A pinboard by
Barbara Burmen

Senior Research Officer, PhD student, Maseno University/Kenya Medical Research Institute


Assessment of impact of HIV services in a health demographic surveillance area

The application of advanced analytic techniques to help choose among alternative resources to help meet HIV and TB program objectives


Perceptions of HIV infected patients on the use of cell phone as a tool to support their antiretroviral adherence; a cross-sectional study in a large referral hospital in Kenya.

Abstract: Clinical trials were conducted to assess the feasibility of using a cell phone text messaging-based system to follow up Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients on antiretroviral (ARTs) and assess for improved adherence to their medication. However there is need to evaluate the perceptions of the HIV infected patients towards the use of these cell phones in an effort to better aid in the clinical management of their HIV infection. The objective of this study was therefore to determine the perceptions of HIV infected patients on the use of cell phone text messaging as a tool to support adherence to their ART medication.A cross sectional survey was conducted among patients receiving Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) at the Kenyatta National Hospital Comprehensive Care Clinic in Nairobi between May and July, 2011. Pre-tested questionnaires were used to collect the socio-demographic and perceptions data. The recruitment of the participants was done using the random probability sampling method and statistical analysis of data performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0.A total of 500 HIV infected patients (Male-107, Female-307) aged 19-72 years were interviewed. The majority of individuals (99%) had access to cell phones and 99% of the HIV infected patients interviewed supported the idea of cell phone use in management of their HIV infection. A large proportion (46%) claimed that they needed cell phone access for medical advice and guidance on factors that hinder their adherence to medication and only 3% of them needed it as a reminder to take their drugs. The majority (72%) preferred calling the healthcare provider with their own phones for convenience and confidential purposes with only 0.4% preferring to be called or texted by the health care provider. Most (94%), especially the older patients, had no problem with their confidentiality being infringed in the process of the conversation as per the bivariate analysis results.Cell phone communications are acceptable and in fact preferable over cell phone reminders.

Pub.: 23 Oct '13, Pinned: 31 Oct '17

Menstrual Needs and Associations with Sexual and Reproductive Risks in Rural Kenyan Females: A Cross-Sectional Behavioral Survey Linked with HIV Prevalence.

Abstract: Females in low and middle income countries (LMICs) have difficulty coping with menstrual needs, but few studies have examined the social or health implications of these needs.Responses from 3418 menstruating females aged 13-29 years were extracted from an HIV and behavioral risks cross-sectional survey conducted in rural western Kenya. We examined sanitary products used, provision of products from sexual partners or from transactional sex, and demographic and sexual exposures.Overall, 75% of females reported using commercial pads and 25% used traditional materials such as cloth or items like paper or tissue, with 10% of girls <15 years old depending on makeshift items. Two-thirds of females with no education relied on traditional items. Having attended secondary school increased the odds of using commercial pads among married (adjusted odds ratios [AOR] 4.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.25-7.12) and single females (AOR 2.17, 95% CI 1.04-4.55). Married females had lower odds of pad use if they reported early (<12 years of age) compared with later (≥18 years) sexual debut (64% vs. 78%, AOR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21-0.97). Two-thirds of pad users received them from sexual partners. Receipt was lower among married females if partners were violent (AOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.53-0.85). Receipt among single females was higher if they had two or more sexual partners in the past year (AOR 2.11, 95% CI 1.04-4.29). Prevalence of engaging in sex for money to buy pads was low (1.3%); however, 10% of 15-year-olds reported this, with girls ≤15 having significantly higher odds compared with females over 15 (AOR 2.84, 95% CI 0.89-9.11). The odds of having transactional sex for pads was higher among females having two or more partners in the past 12 months (AOR 4.86, 95% CI 2.06-11.43).Menstrual needs of impoverished females in rural LMICs settings likely leads to increased physical and sexual harms. Studies are required to strengthen knowledge and to evaluate interventions to reduce these harms.

Pub.: 22 Aug '15, Pinned: 31 Oct '17

Tuberculosis screening outcomes for newly diagnosed persons living with HIV, Nyanza Province, Kenya, 2009.

Abstract: Fifteen human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinics in Nyanza Region, Western Kenya.To describe routine tuberculosis (TB) screening and diagnostic practices among newly enrolled people living with HIV (PLHIV) prior to the implementation of World Health Organization recommended TB intensified case finding.Retrospective chart abstraction of PLHIV aged ⩾7 years who were newly enrolled in HIV care in July and August 2009, and who had not received antiretroviral treatment in the preceding 2 years or been diagnosed with TB in the previous year. Factors associated with evidence of TB diagnostic evaluation among symptomatic PLHIV were assessed.Of 1020 patients included in the analysis, 995 (98%) were screened for TB at enrolment and 613 (62%) reported TB symptoms. Ninety-six (16%) patients with symptoms had evidence of referral for TB diagnostic evaluation, including patients at large clinics, those with advanced HIV disease and those reporting multiple TB symptoms. Among the 43 (45%) with documented evaluation results, 26 (60%) were diagnosed with TB.Although most PLHIV were screened for TB, very few underwent an evaluation, and the proportion diagnosed with TB was very low. Efforts to improve TB screening should focus on standardizing the intensified case finding algorithm and linkage to, and adequate infrastructure for, TB diagnostic evaluation.

