The Effect and Feasibility of mHealth-Supported Surgical Site Infection Diagnosis by Community Health Workers After Cesarean Section in Rural Rwanda: Randomized Controlled Trial

The development of a surgical site infection (SSI) after cesarean section (c-section) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries, including Rwanda. Rwanda relies on a robust community health worker (CHW)–led, home-based paradigm for delivering follow-up care for women after childbirth. However, this program does not currently include postoperative care for women after c-section, such as SSI screenings.

This trial assesses whether CHW’s use of a mobile health (mHealth)–facilitated checklist administered in person or via phone call improved rates of return to care among women who develop an SSI following c-section at a rural Rwandan district hospital. A secondary objective was to assess the feasibility of implementing the CHW-led mHealth intervention in this rural district.

A total of 1025 women aged ≥18 years who underwent a c-section between November 2017 and September 2018 at Kirehe District Hospital were randomized into the three following postoperative care arms: (1) home visit intervention (n=335, 32.7%), (2) phone call intervention (n=334, 32.6%), and (3) standard of care (n=356, 34.7%). A CHW-led, mHealth-supported SSI diagnostic protocol was delivered in the two intervention arms, while patients in the standard of care arm were instructed to adhere to routine health center follow-up. We assessed intervention completion in each intervention arm and used logistic regression to assess the odds of returning to care.

The majority of women in Arm 1 (n=295, 88.1%) and Arm 2 (n=226, 67.7%) returned to care and were assessed for an SSI at their local health clinic. There were no significant differences in the rates of returning to clinic within 30 days (P=.21), with high rates found consistently across all three arms (Arm 1: 99.7%, Arm 2: 98.4%, and Arm 3: 99.7%, respectively).

Home-based post–c-section follow-up is feasible in rural Africa when performed by mHealth-supported CHWs. In this study, we found no difference in return to care rates between the intervention arms and standard of care. However, given our previous study findings describing the significant patient-incurred financial burden posed by traveling to a health center, we believe this intervention has the potential to reduce this burden by limiting patient travel to the health center when an SSI is ruled out at home. Further studies are needed (1) to determine the acceptability of this intervention by CHWs and patients as a new standard of care after c-section and (2) to assess whether an app supplementing the mHealth screening checklist with image-based machine learning could improve CHW diagnostic accuracy.

A study of clinical and economic burden of surgical site infection in patients undergoing caesarian section at a tertiary care teaching hospital in India

Caesarian section is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in India. Determination of the incidence as well as the clinical and financial burden of post caesarian surgical site infection (SSI) is of critical importance for all the stakeholders for rational and fair allocation of resources.

This study was a prospective observational case-control study. The mean direct and indirect cost of treatment for the cases were compared with the control patients. An unpaired t-test was used to compare the mean between the two groups.

Out of 2024 patients, who underwent caesarian section during the study period, 114 had acquired incisional surgical site infection (ISSI), with the infection incidence being 5.63%. The total cost of illness due to post caesarian ISSI was almost three times higher compared to the non-infected matched control group. (P<0.0001). An average length of hospital stay in the ISSI patient group was 10 days longer than that in the control group (P<0.0001) and importantly total length of antimicrobial therapy(LOT) in patients with ISSI was also almost three times higher than the control group (P<0.0001).

The development of post caesarian SSI imposes a significant clinical as well as a financial burden. The study highlights the necessity of taking effective preventive measures to decrease the incidence of SSI.

On prioritising global health’s triple crisis of sepsis, COVID-19 and antimicrobial resistance: a mixed-methods study from Malawi

Sepsis causes 20% of global deaths, particularly among children and vulnerable populations living in developing countries. This study investigated how sepsis is prioritised in Malawi’s health system to inform health policy. In this mixed-methods study, twenty multisectoral stakeholders were qualitatively interviewed and asked to quantitatively rate the likelihood of sepsis-related medium-term policy outcomes being realised. Respondents indicated that sepsis is not prioritised in Malawi due to a lack of local sepsis-related evidence and policies. However, they highlighted strong linkages between sepsis and maternal health, antimicrobial resistance and COVID-19, which are already existing national priorities, and offers opportunities for sepsis researchers as policy entrepreneurs. To address the burden of sepsis, we recommend that funding should be channelled to the generation of local evidence, evidence uptake, procurement of resources and treatment of sepsis cases, development of appropriate indicators for sepsis, adherence to infection prevention and control measures, and antimicrobial stewardship.

