First name
Ingrid
Last name
Japa

Title

Effectiveness of Deworming with Single-Dose Albendazole for Preschool-Aged Children in the Dominican Republic.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

2333794X211002949

Date Published

2021

ISSN Number

2333-794X

Abstract

<p><em>Background</em>. The World Health Organization recommends biannual deworming with single-dose albendazole for all children over 1 year in regions where soil-transmitted helminths (STH) are endemic. There are limited data from the Dominican Republic (DR) on the effectiveness of deworming programs.&nbsp;<em>Methods</em>. Between January and June 2019, we enrolled 63 preschool-aged children at a community clinic in the DR. Participants received albendazole at enrollment. Stool samples were collected and examined for parasites at enrollment, 2 to 4 and 12 to 16 weeks post-albendazole. Caregivers were surveyed on home hygiene practices and children's symptoms.&nbsp;<em>Findings</em>. At enrollment, 1 or more parasites were noted in 89% of samples.&nbsp;<em>Ascaris lumbricoides</em>&nbsp;(68%) was the most common species, followed by&nbsp;<em>Entamoeba histolytica</em>&nbsp;(35%) and&nbsp;<em>Giardia intestinalis</em>&nbsp;(8%). Two-to-four weeks post-albendazole, fewer than half of those with&nbsp;<em>A. lumbricoides</em>&nbsp;infections at baseline had cleared the infection. STH symptoms significantly improved between enrollment and 2 to 4 weeks. By 12 to 16 weeks after treatment,&nbsp;<em>A. lumbricoides</em>&nbsp;infections were as high as baseline.&nbsp;<em>Interpretation</em>. Although limited by size and available technology, our study contributes data on STH in the DR. Single-dose deworming with albendazole did not reduce&nbsp;<em>Ascaris lumbricoides</em>&nbsp;infections in our sample. As STH are the most common neglected tropical diseases and negatively impact children's health globally, further studies on both effective deworming programs and interventions to prevent STH are needed.</p>

DOI

10.1177/2333794X211002949

Alternate Title

Glob Pediatr Health

PMID

33796636

Title

Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Mobile Health in Development of an Exclusive Breastfeeding Tool: Focus Group Study With Caregivers and Health Promoters in the Dominican Republic.

Year of Publication

2020

Number of Pages

e20312

Date Published

2020 Aug 21

ISSN Number

2561-6722

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Despite growing interest in the use of technology to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), local attitudes toward mobile health (mHealth) use in these settings are minimally understood. This is especially true in the Dominican Republic, where mHealth interventions are starting to emerge. This information is critical for developing effective mHealth interventions to address public health issues, such as low exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates, which can lead to poor outcomes. With an EBF rate of 5% in the first 6 months of life, the Dominican Republic has one of the lowest EBF rates worldwide.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>This study aims to describe the current use of information and communication technology (ICT) and to analyze the attitudes and perceptions related to using mHealth interventions among caregivers of children aged ≤5 years and health promoters in the Dominican Republic. Findings can inform mHealth strategies aimed at improving EBF in this, and other, LMICs.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Participants were recruited from 3 outpatient sites: the Niños Primeros en Salud program at Centro de Salud Divina Providencia in Consuelo (rural setting) and Clínica de Familia La Romana and its program Módulo de Adolescentes Materno Infantil in La Romana (urban setting). Focus groups were conducted with caregivers and community health promoters to identify the use, attitudes, perceptions, and acceptability of mHealth as well as barriers to EBF. Discussions were conducted in Spanish, guided by semistructured interview guides. All sessions were audio-recorded and later transcribed. Thematic content analysis was conducted in Spanish by two bilingual researchers and was structured around a hybrid behavioral theory framework to identify salient themes.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>All participants (N=35) reported having a mobile phone, and 29 (83%) participants had a smartphone. Sources for obtaining health information included the internet, physicians and clinic, family and friends, health promoters, and television. Barriers to mHealth use included the cost of internet service, privacy concerns, and perceived credibility of information sources. Participants indicated the desire for, and willingness to use, an mHealth intervention to support breastfeeding. The desired features of a possible mHealth intervention included offering diverse methods of information delivery such as images and video content, text messages, and person-to-person interaction as well as notifications for appointments, vaccines, and feeding schedules. Other important considerations were internet-free access and content that included maternal and child health self-management topics beyond breastfeeding.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>There is a high level of acceptance of ICT tools for breastfeeding promotion among caregivers in urban and rural areas of the Dominican Republic. As mHealth tools can contribute to increased breastfeeding self-efficacy, identifying desirable features of such a tool is necessary to create an effective intervention. Participants wanted to receive trusted and reliable information through various formats and were interested in information beyond breastfeeding.</p>

