Evaluation of care and treatment clinics using a four-year retrospective cohort of patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy in Mbeya Region, Tanzania


Sichalwe, AW; Renju, J; Rutherford, GW; Nondi, J; Martin, EM; Tenu, F; Todd, J; (2018) Evaluation of care and treatment clinics using a four-year retrospective cohort of patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy in Mbeya Region, Tanzania. International Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, 6 (1). pp. 10-17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30918/IRJMMS.61.17.027

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Abstract

Evaluations of sub-national anti-retroviral therapy (ART) programmes’ performance are important to support regional programme planning and epidemic response. We constructed a four-year retrospective cohort of clients from 10 care and treatment clinics (CTC) in the Mbeya region of Tanzania using routinely collected data from patients initiating ART between January 1, 2008 and March 31, 2012. Our primary outcomes were mortality rate and lost to follow up. We calculated ART coverage based on regional prevalence estimates and used medical cards, drug registers and quarterly reports to assess data quality. We enrolled 17,813 participants into the cohort. More patients initiated ART at WHO stages 3 (58.9%), and at CD4 cell counts between 50-199 cells/µl (56%). The proportion of patients initiating ARTs at a CD4 counts <50 cells/µl decreased from 40.7% in 2008 to 33.8% in 2012 (p-value <0.001). A total of 10,155 (57.0%) patients were lost to follow up (LTFU) during the 4 years of follow up; 59.2% were female. The overall mortality rate was 17.8 per 1000 person years; the six-month mortality was 6.2 per 1000 person years. The risk of mortality for patients at WHO stage III and IV was more than twice as high (hazard ratio [HR] 2.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-4.39 and HR 2.29; 95% CI, 1.39-6.37, respectively) as compared to stage I and II. Those patients initiating ART with CD4 cell count between 50 and 199 cells/µl had significantly lower hazard of death compared to those initiating ART with CD4 cells counts <50 cells/µl (HR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34-0.78). In conclusion, during the study, a high proportion of patients were lost to follow up, and the majority of them were female. Most patients initiated ARTs at lower CD4 count (<200 cells/mm3) and at WHO stages III and IV, and they had higher risk of mortality compared to those initiated at higher CD4 counts and WHO stage I and II. Emphasis needs to be placed on strategies of early diagnosis of HIV infection, prompt initiation of ART, and support for ART adherence to minimise lost to follow up.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: HIV, antiretroviral therapy, Tanzania
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Population Studies (1974-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4647283

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