Eliezer Ofori Odei-Lartey
Bio: Eliezer Ofori Odei-Lartey is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Health administration & Public health. The author has an hindex of 2, co-authored 2 publications receiving 22 citations.
TL;DR: Fingerprint identification should be combined with other methods to be feasible in identifying community members in African rural settings and can be enhanced in communities with some basic Demographic Surveillance System or census information.
Abstract: Background : The reliability of counts for estimating population dynamics and disease burdens in communities depends on the availability of a common unique identifier for matching general population data with health facility data. Biometric data has been explored as a feasible common identifier between the health data and sociocultural data of resident members in rural communities within the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System located in the central part of Ghana. Objective : Our goal was to assess the feasibility of using fingerprint identification to link community data and hospital data in a rural African setting. Design : A combination of biometrics and other personal identification techniques were used to identify individual’s resident within a surveillance population seeking care in two district hospitals. Visits from resident individuals were successfully recorded and categorized by the success of the techniques applied during identification. The successes of visits that involved identification by fingerprint were further examined by age. Results : A total of 27,662 hospital visits were linked to resident individuals. Over 85% of those visits were successfully identified using at least one identification method. Over 65% were successfully identified and linked using their fingerprints. Supervisory support from the hospital administration was critical in integrating this identification system into its routine activities. No concerns were expressed by community members about the fingerprint registration and identification processes. Conclusions : Fingerprint identification should be combined with other methods to be feasible in identifying community members in African rural settings. This can be enhanced in communities with some basic Demographic Surveillance System or census information. Keywords: biometrics; fingerprint; identification; techniques; electronic; database; data-linkage (Published: 17 March 2016) Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9 : 29854 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.29854
TL;DR: Improving factors like internet access, availability of functional ICTs, frequency of supervisory visits, staff training and the provision of training manuals may facilitate the use of DHIMS2 in decision-making at all levels of the district health system.
Abstract: There is growing interest in the use of reliable evidence for health decision-making among low-and middle-income countries. Ghana has deployed DHIMS2 to replace the previously existing manual data harmonization processes. This cross-sectional study was conducted in 12 districts comprising 12 district directorates, 10 district hospitals, 29 sub-district health centers, and 38 community health facilities in the Brong-Ahafo Region. Data collection tools were developed based on the Measure Evaluate assessment tools designed for evaluating the performance of routine information systems management tools. Utilization was assessed based on documented evidence and data was analyzed using STATA version 14. Although 93% of the health facilities studied submitted data unto the DHIMS2 platform, evidence suggested low use of this data in decision-making, particularly at the community level facilities where only 26% of the facilities used data from DHIMS2 to inform annual action plans and even less than 20% examined findings and issued directives for action. At the district level, 58% issued directives based on DHIMS2 information, 50% used DHIMS2 information for Advocacy purposes and 58% gave feedback reports based on DHIMS2 data for action. Functional computers were lacking across all facilities. Activities relating to the use of DHIMS2 information skew towards data quality checking with less focus on examining findings, making comparisons, and taking action-based decisions from findings and comparisons. Improving factors like internet access, availability of functional ICTs, frequency of supervisory visits, staff training and the provision of training manuals may facilitate the use of DHIMS2 in decision-making at all levels of the district health system.
TL;DR: In this article, a mixed-methods study involved surveying 625 migrants using respondent-driven sampling and conducting in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of 48 migrants, exploring health status and health seeking behaviours for recent illness/injury.