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

Reducing Inappropriate Urinary Catheter Use by Involving Patients Through the Participatient App: Before-and-After Study

Background: The risk of urinary tract infections is increased by the inappropriate placement and unnecessary prolongation of the use of indwelling urinary catheters. Sustained behavior change in infection prevention could be promoted by empowering patients through a smartphone app.
Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility and efficacy of implementation actions on patients’ use of the Participatient app on a clinical ward and to compare 3 survey methods for urinary catheter use.
Methods: Participatient was introduced for all admitted patients at the surgical nursing ward in a university hospital in the Netherlands. Over a period of 3 months, the number of new app users, days of use, and sessions were recorded. In a comparison of urinary catheter use before and after the implementation of the app, 3 methods for point prevalence surveys of catheter use were tested. Surveys were conducted through manual parsing of the text in patients’ electronic medical records, parsing a survey of checkbox items, and parsing nursing notes.
Results: In all, 475 patients were admitted to the ward, 42 (8.8%) installed the app, with 1 to 5 new users per week. The actions with the most ensuing app use were the kick-off with the clinical lesson and recruiting of the intake nurse. Between the survey methods, there was considerable variation in catheter use prevalence. Therefore, we used the standard method of manual parsing in further analyses. Catheter use prevalence decreased from 38% (36/96) to 27% (23/86) after app introduction (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.32-1.14).
Conclusions: The clinical application of Participatient, the infection prevention app for patients, could be feasible when implementation actions are also used. For surveying indwelling urinary catheter use prevalence, manual parsing is the best approach.

Development and Implementation of an Antimicrobial Stewardship Checklist in Sub-saharan Africa: a Co-creation Consensus Approach


Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) initiatives promote the responsible use of antimicrobials in healthcare settings as a key measure to curb the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Defining the core elements of AMS is essential for developing and evaluating comprehensive AMS programmes. This project used co-creation and Delphi-consensus procedures to adapt and extend the existing published international AMS checklist. The overall objective was to arrive at a contextualised checklist of core AMS elements and key behaviours for use within healthcare settings in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as to implement the checklist in health institutions in four African countries.


The AMS checklist tool was developed using a modified Delphi approach to achieve local, expert consensus on items to be included on the checklist. Fourteen healthcare/public health professionals from Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and Ghana were invited to review, score and comment on items from a published, global AMS checklist. Following their feedback, eight items were re-phrased and 25 new items added to the checklist. The final AMS checklist tool was deployed across 19 healthcare sites and used to assess AMS programmes before and after an AMS intervention in 14 of the 19 sites.


The final tool comprised 54 items. Across the 14 sites, the checklist consistently showed improvements for all AMS components following the intervention. The greatest improvements observed were the presence of formal multidisciplinary AMS structures (79%) and the execution of a point-prevalence survey (72%). Elements with the least improvement were access to laboratory/imaging services (7%) and the presence of adequate financial support for AMS (14%). In addition to capturing quantitative and qualitative changes associated with the AMS intervention, project evaluation suggested that administering the AMS checklist made unique contributions to ongoing AMS activities. Furthermore, 29 additional AMS activities were reported as a direct result of the prompting checklist questions.


Contextualised, co-created AMS tools are necessary for managing antimicrobial use across healthcare settings and increasing local AMS ownership and commitment. This study led to the development of a new AMS checklist which proved successful in capturing AMS improvements in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and Ghana. The tool also made unique contributions to furthering local AMS efforts. The study extends existing AMS materials for low and middle-income countries and provides empirical evidence for successful use in practice.

Cost of postoperative sepsis in Vietnam

Despite improvements in medical care, the burden of sepsis remains high. In this study, we evaluated the incremental cost associated with postoperative sepsis and the impact of postoperative sepsis on clinical outcomes among surgical patients in Vietnam. We used the national database that contained 1,241,893 surgical patients undergoing seven types of surgery. We controlled the balance between the groups of patients using propensity score matching method. Generalized gamma regression and logistic regression were utilized to estimate incremental cost, readmission, and reexamination associated with postoperative sepsis. The average incremental cost associated with postoperative sepsis was 724.1 USD (95% CI 553.7–891.7) for the 30 days after surgery, which is equivalent to 28.2% of the per capita GDP in Vietnam in 2018. The highest incremental cost was found in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery, at 2,897 USD (95% CI 530.7–5263.2). Postoperative sepsis increased patient odds of readmission (OR = 6.40; 95% CI 6.06–6.76), reexamination (OR = 1.67; 95% CI 1.58–1.76), and also associated with 4.9 days longer of hospital length of stay among surgical patients. Creating appropriate prevention strategies for postoperative sepsis is extremely important, not only to improve the quality of health care but also to save health financial resources each year.

