Antenatal testing for anaemia, HIV and syphilis in Indonesia - a health systems analysis of low coverage.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Adverse pregnancy outcomes can be prevented through the early detection and treatment of anaemia, HIV and syphilis during the antenatal period. Rates of testing for anaemia, HIV and syphilis among women attending antenatal services in Indonesia are low, despite its mandate in national guidelines and international policy. METHODS:Midwife-held antenatal care records for 2015 from 8 villages in 2 sub-districts within Cianjur district were reviewed, alongside the available sub-district Puskesmas (Community Health Centre) maternity and laboratory records. We conducted four focus group discussions with kaders (community health workers) (n =?16) and midwives (n =?9), and 13 semi-structured interviews with laboratory and counselling, public sector maternity and HIV management and relevant non-governmental organisation staff. Participants were recruited from village, sub-district, district and national level as relevant to role. RESULTS:We were unable to find a single recorded result of antenatal testing for HIV, syphilis or anaemia in the village (566 women) or Puskesmas records (2816 women) for 2015. Laboratory records did not specifically identify antenatal women. Participants described conducting and reporting testing in a largely ad hoc manner; relying on referral to health facilities based on clinical suspicion or separate non-maternity voluntary counselling and testing programs. Participants recognized significant systematic challenges with key differences between the more acceptable (and reportedly more often implemented) haemoglobin testing and the less acceptable (and barely implemented) HIV and syphilis testing. However, a clear need for leadership and accountability emerged as an important factor for prioritizing antenatal testing and addressing these testing gaps. CONCLUSIONS:Practical solutions such as revised registers, availability of point-of-care tests and capacity building of field staff will therefore need to be accompanied by both funding and political will to coordinate, prioritize and be accountable for testing in pregnancy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV, syphilis, malaria and anaemia are leading preventable causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes. In Kenya, policy states women should be tested for all four conditions (malaria only if febrile) at first antenatal care (ANC) visit. In practice, while HIV screening is conducted, coverage of screening for the others is suboptimal and early pregnancy management of illnesses is compromised. This is particularly evident at rural dispensaries that lack laboratories and have parallel programmes for HIV, reproductive health and malaria, resulting in fractured and inadequate care for women.<h4>Methods</h4>A longitudinal eight-month implementation study integrating point-of-care diagnostic tests for the four conditions into routine ANC was conducted in seven purposively selected dispensaries in western Kenya. Testing proficiency of healthcare workers was observed at initial training and at three monthly intervals thereafter. Adoption of testing was compared using ANC register data 8.5 months before and eight months during the intervention. Fidelity to clinical management guidelines was determined by client exit interviews with success defined as ?90% adherence.<h4>Findings</h4>For first ANC visits at baseline (n = 529), testing rates were unavailable for malaria, low for syphilis (4.3%) and anaemia (27.8%), and near universal for HIV (99%). During intervention, over 95% of first attendees (n = 586) completed four tests and of those tested positive, 70.6% received penicillin or erythromycin for syphilis, 65.5% and 48.3% received cotrimoxazole and antiretrovirals respectively for HIV, and 76.4% received artemether/lumefantrine, quinine or dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine correctly for malaria. Iron and folic supplements were given to nearly 90% of women but often at incorrect doses.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Integrating point-of-care testing into ANC at dispensaries with established HIV testing programmes resulted in a significant increase in testing rates, without disturbing HIV testing rates. While more cases were detected and treated, treatment fidelity still requires strengthening and an integrated monitoring and evaluation system needs to be established.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To assess the feasibility and acceptability of using WHO prequalified combined dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) for same-day results in antenatal care (ANC) clinics.