproportionally low. This study assessed factors associated with optimum utilisation of antenatal care in rural Ghana.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was applied to collect data among eligible participants between October 2018 and January 2019. A total of 322 women who gave birth and attended the postnatal clinic were recruited for the study. Consecutive sampling was employed in recruiting participants. The associations between the dependent variables (ANC service utilisation and knowledge of ANC) and independent variables (socio-demographic characteristics) were examined using ordinary least squares logistic regression at 95% confidence interval in STATA version 14.0.

Results: Of the 322 participants, 69.0% reported utilising at least four or more times ANC services. Determinants of women attending ANC for four or more times was significantly associated with age [OR = 4.36 (95%CI: 2.16-8.80), p<0.001], educational level [OR = 10.18 (95%CI: 3.86-26.87), p<0.001], and insured with National Health Insurance Scheme [OR = 3.42 (95%CI: 1.72-6.82), p<0.001]. Not married [OR = 0.65 (0.39-1.09), p = 0.011] or divorced [OR = 0.33 (95%CI: 0.13-0.83), p = 0.019] was negatively associated with utilisation of four or more ANC services. The majority (79.0%) of the participants had a good level of knowledge regarding antenatal care.

Conclusion: Although the majority of women in this study had good knowledge of ANC services, a significant number of them did not complete the recommended number of ANC visits for at least four times during a normal pregnancy. Awareness and further education to reproductive-age women on the significant role adequate ANC attendance plays in advancing health and well-being require further investments, particularly among rural women in Ghana.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0234575PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7347137PMC
September 2020

Self-reported hypertension as a predictor of chronic health conditions among older adults in Ghana: analysis of the WHO Study on global Ageing and adult health (SAGE) Wave 2.

Pan Afr Med J 2020 4;36. Epub 2020 May 4.

Department of Community Health, University of Ghana Medical School, College of Health Sciences, Korle-Bu, P.O. Box 4236, Accra, Ghana.

Introduction: Hypertension has been identified as a significant predictor of many chronic health conditions. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Quality of Life (QoL) are key determinants of hypertension especially among elderly populations. In this study, we examined the effect of self-reported hypertension (SRH) on chronic health conditions and quality of life among older adults in Ghana.

Methods: The WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health Wave 2 data for Ghana, collected from 2014 to 2015 was applied in this study. Data for older adults aged 50 years and above were analyzed. Weighted descriptive and inferential analyses were performed using Stata 14. We predicted any potential associations between SRH and chronic health conditions using a corrected chi-square and Coarsened Exact Matching with adjusted odds ratios.

Results: The prevalence of SRH among older adults in Ghana was 15.8%. This was significantly associated with sex, marital status, religion, place of residence, working status, location/region, health status BMI, and QoL. In all, older adults with poor health status, obese state and high QoL had 3.15, 2.17 and 2.76 odds of SRH respectively [AOR(95%CI)p-value=3.15(1.65-6.02)0.001, 2.17(1.31-3.59)0.003 and 2.76(1.04-7.31)0.041)]. In addition, older adults with SRH were at increased risk of reporting chronic conditions such as stroke, angina, diabetes and cataract.

Conclusion: Overall, a key observation from this analysis is that SRH (and not only clinically diagnosed hypertension) is significantly associated with co-morbidities. In Ghana, older adults with SRH have increased risk of co-morbidities including diabetes, stroke, angina, and cataract. Interventions to improve the awareness and early detection of hypertension at the population level is key. Controlling hypertension at the population level will reduce prevalence of chronic conditions and increased protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2020.36.4.21489DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7282610PMC
December 2020

COVID-19 effects on national health system response to a local epidemic: the case of cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak in Ghana.

Pan Afr Med J 2020 30;35(Suppl 2):14. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Health Policy Planning and Management, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Hohoe, Ghana.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2020.35.2.23138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7266470PMC
June 2020

Global injury morbidity and mortality from 1990 to 2017: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.

Inj Prev 2020 10 24;26(Supp 1):i96-i114. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Faculty of Health Sciences - Health Management and Policy, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Past research in population health trends has shown that injuries form a substantial burden of population health loss. Regular updates to injury burden assessments are critical. We report Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 Study estimates on morbidity and mortality for all injuries.

