Phenotypic Bacterial Isolates, Antimicrobial Susceptibility Pattern and Associated Factors among Septicemia Suspected Patients at a hospital, in Northwest Ethiopia. Prospective cross- sectional study

Background
Septicemia is a life-threatening infection when pathogenic bacteria infiltrate the bloodstream, leading morbidity and mortality in Ethiopian hospital patients. Multidrug resistance is a therapeutic challenge among this patient and has a paucity of data in the hospitals. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the bacterial isolates, antimicrobial susceptibility pattern, and associated factors among septicemia suspected patients.

Methods
Prospective cross-sectional study was conducted among 214 septicemia suspected patients from February to June 2021 a hospital in northwest, Ethiopia. Blood samples were collected aseptically and processed to identify bacterial isolates by using different standard microbiological procedures. Antimicrobial susceptibility pattern was performed using the modified Kirby Bauer disc diffusion on Mueller Hinton agar. Epi-data V4.2 was used to enter data and SPSS V25 for analysis. The variables were assessed using a bivariate logistic regression model with a 95% confidence interval, and declared statistically significant; P-value was < 0.05.

Results
The overall bacterial isolates was found 45/214 (21%) in this study. Gram-negative and positive bacteria were 25/45(55.6%), 20/45(44.4%) respectively. The most common bacterial isolates were Staphylococcus aureus12/45 (26.7%), Klebsiella pneumonia8/45(17.8%), Escherichia coli 6/45 (13.3%). Gram-negative bacteria showed susceptible to amikacin (88%), meropenem, imipenem (76%), but resistance to (92%) ampicillin, (85.7%) amoxicillin-clavulanic acid. S.aureus (91.7%) resistance to Penicillin, (58.3%) cefoxitin and (75%) susceptible to ciprofloxacillin. S.pyogenes and S.agalactia were (100%) susceptible to Vancomacin. Multidrug resistance was found in 27/45(60%) of the bacterial isolates. The main predictors related to patients suspected of septicemia were prolonged hospitalization (AOR = 2.29, 95% CI: 1.18, 7.22), fever (AOR = 0.39, 95%CI: 0.18, 0.85) and length of hospital stay (AOR = 0.13, 95%CI: 0.02, 0.82).

Conclusions
Bacterial isolates among septicemia suspected patients were high. The majority of the bacterial isolates were multidrug-resistant. To prevent antimicrobial resistance, specific antibiotic utilization strategy should be applied.

COVID-19 and resilience of healthcare systems in ten countries

Declines in health service use during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic could have important effects on population health. In this study, we used an interrupted time series design to assess the immediate effect of the pandemic on 31 health services in two low-income (Ethiopia and Haiti), six middle-income (Ghana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Nepal, South Africa and Thailand) and high-income (Chile and South Korea) countries. Despite efforts to maintain health services, disruptions of varying magnitude and duration were found in every country, with no clear patterns by country income group or pandemic intensity. Disruptions in health services often preceded COVID-19 waves. Cancer screenings, TB screening and detection and HIV testing were most affected (26–96% declines). Total outpatient visits declined by 9–40% at national levels and remained lower than predicted by the end of 2020. Maternal health services were disrupted in approximately half of the countries, with declines ranging from 5% to 33%. Child vaccinations were disrupted for shorter periods, but we estimate that catch-up campaigns might not have reached all children missed. By contrast, provision of antiretrovirals for HIV was not affected. By the end of 2020, substantial disruptions remained in half of the countries. Preliminary data for 2021 indicate that disruptions likely persisted. Although a portion of the declines observed might result from decreased needs during lockdowns (from fewer infectious illnesses or injuries), a larger share likely reflects a shortfall of health system resilience. Countries must plan to compensate for missed healthcare during the current pandemic and invest in strategies for better health system resilience for future emergencies.

Emergency capacity analysis in Ethiopia: Results of a baseline emergency facility assessment

Introduction
In Ethiopia, the specialty of Emergency Medicine is a relatively new discipline. In the last few decades, policymakers have made Emergency Medicine a priority for improving population health. This study aims to contribute to this strengthening of Emergency Medicine, by conducting the country’s first baseline gap analysis of Emergency Medicine Capacity at the pre-hospital and hospital level in order to help identify needs and areas for intervention.

