Publications

Delayed vaccination and its predictors among children under 2 years in India: Insights from the national family health survey–4

Objective

Delayed vaccination increases the susceptibility window for vaccine preventable diseases. Our analysis estimates the proportion of children between 10 and 23 months of age with delayed vaccination in India and the associated socio-demographic, maternal and child related factors.

Methods

We used individual level data from the National Family and Health Survey 4, conducted in 2015–2016. The primary outcome of the study was delayed vaccination for BCG, DPT- 1st dose and Measles. Delayed vaccination for each vaccine was defined as administration of the vaccine dose after 28 days of the minimum recommended age, as per the national immunization schedule in India. We estimated the proportion of children with delayed vaccination for each vaccine and used multivariable logistic regression to explore associated factors.

Findings

In the current analysis, 23.1%, 29.3% and 34.8% of children aged 10 to 23 months had delayed vaccination for BCG, DPT-1st dose and Measles respectively. Children from Muslim families (aOR 1.36 for BCG; aOR 1.45 for DPT-1; aOR 1.26 for Measles); birth weight < 2000 g (aOR 2.33 for BCG; aOR 1.53 for DPT-1; aOR 1.36 for Measles) had higher odds of delayed vaccination. Lower maternal education and belonging to a family from lower wealth quintile had higher odds of delayed vaccination. Children of mothers who had tetanus toxoid immunization during pregnancy had lower odds of delayed vaccination (aOR 0.69 for BCG; aOR 0.76 for DPT-1; aOR 0.78 for Measles).

Conclusion

The proportion of children with delayed vaccination is high in India. Vaccine timeliness should be a core indicator of the immunization program with greater focus on groups with higher chances of delayed vaccination i.e. home birth, low birth weight new-borns, poorer households, children of mothers with lower education and children from Muslim families.

Full Text Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.03.039

Utilization, equity and determinants of full antenatal care in India: analysis from the National Family Health Survey 4

Objectives

We examined the utilisation, equity and determinants of full antenatal care (ANC), defined as 4 or more antenatal visits, at least one tetanus toxoid (TT) injection and consumption of iron folic acid (IFA) for a minimum of 100 days, in India.

Methods

We analysed a sample of 190,898 women from India’s National Family Health Survey 4. Concentration curves and concentration index were used to assess equity in full ANC utilisation. Multivariable logistic regression model was used to examine the factors associated with full ANC utilisation.

Results

In India, 21% of pregnant women utilised full ANC, ranging from 2.3–65.9% across states. Overall, 51.6% had 4 or more ANC visits, 30.8% consumed IFA for atleast 100 days, and 91.1% had one or more doses of tetanus toxoid. Full ANC utilisation was inequitable across place of residence, caste and maternal education. Registration of pregnancy, utilisation of government’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and health insurance coverage were associated with higher odds of full ANC utilisation. Lower maternal education, lower wealth quintile(s), lack of father’s participation during antenatal visits, higher birth order, teenage and unintended pregnancy were associated with lower odds of full ANC utilisation.

Conclusions

Full ANC utilisation in India was inadequate and inequitable. Although half of the women did not receive the minimum recommended ANC visits, the utilisation of TT immunisation was almost universal. The positive association of full ANC with ICDS utilisation and child’s father involvement may be leveraged for increasing the uptake of full ANC. Strategies to address the socio-demographic factors associated with low and inequitable utilisation of full ANC are imperative for strengthening India’s maternal health program.

Full Text Link : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-019-2473-6

Cognitive and motor outcomes in children born low birth weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies from South Asia

Background

South Asia contributes substantially to global low birth weight population (i.e. those with birth weight < 2500 g). Synthesized evidence is lacking on magnitude of cognitive and motor deficits in low birth weight (LBW) children compared to those with normal birth weight (NBW) (i.e. birth weight ≥ 2500 g). The meta-analysis aimed to generate this essential evidence.

Methods

Literature search was performed using PubMed and Google Scholar. Original research articles from south Asia that compared cognitive and/or motor scores among LBW and NBW individuals were included. Weighted mean differences (WMD) and pooled relative risks (RR) were calculated. All analyses were done using STATA 14 software.

Results

Nineteen articles (n = 5999) were included in the analysis. Children < 10 years of age born LBW had lower cognitive (WMD -4.56; 95% CI: -6.38, − 2.74) and motor scores (WMD -4.16; 95% CI: -5.42, − 2.89) compared to children with NBW. Within LBW children, those with birth weight < 2000 g had much lower cognitive (WMD -7.23, 95% CI; − 9.20, − 5.26) and motor scores (WMD -6.45, 95% CI; − 9.64, − 3.27).