Methods: We reviewed results for injuries from the GBD 2017 study. GBD 2017 measured injury-specific mortality and years of life lost (YLLs) using the Cause of Death Ensemble model. To measure non-fatal injuries, GBD 2017 modelled injury-specific incidence and converted this to prevalence and years lived with disability (YLDs). YLLs and YLDs were summed to calculate disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

Findings: In 1990, there were 4 260 493 (4 085 700 to 4 396 138) injury deaths, which increased to 4 484 722 (4 332 010 to 4 585 554) deaths in 2017, while age-standardised mortality decreased from 1079 (1073 to 1086) to 738 (730 to 745) per 100 000. In 1990, there were 354 064 302 (95% uncertainty interval: 338 174 876 to 371 610 802) new cases of injury globally, which increased to 520 710 288 (493 430 247 to 547 988 635) new cases in 2017. During this time, age-standardised incidence decreased non-significantly from 6824 (6534 to 7147) to 6763 (6412 to 7118) per 100 000. Between 1990 and 2017, age-standardised DALYs decreased from 4947 (4655 to 5233) per 100 000 to 3267 (3058 to 3505).

Interpretation: Injuries are an important cause of health loss globally, though mortality has declined between 1990 and 2017. Future research in injury burden should focus on prevention in high-burden populations, improving data collection and ensuring access to medical care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571366PMC
October 2020

Psychosocial Risk, Work-Related Stress, and Job Satisfaction among Domestic Waste Collectors in the Ho Municipality of Ghana: A Phenomenological Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 04 22;17(8). Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Department of Work and Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Domestic waste collectors play key roles in the collection and disposal of solid waste in Ghana. The work environment and conditions under which domestic waste collectors operate influence their job satisfaction ratings and health outcomes. This study investigated psychosocial risk factors, work-related stress and job satisfaction needs among municipal solid waste collectors in the Ho Municipality of Ghana. A phenomenological design was applied to collect data among 64 domestic waste collectors, 12 managers, and 23 supervisors of two waste companies in Ho Municipality, Ghana. Data were collected from June-August 2018 using in-depth interview and focus group discussion guides. Interviews were supplemented by field observations. Data were analyzed using inductive and deductive content procedures to form themes based on the study aim. Four themes emerged from the study. The study results revealed that domestic waste collector's poor attitudes and safety behaviors such as not wearing personal protective equipment, poor enforcement of safety standards by supervisors and managers, and work-related stress caused by poor working environments impact negatively on domestic waste collector's health and safety. Other factors such as poor enforcement of standard company regulations, poor work relations, non-clear work roles, lack of social protection to meet medical needs, poor remuneration, negative community perceptions of domestic waste collectors job, work environments, and workloads of domestic waste collectors were reported to negatively impact on work stress and job satisfaction needs. In conclusion, the findings are important in informing the necessary waste management policies aimed at improving decent work environments, as well as improving the health and well-being of domestic waste collectors in both the formal and informal sectors in Ghana.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7215998PMC
April 2020

Prevalence and associated risk factors of anaemia among women attending antenatal and post-natal clinics at a public health facility in Ghana.

BMC Nutr 2019 23;5:40. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, PMB 31, Ho, Volta Region Ghana.

Background: Anaemia among pregnant women and post-partum mothers is a public health challenge in Ghana, especially in the Volta Region. While literature abounds on anaemia among pregnant women, the same cannot be said for anaemia among post-partum mothers in the region. This study, therefore, examined the prevalence and associated risk factors of anaemia among women attending antenatal care and post-natal care.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional survey recruited 409 pregnant women and 194 post-natal mothers attending antenatal and post-natal care, at the Hohoe Municipal Hospital. Background characteristics were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, blood samples were analysed for the presence of anaemia and malaria parasitaemia and folders were reviewed for estimated blood loss.

Results: We found the prevalence of anaemia among pregnant women and post-partum mothers to be 33 and 16% respectively. Higher malaria parasitaemia (2%) was found in pregnant women compared with postpartum mothers (1%). We found that 4% of post-partum mothers had abnormal blood loss (301mls-500mls) whereas 5% of them had postpartum haemorrhage (>500mls) during child birth. A univariate logistics regression of anaemia status on some risk factors in pregnant women showed no significant association between anaemia and any of the risk factors. Among post-partum mothers, only mothers' age was statistically significant in the univariate analysis [COR = 0.27 (95% CI:0.103, 0.72);0.008]. Mothers aged 20-29 were 73% less likely to be anaemic.

Conclusion: The prevalence of anaemia among pregnant women found in this study points to a situation of moderate public health problem according to WHO cut-off values for the public health significance of anaemia. Strategies should therefore be put in place to encourage thorough health education and promotion programmes among both pregnant and post-partum women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40795-019-0303-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7050900PMC
September 2019

Community-Based Health Planning and Services Plus programme in Ghana: A qualitative study with stakeholders in two Systems Learning Districts on improving the implementation of primary health care.

