Global WACh


March 29, 2022

New publication on implementation of HIV retesting guidelines for pregnant and postpartum women in Kenya

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The February 2022 edition of Global Health: Science and Practice features a new publication by UW Global WACh students, Monalisa Penumetsa (DGH MPH alumni) and Epidemiology PhD student Jillian Neary, and faculty (Drs. Alison Drake and Grace John-Stewart)– “Implementation of HIV Retesting During Pregnancy and Postpartum in Kenya: A Cross Sectional Study.” The study aimed to measure the prevalence of maternal HIV retesting in Kenya, and HIV incidence among Kenyan mothers. (more…)

August 3, 2021

Researchers study text messaging to improve retention and viral suppression in prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission programs in Kenya

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Credit: Ivan Samkov/Pexels

Over the years, Global WACh utilized the Mobile WACh mobile health (mHealth) system that allows for both automated sending of tailored health-related short message service (SMS) text messages and two-way SMS interaction between participants and a health care provider in low- to middle-income countries for an array of maternal-child health (MCH) research studies.  The system sends messages through mobile phones, which have the potential to enhance access and reach of crucial health service interventions and to improve health outcomes.

Researchers of the Mobile Strategies for Women’s and Children’s Health: Optimizing Adherence and Efficacy of PMTCT/ART (Mobile WACh X) randomized clinical trial, funded by the National Institute of Health and led by Principal Investigator Grace John-Stewart, adapted Mobile WACh to reach pregnant and postpartum women living with HIV at six MCH clinics in Kenya.  Previous research has shown that interactive SMS can improve early antiretroviral therapy (ART) retention in perinatal women, but it was unknown whether long-term interactive SMS systems can durably improve retention and viral suppression in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT).

May 18, 2021

Analysis of implementation costs of a nutrition intervention in Malawi childcare centers published in Food and Nutrition Bulletin

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Women, infants, and children need the right quantity and diversity of nutritious foods to support healthy growth and development and to prevent an intergenerational cycle of malnutrition.  Meeting this complex need requires coordinated efforts across sectors; however, there is a wide information gap on costs and cost-effectiveness of implementing nutrition intervention strategies that combine agriculture, health, and nutrition components.

As part of the Strengthening Economic Evaluations for Multisectoral Strategies for Nutrition (SEEMS-Nutrition) initiative aimed to fill this gap, Dr. Carol Levin (Clinical Associate Professor, Global Health) and researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) examined the costs and benefits of an integrated nutrition and agriculture intervention designed to improve the nutritional quality of meals provided through Malawi’s community-based childcare centers (CBCCs)—finding its estimated benefits (assessed as part of a related impact analysis) outweighed the intervention costs. (more…)

April 9, 2021

Cost-effectiveness analysis leading to updated WHO maternal HIV retesting guidelines published in JIAS

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HIV rapid test and a blood sample vial (Credit: American Psychological Association)

A new manuscript by Global WACh researchers, trainees, and collaborators was published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) last week.  The publication summarized the findings of the study, “Optimizing HIV retesting during pregnancy and postpartum in four countries: a cost-effectiveness analysis,” which examined the cost, impact, and cost-effectiveness of maternal HIV retesting timing and frequency in four countries—Colombia, Kenya, South Africa, and Ukraine. (more…)

November 20, 2020

Dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic test cost-effectiveness analysis, that changed WHO recommendation, published in the Lancet Global Health

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Dual elimination of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV and syphilis is a public health priority.  Global efforts for the prevention of MTCT of HIV have led to substantial reductions in new pediatric HIV infections, but progress for preventing congenital syphilis—a sexually transmitted infection that causes stillbirths and other infant health problems—is much slower. While dual HIV and syphilis RDT have some promise to curb pediatric HIV and syphilis, the cost-effectiveness of using these tests in antenatal care settings in a variety of settings has not been explored. (more…)

July 1, 2020

Randomized controlled trial of isoniazid to prevent primary TB infection in Kenyan HIV-exposed uninfected infants published in Clinical Infectious Diseases

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Mother and infant pair at a health facility in Kenya. Paul J. Brown Photography.

Children born to mothers living with HIV are at an increased risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection, and young infants are particularly vulnerable to rapidly progressing to TB disease. Isoniazid preventative therapy (IPT) is used routinely to prevent TB after known TB exposure, but recent data suggest most transmission (70-90%) to young children occurs outside the household without identified exposure. Whether IPT can be used to prevent TB initial infection is unknown. (more…)

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