Infectious Diseases - Research Publications

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    Considering equity and cost-effectiveness in assessing a parenting intervention to promote early childhood development in rural Vietnam
    Baek, Y ; Ademi, Z ; Tran, T ; Owen, A ; Nguyen, T ; Luchters, S ; Hipgrave, DB ; Hanieh, S ; Tran, T ; Tran, H ; Biggs, B-A ; Fisher, J (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2023-09-18)
    Considering equity in early childhood development (ECD) is important to ensure healthy development for every child. Equity-informative cost-effectiveness analysis can further guide decision makers to maximize outcomes with limited resources while promoting equity. This cost-effectiveness study aimed to examine the equity impacts of a multicomponent ECD intervention in rural Vietnam. We estimated the cost-effectiveness of the intervention with a 30-month time horizon from the service provider and household perspectives with equity considerations. Data were from a cluster-randomized controlled trial comparing the intervention with the local standard of care. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) per child cognitive development score gained were estimated by household wealth quintile and maternal education level, adjusted for cluster effects and baseline characteristics such as maternal parity and age. A 3% discount rate was applied to costs, and non-parametric cluster bootstrapping was used to examine uncertainty around ICERs. Children in the intervention had higher cognitive development scores than those in the control arm across all subgroups. Based on intervention recurrent cost, the ICER per cognitive development score gained was lower in children from the poorest quintile (-US$6) compared to those from the richest quintile (US$16). Similarly, the ICER per cognitive development score gained was lower in children whose mothers had the lowest education level (-US$0.02) than those with mothers who had the highest education level (US$7). Even though our findings should be interpreted with caution due to the insufficient study power, the findings suggest that the intervention could promote equity while improving child cognitive development with greater cost-effectiveness in disadvantaged groups.
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    Immunogenicity of a locally produced hepatitis B vaccine with the birth dose stored outside the cold chain in rural Vietnam
    Hipgrave, DB ; Tran, TN ; Huong, VM ; Dat, DT ; Nga, NT ; Long, HT ; Van, NT ; Maynard, JE ; Biggs, BA (AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2006-02)
    The heat stability of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB vaccine) should enable its storage outside the cold chain (OCC), increasing access to the birth dose in areas lacking refrigeration. We compared the immunogenicity of a locally produced vaccine among infants who received three doses stored within the cold chain (n = 358) or for whom the first dose was stored OCC for up to one month (n = 748). Serum was collected from these infants at age 9-18 months. The vaccine was protective in 80.3% of all infants. There were no differences in the prevalence of a protective level of antibody or antibody titer among groups of infants according to storage strategy. Differences in antibody titer between certain groups of infants could be explained by different vaccination schedules. Where birth dose coverage will be improved, HepB vaccine can be taken OCC for up to one month without affecting its immunogenicity.
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    Assessment of susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and artemisinin in southern Viet Nam
    Thanh, NV ; Cowman, AF ; Hipgrave, D ; Kim, TB ; Phuc, BQ ; Cong, LD ; Biggs, BA (ROYAL SOC TROPICAL MEDICINE, 2001)
    Resistance to antimalarial chemotherapy is a major concern for malaria control in Viet Nam. In this study undertaken in 1998, 65 patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria were monitored for 28 days after completion of a 5-day treatment course with artemisinin. Overall 36.9% (24/65) of patients had recurrent parasitaemia during the surveillance period. P. falciparum isolates were tested for sensitivity in vitro to chloroquine, mefloquine, quinine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and results were compared to those from a similar study in 1995. Increased parasite sensitivity to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, chloroquine and quinine was demonstrated, with significantly lower mean EC50 and EC99 values in 1998 compared to 1995. Parasite sensitivity to mefloquine did not differ significantly in the 2 surveys. Isolates were also tested for sensitivity in vitro to artemisinin in the 1998 survey. The mean EC50 was 0.03 mumol/L and the EC99 was 0.94 mumol/L. Parasite sensitivity to artemisinin will need to be monitored in view of its increasing use in Viet Nam.
