Predictors of iron consumption for at least 90 days during pregnancy: Findings from National Demographic Health Survey, Pakistan (2017–2018)

Background
Iron supplementation is considered an imperative strategy for anemia prevention and control during pregnancy in Pakistan. Although there is some evidence on the predictors of iron deficiency anemia among Pakistani women, there is a very limited understanding of factors associated with iron consumption among Pakistani pregnant women. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the predictors of iron consumption for at least ≥90 days during pregnancy in Pakistan.

Methods
We analyzed dataset from the nationally representative Pakistan Demographic Health Survey 2017–2018. The primary outcome of the current study was the consumption of iron supplementation for ≥90 days during the pregnancy of the last birth. Women who had last childbirth 5 years before the survey and who responded to the question of iron intake were included in the final analysis (n = 6370). We analyzed the data that accounted for complex sampling design by including clusters, strata, and sampling weights.

Results
Around 30% of the women reported consumed iron tablets for ≥90 days during their last pregnancy. In the multivariable logistic regression analysis, we found that factors such as women’s age (≥ 25 years) (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) = 1.52; 95% CI: 1.42–1.62)], wealth index (rich/richest) (aPR = 1.25; [95% CI: 1.18–1.33]), primary education (aPR = 1.33; [95% CI: 1.24–1.43), secondary education (aPR = 1.34; [95% CI: 1.26–1.43), higher education (aPR = 2.13; [95% CI: 1.97–2.30), women’s say in choosing husband (aPR = 1.68; [95% CI: 1.57–1.80]), ≥ five antenatal care visits (aPR =2.65; [95% CI (2.43–2.89]), history of the last Caesarian-section (aPR = 1.29; [95% CI: 1.23–1.36]) were significantly associated with iron consumption for ≥90 days.

Conclusion
These findings demonstrate complex predictors of iron consumption during pregnancy in Pakistan. There is a need to increase the number of ANC visits and the government should take necessary steps to improve access to iron supplements by targeting disadvantaged and vulnerable women who are younger, less educated, poor, and living in rural areas.

Predictors of poor outcome from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and an exploratory analysis into the causes of delayed neurosurgical clipping at a major public hospital in the Philippines

Objective:
The provision of neurosurgical care for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is beset with particular challenges in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs) like the Philippines. In this study located in a low-resource setting, we identify the factors that contribute to unfavorable outcomes of dependency and death.
Methods:
The authors retrospectively reviewed 106 patients who underwent surgery for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage in a single institution from January 2016 to September 2018. Data were obtained on exposure variables comprising patient demographics, clinical features, perioperative management, and complications and other interventions; while outcomes on discharge were investigated using the modified Rankin scale (mRS). Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression analyses were done. Root cause analysis was done to identify the causes of delay.
Results:
The percentage of patients who had unfavorable outcome (mRS ≥ 3) was 29.2%. The timing of surgery—whether early (10 days)—was not found to be significantly associated with dependency or mortality. On multiple logistic regression, the factors associated with unfavorable outcome were: intraoperative rupture (OR 23.98, 95%CI 3.56–161.33, p=0.001), vasospasm (OR 12.47, 95%CI 3.01–51.57, p<0.001), and a high Hunt & Hess grade (OR 5.96, 95%CI 1.47–24.18, p=0.012). Intraoperative rupture and vasospasm were further found to be independent predictors of mortality. Many causes of delay were identified in terms of patient-, provider-, and health system-levels. These constitute as barriers to timely care and also contribute to the gap in quality and efficiency of neurosurgical treatment situated in low-resource settings in LMICs.
Conclusion:
The identified predictors of poor outcomes, as well as the causes delays in neurosurgical treatment, pose as significant challenges to the care of socioeconomically-disadvantaged SAH patients. When considering the solutions to these challenges, the broader environment of practice ought to be taken into account.

Predictors of Five-Year Overall Survival in Women Treated for Cervical Cancer at the Kenyatta National Hospital in 2008