Antibiotic resistance among bacteria isolated from war-wounded patients at the Weapon Traumatology Training Center of the International Committee of the Red Cross from 2016 to 2019: a secondary analysis of WHONET surveillance data

A substantial body of evidence has recently emphasized the risks associated with antibiotic resistance (ABR) in conflicts in the Middle East. War-related, and more specifically weapon-related wounds can be an important breeding ground for multidrug resistant (MDR) organisms. However, the majority of available evidence comes from the military literature focused on risks and patterns of ABR in infections from combat-related injuries among military personnel. The overall aim of this study is to contribute to the scarce existing evidence on the burden of ABR among patients, including civilians with war-related wounds in the Middle East, in order to help inform the revision of empirical antibiotic prophylaxis and treatment protocols adopted in these settings. The primary objectives of this study are to: 1) describe the microbiology and the corresponding resistance profiles of the clinically relevant bacteria most commonly isolated from skin, soft tissue and bone biopsies in patients admitted to the WTTC; and 2) describe the association of the identified bacteria and corresponding resistance profiles with sociodemographic and specimen characteristics.

Sequelae of Infective Endocarditis: Ruptured Aortic Root Abscess in a 38-Year-Old Female With Complicated Infective Endocarditis

A 38-year-old female with no known comorbidities or previous history of heart disease presented to the hospital with a three-day history of drowsiness and shortness of breath. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed, which showed large vegetations on aortic and tricuspid valves. In addition, there was severe aortic regurgitation with a possible abscess on the non-coronary cusp of the aortic valve.

The patient was admitted, and a provisional diagnosis of disseminated tuberculosis, Infective endocarditis (IE), and sepsis was made. Surgical intervention was planned. Intraoperative findings revealed that a fistula had formed connecting the aorta and right atrium, which was closed with an autologous graft derived from the patient’s pericardial tissue. Vegetations were removed, and the aortic valve was replaced with a metallic valve.

This case report presents a patient with complicated IE with a ruptured aortic root abscess. Mechanical complications associated with IE, such as in our case, are rare among patients with IE. However, surgical intervention should be considered as an option in complicated cases of IE when standard therapy fails.

Study protocol for a cluster randomised trial of sterile glove and instrument change at the time of wound closure to reduce surgical site infection in low- and middle-income countries (CHEETAH)

Surgical site infection (SSI) represents a major burden for patients, doctors, and health systems around the world. The aim of this trial is to assess whether the practice of using separate sterile gloves and instruments to close wounds at the end of surgery compared to current routine hospital practice can reduce surgical site infection at 30-days post-surgery for patients undergoing clean-contaminated, contaminated, or dirty abdominal surgery.

This study protocol describes a pragmatic, international, multi-centre, 2-arm, cluster randomised controlled trial, with an internal pilot. Clusters are defined as hospitals within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) defined by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Official Development Assistance (ODA) list, where there are at least 4 eligible hospitals per country. Hospitals (clusters) must be in LMICs where glove and instrument change are not currently routine practice. Patients (adults and children) undergoing emergency or elective abdominal surgery for a clean-contaminated, contaminated, or dirty operation are eligible for inclusion. Before closing the abdominal wall, surgeons and the scrub nurse will change gloves and use separate, sterile instruments (intervention), versus no changing gloves or using separate, sterile instruments (standard practice, control). The primary outcome is SSI within 30 days after surgery, using the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) criteria. Secondary outcomes are SSI before point of hospital discharge, and readmission, reoperation, length of hospital stay, return to normal activities, and death up to 30-days after surgery. A 12-month internal pilot, including 12 clusters and approximately 600 participants, aims to assess adherence to allocation and follow-up of patients. The main trial is powered to detect a minimum reduction in the primary outcome from 16 to 12%. A total of 12,800 participants will be recruited from 64 clusters (hospitals) each including at least 200 participants.

Change of gloves and sterile instruments prior to fascial closure in abdominal surgery is a low-cost, simple, intraoperative intervention which involves all members of the surgical and scrub team. If effective at reducing SSI, this practice could be readily implemented across all contexts. The findings of this trial will inform future guideline updates from international healthcare organisations, including the World Health Organization.