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    Schistosomiasis in Australian travellers to Africa
    Davis, TME ; Beaman, MH ; McCarthy, JS (AUSTRALASIAN MED PUBL CO LTD, 1998-01-05)
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    Promoting early childhood development in Viet Nam: cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a cluster-randomised trial.
    Baek, Y ; Ademi, Z ; Tran, T ; Owen, A ; Nguyen, T ; Luchters, S ; Hipgrave, DB ; Hanieh, S ; Tran, T ; Tran, H ; Biggs, B-A ; Fisher, J (Elsevier BV, 2023-08)
    BACKGROUND: Economic evaluations are critical to ensure effective resource use to implement and scale up child development interventions. This study aimed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of a multicomponent early childhood development intervention in rural Viet Nam. METHODS: We did a cost-effectiveness study alongside a cluster-randomised trial with a 30-month time horizon. The study included 669 mothers from 42 communes in the intervention group, and 576 mothers from 42 communes in the control group. Mothers in the intervention group attended Learning Clubs sessions from mid-pregnancy to 12 months after delivery. The primary outcomes were child cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional development at age 2 years. In this analysis, we estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of the intervention compared with the usual standard of care from the service provider and household perspectives. We used non-parametric bootstrapping to examine uncertainty, and applied a 3% discount rate. FINDINGS: The total intervention cost was US$169 898 (start-up cost $133 692 and recurrent cost $36 206). The recurrent cost per child was $58 (1 341 741 Vietnamese dong). Considering the recurrent cost alone, the base-case ICER was $14 and mean ICER of 1000 bootstrap samples was $14 (95% CI -0·48 to 30) per cognitive development score gained with a 3% discount rate to costs. The ICER per language and motor development score gained was $22 and $20, respectively, with a 3% discount rate to costs. INTERPRETATION: The intervention was cost-effective: the ICER per child cognitive development score gained was 0·5% of Viet Nam's gross domestic product per capita, alongside other benefits in language and motor development. This finding supports the scaling up of this intervention in similar socioeconomic settings. FUNDING: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Grand Challenges Canada. TRANSLATION: For the Vietnamese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
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    Structured, multicomponent, community-based programme for women?s health and infant health and development in rural Vietnam: a parallel-group cluster randomised controlled trial
    Fisher, J ; Tran, T ; Tran, H ; Luchters, S ; Hipgrave, DB ; Nguyen, H ; Tran, T ; Hanieh, S ; Simpson, JA ; Biggs, B-A ; Tran, T (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2023-05)
    BACKGROUND: Interventions to improve early childhood development have previously addressed only one or a few risk factors. Learning Clubs is a structured, facilitated, multicomponent programme designed to address eight potentially modifiable risk factors, and offered from mid-pregnancy to 12 months post partum; we aimed to establish whether this programme could improve the cognitive development of children at 2 years of age. METHODS: For this parallel-group cluster-randomised controlled trial, 84 of 116 communes (the clustering unit) in HaNam Province in rural Vietnam were randomly selected and randomly assigned to receive the Learning Clubs intervention (n=42) or usual care (n=42). Women aged at least 18 years who were pregnant (gestational age <20 weeks) were eligible for inclusion. Data sources were standardised, and study-specific questionnaires assessing risks and outcomes were completed in interviews in mid-pregnancy (baseline), late pregnancy (after 32 weeks of gestation), at 6-12 months post partum, and at the end of the study period when children were 2 years of age. Mixed-effects models were used to estimate trial effects, adjusting for clustering. The primary outcome was the cognitive development of children at 2 years of age, assessed by the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Third Edition (Bayley-III) cognitive score. This trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12617000442303). FINDINGS: Between April 28, 2018, and May 30, 2018, 1380 women were screened and 1245 were randomly assigned (669 to the intervention group and 576 to the control group). Data collection was completed on Jan 17, 2021. Data at the end of the study period were contributed by 616 (92%) of 669 women and their children in the intervention group, and by 544 (94%) of 576 women and their children in the control group. Children aged 2 years in the intervention group had significantly higher mean Bayley-III cognitive scores than those in the control group (99·6 [SD 9·7] vs 95·6 [9·4]; mean difference 4·00 [95% CI 2·56-5·43]; p<0·0001). At 2 years of age, 19 (3%) children in the intervention group had Bayley-III scores less than 1 SD, compared with 32 (6%) children in the control group, but this difference was not significant (odds ratio 0·55 [95% CI 0·26-1·17]; p=0·12). There were no significant differences between groups in maternal, fetal, newborn, or child deaths. INTERPRETATION: A facilitated, structured, community-based, multicomponent group programme improved early childhood development to the standardised mean in rural Vietnam and could be implemented in other similarly resource-constrained settings. FUNDING: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Grand Challenges Canada Saving Brains Initiative. TRANSLATION: For the Vietnamese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
