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    Post-mortem investigation of deaths due to pneumonia in children aged 1–59 months in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia from 2016 to 2022: an observational study.

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    Background; The Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network programme undertakes post-mortem minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS), together with collection of ante-mortem clinical information, to investigate causes of childhood deaths across multiple countries. We aimed to evaluate the overall contribution of pneumonia in the causal pathway to death and the causative pathogens of fatal pneumonia in children aged 1–59 months enrolled in the CHAMPS Network. Methods; In this observational study we analysed deaths occurring between Dec 16, 2016, and Dec 31, 2022, in the CHAMPS Network across six countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and South Africa) and one in South Asia (Bangladesh). A standardised approach of MITS was undertaken on decedents within 24–72 h of death. Diagnostic tests included blood culture, multi-organism targeted nucleic acid amplifications tests (NAATs) of blood and lung tissue, and histopathology examination of various organ tissue samples. An interdisciplinary expert panel at each site reviewed case data to attribute the cause of death and pathogenesis thereof on the basis of WHO-recommended reporting standards. Findings; Pneumonia was attributed in the causal pathway of death in 455 (40·6%) of 1120 decedents, with a median age at death of 9 (IQR 4–19) months. Causative pathogens were identified in 377 (82·9%) of 455 pneumonia deaths, and multiple pathogens were implicated in 218 (57·8%) of 377 deaths. 306 (67·3%) of 455 deaths occurred in the community or within 72 h of hospital admission (presumed to be community-acquired pneumonia), with the leading bacterial pathogens being Streptococcus pneumoniae (108 [35·3%]), Klebsiella pneumoniae (78 [25·5%]), and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (37 [12·1%]). 149 (32·7%) deaths occurred 72 h or more after hospital admission (presumed to be hospital-acquired pneumonia), with the most common pathogens being K pneumoniae (64 [43·0%]), Acinetobacter baumannii (19 [12·8%]), S pneumoniae (15 [10·1%]), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (15 [10·1%]). Overall, viruses were implicated in 145 (31·9%) of 455 pneumonia-related deaths, including 54 (11·9%) of 455 attributed to cytomegalovirus and 29 (6·4%) of 455 attributed to respiratory syncytial virus. Interpretation; Pneumonia contributed to 40·6% of all childhood deaths in this analysis. The use of post-mortem MITS enabled biological ascertainment of the cause of death in the majority (82·9%) of childhood deaths attributed to pneumonia, with more than one pathogen being commonly implicated in the same case. The prominent role of K pneumoniae, non-typable H influenzae, and S pneumoniae highlight the need to review empirical management guidelines for management of very severe pneumonia in low-income and middle-income settings, and the need for research into new or improved vaccines against these pathogens

    Association of maternal prenatal copper concentration with gestational duration and preterm birth: a multicountry meta-analysis Author links open overlay panel.

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    Background: Copper (Cu), an essential trace mineral regulating multiple actions of inflammation and oxidative stress, has been implicated in risk for preterm birth (PTB). Objectives: This study aimed to determine the association of maternal Cu concentration during pregnancy with PTB risk and gestational duration in a large multicohort study including diverse populations. Methods: Maternal plasma or serum samples of 10,449 singleton live births were obtained from 18 geographically diverse study cohorts. Maternal Cu concentrations were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The associations of maternal Cu with PTB and gestational duration were analyzed using logistic and linear regressions for each cohort. The estimates were then combined using meta-analysis. Associations between maternal Cu and acute-phase reactants (APRs) and infection status were analyzed in 1239 samples from the Malawi cohort. Results: The maternal prenatal Cu concentration in our study samples followed normal distribution with mean of 1.92 μg/mL and standard deviation of 0.43 μg/mL, and Cu concentrations increased with gestational age up to 20 wk. The random-effect meta-analysis across 18 cohorts revealed that 1 μg/mL increase in maternal Cu concentration was associated with higher risk of PTB with odds ratio of 1.30 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08, 1.57) and shorter gestational duration of 1.64 d (95% CI: 0.56, 2.73). In the Malawi cohort, higher maternal Cu concentration, concentrations of multiple APRs, and infections (malaria and HIV) were correlated and associated with greater risk of PTB and shorter gestational duration. Conclusions: Our study supports robust negative association between maternal Cu and gestational duration and positive association with risk for PTB. Cu concentration was strongly correlated with APRs and infection status suggesting its potential role in inflammation, a pathway implicated in the mechanisms of PTB. Therefore, maternal Cu could be used as potential marker of integrated inflammatory pathways during pregnancy and risk for PTB

