Publications by authors named "Robert T Ssekitoleko"

4 Publications

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The role of medical equipment in the spread of nosocomial infections: a cross-sectional study in four tertiary public health facilities in Uganda.

BMC Public Health 2020 Oct 16;20(1):1561. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Microbiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University college of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.

Background: With many medical equipment in hospitals coming in direct contact with healthcare workers, patients, technicians, cleaners and sometimes care givers, it is important to pay close attention to their capacity in harboring potentially harmful pathogens. The goal of this study was to assess the role that medical equipment may potentially play in hospital acquired infections in four public health facilities in Uganda.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2017 to January 2018 in four public health facilities in Uganda. Each piece of equipment from the neonatal department, imaging department or operating theatre were swabbed at three distinct points: a location in contact with the patient, a location in contact with the user, and a remote location unlikely to be contacted by either the patient or the user. The swabs were analyzed for bacterial growth using standard microbiological methods. Seventeen bacterial isolates were randomly selected and tested for susceptibility/resistance to common antibiotics. The data collected analyzed in STATA version 14.

Results: A total of 192 locations on 65 equipment were swabbed, with 60.4% of these locations testing positive (116/192). Nearly nine of ten equipment (57/65) tested positive for contamination in at least one location, and two out of three equipment (67.7%) tested positive in two or more locations. Of the 116 contaminated locations 52.6% were positive for Bacillus Species, 14.7% were positive for coagulase negative staphylococcus, 12.9% (15/116) were positive for E. coli, while all other bacterial species had a pooled prevalence of 19.8%. Interestingly, 55% of the remote locations were contaminated compared to 66% of the user contacted locations and 60% of the patient contacted locations. Further, 5/17 samples were resistant to at least three of the classes of antibiotics tested including penicillin, glycylcycline, tetracycline, trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole and urinary anti-infectives.

Conclusion: These results provides strong support for strengthening overall disinfection/sterilization practices around medical equipment use in public health facilities in Uganda. There's also need for further research to make a direct link to the bacterial isolates identified and cases of infections recorded among patients in similar settings.
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October 2020

Evaluating Reachable Workspace and User Control Over Prehensor Aperture for a Body-Powered Prosthesis.

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 2020 09 20;28(9):2005-2014. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Using a shoulder harness and control cable, a person can control the opening and closing of a body-powered prosthesis prehensor. In many setups the cable does not pass adjacent to the shoulder joint center allowing shoulder flexion on the prosthetic side to be used for prehensor control. However, this makes cable setup a difficult compromise as prosthesis control is dependent on arm posture; too short and the space within which a person can reach may be unduly restricted, too long and the user may not be able to move their shoulder sufficiently to take up the inevitable slack at some postures and hence have no control over prehensor movement. Despite the fundamental importance of reachable workspace to users, to date there have been no studies in prosthetics on this aspect. Here, a methodology is presented to quantify the reduction in the reachable volume due to the harness, and to record the range-of-motion of the prehensor at a series of locations within the reachable workspace. Ten anatomically intact participants were assessed using a body-powered prosthesis simulator. Data was collected using a 3D motion capture system and an electronic goniometer. The harnessed reachable workspace was 38-85% the size of the unharnessed volume with participants struggling to reach across the body and above the head. Across all arm postures assessed, participants were only able to achieve full prehensor range-of-motion in 9%. The methodologies presented could be used to evaluate future designs of both body-powered and myoelectric prostheses.
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September 2020

Multidisciplinary Development of a Low-Cost Gastroschisis Silo for Use in Sub-Saharan Africa.

J Surg Res 2020 11 6;255:565-574. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Surgery, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Electronic address:

Background: Gastroschisis silos are often unavailable in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), contributing to high mortality. We describe a collaboration between engineers and surgeons in the United States and Uganda to develop a silo from locally available materials.

Methods: Design criteria included the following: < $5 cost, 5 ± 0.25 cm opening diameter, deformability of the opening construct, ≥ 500 mL volume, ≥ 30 N tensile strength, no statistical difference in the leakage rate between the low-cost silo and preformed silo, ease of manufacturing, and reusability. Pugh scoring matrices were used to assess designs. Materials considered included the following: urine collection bags, intravenous bags, or zipper storage bags for the silo and female condom rings or O-rings for the silo opening construct. Silos were assembled with clothing irons and sewn with thread. Colleagues in Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya investigated material cost and availability.

Results: Urine collection bags and female condom rings were chosen as the most accessible materials. Silos were estimated to cost < $1 in SSA. Silos yielded a diameter of 5.01 ± 0.11 cm and a volume of 675 ± 7 mL. The iron + sewn seal, sewn seal, and ironed seal on the silos yielded tensile strengths of 31.1 ± 5.3 N, 30.1 ± 2.9 N, and 14.7 ± 2.4 N, respectively, compared with the seal of the current standard-of-care silo of 41.8 ± 6.1 N. The low-cost silos had comparable leakage rates along the opening and along the seal with the spring-loaded preformed silo. The silos were easily constructed by biomedical engineering students within 15 min. All silos were able to be sterilized by submersion.

Conclusions: A low-cost gastroschisis silo was constructed from materials locally available in SSA. Further in vivo and clinical studies are needed to determine if mortality can be improved with this design.
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November 2020