Publications by authors named "Robert Moshiro"

10 Publications

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Immediate "Kangaroo Mother Care" and Survival of Infants with Low Birth Weight.

N Engl J Med 2021 05;384(21):2028-2038

The affiliations of the members of the writing committee are as follows: the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health, and Ageing, World Health Organization, Geneva (S.P.N.R., S.Y., N.M., H.V.J., H.T., R.B.); Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital (S.A., P.M., N.C., J.S., P.A., K.N., I.S., K.C.A., H.C.) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (M.J.S.), New Delhi, and Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad (N.W.) - all in India; Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (H.N., E.A., A.M.) and Muhimbili National Hospital (M.N., R.M.) - both in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; the University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi (K.K., L.G., A.T.M., V.S., Q.D.); Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (C.H.A., O.K., B.P.K., E.A.A.); Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (S.N., R.L.-R., D.A., G.P.-R.) and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (A.B.-Y., N.W.-B., I.N.), Kumasi, and the School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra (A.A.M.) - all in Ghana; Karolinska University Hospital (A.L.) and Karolinska Institute (N.B., A.L., B.W.), Stockholm; the Institute for Safety Governance and Criminology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa (B.M.); and Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway (S.R.).

Background: "Kangaroo mother care," a type of newborn care involving skin-to-skin contact with the mother or other caregiver, reduces mortality in infants with low birth weight (<2.0 kg) when initiated after stabilization, but the majority of deaths occur before stabilization. The safety and efficacy of kangaroo mother care initiated soon after birth among infants with low birth weight are uncertain.

Methods: We conducted a randomized, controlled trial in five hospitals in Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tanzania involving infants with a birth weight between 1.0 and 1.799 kg who were assigned to receive immediate kangaroo mother care (intervention) or conventional care in an incubator or a radiant warmer until their condition stabilized and kangaroo mother care thereafter (control). The primary outcomes were death in the neonatal period (the first 28 days of life) and in the first 72 hours of life.

Results: A total of 3211 infants and their mothers were randomly assigned to the intervention group (1609 infants with their mothers) or the control group (1602 infants with their mothers). The median daily duration of skin-to-skin contact in the neonatal intensive care unit was 16.9 hours (interquartile range, 13.0 to 19.7) in the intervention group and 1.5 hours (interquartile range, 0.3 to 3.3) in the control group. Neonatal death occurred in the first 28 days in 191 infants in the intervention group (12.0%) and in 249 infants in the control group (15.7%) (relative risk of death, 0.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64 to 0.89; P = 0.001); neonatal death in the first 72 hours of life occurred in 74 infants in the intervention group (4.6%) and in 92 infants in the control group (5.8%) (relative risk of death, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.04; P = 0.09). The trial was stopped early on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring board owing to the finding of reduced mortality among infants receiving immediate kangaroo mother care.

Conclusions: Among infants with a birth weight between 1.0 and 1.799 kg, those who received immediate kangaroo mother care had lower mortality at 28 days than those who received conventional care with kangaroo mother care initiated after stabilization; the between-group difference favoring immediate kangaroo mother care at 72 hours was not significant. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12618001880235; Clinical Trials Registry-India number, CTRI/2018/08/015369.).
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May 2021

The impact of introducing ambulance and delivery fees in a rural hospital in Tanzania.

BMC Health Serv Res 2021 Jan 28;21(1):99. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Critical Care and Anaesthesiology Research Group, Stavanger University Hospital, PB 8100, 4068, Stavanger, Norway.

Background: Access to health care facilities is a key requirement to enhance safety for mothers and newborns during labour and delivery. Haydom Lutheran Hospital (HLH) is a regional hospital in rural Tanzania with a catchment area of about two million inhabitants. Up to June 2013 ambulance transport and delivery at HLH were free of charge, while a user fee for both services was introduced from January 2014. We aimed to explore the impact of introducing user fees on the population of women giving birth at HLH in order to document potentially unwanted consequences in the period after introduction of fees.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of data from a prospective observational study. Data was compared between the period before introduction of fees from February 2010 through June 2013 and the period after from January 2014 through January 2017. Logistic regression modelling was used to construct risk-adjusted variable-life adjusted display (VLAD) and cumulative sum (CUSUM) plots to monitor changes.

Results: A total of 28,601 births were observed. The monthly number of births was reduced by 17.3% during the post-introduction period. Spontaneous vaginal deliveries were registered less frequently with a decrease of about 17/1000 births in non-cephalic presentations. Labour complications and caesarean sections increased with about 80/1000 births. There was a reduction in newborns with birth weight less than 2500 g. The observed changes were stable over time. For most variables, a significant change could be detected after a few weeks.