Pub.: 22 Dec '15, Pinned: 31 Oct '17

Comparative Yield of Different Diagnostic Tests for Tuberculosis among People Living with HIV in Western Kenya.

Abstract: Diagnosis followed by effective treatment of tuberculosis (TB) reduces transmission and saves lives in persons living with HIV (PLHIV). Sputum smear microscopy is widely used for diagnosis, despite limited sensitivity in PLHIV. Evidence is needed to determine the optimal diagnostic approach for these patients.From May 2011 through June 2012, we recruited PLHIV from 15 HIV treatment centers in western Kenya. We collected up to three sputum specimens for Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) and fluorescence microscopy (FM), GeneXpert MTB/RIF (Xpert), and culture, regardless of symptoms. We calculated the incremental yield of each test, stratifying results by CD4 cell count and specimen type; data were analyzed to account for complex sampling.From 778 enrolled patients, we identified 88 (11.3%) laboratory-confirmed TB cases. Of the 74 cases who submitted 2 specimens for microscopy and Xpert testing, ZN microscopy identified 25 (33.6%); Xpert identified those plus an additional 18 (incremental yield = 24.4%). Xpert testing of spot specimens identified 48 (57.0%) of 84 cases; whereas Xpert testing of morning specimens identified 50 (66.0%) of 76 cases. Two Xpert tests detected 22/24 (92.0%) TB cases with CD4 counts <100 cells/μL and 30/45 (67.0%) of cases with CD4 counts ≥100 cells/μl.In PLHIV, Xpert substantially increased diagnostic yield compared to smear microscopy and had the highest yield when used to test morning specimens and specimens from PLHIV with CD4 count <100 cells/μL. TB programs unable to replace smear microscopy with Xpert for all symptomatic PLHIV should consider targeted replacement and using morning specimens.

Pub.: 31 Mar '16, Pinned: 31 Oct '17

An assessment of staffing needs at a HIV clinic in a Western Kenya using the WHO workload indicators of staffing need WISN, 2011.

Abstract: An optimal number of health workers, who are appropriately allocated across different occupations and geographical regions, are required to ensure population coverage of health interventions. Health worker shortages in HIV care provision are highest in areas that are worst hit by the HIV epidemic. Kenya is listed among countries that experience health worker shortages (<2.5 health workers per 1000 population) and have a high HIV burden (HIV prevalence 5.6 with 15.2% in Nyanza province). We set out to determine the optimum number of clinicians required to provide quality consultancy HIV care services at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, JOOTRH, HIV Clinic, the premier HIV clinic in Nyanza province with a cumulative client enrolment of PLHIV of over 20,000 persons.The World Health's Organization's Workload Indicators of Staffing Needs (WISN) was used to compute the staffing needs and sufficiency of staffing needs at the JOOTRH HIV clinic in Kisumu, Kenya, between January and December 2011. All people living with HIV (PLHIV) who received HIV care services at the HIV clinic at JOOTRH and all the clinicians attending to them were included in this analysis. The actual staffing was divided by the optimal staff requirement to give ratios of staffing excesses or shortages. A ratio of 1.0 indicated optimal staffing, less than 1.0 indicated suboptimal staffing, and more than 1 indicated supra optimal staffing. The HIV clinic is served by 56 staff of various cadres. Clinicians (doctors and clinical officers) comprise approximately one fifth of this population (n = 12). All clinicians (excluding the clinic manager, who is engaged in administrative duties and supervisory roles that consumes approximately one third of his time) provide full-time consultancy services. To operate at maximum efficiency, the clinic therefore requires 19 clinicians. The clinic therefore operates with only 60% of its staffing requirements.Our assessment revealed a severe shortage of clinicians providing consultation services at the HIV clinic. Human resources managers should oversee the rational planning, training, retention, and management of human resources for health using the WISN which is an objective and reliable means of estimating staffing needs.

Pub.: 28 Jan '17, Pinned: 31 Oct '17

The relationship between adherence to clinic appointments and year-one mortality for newly enrolled HIV infected patients at a regional referral hospital in Western Kenya, January 2011-December 2012.

Abstract: This retrospective cohort analysis was conducted to describe the association between adherence to clinic appointments and mortality, one year after enrollment into HIV care. We examined appointment-adherence for newly enrolled patients between January 2011 and December 2012 at a regional referral hospital in western Kenya. The outcomes of interest were patient default, risk factors for repeat default, and year-one risk of death. Of 582 enrolled patients, 258 (44%) were defaulters. GEE revealed that once having been defaulters, patients were significantly more likely to repeatedly default (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.12-1.77), especially the unemployed (OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.07-1.91), smokers (OR 2.22; 95% CI 1.31-3.76), and those with no known disclosure (OR 2.17; 95% CI 1.42-3.3). Nineteen patients (3%) died during the follow-up period. Cox proportional hazards revealed that the risk of death was significantly higher among defaulters (HR 3.12; 95% CI 1.2-8.0) and increased proportionally to the rate of patient default; HR was 4.05 (95% CI1.38-11.81) and 4.98 (95% CI 1.45-17.09) for a cumulative of 4-60 and ≥60 days elapsed between all scheduled and actual clinic appointment dates, respectively. Risk factors for repeat default suggest a need to deliver targeted adherence programs.

Pub.: 18 Nov '15, Pinned: 31 Oct '17