Methods
This is a cross sectional investigation that utilized a convenience sampling of 22 primary, general and tertiary hospitals. Trained personnel visited the hospitals and conducted 4-hour interviews with hospital administrators and emergency care area personnel. The tool used in the interview was the Columbia University sidHARTe Program Emergency Services Resource Assessment Tool (ESRAT) to evaluate both emergency and trauma capacity in different regions of Ethiopia. The findings of this survey were then compared against two established standards: the World Health Organization’s Essential Package of Emergency Care (EPEC), as well as those set by Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health.

Results
The tool assessed the services provided at each hospital and evaluated the infrastructure of emergency care at the facility. Triage systems differed amongst the hospitals surveyed though triaging and emergency unit infrastructures were relatively similar amongst the hospitals. There was a marked variability in the level of training, guidelines, staffing, disaster preparedness, drug availability, procedures performed, and quality assurance measures from hospital to hospital. Most regional and district hospitals did not have nurses or doctors trained in Emergency Medicine and over 70% of the hospitals did not have written guidelines for standardized emergency care.

Conclusion
This gap analysis has revealed numerous inconsistencies in health care practice, resources, and infrastructure within the scope of Emergency Medicine in Ethiopia. Major gaps were identified, and the results of this assessment were used to devise action priorities for the Ministry of Health. Much remains to be done to strengthen Emergency Medicine in Ethiopia, and numerous opportunities exist to make additional short and long-term improvements

Predictors of facility-based delivery utilization in central Ethiopia: A case-control study

Background
Improving access to maternal health services has been a priority for the health sector in low-income countries; the utilization of facility delivery services has remained low. Although Ethiopia provides free maternal health services in all public health facilities utilization of services has not been as expected.

Objective
This study examined predictors of facility delivery service utilization in central Ethiopia.

Methods
We conducted a community-based case-control study within the catchment areas of selected public health facilities in central Ethiopia. Women who delivered their last child in a health facility were considered as cases and women who delivered their last child at home were considered as controls. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent predictors of facility delivery utilization.

Result
Facility delivery was positive and strongly associated with practicing birth preparedness and complication readiness (BPCR) (AOR = 12.3, 95%CI: 3.9, 39.1); partners’ involvement about obstetric assistance (AOR = 3.1, 95%CI: 1.0, 9.0); spending 30 or less minutes to decide on the place of delivery and 45 or less minutes to walk to health facilities (AOR = 7.4, 95%CI: 2.4, 23.2 and AOR = 8.1, 95%CI: 2.5, 26.9, respectively). Additionally, having knowledge of obstetric complication, attending ≥ 4 antenatal care (ANC) visits, birth order and the use of free ambulance service also showed significant association with facility delivery.

Conclusion
Despite the availability of free maternal services there are still many barriers to utilization of delivery services. Strengthening efforts to bring delivery services closer to home and enhancing BPCR are necessary to increase institutional delivery service utilization.

Magnitude of mortality and its associated factors among Burn victim children admitted to South Gondar zone government hospitals, Ethiopia, from 2015 to 2019

Background
Burn is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disability every year in low and middle-income countries, which mainly affects those aged less than 15 years. Death from burn injuries carries the most significant losses, which often have grave consequences for the countries. Even though data from different settings are necessary to tackle it, pieces of evidence in this area are limited. Thus, this study was aimed to answer the question, what is the Magnitude of Mortality? And what are the factors associated with mortality among burn victim children admitted to South Gondar Zone Government Hospitals, Ethiopia, from 2015 to 2019?

Methods
Institutional-based cross-sectional study design was used to study 348 hospitalized burn victim pediatrics’, from 2015 to 2019. A simple random sampling method was used. Data were exported from Epidata to SPSS version 23 for analysis. Significant of the variables were declared when a p-value is < 0.05.

Result
The mortality rate of burn victim children in this study was 8.5% (95% CI = 5.5–11.4). Medical insurance none users burn victim children were more likely (AOR 3.700; 95% CI =1.2–11.5) to die as compared with medical insurance users, burn victim children with malnutrition were more risk (AOR 3.9; 95% CI = 1.3–12.2) of mortality as compared with well-nourished child. Moreover, electrical (AOR 7.7; 95% CI = 1.8–32.5.2) and flame burn (AOR 3.3; 95% CI = 1.2–9.0), total body surface area greater than 20% of burn were more likely (AOR 4.6; 95% CI 1.8–11.8) to die compared to less than 20% burn area and burn victim children admitted with poor clinical condition at admission were four times (AOR 4.1, 95% CI = 1.3–12.0) of mortality compared to a good clinical condition.

