Publications by authors named "Rushdia Ahmed"

12 Publications

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Challenges and strategies in conducting sexual and reproductive health research among Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

Confl Health 2020 Dec 1;14(1):83. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, 5th Floor, (Level-6), icddrb Building, 68, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh.

Background: Rohingya diaspora or Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs), took shelter in the refugee camps of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh due to armed conflict in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. In such humanitarian crises, delivering sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services is critical for better health outcomes of this most-at-risk population where more than half are adolescent girls and women. This is a reflective paper on challenges and related mitigation strategies to conduct SRH research among FDMNs. The research on which this paper is based employed a concurrent mixed-method design combining a cross-sectional survey and qualitative interviews and group discussions with FDMNs to understand their SRH needs and demand-side barriers. Assessment of health facilities and qualitative interviews with healthcare providers and key stakeholders were carried out to assess facility readiness and supply-side barriers.

Challenges And Strategies: The researchers faced different challenges while conducting this study due to the unique characteristics of the FDMN population and the location of the refugee camps. The three key challenges researchers encountered include: sensitivity regarding SRH in the FDMNs, identifying appropriate sampling strategies, and community trust issues. The key approaches to overcome these challenges involved: actively engaging community members and gatekeepers in the data collection process to access respondents, identifying sensitive SRH issues through survey and exploring in-depth during qualitative interviews; and contextually modifying the sampling strategy.

Conclusion: Contextual adaptation of research methods and involving community and local key stakeholders in data collection are the key lessons learnt from this study. Another important lesson was researchers' identity and positionality as a member of the host country may create distrust and suspicion among the refugees. The multi-level complexities of humanitarian settings may introduce unforeseen challenges and interrupt research plans at different stages of research which require timely and contextual adaptations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13031-020-00329-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7708138PMC
December 2020

Making information and communications technologies (ICTs) work for health: protocol for a mixed-methods study exploring processes for institutionalising geo-referenced health information systems to strengthen maternal neonatal and child health (MNCH) service planning, referral and oversight in urban Bangladesh.

BMJ Open 2020 12 2;10(12):e032820. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Universal Health Coverage Programme, Health Systems and Population Studies Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh, Dhaka, Dhaka District, Bangladesh

Introduction: Disparities in health outcomes and access to maternal neonatal and child health (MNCH) are apparent among urban poor compared with national, rural or urban averages. A fundamental first step in addressing inequities in MNCH services is knowing what services exist in urban areas, where these are located, who provides them and who uses them. This study aims to institutionalise the Urban Health Atlas (UHA)-a novel information and communications technology (ICT) tool-to strengthen health service delivery and oversight and generate critical evidence to inform health policy and planning in urban Bangladesh.

Methods And Analysis: This mixed-method implementation research will be conducted in four purposively selected urban sites representing larger and smaller cities. Research activities will include an assessment of information needs and task review analysis of information users, stakeholder mapping and cost estimation. To document stakeholder perceptions and experiences, key informant interviews and in-depth interviews will be conducted along with desk reviews to understand MNCH planning and referral decisions. The UHA will be refined to increase responsiveness to user needs and capacities, and hands-on training will be provided to health managers. Cost estimation will be conducted to assess the financial implications of UHA uptake and scale-up. Systematic documentation of the implementation process will be undertaken. Policy decision-making and ICT health policy process flowcharts will be prepared using desk reviews and qualitative interviews. Thematic analysis of qualitative data will involve both emergent and a priori coding guided by WHO PATH toolkit and Policy Engagement Framework. Stakeholder analysis will apply standard techniques and measurement scales. Descriptive analysis of quantitative data and cost estimation analysis will also be performed.

Ethics And Dissemination: The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of icddr,b (# PR-16057). Study findings will be disseminated through national and international workshops, conferences, policy briefs and peer-reviewed publications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032820DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712401PMC
December 2020

Modelling improved efficiency in healthcare referral systems for the urban poor using a geo-referenced health facility data: the case of Sylhet City Corporation, Bangladesh.

BMC Public Health 2020 Sep 29;20(1):1476. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Implementation Research and Delivery Science Unit, Health Section, UNICEF, New York, NY, USA.

Background: An effective referral system is critical to ensuring access to appropriate and timely healthcare services. In pluralistic healthcare systems such as Bangladesh, referral inefficiencies due to distance, diversion to inappropriate facilities and unsuitable hours of service are common, particularly for the urban poor. This study explores the reported referral networks of urban facilities and models alternative scenarios that increase referral efficiency in terms of distance and service hours.

Methods: Road network and geo-referenced facility census data from Sylhet City Corporation were used to examine referral linkages between public, private and NGO facilities for maternal and emergency/critical care services, respectively. Geographic distances were calculated using ArcGIS Network Analyst extension through a "distance matrix" which was imported into a relational database. For each reported referral linkage, an alternative referral destination was identified that provided the same service at a closer distance as indicated by facility geo-location and distance analysis. Independent sample t-tests with unequal variances were performed to analyze differences in distance for each alternate scenario modelled.