Conclusion: After the introduction of ambulance and delivery fees, an increase in labour complications and caesarean sections and a decrease in newborns with low birthweight were observed. This might indicate that women delay the decision to seek skilled birth attendance or do not seek help at all, possibly due to financial reasons. Lower rates of births in a safe health care facility like HLH is of great concern, as access to skilled birth attendance is a key requirement in order to further reduce perinatal mortality. Therefore, free delivery care should be a high priority.
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January 2021

A Global View of Neonatal Asphyxia and Resuscitation.

Front Pediatr 2019 26;7:489. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, United States.

Birth asphyxia (BA), assumed to be related to intrapartum related hypoxia-ischemia, accounts for one million neonatal deaths annually. In the low resource setting BA is usually defined as a failure to initiate or sustain spontaneous breathing at birth. In the resource replete setting BA is a biochemical definition related to impaired gas exchange, due to interruption of placental blood flow (PBF). An umbilical arterial pH <7.00 referred to as severe fetal acidemia, reflects a degree of acidosis, where potential risk of adverse neurologic sequelae is increased. However, even with this degree of acidemia, the likelihood of mortality or adverse neurologic sequelae remains low. The aim is to focus on the definition of BA in the low resource setting, and compare it to the diagnosis in the resource replete setting, highlighting the importance of interruption of placental blood flow as it relates to morbidity and mortality. With asphyxia, the fetus aims to redistribute cardiac output to protect more vital organs e.g., brain, myocardium, and adrenal gland at the expense of decreased flow to organs such as kidney or intestine. In an experimental newborn model, animals subjected to asphyxia immediately develop primary apnea with bradycardia sustained blood pressure and normal pH. Recovery of respirations follows basic interventions, i.e. stimulation coupled with reversal of asphyxia. However, if asphyxia is sustained, secondary apnea manifests with bradycardia, hypotension, and pH <7.00. More intensive resuscitation including bag mask ventilation ± intubation ± cardio-pulmonary resuscitation may be necessary for correction upon reversal of asphyxia. Identification of a severely acidemic state (cord arterial pH < 7.00) in the newborn, may help to differentiate the truly asphyxiated intrapartum related cases that result in mortality, from those cases where mortality is related to delay in or ineffective basic resuscitation.
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November 2019

Potential causes of early death among admitted newborns in a rural Tanzanian hospital.

PLoS One 2019 2;14(10):e0222935. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.

Background: Approximately 40,000 newborns die each year in Tanzania. Regional differences in outcome are common. Reviewing current local data, as well as defining potential causal pathways leading to death are urgently needed, before targeted interventions can be implemented.

Objective: To describe the clinical characteristics and potential causal pathways contributing to newborn death and determine the presumed causes of newborn mortality within seven days, in a rural hospital setting.

Methods: Prospective observational study of admitted newborns born October 2014-July 2017. Information about labour/delivery and newborn management/care were recorded on data collection forms. Causes of deaths were predominantly based on clinical diagnosis.

Results: 671 were admitted to a neonatal area. Reasons included prematurity n = 213 (32%), respiratory issues n = 209 (31%), meconium stained amniotic fluid with respiratory issues n = 115 (17%) and observation for < 24 hours n = 97 (14%). Death occurred in 124 infants. Presumed causes were birth asphyxia (BA) n = 59 (48%), prematurity n = 19 (15%), presumed sepsis n = 19 (15%), meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) n = 13 (10%) and congenital abnormalities n = 14 (11%). More newborns who died versus survivors had oxygen saturation <60% on admission (37/113 vs 32/258; p≤0.001) respectively. Moderate hypothermia on admission was common i.e. deaths 35.1 (34.6-36.0) vs survivors 35.5 (35.0-36.0)°C (p≤0.001). Term newborns who died versus survivors were fourfold more likely to have received positive pressure ventilation after birth i.e. 4.57 (1.22-17.03) (p<0.02).

Conclusion: Intrapartum-related complications (BA, MAS), prematurity, and presumed sepsis were the leading causes of death. Intrapartum hypoxia, prematurity and attendant complications and presumed sepsis, are major pathways leading to death. Severe hypoxia and hypothermia upon admission are additional contributing factors. Strategies to identify fetuses at risk during labour e.g. improved fetal heart rate monitoring, coupled with timely interventions, and implementation of WHO interventions for preterm newborns, may reduce mortality in this low resource setting.
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March 2020

Randomized controlled trial of continuous Doppler versus intermittent fetoscope fetal heart rate monitoring in a low-resource setting.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2018 Dec 4;143(3):344-350. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Department of Research, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway.