Conclusions

In south Asia, children born LBW, especially with < 2000 g birth weight, have substantial cognitive and motor impairment compared to children with NBW. Early child development interventions should lay emphasis to children born LBW.

Full Text Link : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-019-1408-8

Severe wasting among Indian infants< 6 months: findings from the National Family Health Survey 4

Burden and risk factors for wasting in the first 6 months of life among Indian children are not well documented. We used data from India’s National Family Health Survey 4 to estimate the prevalence of severe wasting (weight for length < ‐3 SD) among 18,898 infants under 6 months of age.

We also examined the association of severe wasting with household, maternal, and child‐related factors using multivariable logis-tic regression analysis. Prevalence of severe wasting among infants less than 6 months of age was 14.8%, ranging from 3.5 to 21% across states. Low birth weight (<2,500 g; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.40, 95% CI [1.19, 1.65]), non-utilization of supplementary nutrition by mother during lactation (AOR 1.23, 95% CI [1.05, 1.43]), and anthropometric assessment during summer (AOR 1.37, 95% CI [1.13, 1.65]) and monsoon months (AOR 1.53, 95% CI [1.20, 1.95]) were associated with higher odds of severe wasting. Infants aged 2 to 3 months (AOR 0.78, 95% CI [0.66, 0.93]) and 4 to 5 months (AOR 0.65, 95% CI [0.55, 0.73]) had lower odds of severe wasting as compared with the 0 to 1 month category.

This analysis reveals a high burden of severe wasting in infants less than 6 months in India. Preventive interventions must be targeted at reducing low birth weight due to fetal growth restriction and prematurity. Appropriate care practices at facilities and post-discharge with extra attention to those born small and sick can prevent further deterioration in nutritional status.

Full Text Link : https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12866

Assessment of risk of intussusception after pilot rollout of rotavirus vaccine in the Indian public health system

Background

Pre-licensure trials of ROTAVAC® were not adequately powered to assess risk of intussusception, a rare adverse event associated with other rotavirus vaccines in some settings. We examined the risk of intussusception after ROTAVAC® vaccination among Indian infants during pilot rollout of the vaccine in the public health system in three states – Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Methods

Passive surveillance for intussusception was set up in 35 sentinel health facilities covering 26.3 million population in the three states under monitoring of an Interministerial-Interagency Steering Committee. Clinical and immunization data were collected by independent teams. An expert committee blinded to vaccination status, classified intussusception cases using Brighton criteria. The self-controlled case-series method was used to estimate risk of intussusception (Brighton Level 1) after ROTAVAC® vaccination.

Results

151 intussusception cases were included in the analysis. The relative incidence (incidence during the risk period compared to the control period) 1–21 days after doses 1 and 2 combined was 1.56 (95% CI, 0.0–5.28) and that for three doses combined was 1.88 (95% CI, 0.76–4.30). Attributable risk 1–21 days after doses 1 and 2 combined was 0.11 (95% CI, 0.0–0.25) and that for 3 doses combined was 0.42 (95% CI, 0.0–0.70) per 100,000 doses.

Conclusions

No increased risk of intussusception within 21 days of receipt of the first two doses combined or all 3 doses combined of ROTAVAC® was detected.

Full Text Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.05.093

Diagnostic measures for severe acute malnutrition in Indian infants under 6 months of age: a secondary data analysis

Background

Weight for length z-score (WLZ) < − 3 is currently used to define severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among infants. However, this approach has important limitations for infants younger than 6 months of age as WLZ cannot be calculated using WHO growth standards if infant length is < 45 cm. Moreover, length for age z-score (LAZ) and weight for length z-score (WLZ) are least reliable measures, with high chances of variation, and less chances of detecting undernutrition in under 6 months infants. The objective of the current analysis was to compare WLZ with WAZ and LAZ in a cohort of Indian infants in predicting the deaths between 6 weeks and 6 months of age.

Methods

The data was from an individually randomized trial conducted in slums of Delhi, India in which infants’ weight and length were measured at 6 weeks of age (at the time of the first immunization visit). Vital status of the infants was documented from 6 weeks to 6 months of age. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and positive and negative likelihood ratios were calculated for WAZ < -3, WLZ < -3, and LAZ < -3 for deaths between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. The receiver operating characteristics curve was calculated for each of the above anthropometric indicators.