Results: The large majority of reported referrals were received by public facilities. Taking into account distance, cost and hours of service, alternative scenarios for emergency services can augment referral efficiencies by 1.5-1.9 km (p < 0.05) compared to 2.5-2.7 km in the current scenario. For maternal health services, modeled alternate referrals enabled greater referral efficiency if directed to private and NGO-managed facilities, while still ensuring availability after working-hours. These referral alternatives also decreased the burden on Sylhet City's major public tertiary hospital, where most referrals were directed. Nevertheless, associated costs may be disadvantageous for the urban poor.

Conclusions: For both maternal and emergency/critical care services, significant distance reductions can be achieved for public, NGO and private facilities that avert burden on Sylhet City's largest public tertiary hospital. GIS-informed analyses can help strengthen coordination between service providers and contribute to more effective and equitable referral systems in Bangladesh and similar countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09594-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7526238PMC
September 2020

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

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

The burden of unintentional drowning: global, regional and national estimates of mortality from the Global Burden of Disease 2017 Study.

Inj Prev 2020 10 20;26(Supp 1):i83-i95. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

The George Institute for Global Health, New Delhi, India.

Background: Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related mortality globally. Unintentional drowning (International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10 codes W65-74 and ICD9 E910) is one of the 30 mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive causes of injury-related mortality in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. This study's objective is to describe unintentional drowning using GBD estimates from 1990 to 2017.

Methods: Unintentional drowning from GBD 2017 was estimated for cause-specific mortality and years of life lost (YLLs), age, sex, country, region, Socio-demographic Index (SDI) quintile, and trends from 1990 to 2017. GBD 2017 used standard GBD methods for estimating mortality from drowning.

Results: Globally, unintentional drowning mortality decreased by 44.5% between 1990 and 2017, from 531 956 (uncertainty interval (UI): 484 107 to 572 854) to 295 210 (284 493 to 306 187) deaths. Global age-standardised mortality rates decreased 57.4%, from 9.3 (8.5 to 10.0) in 1990 to 4.0 (3.8 to 4.1) per 100 000 per annum in 2017. Unintentional drowning-associated mortality was generally higher in children, males and in low-SDI to middle-SDI countries. China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh accounted for 51.2% of all drowning deaths in 2017. Oceania was the region with the highest rate of age-standardised YLLs in 2017, with 45 434 (40 850 to 50 539) YLLs per 100 000 across both sexes.

Conclusions: There has been a decline in global drowning rates. This study shows that the decline was not consistent across countries. The results reinforce the need for continued and improved policy, prevention and research efforts, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043484DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571364PMC
October 2020

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

Situation analysis for delivering integrated comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian crisis condition for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh: protocol for a mixed-method study.

BMJ Open 2019 07 3;9(7):e028340. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Introduction: Rohingya diaspora are one of the most vulnerable groups seeking refuge in camps of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, arising an acute humanitarian crisis. More than half of the Rohingya refugees are women and adolescent girls requiring quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. Minimum initial service package of SRH are being rendered in the refugee camps; however, WHO is aiming to provide integrated comprehensive SRH services to meet the unmet needs of this most vulnerable group. For sustainable and successful implementation of such comprehensive SRH service packages, a critical first step is to undertake a situation analysis and understand the current dimensions and capture the lessons learnt on their SRH-specific needs and implementation challenges. This situation analysis is pertinent in current humanitarian condition and will provide an overview of the needs, availability and delivery of SRH services for adolescent girls and women, barriers in accessing and providing those services in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, and similar humanitarian contexts.

Methods And Analysis: A concurrent mixed-methods design will be used in this study. A community-based household survey coupled with facility assessments as well as qualitative in-depth interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions will be conducted with community people of Rohingya refugee camps and relevant stakeholders providing SRH services to Rohingya population in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Survey data will be analysed using univariate, bivariate and multivariable regression statistics. Descriptive analysis will be done for facility assessment and thematic analysis will be conducted with qualitative data.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval from Institutional Review Board of BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (2018-017-IR) has been obtained. Findings from this research will be disseminated through presentations in local, national and international conferences, workshops, peer-reviewed publications, policy briefs and interactive project report.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028340DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615844PMC
July 2019

Exploratory qualitative study to understand the underlying motivations and strategies of the private for-profit healthcare sector in urban Bangladesh.

BMJ Open 2019 07 3;9(7):e026586. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Health Systems and Population Studies Division, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Objectives: This paper explores the underlying motivations and strategies of formal small and medium-sized formal private for-profit sector hospitals and clinics in urban Bangladesh and their implications for quality and access.

Methods: This exploratory qualitative study was conducted in Dhaka, Sylhet and Khulna City Corporations. Data collection methods included key informant interviews (20) with government and private sector leaders, in-depth interviews (30) with clinic owners, managers and providers and exit interviews (30) with healthcare clients.