Cervical cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed and the fourth leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including Kenya cervical cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among women. This situation is due to the fact that despite the existence of effective preventive and early detection programs, lack of implementation in LMICs leads many women suffering from the disease to premature death. This study was aimed at estimating the five-year overall survival rates for women with cervical cancer in Kenya. To achieve this, the study employed a retrospective cohort design where medical records of all patients who commenced treatment for cervical cancer in 2008 were reviewed retrospectively over a period of five years from 2008- 2013. Data analysis involved the use of Stata v14.2 to generate descriptive statistics and conduct survival analysis. The five-year overall survival estimate for women with cervical cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in 2008 was found to be 59%. Stage of disease at diagnosis, type of treatment received and whether or not treatment was initiated and completed are the three factors revealed to have the strongest influence on patient survival. Occupation which was used as a proxy for socio-economic status (SES) did not reflect the financial burden imposed on patients seeking treatment. However, the loss to follow up was significantly high at a rate of 82.3%; with no deaths observed after the first year, the overall survival estimate is only accurate over the first year. The results of this study provided insight on the relationship between various socio-demographic and clinical factors and patient outcomes of cervical cancer treatments at KNH. Moreover, it highlighted the ongoing health system challenges surrounding provision of and access to cancer treatment. The results will inform policy makers and health service providers on the quality and accessibility of available cervical cancer treatments as delivered within our healthcare setting

Survival and Predictors of Mortality among Breast Cancer Patients Diagnosed at Hawassa Comprehensive Specialized and Teaching Hospital and Private Oncology Clinic in Southern Ethiopia: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Background: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in over 100 countries. Despite the high burden of the problem, the survival status and the predictors for mortality are not yet determined well in Ethiopia. Therefore, we aimed to determine the survival and predictors of mortality among breast cancer patients diagnosed from 2013-2018 at Hawassa comprehensive specialized and teaching hospital and private oncology clinic in Southern Ethiopia.

Methods: Hospital-based retrospective cohort study of 302 patients was conducted. Data was collected on breast cancer patients diagnosed from January, 1st, 2013 to December, 30th, 2018 using a data extraction checklist and by telephone interview. The median survival was estimated by Kaplan- Meier. Log Rank test was used to compare survival among groups. Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify predictors. Results were repaired as hazard ratio (HR) along with the corresponding 95% CI. Sensitivity analysis was done with the assumption of loss to follow-ups (LTF) might die 3 months after the last hospital visit.

Results: Advanced stage diagnosis of breast cancer was found on 83.4 % of patients with breast cancer. The study participants were followed for a total of 4685.62 person-months. Their median survival was 50.61 months (IQR=18.38-50.80) which declined to 30.57 months in the worst-case analysis (WCA). The overall survival of patients at two years was 73.2% and it declines to 51.3 % in the worst-case analysis. Rural residence (AHR=2.71, 95% CI: 1.44, 5.09), travel time >7 hours (AHR=3.42, 95% CI: 1.05, 11.10), duration of symptom 7-23 months (AHR=2.63, 95% CI: 1.22, 5.64), > 23 months (AHR=2.37, 95% CI: 1.00, 5.59), advanced stage (AHR=3.01, 95% CI: 1.05, 8.59) and not taking chemotherapy (AHR=6.69, 95% CI: 2.20, 20.30) were independent predictors of death.

Conclusion: Above two-third of the patients have two years of overall survival in south Ethiopia. Rural residence, advanced stage, and poor adherence to chemotherapy were independent predictors of death. Thus, Improving early detection, diagnosis, and treatment capacity of breast cancer patients are an important way-outs to avert the problem with appropriate intervention means.

Patient Delay and Contributing Factors Among Breast Cancer Patients at Two Cancer Referral Centres in Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Background: Unlike developed countries, there is high mortality of breast cancer in low- and middle-income countries associated with prolonged patient delays and advanced stage presentations. However, evidence-based information about patient delay in presentation and contributing factors to diagnosis of breast cancer in Ethiopia is scarce.
Methods: Institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted at oncology units of the University of Gondar and Felege Hiwot specialized hospitals. A total of 371 female breast cancer patients who were newly diagnosed from September 2019 to April 30, 2020 were included. Data were entered using EPI info version 7.2 and analyzed in SPSS version 23. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize socio-demographic and clinical characteristic of the patients. Multivariable logistic regression at a P-value< 0.05 significance level was used to identify predictors of patient delay.
Results: A total of 281 (75.7%) patients had long patient delay of ≥ 90 days (3 months) with the average patient delay time of 8 months, and advanced stage diagnosis was found on 264 (71.2%) of patients. The median age of patients was 40 years. Rural residence (AOR=3.72; 95% CI=1.82– 7.61), illiterate (AOR=3.8; 95% CI=1.71– 8.64), having a painless wound (AOR=3.32; 95% CI=1.93, 5.72), travel distance ≥ 5 km (AOR=1.66; 95% CI=1.09– 3.00), having no lump/swelling in the armpit (AOR=6.16; 95% CI=2.80– 13.54), and no history of any breast problem before (AOR=2.46; 95% CI=(1.43– 4.22) were predictors for long patient delay.
Conclusion: Long patient delay and advanced stage diagnosis of breast cancer are higher in our study. Travel distance ≥ 5 km, rural residence, no history of any breast problem before, having no lump/swelling in the arm pit, a painless lump in the breast, and being illiterate were important predictors for patient delay. Therefore, public awareness programs about breast cancer should be designed to prevent patient delay in presentation and to promote early detection of cases before advancement.

