BackgroundSince 2001, Nigeria has collected information on epidemic-prone and other diseases of public health importance through the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response system (IDSR). Currently 23 diseases are designated as ¿notifiable¿ through IDSR, including human infection with avian influenza (AI). Following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) in Nigerian poultry populations in 2006 and one laboratory confirmed human infection in 2007, a study was carried out to describe knowledge, perceptions, and practices related to infectious disease reporting through the IDSR system, physicians¿ preferred sources of heath information, and knowledge of AI infection in humans among public sector physicians in Nigeria.MethodsDuring November to December 2008, 245 physicians in six Nigerian cities were surveyed through in-person interviews. Survey components included reporting practices for avian influenza and other notifiable diseases, perceived obstacles to disease reporting, methods for obtaining health-related information, and knowledge of avian influenza among participating physicians.ResultsAll 245 respondents reported that they had heard of AI and that humans could become infected with AI. Two-thirds (163/245) had reported a notifiable disease. The most common perceived obstacles to reporting were lack of infrastructure/logistics or reporting system (76/245, 31%), lack of knowledge among doctors about how to report or to whom to report (64/245, 26%), and that doctors should report certain infectious diseases (60/245, 24%). Almost all participating physicians (>99%) reported having a cell phone that they currently use, and 86% reported using the internet at least weekly.ConclusionsAlthough the majority of physicians surveyed were knowledgeable of and had reported notifiable diseases, they identified many perceived obstacles to reporting. In order to effectively identify human AI cases and other infectious diseases through IDSR, reporting system requirements need to be clearly communicated to participating physicians, and perceived obstacles, such as lack of infrastructure, need to be addressed. Future improvements to the reporting system should account for increased utilization of the internet, as well as cell phone and email-based communication.
Persistent wild poliovirus transmission in Nigeria constitutes a major obstacle to global polio eradication. In August 2012, the Nigerian national polio program implemented a strategy to conduct outreach to underserved communities within the context of the country's polio emergency action plans.
To strengthen the Nigeria polio eradication program at the operational level, the National Stop Transmission of Polio (N-STOP) program was established in July 2012 as a collaborative effort of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since its inception, N-STOP has recruited and trained 125 full-time staff, 50 residents in training, and 50 ad hoc officers. N-STOP officers, working at national, state, and district levels, have conducted enumeration outreaches in 46 437 nomadic and hard-to-reach settlements in 253 districts of 19 states, supported supplementary immunization activities in 236 districts, and strengthened routine immunization in 100 districts. Officers have also conducted surveillance assessments, outbreak response, and applied research as needs evolved. The N-STOP program has successfully enhanced Global Polio Eradication Initiative partnerships and outreach in Nigeria, providing an accessible, flexible, and culturally competent technical workforce at the front lines of public health. N-STOP will continue to respond to polio eradication program needs and remain a model for other healthcare initiatives in Nigeria and elsewhere.
Since 2010, Nigerian state and federal governments and the international community have been responding to an outbreak of lead poisoning caused by the processing of lead-containing gold ore in Zamfara State, Nigeria, that resulted in the deaths of approximately 400 children aged ? 5 years. Widespread education, surveys of high-risk villages, testing of blood lead levels (BLLs), medical treatment, and environmental cleanup all have been implemented. To evaluate the success of these remediation efforts in reducing the prevalence of lead poisoning and dangerous work practices, a population-based assessment of children's BLLs and ore processing techniques was conducted during June-July 2012. The assessment found few children in need of medical treatment, significantly lower BLLs, and substantially less exposure of children to dangerous work practices. Public health strategies designed to identify and treat children with lead poisoning, clean up existing environmental hazards, and prevent children from being exposed to dangerous ore processing techniques can produce a sustained reduction in BLLs.
Immunization is a cost-effective public health intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases. The Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey of 2008 indicated that only 5.4% of children aged 12-23 months in Bungudu, Zamfara State were fully immunized. We conducted this study to identify the determinants of routine immunization coverage in this community.