PLoS One 2020 8;15(1):e0226808. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Institute of Health Research, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

Background: In 1999, Ghana introduced the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) as the key primary health care strategy. In this study, we explored the challenges, capacity development priorities, and stakeholder perspectives on improving the CHPS concept as it has been fraught with a myriad of challenges since its inception. Our study is the outcome of the national programme for strengthening the implementation of CHPS Initiative in Ghana (CHPS+) introduced in 2017.

Methods: This exploratory research was a qualitative study conducted in two Systems Learning Districts (SLDs) of CHPS+ in the Volta Region of Ghana from March to May, 2018. Four focus group discussions and two general discussions were conducted among 60 CHPS+ stakeholders made up of health workers and community members. Data analyses were conducted using conceptual content analysis. Statements of the participants were presented as quotes to substantiate the views expressed.

Results: Negative attitude, high attrition, inadequacy and unavailability of health professionals at post when needed were challenges associated with the health professionals. Late referrals, lack of proper community entry and engagement, non-availability of essential logistics, distance of CHPS compounds from communities, and inadequate funding were challenges associated with the health system. Lack of community ownership of the CHPS programme, lack of security at CHPS compounds, and late reporting of cases by the community members were also realised as challenges emanating from the community members. Priority areas for capacity development of health workers identified included logistics management, community entry and engagement, emergency delivery, managing referrals at the CHPS level, and resuscitation of newborns.

Conclusion: Health-worker, community, and health systems-based challenges inhibit the implementation of CHPS in Ghana. Capacity development of health professionals and continuous community engagement are avenues that can improve implementation of the programme.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226808PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6948830PMC
April 2020

Health insurance coverage, type of payment for health insurance, and reasons for not being insured under the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana.

Health Econ Rev 2019 Dec 29;9(1):39. Epub 2019 Dec 29.

Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Background: Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme has improved access to care, although equity and sustainability issues remain. This study examined health insurance coverage, type of payment for health insurance and reasons for being uninsured under the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana.

Methods: The 2014 Ghana Demographic Health Survey datasets with information for 9396 women and 3855 men were analyzed. The study employed cross-sectional national representative data. The frequency distribution of socio-demographics and health insurance coverage differentials among men and women is first presented. Further statistical analysis applies a two-stage probit Hackman selection model to determine socio-demographic factors associated with type of payment for insurance and reasons for not insured among men and women under the National Health insurance Scheme in Ghana. The selection equation in the Hackman selection model also shows the association between insurance status and socio-demographic factors.

Results: About 66.0% of women and 52.6% of men were covered by health insurance. Wealth status determined insurance status, with poorest, poorer and middle-income groups being less likely to pay themselves for insurance. Women never in union and widowed women were less likely to be covered relative to married women although this group was more likely to pay NHIS premiums themselves. Wealth status (poorest, poorer and middle-income) was associated with non-affordability as a reason for being not insured. Geographic disparities were also found. Rural men and nulliparous women were also more likely to mention no need of insurance as a reason of being uninsured.

Conclusion: Tailored policies to reduce delays in membership enrolment, improve positive perceptions and awareness of National Health Insurance Scheme in reducing catastrophic spending and addressing financial barriers for enrolment among some groups can be positive precursors to improve trust and enrolments and address broad equity concerns regarding the National Health Insurance Scheme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13561-019-0255-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6935470PMC
December 2019

Mediation effects of depression and anxiety on social support and quality of life among caregivers of persons with severe burns injury.

BMC Res Notes 2019 Nov 27;12(1):772. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

School of Medicine, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana.

Objective: Caregiving is associated with several psychosocial challenges including stress, depression and anxiety. These challenges have been found to have significant negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of caregivers, but the mechanisms of these effects are poorly understood. This study examined whether depression and anxiety serve as mediators between social support and quality of life caregivers of persons with severe burns injury.

Results: A sample of 100 caregivers of persons with severe burns injury were administered questionnaires to assess their depression, anxiety, social support and quality of life. Findings show that depression and anxiety were negatively correlated with quality of life whereas social support was positively correlated with quality of life. Results further showed that only depression significantly mediated the link between social support and quality of life among the caregivers. These findings emphasize the need to screen caregivers for common mental health problems and provide them support in the caregiving process to promote their health and wellbeing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13104-019-4761-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6882198PMC
November 2019

Mapping 123 million neonatal, infant and child deaths between 2000 and 2017.

Nature 2019 10 16;574(7778):353-358. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

School of Health Sciences, Madda Walabu University, Bale Goba, Ethiopia.

