‘An Appraisal of the Contextual Drivers of Successful Antimicrobial Stewardship Implementation in Nigerian Healthcare Facilities.

: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a consequence of inappropriate actions, including irrational antimicrobial prescribing and use. AMR remains an emergent and significant public health threat, particularly in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), including Nigeria. Optimizing antimicrobial (AM) use through functional hospital antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs is one of the strategies to control the spread of AMR. Literature is replete with evidence, but few studies examined the contextual factors limiting AMS functionality at the facility levels. This study explored the intrinsic contextual factors shaping AMS practice at the three-tiered levels of care.

: This was a qualitative case study with a purposeful sample size of 30 participants drawn from two primary, two secondary, and two tertiary health facilities in Nigeria. Data were coded and categorized for thematic analysis.

: Emergent themes include lack of AMS programs, inadequate guidelines, lack of modern equipment and incorrect diagnosis, absence of continuous medical education, imbalance of power among professionals, and pervasive external influence of pharmaceutical marketing companies. These finding demonstrate that the AMS program is lacking or poorly implemented at the three-tiered level of care.

: We recommended that health facilities establish AMS programs in line with World Health Organization’s stepwise approach. These challenges, if addressed, will promote the successful performance of the AMS program, contributing to rational AM use at all levels of care. Since primary health centres constitute 85.4% of all health facilities, customizing the AMS core elements at this level will contribute to achieving the goals of universal health care.

Burn Admissions Across Low- and Middle-income Countries: A Repeated Cross-sectional Survey

Burn injuries have decreased markedly in high-income countries while the incidence of burns remains high in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) where more than 90% of burns are thought to occur. However, the cause of burns in LMIC is poorly documented. The aim was to document the causes of severe burns and the changes over time. A cross-sectional survey was completed for 2014 and 2019 in eight burn centers across Africa, Asia, and Latin America: Cairo, Nairobi, Ibadan, Johannesburg, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Sao Paulo, and Guadalajara. The information summarised included demographics of burn patients, location, cause, and outcomes of burns. In total, 15,344 patients were admitted across all centers, 37% of burns were women and 36% of burns were children. Burns occurred mostly in household settings (43–79%). In Dhaka and Kathmandu, occupational burns were also common (32 and 43%, respectively). Hot liquid and flame burns were most common while electric burns were also common in Dhaka and Sao Paulo. The type of flame burns varies by center and year, in Dhaka, 77% resulted from solid fuel in 2014 while 74% of burns resulted from Liquefied Petroleum Gas in 2019. In Nairobi, a large proportion (32%) of burns were intentional self-harm or assault. The average length of stay in hospitals decreased from 2014 to 2019. The percentage of deaths ranged from 5% to 24%. Our data provide important information on the causes of severe burns which can provide guidance in how to approach the development of burn injury prevention programs in LMIC.

Health Shocks and Coping Mechanisms in North Central Nigeria: The Gender Perspective

Introduction: Reliance on out-of-pockets (OOP) payments for health services has continued to hamper access to quality healthcare across Nigeria. Socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the gender of the household head as it influences andimpacts health shocks and OOP payments havereceived very little attention globally. This studyinvestigatedthe gender perspective onhealth shocks, health expenditures and coping mechanisms in North Central, Nigeria. Methods: This is a cross-sectional analytical study involving both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. A total of 1,192 households were studied using multi-stage sampling technique in both rural and urban communities in North Central, Nigeria. Data was analysed with SPSS version 20, and qualitative analysis was done by thematic analysis. Results: The finding showed that 458 (38.4%) of the respondents were female-headed households (FHHs). Female-headed households were less educated, earned lower income, resided more in rural communities and were less insured than male-headed households (MHHs). Health shocks were higher among the FHHs and they also pay higherpercentage of their household expenditure for healthcare through higher OOP payments. Also, more FHHs experienced Catastrophic Health Expenditure (CHE) and reported effects of health shocks on reduction in food consumption and loss of income than MHHs. Age, income, occupation and household size are all factors that influenced health shocks in this study. Conclusions: Innovative ways to financially protect women must be employed, to close up the equity gap and bring Nigeria closer to achieving UHC.

The microeconomic impact of out-of-pocket medical expenditure on the households of cardiovascular disease patients in general and specialized heart hospitals in Ibadan, Nigeria

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) present a huge threat to population health and in addition impose severe economic burden on individuals and their households. Despite this, there is no research evidence on the microeconomic impact of CVDs in Nigeria. Therefore, this study estimated the incidence and intensity of catastrophic health expenditures (CHE), poverty headcount due to out-of-pocket (OOP) medical spending and the associated factors among the households of a cohort of CVDs patients who accessed healthcare services in public and specialized heart hospitals in Ibadan, Nigeria.