Conclusion
The mortality among burn victim children was higher than most of the studies conducted all over the world. Medical insurance none users, being malnourished, burned by electrical and flame burn, having total body surface area burnt greater than 20%, and having poor clinical condition at addition were significantly associated with mortality of burn victim pediatrics. Therefore, timely identification and monitoring of burn injury should be necessary to prevent mortality of burn victim pediatrics.

Individual and facility-level factors associated with women’s receipt of immediate postpartum family planning counseling in Ethiopia: results from national surveys of women and health facilities

Background
Immediate postpartum family planning (IPPFP) helps prevent unintended and closely spaced pregnancies. Despite Ethiopia’s rising facility-based delivery rate and supportive IPPFP policies, the prevalence of postpartum contraceptive use remains low, with little known about disparities in access to IPPFP counseling. We sought to understand if women’s receipt of IPPFP counseling varied by individual and facility characteristics.

Methods
We used weighted linked household and facility data from the national Performance Monitoring for Action Ethiopia (PMA-Ethiopia) study. Altogether, 936 women 5–9 weeks postpartum who delivered at a government facility were matched to the nearest facility offering labor and delivery care, corresponding to the facility type in which each woman reported delivering (n = 224 facilities). We explored women’s receipt of IPPFP counseling and individual and facility-level characteristics utilizing descriptive statistics. The relationship between women’s receipt of IPPFP counseling and individual and facility factors were assessed through multivariate, multilevel models.

Results
Approximately one-quarter of postpartum women received IPPFP counseling (27%) and most women delivered government health centers (59%). Nearly all facilities provided IPPFP services (94%); most had short- and long-acting methods available (71 and 87%, respectively) and no recent stockouts (60%). Multivariate analyses revealed significant disparities in IPPFP counseling with lower odds of counseling among primiparous women, those who delivered vaginally, and women who did not receive delivery care from a doctor or health officer (all p < 0.05). Having never used contraception was marginally associated with lower odds of receiving IPPFP counseling (p < 0.10). IPPFP counseling did not differ by age, residence, method availability, or facility type, after adjusting for other individual and facility factors.

Conclusion
Despite relatively widespread availability of IPPFP services in Ethiopia, receipt of IPPFP counseling remains low. Our results highlight important gaps in IPPFP care, particularly among first-time mothers, women who have never used contraception, women who delivered vaginally, and those who did not receive delivery care from a doctor or health officer. As facility births continue to rise in Ethiopia, health systems and providers must ensure that equitable, high-quality IPPFP services are offered to all women.

Gastrointestinal endoscopy capacity in Eastern Africa

Background and study aims Limited evidence suggests that endoscopy capacity in sub-Saharan Africa is insufficient to meet the levels of gastrointestinal disease. We aimed to quantify the human and material resources for endoscopy services in eastern African countries, and to identify barriers to expanding endoscopy capacity.

Patients and methods In partnership with national professional societies, digestive healthcare professionals in participating countries were invited to complete an online survey between August 2018 and August 2020.

Results Of 344 digestive healthcare professionals in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia, 87 (25.3 %) completed the survey, reporting data for 91 healthcare facilities and identifying 20 additional facilities. Most respondents (73.6 %) perform endoscopy and 59.8 % perform at least one therapeutic modality. Facilities have a median of two functioning gastroscopes and one functioning colonoscope each. Overall endoscopy capacity, adjusted for non-response and additional facilities, includes 0.12 endoscopists, 0.12 gastroscopes, and 0.09 colonoscopes per 100,000 population in the participating countries. Adjusted maximum upper gastrointestinal and lower gastrointestinal endoscopic capacity were 106 and 45 procedures per 100,000 persons per year, respectively. These values are 1 % to 10 % of those reported from resource-rich countries. Most respondents identified a lack of endoscopic equipment, lack of trained endoscopists and costs as barriers to provision of endoscopy services.

Conclusions Endoscopy capacity is severely limited in eastern sub-Saharan Africa, despite a high burden of gastrointestinal disease. Expanding capacity requires investment in additional human and material resources, and technological innovations that improve the cost and sustainability of endoscopic services.