Objective: To compare the frequency of abnormal fetal heart rate (FHR) detection between continuous Doppler and intermittent fetoscope monitoring.

Method: A randomized controlled open-label trial was conducted between February 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017, at Haydom Lutheran hospital, Tanzania. Women in active labor with singleton pregnancies and normal FHR at admission were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to receive either continuous or intermittent FHR monitoring. The primary outcome was abnormal FHR detection.

Results: 2652 women were enrolled; 1340 received continuous monitoring and 1312 received intermittent monitoring. Continuous FHR monitoring detected abnormal FHR in 108 (8.1%) participants versus 40 (3.0%) participants in the intermittent monitoring group (risk ratio [RR] 2.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8-3.7; P<0.001). The increased detection rate in the continuous versus intermittent monitoring group was associated with an increase in rate of subsequent intrauterine resuscitations (89 [6.6%] vs 42 [3.2%]; RR 2.07, 95% CI 1.4-2.9; P<0.001). In total, 92 (3.5%) infants had adverse perinatal outcomes, with no significant differences between groups.

Conclusion: Continuous FHR monitoring increased identification of abnormal FHR and subsequent intrauterine resuscitations. NCT02790814.
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December 2018

Predictors of death including quality of positive pressure ventilation during newborn resuscitation and the relationship to outcome at seven days in a rural Tanzanian hospital.

PLoS One 2018 17;13(8):e0202641. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.

Background: Effective positive pressure ventilation (PPV) of non-breathing newborns is crucial in facilitating cardio-respiratory adaptation at birth. Identifying predictors of death in newborns receiving PPV is important in order to facilitate preventative strategies.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the perinatal predictors of death including the quality of PPV administered among admitted newborns.

Methods: An observational study of admitted newborns who received PPV after birth was conducted. Research assistants observed all deliveries and recorded perinatal events on data collection forms. Measured heart rate (HR) and ventilation parameters were then compared between newborns who died and survivors.

Results: Newborns (n = 232) were studied between October 2014 and November 2016. Newborns who died (n = 53) compared to survivors (n = 179) had more fetal heart rate (FHRT) abnormalities (12/53 vs 19/179; p = 0.03); lower initial HR (<100 beats/minute) at start of PPV (44/48 vs 77/139; p<0.001); and a longer time for HR to increase >100 beats/minute from birth (180 vs 149 seconds; p = 0.07). Newborns who died compared to survivors took longer time (14 vs 4 seconds; p = 0.008) and more inflations (7 vs 3; p = 0.006) to achieve an expired volume (Vt) of 6 ml/kg, respectively. Median delivered Vt during the first 60 seconds of PPV was less in newborns who died compared to survivors (5 vs 6 ml/kg; p = 0.12). Newborns who died proceeded to severe encephalopathy (15/31 vs 1/59; p<0.001) compared to survivors.

Conclusion: Depressed newborns who proceeded to death compared to survivors, exhibited delayed HR response to PPV which may partly reflect FHRT abnormalities related to interruption of placental blood flow, and/or a timely delay in establishing adequate Vt. Depressed newborns progressed to moderate/severe encephalopathy. Improving FHRT monitoring to identify fetuses at risk for expedited delivery, coupled with optimizing delivery room PPV might decrease mortality in this setting.
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February 2019

Intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring using a fetoscope or hand held Doppler in rural Tanzania: a randomized controlled trial.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2018 May 4;18(1):134. Epub 2018 May 4.

Department of Research, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway.

Background: Neonatal mortality is a global challenge, with an estimated 1.3 million intrapartum stillbirths in 2015. The majority of these were found in low resource settings with limited options to intrapartum fetal heart monitoring devices. This trial compared frequency of abnormal fetal heart rate (FHR) detection and adverse perinatal outcomes (i.e. fresh stillbirths, 24-h neonatal deaths, admission to neonatal care unit) among women intermittently assessed by Doppler or fetoscope in a rural low-resource setting.

Methods: This was an open-label randomized controlled trial conducted at Haydom Lutheran Hospital from March 2013 through August 2015. Inclusion criteria were; women in labor, singleton, cephalic presentation, normal FHR on admission (120-160 beats/minute), and cervical dilatation ≤7 cm. Verbal consent was obtained.

Results: A total of 2684 women were recruited, 1309 in the Doppler and 1375 in the fetoscope arms, respectively. Abnormal FHR was detected in 55 (4.2%) vs 42 (3.1%). (RR = 1.38; 95%CI: 0.93, 2.04) in the Doppler and fetoscope arms, respectively. Bag mask ventilation was performed in 80 (6.1%) vs 82 (6.0%). (RR = 1.03; 95%CI: 0.76, 1.38) of neonates, and adverse perinatal outcome was comparable 32(2.4%) vs 35(2.5%). (RR = 0.9; 95%CI: 0.59, 1.54), in the Doppler and fetoscope arms, respectively.