Prevalence and Factors Associated With Caesarean Section in Four Hard-to-Reach Areas of Bangladesh: Findings From a Cross-Sectional Survey

Background: Caesarean section (C-section) is a major obstetric life-saving intervention for the prevention of pregnancy and childbirth related complications. Globally C-section is increasing, as well as in Bangladesh. This study identifies the prevalence of C-section and socio-economic and health care seeking related determinants of C-section among women living in hard-to-reach (HtR) areas in Bangladesh.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire between August and December 2017 at four distinct types of HtR areas of Bangladesh, namely coastal, hilly, haor (wetland), and char areas (shallow land-mass rising out of a river). Total 2,768 women of 15-49 years of age and who had delivery within one year prior to data collection were interviewed. For the analysis of determinants of C- section, the explanatory variables were maternal age, educational status of women and their husbands, women’s religion, employment status and access to mobile phone, wealth index of the household, distance to the nearest health facility from the household, the number of ANC visits and presence of complications during pregnancy and the last childbirth. Logistic regression model was run among 850 women, who had facility delivery. Variables found significantly associated with the outcome (C-section) in bivariate analysis were included in the multivariable logistic model. A p-value <0.05 was considered as statistically significant in the analyses.

Results: Of the 2,768 women included in the study, 13% had C-sections. The mean (±SD) age of respondents was 25.4 (± 0.1) years. The adjusted prevalence of C-section was 13.1 times higher among women who had their delivery in private facilities than women who delivered in public facilities (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR: 13.1; 95% CI 8.6-19.9; p-value: <0.001). Women from haor area and coastal area had 4.7 times (AOR: 4.7; 95% CI 2.4-9.4; p value: <0.001) and 6.8 times (AOR: 6.8; 95% CI 3.6-12.8; p value: <0.001) more chance of having C-section, respectively, than women living in char area. Among women who reported complications during the last childbirth, the AOR of C-section was 3.6 times higher than those who did not report any complication (AOR: 3.6; 95% CI 2.4-5.4; p value: <0.001).

Conclusions: The study identifies that the prevalence of C-sections in four HtR areas of Bangladesh in substantially below the national average, although, the prevalence was higher in coastal areas than three other HtR regions. Both public and private health services for C-section should be made available and accessible in remote HtR areas for women with pregnancy complications. Establishment of an accreditation system for regulating private hospitals are needed to ensure rational use of the procedure.

Predictors of prolonged length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality among adult patients admitted at the surgical ward of Jimma University medical center, Ethiopia: prospective observational study

Background
Data regarding prolonged length of hospital stay (PLOS) and in-hospital mortality are paramount to evaluate efficiency and quality of surgical care as well as for rational resource utilization, allocation, and administration. Thus, PLOS and in-hospital mortality have been used as a surrogate indicator of satisfactory treatment outcome and efficient utilization of resources for a given health institution. However, there was a scarcity of data regarding these issues in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study aimed to assess treatment outcome, length of hospital stay, in-hospital mortality, and their determinants.

Methods
Health facility-based prospective observational study was used for three consecutive months among adult patients hospitalized for the surgical case. Socio-demographic, clinical history, medication history, in-hospital complications, and overall treatment outcomes were collected from the medical charts’ of the patients, using a checklist from the day of admission to discharge. PLOS is defined as hospital stay > 75th percentile (≥33 days for the current study). To identify predictor variables for both PLOS and in-hospital mortality, multivariate logistic regression was performed at p-value  2 antibiotic exposure (p  7 days (p < 0.0001) were independent predictors for PLOS.

Conclusion
In-hospital mortality rate was almost comparable to reports from developing countries, though it was higher than the developed countries. However, the length of hospital stay was extremely higher than that of reports from other parts of the world. Besides, different socio-demographic, health facility’s and patients’ clinical conditions (baseline and in-hospital complications) were identified as independent predictors for both in-hospital mortality and PLOS. Therefore, the clinician and stakeholders have to emphasize to avoid the modifiable factors to reduce in-hospital mortality and PLOS in the study area; to improve the quality of surgical care.