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    Protocol for an economic evaluation alongside a cluster randomised controlled trial: cost-effectiveness of Learning Clubs, a multicomponent intervention to improve women's health and infant's health and development in Vietnam
    Nguyen, T ; Sweeny, K ; Tran, T ; Luchters, S ; Hipgrave, DB ; Hanieh, S ; Tran, T ; Tran, H ; Biggs, B-A ; Fisher, J (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-12)
    INTRODUCTION: Economic evaluations of complex interventions in early child development are required to guide policy and programme development, but a few are yet available. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Although significant gains have been made in maternal and child health in resource-constrained environments, this has mainly been concentrated on improving physical health. The Learning Clubs programme addresses both physical and mental child and maternal health. This study is an economic evaluation of a cluster randomised controlled trial of the impact of the Learning Clubs programme in Vietnam. It will be conducted from a societal perspective and aims to identify the cost-effectiveness and the economic and social returns of the intervention. A total of 1008 pregnant women recruited from 84 communes in a rural province in Vietnam will be included in the evaluation. Health and cost data will be gathered at three stages of the trial and used to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios per percentage point improvement of infant's development, infant's health and maternal common mental disorders expressed in quality-adjusted life years gained. The return on investment will be calculated based on improvements in productivity, the results being expressed as benefit-cost ratios. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The trial was approved by Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (Certificate Number 2016-0683), Australia, and approval was extended to include the economic evaluation (Amendment Review Number 2018-0683-23806); and the Institutional Review Board of the Hanoi School of Public Health (Certificate Number 017-377IDD- YTCC), Vietnam. Results will be disseminated through academic journals and conference presentations. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12617000442303.
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    Protocol for a process evaluation of a cluster randomized controlled trial of the Learning Club intervention for women's health, and infant's health and development in rural Vietnam
    Fisher, J ; Trang, N ; Thach, DT ; Ha, T ; Tuan, T ; Luchters, S ; Hipgrave, D ; Hanieh, S ; Biggs, B-A (BMC, 2019-07-23)
    BACKGROUND: Learning Clubs is a multi-component intervention to address the eight common risk factors for women's health, and infant's health and development in resource-constrained settings. We are testing in a cluster randomized controlled trial in rural Vietnam whether this intervention improves cognitive development in children when they are aged two. There are few comprehensive process evaluations of complex interventions to optimise early childhood development. The aim is to conduct a planned process evaluation of the Learning Clubs intervention in Vietnam. METHODS: The evaluation will be conducted alongside the Learning Clubs trial using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Four domains will be included in the evaluation: [1] Context - how contextual factors affect the implementation and outcomes; [2] Implementation - what aspects of the Learning Clubs intervention are actually delivered and how well the intervention is delivered; [3] Mechanism of impact - how the intervention produces changes in the primary and secondary outcomes; and [4] National integration - how the intervention can be scaled up for application nationally. Purposive sampling will be used to recruit project stakeholders from commune, provincial and national levels. Results of the process evaluation will be integrated with those of the outcome and economic evaluations to provide a comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of the Learning Clubs intervention for early childhood development in rural Vietnam. DISCUSSION: Results of the evaluation will provide evidence about the implementation of the intervention and explanations for any differences in the outcomes between participants in intervention and control conditions. The evaluation will be integrated into each stage of the outcome assessments, but will be implemented by a bilingual team independent of the team implementing the intervention. It will therefore provide evidence which will not be influenced by or influence the intervention and will inform both generalisation to other settings and scalability in Vietnam. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial registration number ACTRN12617000442303 on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. Registered 27/03/2017. Prospectively registered.