Results

For deaths occurring between 6 weeks to 6 months of age, the specificity ranged between 85.9–95.9% for all three anthropometric indicators. However, the sensitivity was considerably higher for WAZ; it was 64.6% for WAZ < -3, 39.1% for LAZ < -3, and 25.0% for WLZ < -3. WAZ < -3 had higher area under curve (0.75; 95% CI: 0.68, 0.82) and hence, better discriminated deaths between 6 weeks and 6 months of age than WLZ < -3. The adjusted relative risk (RR 10.6, 95% CI 5.9, 18.9) and the population attributable fraction (PAF 57.9, 95% CI 38.8, 71.0%) of mortality was highest for WAZ < -3.

Conclusions

We found WAZ < -3 at 6 weeks of age to be a better predictor of death in the 6 weeks to 6 months of life in comparison to WLZ < -3 and LAZ < -3 and propose that it should be considered to diagnose SAM in this age group.

Full Text Link : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-021-02629-9

Factors associated with the decline in under-five diarrhea mortality in India: a LiST analysis

Background

India has achieved 86% reduction in the number of under-five diarrheal deaths from 1980 to 2015. Nonetheless diarrhea is still among the leading causes of under-five deaths. The aim of this analysis was to study the contribution of factors that led to decline in diarrheal deaths in the country and the effect of scaling up of intervention packages to address the remaining diarrheal deaths.

Methods

We assessed the attribution of different factors and intervention packages such as direct diarrhea case management interventions, nutritional factors and WASH interventions which contributed to diarrhea specific under-five mortality reduction (DSMR) during 1980 to 2015 using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST). The potential impact of scaling up different packages of interventions to achieve universal coverage levels by year 2030 on reducing the number of remaining diarrheal deaths were estimated.

Results

The major factors associated with DSMR reduction in under-fives during 1980 to 2015, were increase in ORS use, reduction in stunting prevalence, improved sanitation, changes in age appropriate breastfeeding practices, increase in the vitamin-A supplementation and persistent diarrhea treatment. ORS use and reduction in stunting were the two key interventions, each accounting for around 32% of the lives saved during this period. Scaling up the direct diarrhea case management interventions from the current coverage levels in 2015 to achieve universal coverage levels by 2030 can save around 82 000 additional lives. If the universal targets for nutritional factors and WASH interventions can be achieved, an additional 23 675 lives can potentially be saved.

Conclusions

While it is crucial to improve the coverage and equity in ORS use, an integrated approach to promote nutrition, WASH and direct diarrhea interventions is likely to yield the highest impact on reducing the remaining diarrheal deaths in under-five children.

Full Text Link : https://dx.doi.org/10.7189%2Fjogh.09.020804

Growth faltering in early infancy: highlights from a two-day scientific consultation

Background

Faltering of growth in early life has been recognized as a public health challenge among Indian babies. A two-day consultation on growth faltering in early infancy was organized to examine the data and evidence on identification and management of early growth failure and to identify knowledge gaps and future areas of research. The consultation was supported by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (Nutrition Chapter), Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, and the Society for Applied Studies. It brought together researchers, clinicians, policy makers and program managers.

Key highlights

  1. Available data from national surveys and research studies highlights that early growth faltering remains a significant concern in India.
  2. Evidence is inconclusive on the most robust anthropometric parameters for identification of growth failure in young infants. Studies seem to suggest that weight-for-age Z (WAZ) may be the best predictor of mortality among infants less than six months of age. Use of WAZ could operationally simplify the community level assessment of at-risk infants in this age group.
  3. Current national guidelines for management of growth faltering among infants less than six months of age are based on low or very low-quality evidence.
  4. More research is needed on facility as well as community-based management of growth faltering in this age group. Identifying the window of opportunity for maximizing catchup growth in pre-term and small for gestational age babies is a priority.
  5. Research is needed to assess how the health system needs to be re-organized for facilitating optimum care of small and sick babies through the continuum of facility births and follow up care at home. Comprehensive models for care of small and sick newborns extending beyond neonatal period are needed. Models incorporating interventions like no separation policy of mothers and newborns, Kangaroo Mother Care, with co-delivery of postnatal care and Early Newborn Care should be tested for scale up in program settings.

Overall, the aim of the research agenda ahead is to identify scalable effective actions to prevent and recuperate from growth faltering that also help in improving survival, health and neurodevelopment, without contributing to adverse long-term metabolic risks.

Full Text Link : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12919-020-00195-z