Abstract: People working in Ghana's informal sector have low rates of enrolment in the publicly funded National Health Insurance Scheme. Informal sector workers, including migrant girls and women from northern Ghana working as head porters (kayayei), report challenges obtaining insurance and seeking formal health care. This article analyses how health insurance status affects kayayei migrants' care-seeking behaviours. This mixed-methods study involved surveying 625 migrants using respondent-driven sampling and conducting in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of 48 migrants. Analyses explore health status and health seeking behaviours for recent illness/injury. Binary logistic regression modelled the effects of selected independent variables on whether or not a recently ill/injured participant (n = 239) sought health care. Although recently ill/injured participants (38.4%) desired health care, less than half (43.5%) sought care. Financial barriers overwhelmingly limit kayayei migrants from seeking health care, preventing them from registering with the National Health Insurance Scheme, renewing their expired health insurance policies, or taking time away from work. Both insured and uninsured migrants did not seek formal health services due to the unpredictable nature of out-of-pocket expenses. Catastrophic and impoverishing medical expenses also drove participants' migration in search of work to repay loans and hospital bills. Health insurance can help minimize these expenditures, but only 17.4% of currently insured participants (58.2%) reported holding a valid health insurance card in Accra. The others lost their cards or forgot them when migrating. Access to formal health care in Accra remains largely inaccessible to kayayei migrants who suffer from greater illness/injury than the general female population in Accra and who are hindered in their ability to receive insurance exemptions. With internal migration on the rise in many settings, health systems must recognize the varied needs of populations in multi-ethnic and multilingual countries to ensure that internal migrants can access affordable, quality health services across domestic borders.
TL;DR: Investigation of changes in L loa microfilarial densities during TaNT campaigns run 18 months apart for elimination of onchocerciasis in areas that are co-endemic for loiasis found that individuals treated with ivermectin do not need to be retested for L loA microFilaraemia before the next treatment, provided that they can be re-identified.
Abstract: Summary Background A test-and-not-treat (TaNT) strategy has been developed to prevent people with high concentrations of circulating Loa loa microfilariae (>20 000 microfilariae per mL) developing serious adverse events after ivermectin treatment during mass drug administration to eliminate onchocerciasis. An important question related to cost and programmatic issues is whether annual retesting is required for everyone. We therefore aimed to investigate changes in L loa microfilarial densities during TaNT campaigns run 18 months apart. Methods In this observational cohort study, we assessed the participants of two TaNT campaigns for onchocerciasis. These campaigns, which were run by a research team, together with personnel from the Ministry of Health and community health workers, were done in six health areas (in 89 communities) in Okola health district (Cameroon); the first campaign was run between Aug 10, and Oct 29, 2015, and the second was run between March 7, and May 26, 2017. All individuals aged 5 years and older were invited to be screened for Loa loa microfilaraemia before being offered ivermectin (unless contraindicated). L loa microfilarial density was measured at the point of care using the LoaScope. All those with a L loa microfilarial density of 20 000 microfilariae per mL or less were offered treatment; in the first 2 weeks of the 2015 campaign, a higher exclusion threshold of 26 000 microfilariae per mL or less was used. At both rounds of the intervention, participants were registered with a paper form, in which personal information were collected. In 2017, we also recorded whether each individual reported participation in the 2015 campaign. The primary outcome, assessed in all participants, was whether L loa microfilarial density was above or below the exclusion threshold (ie, the criteria that guided the decision to treat). Findings In the 2015 TaNT campaign, 26 415 people were censused versus 29 587 people in the 2017 TaNT campaign. All individuals aged 5 years and older without other contraindications to treatment (22 842 people in 2015 and 25 421 people in 2017) were invited to be screened for L loa microfilaraemia before being offered ivermectin. In 2015, 16 182 individuals were examined with the LoaScope, versus 18 697 individuals in the same communities in 2017. 344 (2·1%) individuals were excluded from ivermectin treatment because of a high L loa microfilarial density in 2015, versus 283 (1·5%) individuals in 2017 (p 99·9%) of 6983 individuals treated with ivermectin in 2015 had L loa microfilariae density below the level associated with neurological serious adverse events. Interpretation Individuals treated with ivermectin do not need to be retested for L loa microfilaraemia before the next treatment, provided that they can be re-identified. This adjusted approach will enable substantial cost savings and facilitate reaching programmatic goals for elimination of onchocerciasis in areas that are co-endemic for loiasis. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Division of Intramural Research (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US National Institutes of Health).
