Publications by authors named "Sulaiman Conteh"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence of use of highly concentrated oxytocin or "pepper injection" in labor among clinicians undergoing emergency obstetric training in Sierra Leone.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2020 Dec 24;151(3):450-455. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

World Health Organization, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Objective: To examine the awareness, prevalence of use, and knowledge of risks of pepper injection (PI), an injection of highly concentrated oxytocin used to augment or induce labor, among clinicians.

Methods: An anonymous pre- and post-workshop evaluation conducted among 227 clinicians participating in emergency obstetric and newborn care training in Sierra Leone from June to October 2018.

Results: Overall, 225 participants completed the surveys. Of these, 198 (88.0%) of clinicians reported awareness of PI, and 123 (54.7%) self-reported prior use, which was highest among midwives (94/129; 72.9%). Before EmONC training, 82 (36.4%) clinicians reported that they were likely to use PI; this decreased to 39 (17.3%) after training (P<0.05). The mean number of participants correctly identifying risks of PI increased from 149 (66.2%) to 204 (90.7%) after training (P<0.05).

Conclusion: There was widespread awareness of PI use among clinicians, and prevalent self-reported prior use among midwives. Risk awareness improved after EmONC training, and the proportion of clinicians reporting likelihood of future use decreased. Improper use of oxytocin may be a major contributor to maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone. Initiatives to educate clinicians and to regulate and stop the practice are needed.
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December 2020

Routine vitamin A supplementation and other high impact interventions in Sierra Leone.

Matern Child Nutr 2020 10 27;16(4):e13041. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Nutrition, Helen Keller International, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

In 2017, transition to routine vitamin A supplementation (VAS) commenced as an integrated reproductive and child health service including vaccinations, Albendazole for deworming, complementary feeding demonstrations, 'quality' family planning counselling and provision of modern contraceptives. After 10 months, a lot quality assurance sampling survey evaluated coverage of these interventions. Each of three districts was divided into five supervision areas (lots), and 19 villages were randomly selected in each lot proportional to population size. Households were randomly selected, and a questionnaire was administered to a caregiver of a child 6-11, 12-23 and 24-59 months in each village. Overall, caregivers of 855 children were interviewed, and 19 questionnaires were completed for each age group (6-11, 12-23 and 24-59 months) in each of the five lots in each district. All lots in one district passed the threshold of 80% for VAS and 75% coverage for Albendazole, and two lots failed for either VAS/Albendazole in the other two districts. Overall, weighted VAS coverage for children 6-59 months was 86.9%, and weighted Albendazole coverage for children 12-59 months was 80.9%. Most caregivers (77.2%) knew that complementary feeding should be introduced at 6 months, 44.9% were providing three or more (of six) food groups, 84.9% were aware of family planning and 37.5% were using a modern contraceptive. Integration of reproductive and child health services appears to be a suitable platform for routine VAS and Albendazole whilst improving complementary feeding practices and access to family planning.
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October 2020

The rate and perioperative mortality of caesarean section in Sierra Leone.

BMJ Glob Health 2019 4;4(5):e001605. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, WHO Collaborating Centre for Surgery and Public Health, Lund University Faculty of Medicine, Lund, Sweden.

Introduction: Sierra Leone has the world's highest maternal mortality, partly due to low access to caesarean section. Limited data are available to guide improvement. In this study, we aimed to analyse the rate and mortality of caesarean sections in the country.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all caesarean sections and all reported in-facility maternal deaths in Sierra Leone in 2016. All facilities performing caesarean sections were visited. Data on in-facility maternal deaths were retrieved from the Maternal Death Surveillance and Response database. Caesarean section mortality was defined as in-facility perioperative mortality.

Results: In 2016, there were 7357 caesarean sections in Sierra Leone. This yields a population rate of 2.9% of all live births, a 35% increase from 2012, with district rates ranging from 0.4% to 5.2%. The most common indications for surgery were obstructed labour (42%), hypertensive disorders (25%) and haemorrhage (22%). Ninety-nine deaths occurred during or after caesarean section, and the in-facility perioperative caesarean section mortality rate was 1.5% (median 0.7%, IQR 0-2.2). Haemorrhage was the leading cause of death (73%), and of those who died during or after surgery, 80% had general anaesthesia, 75% received blood transfusion and 22% had a uterine rupture diagnosed.