Since 2000, many countries have achieved considerable success in improving child survival, but localized progress remains unclear. To inform efforts towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.2-to end preventable child deaths by 2030-we need consistently estimated data at the subnational level regarding child mortality rates and trends. Here we quantified, for the period 2000-2017, the subnational variation in mortality rates and number of deaths of neonates, infants and children under 5 years of age within 99 low- and middle-income countries using a geostatistical survival model. We estimated that 32% of children under 5 in these countries lived in districts that had attained rates of 25 or fewer child deaths per 1,000 live births by 2017, and that 58% of child deaths between 2000 and 2017 in these countries could have been averted in the absence of geographical inequality. This study enables the identification of high-mortality clusters, patterns of progress and geographical inequalities to inform appropriate investments and implementations that will help to improve the health of all populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1545-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6800389PMC
October 2019

Ghana's Journey towards Universal Health Coverage: The Role of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Eur J Investig Health Psychol Educ 2019 Oct 1;10(1):94-109. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, PMB 31 Hohoe, Ghana.

Background: the main aim of the study is to find if the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Ghana is achieving universal health coverage (UHC) or not. The study gives the trajectories of health policies in Ghana and their implications on long term health financing. NHIS in Ghana was implemented in 2004, with the aim of increasing subscribers' access to health care services and reduce financial barriers to health care. On equity access to healthcare, it addresses two core concerns: (1) enrolling particular groups (persons exempted from annual premium payments) and (2) achieving UHC for all citizens and persons with legal residence. It utilizes a multifactor approach to the conceptualization of UHC. The research question: ?

Methods: we used qualitative methods. In doing so, the study engaged participants in in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and direct observations of participants in their natural settings, like hospitals, clinics, offices and homes, with purposive and snowball techniques. This data triangulation approach aims to increase the reliability and validity of findings.

Results: the empirical evidence shows NHIS performed relatively well in enrolling more exempt groups (particular groups) than enrolling all persons in Ghana (UHC). The biggest challenge for the implementation of NHIS from the perspectives of health insurance officials is inadequate funding. The health insurance beneficiaries complained of delays during registrations and renewals. They also complained of poor attitude of some health insurance officials and health workers at facilities.

Conclusions: both health insurance officials and beneficiaries emphasized the need for increased public education and for implementers to adopt a friendly attitude towards clients. To move towards achieving UHC, there is a need to redesign the policy, to move it from current voluntary contributions, to adopt a broad tax-based approach to cover all citizens and persons with legal residence in Ghana. Also, to adopt a flexible premium payment system (specifically 'payments by installation' or 'part payments') and widen the scope of exempt groups as a way of enrolling more into the NHIS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe10010009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8314219PMC
October 2019

Global, Regional, and National Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-Years for 29 Cancer Groups, 1990 to 2017: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study.

JAMA Oncol 2019 12;5(12):1749-1768

Department of Family and Community Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Importance: Cancer and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are now widely recognized as a threat to global development. The latest United Nations high-level meeting on NCDs reaffirmed this observation and also highlighted the slow progress in meeting the 2011 Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the third Sustainable Development Goal. Lack of situational analyses, priority setting, and budgeting have been identified as major obstacles in achieving these goals. All of these have in common that they require information on the local cancer epidemiology. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is uniquely poised to provide these crucial data.

Objective: To describe cancer burden for 29 cancer groups in 195 countries from 1990 through 2017 to provide data needed for cancer control planning.

Evidence Review: We used the GBD study estimation methods to describe cancer incidence, mortality, years lived with disability, years of life lost, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). Results are presented at the national level as well as by Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator of income, educational attainment, and total fertility rate. We also analyzed the influence of the epidemiological vs the demographic transition on cancer incidence.

Findings: In 2017, there were 24.5 million incident cancer cases worldwide (16.8 million without nonmelanoma skin cancer [NMSC]) and 9.6 million cancer deaths. The majority of cancer DALYs came from years of life lost (97%), and only 3% came from years lived with disability. The odds of developing cancer were the lowest in the low SDI quintile (1 in 7) and the highest in the high SDI quintile (1 in 2) for both sexes. In 2017, the most common incident cancers in men were NMSC (4.3 million incident cases); tracheal, bronchus, and lung (TBL) cancer (1.5 million incident cases); and prostate cancer (1.3 million incident cases). The most common causes of cancer deaths and DALYs for men were TBL cancer (1.3 million deaths and 28.4 million DALYs), liver cancer (572 000 deaths and 15.2 million DALYs), and stomach cancer (542 000 deaths and 12.2 million DALYs). For women in 2017, the most common incident cancers were NMSC (3.3 million incident cases), breast cancer (1.9 million incident cases), and colorectal cancer (819 000 incident cases). The leading causes of cancer deaths and DALYs for women were breast cancer (601 000 deaths and 17.4 million DALYs), TBL cancer (596 000 deaths and 12.6 million DALYs), and colorectal cancer (414 000 deaths and 8.3 million DALYs).