Conclusion: This trial failed to demonstrate a statistically significant difference in the detection of abnormal FHR between intermittently used Doppler and fetoscope and adverse perinatal outcomes. However, FHR measurements were not performed as often as recommended by international guidelines. Conducting a randomized controlled study in rural settings with limited resources is associated with major challenges.

Trial Registration: This clinical trial was registered on April 2013 with registration number NCT01869582 .
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May 2018

Midwives' perceptions on using a fetoscope and Doppler for fetal heart rate assessments during labor: a qualitative study in rural Tanzania.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2018 04 16;18(1):103. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Aga Khan University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kibaha, Tanzania.

Background: The Doppler is thought to be more comfortable and effective compared to the fetoscope for assessing the fetal heart rate (FHR) during labor. However, in a rural Tanzanian hospital, midwives who had easy access to both devices mostly used fetoscope. This study explored midwives' perception of factors influencing their preference for using either a Pinard fetoscope or a FreePlay wind-up Doppler for intermittent FHR monitoring.

Methods: Midwives who had worked for at least 6 months in the labor ward were recruited. Focus group discussion (FGD) was used to collect data. Five FGDs were conducted between December 2015 and February 2016. Qualitative content analysis was employed using NVivo 11.0.

Results: Three main themes emerged as factors perceived by midwives as influencing their preference; 1) Sufficient training and experience with using a device; Midwives had been using fetoscopes since their midwifery training, and they had vast experience using it. The Doppler was recently introduced in the maternity ward, and midwives had insufficient training in how to use it. 2) Ability of the device to produce reliable measurements; Using a fetoscope, one must listen for the heartbeat, count using a watch, and calculate, the Doppler provides both a display and sound of the FHR. Fetoscope measurements are prone to human errors, and Doppler measurements are prone to instrumental errors. 3) Convenience of use and comfort of a device; Fetoscopes do not need charging, and while it is possible to "personalize/hide" the measurements, and may be painful for mothers. Dopplers need charging and do not cause pain, but provide limited privacy.

Conclusion: Midwives' preferences of FHR monitoring devices are influenced by the level of device training, experience with using a device, reliable measurements, and convenience and comfort during use. Fetoscopes and Dopplers should be equally available during midwifery training and in clinical practice.
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April 2018

A care bundle including antenatal corticosteroids reduces preterm infant mortality in Tanzania a low resource country.

PLoS One 2018 7;13(3):e0193146. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, United States of America.

Background: Preterm neonatal mortality (NM) has remained high and unchanged for many years in Tanzania, a resource-limited country. Major causes of mortality include birth asphyxia, respiratory insufficiency and infections. Antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) have been shown to significantly reduce mortality in developed countries. There is inconsistent use of ACS in Tanzania.

Objective: To determine whether implementation of a care bundle that includes ACS, maternal antibiotics (MA), neonatal antibiotics (NA) and avoidance of moderate hypothermia (temperature < 36°C) targeting infants of estimated gestational age (EGA) 28 to 34 6/7 weeks would reduce NM (< 7 days) by 35%.

Methods: A Pre (September 2014 to May 2015) and Post (June 2015 to June 2017) Implementation strategy was used and introduced at three University-affiliated and one District Hospital. Dexamethasone, as the ACS, was added to the national formulary in May 2015, facilitating its free use down to the district level.

Findings: NM was reduced 26% from 166 to 122/1000 livebirths (P = 0.005) and fresh stillbirths (FSB) 33% from 162/1000 to 111/1000 (p = 0.0002) Pre versus Post Implementation. Medications including combinations increased significantly at all sites (p<0.0001). By logistic regression, combinations of ACS, maternal and NA (odds ratio (OR) 0.33), ACS and NA (OR 0.30) versus no treatment were significantly associated with reduced NM. NM significantly decreased per 250g birthweight increase (OR 0.59), and per one week increase in EGA (OR 0.87). Moderate hypothermia declined pre versus post implementation (p<0.0001) and was two-fold more common in infants who died versus survivors.

Interpretation: A low-cost care bundle, ~$6 per patient, was associated with a significant reduction in NM and FSB rates. The former presumably by reducing respiratory morbidity with ACS and minimizing infections with antibiotics. If these findings can be replicated in other resource-limited settings, the potential for further reduction of <5 year mortality rates becomes enormous.
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June 2018