Early treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) cases is important for reducing transmission, morbidity and mortality associated with TB. In 2007, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nigeria recorded low TB case detection rate (CDR) of 9% which implied that many TB cases were undetected. We assessed the knowledge, care-seeking behavior, and factors associated with patient delay among pulmonary TB patients in FCT.
The health workforce is one of the key building blocks for strengthening health systems. There is an alarming shortage of curative and preventive health care workers in developing countries many of which are in Africa. Africa resultantly records appalling health indices as a consequence of endemic and emerging health issues that are exacerbated by a lack of a public health workforce. In low-income countries, efforts to build public health surveillance and response systems have stalled, due in part, to the lack of epidemiologists and well-trained laboratorians. To strengthen public health systems in Africa, especially for disease surveillance and response, a number of countries have adopted a competency-based approach of training - Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP). The Nigeria FELTP was established in October 2008 as an inservice training program in field epidemiology, veterinary epidemiology and public health laboratory epidemiology and management. The first cohort of NFELTP residents began their training on 20th October 2008 and completed their training in December 2010. The program was scaled up in 2011 and it admitted 39 residents in its third cohort. The program has admitted residents in six annual cohorts since its inception admitting a total of 207 residents as of 2014 covering all the States. In addition the program has trained 595 health care workers in short courses. Since its inception, the program has responded to 133 suspected outbreaks ranging from environmental related outbreaks, vaccine preventable diseases, water and food borne, zoonoses, (including suspected viral hemorrhagic fevers) as well as neglected tropical diseases. With its emphasis on one health approach of solving public health issues the program has recruited physicians, veterinarians and laboratorians to work jointly on human, animal and environmental health issues. Residents have worked to identify risk factors of disease at the human animal interface for influenza, brucellosis, tick-borne relapsing fever, rabies, leptospirosis and zoonotic helminthic infections. The program has been involved in polio eradication efforts through its National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP). The commencement of NFELTP was a novel approach to building sustainable epidemiological capacity to strengthen public health systems especially surveillance and response systems in Nigeria. Training and capacity building efforts should be tied to specific system strengthening and not viewed as an end to them. The approach of linking training and service provision may be an innovative approach towards addressing the numerous health challenges.
In 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) investigated reports of high mortality in young children in Zamfara State, Nigeria, leading to confirmation of villages with widespread acute severe lead poisoning. In a retrospective analysis, we aimed to determine venous blood lead level (VBLL) thresholds and risk factors for encephalopathy using MSF programmatic data from the first year of the outbreak response.
Estimation of HIV-1 incidence is an important public health tool for understanding the status of the epidemic, identifying high-risk populations, and assessing various intervention strategies. Several laboratory-based methods have been developed for distinguishing recent from long-term HIV-1 infection; however, each exhibits some degree of misclassification, particularly among AIDS patients and those taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). To improve upon the limitations associated with measuring responses to a single analyte, we have developed a bead-based, multiplex assay for determination of HIV recent infection based on total antibody binding and antibody avidity to multiple analytes. An HIV-specific, multiplex panel was created by coupling the recombinant HIV-1 proteins p66, gp120, gp160, and gp41 to Bio-Plex COOH microspheres. Longitudinal plasma specimens from recent seroconverters were tested for reactivity to the coupled microspheres using the Bio-Plex 200 System. For each analyte, HIV-specific antibody binding and avidity increased for 1-2 years post-seroconversion, leading to a significant difference in reactivity between recent and long-term specimens. While the potential for misclassification of individuals diagnosed with AIDS or receiving ART appears to be minimal with avidity measures, the impact on total antibody binding was variable, depending on the individual analyte. This bead-based, HIV-specific multiplex assay measures several distinct immune responses in a single assay plate, allowing for sampling of multiple analytes in the determination of recent infection, which could aid in the development of improved statistical methods or algorithms that will more accurately estimate HIV incidence.