Results: Profit generation is a driving force behind entry into the private healthcare business and the provision of services. However, non-financial motivations are also emphasised such as aspirations to serve the disadvantaged, personal ambition, desire for greater social status, obligations to continue family business and adverse family events.The discussion of private sector motivations and strategies is framed using the Business Policy Model. This model is comprised of three components: , and efforts to make these attractive including patient-friendly discounts and service-packages, and building 'good' doctor-patient relationships; , cultivated using medical brokers and referral fees to bring in fresh clientele, and receipt of pharmaceutical incentives; and finally, , in this case overcoming human resource shortages by relying on medical staff from the public sector, consultant specialists, on-call and less experienced doctors in training, unqualified nursing staff and referring complicated cases to public facilities.

Conclusions: In the context of low public sector capacity and growing healthcare demands in urban Bangladesh, private for-profit engagement is critical to achieving universal health coverage (UHC). Given the informality of the sector, the nascent state of healthcare financing, and a weak regulatory framework, the process of engagement must be gradual. Further research is needed to explore how engagement in UHC can be enabled while maintaining profitability. Incentives that support private sector efforts to improve quality, affordability and accountability are a first step in building this relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615794PMC
July 2019

Exploratory qualitative study to understand the underlying motivations and strategies of the private for-profit healthcare sector in urban Bangladesh.

BMJ Open 2019 07 3;9(7):e026586. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Health Systems and Population Studies Division, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Objectives: This paper explores the underlying motivations and strategies of formal small and medium-sized formal private for-profit sector hospitals and clinics in urban Bangladesh and their implications for quality and access.

Methods: This exploratory qualitative study was conducted in Dhaka, Sylhet and Khulna City Corporations. Data collection methods included key informant interviews (20) with government and private sector leaders, in-depth interviews (30) with clinic owners, managers and providers and exit interviews (30) with healthcare clients.

Results: Profit generation is a driving force behind entry into the private healthcare business and the provision of services. However, non-financial motivations are also emphasised such as aspirations to serve the disadvantaged, personal ambition, desire for greater social status, obligations to continue family business and adverse family events.The discussion of private sector motivations and strategies is framed using the Business Policy Model. This model is comprised of three components: , and efforts to make these attractive including patient-friendly discounts and service-packages, and building 'good' doctor-patient relationships; , cultivated using medical brokers and referral fees to bring in fresh clientele, and receipt of pharmaceutical incentives; and finally, , in this case overcoming human resource shortages by relying on medical staff from the public sector, consultant specialists, on-call and less experienced doctors in training, unqualified nursing staff and referring complicated cases to public facilities.

Conclusions: In the context of low public sector capacity and growing healthcare demands in urban Bangladesh, private for-profit engagement is critical to achieving universal health coverage (UHC). Given the informality of the sector, the nascent state of healthcare financing, and a weak regulatory framework, the process of engagement must be gradual. Further research is needed to explore how engagement in UHC can be enabled while maintaining profitability. Incentives that support private sector efforts to improve quality, affordability and accountability are a first step in building this relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615794PMC
July 2019

Impact of fortified biscuits on micronutrient deficiencies among primary school children in Bangladesh.

PLoS One 2017 5;12(4):e0174673. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Nutrition and Clinical Services Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Background: Micronutrient deficiencies can compromise the development potential of school-aged children, and their later health and productivity as adults. School feeding and school-based fortification approaches have been utilized globally to redress nutritional deficiencies in this age group.

Objective: We explored the acceptability and micronutrient impact of a Bangladesh Government supported school-based micronutrient fortification program for children attending rural primary schools in 10 disadvantaged sub-districts.

Methods: We applied a mixed methods approach. The quantitative component assessed the impact of micronutrient fortification on 351 children aged 6-11 years using a cohort pre-post research design with a control group. The qualitative component explored the acceptability of the intervention using focus group discussions, body mapping and semi-structured interviews with teachers, school-going children and school authorities.

Results: Daily consumption of fortified biscuits by primary school children had a significant positive impact on mean levels of iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, retinol and vitamin D controlling for sex, baseline deficiency status, CRP, and H. pylori. Levels of anemia and vitamin D deficiency were also significantly reduced. Qualitative findings indicated the widespread acceptability of the daily biscuit. Teachers perceived students to be more attentive in class, less tired, and some attributed better school performance to biscuit consumption. Children reported similar improvements in concentration and energy levels.

Conclusions: This study is among the first in Bangladesh to comprehensively assess a school-based fortification program in terms of its acceptability and impact on micronutrient status of children aged 6-11 years of age. While results strongly support this modality of school feeding, research on the cognitive impacts of micronutrient fortified biscuits will help clarify the case for scaled-up investments in school- based feeding program in Bangladesh and other low and middle income countries.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0174673PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5381786PMC
August 2017
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