    The intersection of gender and mental well-being among adolescents in Pakistan: Challenges, strategies, and future recommendations

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    This chapter delves into the nexus of mental well-being, gender dynamics, and contextual intricacies in Pakistan. Acknowledging mental health’s foundational role in human development, particularly during the post-COVID-19 landscape, immense need of comprehensive mental health action plans, with a focus on late adolescents and young adults is highlighted. The narrative unfolds the complex web of adolescent mental health challenges, woven by individual attributes, behaviors, and socioeconomic conditions. Adolescence emerges as a pivotal phase for identity exploration, marked by activities challenging established gender norms. Gender, viewed as a sociocultural construct and a dynamic continuum, is explored in its role in shaping behaviors and expectations. The chapter underscores the early imprinting of gender roles through familial, peer, and cultural channels. With a commitment to understanding these dynamics deeply, the chapter aims to offer nuanced insights. The overarching objective is to inform future research, influence policies, and guide interventions fostering mental well-being in Pakistan’s diverse and globalized society

    The social, mental, and physical health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with HIV: protocol of an observational International Multisite Study

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    As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, immunocompromised individuals such as people with HIV (PWH) may have faced a disproportionate impact on their health and HIV outcomes, both from COVID-19 and from the strategies enacted to contain it. Based on the SPIRIT guidelines, we describe the protocol for an international multisite observational study being conducted by The International Nursing Network for HIV Research, with the Coordinating Center based at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing. Site Principal Investigators implement a standardized protocol to recruit PWH to complete the study online or in-person. Questions address demographics; HIV continuum of care indicators; mental and social health; COVID-19 and vaccination knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and fears; and overall outcomes.Results of this study will contribute to knowledge that can inform responses to future public health crises to minimize their impacts on vulnerable populations such as PWH

    Child deaths caused by klebsiella pneumoniae in sub-saharan Africa and south Asia: A secondary analysis of child health and mortality prevention surveillance (CHAMPS) data.

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    Background; Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important cause of nosocomial and community-acquired pneumonia and sepsis in children, and antibiotic-resistant K pneumoniae is a growing public health threat. We aimed to characterize child mortality associated with this pathogen in seven high-mortality settings. Methods; We analysed Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) data on the causes of deaths in children younger than 5 years and stillbirths in sites located in seven countries across sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and South Africa) and south Asia (Bangladesh) from Dec 9, 2016, to Dec 31, 2021. CHAMPS sites conduct active surveillance for deaths in catchment populations and following reporting of an eligible death or stillbirth seek consent for minimally invasive tissue sampling followed by extensive aetiological testing (microbiological, molecular, and pathological); cases are reviewed by expert panels to assign immediate, intermediate, and underlying causes of death. We reported on susceptibility to antibiotics for which at least 30 isolates had been tested, and excluded data on antibiotics for which susceptibility testing is not recommended for Klebsiella spp due to lack of clinical activity (eg, penicillin and ampicillin). Findings; Among 2352 child deaths with cause of death assigned, 497 (21%, 95% CI 20–23) had K pneumoniae in the causal chain of death; 100 (20%, 17–24) had K pneumoniae as the underlying cause. The frequency of K pneumoniae in the causal chain was highest in children aged 1–11 months (30%, 95% CI 26–34; 144 of 485 deaths) and 12–23 months (28%, 22–34; 63 of 225 deaths); frequency by site ranged from 6% (95% CI 3–11; 11 of 184 deaths) in Bangladesh to 52% (44–61; 71 of 136 deaths) in Ethiopia. K pneumoniae was in the causal chain for 450 (22%, 95% CI 20–24) of 2023 deaths that occurred in health facilities and 47 (14%, 11–19) of 329 deaths in the community. The most common clinical syndromes among deaths with K pneumoniae in the causal chain were sepsis (44%, 95% CI 40–49; 221 of 2352 deaths), sepsis in conjunction with pneumonia (19%, 16–23; 94 of 2352 deaths), and pneumonia (16%, 13–20; 80 of 2352 deaths). Among K pneumoniae isolates tested, 121 (84%) of 144 were resistant to ceftriaxone and 80 (75%) of 106 to gentamicin. Interpretation; K pneumoniae substantially contributed to deaths in the first 2 years of life across multiple high-mortality settings, and resistance to antibiotics used for sepsis treatment was common. Improved strategies are needed to rapidly identify and appropriately treat children who might be infected with this pathogen. These data suggest a potential impact of developing and using effective K pneumoniae vaccines in reducing neonatal, infant, and child deaths globally