TL;DR: A number of HBS digital health innovations and resources that have been developed from 2010 to 2020 to support education and training, data collection for monitoring and evaluation, clinical decision support, and quality improvement are described.
Abstract: The Helping Babies Survive (HBS) initiative features a suite of evidence-based curricula and simulation-based training programs designed to provide health workers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to prevent, recognize, and manage leading causes of newborn morbidity and mortality. Global scale-up of HBS initiatives has been rapid. As HBS initiatives rolled out across LMIC settings, numerous bottlenecks, gaps, and barriers to the effective, consistent dissemination and implementation of the programs, across both the pre- and in-service continuums, emerged. Within the first decade of expansive scale-up of HBS programs, mobile phone ownership and access to cellular networks have also concomitantly surged in LMICs. In this article, we describe a number of HBS digital health innovations and resources that have been developed from 2010 to 2020 to support education and training, data collection for monitoring and evaluation, clinical decision support, and quality improvement. Helping Babies Survive partners and stakeholders can potentially integrate the described digital tools with HBS dissemination and implementation efforts in a myriad of ways to support low-dose high-frequency skills practice, in-person refresher courses, continuing medical and nursing education, on-the-job training, or peer-to-peer learning, and strengthen data collection for key newborn care and quality improvement indicators and outcomes. Thoughtful integration of purpose-built digital health tools, innovations, and resources may assist HBS practitioners to more effectively disseminate and implement newborn care programs in LMICs, and facilitate progress toward the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal health goals, targets, and objectives.
TL;DR: Implementation of an iris recognition system in routine health information systems is feasible and highly acceptable as part of routine care in Kenya and scale-up could improve unique patient identification and tracking, enhancing disease surveillance activities.
Abstract: Background Use of routine HIV programme data for surveillance is often limited due to inaccuracies associated with patient misclassification which can be addressed by unique patient identification.We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of integrating an iris recognition biometric identification system into routine HIV care services at 4 sites in Kenya. Methods Patients who had recently tested HIV-positive or were engaged in care were enrolled. Images of the iris were captured using a dual-iris camera connected to a laptop. A prototype iris biometric identification system networked across the sites, analysed the iris patterns; created a template from those patterns; and generated a 12-digit ID number based on the template. During subsequent visits, the patients’ irises were re-scanned, and the pattern was matched to stored templates to retrieve the ID number. Results Over 55 weeks 8,614 (98%) of 8,794 new patients were assigned a unique ID on their first visit. Among 6,078 return visits, the system correctly re-identified patients’ IDs 5,234 times (86%). The false match rate (a new patient given the ID of another patient) was 0·5% while the generalized false reject rate (re-scans assigned a new ID) was 4·7%. Overall, 9 (0·1%) agreed to enrol but declined to have an iris scan. The most common reasons cited for declining an iris scan were concerns about privacy and confidentiality. Conclusion Implementation of an iris recognition system in routine health information systems is feasible and highly acceptable as part of routine care in Kenya. Scale-up could improve unique patient identification and tracking, enhancing disease surveillance activities.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe the historical process of institutional and infrastructural harmonisation in the production of biometric population registers in Ghana and trace the difficulties and institutional negotiations that accompany this integration into a centralised population data infrastructure.
Abstract: In the global effort to strengthen national identification systems (SDG 16.9), biometric identification technologies and civil registration systems have been associated with different motives and applications, thus fuelling their competition for public attention and resources. The case of Ghana illustrates how these alternative systems, along with further sources of personal data, have recently been integrated into the larger political vision of a centralised, national population data system. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the paper traces the difficulties and institutional negotiations that accompany this integration into a centralised population data infrastructure. Acknowledging how sets of actors, infrastructures and power relations are layered onto each other to unintended effects, the article describes the historical process of institutional and infrastructural harmonisation in the production of biometric population registers in Ghana.