The purpose of this survey is to generate baseline data on the level of HIV infection awareness and willingness to participate (WTP) in hypothetical vaccine trials, ahead of any trial conduct in Nigeria. In a cross-sectional survey, 500 respondents were interviewed, including sex workers, male motorcycle taxi drivers, students, and the general public. About 153 (30.6%) of the respondents did not believe that correct and consistent use of condom can protect people from getting HIV, while about 66 (13.2%) respondents believed it is possible to get HIV by sharing meal with an infected person. Population groups considered at high risk for HIV were less aware of the disease, however, they were more willing to participate in HIV vaccine trials compared those at low risk of the disease. A total of 55% expressed WTP in a hypothetical vaccine trial after they were informed about it. Age, population group, and ethnicity were significantly associated with WTP.
Snakebite is a significant cause of death and disability in subsistent farming populations of sub-Saharan Africa. Antivenom is the most effective treatment of envenoming and is manufactured from IgG of venom-immunised horses/sheep but, because of complex fiscal reasons, there is a paucity of antivenom in sub-Saharan Africa. To address the plight of thousands of snakebite victims in savannah Nigeria, the EchiTAb Study Group organised the production, testing and delivery of antivenoms designed to treat envenoming by the most medically-important snakes in the region. The Echis saw-scaled vipers have a wide African distribution and medical importance. In an effort to maximise the clinical utility of scarce antivenom resources in Africa, we aimed to ascertain, at the pre-clinical level, to what extent the E. ocellatus-specific EchiTAbG antivenom, which was designed specifically for Nigeria, neutralised the lethal activity of venom from two other African species, E. pyramidum leakeyi and E. coloratus.
This paper examines the impact of a community-based intervention on the trends in the uptake of polio vaccination following a community mobilization campaign for polio eradication in northern Nigeria. Uptake of polio vaccination in high-risk communities in this region has been considerably low despite routine and supplemental vaccination activities. Large numbers of children are left unvaccinated because of community misconceptions and distrust regarding the cause of the disease and the safety of the polio vaccine. The Majigi polio campaign was initiated in 2008 as a pilot trial in Gezawa, a local council with very low uptake of polio vaccination. The average monthly increase in the number of vaccinated children over the subsequent six months after the pilot trial was 1,047 [95% confidence interval (CI): 647-2045, P = 0·001]. An increasing trend in uptake of polio vaccination was also evident (P = 0·001). The outcome was consistent with a decrease or no trend in the detection of children with zero doses. The average monthly decrease in the number of children with zero doses was 6·2 (95% CI: -21 to 24, P = 0·353). Overall, there was a relative increase of approximately 310% in the polio vaccination uptake and a net reduction of 29% of never vaccinated children. The findings of this pilot test show that polio vaccination uptake can be enhanced by programs like Majigi that promote effective communication with the community.
Mobile HIV counseling and testing (mHCT) is an effective tool to access hard-to-reach most-at-risk populations (MARPs), but identifying which populations are not accessing services is often a challenge. We compared correlates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and awareness of HIV care services among populations tested through mHCT and at testing facilities in Nigeria. Participants in a cross-sectional study completed a questionnaire and HCT between May 2005 and March 2010. Of 27,586 total participants, 26.7% had been previously tested for HIV; among mHCT clients, 14.7% had previously been tested. HIV prevalence ranged from 6.6% among those tested through a facility to 50.4% among brothel-based sex workers tested by mHCT. Among mHCT participants aged 18-24, women were nine times more likely to be infected than men. Women aged 18-24 were also less likely than their male counterparts to know that there were medicines available to treat HIV (63.2 vs. 68.1%; p=0.03). After controlling for gender, age, and other risk factors, those with current genital ulcer disease were more likely to be HIV-infected (OR(mHCT)=1.65, 1.31-2.09; OR(facility)=1.71, 1.37-2.14), while those previously tested were less likely to be HIV-infected (OR(mHCT)=0.75, 0.64-0.88; OR(facility)=0.27, 0.24-0.31). There is an urgent need to promote strategies to identify those who are HIV-infected within MARPs, particularly young women, and to educate and inform them about availability of HIV testing and care services. mHCT, ideally coupled with sexually transmitted infection management, may help to ensure that MARPs access HIV prevention support, and if infected, access care, and treatment.
Acute phase of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (AHI) may account for a significant proportion of HIV-1 transmission. We identified and characterized individuals in Nigeria with AHI.
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