DOI

10.2196/20312

Alternate Title

JMIR Pediatr Parent

PMID

32821063

Title

Caregiver Strengths, Attitudes, and Concerns About Reading and Child Development in the Dominican Republic.

Year of Publication

2020

Number of Pages

2333794X20942661

Date Published

2020

ISSN Number

2333-794X

Abstract

<p><strong>Background.</strong> Parents' beliefs about and engagement in reading aloud to young children and other positive parenting practices have been associated with early childhood development (ECD) and later achievement. <strong>Aim.</strong> This exploratory study sought to assess parental attitudes and self-reported practices regarding ECD in a rural, low-income community in the Dominican Republic with many risk factors for ECD delays, including high rates of poverty, iron-deficiency anemia, and malnutrition. <strong>Methods.</strong> We used the Parent Reading Belief Inventory and open-ended questions to evaluate parental beliefs regarding reading, self-efficacy in promoting child development, current positive parenting practices, and parents' concerns about the development of their 0- to 5-year-old children in Consuelo, Dominican Republic. We explored associations between demographic factors and strength of positive parenting beliefs and practices. <strong>Results.</strong> Overall participants had positive attitudes toward reading and their own importance in promoting their children's development. Participants with at least some high school education had significantly higher Parent Reading Belief Inventory scores ( = .03) than those with less formal education. Participants reported frequently singing, talking, and playing with their children, but less frequently reading with them. Few participants had access to reading materials for young children. Parental interest in programs to support ECD was high. Parents raised concerns about their children's behavior, personal and educational attainment, and early literacy. <strong>Conclusion.</strong> Children whose parents have less formal education may benefit most from interventions to promote beliefs and practices likely to improve ECD. In this community, there is high interest in learning more about ECD.</p>

DOI

10.1177/2333794X20942661

Alternate Title

Glob Pediatr Health

PMID

32743027

Title

The impact of access to immunization information on vaccine acceptance in three countries.

Year of Publication

2017

Number of Pages

e0180759

Date Published

2017

ISSN Number

1932-6203

Abstract

<p><strong>INTRODUCTION: </strong>Vaccine acceptance is a critical component of sustainable immunization programs, yet rates of vaccine hesitancy are rising. Increased access to misinformation through media and anti-vaccine advocacy is an important contributor to hesitancy in the United States and other high-income nations with robust immunization programs. Little is known about the content and effect of information sources on attitudes toward vaccination in settings with rapidly changing or unstable immunization programs.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>The objective of this study was to explore knowledge and attitudes regarding vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases among caregivers and immunization providers in Botswana, the Dominican Republic, and Greece and examine how access to information impacts reported vaccine acceptance.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted 37 focus groups and 14 semi-structured interviews with 96 providers and 153 caregivers in Botswana, the Dominican Republic, and Greece. Focus groups were conducted in Setswana, English, Spanish, or Greek; digitally recorded; and transcribed. Transcripts were translated into English, coded in qualitative data analysis software (NVivo 10, QSR International, Melbourne, Australia), and analyzed for common themes.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Dominant themes in all three countries included identification of health care providers or medical literature as the primary source of vaccine information, yet participants reported insufficient communication about vaccines was available. Comments about level of trust in the health care system and government contrasted between sites, with the highest level of trust reported in Botswana but lower levels of trust in Greece.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>In Botswana, the Dominican Republic, and Greece, participants expressed reliance on health care providers for information and demonstrated a need for more communication about vaccines. Trust in the government and health care system influenced vaccine acceptance differently in each country, demonstrating the need for country-specific data that focus on vaccine acceptance to fully understand which drivers can be leveraged to improve implementation of immunization programs.</p>

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0180759

Alternate Title

PLoS ONE

PMID

28771485

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