Conclusions: The caesarean section rate has increased rapidly in Sierra Leone, but the distribution remains uneven. Caesarean section mortality is high, but there is wide variation. More access to caesarean sections for maternal and neonatal complications is needed in underserved areas, and expansion should be coupled with efforts to limit late presentation, to offer assisted vaginal delivery when indicated and to ensure optimal perioperative care.
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September 2019

Evaluation of a community-based ART programme after tapering home visits in rural Sierra Leone: a 24-month retrospective study.

SAHARA J 2018 12;15(1):138-145

c Wellbody Alliance , Koidu Town , Sierra Leone.

Evaluations of community-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes have demonstrated positive outcomes, but little is known about the impact of tapering community-based ART. The objective of this study was to assess 24-month HIV retention outcomes of a community-based ART programme and its tapered visit frequency in Koidu City, Sierra Leone. This retrospective, quasi-experimental study compared outcomes of 52 HIV-infected persons initiated on community-based ART against 91 HIV-infected persons receiving the standard of care from November 2009 to February 2013. The community-based ART pilot programme was designed to strengthen the standard of care through a comprehensive, patient-centred case management strategy. The strategy included medical, educational, psychological, social, and economic support. Starting in October 2011, the frequency of home visits was tapered from twice daily every day per week to once daily three days per week. Outcomes were retention in care at 12 and 24 months and adherence to ART over a three-month time period. Participants who received community-based ART had significantly higher retention than those receiving standard of care. At 12 months, retention rates for community-based ART and standard of care were 61.5% and 31.9%, respectively (p < .01). At 24 months, retention rates for community-based ART and standard of care were 73.1% and 44.0%, respectively (p < .01). Significant differences in levels of adherence were observed when comparing community-based ART against persons receiving standard of care (p < .05). No differences in adherence levels were observed between groups of people receiving various frequencies of home visits. Our pilot programme in Koidu City provides new evidence that community-based ART has the potential to improve retention and adherence outcomes for HIV-infected persons, regardless of the frequency of home visits. Overcoming the barriers to HIV care requires a comprehensive, patient-centred approach that may include clinic-based and community-based interventions.
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December 2018

Understanding why HIV-infected persons disengaged from pre-ART care in Freetown, Sierra Leone: a qualitative study

AIDS Care 2019 04 26;31(4):494-497. Epub 2018 Aug 26.

a Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics , University of California , San Francisco , CA , USA.

In countries that have not implemented universal antiretroviral treatment (ART), loss to follow-up (LTFU) during pre-ART care remains a problem. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 41 HIV-infected persons who were LTFU during pre-ART care from a prospective cohort of persons newly diagnosed with HIV infection in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in 2012-2013. Interviews determined whether the participant disengaged or transferred care and explored the reasons for being LTFU. Of the 41 participants, 34 (83%) disengaged from care. For persons who disengaged from care, socioeconomic barriers emerged as a dominant theme in both ART-eligible and -ineligible groups while psychosocial barriers emerged as a dominant theme in the ART-ineligible group. Structural barriers emerged as a dominant theme for participants who transferred care. Interventions designed to address socioeconomic and psychosocial barriers may help reduce disengagement from pre-ART care.
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April 2019

Notes from the Field: Ebola Virus Disease Response Activities During a Mass Displacement Event After Flooding--Freetown, Sierra Leone, September-November, 2015.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016 Feb 26;65(7):188-9. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Since the start of the Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa, Sierra Leone has reported 8,706 confirmed Ebola cases and 3,956 deaths. During September 15-16, 2015, heavy rains flooded the capital, Freetown, resulting in eight deaths, home and property destruction, and thousands of persons in need of assistance. By September 27, approximately 13,000 flood-affected persons registered for flood relief services from the government. On September 17, two stadiums in Freetown were opened to provide shelter and assistance to flood-affected residents; a total of approximately 3,000 persons stayed overnight in both stadiums (Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, personal communication, September 2015). On the same day the stadiums were opened to flood-affected persons, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) and Western Area Ebola Response Center (WAERC) staff members from CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the African Union evaluated the layout, logistics, and services at both stadiums and identified an immediate need to establish Ebola response activities. The patient in the last Ebola case in the Western Area, which includes Freetown, had died 37 days earlier, on August 11; however, transmission elsewhere in Sierra Leone was ongoing, and movement of persons throughout the country was common.
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February 2016

The Majority of the Pre-Antiretroviral Population Who Were Lost to Follow-Up Stopped Their Care in Freetown, Sierra Leone: A 12-Month Prospective Cohort Study Starting with HIV Diagnosis.