This study adopts a descriptive cross-sectional study design. A standardized data collection questionnaire developed by the Initiative for Cardiovascular Health Research in Developing Countries was adapted to electronically collect data from all the 744 CVDs patients who accessed healthcare services in public and specialized heart hospitals in Ibadan between 4th November 2019 to the 31st January 2020. A sensitivity analysis, using rank-dependent thresholds of CHE which ranged from 5%-40% of household total expenditures was carried out. The international poverty line of $1.90/day recommended by the World Bank was utilized to ascertain poverty headcounts pre-and post OOP payments for healthcare services. Categorical variables like household socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, CHE and poverty headcounts, were presented using percentages and proportions. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were used to assess the factors associated with CHE and poverty. Data were analyzed using STATA version 15 and estimates were validated at 5% level of significance.

Catastrophic OOP payment ranged between 3.9%-54.6% and catastrophic overshoot ranged from 1.8% to 12.6%. Health expenditures doubled poverty headcount among households, from 8.13% to 16.4%. Having tertiary education (AOR: 0.49, CI: 0.26–0.93, p = 0.03) and household size (AOR: 0.40, CI: 0.24–0.67, p = 0.001) were significantly associated with CHE. Being female (AOR: 0.41, CI: 0.18–0.92, p = 0.03), household economic status (AOR: 0.003, CI: 0.0003–0.25, p = <0.001) and having 3–4 household members (AOR: 0.30, CI: 0.15–0.61, p = 0.001) were significantly associated with household poverty status post payment for medical services.

OOP medical spending due to CVDs imposed enormous strain on household resources and increased the poverty rates among households. Policies and interventions that supports universal health coverage are highly recommended.

Interpregnancy interval after a miscarriage and obstetric outcomes in the subsequent pregnancy in a low-income setting, Nigeria: A cohort study

The aim of this study was to determine and compare the occurrence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in a cohort of pregnant women with interpregnancy interval of  0.05). There was no increased risk of occurrence of adverse foetomaternal outcomes in both groups (p > 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that there was no statistical difference in the occurrence adverse foetomaternal outcomes between the studied cohorts (p > 0.05).

There was no significant difference in the occurrence of adverse maternal and foetal outcomes in the cohorts of mothers with short and normal interpregnancy interval following miscarriages in their last previous pregnancies

Solid locked intramedullary nailing for expeditious return of bone-setting-induced abnormal fracture union victims to work in South-western Nigeria

Background: Wage earning in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is predominantly through physical labour. Consequently, limb-related disabilities caused by abnormal fracture unions (AFUs) preclude gainful employment and perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Many AFUs result from traditional bone-setting (TBS), a pervasive treatment for long bone fractures in LMICs. The objective of this study was to accentuate the expediency of solid locked intramedullary nail in the early restoration of victims of traditional TBS-induced abnormal fracture unions (AFUs) to their pre-injury functioning, including work.

Methods: One hundred AFUs in 98 patients treated with a solid locked intramedullary nail in our center over a period of 7 years were prospectively studied.

Results: We found the mean age to be 47.97 years. Males constituted 63.9% of the patients’ population. Atrophic non-union accounted for 54.1% of the AFUs. The mean fracture-surgery interval was 21.30 months. By the 12th post-operative week, more than 75% of the fractures had achieved knee flexion/shoulder abduction beyond 900, were able to squat and smile (or do shoulder abduction-external rotation), and were able to bear weight fully.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated the expediency of solid locked nail in salvaging TBS-induced abnormal fracture unions in a way that permitted early return to pre-injury daily activities and work, thereby reducing fracture-associated poverty.

Vision impairment and self-reported anxiety and depression in older adults in Nigeria: evidence from a cross-sectional survey in Kogi State

More than 2 billion people are thought to be living with some form of vision impairment worldwide. Yet relatively little is known about the wider impacts of vision loss on individual health and well-being, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study estimated the associations between all-cause vision impairment and self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression among older adults in Kogi State, Nigeria.

Individual eyes were examined according to the standard Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness methodology, and anxiety and depression were assessed using the Washington Group Short Set on Functioning–Enhanced. The associations were estimated using multivariable logistic regression models, adding two- and three-way interaction terms to test whether these differed for gender subgroups and with age.

Overall, symptoms of either anxiety or depression, or both, were worse among people with severe visual impairment or blindness compared with those with no impairment (OR=2.72, 95% CI 1.86 to 3.99). Higher levels of anxiety and/or depression were observed among men with severe visual impairment and blindness compared with women, and this gender gap appeared to widen as people got older.

These findings suggest a substantial mental health burden among people with vision impairment in LMICs, particularly older men, underscoring the importance of targeted policies and programmes addressing the preventable causes of vision impairment and blindness.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pediatric Surgical Volume in Four Low- and Middle-Income Country Hospitals: Insights from an Interrupted Time Series Analysis

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical care delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) has been challenging to assess due to a lack of data. This study examines the impact of COVID-19 on pediatric surgical volumes at four LMIC hospitals.

