Joseph Hartland

Abstracts

5 Retrospective Demographic Analysis of Patients Lost to Follow-Up from Antiretroviral Therapy in Mulanje Mission Hospital, Malawi

Authors: Joseph Hartland, Silas Webb

Abstract:

Background: Long-term retention of patients on ART has become a major health challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In 2010 a systematic review of 39 papers found that 30% of patients were no longer taking their ARTs two years after starting treatment. In the same review, it was noted that there was a paucity of data as to why patients become lost to follow-up (LTFU) in SSA. This project was performed in Mulanje Mission Hospital in Malawi as part of Swindon Academy’s Global Health eSSC. The HIV prevalence for Malawi is 10.3%, one of the highest rates in the world, however prevalence soars to 18% in the Mulanje. Therefore it is essential that patients at risk of being LTFU are identified early and managed appropriately to help them continue to participate in the service. Methodology: All patients on adult antiretroviral formulations at MMH, who were classified as ‘defaulters’ (patients missing a scheduled follow up visit by more than two months) over the last 12 months were included in the study. Demographic varibales were collected from Mastercards for data analysis. A comparison group of patients currently not lost to follow up was created by using all of the patients who attended the HIV clinic between 18th-22nd July 2016 who had never defaulted from ART. Data was analysed using the chi squared (χ²) test, as data collected was categorical, with alpha levels set at 0.05. Results: Overall, 136 patients had defaulted from ART over the past 12 months at MMH. Of these, 43 patients had missing Mastercards, so 93 defaulter datasets were analysed. In the comparison group 93 datasets were also analysed and statistical analysis done using Chi-Squared testing. A higher proportion of men in the defaulting group was noted (χ²=0.034) and defaulters tended to be younger (χ²=0.052). 94.6% of patients who defaulted were taking Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Efavirenz, the standard first line ART therapy in Malawi. The mean length of time on ART was 39.0 months (RR: -22.4-100.4) in the defaulters group and 47.3 months (RR: -19.71-114.23) in the control group, with a mean difference of 8.3 less months in the defaulters group (χ ²=0.056). Discussion: The findings in this study echo the literature, however this review expands on that and shows the demographic for the patient at most risk of defaulting and being LTFU would be: a young male who has missed more than 4 doses of ART and is within his first year of treatment. For the hospital, this data is important at it identifies significant areas for public health focus. For instance, fear of disclosure and stigma may be disproportionately affecting younger men, so interventions can be aimed specifically at them to improve their health outcomes. The mean length of time on medication was 8.3 months less in the defaulters group, with a p-value of 0.056, emphasising the need for more intensive follow-up in the early stages of treatment, when patients are at the highest risk of defaulting.

Keywords: HIV, Art, Malawi, anti-retroviral therapy, lost to follow up

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4 Creation of a Clinical Tool for Diagnosis and Treatment of Skin Disease in HIV Positive Patients in Malawi

Authors: Joseph Hartland, Alice Huffman, Sam Gibbs

Abstract:

Dermatology is often a neglected specialty in low-resource settings, despite the high morbidity associated with skin disease. This becomes even more significant when associated with HIV infection, as dermatological conditions are more common and aggressive in HIV positive patients. African countries have the highest HIV infection rates and skin conditions are frequently misdiagnosed and mismanaged, because of a lack of dermatological training and educational material. The frequent lack of diagnostic tests in the African setting renders basic clinical skills all the more vital. This project aimed to improve diagnosis and treatment of skin disease in the HIV population in a district hospital in Malawi. A basic dermatological clinical tool was developed and produced in collaboration with local staff and based on available literature and data collected from clinics. The aim was to improve diagnostic accuracy and provide guidance for the treatment of skin disease in HIV positive patients. A literature search within Embase, Medline and Google scholar was performed and supplemented through data obtained from attending 5 Antiretroviral clinics. From the literature, conditions were selected for inclusion in the resource if they were described as specific, more prevalent, or extensive in the HIV population or have more adverse outcomes if they develop in HIV patients. Resource-appropriate treatment options were decided using Malawian Ministry of Health guidelines and textbooks specific to African dermatology. After the collection of data and discussion with local clinical and pharmacy staff a list of 15 skin conditions was included and a booklet created using the simple layout of a picture, a diagnostic description of the disease and treatment options. Clinical photographs were collected from local clinics (with full consent of the patient) or from the book ‘Common Skin Diseases in Africa’ (permission granted if fully acknowledged and used in a not-for-profit capacity). This tool was evaluated by the local staff, alongside an educational teaching session on skin disease. This project aimed to reduce uncertainty in diagnosis and provide guidance for appropriate treatment in HIV patients by gathering information into one practical and manageable resource. To further this project, we hope to review the effectiveness of the tool in practice.

Keywords: Dermatology, HIV, Malawi, skin disease

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3 Antenatal Monitoring of Pre-Eclampsia in a Low Resource Setting

Authors: Joseph Hartland, Alina Rahim, Joanne Moffatt, Jessica Taylor, Tamer Abdelrazik

Abstract:

Background: In 2011, 15% of maternal deaths in Uganda were due to hypertensive disorders (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia). The majority of these deaths are avoidable with optimum antenatal care. The aim of the study was to evaluate how antenatal monitoring of pre-eclampsia was carried out in a low resource setting and to identify barriers to best practice as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as part of a 4th year medical student External Student Selected component field trip. Method: Women admitted to hospital with pre-eclampsia in rural Uganda (Villa Maria and Kitovu Hospitals) over a year-long period were identified using the maternity register and antenatal record book. It was not possible to obtain notes for all cases identified on the maternity register. Therefore a total of thirty sets of notes were reviewed. The management was recorded and compared to Ugandan National Guidelines and WHO recommendations. Additional qualitative information on routine practice was established by interviewing staff members from the obstetric and midwifery teams. Results: From the records available, all patients in this sample were managed according to WHO recommendations during labour. The rate of Caesarean section as a mode of delivery was noted to be high in this group of patients; 56% at Villa Maria and 46% at Kitovu. Antenatally two WHO recommendations were not routinely met: aspirin prophylaxis and calcium supplementation. This was due to lack of resources, and lack of attendance at antenatal clinic leading to poor detection of high-risk patients. Medical management of pre-eclampsia varied between individual patients, overall 93.3% complied with Ugandan national guidelines. Two patients were treated with diuretics, which is against WHO guidance. Discussion: Antenatal monitoring of pre-eclampsia is important in reducing severe morbidity, long-term disability and mortality amongst mothers and their babies 2 . Poor attendance at antenatal clinic is a barrier to healthcare in low-income countries. Increasing awareness of the importance of these visits for women should be encouraged. The majority of cases reviewed in this sample of women were treated according to Ugandan National Guidelines. It is recommended to commence the use of aspirin prophylaxis for women at high-risk of developing pre-eclampsia and the creation of detailed guidelines for Uganda which would allow for standardisation of care county-wide.

Keywords: Uganda, pre-eclampsia, antenatal monitoring, low resource setting

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2 Management of Third Stage Labour in a Rural Ugandan Hospital

Authors: Joseph Hartland, Brid Dinnee, Jessica Taylor, Michael Natarajan

Abstract:

Background:The third stage of labour (TSL) can be complicated by Post-Partum Haemorrhage (PPH), which can have a significant impact on maternal mortality and morbidity. In Africa, 33.9% of maternal deaths are attributable to PPH1. In order to minimise this figure, current recommendations for the developing world are that all women have active management of the third stage of labour (AMTSL). The aim of this project was to examine TSL practice in a rural Ugandan Hospital, highlight any deviation from best practice and identify barriers to change in resource limited settings as part of a 4th year medical student External Student Selected Component field trip. Method: Five key elements from the current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on AMTSL were used to develop an audit tool. All daytime vaginal deliveries over a two week period in July 2016 were audited. In addition to this, a retrospective comparison of PPH rates, between 2006 (when ubiquitous use of intramuscular oxytocin for management of TSL was introduced) and 2015 was performed. Results: Eight vaginal deliveries were observed; at all of which intramuscular oxytocin was administered and controlled cord traction used. Against WHO recommendation, all umbilical cords were clamped within one minute, and no infants received early skin-to-skin contact. In only one case was uterine massage performed after placental delivery. A retrospective comparison of data rates identified a 40% reduction in total number of PPHs from November 2006 to November 2015. Maternal deaths per delivery reduced from 2% to 0.5%. Discussion: Maternal mortality and PPH are still major issues in developing countries. Maternal mortality due to PPH can be reduced by good practices regarding TSL, but not all of these are used in low-resource settings. There is a notable difference in outcomes between the developed and developing world. At Kitovu Hospital, there has been a reduction in maternal mortality and number of PPHs following introduction of IM Oxytocin administration. In order to further improve these rates, staff education and further government funding is key.

Keywords: Uganda, post-partum haemorrhage, PPH, third stage labour

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1 Surgical Skills in Mulanje

Authors: Nick Toossi, Joseph Hartland

Abstract:

Background: Malawi is an example of a low resource setting which faces a chronic shortage of doctors and other medical staff. This shortfall is made up for by clinical officers (COs), who are para-medicals trained for 4 years. The literature suggests to improve outcomes surgical skills training specifically should be promoted for COs in district and mission hospitals. Accordingly, the primary author was tasked with developing a basic surgical skills teaching package for COs of Mulanje Mission Hospital (MMH), Malawi, as part of a 4th year medical student External Student Selected Component field trip. MMH is a hospital based in the South of Malawi near the base of Mulanje Mountain and works in an extremely isolated environment with some of the poorest communities in the country. Traveling to Malawi the medical student author performed an educational needs assessment to develop and deliver a bespoke basic surgical skills teaching package. Methodology: An initial needs assessment identified the following domains: basic surgical skills (instrument naming & handling, knot tying, suturing principles and suturing techniques) and perineal repair. Five COs took part in a teaching package involving an interactive group simulation session, overseen by senior clinical officers and surgical trainees from the UK. Non-organic and animal models were used for simulation practice. This included the use of surgical skills boards to practice knot tying and ox tongue to simulate perineal repair. All participants spoke and read English. The impact of the session was analysed in two different ways. The first was via a pre and post Single Best Answer test and the second a questionnaire including likert’s scales and free text response questions. Results: There was a positive trend in pre and post test scores on competition of the course. There was increase in the mean confidence of learners before and after the delivery of teaching in basic surgical skills and simulated perineal repair, especially in ‘instrument naming and handling’. Whilst positively received it was discovered that learners desire more frequent surgical skills teaching sessions in order to improve and revise skills. Feedback suggests that the learners were not confident in retaining the skills without regular input. Discussion: Skills and confidence were improved as a result of the teaching provided. Learner's written feedback suggested there was an overall appetite for regular surgical skills teaching in the clinical environment and further opportunities to allow for deliberate self-practice. Surgical mentorship schemes facilitating supervised theatre time among trainees and lead surgeons along with improving access to surgical models/textbooks were some of the simple suggestions to improve surgical skills and confidence among COs. Although, this study is limited by population size it is reflective of the small, isolated and low resource environment in which this healthcare is delivered. This project does suggest that current surgical skills packages used in the UK could be adapted for employment in low resource settings, but it is consistency and sustainability that staff seek above all in their on-going education.

Keywords: Education, Malawi, surgical skills, clinical officers

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