PLoS One 2016 22;11(2):e0149584. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Background: The heterogeneity of the pre-antiretroviral (pre-ART) population calls for more granular depictions of the cascade of HIV care.

Methods: We studied a prospective cohort of persons newly diagnosed with HIV infection from a single center in Freetown, Sierra Leone, over a 12-month period and then traced those persons who were lost to follow-up (LTFU) during pre-ART care (before ART initiation). ART eligibility was based on a CD4 cell count result of ≤ 350 mm/cells and/or WHO clinical stage 3 or 4. Persons who attended an appointment in the final three months were considered to be retained in care. Adherence to ART was measured using pharmacy refill dates. "Effective HIV care" was defined as completion of the cascade of care at 12-months regardless of whether patients are on ART. Tracing outcomes were obtained for those who were LTFU during pre-ART care.

Results: 408 persons newly diagnosed with HIV infection were screened, 338 were enrolled, and 255 persons were staged for ART. ART-ineligible persons had higher retention rates than ART-eligible persons (59.6% vs 41.8%, p = 0.03). 77 (22.8%) of 338 persons received effective HIV care. Most attrition (61.9%) occurred with persons during pre-ART care. 123 of 138 persons (89.1%) who were LTFU prior to ART initiation were found, and 91 of those 123 (74.0%) were alive. Of the 74 persons who were alive and described their engagement in care, 40 (54.1%) stopped care. Nearly half (42.5%) of those 40 stopped after assessment of ART-eligibility but before ART initiation. The main limitation of this study was the lack of tracing outcomes for those lost during ART care.

Conclusions: The majority of the pre-ART LTFU population stopped their care, particularly after ART-eligibility but before ART initiation. Interventions to hasten ART initiation and retain this at-risk group may have significant downstream impact on effective HIV care.
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July 2016

Clinical presentation, biochemical, and haematological parameters and their association with outcome in patients with Ebola virus disease: an observational cohort study.

Lancet Infect Dis 2015 Nov 10;15(11):1292-9. Epub 2015 Aug 10.

Defence Medical Services, Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, UK; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK.

Background: Clinical management of Ebola virus disease remains challenging. Routine laboratory analytics are often unavailable in the outbreak setting, and few data exist for the associated haematological and biochemical abnormalities. We aimed to assess laboratory and clinical data from patients with Ebola virus disease to better inform clinical management algorithms, improve understanding of key variables associated with outcome, and provide insight into the pathophysiology of Ebola virus disease.

Methods: We recruited all patients, alive on arrival, with confirmed Ebola virus disease who were admitted to the Kerry Town Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone. At admission, all patients had clinical presentation recorded and blood taken for Ebola confirmation using reverse-transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) and for haematological and biochemical analysis. We studied the association between these and clinical outcome. The primary outcome was discharge from the Ebola treatment centre.

Findings: 150 patients were admitted to the treatment centre between Dec 8, 2014, and Jan 9, 2015. The mean age of patients was 26 years (SD 14·7). Case fatality rate was 37% (55/150). Most patients presented with stage 2 (gastrointestinal involvement, 72/118 [61%]) and stage 3 (severe or complicated, 12/118 [10%]) disease. Acute kidney injury was common (52/104 [50%]), as were abnormal serum potassium (32/97 [33%]), severe hepatitis (54/92 [59%]), and raised C-reactive protein (21/100 [21%]). Haematological abnormalities were common, including raised haematocrit (15/100 [15%]), thrombocytopenia (47/104 [45%]), and granulocytosis (44/104 [42%]). Severe acute kidney injury, low RT-PCR cycle threshold (<20 cycles), and severe hepatitis were independently associated with mortality.

Interpretation: Ebola virus disease is associated with a high prevalence of haematological and biochemical abnormalities, even in mild disease and in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. Clinical care that targets hypovolaemia, electrolyte disturbance, and acute kidney injury is likely to reduce historically high case fatality rates.

Funding: None.
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November 2015