<h4>Methods</h4>This is a pragmatic implementation study using quantitative approach to evaluate outcomes. Antenatal clinic attendees from 21 rural and urban township hospitals in two provinces of China were offered with free dual RDTs testing that included HIV and syphilis, in addition to the routine blood tests. Study outcomes included testing uptake before and during dual RDT use, test feasibility and acceptability among pregnant women. Regression model was used to assess acceptance of RDT testing.<h4>Results</h4>In total, 1787 out of 1828 pregnant women attending ANC received the RDT testing. Testing uptake among pregnant women in their first and second trimester increased from 76.0% (2438/3269) using standard blood testing to 90.1% (1626/1787) with concurrent RDT use (?<sup>2</sup>=197.1, p<0.001). Among 1787 pregnant women who received RDT tests, 98.3% (1757/1787) participants were given test result the same day. Positive proportions of HIV and syphilis screened with RDT were 0.06% (1/1787) and 1.0% (18/1787), respectively. Regression analysis indicated that women who did not receive syphilis or HIV testing before were less likely to accept dual RDT (OR 0.28, 95%?CI 0.10 to 0.75). Acceptance for dual RDT testing at second or third antenatal visit was lower compared with the first visit (OR 0.37, 95%?CI 0.15 to 0.94).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Combined dual HIV/syphilis RDT with same-day results increased uptake of HIV and syphilis testing among pregnant women at primary healthcare facilities. Given the diversity of testing capacities among health services especially in rural areas in China, the dual RDT kit is feasible tool to improve testing uptake among pregnant women.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Screening pregnant women for HIV and syphilis is recommended by WHO in order to reduce mother-to-child transmission. We evaluated the field performance, feasibility, and acceptability of a dual rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for HIV and syphilis test in antenatal clinic settings in Nigeria. METHODS AND FINDINGS:Participants were recruited at 12 antenatal clinic sites in three states of Nigeria. All consenting individuals were tested according to the national HIV testing algorithm, as well as a dual RDT, the SD BIOLINE HIV/Syphilis Duo Test (Alere, USA), in the clinic. To determine sensitivity, specificity and concordance, whole blood samples were obtained for repeat RDT performance in the laboratory, as well as reference tests for HIV and syphilis. Dual test acceptability and operational characteristics were assessed among participants and clinic staff. The prevalence of HIV among the 4,551 enrollees was 3.0% (138/4551) using the national clinic-based HIV testing algorithm. Positive and negative percent agreement of the HIV component of the dual RDT were 100.0% (95% CI 99.7-100.0) and 99.9% (95% CI 99.7-100.0) respectively, when compared with the national rapid testing algorithm. The prevalence of syphilis, using TPHA as the reference test, was low at 0.09% (4/4550). The sensitivity of the syphilis component of the dual RDT could not be calculated as no positive results were observed for patients that were positive for syphilis by TPHA. Each of the only four TPHA-positive specimens had RPR titers of 1:1 (neat), indicative of non-active syphilis. The specificity of the syphilis component of the dual RDT was 99.9% (95% CI 99.8-100.0). The dual RDT received favorable feasibility ratings among antenatal care clinic staff. Acceptability among study participants was high with most women reporting preference for rapid dual HIV/syphilis testing. CONCLUSIONS:The SD BIOLINE HIV/Syphilis Duo Test showed a high overall diagnostic accuracy for HIV and a high specificity for syphilis diagnosis in antenatal clinic settings. This study adds to a growing body of evidence that supports the clinic-based use of dual tests for HIV and syphilis among pregnant women.
Project description:BACKGROUND:HIV, syphilis, malaria and anaemia are leading preventable causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa yet testing coverage for conditions other than HIV is low. Availing point-of-care tests (POCTs) at rural antenatal health facilities (dispensaries) has the potential to improve access and timely treatment. Fundamental to the adoption of and adherence to new diagnostic approaches are healthcare workers' and pregnant women's (end-users) buy-in. A qualitative approach was used to capture end-users' experiences of using POCTs for HIV, syphilis, malaria and anaemia to assess the appropriateness, acceptability and feasibility of integrated testing for ANC. METHODS:Seven dispensaries were purposively selected to implement integrated point-of-care testing for eight months in western Kenya. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 healthcare workers (14 nurses, one clinical officer, two HIV testing counsellors, and one laboratory technician) who were trained, had experience doing integrated point-of-care testing, and were still working at the facilities 8-12?months after the intervention began. The interviews explored acceptability and relevance of POCTs to ANC, challenges with testing, training and supervision, and healthcare workers' perspectives of client experiences. Twelve focus group discussions with 118 pregnant women who had attended a first ANC visit at the study facilities during the intervention were conducted to explore their knowledge of HIV, syphilis, malaria, and anaemia, experience of ANC point-of-care testing services, treatments received, relationships with healthcare workers, and experience of talking to partners about HIV and syphilis results. RESULTS:Healthcare workers reported that they enjoyed gaining new skills, were enthusiastic about using POCTs, and found them easy to use and appropriate to their practice. Initial concerns that performing additional testing would increase their workload in an already strained environment were resolved with experience and proficiency with the testing procedures. However, despite having the diagnostic tools, general health system challenges such as high client to healthcare worker volume ratio, stock-outs and poor working conditions challenged the delivery of adequate counselling and management of the four conditions. Pregnant women appreciated POCTs, but reported poor healthcare worker attitudes, drug stock-outs, and fear of HIV disclosure to their partners as shortcomings to their ANC experience in general. CONCLUSION:This study provides insights on the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of integrating POCTs into ANC services among end-users. While the innovation was desired and perceived as beneficial, future scale-up efforts would need to address health system weaknesses if integrated testing and subsequent effective management of the four conditions are to be achieved.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Dual HIV and syphilis testing might help to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV and syphilis through increased case detection and treatment. We aimed to model and assess the cost-effectiveness of dual testing during antenatal care in four countries with varying HIV and syphilis prevalence.<h4>Methods</h4>In this modelling study, we developed Markov models of HIV and syphilis in pregnant women to estimate costs and infant health outcomes of maternal testing at the first antenatal care visit with individual HIV and syphilis tests (base case) and at the first antenatal care visit with a dual rapid diagnostic test (scenario one). We additionally evaluated retesting during late antenatal care and at delivery with either individual tests (scenario two) or a dual rapid diagnosis test (scenario three). We modelled four countries: South Africa, Kenya, Colombia, and Ukraine. Strategies with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) less than the country-specific cost-effectiveness threshold (US$500 in Kenya, $750 in South Africa, $3000 in Colombia, and $1000 in Ukraine) per disability-adjusted life-year averted were considered cost-effective.<h4>Findings</h4>Routinely offering testing at the first antenatal care visit with a dual rapid diagnosis test was cost-saving compared with the base case in all four countries (ICER: -$26 in Kenya,-$559 in South Africa, -$844 in Colombia, and -$454 in Ukraine). Retesting during late antenatal care with a dual rapid diagnostic test (scenario three) was cost-effective compared with scenario one in all four countries (ICER: $270 in Kenya, $260 in South Africa, $2207 in Colombia, and $205 in Ukraine).<h4>Interpretation</h4>Incorporating dual rapid diagnostic tests in antenatal care can be cost-saving across countries with varying HIV prevalence. Countries should consider incorporating dual HIV and syphilis rapid diagnostic tests as the first test in antenatal care to support efforts to eliminate MTCT of HIV and syphilis.<h4>Funding</h4>WHO, US Agency for International Development, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite the significant benefits of early detection and management of pregnancy related complications during antenatal care (ANC) visits, not all pregnant women in Tanzania initiate ANC in a timely manner. The primary objectives of this research study in rural communities of Geita district, Northwest Tanzania were: 1) to conduct a population-based study that examined the utilization and availability of ANC services; and 2) to explore the challenges faced by women who visited ANC clinics and barriers to utilization of ANC among pregnant women. METHODS:A sequential explanatory mixed method design was utilized. Household surveys that examined antenatal service utilization and availability were conducted in 11 randomly selected wards in Geita district. One thousand, seven hundred and nineteen pregnant women in their 3rd trimester participated in household surveys. It was followed by focus group