    Diagnostic accuracy of intraoperative brain smear: A meta-analysis of studies from resource-limited settings

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    Background: Intraoperative brain smear is an easy, rapid, and cost-effective technique for immediate diagnosis of brain tumors. Earlier studies have gauged its application on a limited number of samples, but its diagnostic accuracy especially in low-resource settings, where its practice would be extremely helpful is still undetermined.Objective: To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of intraoperative brain smear in resource-limited settings for diagnosis of brain tumors.Methods: A systematic search was conducted on PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Embase for all articles utilizing intraoperative brain smears that were extracted. Studies from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) with test performance characteristics were selected and subsequent values were summarized using a hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve via STATA and pooled using a random-effects model on MetaDiSc 2.0.Results: Twelve studies consisting of 1124 patients were identified. Six studies included both adult and pediatric population groups, while four investigated adults and two included pediatric patients. The pooled diagnostic odds ratio was calculated to be 212.52 (CI: [104.27 - 433.13]) of Bivariable pooled specificity and sensitivity were 92% (CI: [86%-96%]) and 96% (CI: [93%-98%]), respectively.Conclusion: Our study shows that intraoperative brain smear is not only an accurate and sensitive diagnostic modality in resource-rich settings, but it is also equally useful in resource-limited settings, making it an ideal method for rapid diagnosis

    Empowering educators: A scaffolded approach to faculty development at the Aga Khan University

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    Scaffolded faculty development is a recognized approach for enhancing teaching practices. Aga Khan University (AKU) adopted this method to elevate the quality of teaching and learning practices, promote a culture of excellence in higher education, and establish a sustainable faculty development model. AKU\u27s scaffolded faculty development approach consists of two tiers. The first tier focuses on enhancing individual teaching practices through participation in faculty development programmes and then implementing the acquired knowledge in the classroom. This tier not only enhances their individual teaching practices but also primes them for the subsequent tier. In the second tier, faculty members take on the role of coaches, fostering peer growth and contributing to institutional sustainability. The scaffolded faculty development model at AKU, thus, aligns seamlessly with the broader objective of faculty development in higher education–to empower faculty to continually improve their teaching methods and create a culture of excellence in higher education

    Fostering environmental sustainability through Early Childhood Education(ECE).

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    https://ecommons.aku.edu/books/1135/thumbnail.jp

    Factors associated with HIV testing among pregnant women in Rwanda: A nationwide cross-sectional survey

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    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing during pregnancy is crucial for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, through aiding prompt treatment, care, and support. However, few studies have explored HIV testing among pregnant women in Rwanda. This study, therefore, aimed to determine the prevalence and associated factors of HIV testing among pregnant women in Rwanda. We used secondary data from the 2020 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS), comprising 870 pregnant women. Multistage stratified sampling was used by the RDHS team to select participants. We conducted bivariable and multivariable logistic regression to explore factors associated with HIV testing using SPSS (version 25). Of the 870 pregnant women, 94.0% had tested for HIV during their current pregnancy. Younger age (24–34 years), not working, large household size, multiple sex partners, as well as secondary, primary, and no education were associated with higher odds of HIV testing compared to their respective counterparts. However, being unmarried, belonging to the western region, having not visited a health facility, and not having comprehensive HIV knowledge were associated with lower odds of HIV testing. A high proportion of pregnant women had tested for HIV. The study revealed that individual-level factors had the greatest influence on HIV testing in pregnancy, with a few household-level factors showing significance. There is a need for maternal health stakeholders to design and develop HIV testing programs that are region-sensitive. These programs should target older, more educated, working, and unmarried women with limited HIV knowledge

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