Conclusions And Relevance: The national epidemiological profiles of cancer burden in the GBD study show large heterogeneities, which are a reflection of different exposures to risk factors, economic settings, lifestyles, and access to care and screening. The GBD study can be used by policy makers and other stakeholders to develop and improve national and local cancer control in order to achieve the global targets and improve equity in cancer care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777271PMC
December 2019

Socio-demographic determinants associated with ownership and use of long lasting insecticide treated nets among pregnant women in the Wa Municipality of Ghana.

Pan Afr Med J 2019 4;33:81. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Eastern Regional Pharmacy Council, Koforidua, Ghana.

Introduction: An estimated 125 million pregnancies around the world are at risk of malaria infection every year. Insecticide Treated Bed Nets is a form of personal protection that has reportedly been shown to reduce severe disease and mortality due to malaria in endemic regions. This study investigated ownership and utilization of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Wa Municipality of Ghana.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was adopted to collect data among 394 pregnant women in six antenatal clinics. A two stage sampling technique was adopted and the data collection tool used was a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics involving logistic regression were performed using Stata 14.

Results: More (33.3%) of the pregnant women were aged between 25-29 years with no formal education (29.9%) whiles most (69.6%) of the pregnant women were in Islam religion. About 95.9% have heard about Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and its benefits. Intuitively, ownership of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets was 82.2% with 69.3% utilization of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets. Pregnant women aged 30-34 and 35 years and above were significant predictors, however, less likely to own Long Lasting Insecticide Nets compared to 15-19 years [AOR(95%CI)=0.29(0.10-0.87) and 0.08(0.01-0.72) respectively] whiles pregnant women aged 35 years and above were significantly less likely to utilize Long Lasting Insecticide Nets compared to 15-19 years [OR(95%CI)=0.12(0.03-0.48)].

Conclusion: The study found utilization of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets among pregnant in the Wa Municipality low as compared to the National Malaria Control Program target in Ghana although Long Lasting Insecticide Nets ownership was high. The study recommends that Public Health Nurses and Disease Control Officers should intensify sensitization on the importance and misconception of the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets during outreach clinics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2019.33.81.16245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692087PMC
September 2019

Dog Owners' Knowledge about Rabies and Other Factors That Influence Canine Anti-Rabies Vaccination in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2019 Aug 18;4(3). Epub 2019 Aug 18.

School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho PMB 31, Volta Region, Ghana.

Background: Human rabies, often contracted through dog bites, is a serious but neglected public health problem in the tropics, including Ghana. Due to its high fatality rate, adequate knowledge and vaccination of domestic dogs against the disease are very crucial in reducing its burden. We examined dog owners' knowledge level on rabies and factors that influenced anti-rabies vaccination of dogs in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 260 randomly sampled dog owners in six communities from six Districts using a multistage sampling technique, in the Upper East Region of Ghana. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents. Descriptive and inferential analyses were done using STATA 14.1.

Results: While knowledge about rabies was 199 (76.5%), that about anti-rabies vaccination was 137 (52.7%). District of residence (χ = 112.59, < 0.001), sex (χ = 6.14, = 0.013), education (χ = 20.45, < 0.001) as well as occupation (χ = 11.97, = 0.007) were significantly associated with rabies knowledge. District of residence (χ = 57.61, < 0.001), Educational level (χ = 15.37, = 0.004), occupation (χ = 11.66, = 0.009), religion (χ = 8.25, = 0.016) and knowledge on rabies (χ = 42.13, < 0.001) were also statistically associated with dog vaccination against rabies. Dog owners with good knowledge on rabies for instance, were more likely to vaccinate their dogs against rabies compared to those with poor knowledge [AOR = 1.99 (95% CI: 0.68, 5.86), = 0.210]. Dog owners with tertiary level of education were also 76.31 times more likely (95% CI: 6.20, 938.49, = 0.001) to have good knowledge about rabies compared to those with no formal education.

Conclusions: Dog owners in the Upper East Region of Ghana had good knowledge about rabies. This, however, did not translate into correspondingly high levels of dog vaccination against the disease. Rabies awareness and vaccination campaigns should, therefore, be intensified in the region, especially among the least educated and female dog owners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4030115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6789765PMC
August 2019
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