Financial risk of road traffic trauma care in public and private hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional observational study

Background: Road traffic injuries are among the most important causes of morbidity and mortality and cause substantial economic loss to households in Ethiopia. This study estimates the financial risks of seeking trauma care due to road traffic injuries in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey on out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures related to trauma care in three public and one private hospital in Addis Ababa from December 2018 to February 2019. Direct medical and non-medical costs (2018 USD) were collected from 452 trauma cases. Catastrophic health expenditures were defined as OOP health expenditures of 10% or more of total household expenditures. Additionally, we investigated the impoverishment effect of OOP expenditures using the international poverty line of $1.90 per day per person (adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity).

Results: Trauma care seeking after road traffic injuries generate catastrophic health expenditures for 67% of households and push 24% of households below the international poverty line. On average, the medical OOP expenditures per patient seeking care were $256 for outpatient visits and $690 for inpatient visits per road traffic injury. Patients paid more for trauma care in private hospitals, and OOP expenditures were six times higher in private than in public hospitals. Transport to facilities and caregiver costs were the two major cost drivers, amounting to $96 and $68 per patient, respectively.

Conclusion: Seeking trauma care after a road traffic injury poses a substantial financial threat to Ethiopian households due to lack of strong financial risk protection mechanisms. Ethiopia’s government should enact multisectoral interventions for increasing the prevention of road traffic injuries and implement universal public finance of trauma care.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international reconstructive collaborations in Africa

Background
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has catalysed a widespread humanitarian crisis in many low- and middle-income countries around the world, with many African nations significantly impacted. The aim of this study was to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the planning and provision of international reconstructive collaborations in Africa.

Methods
An anonymous, 14-question, multiple choice questionnaire was sent to 27 non-governmental organisations who regularly perform reconstructive surgery in Africa. The survey was open to responses for four weeks, closing on the 7th of March 2021. A single reminder was sent out at 2 weeks. The survey covered four key domains: (1) NGO demographics; (2) the impact of COVID-19 on patient follow-up; (3) barriers to the safe provision of international surgical collaborations during COVID-19; (4) the impact of COVID-19 on NGO funding.

Results
A total of ten reconstructive NGOs completed the survey (response rate, 37%). Ethiopia (n = 5) and Tanzania (n = 4) were the countries where most collaborations took place. Plastic, reconstructive and burns surgery was the most common sub-speciality (n = 7). For NGOs that did not have a year-round presence in country (n = 8), only one NGO was able to perform reconstructive surgery in Africa during the pandemic. The most common barrier identified was travel restrictions (within country, n = 8 or country entry-exit, n = 7). Pre-pandemic, 1547 to ≥ 1800 patients received reconstructive surgery on international surgical collaborations. After the outbreak, 70% of NGOs surveyed had treated no patients, with approximately 1405 to ≥ 1640 patients left untreated over the last year.

Conclusions
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed huge pressures on health services and their delivery across the globe. This theme has extended into international surgical collaborations leading to increased unmet surgical needs in low- and middle-income countries.

Late Diagnosis of Breast Cancer and Associated Factors Among Women Attending Hawassa University Comprehensive and Specialized Hospital Southern Ethiopia

Background; Breast cancer is a significant public health issue in sub-Saharan Africa and the second commonest cancer overall. In Ethiopia, most women present at the late-stage presentation. This is because Ethiopian government gives less attention, and is not well-studied as well. Therefore, it is important to assess delays in diagnosis and treating breast cancer that has been associated with a more advanced stage of the disease and a decrease in patient survival rates.

Objective: To assess the magnitude and associated factors for late diagnosis of breast cancer among women attending Hawassa University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital in Southern Ethiopia.

Methodology: A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted from December to January 2019. Data were collected from 261 consecutively selected clients based on the arrival of their hospital visit by using a pretested structured questionnaire and checklist. Physicians performed physical examinations and diagnoses. Data was checked for completeness and consistency, and entered into epi data, then exported to SPSS for analysis. Descriptive, Bivariate, and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed using SPSS Version 25 Statistical Software.

Results: The magnitude of late diagnosis of breast cancer was 86.3%. The woman who had no initial advice for breast biopsy [AOR=5.1, 95% (CI=1.4-18.9)], not sharing the problem to others [AOR=4.7, 95% (CI=1.8-12.2)] and using traditional and faith healers as a first treatment choice [AOR=3.3, 95% (CI=1.2 – 8.8)] were associated with late diagnosis of breast cancer.

Conclusions: The majority of women having breast cancer were diagnosed at a late stage. It needs attention to provide better options of the modern health service, and providing accessible initial advice for breast biopsy, and creating awareness about the benefit of sharing problems with family to improve the health of mothers by early diagnosing and managing the breast cancer.