discussions with community health workers and pregnant women that examined challenges and barriers to ANC. RESULTS:Of the pregnant women who participated, 86.74% attended an ANC clinic at least once; 3.62% initiated ANC in the first trimester; 13.26% had not initiated ANC when they were interviewed in their 3rd trimester. Of the women who had attended ANC at least once, the majority (82.96%) had been checked for HIV status, less than a half (48.36%) were checked for hemoglobin level, and only a minority had been screened for syphilis (6.51%). Among women offered laboratory testing, the prevalence of HIV was 3.88%, syphilis, 18.57%, and anemia, 54.09%. In terms of other preventive measures, 91.01% received a tetanus toxoid vaccination, 76.32%, antimalarial drugs, 65.13%, antihelminthic drugs, and 76.12%, iron supplements at least once. Significant challenges identified by women who visited ANC clinics included lack of male partner involvement, informal regulations imposed by health care providers, perceived poor quality of care, and health care system related factors. Socio-cultural beliefs, fear of HIV testing, poverty and distance from health clinics were reported as barriers to early ANC utilization. CONCLUSION:Access to effective ANC remains a challenge among women in Geita district. Notably, most women initiated ANC late and early initiation did not guarantee care that could contribute to better pregnancy outcomes.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The WHO recommends pregnant women receive both HIV and syphilis testing at their first antenatal care visit, as untreated maternal infections can lead to severe, adverse pregnancy outcomes. One strategy for increasing testing for both HIV and syphilis is the use of point-of-care (rapid) diagnostic tests that are simple, proven effective and inexpensive. In Malawi, pregnant women routinely receive HIV testing, but only 10% are tested for syphilis at their first antenatal care visit. This evaluation explores stakeholder perceptions of a novel, dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic test and potential barriers to national scale-up of the dual test in Malawi. METHODS:During June and July 2015, we conducted 15 semistructured interviews with 25 healthcare workers, laboratorians, Ministry of Health leaders and partner agency representatives working in prevention of mother-to-child transmission in Malawi. We asked stakeholders about the importance of a dual rapid diagnostic test, concerns using and procuring the dual test and recommendations for national expansion. RESULTS:Stakeholders viewed the test favourably, citing the importance of a dual rapid test in preventing missed opportunities for syphilis diagnosis and treatment, improving infant outcomes and increasing syphilis testing coverage. Primary technical concerns were about the additional procedural steps needed to perform the test, the possibility that testers may not adhere to required waiting times before interpreting results and difficulty reading and interpreting test results. Stakeholders thought national scale-up would require demonstration of cost-savings, uniform coordination, revisions to testing guidelines and algorithms, training of testers and a reliable supply chain. CONCLUSIONS:Stakeholders largely support implementation of a dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic test as a feasible alternative to current antenatal testing. Scale-up will require addressing perceived barriers; negotiating changes to existing algorithms and guidelines; and Ministry of Health approval and funding to support training of staff and procurement of supplies.
Project description:The SD BIOLINE HIV/Syphilis Duo assay is the first World Health Organization prequalified dual rapid diagnostic test for simultaneous detection of HIV and Treponema pallidum antibodies in human blood. Prior to introducing the test into antenatal clinics across South Sudan, a field evaluation of its clinical performance in diagnosing both HIV and syphilis in pregnant women was conducted. SD Bioline test performance on venous blood samples was compared with (i) Vironostika HIV1/2 Uniform II Ag/Ab reference standard and Alere Determine HIV 1/2 non-reference standard for HIV diagnosis, and (ii) Treponema pallidum hemagglutination reference standard and Rapid plasma reagin non-reference standard for syphilis. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPN), negative predictive value (NPV) and kappa (?) value were calculated for each component against the reference standards within 95% confidence intervals (CIs); agreements between Determine HIV 1/2 and SD Bioline HIV tests were also calculated. Of 442 pregnant women recruited, eight (1.8%) were HIV positive, 22 (5.0%) had evidence of syphilis exposure; 14 (3.2%) had active infection. For HIV diagnosis, the sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV were 100% (95% CI: 63.1-100), 100% (95% CI: 99.2-100), 100% (95% CI: 63.1-100) and 100% (95% CI: 99.2-100) respectively with ? value of 1 (95% CI: 0.992-1.000). Overall agreement of the Duo HIV component and Determine test was 99.1% (95% CI: 0.977-0.998) with 66.7% (95% CI: 34.9-90.1) positive and 100% (95% CI: 0.992-1.000) negative percent agreements. For syphilis, the Duo assay sensitivity was 86.4% (95% CI: 65.1-97.1) and specificity 100% (95% CI: 99.1-100) with PPV 100% (95% CI: 82.4-100), NPV 99.2% (95% CI: 97.9-99.9) and ? value 0.92 (95% CI: 0.980-0.999). Our findings suggest the SD Bioline HIV/Syphilis Duo Assay could be suitable for HIV and syphilis testing in women attending antenatal services across South Sudan. Women with positive syphilis results should receive treatment immediately, whereas HIV positive women should undergo confirmatory testing following national HIV testing guidelines.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To identify characteristics associated with obtaining HIV and syphilis screenings of pregnant women attending a first antenatal visit in Lusaka, Zambia. RESULTS:Among 18,231 participants from April 2015 to January 2016, 95% obtained HIV screening, 29% obtained syphilis screening, and 4% did not obtain antenatal HIV or syphilis screenings. Divorced/separated women were associated with a moderate decrease in prevalence of obtaining HIV (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 0.88, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.82, 0.95) and syphilis (aPR 0.51, 95% CI 0.27, 0.96) screenings compared to married women. Women with previous pregnancies were associated with a slight decrease in prevalence of obtaining HIV screening (aPR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95, 0.99) compared to women without previous pregnancy. Older women???35 years were associated with a slight decrease in prevalence of obtaining HIV screening (aPR 0.96, 95% CI 0.92, 0.99) compared to younger women. The statistically significant differences were not of clinical relevance as defined by a proportional difference of 10 percent. Findings of this study show that a vast majority of pregnant women are obtaining HIV screenings but not syphilis screenings during first antenatal visit. Provision of antenatal HIV and syphilis screening at first visit is only weakly related to patient level factors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Syphilis infection has been associated with an increased risk of HIV infection during pregnancy which poses greater risk for maternal mortality, and antenatal syphilis point-of-care (POC) testing has been introduced to improve maternal and child health outcomes. There is limited evidence on the impact of syphilis POC testing on maternal outcomes in high HIV prevalent settings. We used syphilis POC testing as a model to evaluate the impact of POC diagnostics on the improvement of maternal mortality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. METHODS:We extracted 132 monthly data points on the number of maternal deaths in facilities and number of live births in facilities for 12 tertiary healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa from 2004 to 2014 from District Health Information System (DHIS) health facility archived. We employed segmented Poisson regression analysis of interrupted time series to assess the impact of the exposure on maternal mortality ratio (MMR) before and after the implementation of antenatal syphilis POC testing. We processed and analyzed data using Stata Statistical Software: Release 13. (Stata, Corp LP, College Station, TX, USA). RESULTS:The provincial average annual maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was estimated at 176.09 ± 43.92 ranging from a minimum of 68.48 to maximum of 225.49 per 100,000 live births. The data comprised 36 temporal points before the introduction of syphilis POC test exposure and 84 after the introduction in primary health care clinics in KZN. The average annual MMR for KZN from 2004 to 2014 was estimated at 176.09 ± 43.92. A decrease in MMR level was observed during 2008 after syphilis POC test implementation, followed by a rise during 2009. Analysis of the MMR trend estimates a significant 1.5% increase in MMR trends during the period before implementation and 1.3% increase after implementation of syphilis POC testing (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION:Although our finding suggests a brief reduction in the MMR trend after the implementation of antenatal syphilis POC testing, a continued increase in syphilis rates is seen in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The study used one of the most powerful quasi-experimental research methods, segmented Poisson regression analysis of interrupted time series to model the impact of syphilis POC on maternal outcome. The study finding requires confirmation by use of more rigorous primary study design.