Retrospective and prospective pediatric surgical data collected at hospitals in Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Zambia were reviewed from January 2019 to April 2021. Changes in surgical volume were assessed using interrupted time series analysis.

6078 total operations were assessed. Before the pandemic, overall surgical volume increased by 21 cases/month (95% CI 14 to 28, p < 0.001). From March to April 2020, the total surgical volume dropped by 32%, or 110 cases (95% CI − 196 to − 24, p = 0.014). Patients during the pandemic were younger (2.7 vs. 3.3 years, p < 0.001) and healthier (ASA I 69% vs. 66%, p = 0.003). Additionally, they experienced lower rates of post-operative sepsis (0.3% vs 1.5%, p < 0.001), surgical site infections (1.3% vs 5.8%, p < 0.001), and mortality (1.6% vs 3.1%, p < 0.001).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, children’s surgery in LMIC saw a sharp decline in total surgical volume by a third in the month following March 2020, followed by a slow recovery afterward. Patients were healthier with better post-operative outcomes during the pandemic, implying a widening disparity gap in surgical access and exacerbating challenges in addressing the large unmet burden of pediatric surgical disease in LMICs with a need for immediate mitigation strategies.

Burden and outcome of neonatal surgical conditions in Nigeria: A countrywide multicenter cohort study

Background: Despite a decreasing global neonatal mortality, the rate in sub-Saharan Africa is still high. The contribution and the burden of surgical illness to this high mortality rate have not been fully ascertained. This study is performed to determine the overall and disease-specific mortality and morbidity rates following neonatal surgeries; and the pre, intra, and post-operative factors affecting these outcomes.

Methods: This was a prospective observational cohort study; a country-wide, multi-center observational study of neonatal surgeries in 17 tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. The participants were 304 neonates that had surgery within 28 days of life. The primary outcome measure was 30-day postoperative mortality and the secondary outcome measure was 30-day postoperative complication rates.

Results: There were 200 (65.8%) boys and 104 (34.2%) girls, aged 1-28 days (mean of 12.1 ± 10.1 days) and 99(31.6%) were preterm. Sepsis was the most frequent major postoperative complication occurring in 97(32%) neonates. Others were surgical site infection (88, 29.2%) and malnutrition (76, 25.2%). Mortality occurred in 81 (26.6%) neonates. Case-specific mortalities were: gastroschisis (14, 58.3%), esophageal atresia (13, 56.5%) and intestinal atresia (25, 37.2%). Complications significantly correlated with 30-day mortality (p <0.05). The major risk predictors of mortality were apnea (OR=10.8), severe malnutrition (OR =6.9), sepsis (OR =7. I), deep surgical site infection (OR=3.5), and re-operation (OR=2.9).

Conclusion: Neonatal surgical mortality is high at 26.2%. Significant mortality risk factors include prematurity, apnea, malnutrition, and sepsis.

Supporting strategic health purchasing: a case study of annual health budgets from general tax revenue and social health insurance in Abia state, Nigeria

Tracking general trends in strategic purchasing of health financing mechanisms will highlight where country demands may exist for technical support and where progress in being made that offer opportunities for regional learning. Health services in Abia State, Nigeria are funded from general tax-revenues (GTR), and a new state social health insurance scheme (SSHIS) is proposed to overcome the failings of the GTR and expand coverage of services. This study examined purchasing functions within the GTR and the proposed SSHIS to determine if the failings in GTR have been overcome, identify factors that shape health purchasing at sub-national levels, and provide lessons for other states in Nigeria pursuing a similar intervention.

Data was collected through document review and key informant interviews. Government documents were retrieved electronically from the websites of different organizations. Hard copies of paper-only files were retrieved from relevant government agencies and departments. Interviews were conducted with seven key personnel of the State Ministry of Health and State Health Insurance Agency. Thematic analysis of data was based on a strategic health purchasing progress tracking framework which delves into the governance arrangements and information architecture needed for purchasing to work well; and the core purchasing decisions of what to buy; who to buy from; and how to buy.

There are differences in the purchasing arrangements of the two schemes. Purchaser-provider split does not exist for the GTR, unlike in the proposed SSHIS. There are no data systems for monitoring provider performance in the GTR-funded system, unlike in the SSHIS. Whereas GTR is based on a historical budgeting system, the SSHIS proposes to use a defined benefit package, which ensures value-for-money, as the basis for resource allocation. The GTR lacks private sector engagement, provider accreditation and contracting arrangements while the SSHIS will accredit and engage private providers through selective contracting. Likewise, provider payment is not linked to performance or adherence to established standards in the GTR, whereas provider payment will be linked to performance in the SSHIS.

The State Social Health Insurance has been designed to overcome many of the limitations of the budgetary allocation to health. This study provides insights into the enabling and constraining factors that can be used to develop interventions intended to strengthen the strategic health purchasing in the study area, and lessons for the other Nigeria states with similar characteristics and approaches.